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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Please Join Us!

With this final blog during the 2020-2022 biennium, we hope these postings have given you time to pause and consider your own leadership styles and skills. We have written these not just for current DKG members in leadership positions, but for all members at all levels of the Society since every DKG member has the potential to be a leader.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you in person in July at the International Convention in New Orleans. The committee will be presenting a workshop there entitled, “How to Be a Leader and Still Have a Life” on Friday, July 15th from 12:30pm to 1:15pm. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to share their concerns about the demands of leadership and the time investment required.  Strategies and available resources for building a leadership team to assist in addressing these concerns will be shared during the session.

We hope you will join us in New Orleans for discussion of this important topic!

Thursday, June 23, 2022


Here are interviews with DKG members telling how their membership in DKG has been of benefit to them. For one of them it was the support in a difficult life situation; for another it was the educational discussions locally and internationally. An early career teacher talks about the important support from an experienced chapter member.  A now deceased member said that she joined DKG because she wanted to have influence on situations for female educators. The full text that she left behind is found on the website of DKG The Netherlands.

The names of the persons have been omitted to protect the person’s integrity.  The texts of the voices have been brought to us by EEC state representatives and have been edited by Marianne Skardéus, International EEC.

Voice 3

Kadri, Estonia: I interviewed a young teacher about her novice teacher years.

Elena started working as a teacher 2 years ago. The teaching profession was not her first choice. Before starting as a teacher, she worked and studied to be a material scientist. Elena speaks many languages. While she was studying abroad, she started to help her friends and family who needed help with different languages. Elena’s native language is Russian, and she is fluent in English, German, and Estonian. Therefore, she tutored many people in language learning. This is how she discovered that she really wanted to teach for the rest of her life. So, she started studying in Tallinn University to get a degree for language teaching and in January 2022 Elena defended her master thesis.

“It has been the most interesting year of my life; I have learned so much. This has been such a chance for me, and I have been trying to make the most out of it.”

Elena was very motivated to become a teacher. Still the first year was hard for her. Besides the new occupation and new work tasks, Elena had to do extra work because the school she worked in was not a regular Estonian general education school and the methods that she needed were not taught at her university. Elena describes how chapter member M was a great help and support.

“I needed help to find teaching literature because I was not familiar with it. In the International Baccalaureate program, the grading is different, and I needed help to assess in a way that was adequate. These were overly critical components for me. I got more help than I was expecting. If I had any questions, then I could ask at any time any time for help from M." 

Elena also describes how M showed her how to organize the whole learning process and build up the course. This was very useful and important. All tips, big or small, were proven useful, especially the ones about classroom management. M also visited Elena’s classes to see and give feedback, which gave Elena more confidence in her choice of methods and planning. Elena emphasizes that in theory she knew how to do it but all the practical tips on how to really do them were extremely helpful.

Elena appreciates that M is still there for her even when not working at school anymore.


Ria from the Netherlands:  Transfer thoughts from a deceased member

Cor, a member from the Netherlands, unfortunately passed away on January 5th. She was a dear member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and to commemorate her, this text, written by herself, is still on our website for a while.

Cor said:

“During an educational study trip to Russia in 1972, I had become acquainted with the then State Inspector for Secondary Education in Amsterdam. In 1977 this contact resulted in a question about if I would be interested in membership in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. It had something in common with service clubs like Rotary and Lions. I knew the Lions Club, so I thought, ‘Why shouldn`t I become a member? I will find out by trying.’  And so it happened that in December 1977, along with others, I became as a member of the Beta chapter. The objectives were interesting. It was and is an organization for women. And in the 1970s, women's emancipation was a much-discussed topic even in education. We had just passed the period in which women who got married were dismissed by the school board. There were still very few women in managerial positions. The idea then, at least among the colleagues who joined, was that together we might be able to have influence; that by becoming more visible as a group, we would also be listened to and be more visible.

The international contacts followed, exchanging ideas and learning from each other's educational systems. There was also the opportunity to visit schools in other countries and meet new colleagues.”

