Friday, July 29, 2011

Order of the Magnolia - Epsilon's Unique Group

Who are members which make up the "Order of the Magnolia", what are the qualifications, what is their purpose? These are just some of the questions heard when I mentioned this unique group in Louisville at the Southeast Regional Leadership Meeting. Is Epsilon unique in this group? No, Mississippi also has the Order of the Magnolia along with many other SER states. Do you as members of Epsilon know about this group of ladies in which I rely heavily on for advice?

The "Order of the Magnolia" consists of past Epsilon State Presidents. Membership into this group comes at the close of a president's biennium. While this group of ladies are present (Head table at state convention) throughout meetings of the state and beyond, they also serve as advisors to the current president in office. Since taking office July 1, several emails have been sent to the "Order of the Magnolia" asking such questions as:
  1. Am I on the right track?
  2. What would you do in this situation?
  3. Are you aware of any reason why this would or would not benefit Epsilon?
Some emails are sent to the group as updates. The experience and knowledge of this group has is priceless, and continuing to utilize these ladies is an investment in our Society. There are currently 16 members: Joanna Pruitt, Edleen Marczak, Ethelyn Gebrowsky, Patricia Bray, Dorothy Akins, Christel Robbins, Virgie Dronet, Maxie Garrett, Betty Westerchil, Mary Ann Hatfield, Beth Dawson, Jerry Malone, Peggy King, Loretta Brehm, Jean Patterson, Cindy Ruel.

A special thank you to members of the Order of the Magnolia for committing to an organization which promotes personal and professional growth of women educators.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Epsilon State is 59 Chapters Strong!

As of June 14, 2011 Epsilon State boasts a proud number of 59 chapters which make up our state organization. Chapters are created by members in areas from all over our state. Chapter memberships range from 8-70 in some districts. Some chapters are formed in rural, metropolitan, urban areas or schools in the state. Activities in the chapters may be those that are planned for various events and locations during the year. While some chapters may utilize a stationary method  in meeting (For example: meeting in the same place). No two chapters are alike! But all have a common bond of the membership that makes them unique in their own way!

While membership decline is an issue at the highest level of our Society it is not a secret that the decline has affected our state. Have we seen a decline in the chapters of Epsilon? Yes! In 2000 DKG International reported a total of 79 chapters for Epsilon State. That's a decline in Epsilon of 20 chapters over a ten year period! Let's stop the decline.  How can you help to keep your chapter STRONG and HEALTHY?
  • Attend meetings
  • Be a VOICE
  • Volunteer for jobs/tasks/events
  • Be a LEADER - accept a position in leadership  or ask to be placed in a position of leadership
  • Pay dues
  • Recuit new members
  • Recruit members who have dropped membership but now want to return
These are just a few of the suggestions that can assist members (the foundation of our Society) in creating stronger chapters. I am looking to all members as a KEY component for keeping your chapter in the forefront of activities at the local, district, state, and international levels. You are VITAL to the health of DKG! Donnis

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Epsilon - Technology Explodes

It is no secret that utilization of technology is a major connection/communication tool in this biennium. The creation of different methods to connect with members will be a high priority during my term. It is the goal that all members hear from the Executive Committee through a venue of ways. Some of which are:
  1. Donnis' Dialogue - Daily blogs which focus on DKG, Epsilon State discussing events/reminders/hints/pointers or just thoughts on the promotion of members and chapters within our Society.
  2. Monday emails to the state: Beginning Monday, August 1 you will receive a weekly email from the President. Don't forget to read! You may find your name or chapter highlighted in the weekly communications that are broadcast statewide.
  3. The Deltion: The delivery of The Deltion will come in two forms: postal or email. Members are being polled to select the preferred method. This is a major move for our state. The ability to read the latest and greatest news about you, your friends, officer's, chapter, etc. will now be accessible to us on our iPhones, iPads, Blackberry, etc.
  4. State website is going to International: Maryanne Russell, Website Manager will begin the process to transfer the state website to International. This is a major move for our state in aligning e-communication and efforts with International. Will keep you updated with the progress and send a statewide broadcast at the launch.
These are just a few of the ways in which we can access information electronically or receive up-to-date and continual communications as members of Epsilon. Stay tuned for more in the coming months. Epsilon is changing and you are a part of the change. Embrace the changes! Engage the concepts! Enjoy your membership in a great Society! Donnis

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Epsilon's Abundant Supply of Presenters

