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Dear Alpha Members,
During our February 10th meeting, we will have a virtual presentation from Gail Goolsby, author of Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul. She has most definitely lived, learned, and educated beyond our walls.
In preparation for the meeting, you may wish to read her book. Gail is offering a signed copy of the book for $16.00. She would ship it to Kristin's home in West Caldwell and then you could grab it from Kristin. If you would like to order the signed copy please send Kristin an email at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than January 8th, so there is time for the order to placed, books to ship, and you to read.
However, the book can also be purchased here:
Reading the book in advance of the meeting is not required, but we wanted you to have the information should you wish to dive into this 2020 DKG Educators Book Award winner prior to the meeting.
We look forward to seeing you on the 10th as we take another step beyond our walls.
Questions? Contact Kristin Massotto at Klasalle1@aol.com
Dear Alpha Sisters,
A special thank you from the Strenghthen Our Sisters committee, Kim, Cindy, Evelyn ,Suezette, Tammy, Jennie and Laura, for your generous contributions to our boutique gift bags. More than forty bags were packed with special items that were lovingly selected for these sisters in need.
Jennie volunteered to deliver all these bags to the West Milford shelter and she was pleased to see how happy and overwhelmed the director was with all the bags.
What a special moment it was to be part of Alpha sisters helping to fill the bags.
Thanks again for making this Holiday season a special one for those who really need to know someone cares.
Thank you to everyone, especially Jennie, Kristin, Joan, and Theresa, for the lovely meeting on Saturday, December 9, 2023. We missed all those who were unable to attend and we welcomed two guests. Kritin's program made it easy for all of us to get to know each other a little better. We are a really cool bunch!
Thanks to everyone who made donations. Laura took lots and lots of full gift bags up to Strengthen our Sisters and I am sure it will make their holidays a little brighter. We also collected toys because Patti Caruso said her daughter was doing a toy drive. Well, here's the result. Her daughter is Detective Kendall Caruso of the Glen Ridge Police Department. We contributed, through them, to the PBA annual toy drive. The toys will go to Franciscan Charities Newark.
Other items of information:
Our next chapter meeting witll be on February 10 in Butler at the First Aid building (9:30 - social). The Program planned is Educating Beyond These Walls - Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul with award-winning author Gail Goolsby. This was the DKG Educator's Book Award in 2020. ( I read it several years ago and found it very interesting).
And more for your reading pleasure:
The two books for book talks at the DKGNJ Convention in April (12-14, 2024) are
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
There will be more information about convention coming out soon. As it becomes available, it will be linked to the state website under What We Do -> NJ State Convention. The hotel information is already there.
You should definitely know that we have a keynote speaker! Dr. Ammeraal Furlong is a Jersey Girl and teaches at Georgian Court. Her book,Voices of Newcomers: Experiences of Multilingual Learners, is the DKG Educator's Book Award this year. More information about her is on the state website.
I hope to see you all in February,
Resources from our meeting 10/12/23
This just in from Laura Perrius:
She reported about the summer meeting concerning Strengthen our
Sisters and how we could physically help their shelters. After talking to the director
Of their main shelter, she mentioned we thought of making bags of toiletries and the director loved the idea. We voted to help the Strengthen our Sisters shelter by contributing bags of toiletries for their residents. We plan to fill the bags at our next meeting, Saturday, December 9th at the Butler Tri-Boro First Aid Squad. The bags will be supplied by our committee. We are asking our sisters to please bring the following items:
If you were at the Alpha meeting on Thursday, October 12, you were undoubtedly touched by the remembrances offered for the 5 sisters who have passed away this fall (Lynn Smith, Bea Card Kettlewood, Annabelle Boehm, BethAnn Richey, and Babette Wise).
In the business meeting, Cathy presented the finances and the budget, which was passed (that was in the downloads for the meeting and is still linked to the meeting page, if you missed it). She also gave the legislative update from State Legislative Chair, Donna O'Malley (attached).
Theresa mentioned in her report that Irene Maskaly (State President) is continuing to encourage us to participate in BookSmile to get books into the hands of kids. Their website is here. We would probably be in their category of donating less than 500 books, which means getting them to a donation station, all of which are south of Trenton - road trip! "For smaller donations (less than 500 books): We have collection bins located in front of our facility 24/7. If only a bag or two of children's books, drop them off at one of our collection stations. " Of course, they also take money.
I had double-booked myself and had to leave in the middle of the presentation by Lesley Andrews from Pathways, so I don't know what other business was part of the meeting. The presentation was outstanding - thank you, Kristen!) . Here is the link to the Pathways website. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer or have a friend or loved one who is, this is one of the first places to look for education and help! I never even imagined the numbers and variety of resources that they offer.
See you in December!
I hope everyone is well and that you are finding fun and interesting ways to beat the heat this summer. I read a quote today that said, “I never start thinking about school or start planning during the summer….said NO teacher EVER!” Nevertheless, to our sisters still in the classroom, don’t forget to relax, recharge, use the bathroom whenever you want, drink coffee or tea before it gets cold, read a grown up book, and take a FULL hour for lunch!