Cor was asked:  What do you like/dislike about your membership? Here is her response:  “What I have pleasantly experienced with DKG over the years is that there is always a listening ear from someone who also knows what you are talking about, someone who does not think ‘here she is again’ but understands you and enjoys sharing experiences and new insights. The contacts with colleagues from other countries have also proved inspiring, especially in Europe during the Regional Conferences but also in the individual exchanges with members of chapters in Europe.

 My wish for Delta Kappa Gamma Netherlands is that it may grow and flourish until the end of days. As a society we have something to offer in terms of personal contacts and the possibilities of foreign contacts.

There is a saying about ‘Rise, shine and sink.’ We are certainly not ready for the latter yet.”

Things of importance for us in DKG:

Listening and giving good advice.

Being together, seeing energetic and skillful colleagues.

Strengthening professional skills and exchanging views.

Celebrating occasions together.

Increasing the international dimensions of the society globally and locally.

Honoring members, who are no longer amongst us, for their dedication to the Society.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Are You in the Know?


Want to improve your DKG member engagement?

Want to increase your knowledge as a current or future DKG leader?

Want to proactively prepare for a leadership change in your DKG organization?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is “YES” then the International C&M Committee has developed something that you might find helpful.

In response to a member’s comment, “I do not know what I do not know,” the International C&M Committee is attempting to organize an inclusive chart that includes periodic publications and correspondence that originates from International DKG representatives. The chart is designed to inform DKG members and leaders details of these external forms of communication.

Now, it is time for your input. The committee is asking for your input. Take time to open the link provided. Review the information for accuracy, omissions, etc. Post your comments here or email your C&M Committee representative. Contact information is provided on The committee looks forward to your input and appreciates your willingness to make a difference in the overall DKG experience.

External Communications Chart (6/2022)

Did You Know?

Utah, the 45th US state, is nicknamed the Beehive State, symbolizing thrift and industry. Utah includes five national parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas, and six national forests. This equates to the United States government owning 65% of the state’s land.

Photos: Courtesy of GW Holt (brother of Dr. Teresa Cowan, NC DKG)

Arches National Park - Top two photos

Bryce Canyon National Park - Middle two photos

Zion National Park - Bottom two photos

Thursday, June 16, 2022

What if I need to leave the room?

At any International Convention, the highlight, electricity, and thrill come within the General Sessions.  Here, the convention attendees are able to listen, discuss, and vote upon the proposed amendments to our governing documents.  What an exciting time!

Your attendance at every General Session is important.  A quorum of members (the majority of those registered for the convention) needs to attend so that voting may take place.

But, what if I need to leave the room?  Well, emergencies do arise, of course, but try to hold off leaving until votes are taken.  If you have an urgent need to leave, you will need to check-out of the room. When you return, door monitors may keep you outside if a vote is in progress.  Once the vote has been taken, monitors will let you re-enter the General Session and check back in.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


Here are interviews with DKG members telling how their membership in DKG has been of benefit to them. For one of them it was the support in a difficult life situation; for another it was the educational discussions locally and internationally. An early career teacher talks about the important support from an experienced chapter member. A now deceased member said that she joined DKG because she wanted to have influence on situations for female educators. The full text that she left behind is found on the website of DKG The Netherlands.

The names of the persons have been omitted to protect the person’s integrity. The texts of the voices have been brought to us by EEC state representatives and have been edited by Marianne Skardéus, International EEC.

Voice 1

Charlotte, Sweden: I interviewed a member

I want to tell you about a member who has been through a difficult separation. After several years of marriage, she decided to divorce her husband and move into her own home with her two children. At a chapter meeting, she began to talk with an older member about her separation. She did not really know this member very well but was feeling down and sad that night.

As a result of the conversation, the separated woman felt that she received a lot of support from the older member, who was able to listen and give good advice, not only professionally but also on a personal level. The older member said that, in a lifetime of work as an educator, you take on many different roles, and being able to comfort others, both pupils and colleagues, is part of the job.

The older member also expressed that she has noticed that people in need can often be grateful when they are listened to and can receive simple advice that can help them move on and out of difficult periods in their lives. It was a great story about how we women in DKG can help each other to develop both in our professions and in the private aspects. We develop through each other through adversity as educators, as people and as fellow human beings and that is exactly what our sisterhood in DKG is all about.

Voice 2

Eija Liisa from Finland: I interviewed a member.

