Jun. 9—The Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honor society of area women educators, last week presented scholarships to three students who are pursuing teaching degrees.
The mission of DKG is to promote "professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education." In keeping with that overarching purpose, the Iota Chapter — which represents several counties throughout the region —awards scholarships annually based on a student's Grade Point Average, difficulty of course work, and service to the school and wider community.
"To teach is to answer a high calling...," Sharon Whitehead, DKG Iota Chapter president, said. "We are the ones who are honored to be here with you young women today. Some of us are still teaching; some of us are now retired but you are just starting out and I can't say enough to offer encouragement."
Due to an exceptionally tight field, members voted to award two $350 scholarships to applicants who had tied for first place as well as a $300 scholarship to a close second place finisher. The recipients are:
—Shaylie Dobbs, Wayne County High School, $350 — Dobbs is currently employed at Bell Elementary in Wayne County working with students in the first and second grades. Her college major will be Elementary Education at Eastern Kentucky University. Dobbs plans to return to home to Monticello to teach in one of the elementary schools. While still in high school, Dobbs enrolled in four dual credit courses and one Advanced Placement environmental science course. While pursuing her secondary education, she was on the Wayne County Dance Team and served as FCCLA President.
Dobbs was inspired to pursue teaching by her first-grade teacher.
"She made sure that every kid was loved, no matter what," Dobbs said. "Even after we left her class, she still checks in on us. Just having that constant in your life is something amazing and I want to be that for my future students."
—Reagan Black, Casey County High School, $350 — Black fills a paid position as a middle school tutor through the GEAR UP Program within the Casey County Schools. Her college major is Middle School Education through Lindsey Wilson College, and she currently plans to focus on Social Studies and English. Black also serves as a Literacy Liaison chosen to read at various schools. She enrolled in dual credit courses in high school, took Advanced Placement English, and other honors classes. In addition to earning Distinguished state test scores, Black was part of the Casey Youth Coalition, Leadership 22, the Beta Club, and the Yearbook staff.
"My parents were teachers," Black said of her inspiration to pursue a career in education. "I love children and I just want to help others."
—Sadie Kemp, Adair County High School, $300 — Kemp's college major is Elementary Education through the Bonner Scholars Program at Lindsey Wilson College. She is also part of the Lindsey Wilson Singers. In high school, she enrolled in three dual credit courses and took first place in the State Beta Club Convention. Kemp also served on the high school Academic Team and the Yearbook staff, qualifying for the Beta Club and National Honor Society. While pursuing her academic course of study in high school, Kemp was part of the Marching Band and Color Guard for seven years, helping them to three state and two national Championships. She's also an accomplished photographer.
Kemp noted that she's been inspired by several teachers over the years. "I really just want to give back to my community and make that same impact for students," she said.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in the Pulaski County Public Library on June 2. Iota chapter members on hand said they were proud to recognize these potential teachers in support of DKG's vision as "leading women educators impacting education worldwide."
"This is the first time we have honored three scholars," Amber Mauney Tongate, who chairs the DKG Iota Chapter scholarship committee, said. "The young women here today were just so outstanding that we just wanted to celebrate."
Whitehead added that the recipients' high school records give the group high hopes for their future careers. "We wish you the best," she said.