More Than an Award: Words from the 2014 NSTOY

Mandy Jayne Stanley was the 2014 National Student Teacher of the Year. She is in her first year of teaching fourth grade at Charles A. Brown Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a graduate of Samford University and member of the Zeta Theta chapter of KDP.

Being a student teacher or intern means more than just observing and performing lessons here and there; when it is done correctly and effectively, it means giving it your all. When you truly give something your all and strive for excellence in a genuine way, life will take you to unexpected places filled with unexpected treasures.

My student teaching experiences and internships were rich in life lessons, professional development, and constructive reinforcement. I participated in over ten internships in various settings ranging from urban to suburban to rural schools across Jefferson County, Alabama, in every grade level K–5, both general and special education. During these internships, I was able to lead professional developments on the topics of technology integration in the classroom, parent-teacher relationships, and other intriguing topics for teachers at various schools and conferences.

I was also a part of the Samford University Orlean Bullard Beeson Leadership Team and Dean’s Advisory Council, which allowed me to help with making various decisions for my peers, plan school-wide events for local young elementary school students, and develop professional and collaboration skills that are imperative to educators. I made it my goal to engage myself fully into every opportunity that arose, even if it meant working at the schools longer than my cooperating teachers. I did not do it for recognition. Honestly, I despise being the center of attention because I prefer to work behind the scenes. I did it because I wanted to make a difference and begin to master my craft as an educator. Practice makes perfect.

Little did I know, my Kappa Delta Pi Advisor, Dr. Amy Hoaglund, chose me to represent Samford University as a National Student Teacher of the Year candidate. Did I believe I had a shot? No. Was it worth the shot? Yes. We all know that you miss 100% of the shots you do not take! So, I submitted my application and videoed lesson (my first lesson’s video was ruined due to technical difficulties…well, actually, I never hit the record button on my iPad, but I did not let that discourage me!) and waited patiently.

Mandy Jayne StanleyWhen I found out that I had received the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society and the Association of Teacher Educator’s National Student Teacher of the Year award in 2014, I cried. I cried mainly because I was humbled. Everything, technical difficulties, late evenings, and all, was worth it. Due to receiving this humbling accolade, I have been able to be a Kappa Delta Pi spokesperson.

I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, in February to speak at the Association of Teacher Educators conference for pre-service teachers. It was there that I actually received my award. At this wonderful conference, I met seasoned educators who poured their wisdom, experience, and encouragement into my life as an individual and a teacher. This award meant more to me than the prestigious title; this award gave me the encouragement and opportunities to share the importance of education for all students. It was so encouraging to have past teachers and professors cheer me on and share their words of wisdom. They felt the spark that I now feel when I see my students succeed.

Every teacher’s favorite moment is watching their students’ faces light up when they begin to understand a new, challenging concept. It is both exhilarating and encouraging to watch students learn and grow within one’s classroom. I now have 23 children who will hold a very special place in my heart as my very first class. They have all blossomed in their own ways, and their confidence in their intellectual ability has increased. As my mother says, when you become a teacher you must teach the whole child, not just their minds, in order to make a difference. You have to teach their hands to share and give, their hearts to love and show compassion, and their feet to climb the mountains that society is going to place before them.

Becoming the 2014 National Student Teacher of the Year is more than an award or title; it will change your life by growing you, encouraging you, and giving you opportunities. Plan a lesson to video, teach it and video it, and apply! Take the shot. The deadline is June 15. Find out more:

And check out the webinar in the resources catalog titled “Promote Yourself! Steps to Making a Video That Shows You as an Effective Teacher” by Anna Quinzio-Zafran to help you with planning and shooting your video. You can even see parts of my video for my application.

You could be the 2015 National Student Teacher of the Year!


Luke Henderson is the Historian & Social Media Officer for the Mu Delta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi at the University of Missouri.

U of Missouri 1 Black and Gold donuts, overflowing jars of pennies, and guest speakers are just a few of the joys that can be experienced at the University of Missouri’s Education Week. Ed Week not only allows students to become better educators, it also encourages some healthy competition. Each year, teams can compete for the coveted Ed Week Cup. Teams obtain points through attendance and participation in the events throughout the week. This year events included Penny Wars, which raised $483 for the Be The Change Volunteers, donations to the food bank to create BuddyPacks, an education organization mart, and ended with a keynote presentation by Dr. Jimi Cook.