She is 70+ and has been a member over 20 years. She has attended five European conferences, because she feels she gets new experiences, meets members from other countries, gets the cultural experiences, sees the environments of the countries, and sees the landscapes.

Locally she feels that she has new friends and colleagues with whom to exchange ideas and professional views. Before retiring it was nice that she knew she could continue and even enjoy more and learn new things.

Both locally and internationally she feels she has seen places she otherwise would not have seen as a private person, but with the society members it has been possible.

Her digital skills have improved through her service in society duties. It has also enabled her to see a broader view of the Society. The training sessions have been useful. Even though in her working life she was active in the teachers’ union, a new kind of society or association always opens new views. Regular meetings give structure to life and something to look forward to. Being in the planning groups or on chapter board has given possibilities to influence chapter program contents.

Note: Please check back in a couple of weeks for Part II of this blog regarding how two others share what their DKG membership has meant to them.

Monday, June 13, 2022

DKG Arts Gallery Blog Artist’s Spotlight

An Open Artists’ Discussion on Creation, Technique & Opportunity

Maureen Theriot – Louisiana State Organization -Alpha Delta Chapter

Briefly, tell me a little bit about yourself as an educator and as a photographer? 

I began my career in 1970 as an American Literature teacher but was soon asked to also sponsor the school yearbook. I agreed to do it if I could use the work the students would do as a learning opportunity, having them learn photography, darkroom, journalism, and graphic design along with producing the yearbook. Although I have a journalism certification, I had little formal training in photography. I took a photography course at Tulane and was also fortunate enough to have a couple of professional photographers agree to mentor me, but, as most teachers know, the best way to learn something is to teach it. Those experiences evolved into my writing a photography curriculum which was approved by the state of Louisiana. Midway through my career, I became a gifted resource teacher. In that role, I continued to include photography and darkroom techniques in the activities I offered my students. My own work took off a little over 20 years ago when I retired and bought my first digital camera, a Sony Mavica. It was one of the first serious consumer level digital cameras, recording images on floppy disks. I joined an online group of Mavica using photographers from throughout the world who critiqued each other’s photos and taught each other how to best use our new technology. I learned a great deal from those digital photography pioneers. We have all moved on to more updated cameras, but many of us have remained connected—critiquing work and celebrating each other’s achievements in the field.

As a photographer, where do you find your inspiration?

Henry David Thoreau said, “direct your eye inward, and you’ll find / a thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscovered. Travel them and be / Expert in home-cosmography” In pursuing photography as my main retirement activity, I have gotten to know my world, especially my immediate world that is my backyard, but also the world that lives inside me.

Do you search for a particular subject, or do you just have your camera ready? 

I do both. I always have an eye out for a good photograph. Whether it is something growing in my yard or an interesting bug munching on something growing in my yard, I can entertain myself for hours capturing it. I enjoy birding, so much of my photography involves birds. Watching birds is like looking for good photographs: sometimes they’re in your own backyard, sometimes you must go out looking for them, sometimes you just stumble upon them. ‘Oops’ was such a case.

Do you use any special equipment?

My current camera is a Nikon 750 digital single lens reflex camera. For my closeup work I use a macro lens, and for my bird photos I use a 200 to 500 millimeter zoom lens—affectionately called HerNia because schlepping her around is likely to give me a hernia. I also sometimes use a tripod, a shutter release, a simple lighting setup, light diffusers, or a light table.

When you start framing your subject, is there a process that goes through your mind? As an example, your photograph, “Calla” is photographed in a studio with back lit lighting as opposed to your photograph, “Oops” which is an outdoor nature study.

“Oops” and “Calla” definitely represent two entirely different kinds of photography and two entirely different relationships between the photographer and light. In a photo such as “Calla” I have a great deal of control over what I do with light; in that particular case I used a light table. The light table provides some of the strongest backlight, allowing detail to show through almost the way an x-ray shows things that aren’t seen with the naked eye. In the case of “Oops” the light controls me. I must be careful to not let the light washout the subject, causing the subject to become a silhouette, or creating distracting shadows. Attention when shooting wildlife is paramount since the subject is not going to sit still. Learning how shutter speeds work and understanding how the speed works in tandem with time required to record a photo helps, but in the end, light is the boss.

