Source: Sherman Publications

In the classroom and out, making a difference

June 29, 2011

By Katelyn Crain

Review Intern

Historically, teachers are well respected in the community for the work they do in the classrooms. Locally -- and across the nation -- there are a group of retired and active teachers who are going beyond the classrooms and working to make their communities better places to live.

Edna Cucksey Stephens is a retired Lake Orion teacher, owner of EDCO Publishing in Auburn hills and president of the Alpha Lambda chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa Women’s Organization of Educators.

Alpha Delta Kappa is an international honorary organization of more than 40,000 women educators around the world that are dedicated to educational excellence, philanthropy and world understanding. This group has more than 1,400 different chapters located in every state in America, as well as five other countries.

In the Alpha Lambda chapter, there are 45 members. Most members are from Lake Orion and Oxford. This year is the celebration of the organizations 50th anniversary.

Their purpose is to do good things around the community -- such as fund-raising for scholarships, volunteer work, and promote educational and charitable projects.

“Many things have changed over the last 50 years, but good teachers with positive intentions to make a difference in the classroom and beyond remains a constant,” said Stephens, member since 1978. “Our group has survived because of our common interests and support of one another.”

According to Stephens, every year Alpha Lambda raises $1,000 for a Lake Orion or Oxford graduating senior planning to study education. They also host bingo parties at Heritage Place apartment in Lake Orion and donate to several local charities.

Last Thursday and Friday, Alpha Lambda had garage sale at Pine Tree Elementary School. A lot people came by to check out the trinkets and treasures for sale. All of funds raised from this sale are for next year’s scholarship winner.

Members of the group -- both active and retired teachers -- say they enjoy doing good not only for students but also for the community at large.

“The best things about being a member of Alpha Delta Kappa are the friends you make at the local, state and international level and the opportunity to work with like-minded people,” Stephens said. “I have served on the State Board since 1982. Alpha Delta Kappa provides opportunities for members to develop leadership skills and grow both personally and professionally. There is no bad thing about it for me other than wishing we could get more, younger teachers involved.”