Edition No. 30 JUNE 2009
GREETINGS FROM YOUR REGIONAL DIRECTOR
My welcome and congratulations to the new State organisation Presidents in Europe. I hope we will be able to work together through many Society-related questions during my period as Regional Director. The Leadership Development for incoming State organisation Presidents and new Executive Secretaries starts Monday 3rd August, 18.00 at Oslo University College. I am looking forward to seeing you there.
“Are we International?” The question was raised by the second vice President Dr. Sigrun Klara Hannesdottir at the Administrative Board meeting in Austin one week ago. Among all the countries of the world Delta Kappa Gamma is to be found in only 16. After 80 years this is the result of our expansion. Do we want to be international? The word is included in the Society name. But, cross your heart, to what extent do we have international issues on our chapter agendas? Are we international? This is a question to be considered.
The two and a half days long Administrative Board meeting included many questions and decisions. I would like to inform you about some of them.
· Heard reports from Durbin Studios concerning marketing items and from Greenlights for Non-profit Success concerning Headquarters’ staffing.
· Revised the Policy for use of electronic communications and accepted recommendations updating Net Tools and continuing the Leadership suite.
· Afghanistan project ends 30th June 2009. A committee is gathering information and suggestions for further action. Report to Administrative Board will be give at its meeting 14th-16th January 2010.
· Determined that the Emergency Fund collection would be the sole recipient of funds at regional conferences.
· Strategic Plan for Success was updated. Out of reports given by the State organisation presidents in Europe we understood that many states have their own strategic plan. I do hope that the members are well informed about the contents.
· A Communication Services Administrator was hired. Her name is Linda Eller and she will begin her work in September 2009.
· A job description for the Bulletin Editor was agreed. The editor is to create a professional publication that enhances the academic standing of the Society, supports its purposes, helps accomplish Strategic Planning goals and provides members with specialized publishing opportunities. Dr. Lace Brogden has accepted to be the editor for one year.
And now to Norway:
The members of the organising committee for the regional Conference in Oslo have their hands full in working with the final issues. We are hoping to make the conference of high quality, both professionally and personally. Our aim is to “Activate your Visions”. In the News you will find all detailed information.
Oslo is waiting for you and so am I! With warm regards to all of you from a beautiful Malmö in springtime.
We have had a wonderful springtime this year in the southern part of Norway, where I live. A long row of sunny days and lots of spring flowers in parks and gardens. And as the nights are still quite cold, the flowers last longer.
At the same time, spring is a busy time.
We in Delta Kappa Gamma Norway are busier this spring than usual, as we are in the final preparations for the European Regional Conference in August. At our State Conference in April, much time was devoted to preparing for the Conference.
We are still enthusiastic, the working morale is high, and we are looking forward to the event.
We have had a good response from people wanting to present a workshop. There is a wide variety of interesting topics to choose from, both on professional and personal matters.
One very special topic is about the old Viking ship, the Oseberg, which was used as a grave-chamber for a queen, and can be seen in a separate museum in Oslo. A Norwegian weaver has taken a special interest in the woven materials still remaining in the ship and is using the patterns in her works of art. She has studied this specific age and its culture and will visualise how a vision comes true.
I will also recommend the two very interesting pre-conference tours, on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th of August, showing some of the surroundings of Oslo. You can read all about it on our website.
We hope to share a lot of fun, at the same time as we get inspiration for work and daily life through lectures and workshops.
The Conference will be my last job as State President. These two years have passed very fast. I am thankful for having had this opportunity. It has given me a deeper insight into the organisation and has brought me closer to many new friends.
I hope to see you all in Oslo!
Astrid H. Bie Skaaland, State President, Norway
Being State Organisation President has been a very positive experience. One I could not have managed without the support and help of members. It gave me great pleasure at our Conference in Cambridge to announce that Diane Billam will be our new State President.
The Chapter Presidents’ reports are a timely reminder of just how much goes on at Delta Kappa Gamma meetings. They also show how hard our Chapter Presidents work to provide strong leadership and organisation. For me, the best part of the reports is where they explain what makes them most proud of both their Chapter and their members. This year they said what they valued most was the fact that their members come with a wide range of educational experiences and interests. Also, collectively and individually, members are ‘always ready to try new challenges’, and provide firm friendships and support. What could be better?
What would our founder members think of the organisation today? Now in our 80th year, faster, cheaper communication gives us greater contact and better links with our headquarters and members around the world. Many of us travel to Regional and International Conferences, we network, make new friends and renew old acquaintances.
