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2009.03.23 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Phi Delta Kappa Chapter to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional educator’s association, was chartered in 1959 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with several events.

The celebration includes a dinner Friday, April 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at UNO's Thompson Alumni Center. The dinner will feature chapter charter member Dr. Joe E. Hanna speaking on the transition of education over the past 50 years. Hanna is a former associate superintendent in the Omaha Public Schools and president of Graceland College. He was also a faculty member in UNO's College of Education.

On Saturday, April 25, the chapter will host a three-hour seminar featuring five topical presentations each hour on educational practices that are succeeding in the metropolitan area. Presenters are teachers and faculty members in local school districts and the college. The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 25. The sessions will be held on third floor of the Milo Bail Student Center on the UNO campus. The sessions are free and the public is welcome to attend. To register, contact David Hemphill at dchemphill1@mpsomaha.org.

The chapter annually recognizes local organizations who support education, and local educators who have provided exemplary leadership. This year the chapter is recognizing the Omaha Symphony for its long support of music programs in and for the schools of the area. Also being recognized are Senator Gail Kopplin; former Papillion LaVista Superintendent Harlan Metschke; and Underwood Hills Focus School Principal Bret Anderson. The list of those recognized in past years is long and noteworthy.

The chapter’s history has been marked with several notable achievements by its members and its projects.

• Dr. Rick Kolowski served as the international president of the association; served on the International Board as a district representative; and was an area coordinator.

• Dr. Ron Burmood served on the International Board as a district representative; and was an area coordinator.

• Dr. Robert Meyers is currently serving on the International Board as a regional representative.

• The chapter has sponsored the Showcase of Teaching Project since 1986. This project selects and honors eight teachers each year as Showcase Teachers. The teachers then make presentations to area high school students at an annual event hosted by the chapter and the UNO College of Education. The purpose of the event is to encourage high school students to consider education as a profession. More than 3,000 students have participated in the event during its 23 years of existence. Approximately 184 area teachers have been honored during this time span.

• The chapter has provided scholarships to area graduating seniors for more than 30 years. For approximately 15 years the chapter has sponsored a scholarship to an ethnic minority student enrolled in the College of Education as support for the recipients to finish their program and become teachers. The value of these awards over this period of time amount to more than $50,000.

• The chapter annually supports a limited number of members attendance at the International Phi Delta Kappa Summit on Educational Issues. This conference, sponsored by the International association, is noted for quality speakers and timely topics and programs. Those attending are introduced to current trends and research to improve education.

For more information on Phi Delta Kappa or any of the anniversary events, contact Ron Burmood at rburmood@unomaha.edu.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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