And to our retired sisters, let’s not forget we retired from work, not life (M.K. Somi) Hope everyone finds some new adventures and new versions of themselves throughout this summer and always!
So, since a teacher NEVER stops planning….here is a preview of our upcoming DKG meetings for 2023-24. Please mark your calendars. If you know of a sister who is unable to drive herself, please reach out and offer a ride if you can. Or if you are unable to drive yourself please contact me (973-494-4466) and I will connect you with someone in your area who would be happy to carpool.
Once again, in keeping with our DKG “Beyond These Walls”, Kristin has put together a fabulous roster of programs. You won’t want to miss any of them or our meetings.
October 12th: We are going to meet at Cedar Grove High School (4:30 - social)
Program: Angels Helping Beyond These Walls - presentation from Minette's Angels
December 9th: This is in Butler at the First Aid Squad building (9:30 - social)
Program: A Person and a Plate - Sharing DKG with educators beyond these walls
Special outreach: Toys for Tots
February 10: This is in Butler at the First Aid Squad building (9:30 - social)
Program: Educating Beyond These Walls - Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul (Kindle version is only $4 from Amazon) with award-winning author Gail Goolsby (this was the 2020 DKG Educator's Award book)
May 2: This will be at Cedar Grove HS (4:30- social)
Program: Teachers Supporting Teachers Beyond These Walls - DKG International - SEE initiative
If you or someone you know has not paid their dues for 2023-24 please send your check to Cathy Cleenput or you can pay online through pay pal. As I said you’re not going to want to miss any of these amazing topics.
Finally, on a more somber note, we had to say farewell to two sisters, Bea Card Kettlewood and Lyn (Carolyn) Smith. Bea received our 50 year member certificate in 2023. Bea and Lyn both came to our chapter by way of transfer from Kappa Chapter, when that chapter dissolved. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
This is our 2023 Grant-in-Aid winner, Madeline Tubbs. Among her many accomplishments is the winning of the Girl Scouts Gold award. Her project for that was an educational website, https://www.lets-bee-friendly.com/. She is a bee-keeper as well! Here is what she says on the website:
Let's Bee Friendly
Hello! In December 2022, I earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for my project Let's BEE Friendly. This website is a part of that project. If you want to learn about honey bees, why they are important, and how you can help them- you are in the right place!
Registered NJ Apiary: 6871
The website is full of information, as well as games and links to activities.
We also inducted our next two members, Emily Blumberg and Andrea Ritacco. Andrea is a Business Education teacher at Whippany Park High School and was named the Morris County Teacher of the Year.
Emily is the Passaic County Teacher of the Year. She is a science teacher at Passaic Preparatory Academy. As the first female physics teacher at the academy, her goal is to make science more inclusive. We were so glad Emily could attend the meeting, since she has a seven week old baby girl!
The Bergen County Teacher of the Year, Gina DiMaggio, has taught English at all levels at Lyndhurst High School. She was inducted into Alpha Chapter at the DKGNJ convention in March.
We also recognized and congratulated Laura Perrius, who was our Key Award winner this year. The awards were made at the DKGNJ State convention in March. Congratualtions, Laura!
Among all of the reports and announcements was the information that Chapter Dues are now $80 for active members and $40 for those who have been approved as reserve members. Dues need to be to Cathy Cleenput by June 15, 2023. You can pay online here or snail mail the check payable to Alpha Chapter DKG to her at her address in the directory.
Information about the DKGNJ Convention!
Friday, April 12, 2024 - Sunday, April 14, 2024 at the Doubletree in Somerset.
All the information will be posted, as it comes in, on the state website: https://www.dkgnj.org/nj-state-convention.html
The induction ceremony for new members is planned for Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. All of the information about welcoming new members and the ceremony will become available in the fall.
We anticipate a wonderful convention with inspiring workshops and a chance to see the wider view of DKG, so mark your calendars and plan to attend.
Guest Rates: Room rates will not include breakfast.
Single Occupancy $119.00
Double Occupancy $119.00
Triple Occupancy $129.00
Room rates quoted above are non-commissionable, net rates, subject to taxes which is currently 14.625%-
New Jersey sales tax of 6.625% and Local Occupancy Tax of 8%. 2024 tax% may subject to change.
** No cots allowed in guest rooms.
RESERVATION METHOD: Reservations will be made by individual call. When calling in for reservations guests must call 1-800-222-TREE(8733) no later than Friday, March 22nd, 2024 and ask for the reservations in the Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) 2024 room block to ensure attaining the group rate.
aHappy New Year Ladies!
I am writing to you filled with inspiration and a renewed spirit, not just as a result of turning the calendar page to a new year, but even more so from the past few months of DKG activities. The inspiration actually started with our December meeting and the amazing presentation Theresa Maughan gave us recounting the Lessons Learned as a State Teacher of the Year. Not only did Theresa share the depth and breadth of her knowledge and experiences, but she encouraged each of us to look within ourselves to the skills and “stories” we have to share as key women educators.
Following that awe inspiring meeting, this past Sunday Laura Perrius hosted our Informational Tea for two aspiring initiates. The two initiates Andrea Ritacco and Emily Blumberg are both County Teachers of the Year for Morris and Passaic Counties, respectively.
