Juanelle Jordan, 2012-2014 president of Gamma Tau Chapter, and other local educators joined more than 1,000 key women educators from throughout the state for the 83rd Annual Convention of the Texas State Organization of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas, June 21-23. With over 11,000 members in Texas, the honor society for women educators promotes excellence in education and personal and professional growth of women educators. The international organization with more than 120,000 members in 17 countries gives scholarships to members both on the state and international levels and offers opportunities for leadership development to members.
Convention Chairman Nancy Newton was assisted by Co-Chairmen Eileen Pink of Ft. Worth and Cindy Neander of Lewisville. Juanita Harmon, past state president from Lewisville and Jean Webb, Alpha State Texas Educational Foundation president from Ft. Worth, served as convention consultants. International President Dr. Jensi Souders of Tennessee attended all activities of the convention and updated attendees regarding the International Society.
Joanne Davis, state president 2011-2013, hosted a dinner for the state personnel on Friday evening at La Cima in Williams Square and presided at the business meeting. Additional state personnel include Dr. Jo Murphy of Oak Point, first vice-president; Katherine Reid of Houston, second vice-president; Pat Osborne of Houston, recording secretary; Sandra Smith Bull of Bastrop, corresponding secretary; Marilyn Gregory of Austin, parliamentarian; Dr. Vicki Davis of Campbell, immediate past state president; Betty Vines of Arlington, executive secretary/treasurer; and Carol McMillan of San Augustine, editor/ photographer .
Opening night on June 21, Katie Snapp energized attendees with her presentation â€śSkirt Strategies for Leadership.â€ť She encouraged the high-potential women to use their natural female leadership skills for communicating, building and leading teams, influencing others and generally being fabulous. Additionally, chapters were recognized for earning Five Star Recognition for newsletters. Gamma Tau Chapter with members from Nolan and Fisher Counties received Five Star Recognition for newsletters again for 2011-2012. Chapter contributions to the Leadership Seminar and Scholarship Funds were acknowledged, and members publishing during the year were introduced. Texas newspapers nominated by chapters for outstanding educational news reporting were honored during the evening program. Nominated by the Gamma Tau Chapter, the Roscoe Times, Sweetwater Reporter and The Rotan Advance/Roby Star Record were honored for their outstanding chapter news reporting. The Rotan Advance/Roby Star Record was also honored for outstanding overall educational news reporting. The Gamma Tau Chapter brochure was displayed at the convention by Karolyn Caldwell, Texas State Organization 2011-2013 Communications Committee Chair. The Gamma Tau Chapter brochure will also be displayed at the Area 12 Workshop at the First Baptist Church in Crosbyton on Sept. 8, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Gamma Tau is part of the 26.9% of chapters that reported using this form of communication and publicity. Displaying Gamma Tauâ€™s brochure will help â€ślight the wayâ€ť for other Texas chapters to consider developing their own chapter brochures, stated Caldwell in her email.
Winners of the state's highest praise for chapter achievement (PACE-President's Award for Chapter Excellence) were announced during the opening session. Winning chapter presidents wore special ribbons throughout the convention to mark this achievement. Gamma Tau Chapter received PACE Honorable Mention for 2011-2012. Gamma Tau Chapter also received recognition for Early Bird and Exemplary Yearbook Awards again for 2011-2012.
Friday morning, Dolly Marting had women learning and laughing as she shared her approach to enjoying life and being as productive as possible. Her credo is â€śWhat you cannot change, rearrange.â€ť
The traditional birthday luncheon, featured an acceptance of books by Linda Robinson USO representative for the United Through Reading Military, the Texas State Organizationâ€™s Unifying Project for 2012. The guest speaker at the event was Vicki Hunter Baldwin, a Texas educator recognized throughout the world for her excellent and innovative programs in education.
Saturdayâ€™s events included a business meeting and a meeting of the Alpha State Education Foundation. During the ASTEF meeting, the first Project Stipends were awarded to chapters. Gamma Tau Chapter was presented an award as an ASTEF Founding Donor Chapter.
Members earned Certified Professional Education (CPE) credit by attending special breakout sessions and workshops throughout the convention.
Many members took advantage of the opportunities to enjoy the gondola rides on Lake Carolyn, tour the state headquarters in Dallas, and experience local shopping and fine dining. Mary Ann Marshall, Gamma Tau Chapter president 2008-2012, has previously toured the state headquarters in Dallas, the state archives in Denton and the international headquarters in Austin.
The convention concluded with the Presidentsâ€™ and Foundersâ€™ Banquet. Dr. Jensi Souders encouraged the group with her speech â€śPossibilities into Action: Designing Our Future.â€ť
The honor organization of key women educators was formed in Austin, Texas, on May 11, 1929, by Dr. Annie Webb Blanton from a nucleus of 12 founders representing all levels of education, kindergarten through university, from various parts of Texas. Professor of rural education at the University of Texas, Dr. Blanton was elected president of the Texas State Teachers' Association in 1916, the first woman to hold the office. Blanton was also the first woman to serve Texas as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, having been elected to that post in 1918.
Gamma Tau Chapter members are Jean Baugh, Sue Branch, Becky Brown, Glynetta Callan, Melody Copeland, Erma Daniel, Cindy Fryar, Cindy Greene, Joanne Hairgrove, Pat Hamric, Juanelle Jordan, Mary Ann Marshall, Melba McCall, Dee Ann Mullins, Aurora Nowlin, Mary Lou Patterson, Sherry Rodgers, Peggy Williamson, Lenice Dennis, Dot Harris, Marie Collins and Jimmie Smith. Gamma Tau Chapter celebrated its 71st birthday on April 19, 2012. Gamma Tau was organized April 19, 1941, in Sweetwater, Texas, by Eula Lee Carter with charter members Miss Delila Baird, Miss Josie Baird, Mrs. James B. Day, Miss Mabel Donnell, Miss Modette Farrow, Mrs. Piccola Foreman, Mrs. Maybelle Headstream, Mrs. May Hennington, Mrs. Florine Miller Young, Miss Estelle Patterson, Mrs. Vivian Powers and Miss Lorine Williams. Gamma Tau Chapter officers for 2012-2014 are president Juanelle Jordan, first vice-president Jean Baugh, second vice-president Dee Ann Mullins, secretary Becky Brown, treasurer Cindy Fryar, and parliamentarian Mary Ann Marshall. The executive committee meets in August to plan for an exciting year ahead.