“Oops”, a photograph of a Cedar waxwing bird dropping a berry. Is he a regular visitor to your garden or did you set up for photographing birds on an outing? How does one prepare for nature action shots? 

Although cedar waxwings do visit my yard, this one was a chance encounter in a parking lot, and I just happened to have had my camera. A group of cedar waxwings were having a party in a holly tree in the parking lot of my local drugstore one Sunday, and I had my camera in my car because that morning I shot some photos at my church. So, a happy coincidence. My luck has not been so good with a certain bald eagle I’m currently pursuing. 

Your use of depth of field is outstanding.

Thanks. My favorites among my photos are those in which I get nice depth of field. Getting it involves paying attention to camera aperture and how it works with speed. My first serious camera came with a lens that had a very wide aperture; I was fascinated with how it allowed me to selectively focus on one thing in a picture and make everything else in the photo almost disappear. I still am fascinated by that.

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?

The best piece of artistic advice came from a poem I used to teach my students in the ‘70s, “To Look at Anything” by John Moffitt. It’s about knowing things deeply, looking inside things and becoming one with them. It guides much of what I do, but especially my photography. If I am photographing dahlias, monarch butterflies, or blue jays I learn as much as I can about them from both reading and observation. I hope by deeply knowing my subject, I can guide those who view my work to seeing beyond the subject’s initial attraction into its soul.

Do you have any tips for others looking to take still photos?

Another way I like to play with light in still life photos is to shoot an object in almost complete darkness, doing an extended time exposure. That sort of work involves lots of trial and error, but I love the results. You can get very intense color without the distraction of shadows and hotspots as shown in “Blue Vase 3” a photo that was taken in the dark for 30 seconds. Take advantage that digital photography has made it possible to take many shots—experiment. You don’t have to make a large investment in a “studio” setup; a simple piece of black velvet as a backdrop and a hardware store lamp is a good place to start. My best advice to any photographer is to begin where you are; look and you will find it.

Have you entered your work in other competitions?

I have. In my role as a gifted resource teacher, I was constantly after my students to enter competitions of various sorts. When I retired, I decided that it was time for me to practice what I preached, so I began entering some of my photos in competitions. I’ve entered contests from local to international, once winning a Digital Photo World sweepstakes prize of $1,000. I also had photos published several years in the LSU Ag Center’s “Get It Growing” calendar and exhibited at New Orleans Museum of Art’s Underexposed. In addition, I have donated framed copies of my photos to various fundraisers. Most often I simply post my photos on my Facebook page for my friends and family to enjoy. Love those Likes!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Everything you need to know about DKG Ignite: Leaders Empowering Leaders but were Afraid to Ask!

Have you ever wondered just what DKG Ignite is? Or why we call it DKG Ignite?

Have you considered applying to attend the 2024 DKG Ignite: Leaders Empowering Leaders program? Or has another DKG member suggested that you apply? Or why you should apply? Or when the application will be available?

Do you wonder if you “qualify” to attend?

Do you wonder about what the “cost” of the program is? Or what do you have to do instead? Or how do you pay it back?

Are you curious about what goes on during the week of the program? Or what you can expect to “get” from attending the program?

Have you ever wondered where a leader comes from? Or if you can grow a leader?

Would you like to meet some ladies who have attended the previous Leadership Management Seminars? Are you attending the International Convention in New Orleans in July?

If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then we invite you to the Takeaway Session #3 “Why You Should Apply”, facilitated by the 2020-2022 Golden Gift Fund Committee on Thursday, July 14, 3:30 - 3:50 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

You never know until you ask….

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

ISF Speakers —Apply Now!

Do you love to travel? Do you love sharing what you have learned during your years of teaching or in your field of research? Your fellow DKG members would love to hear all about education in your country as well as other topics relevant to our members. Now is the time to apply to be an International Speaker. From July 1 to September 15, the ISF Speaker Application Form can be found on the Apply/Submit page at The following are some tips to help ensure success as you fill out the form.

  • Inform your chapter and state organization presidents of your plan to apply to be an ISF speaker
  • Include the name of a professional reference who has heard you speak
  • Indicate if you are willing to present virtually if unable to travel
  • Include dates you are unavailable to present

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