Hanna Arnold, a fourth grade teacher at Horn Lake Intermediate School, and Natalie Gill, a student who is studying early childhood education at Northwest Community College in Senatobia, are the first recipients of the Janelle Dame Memorial Scholarships for college students studying to become future educators.
Dame was a family dynamics teacher at Horn Lake High School for several years. She died unexpectedly in December, 2021, while on a trip to Nashville, TN. Her former teacher at Horn Lake Elementary School, neighbor, and family friend Lemoyne Lott spearheaded a fund-raising drive among Dame's family and friends to establish a scholarship in her honor. As a former Chi Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa president, Lott knew that organization already sponsored an annual $300 scholarship for future educators, so they joined forces to establish the scholarship fund in her friend's honor. This year two $600 scholarships were presented at the Chi Chapter end-of-the-year banquet Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Mesquite Chop House in Southaven. The Dame family--parents Jim and Debbie Dame and Janelle's eldest son Kayan Jenkins-- attended to meet the scholarship winners.
Alpha Delta Kappa is a teachers' honorary organization that does altruistic work at local, state, and international levels. DeSoto County's Chi Chapter supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; LeBonheur Children's Hospital; Ronald McDonald House in Memphis and Jackson, MS; and the Alzheimer's Association. Locally they support the Palmer Home for Children and the Southaven Animal Shelter. They also collect newspapers for the animal shelter cages and magazines for local nursing homes.
Mary Ann Arnold, a retired Horn Lake High School math teacher, was also honored as DeSoto County's first Alpha Delta Kappa Golden Sister with over 50 years of membership and service to the organization. “I have served in every office in the parent chapter Sigma, and now I am serving in Chi Chapter,” she explained. She transferred to Chi Chapter when the two chapters merged. She has served for the past two years as chaplain. She is also the grandmother of Hanna Arnold, a summa cum laude graduate of Delta State University.
Arnold was able to see her granddaughter receive her award of $600 to use to pursue her Master's Degree on-line and in summer school through Delta State University while still teaching at Horn Lake.
Natalie Gill also plans to transfer to Delta State University to pursue her degree in early childhood education. She was accompanied by her mother Janie Sterrett who said, “I am so proud of our daughter. As a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at NWCC, she will also get scholarships at Delta State so that she can be the first member of our family to graduate from college. We are so very proud of her.”
Guests and scholarship winners were treated to a banquet meal at Mesquite Chop House in Southaven by Chi Chapter member Donna Smith. She also used her own personal coupons to defray the cost of everyone else's meal.
Following the meal, the new Chi Chapter officers were installed in a short business session. New officers for 2022-2024 are Patsy McCrory, Pres.; Stephanie Benton, Vice Pres.; Linda Carter, Sec.; Donna Smith, Treas.; Peggy Corey, Historian; Pam Perrett, Chaplain; and Madilyn Donovan, Membership Chairman.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Janelle Dame Memorial Scholarship may send contributions to Donna Smith, Chi Chapter Treasurer, Alpha Delta Kappa, 1058 W. E. Ross Pkwy. W., Southaven, MS 38671. Mark it for Janelle Dame Scholarship.
Dame's parents thanked everyone for doing this in their daughter's memory. They both said they were glad to be able to meet the scholarship winners to congratulate them and to know that their daughter's memory will continue in such a positive way.