Our April State Conference in Cambridge was well attended and we were delighted that Dr Jensi Souders, first Vice President, was able to join us as the International Representative. Our main speaker was on-track giving us an excellent talk about viruses and explaining what a “flu pandemic” might mean (somewhat prophetic in the event). We celebrated our Society’s 80th birthday with a cake decorated with our Society’s badge
A great deal has happened in my Biennium, with perhaps, the culmination being able to represent GB at my first International Convention in Chicago last summer. It was a moment of personal pride when I carried the Union Flag in front of some two thousand women. Chicago summed up Delta Kappa Gamma for me. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear excellent speakers, learn more about our society, meet new people and have a wonderful time! As we go forward with our new International President’s theme of ‘From Vision to Action: Advancing the Society’, I look forward to the future and, of course, the next Regional Conference in Oslo.
Advance Notice: Great Britain’s State Conference 2010 will be held at the Chaucer Hotel, Canterbury, Kent, 16th -18th April.
State Organisation President
The headline of our International President Dr. Carolyn Rants’ letter in the March / April News says “Take Action Now: Attend Your Regional Conference” and she recalls the very first one she had attended and how from every single one following she had come back full of new energy and ideas both for her professional and personal life.When
I attended my very first Regional Conference we were still with North East, my next one was our very first European Regional in Breukelen in 1999, and I can only agree with what she says. When (potential) members ask me “What’s in it (= in membership) for me?” I most often say: Just attend an International or Regional Conference and all your questions will be answered by simply attending, listening to, and connecting with members from all over the world.
So I was very happy that the date of the British State Conference in Cambridge allowed me to (just) make it this year again, as I always so much enjoy it – seeing friends again, experiencing an exemplary, expertly run conference with a good, compact program and inspiring speakers at interesting venues.
My next conference will be Oslo, and I’m already looking forward very much to seeing many of you again there. German members will be quite numerous this time – even more than in London 2007 – as I found out at our State Conference in Etelsen near Bremen, where our hosting Delta Chapter had found a most charming venue.
We were very happy to have so many friends from abroad with us – eight from NL, four from GB, two from Finland, one from Sweden, and last but no way least our guest from Headquarters, International Coordinator Corlea Plowman, who so readily shared her knowledge and experience with us. Before taking her up north those seven hundred and some kilometres to the Conference we had toured the area and possible locations for the Regional Conference 2011 and she had found the venue at Baden-Baden suitable and the many possibilities for short and longer trips in Black Forest / Rhine Valley, Alsace / France and Switzerland quite fascinating.
The Friday of our Conference was dedicated to getting to know some of Bremen with an excellent guide, a visit to the Overseas’ Museum and enough spare time to explore the quaint quarters of the historical town centre a little more at our own pace.
On Saturday all of us who hadn’t had the chance to listen to Dorothy Haley’s “Truth about the Tudors” yet, were overjoyed to do so, and the “hands-on” art workshop was very inspiring, too – something to use 1:1 in your own art class.
Elections were part of the AGM Agenda, and I am looking forward very much to working with Thi Finkemeyer as Vice President, Gisela von Engelhardt as State Secretary and Rosemarie Menke as State Treasurer.
On Sunday morning we held our first big official Steering Committee Meeting in the presence of International Coordinator Corlea Plowman, the first half hour a quick exchange in German of what had been accomplished up to now and what was to be done next, then we continued in English with our friends from GB, hostesses of the 2007 European Regional Conference, Trijny Schmitz du Moulin, then Regional Director. They had readily agreed to share their experience with us and answer all our questions, and we left with the feeling that we were not alone in this and didn’t have to re-invent the wheel. We know that the challenge will be tremendous for a membership as small as ours but we are looking forward to it and are confident that you’ll love the venue – nestled in vineyards, small, compact, but all ours!
Public transport takes you into Baden-Baden’s town centre; it’s easily accessible from whatever direction you come by whatever means of transportation – Baden-Baden is on the Rhine Valley railway line, there is a regular shuttle from the small but close airport of Karlsruhe/Baden (cheap flights from London Stansted e.g.), rail and fly from / to Frankfurt …
There are so many ideas for pre- and after conference trips that it will be difficult to choose – first for the travel committee and then for you – just come to our stall at the Info Fair in Oslo and see for yourself!
Steering Committee Chair and State President 2009-2011
Our annual AGM and seminar is within two weeks in Tampere. We are very happy to have International president, Dr. Carolyn Rants as our International representative. It is very important to have international guests in order to help our own members to understand chapters to be part of the greater system. There are better chances to discuss personally during smaller events than among thousands of women who have gathered together. This biennium it is more important. We have had many discussions here about increasing fees. The effects may be disastrous in small organisations like we have in Finland.
As you may know Finland has been at the international media headlines because of very sad events, massacres at schools that happened here in Jokela November 2007 and Kauhajoki, in September 2008. Our professionals, teachers and educators need something to recover and adjust. Our theme for the seminar, “Feeling good - How to survive in changing educational world?” We will try to provide some support. We try to increase one's own sense of personal agency and how to create a positive working place by improving our communications skills.