During the June 18 transition's meeting in Pineville, district directors were charged with the task of utilizing district members as presenters during the breakout sessions. While some planning committees may opt to forego the breakout sessions, many will offer sessions for members attending that are informational, interesting, educational, etc. Epsilon State is overflowing with presenters who have talent in many areas. While traveling around the state for varied reasons  I have had the opportunity to talk with members and have been amazed at the talent and interests of members that would be an asset if shared through chapter, district, state, regional or international presentations. What to present! Well, some ideas on presentations could be:
  1. Technology: How to develop a blog, what is the correct email protocol about answering, (Answer within 24 hours) how do I develop a spreadsheet?
  2. Etiquette: Table, hosting a party, correspondence. There is a whole list of items that could be used for a presentation from this arena.
  3. Education: What is going on in your school that is working well? Do you have ideas to share that will assist an Early Career Educator in working with parents, students, mandates?
  4. Delta Kappa Gamma: Have you attended any of the programs offered by DKG? Golden Gift, submitted an article for the Bulletin? Attended the UN Conference in New York?
  5. Art/Graphics/Designs/Music: Are you an individual who is blessed with the ability to create/sing? Share your work with others through the breakout sessions.
These are just a few ideas that you might use in which to build a presentation. Do not think that you do not have something vital to offer members. Because I know that you do! As we go around the state during the "Fall Tour" I will be looking for many of you during the breakout sessions as presenters. You can do it!!! Don't hesitate to step forward and share your talent/experiences/knowledge with members of DKG - Epsilon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's make a date to attend the district meetings!

District meetings are quickly approaching! The start-up of school launches activities at all levels of education (Ballgames, open houses, parent meetings) and especially what I refer to as the "Fall Tour" of Epsilon state. District directors and host chapters are working very hard to make that one special day in your district one in which you will meet old friends, make new ones, find out the latest news in our Society, get some CEUs, have a chance to present, and so much more. Why would you not attend? That's a question only you can answer.

What does attending a district meeting require? Well, taking a Saturday morning and committing to a society that is dedicated to furthering personal and professional endeavors for women educators! What a great opportunity on your part to attend the district meetings. As your president, I am asking all to commit now to attend the district meeting in your area or visit another district meeting. You do not want to miss this time with the "sisterhood" of Epsilon. I will be looking for YOU!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

DKG and Epsilon Projects

Developing projects for implementation has been one of the easiest task undertaken as an incoming president.  The enthusiasm and generosity of DKG members enables the development and execution of projects an even greater reward. The following is a brief description of the projects I feel very "passionate" about at the state, national and international levels. My hope is that each of the projects outlined below will offer a selection of opportunities for chapters to embrace and support at any level. So, find your project and get going!

Epsilon State Project: Developing state leaders is one of the REACHing goals of this biennium. Theme created, pins ordered and currently on sale with the funds supporting leadership training in Epsilon State for Bea Davis. Forms for ordering pins can be found at the Epsilon state website. This project is a success because of YOU - the members of Epsilon. Thank you!

Epsilon National Project: The Great American Bake Sale focuses on ending childhood hunger. What an excellent project for educators who see children on a daily basis who can benefit from this program.  Many  members can participate in bake sales at the holidays, festivals, etc. The resources supplied at will give members flyers, ideas, and vital information to host a bake sale that could make a huge difference in the life of a child. Register as a chapter or as a school. You do not have to be a baker to be a contributor. Assist by helping to organize the event, publicize and encourage members to be involved.

Epsilon International Project:  "Schools for Africa"  is the official project of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. This project offers the opportunity for members to donate monies for the building and rehabilitation of schools, creating schools that offer a safe and protective environment for children, provide children with pencils and exercise books and many more opportunities for improving the quality of education for children in Africa. Find out more about "Schools for Africa" at

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DKG International Headquarters - Who's There!

As a member of Golden Gift Leadership Seminar a visit to the Society's headquarters is an item on the agenda during the two weeks in Austin. What an "eye opening" experience. This is a tour that I would like to recommend to any member visiting in Austin. The staff is very receptive to sharing indepth information about the organization that began in 1929. The memorabilia is displayed throughout the facility which show cases pins, photos, personal collections of the founders and persons throughout the Society's history.

