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        Forward-Facing Reflections

                                   By Barbara Clausen, 2022 International Achievement Award Winner

        Each year, The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International recognizes one
        member for distinguished service to the Society. From recommendations
        submitted by members, chapters, or state organizations, the international
        executive board selects a member for this honor, symbolized by a gold medallion

        presented to the recipient. We invited 2022 winner Barbara Clausen to share
        thoughts on DKG.

        As I reflect on my 40-plus years with DKG women educators, I am deeply appreciative
        and humbled by the International Achievement Award. When I look in my DKG
        rearview mirror, I value the many friends in far places, and I treasure the friendships,
        experiences, and support I have received. Through these times, the personal growth
        opportunities I have had at all levels of the organization have enriched my life. I
        have learned to step up and speak extemporaneously from a
        microphone, how to teach a class of tired teachers and
        keep  them  engaged,  ways  to  confidently  engage
        in difficult conversations, and much more. Then
        there is the outpouring of support I received from
        my DKG colleagues when my son unexpectedly
        died at the age of 40. Words cannot express how
        much DKG has given to me!
            After  serving  as  the  Northwest  Regional
        Director  this  past  term  and  listening  to  state
        organization  leaders  share  their  concerns,  two
        issues emerged: the need for younger, diverse
        members and the lack of members who are willing
        to serve as future leaders. These issues are partially
        due to the changing times, but they are also a result of
        our very slow rate of change in DKG. As much as I love
        our heritage, I have seen very slow DKG progress
        to transform our organization for the
        future that is ahead in our “windshield.”
        I am hopeful we will not be like an
        auto driver that tries to navigate
        the  road  ahead  by  looking  in
        the  rearview  mirror.  Instead,
        we  will  look  ahead  and
        streamline  changes,  make
        our governing documents (on
        which I have worked at every
        level)  less  burdensome,  and

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