Friday, November 3, 2017

Quadrant I "Technology and Learning" - Bainbridge Island

     The DKG Washington State-sponsored Quadrant I "Technology and Learning" workshop was held at the Commodore Options School on Bainbridge Island on Saturday, October 21from 8:45 - 4:00. Thirty members from Areas 6, 7 and 10 were in attendance. Based on member feedback, this state-sponsored workshop was uniquely designed with MEMBERS in mind. 
The WSO Tech team members are: Sherri Wagemann, Terri Diehm,  Susan Fritts, Jane Gerdon and Patricia Russell.

     Participants had the opportunity to enjoy guest presenters sharing their expertise, enhance their computer literacy, have FUN experiencing hands-on activities and one-one instruction, fellowship with old & new friends, and take advantage of applying for professional clock hours.

     Topics for this Quadrant included: Creating a Website using Weebly, Google Docs, Cell Phone Photography, Learning about New & Useful Apps, Cyber Bullying Intervention, Internet Safety and Robotics/STEM.

     After check-in registration and Continental breakfast, I described the procedures of the day and led the participants in a cell phone photography scavenger hunt ice breaker. They all had a fun time milling around the room & sharing photographs to see who could complete their list first. It was a grand interactive activity to get to know one another. During the day, small group breakouts and large group presentations were offered. 

     Bainbridge Island School District Asst. Supt. Erin Murphy and Asst. Principal at BIHS Amanda Ward provided an outstanding presentation on Cyber Bullying and the steps BISD takes to deal with it. Other presenters: Pat Bennett-Forman and MaryLou Gregory (creating a website/cell phone photography), Jan Millgard (Google Docs & "Appy" Hour).

     One of the highlights of the day was when participants were escorted to the BHS new Robotics Room by the Robotics FIRST students and instructor Enrique Chee, BHS. The students explained and demonstrated how they use their leadership and problem solving skills to design & create a moving robot that will complete required tasks. The TEAM has competed in several national competitions. Listening and watching the students, one could tell that they were passionate about their Robotics program and all that they have accomplished.

The next State Quadrant 2 (Areas 2 & 8) "Technology & Learning" workshop is scheduled for March 24, 2018 in Spokane WA

Getting to Know Alpha Rho

Honoring Our DKG Heritage: Alpha Rho Chapter was founded on December 5, 1959, by Lillian Gibson of Epsilon Chapter, which sponsored the whole group.  The occasion took place at the Top of the Ocean in Tacoma.  Of the Alpha Rho Charter members, five had finished high school at 15-17 years of age; four were valedictorian or salutatorian of their class; two had been senior class president; four had been Prom Queen, or its equivalent!  Many of the group started teaching with much less than the present requirement of a Bachelor's Degree. (from Golden Anniversary of Alpha Sigma State 1941-1991)

     Alpha Rho member Linda Pearn graciously opened her home to me for over night lodging. It is so much fun to stay with a member and have the opportunity to get to know her better. I so appreciated Linda's hospitality. 

The evening of the chapter meeting, October 18, 2017, Linda used the GPS system to drive to the location. We soon discovered that we completely arrived at the wrong house and were hopelessly lost. The wonky street signs were not helpful at all!  Fortunately, Sheri St. John, who serves as both State Area 4 Liaison and Alpha Rho's Chapter President, provided us perfect directions over the cell phone. Linda and I had quite an adventure getting there, but we made it in time for the "potluck" business meeting. Oh, the ups and downs of technology, but how did we ever manage with those old fold out maps???

     Alpha Rho (Puyallup area) is a small, but mighty chapter. It was apparent that the members, most of whom are actively teaching, are passionate about education and providing the best for their students. The evening's agenda included a discussion of their upcoming chapter projects: Comfy Care which provides pj's to children placed in foster care, scheduling a community road clean up day, and selling holiday mugs at next year's State Fall Board Conference as a fundraising activity.
     They are also looking forward to going to Northwest Trek with their families as their November social outing. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a 723-acre wildlife park located in the town of Eatonville, and Its primary feature is a tram tour which takes visitors through a 435-acre free-range area.