The Executive Director, Corlea Plowman is responsible for the functions of the headquarters, as well as, serving as the Corporate Secretary. In addition to personnel (Linda Eller, Phyllis Hickey, Nina Scott) that you will see at SER or International Conventions. Behind the scenes are those members that "hold down the fort" while the others traveling handle the business of the society. So, take some time to visit the Society's headquarters or learn more at

Friday, July 22, 2011

DKG Organizational Levels - Members are the KEY!

Are you aware that the International Convention (Members attending this event) is the highest authority in our society? The International Executive Board reports to the members at the International Convention. Yet, have the authority to adopt the budget, elect the trustees of the Educational Foundation, recommend policy and procedure, select dates/sites for international meetings, define regions/assign states, approve establishment of state organizations to regions, approve establishment of state organizations, procedures for possible dissolution, select International Achievement Award recipient, select international honorary members. The Administrative Board reports to the Executive Board whose responsibility is to carry out the plans and policies adopted by the international convention.

Wow! That's a lot of responsibility. But it is a process in which our members have created as a fair and objectional method in which to represent all members of our society. Learn more in the next blog about the additional levels at international. From the great state of Louisiana to the far reaching lands of Finland, we have a "voice" in DKG!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DKG - Three levels of Support

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International offers three levels of support to members: Chapters, State Organization, International. Knowing the components of support from each level will equip members with the foundation to understand and relay to current and potential members the structure of our society.

  • Chapters -
    • Ability to initiate members
    • Conducts monthly meetings for membership
    • Collects membership dues
  • State organizations -
    • Offers chapter support
    • Leadership training
    • Projects
    • Scholarships and grants
    • Public relations
    • Communications
  • Regional
    • Offers outstanding speakers
    • Disseminates information about Society activities
    • Provides educational workshops
    • Provides leadership training
    • Facilitates fellowships
    • Provides inspiration
  • International Society Boards and Committees
    • Provides:
      • Management of Society headquarters
      • Strategic planning and oversight
      • Financial management of funds
      • Projects and services
      • Scholarship and World Fellowships
      • Role models
      • Chapter/state organization resources for united Society focus
    • Offers vehicles for:
      • Communications
      • Public relations
      • Leadership development
      • Professional development
      • Networking
      • Location: 416 West 12th Street, Austin, Texas

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DKG Elevator Speech

DIG members are encouraged to develop an elevator speech about the society which promotes, as well as, informs. I encourage you to create your elevator speech. Now, granted you may not get many chances to be in an elevator and someone ask you about DKG, but you will have the opportunity to share in your school, church, friendships, etc. So, great ready! You are a DKG member and you are a "Voice" for the organization which:
  • Has over 95,000 members internationally
  • Consists of 17 countries
  • Meets at the chapter, state, regional and international levels
  • Supports women educators
  • Has seven seats on the United Nations Board
  • Supports projects such as "Schools for Africa"
  • Offers financial assistance in educational pursuits for members and non-members
Wow! These are just a few of the talking points that you can use in creating your elevator speech. For more go to the international website and collect tidbits to share. You are the "best voice" for our state and international organization.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Epsilon Travels to Louisville

"The time has come, the walrus says to speak of many things". I often use this phrase with my babies when I want to get their attention for something really important! So, I want to share with Epsilon something really important about Louisville.

Epsilon was represented by approximately 30 women in Louisville for SER. The week was packed with meetings, luncheons, breakout sessions, entertainment, speakers, and lots of hugs! The friendships created through DKG is strengthened each time we come together at chapter, state, regional or international meetings. What a wonderful society! Many items were discussed about ways to assist in  moving our state forward (Increasing membership, enhancing chapter programming, encouraging more members to step out [apply for scholarships, become presenters, apply for leadership seminars, etc.] and attending meetings beyond the chapter level).  Our state is well ahead in the development of committees, theme, transitions, etc. We are off and running! So, get ready to set your REACHing goals for the coming biennium. Join the fun as we all move Epsilon forward. Plan to attend New York in 2012. My REACHing goal is 50 from LA to shine in NY!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

One week in Office! Your Epsilon Officer's

Wow! It has been one week since the new slate of state officer's begin the 2011-2013 biennium. We have been busy! Transitions meeting was held earlier than usual and was a huge success. Approximately 85 Epsilon state members converged on the Pineville Convention Center for June 18 where goals and objectives were discussed and designed for the coming biennium.  The goals are submitted by the committee chair and uploaded to the state website. Please take a moment and look at the goals of these committees and be ready to ACCEPT any requests or commitments that may be asked of you or your chapter. Executive Committee worked extensively in setting goals for the biennium in which we will serve our state.  What a great team of ladies representing our state society. Thank you Epsilon state for your support of the officer's. SIGNING OFF: As time quickly approaches to depart for Louisville, I know that being able to share with you the daily activities in which the state officer's will be involved may not be possible. However, I will share with you an overview of the week when I return on July 17. Until then have a safe and relaxing summer. Donnis

