Current Chapter Newsletter

Gamma Gamma Ray
Newsletter of Gamma Gamma Chapter of IL State
February 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

At our Feb 6th chapter meeting, we had 29 members, and two guests. We covered a lot of business in a short amount of time. We voted to accept the Treasurer’s report(given by Linda Stolt) and the Revisions to our chapter Rules and Financial Addendum. Rose Karner shared the member nominees for our new executive board, which we will be voting on in March.  Madelynn Brossard for 1st VP and Membership Chair, Judie King and Rose Marie Mincey as co-2nd VPs and Program Chairs. Sharon Froehlich as recording secretary, and Jacqui Rothman as corresponding secretary.  All other executive board positions are unchanged.  We are still, however, without a candidate for chapter president. Please let Rose Karner know if you are interested in stepping into the position of president. 

We have two new potential members: Matina Kantzavelos(whose information was shared by Tish Chapman) and Diana O’ Donnell(whose information was shared by her mother, Jo Ann Bechtold).  Please read about them in the Membership report.
Gerie Kay announced that our chapter nominee for the CCCC Legislative Award, Michelle Mussman, will be awarded this prestigious award at the March 7th CCCC luncheon. Thank you, Gerie, for all your hard work completing and submitting Michelle Mussman’s application for this award.
Charlotte Weber read her daughter, Katie’s, heartfelt thank you to all of the members who have steadfastly sent her cards and letters of support and encouragement. Denise Pawelczyk thanked all who have been there for her during her mom’s long illness and funeral. Denise is very appreciative of all the love and support given to her during this difficult time. Denise also announced that 2 of our grant recipients sent in applications for Lambda State Scholarships.
Linda Szymkowiak gave a lovely reflection which perfectly fit ourprogram on Special Olympics. She read two poems titled: “Come Touch His Cheek” and “I Am Me”. Katie McGarvey gave a wonderful program on District 211 Special Education programs and the Special Olympics, including some fun and inspiring videos. Sandy Cook introduced Katie with some lovely accolades.
Finally, thanks to Sue Wadkins and the Educational Excellence Committee for the delicious treats, as well as the 3 pretty plants that Sue raffled.

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

  • Feb. 25- Book Club: We are discussing  Educated by Tara Westover at Riccardo’s at 5:30pm.  Contact Sue Wadkins ( if you plan to attend.
  • March 7- CCCC Luncheon and Awards Presentation at Wilmette Golf Club at 11:15am. The program is Wings: “Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence”.  Contact Gerie Kay if you plan to attend (
  • March 10- Our Gamma Gamma meeting at Our Redeemer’s Church: “A History of Gardens” presented by Susan Langworthy. Our Service Project is food donations to Dist 54 Food Bank.
  • March 26- Book Club: “When Life Hands You Lemons” by Katie Weber(daughter of Charlotte).  Let Glenda know if you plan to attend (


  • If you are interested in the position of President of Gamma Gamma Chapter for the next biennium, please email Rose Karner at 
  • If anyone is considering going to the state DKG convention April 24-26 in St. Louis, please email Mary Wrobel (  Four of us are flying down on April 24th.  The convention registration form and hotel information is in the winter Newscaster. Get your hotel room and register early!
  • It’s not too late to sign up to attend the Cook County CoordinatingCouncil luncheon and awards program on March 7th . Please contact Gerie Kay if you are interested in attending. The luncheon begins at 11:15 at the Wilmette Golf Club with a key note speaker and awards program.  It would be wonderful to have a Gamma Gamma Chapter table at this event.  It’s also a great way to get to know Cook County Chapter members. It’s always a fun time!  Please check out the registration form attached to this newsletter.
  • Remember to periodically check out our chapter website( which is beautifully managed by our webmaster, Kathy Muench. Our website password is found in your emailed newsletter. You can print our new yearbook information.  All the information in our 2019-20 yearbook can be found on our website. 
  • Also, don’t forget to check out our state organization website, .  You may need to use your member number, found on the back of your yearbook, as a password. 

Care Team News:
Please contact Glenda Klein-Mali(and Mary Wrobel) if you have any news for the Care Team.  We also love to hear your good news and celebrations! Let us know what you would like shared with your Gamma Gamma sisters via newsletter or other announcements. We can also be discreet, if you don’t wish to announce your situation to all chapter members. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Denise Pawelczyk who recently lost her beloved mother, Laurel Dulvaney

Remember: many of our chapter sisters have health issues or other situations they are dealing with which prevent them from coming to meetings.  If you haven’t heard from a Gamma Gamma sister in a while, please take a moment to call or email her. We can all do our part to check on our members and support them when they need us most. 


We voted to approve and accept the revisions to our chapter Rules and Financial Addendum. Thanks to Joan Gazdic, the Executive Board and all those in Society Business who helped to update our rules.