When our new executive board was elected, we decided one of our goals was to promote and spread our chapter and organization so that more students would be aware of Kappa Delta Pi. We knew by winning the Ed Week Cup, we could accomplish this goal. Exec heavily promoted attendance to all events and encouraged us to be the most spirited organization participating. Our team for the I-Pad challenge, which was a demonstration of any new app to use in a creative way in a classroom, got third place. Our booth for the organization mart was extremely decorated and it helped that there was free popcorn for people who visited. The booth was a huge success! We ran out of informational flyers and many people asked when they would be able to join. Throughout the week, our penny jar was always filled and we made generous donations to create several BuddyPacks.

U of Missouri combo

The week ended with Dr. Jimi Cook, Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, who asked the audience to think about a world without educators. Dr. Cook and his wife, Cristi Cook, founded the Be The Change Volunteers that builds schools around the world. Their main goal is to provide students around the world with the opportunity to obtain a better education. They do so by providing the school buildings for the community and then encouraging those students to be the change in their community. It was an inspiring presentation that truly motivated all of us to be the change in our own communities.

U of Missouri 5At the end of the presentation, the envelope was opened to reveal the winner of the Ed cup. We were very excited when it was announced that the Mizzou’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi had won the award!

Pictured: Katie Diven, Kimberlyn Rutledge, Leigh Neir, Lindsay Moshkowsky, and Hannah Bush

Successful Change of Counselors for a KDP Chapter

Dr. Mary C. Clement is the current Counselor of the Berry College Rho Upsilon Chapter, and she served as the international KDP President for 2012–2014. Her wonderful mentor is Dr. Mary E. Outlaw. Dr. Clement has recently taken the reigns of the chapter and has offered this reflection on her transition experience.

With my first initiation of new members complete, I can breathe a sigh and reflect on how lucky I was to have inherited such a strong KDP chapter on my campus. More importantly, I realize how fortunate I was that the long-time former counselor took me under her tutelage before she actually retired. Our transfer of former counselor to new counselor has been such a positive experience that I want to share the example for others.

The KDP chapter at my college was led for more than 20 years by one counselor with a remarkable record. She began the tradition of inviting the State Teacher of the Year to speak on campus, oversaw a dynamic Literacy Alive! program that paired education majors with student athletes to read and donate books to local schools, and kept strong numbers of new initiates every year. During her last 2 years on campus, she took a tiered retirement and worked half-time.

Dr. Mary Clement speaking at KDP Convo 2013 in Dallas, Texas

Dr. Mary Clement speaking at KDP Convo 2013 in Dallas, Texas

During her half-time work, I became the co-counselor and began participating more fully with the chapter. Since I already was quite familiar about Kappa Delta Pi as an organization from my work on the Executive Council, we focused on what I needed to know about being the counselor of a student group on our campus. I needed to learn about how student organization budgets worked, how to get bills paid, and how to work with the registrar’s office to obtain lists of eligible undergraduate and graduate students. In other words, I needed to learn with whom to network when I needed something, such as catering for the induction ceremonies. In the final semester of our co-counselorship, I took the lead, but still turned to her for advice and answers to my questions.

While Kappa Delta Pi recognizes how hard our dedicated chapter counselors work, we may need to add one more job to their volunteer job description. That job would be to mentor the new counselor during a transition time. The nuances of the counselor’s job are different on every campus, and learning the ropes from the outgoing counselor is very helpful to the incoming one. Now, all that’s left is for me to get my final report to Headquarters in a timely manner. Thank goodness my mentor counselor left a file!

#TBT Literacy Alive!

Katie Heath
Katie Heath is the Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator and Literacy Alive! Coordinator for Chapter Services.

If you’re anything like me, you love sorting through old documents and unveiling historical information. Recently, I dug out the records for the first year of Literacy Alive! and was amazed by what I discovered!

It is remarkable to see both how little and how much has changed with the Literacy Alive! service initiative over the last 22+ years. Perhaps the most exciting finding was that several of the chapters that have participated in Literacy Alive! in recent years are the very same chapters that took an active role in the program’s initial stages.

I was impressed by the statistics from Literacy Alive’s! first year as KDP’s signature service initiative. While modest growth is often expected in the first few years of any new program, to have impacted so many people from the very beginning shows the true hearts of KDP members everywhere. Roughly 22 years later, I am overwhelmed with pride as I reflect on the progress Literacy Alive! has made and the impact this program continues to have on communities across the country.

For this week’s #TBT take a look at the statistics from the first year of Literacy Alive! (1993) compared with those of last year’s programming.

4.2.2015 #TBT

We hope you plan to participate in Literacy Alive! this year as KDP’s signature service program continues to grow and expand. If your chapter has already held an event, don’t forget to submit the Literacy Alive! Achievement Form by May 1. If you have not yet participated, it’s certainly not too late. Check out our website for more information about hosting a Literacy Alive! project, or contact me with questions!

