Sigma Chapter celebrates and inspires
by Suzanne Hobbs Cunningham
Special to The Star
Sigma Chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG), an honor society of key women educators, met at the Anniston Museum of Natural History on Feb. 12. The emphasis of the meeting was celebration and inspiration. Members celebrated the birthday of their chapter and honored the 12 Beta State (Alabama) founders. Members were inspired with background on the first handicapped professional to be hired in the public schools of Alabama.

The afternoon meeting was called to order by President Gloria Horton, who read the mission statement: “The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.” In addition, she announced that criteria had been met for Sigma to receive the Order of the Rose Award, which will be presented at the Beta State Convention in Montgomery in March.

Martha Tredaway enlightened the group with the inspirational story of DKG member, Evelyn Daniel Anderson, a paraplegic from the age of four. After being the first handicapped professional hired by Alabama public schools, she taught English and Spanish and served as a guidance counselor at Greensboro High School. Retiring after 30 years in 1982, Anderson was recognized by the National Spinal Cord Industry Association in 1993 for her achievements. She was the oldest survivor of a spinal cord injury at that time. In 2011, she was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame after pioneering the rights of those with physical handicaps.

Also interesting were the little known facts presented by Joy Borden about President Abraham Lincoln (since the meeting was held on his birthday). Not only was he a man with no middle name, but he also was the only president who held a patent. An example of Lincoln’s honesty was noteworthy. When a business that he owned failed, he struggled for 17 years but paid back the thousand dollars he owed.

During the business portion of the meeting, Secretary Juanita Badgett presented the minutes for approval and Treasurer Jane Batey gave an update on the chapter’s financial status. Dot Padgett, chairman of the Personal Growth and Services Committee, thanked members for their donations of business clothing to the Christian Women’s Job Corps, the February project. Padgett also reminded members that the March project would be monetary donations to Schools for Africa.

Marie Hendrix, Beta State’s “Southeastern Star,” presented a creative program to celebrate the accomplishments of the 12 Beta State founders. She asked each member to choose one founder as a favorite. This choice was based on the first impression of seeing only a photo. Then the women enjoyed the discovery of how well intuition often proved valid to show connections between the founder and member. In the process, members learned many significant facts about these pioneering women educators. Those present also sang “Happy Birthday” to Sigma Chapter, which was founded on February 17, 1940, in Anniston.

In the area of outreach to teachers, members were reminded that cash awards for supplies will be made to Teachers of the Year in all five school systems of Calhoun County at appropriate events by representatives of the chapter. This change in policy from giving a grant-in-aid to a college student allows educators currently in the classroom to benefit from the monetary award the chapter gives annually. Vice-president Angela Morgan reminded members of the importance of staying abreast of legislative action involving education and the urgent need to contact legislators with concerns about the impact of their voting record on our local public schools.

The next meeting date was announced for March 12, when Dr. Derek Staples, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Jacksonville, will present the program on a trip to Israel.
© 2013