Welcome to our perspective members:

Meet Matina Kantzavelos:
Matina has taught in the Chicago metropolitan area for 34 years.  Most of her teaching career has been in Schaumburg District 54.  She has taught Kindergarten, Second, Third, and Fourth Grades, as well as, Learning resource Teacher. Matina has earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood, and her Administration Certificate, as well as hours in professional development. 
During her career in District 54, Matina had been actively involved as a SEA school representative, worked on several district curricular committees, was on her school Leadership Team, Social Committee, has mentored student teachers, was Patrol Supervisor and presented a professional development workshop on organizational skills.
Since retiring, Matina has volunteered weekly at a local school and has taught Sunday School. She has also been involved with the Greek Women’s University Club as corresponding secretary.

Meet Diana O’Donnell:
Diana has been a professional educator for 25 years and has a Masters of Administration and Leadership. She graduated from U of I with honors and was president of Epsilon Delta Educational Society while there. Diana has taught at a charter school for arts and science in Minneapolis, and worked as a 6th and 8th grade science teacher in different school districts in Illinois. She has supervised student teachers and worked in Wheeling as a middle school Specialist of Instruction and Assessment.  
Diana became assistant principal at London School in District 21, then became principal of Joyce Kilmer Elementary.  She is presently principal at Rupley Elementary District 59 in Elk Grove. 
Diana published in Advisory Plus-Responsive Classroom and is a member of the Advisory Board of Midwest Principals for 6 years.
Diana is actively involved in community activities, including various charity and educational events.

We look forward to welcoming Matina and Diana into our chapter at our May banquet.

*And as always, don’t forget to invite women to one or more of our meetings so they can see what our chapter is all about.  We are always looking for new members! 

Any member personal information changes need to be sent to me, Cheryl Keifer, ASAP ( so that we can keep our data base up to date. 

PROGRAM COMMITTEE: (Mary Balk and Honora Quinn) 
Our March 10th program is “ A History of Gardens” by Susan Langworthy.  This is a program you won’t want to miss!  Susan comes highly recommended and has a wonderful presentation for us.


Several of our former recruitment grant recipients have applied for scholarships available from DKG IL State Organization.  Jennifer Navarette has applied for the Florence A. Cook Recruitment Grant, Rachel Maniscalco applied for Grant In Aid, and Eden Schultz applied for the William C. and Elizabeth J. Iwert Scholarship.  Application information for the IRTA Foundation Scholarship has also been made available to all sophomore and junior level college young women who are being mentored.  A BIG THANK you to Cammy Basak and Sandy Cook for volunteering to edit applications and essays!  Their help, along with the help of mentors, was HUGELY APPRECIATED!!!  
*Speaking of mentoring…we are still in need of one more chapter member who is willing to make a 4-year commitment to mentor one of this year’s Gamma Gamma Recruitment Grant recipients.  It is a wonderful opportunity to not only be a resource, but also become a friend to these young ladies!  (And I will be most happy to help you along the way..!!!) Carol McHale has already graciously volunteered. Please give this some consideration.  Please let me know (Denise Pawelczyk) by mid-April.  Don’t be hesitant–it’s not difficult, and it truly is rewarding!
*Do you know of any female graduating District 211 high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in education?  Our Gamma Gamma Recruitment Grant application is online and available at our website.  The high school Education Intern teachers have all been notified, but word of mouth can also be a powerful form of getting the word out!  This year the application and filing is all online; so the process should be streamlined for the applicant.  Please feel free to pass this information along..!
*ALSO–if you know of any female college education majors who will be juniors or seniors next year, and you think would be a good fit as a Gamma Gamma collegiate member, please pass their name and contact information to me.  I would be happy to extend an invitation to them!
*Lastly, THANK YOU ALL for being there for me!  Having my chapter sisters support during my mother’s illness, hospice, and passing have given me an immense amount of strength!!!  Your cards, notes, flowers, words of encouragement, and hugs helped me all along the way–and continue to help me as I grieve.  I am truly blessed to have such a special group of people to call my sisters and friends!!!   

SERVICE AND SPECIAL PROJECTS:  (Kris Beaudette and Gerie Kay)

Thank you all for your generosity with all of our service projects. In January, we collected a large amount of children’s pajamas and underwear, and these items were donated to needy families in Elgin. 
At our March10th general meeting at Our Redeemer’s UMC, we are collecting canned and packaged food for the District 54 Food Bank.  Thank you in advance for your generosity!

*Our book swap will continue and any leftover books will be taken to the local library for donation. 


Bev Johns is inviting all Illinois DKG members to join our new state organization Facebook page. Please consider joining, if you haven’t already: DKG-Illinois Key Women Educators

It’s time to think about going to our state convention in St. Louis.

Message from Bev Johns, President
The month that reminds us of love and leadership
Love of those who mean so much to us
Love of those who have left this earth but whose memory lives on
Love of the activities in which we participate 
Love of our wonderful Delta Kappa Gamma and all it gives us
Leadership in our families as we provide guidance
Leadership in our profession as we share our expertise
Leadership in our Society as we work together to make a difference

Thanks to all of you for the love and leadership you give every day.

