2011-07-28 / General Stories

Local Educators Attend 82nd Annual Convention

Local educators joined more than 800 key women educators from throughout the state for the 82nd Annual Convention of the Texas State Organization of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International in McAllen, June 23- 25. Members spent the convention time attending special interest sessions for Certified Professional Education ( CPE) credit and Society workshops at the McAllen Convention Center in McAllen. Attending from Gamma Omega, the local chapter, were Mary Keienburg, chapter president; Carole Fry, parliamentarian; Heather Smith, immediate past chapter president; Sandria Strong; and Dr. Barbara Webb, past chapter president.

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 Dr. Gloria Crum of McAllen was assisted by Co-Chairmen Barbara Johnston of Harlingen and Karolyn Caldwell of McAllen. Catherine Davis, past state president from Fredericksburg, served as convention consultant. International Representative Claudia Estrada of Guatemala attended all activities of the convention and updated attendees on news from international. Mrs. Fry assisted at the convention as a member of the State Ceremonies Committee, and Mrs. Smith served as a member of the State Communications Committee.

Dr. Vicki Davis, state president 2009-2011, presided at business meetings. Additional state personnel included Marilyn Gregory of Austin, first vicepresident; Nancy Newton, second vice-president; Gail Herring, recording secretary; Andi Kirby, corresponding secretary; Katherine Brightwell, parliamentarian; JoAnn Brooks, immediate past state president; Betty Vines, executive secretary/ treasurer and Joanne Davis of Fredericksburg, editor/ photographer . Evelyn Barron of Austin served as parliamentarian for the convention in the absence of Brightwell.

Opening night on June 23, Mary Gordon Spence energized attendees with her presentation “Finding Magic in the Mundane.” Known for her unique Texas voice and commentaries that appear regularly in the Austin American Statesman, she delivered a humorous and insightful presentation.

Gamma Omega was recognized for earning Five Star Recognition for newsletters and for its contributions to the Leadership Seminar and Scholarship Funds. The chapter also earned Early Bird and Exemplary Recognitions for its yearbook, plus the Tudor Rose Award for adding to its membership during the past year, and the Annie Award for outstanding programs.

Winners of the state’s highest praise for chapter achievement (PACE- President’s Award for Chapter Excellence) were announced during the opening session. Gamma Omega received the PACE-Honorable Mention.

The traditional Birthday Luncheon, featuring a special folkloric style show, drew attendees on Friday. Fifty year members were recognized and state achievement award winners were announced. Dr. Webb and Mrs. Strong performed as members of the Texas State Chorus.

Friday evening conventioneers were treated to a Cultural Street Fair in the McAllen Convention Center. The evening featured Richard Moore, professional wild lands photographer, as well as performing artists, historic and environmental exhibitors and craftsmen.

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.

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