     The group brainstormed ideas for increasing membership and visibility in the community. The activity for the following meeting will include creating learning chants for the classroom. How fun!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Amazing Women of Alpha Sigma Chapter

Honoring Our DKG Heritage: Alpha Sigma Chapter was organized by Nu Chapter on October 30, 1961 with eighteen charter members.  Two charter members took leave of absence from their schools to spend a year abroad. Jackie Maring spent a year in Germany and Paula Wittenfield took a sabbatical to study in Australia. Several of the members have traveled extensively and all of the group have profited by the reports of these travels.  Each year since organization, the chapter has participated in a project to raise funds for a local charity. (from Golden Anniversary of Alpha Sigma State 1941 - 1991)

     As I left my home in Spokane in the early morning of October 17 to visit Alpha Sigma Chapter,I could't help but be mindful of the beauty each changing season brings. As I motored through the Cascade Mountain's winding roadway, I enjoyed the picturesque evergreen forest dotted with large, full-leafed deciduous trees. Laden with gold and crimson hues throughout the sea of green, they seemed to open their arms and say, "Welcome to the west side of Washington State." Oh, how I love the beauty of Fall!

     I had the opportunity to spend a delightful evening with Alpha Sigma Chapter members from the Poulsbo, Kingston and Bainbridge Island area AND members of the Port Gamble S'kallum Tribal Education Center. When I arrived at the Center, I was in awe of the beautifully constructed long house for which many events take place. We attendees appreciated being welcomed as several tribal members performed the traditional "Welcome Song."
     DKG member and program organizer Linda Middlebrook explained the mission of the center, "To provide opportunities and quality of life for community members through teaching, training, counseling and assistance for professional, educational and employment. The Center provides tutoring, college classes and other educational programs from preschool to post-high school, and it has grown to offer satellite programs offering: AA degree - NW Indian College, and BA degrees - Evergreen State College and WSU." 
     Of course, one of the main highlights of the evening was eating the magnificent salmon dinner especially prepared for us and served in a long boat, accompanied with traditional Indian fry bread. Oh boy, howdy, what a treat!

     The short chapter meeting prior to our cultural experience included a discussion of the final planning details for their upcoming Closing the Achievement Gap Seminar #8, Tearing Down Walls which will address teaching immigrants, migrants, and culturally diverse students and help to answer many questions. What walls do schools and teachers put up for English language learners? What effect does the threat of deportation have on learning? How can teachers/schools create a seamless education for students attending multiple schools each year? What teaching strategies are most effective?

     It was an amazing evening sharing culture, creating new friendships and enjoying fellowship with amazing educators!
DKG member Linda Middlebrook; Co-Presidents Carol Linscott and Joyce Shultz 

Singing "The Welcome Song"

Traditional Salmon Dinner served in a canoe


Area I Workshop - Sunnyside WA "Inspiring Change Through Lessons of the Holocaust"

     Dr. Suess was well-noted for his masterful children's book, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, which as you may recall, instructs readers to move forward in life and overcome challenges.

     On Saturday, October 7, 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to the Aspire Education Training Center in Sunnyside, WA and experience an inspiring and thought-provoking Area I workshop presented by The Holocaust Center for Humanity from Seattle. The program was sponsored by Theta Chapter - Yakima, Alpha Zeta Chapter - Goldendale and Lambda Chapter - Sunnyside.
     Thirty-five participants were in attendance. The purpose of this interactive workshop was to learn more about the Holocaust and to help educate, inspire, and learn how we all can take action against the pyramid of hate. Presenter Ilana Cone Kennedy shared examples of the free "teaching trunks" filled with everything a teacher would need to teach a Holocaust unit, personalized for grades 5-12 available for school use. We viewed the film "With My Own Eyes," which introduced the Holocaust and contemporary genocide through local survivors' experiences. 
     I was especially moved as I listened intently to one of the Center's Legacy Speakers, Ingrid Kanis Steppic, who was born in Holland in 1943. She shared her very personal and emotional story of how her family served as rescuers to 40 Jews by hiding them in Amersfoort Holland during the Holocaust. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews were hidden in Holland during the war. This included the Anne Frank family. Of this number, about 2/3 survived. Ingrid presents her family's story to local students and community groups.
     A staunch reminder of the many challenges that were overcome and the many people who had lost so much, but continued to move forward in life...

For more information about appropriate teaching materials and resources (Holocaust Teaching Trunk) contact or call 206-582-3000.     

State President Sherri Wagemann & Presenter Ilana Cone Kennedy
Ilana Cone Kennedy
Ingrid Kanis Steppic