Speaking of leadership, have you registered yet for the Leadership Academies?  To attend you can either be a current leader in Delta Kappa Gamma, Illinois, or an aspiring leader.  It is fine if you have not yet inducted your officers for them to avail themselves of this great opportunity.  You can find the registration form on our website on the home page. This special event is available in three different locations: Friday April 24 in St. Louis, Saturday June 6 at Bradley University, and Thursday, July 16 at the IEA building in Bloomington, Illinois.  

  • Teach to Lead approaching March 6-7, 2020
    Have you wanted to see how the wonderful Teach to Lead project works?  You can come and participate as an observer or be part of a group discussing key issues facing us in education such as:  teacher recruitment, teacher retention, working with students with challenging behaviors, restrictive interventions, literacy, multi-level systems of supports and more.  If you want to attend at the Holiday Inn In Normal (formerly the Radisson), simply send your check for $85 by January 30 to Sharon Vinson, 11966 Tresemer Road, Roscoe, Illinois 61073 and mark on the check — Teach to Lead. To be provided more details, send an email to Debbie LeBlanc at:   That fee covers lunch and dinner on Friday and continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday. We would love to have you attend.
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
    You don’t want to miss all the exciting opportunities that await you at the Delta Kappa Gamma, Illinois convention at the Marriott St. Louis Airport Hotel.  Bring your vintage hat to wear Friday night for our Meet Me in St. Louis Event which features a style show and the talent of our own members, Sue Young, Teresa Maguire, and Debra Vorce.  Watch Facebook as we unveil more of the program and watch the Newscaster for the full program.
  • Kimswick tour at the Convention
    If you are not participating in the Leadership Academy on Friday, April 24, there is another wonderful opportunity waiting for you.  At 11 a.m. a bus will leave the hotel to take you to the little village of Kimswick, a charming community full of shops and a great lunch. Attached is a registration form.  
  • International Projects
    Please share this information with your chapter treasurers reminding them of the deadline of March 1 to send their donations to the International Projects. To receive recognition for the chapter at convention, a donation of  $450 for a well in Malawi and any donations to Schools for Africa.  Forms are on the Delta Kappa Gamma, Illinois, website. If they have questions, email to: or call Teresa Maguire at 618-516-1747 or 618-8423964. Snail mail to Teresa at 113 W Young Dr, Fairfield, IL 62837-1049.
  • Tech Seminar Announced
    We are happy to announce the scheduling of our first Tech Seminar for 2020.  It will be on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at the Illinois Education Association building in Bloomington, Illinois.  Mark your calendar now for a great day of learning. Our Communications and Marketing committee as well as the Events Planning and Management committee are working hard to find a location for seminars to be held in Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois.  If you know of any possible location, please let Mary Jane Sterling know by contacting her at: What is needed is a location that could house two sessions at one time.  It could certainly be a school or any place that has two meeting rooms.
  • Make room reservations for our convention in Saint LouisMarriott St. Louis Airport- 314-423-9700

Upcoming State Activities: 

  • February 15– deadline to nominate an individual for the Achievement Award. Go to the website and click on committees and the click on the Achievement Award.
  • March 1-Dealine to send donations to International Projects
  • March 67– Teach to Lead Project seminar at Holiday Inn(Normal, IL)
  • Leadership Academies: April  24( in St. Louis), Saturday June 6 at Bradley University, and Thursday, July 16 at the IEA building in Bloomington, Illinois.  
  • Annual DKG Illinois State Organization Convention: April 24-26

Jane Martin(Feb 15), Charlotte Weber(Feb 22), Jennifer Navarrete(Feb 22), Mary Ann Bilski(Feb 25), Katie McGarvey(Feb 25), Merna Folkers(Feb 26),  Sharon Froehlich(Feb 28), Chris Dick(March 14), Carol Escortia(Mar 20), Karen DelVecchio(Mar 22), Alice Ryan(Mar 26), Geri DeFalco(Mar 27), and Maureen Briza(Mar 31)  Happy Birthday, Ladies!

                                               Mary’s Missive

Next month we will be voting on a new executive board, with wonderful candidates, as well as those continuing in their chapter positions. I want to thank all our hard working executive board members. I could not do my job as president, and our chapter would suffer if not for the dedication of our executive board and committee chairs. You are all amazing!   
Unfortunately, in a few months I will be ending my biennium as president and someone else will have to step up to fill that position. Our state organization is already asking me who will be our new president. And that’s the question, because our chapter absolutely must have a president.  Our state organization demands it. Who will take over the presidency when I roll off? Who will step up and take a turn as president?  Please consider taking a turn as president of Gamma Gamma, because we need to keep our chapter strong and moving forward. 
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you all enjoy this fun holiday with loved ones and friends!