Friday, July 8, 2011

Key Chapter - Achieve the GOLD

Many chapters are planning programs and meetings for the coming year utilizing the Key Chapter Form. This form is an excellent tool for chapters to plan with a state-wide or global perspective for meetings. For example, having a state level officer speak at a monthly meeting. Some items to remember when scheduling for this individual. It does not count if the speaker is a member of your chapter. President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, Deltion Editor, District Directors and committee members serve at state level positions. These individuals are ready to inform members about issues and events relevant to the functioning of our state. Your chapter will benefit from a presentation by one your state leaders. So, as you plan for the coming year, schedule for a state-level representative to present. Complete the form for this activity and send in as directed. I encourage all chapters to REACH in achieving the GOLD for 2012.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Headed to Louisville - SER 2011

Approximately 30 members of Epsilon State will travel to Louisville next week for the 2011 Southeast Regional Conference. SER is held in odd numbered year of the biennium. Members from 11 states gather at this special event to attend sessions, learn more about the society and the many interesting topics featured in the breakout sessions, and to network with members who share a common bond - membership in Delta Kappa Gamma. Our SER representative, Libby Watson,  has worked extremely hard along with the host state to create the conference program and activities. As the Louisville trip approaches, we also have our sights on New York for 2012. I encourage Epsilon members to begin planning to attend this event. Let's set our goal at 50+ members for NY in 2012.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Epsilon State Committees

Approximately 48 of the 59 chapters in Epsilon State are represented on the various committees of the state. As incoming president, one of the greatest challenges is the assignment of members to committees.  Throughout the five weeks of calling members every evening and on the weekends, sending numerous confirmation emails, etc. I was humbled to be able to talk with so many of the wonderful people who make our state so unique. With over 2,000 members strong we are fortunate to have so many who are willing to serve on a state committee.  The commitment as a member at the state level is to attend at least two state-wide meetings per year, assist in the development or continuation of committee assignments, goals or initiatives, and to present this information at the district meeting or at the state convention. These ladies are to be commended. If you have a member in your chapter who serves on a state committee, please take a moment and thank this person for saying YES to serve in the position as a committee member or chairman for this biennium. Donnis

Monday, July 4, 2011

Golden Gift - Are you ready to REACH!

Golden Gift application deadline is December 1. The opportunity to attend any leadership seminar (Golden Gift, Bea Davis) begins with the submission of an application. As a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Management Program I can say that this experience was one of personal and professional growth, and the opportunity to meet and get to know members from many different states and countries. The presentations and presenters are from the University of Texas at Austin. The entire seminar is housed on the campus for the two week period. I encourage any member who would like to attend this event, submit their application before December 1. It is very important that you remember to include all of your roles/event attendance/responsibilities in Delta Kappa Gamma since your initiation. So, begin NOW and REACH by submitting your application for the Golden Gift Leadership Management Seminar 2012.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Epsilon members share their talent!

Epsilon State is blessed with a multitude of talented members throughout the state. One of those talented members is Maureen Theriot who took the chance to submit her design for the REACH pin, and it was selected as the theme graphics. Great job Maureen! I encourage all members to REACH toward sharing their talents to others by presenting at chapter, district, state, regional and international events. Other ways of sharing your talent is through the submission of articles to the Deltion or Bulletin, applying for international positions, or becoming a chapter or state officer. District directors have been encouraged to assist district host chapters by engaging members to present at the meetings this fall. So, REACH to excel in your talent. Donnis

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Deltion Delivery - Your Way!

Epsilon State Deltion Editor Wanda Lemoine is working to offer a variety of ways for members to receive our state newsletter. Delivery options are via postal mail, email or via the Epsilon website. Projected change in the delivery method is targeted for the Winter edition. Offering the Deltion in a variety of ways gives our members the opportunity to receive the newsletter YOUR WAY! So, if you have not completed the form for your choice on delivery please do so. Allowing members to select their method of receiving the newsletter helps the state to do MORE for our membership. Donnis