President Adela Navarro, Mellie Smithwick, treasurer and Elva Garcia, parliamentarian, members of The Beta Pi chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG), joined with women educators from around the state of Texas in Waco, TX from June 14 through the 16th for the 89th annual Texas State Organization Convention.
DKG is a professional honor society for women educators with more than 77,000 members. Established in Austin in 1929, there are now 17 member countries around the world, the society defines its mission as promoting professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.
The Opening Session keynote speaker was Dean Leah Teague of the Baylor University School of Law. A member of the leadership team at the law school for the past 27 years, Dean Teague currently teaches the Leadership Development Class, part of a unique and innovative Leadership Development program that she created.
Other guest speakers for the three-day convention were metalworker Jimmy Don Holmes of the popular TV series Fixer Upper, International DKG Representative June Bowers and motivational speaker and author Wendy Corbett.
More than 20 breakout sessions provided participants with cutting-edge knowledge on communications and technology, educational excellence, empowering women, legislative advocacy, leadership, presidents training, treasurer updates and much more. In addition, the members donated new books to the nonprofit organization, Storybook Christmas.
Garcia sits on the Texas State Organization (TSO) Ceremonies Committee. She participated in two skits introducing the convention theme "TSO Builds a Bridge" and "Crossing the Bridge" celebrating the 12 founders of DKG based on the shoes they wore.
Smithwick sits on the Texas State (TSO) Women In the Arts Committee. She was responsible to set up the visual arts display room, "guard the art", and help present "Your eARTh Without ART? EH!" that focused on a DKG weekend retreat "Star" and "make and take" art projects.
Garcia was also recognized during the "Denim & Diamonds Banquet" for being a 52 year member of Beta Pi and DKG. Also recognized was Kathyrn Blankinship, 70 year member of Kappa Tau, Alice. Blankinship began her years in DKG as a member of Beta Pi before Kappa Tau branched out and was formed.
The Beta Pi Chapter was recognized with the Communication Award - Five Star Newsletter, Veronica Nava, chapter newsletter editor; Exemplary Yearbooks - Early Bird Award, Margaret Carvajal, chairman and Yolanda Barrera; Annie Extravaganza Presentations - "Teddy Bear Connection", President Adela Navarro and Chapter members; Society Compliant TSO Chapter Websites - http://www.betapichaptertx.com, Mellie Smithwick, Webmaster.
Beta Pi Chapter was also recognized for donating to the Eula Lee Carter Memorial Fund; Alpha State Texas Educational Foundation (ASTEF) Chapter Donations to Scholarships, Chapter Donations to Leadership and Chapter Donations to Projects. Garcia and Smithwick were also recognized for contributing to Friends of ASTEF.
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. Professor of rural education at the University of Texas, Dr. Blanton was elected president of the Texas State Teachers’ Association in 1916, the first woman to hold that office. Blanton was also the first woman to serve Texas as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, having been elected in 1918.
For more information about the Texas State Organization and Delta Kappa Gamma, please visit www.dkgtexas.org