June 20, 1959
Paul C. Andreas, George E. Andrews, James R. Bachman, Bernard L. Behers, Jr., John J. Cotton, Allan Gottmud, Joe E. Hanna, Roland F. Hansen, William C. Harriman III, Roy L. Heath, Jr., Billy G. Hyland, Robert W. Jefek, John M. Jensen, Richard W. Lane, Glenn O. Mason, Edwin M. Novotny, Bernard E. Nielt, Vincent G. Oberg, Harry F. Plath, Thomas A. Romberg, Lawrence L. Routt, J. Ira Ryan, Charles L. Sedlacek, James W. Sorensen, Sidney Stein, Robert L. Sullivan, John B. Truell, Joseph A Twaranovica, Hancil L. Warren, Richard D. Winchell, and Ben M. Zeff. Also signing the charter at Bloomington, Indiana, were John C. Whinnery, President; Charles R. Foster, First Vice President; A. G. Clark, Second Vice President; Gordon Swanson, Recording Secretary; Russel S. Merkel, Comptroller, and Maynard Bemis, Executive Secretary.
Past Chapter Presidents:
1959-60 Richard Winchell Westside
1960-61 Bernard Behers UNO
1961-62 Herbert Jones UNO
1962-63 Edwin Kramer Bellevue
1963-64 Edwin M. Novotny Boys Town
1964-65 Rene E. Hlavac Omaha
1965-66 Joe E. Hanna Omaha
1966-67 Dale R. Fuerst Westside
1967-68 J. Jay Planteen Omaha
1968-69 Louis A. Worm Bellevue
1969-70 Jack Hallstrom Omaha
1970-71 Fred Anderson Omaha
1971-72 Ron Witt Millard
1972-73 Darrell Kellams UNO
1973-74 Earl Pace Ralston
1974-75 Robert Ackerman UNO
1975-76 Kenneth Hansen Westside
1976-77 Harold Baker Bellevue
1977-78 Alfred DiMauro Omaha
1978-79 John T. Langan UNO
1979-80 Sharon Clark (Krueger) Westside
1980-81 George Collins Nebraska School for the Deaf
1981-82 Rick Kolowski Millard
1982-83 Bruce McCoy Bellevue
1983-84 Ron Anderson Gretna
1984-85 Les Sladek Westside
1985-86 Linda Lewis Bellevue
1986-87 LaNeta Carlock Westside
1987-88 Ken Rippe Ralston
1988-89 Marsha Abbott Omaha
1989-90 Ronald Burmood Omaha
1990-91 Cheryl Blue Plattsmouth
1991-92 Norma Payne Millard
1992-93 Roger Givens Bellevue
1993-94 Catherine Daters Millard
1994-95 Al Inzerello Westside
1995-96 Connie Baxter Papillion LaVista
1996-97 Dennis Harding Millard
1997-98 Stephen Kleinsmith Millard
1998-99 Stan Sibley Valley
1999-00 Robert Mortenson UNO
2000-01 Pat Geary E. S. U. #3
2001-02 Carla Gries Omaha
2002-03 Cathy Christensen Omaha
2003-04 Laura Croom Westside
2004-05 Jeff Rippe Bellevue
2005-06 Mimi Heintzman Papillion LaVista
2006-07 Nila Nielsen Millard
2007-08 David Hemphill Millard
2008-09 Robert Meyers Retired--Ralston
2009-10 Susan Evanich Westside
2010-11 Steven Joekel Retired—Millard
2011-12 Marie Meyers Retired—Westside
2012-13 Tami Williams Millard
2013-14 Jason Sutton Omaha
2014-15 Lynn Spady Westside
2015-16 Peter Smith UNO
2016-17 Andrea Yeager Neuzil UNO
2017-18 Melissa Frans Millard
2018-19 Greg Betts Westside
2019-21 Amber Johnson Louisville
Chapter Executive Directors
Kenneth Burkholder October 18, 1972 to January 20, 1977
Lloyd Gwartney January 20, 1977 to July 1, 1987
Darrell Kellams July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1989
Sonia Green July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1992
Michael Stewart July 1, 1992 to June 30, 1995
Ronald Burmood June 30, 1995 to June 1, 2015
Tami Williams June 1, 2015 to present
Chapter Officers Who Served as International Officers
Rene Hlavac Area Coordinator
Darrell Kellams Area Coordinator
Rick Kolowski Area Coordinator, District Representative, Vice President, President, Board Director (current)
Ron Burmood Area Coordinator, District Representative
Dennis Harding Area Coordinator
Robert Meyers Regional Representative
David Hemphill Nebraska Area Director, Regional Representative
Interesting facts about PDK Chapter 0116 and It’s Members
Dr. Francis Hurst, a faculty member at the University of Omaha, was instrumental in starting Chapter 0116 known as the Delta Upsilon Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. Dr. Rex Reckewey, a faculty member at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) was then the PDK Area Coordinator and worked with Hurst to start the chapter. The Omicron Chapter (University of Nebraska) provided a courtesy initiation team including: Dr. Wesley Meierhenry, Dr. Erwin Goldenstein, Dr. Rex Reckeway, and Dr. Nels Wodder. The ceremony was held June 20, 1959. Dr. Richard Winchell, then a faculty member at the University of Omaha, became the first chapter president, with Dr. Francis Hurst as the faculty representative. Winchell later became President of Bellevue College.
The Steak Fry began very early in the history of the chapter. It was first hosted by the Westside Community Schools members. In 1965 it was held at Valley View Junior High School on South 108th Street. It was moved to the month of May in 1967 and was held at Arbor Heights Junior High School. The Millard members of PDK began sponsoring the steak fry in either the spring of 1973 or in the spring of 1974. President Ron Witt announced at the beginning of the 1971-72 school year that any member who had perfect attendance at every meeting would have their steak dinner at Arbor Heights “on the house.” By the Spring of 1974 the steak dinner was sponsored by Millard members and held at the “Old Country School.”
The Chapter Scholarship Program began during Jack Hallstrom’s term as president during the 1969-70 School year.
The First Chapter Executive Director, Dr. Kenneth Burkholder, began his duties on October 18, 1972. He was a faculty member in the Department of Educational Administration at UNO. He had previously served as Principal at Omaha North High School. Upon retirement from UNO, he enlarged his aviary operation with four aviaries in Mills and Fremont counties in Iowa.
The Fish and Chicken Fry was begun during Earl Pace’s term as President in 1973-74.
Chapter member Dr. H. Vaughn Phelps was elected president of the American Association of School Administrators in 1975. He was 49 years old.
In the summer of 1976 the chapter and UNO sponsored a lecture series attended by 1,400 students, teachers, and administrators. The series was funded by a PDK District IV grant and chapter funds. The speakers were Thomas Pettigrew, Harvard; Daniel Fader, University of Michigan; Franklin Parker, University of West Virginia; and Harold Shane, Indiana University. Shane is quoted as saying: “Anyones problems anywhere are everyones problems everywhere.”
For many years the October meeting of the chapter was a breakfast meeting prior to the beginning of Teachers’ Convention activities. In October of 1978 the speakers were Hal Daub and John Cavanaugh, candidates for the United States House of Representatives.
Sharon Clark Krueger was the first woman elected president of the chapter. She served during the 1979-80 school year.
LaNeta Carlock, president of our chapter in 1986-87 was elected president of the International Society for Business Education in 1990, and served as a delegate to the International Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.
Chapter member Dr. VanEvery received a Fulbright Scholarship and spent six weeks in India in the summer of 1980 on a Fulbright Scholarship. The Fulbright Scholars attended lectures for three weeks at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi, and then took education field trips covering the “length and breadth of India, from Calcutta to Madras, from Magalore to Bombay.”
Dr. VanEvery, UNO, was instrumental in initiating the Showcase of Teaching in March of 1986. The innovative program was held for the 24th time this Spring (2009).
The chapter sponsored a PDK International Fastback about the life of H. Vaughn Phelps, entitled: An Uncommon Educator.
The chapter participated in the massive Phi Delta Kappa Student At-Risk Research Study directed by Dr. Jack Frymier during the 1988 through 1990 school years. Chapter members interviewed and gathered data relative to students in the metropolitan Omaha area.
Chapter member John Lammel, at the time Principal at Millard South, was installed as President of the National Association of Secondary School Principals in 1990.
In 1989 the chapter was one of a limited number of chapters internationally to be selected to sponsor a Leadership Skill Institute on the topic of “Restructuring Public Education.” The conference was held at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Omaha in the Spring of 1990. Approximately 200 educators attended from several states.
An all-time chapter record number of seventy-three new initiates were brought into chapter membership in February of 1990.
Joint meetings with the University of Nebraska Lincoln Chapter were begun in April of 1992 and continue annually. The newsletter reported: “140 persons and 10 deer attended the April Fools Day meeting held jointly with the Omaha and Lincoln Chapters. The program was a panel of area superintendents commenting on educational restructuring. The panelists included: Dick Triplett, Bellevue; Fred Bellum, Columbus; Jim Tangdall, Westside; Ken Rippe, Ralston; Norbert Schuerman, Omaha; and Bob Diekmann, South Sarpy. The panel was chaired by Ron Witt, Millard.
The chapter hosted a Phi Delta Kappa Leadership Skill Institute on Thursday, November 13, 1997, at Educational Service Unit #3. The topic of the institute was “Discipline Without Punishment.” Connie Baxter served as the chair of the event.
Dr. Rick Kolowski was elected to the position of President-Elect of Phi Delta Kappa International at the International Legislative Council Meeting held in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 24 to 26, 1997. His two-year term as president began in October of 1999. The chapter hosted a reception for Kolowski that was attended by community leaders and Dr. Eve Proffit, the President-Elect of Phi Delta Kappa International
The chapter hosted the 2001 summer meeting of the Phi Delta Kappa Board of Directors. This was the first time in several decades the meeting had not been held in Bloomington, Indiana. It was moved to Omaha to take advantage of the Decision Making Room at the Peter Kiewit Institute on the UNO South Campus. The purpose was to begin the development of a PDK International strategic plan. Member Dennis Harding led the Board members in the process and decision making software located in the facility was used to efficiently and effectively reach decisions.
The chapter hosted the October 2001 District Conference Meeting held at the Old Market Suites.
The Chapter Executive Committee, in an economy move necessitated by decreasing membership, and to address the issue of increasingly busy schedules of members, reduced the number of regular meetings from eight to five in 2001. The number was expanded to six, three years later.
Chapter member, Dr. Martha Bruckner, was elected president of ASCD in 2002 and served six years as president-elect; president; and past-president.
Dr. William Bushaw, the newly appointed Phi Delta Kappa International Executive Director, addressed the annual joint meeting of the UNO and UNL PDK Chapters in March of 2005.
The annual steak fry was moved to the Soaring Wings Winery in May of 2007 after being held for many years at the Elkhorn River YMCA Camp. The Y closed the camping facilty, thus requiring a move.
The Chapter Executive Committee approved an ambitious 50th anniversary celebration. A planning committee chaired by Past-president David Hemphill developed two-days of activities including a dinner on Friday evening, April 24, 2009; a Saturday morning seminar featuring five session, each of three times. Local educators presented educational practices that work. A representative of the Gallup Corporation also presented research based leadership information, and member Rick Kolowski, who was newly elected to the newly established Learning Council, informed participants about the Council’s progress. President Bob Meyers organized a novelty golf tournament held Saturday afternoon with proceeds going to the chapter scholarship fund. The chapter received a $1,000 PDK Region B grant to assist in planning and implementing the celebration. PDK International President Sandee Crowther, and International Executive Director William Bushaw were present. The keynote speaker at the Friday nigh dinner was chapter charter member, Dr. Joe E. Hanna.
Summer 2015, long time and dedicated Executive Director Dr. Ron Burmood, officially retired from UNO and, thus, his position with UNO PDK. Dr. Burmood's service to the UNO PDK chapter helped ensure consistency and a high level of collaborative excellence through the years. The UNO PDK chapter is grateful for Dr. Burmood's years of service. In retirement, he and his wife Karen Burmood (also a retired OPS administrator) enjoy traveling and long visits to Arizona. When they are in town, we can count on the Burmoods to be in attendance at any PDK event.
The tradition of the annual Steak Fry was put on hold during the 2016-2017 to make way for new traditions. The UNO PDK Board of Officers met to set a clear, directed vision for the local chapter which included fewer, but very high quality, events. Additionally, this group blended the separate Showcase of Teaching to be part of the fall Ed Rising Conference in order to streamline the time out of class for high school students.
The word "tradition" was tested in 2019-2020. Most people remember March 12, 2020 as the date our daily routines changed due to Covid-19. The impact to our programming was the cancelation of our Annual Board of Education Dinner. Our speaker was to be University of Maryland Dr. Nancy Lever, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health, sponsored by the Mid-America Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network.
As we look to the 2020-2021 year, we will still host our traditionally PDK Showcase of Teaching and TIES events - both in digital format. Showcase of Teaching will feature a playlist of Showcase Teacher interviews to be used by Nebraska Ed Rising chapters. TIES will be a virtual symposium. We are hopeful that the Board of Ed Dinner can be an in-person celebration together later this spring 2021. Please visit our Events page for details.
The future is bright for UNO PDK chapter #0116 and we are looking forward to writing more history!