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Issue Home July 1, 2009 Site Home

Nick Ott Inducted Into U.S. Air Force
Welcome Twins!
Joan Peters Receives Award
Aubree Blewett Is State Finalist
Scientists Make First Observations
CARES Helps Children Prepare For School

Nick Ott Inducted Into U.S. Air Force

Kimberly Pavelski-Ott is proud to announce that her husband Nick Ott was inducted into the U.S. Air Force on June 7 at the Pocono 500. He will leave on June 22 to San Antonio, TX for his basic training and schooling to become military police. Kimberly and their son Spencer, 7 months, will miss him very much.

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Welcome Twins!

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bagnall proudly announce the birth of their granddaughters, Ryland Bailey and Addison Reese Drought, born on June 10, 2009 to Jennifer and Michael Drought. Mother, babies, big brother Colton and father are at home and doing fine!

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Joan Peters Receives Award
Submitted By Cindy G. Reynolds

Shadowbrook in Tunkhannock was the setting for the Tri-Chapter meeting of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which included Phi, Alpha Zeta, and Beta Rho Chapters.

Susan Lee, Beta Rho Chapter President, conducted the business meeting, the highlight of which was the presentation of the first Beta Rho Achievement Award. Suspense built as Pat Arnold and Carol Goodman spoke about the recipient’s dedication not only to the chapter but also to the Society at all levels, including State, Regional and International. When the recipient, Joan Peters, was announced she was greeted by a standing ovation and thunderous applause. She is a charter member of the Beta Rho Chapter which was installed twenty-five years ago at Shadowbrook. Joan was initiated in Alpha Zeta Chapter in 1960. With grace and dignity, she accepted the first originally designed pin denoting her achievements. Next year Joan will celebrate her 50-year active membership in the Society. She was warmly congratulated by each member present following her eloquent and humble comments about the Society’s meaning to her life.

Pictured (l-r): Joan Peters, recipient of the very first Beta Rho Achievement Award, with Carolyn Sutton, Alpha Alpha State President, at the Tri-Chapter meeting of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

Fashioned after the Alpha Alpha State Achievement Award, the chapter award is given to recognize and honor a member who has given distinguished and outstanding service to Beta Rho Chapter and has promoted the purposes and policies of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Joan certainly exemplifies these qualities and “has succeeded in reaching her aim through her effort and hard work.”

Carolyn Sutton, Alpha Alpha State President, who traveled with her husband from the western part of the state to attend the meeting, was the guest speaker. As a retired middle school librarian, Carolyn has always been inspired by books. Her message was based on six books which have touched her life during her biennium as the state president. She distributed bookmarks with the names of the books which have provided her with motivation and guidance. They included The Secret, Weaving a Woman’s Life, A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness, A Whole New Mind, Three Cups of Tea, and Polish Hill Remembered.

Carolyn was presented with a lovely hanging quilt block which featured a red rose, the symbol of the Society. The quilt and wooden hanger were designed and created by Joan Roof, Alpha Zeta’s Chapter President. The musical entertainment was provided by Phi Chapter.

Members were encouraged to attend the Alpha Alpha State Convention, June 12-14, at the Nittany Lion Inn, State College. During the Birthday Luncheon at the convention, Beta Rho will celebrate its 25th anniversary and Alpha Zeta will celebrate its 55th anniversary. Jane Kurtz, president of Ethiopia Reads which is the State Project, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet and will also be initiated as an Honorary Member to the Society. To appreciate the Society beyond the local chapter level, members were also encouraged to attend the NE Regional Conference, July 22-25, in Burlington, Vermont, “From Vision to Action: Advancing the Society.”

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is a professional honor society for women educators with more than 115, 000 members. Established in 16 member countries around the world, the Society defines its mission as promoting professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

The Society offers more leadership training opportunities for women educators than any other professional organization. These include scholarships for both active and retired members, stipends for educational projects, and online courses for professional growth.

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Aubree Blewett Is State Finalist

Miss Aubree Elizabeth Blewett, age 7, has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss Pennsylvania Pageant to be held on July 11 at the beautiful Hilton Harrisburg Towers. The pageant is held for girls ages 7 through 9.

The National American Miss pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young women nationwide. Pageants are held for girls ages four to eighteen, in five age groups. All activities are age-appropriate and family-oriented.

The National American Miss pageants are for “Today’s Girl” and “Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The pageant program is based on inner beauty, as well as poise and presentation, and offers an “All-American spirit of fun for family and friends.” Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition, and setting and achieving personal goals. The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging her to set goals for the future.

Miss Blewett’s activities include formal wear, personal introduction, interviewing, community involvement and photogenic modeling. She also enjoys being a mother-hen, playing dress-up, singing, dancing, teaching, rollerblading, biking and above all, being in the spotlight.

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Scientists Make First Observations
Submitted By Kelly Pratt

A team of atmospheric chemists recently made the first-ever direct detection of biological particles within ice clouds. The team, led by Kerri Pratt, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Professor Kimberly Prather at the University of California, San Diego, sampled ice crystals while flying through clouds over Wyoming. Using an airborne mass spectrometer, developed by Pratt and colleagues, mineral dust and biological particles, such as bacteria, fungal spores, and plant material, were detected in cloud ice crystals. The mineral dust detected in the clouds originated in Asia or Africa, traveling thousands of miles before helping form the ice clouds over Wyoming. Scientists are trying to understand how aerosol particles, such as those emitted from vehicles, wildfires, and sea spray, form clouds and affect our climate and regional precipitation.

Kerri Pratt

“By sampling clouds in real time from an aircraft, these investigators were able to get information about ice particles in clouds at an unprecedented level of detail,” said Anne-Marie Schmoltner of National Science Foundation’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences.

Results of the Ice in Clouds Experiment - Layer Clouds (ICE-L), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) appeared in the June issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. Coauthors of this work are from Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, Naval Research Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Oregon State University.

Kerri Pratt, soon to have her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, is a 2000 graduate of Mountain View Jr./Sr. High School and a 2004 bachelor of science graduate of Penn State University. Kerri is the daughter of Kelly Pratt, Montrose, and Markie Pratt, Brooklyn. As a graduate student, Kerri was awarded prestigious national fellowships from the National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency. Recently, she was one of 10 students to be awarded the esteemed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, for her research starting this fall at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.

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CARES Helps Children Prepare For School
Submitted By Stephnie Thornton

New Milford - Susquehanna County CARES continues in its mission to enhance the quality of early care and education for county residents. As the state mandated non profit group wraps up the fiscal year, it is time to reflect on the major accomplishments during the last 12 months. The Annual Report Card to the Community found in this publication shows it has been a busy year for Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services.)

Thanks to the dedication of early learning practitioners, school administrators and community leaders, nearly 600 “School Readiness Activity Packs” were distributed this spring through the six school districts in Susquehanna County. The backpacks were given to families with children heading to school for the first time in the fall of 2009.

This year, families with children starting Kindergarten received an activity pack that included a book to read together titled “Kindergarten Rocks!,” a guide for parents to help prepare youngsters for those first days, a “Kindergarten, Here I Come!” calendar, and a special music CD “Tuning Up for School.”

Families with children starting in a Pre-Kindergarten program also received a backpack full of school readiness materials. This activity pack included a book titled “Countdown to the First Day of School,” a list of ideas to prepare children for the classroom and the music CD “Tuning Up for School.”

CARES also coordinated a special summer program for families with children starting school in the fall. Called T.A.P.S., or Transition Activities for Parents and Students, the three week ‘camp’ gave four and five year olds a taste of classroom life. This is the second year CARES has organized the program. While the children worked with classroom teachers, their parents met with special facilitators to focus on everything from discipline issues to using household items for educational games.

In April, CARES focused on celebrating our young children by working with area businesses on a countywide “Young Artists Display.” Families also joined in by participating in the “CARES Young Children’s Fair” at Lathrop Street Elementary School in Montrose.

In May, early learning practitioners were honored with a special event recognizing they are an “Essential Piece” in a child’s life, and this month also featured “Early Childhood Day with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.”

These are just some of the highlights from the last fiscal year. CARES is already looking ahead, planning other events that promote “Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children” because every child is Pennsylvania’s future.

Studies show children who receive a quality educational start before the age of 5 increase their chance of success later in life. Susquehanna County CARES will continue in its efforts to help our children receive that important start. For more information about CARES mission or any of our projects please call (570) 465-5040 or email

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