The Crusader Newspaper Group

Sorority Awards Luncheon highlights youth, education, service

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Beta Mu Chapter, recently celebrated its 32nd Teach-A-Rama Luncheon at the Avalon Manor. The event also featured a Mini Health Fair and Market Place.

The special celebration began with Dr. Cheryl Pruitt, superintendent of the Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC), serving as mistress of ceremonies. Chapter Basileus Onitta Parker and Gary School Board President Rosie Washington brought greetings to a diverse audience composed of educators, community leaders, sorority members, guests, Xinos, and Anthropos. Dr. Peggy Hinckley, emergency manager of GCSC, was among the guests. Sorority member Nora Robbs gave the invocation.

Keynote speaker, Rev. R.E. Robinson, senior pastor of St. John Baptist Church, delivered a timely and motivating address to over 100 attendees. Rev. Robinson was introduced by Mary Williams, a former president of the Indiana State Reading Association.

Sharing in the activities were Xinos Imani Butts, Daria Johnson, Nadia Jones and Jordan Kincade, who entertained the audience with a wonderful violin medley. The talented musicians are 11th graders at Merrillville High School.

During the awards ceremony, awards were presented to outstanding citizens for their educational leadership and service contributions. The Distinguished Educator Award was presented to two honorees, GlenEva Dunham, a 30-year educator and president of both the Gary Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers of Indiana. The second honoree was Earl H. Smith, Jr., a retired educator, head coach, athletic director and member of the Indiana Hall of Fame for Football.

Ben and Sharon Tyler, business owners of Able2 Stow It, were recipients of the 2017 Community Citation Award. Since 2002, the Tyler’s have donated yearly school supplies to approximately 1,500 students.

Brandi Rucker-Herrod, Principal of Glen Park Academy, received the Soror of the of the Year Award. The coveted award was established in honor of Bertha Holliday Jones, the first president of Beta Mu Chapter. Presenting the awards respectively were Florine Lacefield, Shirley Tho-mas and Delores Gibson.

Following the awards ceremony, acknowledgements were given to Ruth Walker, Teach-A-Rama Chair. Anne Thompson, chair of Beta Mu, served as Co-Chair. Committee members included Sadie Etheridge, Delores Gibson, Mary Holly, Ru-bye James, Annette Kennedy, Kath King, Florine Lacefield, Catherine McReynolds, LaFonda Morris, Daisy Purnell, Nora Robbs, Yvonne Clay-Smith, Marnita Taylor, Shirley Thomas, Merlene Thompson, Joan Washington and Mary Williams.

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., is a professional organization of educators, it was founded in 1923 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The organization seeks to stimulate professional growth among teachers, to foster a spirit of sisterhood, and to promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession. There are hundreds of chapters across the United States.


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