Serving Together,


You’re Award Worthy, So Apply!

Chris Beaman is a member of the KDP headquarters staff on the chapter services team as well as an active member of Kappa Delta Pi. He oversees the awards program.

We consider it a privilege to recognize the important work that our volunteers and chapters do to impact their communities; recognizing excellence always has been a part of Kappa Delta Pi’s mission. The Awards for Education Excellence honor those individuals and chapters for their significant contributions to the Society and the education world. We’re talking about members and chapter leaders like you!

For the first time ever, to help you with completing the application(s), we are providing the rubrics that will be used to score your submission. We encourage you to use this resource to make your application as strong as possible.

The annual awards below are for the 2014-2015 academic year, and the deadline for submissions is Friday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be recognized at Convocation 2015 in Orlando, FL from October 22-24, 2015.

prog-awardChapter Program Award

Chapters can submit five programs for consideration—one in each of the following areas: Communication, Community Service, Fundraising, Membership, & Professional Development.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Program Award by clicking here. Go ahead and submit your application as well!

phoenix awardPhoenix Award for Chapter Improvement

Each year, we work with a number of chapters that find they have room for improvement. We are astounded at the efforts put in by chapter leaders to strengthen chapter-member engagement, establish programs meeting member needs, and identifying leadership opportunities for chapter members.

Our intent with this award is to recognize those efforts in strengthening the chapter and thank you for your service!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Phoenix Award by clicking here, and find the submission form by clicking here.

dist officerDistinguished Chapter Officer Award

Having a strong, engaged chapter directly correlates with having strong chapter leadership. Among their various other responsibilities, chapter officers plan events, organize service projects, recruit new members, and maintain the sustainability of the chapter. The Distinguished Chapter Officer Award honors current or immediate-past officers who set positive examples for their chapters by representing the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi.

All of our 600+ chapters are eligible to submit one officer for consideration. Whose name will your chapter submit?!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award by clicking here, and submit the officer’s name before May 15 at 5p.m. by clicking here.

regional counselorRegional Chapter Counselor Award

Here at Headquarters, we always say (and believe) that the sustainability of our chapters depends on the commitment and leadership of the dedicated Chapter Counselors and the mentoring they provide to the students and members.

How has your Chapter Counselor impacted you individually and the chapter collectively? Submit his/her name for consideration of this prestigious award!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Regional Chapter Counselor Award by clicking here, and be sure to submit his/her name for consideration soon by clicking here.

The above awards submitted are reviewed by a panel of judges, and award-winning applications will be announced on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

The biennial awards below are for the 2013-2015 biennium, and the deadline for submissions is Monday, June 1, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be recognized at Convocation 2015 in Orlando, FL from October 22-24, 2015.

aceAchieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award

Established in 1995, the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Awards program recognizes KDP chapters that exhibit outstanding programming, membership, and leadership in support of the Society’s mission and strategic goals. Since its inception, chapters across the country have aspired to offer creative, purposeful programming and a full slate of chapter activities with the hope of earning this coveted award.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the ACE Award by clicking here. We encourage you to print a copy of the submission form and fill it in as you go before applying online. View the submission form now!

rising starRising Star Award for New Chapters

KDP welcomes several new chapters each year. The Rising Star Award for New Chapters recognizes these new groups that demonstrate outstanding management and programming in their first biennium following installation.

Chapters installed between June 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 that have not already won this award are encouraged to apply.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Rising Star Award by clicking here. Apply now using the submission form!

O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award

This award honors Chapter Counselors with at least five years of KDP service and activity for their service, scholarship, professional development, outstanding leadership of the chapter, and mentorship of the chapter’s student leaders.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award by clicking here. Apply now using the submission form!

lucinda roseLucinda Rose Counselor Award

The Lucinda Rose Counselor Award, funded by Drs. Vincent and Linda McGrath, honors an exemplary Counselor and chapter leader within Kappa Delta Pi.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Lucinda Rose Award by clicking here. This is not an open nomination award.

foundersFounders Awards

As a tribute to KDP’s founding members and their vision for the Society and its role in the field of education, these Founders Awards honor current educators at the local, national, or global level living these visions today.

For more information visit the Awards and Honors page.

The above awards submitted are reviewed by a panel of judges, and award-winning applications will be announced on Monday, June 29, 2015.

I am personally looking forward to reading through the award applications as they come in. Part of my job is to compile the applications in order to send them to our reviewing panel, and it is a pleasure to read about the chapter successes and about the individuals who have made a positive impact on the chapter.

For more information about the Awards for Education Excellence and to view the recipients of our 2013-2014 annual awards, please check out the Recognition pages of our website.

Got a Minute? Week of March 9, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week: