By Delorace Daniels
The 54th Annual Far Western Regional Conference of National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. was recently held at the Ontario Airport Hotel in Ontario, CA. The purpose of this sorority is to stimulate personal growth among teachers, to foster a true spirit of sisterhood, to promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession and to encourage the development of the potential of our youth. Flurry Santa Ana Winds greeted guests upon their arrival.
Dr. Margaret Hill, President of Delta Rho Chapter, welcomed everyone to the conference followed by Greetings from the Far Western Regional Director Velma Brown and National President Dr. Etta F. Carter. The Regional Theme: “Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future” and the Conference Theme: “Teach Them. Teach Them Well,” were prevalent and addressed by the Keynote Speaker, panelists and presenters.
The Presidents’ Workshop lead by Miss Rhonda Sloan stated, “Brilliant Minds are a Terrible Thing to Waste, Theirs and Ours!” Her presentation showed innovative ways to enhance learning for youth and to make teaching for educators’ fun and a learning experience. As a teacher, you know when something isn’t working, try a different method. Mrs. Charlene Davis-Long spoke on “The Legacy of Leadership” and ways to be an effective leader. She stated lots of people don’t go into education. We need to empower our members, demonstrate excellence, delegate tasks and persevere.
Members, guests and dignitaries arrived to the Friendship Dinner dressed in Western attire from head to toe; denim jeans and jackets, red scarves and leather boots. After a delicious dinner, they were ready for a boot scooting hoedown. Keeping in the spirit for having a good time, members and guests were on the dance floor doing line dancing and swinging in style to the music.
Saturday morning, Miss Niah Handy, a high school student, spoke to the audience with a very poignant message; “Adults are constantly undermining their opinions and under estimating the voice of the youth.” They don’t want to listen to us. She wanted to know why because the youth have a lot to say. Her speech segued into the Vital Issues Forum, Transformational Leadership. Transformational Leadership is an innovation-based educational leadership network focused on empowering youth, engaging communities and building efficacy in leaders. Six professional women spoke on the subject of “What is Your Why?” Women and girls are still unequal. We must advocate for them and use our voices for the voiceless. Partner with teachers and understand the support that’s needed. We must value ourselves and touch the heart and mind of those with whom we interact. Teach Them. Teach Them Well! The young ladies were dynamic speakers.
The four workshops with the catchy names, “Know Your Sorority,” “Easy-Peasy, Lemon- Squeezy,” “The Real D.I.L.L.,” and “Being Healthy is Wealthy” were most informative. Being Healthy is Wealthy was energetic and had guests out of their seats and moving.
After the formal welcome, greetings from Dr. Margaret Hill, Regional Director Velma Brown, Dr. Etta F. Carter and Dr. Dale Marsden, Superintendent of San Bernardino City Unified School District, the Awards Luncheon opened with smooth-listening music by Ray Fuller. National and Winnie Palmer Scholarship winners were announced. The Citation Award recipient was Terrence L. Stone and the YES standing for Youth, Education and Service Award recipients were Y, Ray Culberson; E, Dr. Judy White and S, Pamela Montana and Vickie Lee. Dr. Judy D. White, Superintendent of Riverside County Schools and Keynote Speaker addressed the audience and spoke highly on the theme, “Teach Them. Teach Them Well.” In addition to the wonderful speech from Dr. White, the Far Western Regional Choir under the leadership of Esther Kelley sang melodious and heart reaching songs.
The moment finally arrived when the Chapters of the Far Western Region saluted their outgoing Regional Director Velma Brown with a queenly court and outpouring gifts. Included in the “Queen’s” entourage was her King and husband Rudolph Brown. Queen Velma Brown as she was called received regal gifts from each of her Chapters. She wore a special tiara and looked very beautiful while posed and seated in her special chair surrounded by well-wishers and friends.
At the Awards Breakfast, Anthropos, known as the Men in our Lives presented Book Grant Awards to six deserving youths. Each Book Grant Award was in the amount of $500. Following the Awards Breakfast members and guests attended Worship Service that was awe-inspiring. After Worship Service, was the event where Chapter members were most excited to participate. Chapter of the Year as well as other distinguished awards were presented. Beta Theta and Beta Phi both received awards for Chapter of the Year. Other awards announced were 25 and 50 Years Membership, Activity Books, and Special Awards which covered numerous titles, Outgoing Regional Director’s awards to outgoing Executive Board Members and Officers, First Time Attendees to a Conference Awards, Conscientious and Most Productive Chapter Awards. Following the presentations, merriment and various announcements, members were wished a safe travel home.