Andrea shared how she arrived to be a Business Education teacher (of approximately 14 yrs) at Hanover Park, through the alternate route program after a 14 year career with Tiffany & Co as a CPA and internal auditor for the company.
Emily has been teaching approximately 7 years, however, in true DKG style, Emily has bucked the norm of male dominated Science educators, teaching Physics and Chemistry at the Passaic Preparatory Academy.
The ladies shared several annecdotes about their teaching assignments and involvement in their school community beyond the classroom. Wait, it gets even better! Several sisters also attended the tea and they each in turn described their experiences within DKG and what DKG offers to women “beyond these walls”. The entire afternoon was truly uplifting. I told the ladies that had I not been a member, I would have signed up on the spot. Thank you EVERYONE! for inspiring me and instilling me with pride as I am counted among such accomplished professionals.
I look forward to seeing you all on February 4 at the TriBoro First Aid Squad in Butler. Social will start at 9:30, followed by breakfast at 10:00 and our program with Cheryl Bullock from Strengthen Our Sisters.
The news that was sent to the state newsletter was edited down to fit their requirements and may be even further edited when it comes out, so here is the real news from Alpha! Send me your news so that we can keep up with each other :)
Alpha Chapter is excited about the plans for our program series “Beyond these Walls”, which begins in October with Beyond These Walls...Historically and a book discussion on Carnegie’s Maid. The programs will continue through the year with Beyond These Walls...State-Wide, Beyond These Walls ....Community, and Beyond These Walls …International
Our members continue to be busy and active, learning new things and sharing their expertise. In retirement Laura Perrius has learned to play the harp, thanks to Alpha’s Hoitsma Fund for assistance paying for the lessons. She has played at several public gatherings, including a Clifton Main Library “Art on the Go” activities program for young children, at which she played for their award day. She played and showed the harp to the children, giving them an opportunity to try the strings and see how the harp is played up close.
Clare Swanson attended the DKG International Convention where, as a member of the 2020-2022 International Leadership Development Committee, she presented a workshop with the rest of the committee and also worked the registration desk, was a workshop monitor and took tickets at the Northeast Regional Breakfast. One of our new members, Tammy Cooper, also attended and served as a page.
Jameelah Wright Howard has been very busy! This is the note she sent:
I hope you have had the most amazing summer! Mine was okay. I slept late and accomplished much writing of my dissertation proposal.
Last year was so busy and chaotic, and I just realized I never shared any news with Alpha Chapter. Or maybe I did, and I forgot? That’s how crazy things have been for me. So, I will try to recall what I can. Some news might be old or unusable. That’s fine. Use what you can. Here goes:
September 2021, I was informed by the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAEYC) that I had been nominated as Teacher of the Year. I was invited to a formal ceremony in October 2021 where I received a trophy and a $250 Lakeshore Learning gift card. I used the prize money to purchase Science materials for my classroom.
In March, a chapter I co-wrote with a colleague was published in the book Educational Psychology and Transformational Classrooms. The chapter is titled “The Year of Isaiah”.
In April 2022, I presented twice at the American Educational Research Research Association’s (AERA) Annual Meeting in San Diego. One presentation was titled “Relational Teaching and the Education of Black Boys” and the second one was “Challenging the Marginalization of Black Boys”.
In March, I was informed by my doctoral program director that I was nominated for and awarded two academic scholarships! A ceremony was held in late April where I collected my awards. One scholarship was the Rose L. Dakss Early Childhood Education Scholarship, and the other was the Anna Maria Villegas Doctoral Scholarship.
In May 2022, I was a guest panelist on a webinar during Black Birder’s Week. The program was hosted by Black AF in STEM and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University. I was so excited to share my love of birds with others.
Theresa Maughan, another new Alpha member, is the 2022 NJ State Teacher of the Year and did a podcast June 30th for PowerEdUp for which there are several links:
Podcast Platforms: https://anchor.fm/poweredup/episodes/Show-85-Educating-the-Next-Generation-with-Authentic-History-e1n6tah
Jennifer Skomial, NJTOY 2021, was one of the presenters at TCNJ’s Center for Future Educators this summer. She and the New Jersey State Teachers of the Year for 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2009 presented programs to a group of high school juniors and seniors.
Dr Emily Hoeflinger began her new job as Assistant Professor of English at Brookdale Community College this fall. Brookdale serves the Monmouth County area with a variety of sites - the main campus on Lincroft as well as satellite sites at Freehold, Hazlet, Long Branch, Wall, and Neptune, and it is ranked in the top 3% for community colleges in the nation. This semester, Dr. Hoeflinger is teaching A:P (Accelerated Learning Program), which is a program that was developed in the Community College System to better support students in need of reading comprehension and writing support. Next semester she will start teaching at two of the Higher Education Centers. This will take her to Wall and Freehold. Dr. Hoeflinger is getting to know the campus and its community.
Finally, Colleen McElroy resigned from Cedar Grove High School at the end of last year and now she is the new principal at St. Catherine of Siena School.