It has been a very interesting two years. I have had great opportunities to learn to know my European colleagues and Delta Kappa Gamma sisters. When you study and work together in order to achieve greater goals, it always helps to feel more unity. Thank you my European sisters for these years. I look forward to meeting you all in Oslo.
Finland SO President
Spring activities are keeping our Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Sweden well alive! Chapters celebrate jubilees and exchange experiences by visiting our new neighbour Delta chapters in Denmark and Estonia. The Swedish Convention in March in Västerås was a success! We were very pleased to have the International president Dr Carolyn Rants as our guest. In her speech she convinced us all that committees are focused on reforming and structuring our Society, so that it develops and adjusts to modern women. She defined two age-groups as presumptive Delta Kappa Gamma members: Generation X – born 69-81. These are young women who need what we can offer them. But – we need what they can offer us! The challenge is how we match our Society so that we can make them join us! Practical details can make a difference according to Dr Rants. Meeting times, computerized communication and so on. The other age-group is the Millennium generation – born -82 and forward. These young women are just entering the educational system and will have experienced it in a few years time – enough to be invited and inspired by Professional and Personal growth that Delta Kappa Gamma can offer. Reading “Presidents´ Page” make us aware of the on-going process. Dr. Rants speech impressed and affected
In Sweden the pedagogical debate deals with mathematics and the dip of mathematical skill among pupils these days. This was the theme of the state convention in Västerås. Local researchers as well as our Estonian guests spoke on the theme. Work-shops on occasions like this really help illustrate how Delta Kappa Gamma stimulates us in our profession as educators!
My biennium as state president is over. It has been two years of stimulating meetings and experiences that have meant a lot to me. The chapter presidents, the members I’ve met and my Swedish board have altogether enriched the Delta Kappa Gamma spirit! I look forward to Oslo and new, rewarding meetings! Ann-Charlotte Berglund
Why are February 1, May 1 and September 1, important dates?
Go to www.educatoredge.org for information. This website lists a variety of professional development opportunities.
As for Europeans, please notice the list of courses in the framework of the European Commission. Please visit Educator Edge and click on links and look under More Professional Development/ European Commission Comenius- Gruntvig Training Database.
Please use e-mail: Marianne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne Skardéus Member of the Educational Foundation, Board of Trustees.
EUROPEAN FORUM COMMITTEE
The European Forum Committee met in Stabekk, near Oslo, last November. Outgoing members of the Forum were there to ‘hand-over’ and we welcomed Trijny Schmitz du Moulin, and Birgit Svensson our Regional Director.
We had a lively, interesting, friendly meeting with excellent hospitality provided by Bjørg Nakling. We made arrangements for the Pre-Conference Seminar namely:
full minutes of the Forum meeting should be available on your home state’s
website or try www.deltakappagamma.org/GB
We discussed a number of issues including Marianne Skardeus’ document about the possible development of a European Website, Ann-Charlotte Berglund’s letter about the use of communication technology and Dorothy Haley’s letter regarding who should represent their country on the Forum Committee.
Birgit told us about the European Regional Conference and we asked Anu Joon to find a member from Estonia to be our speaker, keeping to the communications theme.
Looking at the goals from the previous biennium, it seemed reasonable to complete them.
The European Forum will meet in Oslo on Saturday 8 Aug at 08.30 – 10.30; I hope to see you there.
The next meeting of the Forum Committee will take place 6-8 November, 2009, in Amsterdam.
Diana Bell, Chair of the
While our association year is drawing to an end, we can look back at a very interesting period. This biennium we have focused on several topics and worked them out: we have set up a proactive policydocument, have reorganised our archive and have digitized our financial system. Raising new members was an issue and although some new ones joined our association, the death of some of our beloved ones and the withdrawal of some others, led to an unchanged number of members.
Our archive has been rearranged. As we started in 1976 you can imagine how many papers we have gathered over the years. Too much to handle, so our vice president, who knows a lot about this subject, started the rearrangement project, of course with the help of some others. The result is overwhelming. The archive has become a beautiful overview, neatly organized in white boxes and will be assigned to our national archive for woman organisations.
It was also nice to read about the excellent women who founded ΔΚΓ Netherlands and expanded the society in Holland. It was interesting to read what occurred in those years: the themes that were discussed, the growth, the decline and the founding of new chapters.
It was also interesting to see the ups and downs and to see that today is not the only risky period. There have in fact been many more, in particular when the membership numbers went down, but in the long run it always went up again. Now we are working on a booklet with stories from members from over 30 years of ΔΚΓ Netherland’s existence.
sustainability were the topics of our convention at a beautiful castle in
Baarn. This castle owned by our ministry of agriculture, food and
environment is the educational platform used to expand their themes. More
specifically, they also offer educational programmes for children and their
parents. We made a nice deal with the organisation; If we could arrange a
lecture about food and children and we would like to share this with the
public, we would get good free publicity as well the use of their beautifull
lectureroom. And so it went.. A nutritionist, working with and for schools
gave the lecture. What have we learned? There is much to do when it comes to
better nutrition for our youth. Sugar is very harmful, so never use prefab
food. And of course, at the end everyone who attended got the ΔΚΓ-elevator
One of the most interesting parts of our society is its international character. At international conferences and conventions many of us can experience that character, but also on a smaller level it is visible. The contact between Epsilon in the North of Holland and Gamma in the North of Germany is a good example. We overcame the boundery of states. In distance they are closer to each other than they are with other chapters in their own countries.
Visiting each other’s convention is a nice opportunity for international contact. And of course, so will be the regional conference in Oslo. The members of the European Forum developed some interesting ideas on how to get in contact with each other, how to inspire each other without spending more money. An European website is a very good idea. We look forward to it.
We have a new board for the next biennium. I will be chair again. Although I know that all members should get the experience of being chair, this time there was no one who stood up. So I am pleased to do it again.
What our goals will be? We will try to increase brand awareness. We will discuss this topic in June, but “creating a buzz” will be one of them.
Riet Smits, State President
Greetings from the sunny spring here in Central Finland! I am grateful and honoured to be the new President of the Finnish Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. I thank the former President Ms. Heli Piikkilä and the other sisters from Tampere for their good work during the past two years.When looking forwards I am truly optimistic. There are seven innovative members on our board. Together we are looking for the very best means to fulfil the theme “Activate your vision” in Finland. In brief, our vision is to expand our chapters to the northern parts of our country.
We will be working in order to achieve this goal. Personally, I would be very happy to invite the sisters from the north to join our society.
But they will not be the only ones to be invited: all our chapters located all around Finland need to get new and active members. The age structure of our chapters indicates that expansion is a really urgent goal. But, of course, there is even more important work to be done to fulfil the aims of our international organisation. It is the core, it is the heart, and it is the ultimate motivation for our work. See you all in Oslo in August.
The State Convention was held in Hallormsstadur, a beautiful natural setting in the eastern part of Iceland, during May 16th and 17th. About 55 members participated in a very well planned and successful convention. Members in Zeta, the local DKG chapter, are to be thanked especially for their great enthusiasm in making the Convention as pleasant and enjoyable as could be. The Educational Committee did a great job as well in offering an ambitious agenda, focusing on the NEW TEACHER. The key-note speakers presented new findings from their research work on recently graduated teachers in Iceland during their first year/years of teaching. In addition a school principal and an administrator from the school office in the area shared their views on the matter, and two young teachers told us about their first year as a new teacher. All the participants participated in group discussions and put forward questions to the speakers in a panel. At the end two participants shared a reflective summary of the theme.
The general meeting the following day followed traditions. Our incoming State President is Ingibjörg Jónasdóttir from the Gamma Chapter in Reykjavík. Our international guest, Jackie Cuppy, shared warm and encouraging words with the Icelandic members. She had, by the end of her five day stay in Iceland travelled by bus all around Iceland with a group of members from the Reykjavik area who attended the Convention. This, we think, is quite an achievement.
The social program was not to be missed. We enjoyed a guided walking tour through a historical wood collection and a memorable reception was held in an old school for homemakers. At last but not least the gala dinner along with the lively entertainment by the Zeta-Chapter members stands out in the memory of a very successful DKG State Convention of 2009.
The participation of Icelandic DKG members in the upcoming European Conference in Oslo next August seems to be quite good, and we are already looking forward to an enjoyable stay.
The new State Board takes over July 1st. The outgoing State Board thanks everyone for good collaboration and enjoyable times during the last two years and wishes our sisters in Europe all the best. AnnaThóra Baldursdóttir,
With current world wide economic difficulties in mind I felt it would be timely to remind everyone about the exchange programme which Germany has been running for over 2 years now. Offering and accepting hospitality is a way to make new Society friends and enable more members to travel to attend Society events and learn more about each other’s countries and education systems. For full details and application forms to take part go onto Germany’s website www.dkggermany.org Joan Carroll
Thank you all for your contributions to this edition. The deadline for sending contributions for the Autumn edition is 19th September. Joan Carroll
A very warm Delta Kappa Gamma welcome and all good wishes to our incoming European State Presidents:
Riet Smits – The Netherlands
Diane Billam – Great Britain
Brigitta Wichmann - Germany
Maritta Stoor – Finland
Ingibjörg Jónasdóttir – Iceland
Anu Joon – Estonia
Mette Heiberg – Norway
Catherine Bringselius-Nilsson – Sweden
Elsebeth Gabel Austin - Denmark
Updated: 4 October, 2008