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Delta Kappa Gamma learns about scam prevention

Gamma Chi Chapter learned about Scam and Fraud Prevention at their February meeting.  Pictured left to right are:  Chapter President Sandi Richards; with presenters, Trinity County Precinct 4 Constable Reggie Olive and Houston County Attorney Daphne Sessions; and Program Chair Julia McIntyre. Members were urged to be on guard against these crimes to avoid becoming a victim.Gamma Chi Chapter learned about Scam and Fraud Prevention at their February meeting. Pictured left to right are: Chapter President Sandi Richards; with presenters, Trinity County Precinct 4 Constable Reggie Olive and Houston County Attorney Daphne Sessions; and Program Chair Julia McIntyre. Members were urged to be on guard against these crimes to avoid becoming a victim.

The Gamma Chi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International met at the Community Room of the Houston County Electric Cooperative for their February meeting. The program was on fraud and scam prevention. Though people hear information on this topic often, large numbers of people are affected each year with the elderly being frequent targets.

Houston County Attorney Daphne Sessions and Trinity County Precinct 4 Constable Reggie Olive did an outstanding job of bringing home the point that it is not rude to be shrewd. They reminded those present of several valid points. Never give out personal information over the phone if you did not initiate the call or do not have confidence in the person you are talking with. Individuals should keep in mind that if something is free, it should not cost you anything to receive it. Also, legitimate business will not rush you into making an immediate decision nor ask you not to discuss the call with anyone else. They should also be willing to mail material to you so you can read and be sure you understand all the details of the offer. Ms. Sessions and Mr. Olive presented some video clips and several members shared personal experiences. Members present were concerned about how difficult it is to track down this type of offender. Ms. Sessions shared that the Texas Attorney General's Office has a division devoted to just that. Gamma Chi thanks Sessions and Olive for taking time to remind our members how important it is to be vigilant in protecting ourselves from scams and fraud.

During the meeting, Gamma Chi members also enjoyed a meal together and conducted a short business meeting. President Sandi Richards, Groveton, presided. Parliamentarian Ruth Wheeler, Groveton, stood in for the Secretary. Treasurer Jeanette Betz of Grapeland gave the financial report. Julia McIntyre, Lovelady, was in charge of the program. The gathering was an interesting and informative one as well as a time of fellowship for the group of women educators from Houston and Trinity Counties.

Tribe of Pride members make All-Region band

Pictured left-to-right: Megan Turrentine, Morgan Robertson, Deanna Dial, Megan Whitworth and Kaylee McClintock. Not pictured Sierra Harrell.Pictured left-to-right: Megan Turrentine, Morgan Robertson, Deanna Dial, Megan Whitworth and Kaylee McClintock. Not pictured Sierra Harrell.

​​Friday and Saturday December 12 and 13, members of the Groveton band competed against hundreds of other band students from area 1A-4A schools for seats in the ATSSB All-Region Band.

Congratulations to the following band students who were named to the Region 21 All-Region Band:
Megan Turrentine, 1st Chair JH Symphonic Band Clarinet
Deanna Dial, 2nd Chair HS Concert Band Flute
Megan Whitworth, 6th Chair HS Concert Band Flute
Morgan Robertson, Alternate Trumpet
Sierra Harrell, 1st Chair HS Concert Band Alto-Clarinet
Megan Turrentine 17th Chair Band HS Symphonic Clarinet. Megan placed high enough to advance to Area-Band. However, 8th grade students are not eligible to advance to Area.
Kaylee McClintock 2nd Chair HS Symphonic Contra-Bass. Kaylee will advance to the Area round tryouts on January 10!

Students who made the All-Region band will perform a concert on January 17 at Chapel Hill High School in Tyler. Congratulations to all students who participated.

Groveton Ex-Student News - 11-20-2014

By Martha Harrison Mericle
GHS Class of '72

This is the final "Thank You" article for Homecoming 2014. I know it's been weeks of thank you but it was also weeks of planning. I know I have missed someone important so I will apologize now.

Thank you to First Baptist Church for allowing the committee to meet in your fellowship hall under the supervision of member Darlene Pyle. Your hospitality has not gone unnoticed and we appreciate the use of your facility. Thank you to Josserand Baptist Church for the use of your copy machine. We were able to produce our newsletter and Hall of Fame Program. Paying the actual use of the machine was so much more reasonable than paying retail prices. We watched every penny preparing for homecoming and you are appreciated. A special Thank you to the 8th Grade Journalism Class under the leadership of Mrs. Sally Seale. Excellent articles and pictures that will be keepsakes for many! Thank you to the Groveton News! You are as handy as a pocket on a shirt! We appreciate the advertising opportunity and we contribute a grand portion of our success to your voice. We thank you for publishing the Smoke Signal and the follow-up coverage of articles and pictures. Your coverage of the parade and the homecoming festivities was exceptional. Thank you to McClain's Hardware for the donation of electricity to fuel the band during the street dance and to the other downtown businesses that opened their doors to attendees. Thank you to all of these faith based folks and our local businesses for their portion of our success.

To the current college students of GHS: December grades are fast approaching. We need a copy of your grades, your spring coversheet and your thank you letter before the process of cutting checks. Remember this is a process and not magic. The sooner we receive your request, the sooner your check will be mailed. On a good day, this takes a minimum of three weeks so do not delay or procrastinate! You may mail your information to Groveton Ex-Students, Attn: Scholarship Claim, PO Box 70, Groveton TX 75845-0070. 
 There are students that will not make good grades; yes it's true. The scholarship rules state you must maintain a GPA of 2.5 while taking 12 credited hours. If you fail to meet this, two truths are guaranteed. If your GPA is less than 2.5 for the current semester but above prior to today or if this is your first semester, then you will be placed on PROBATION. This means you will receive your spring monies if you submit the three requirements. If this is your second semester below 2.5, you will NOT receive any assistance from us. You may redeem yourself by improving your GPA to 2.5 or above so be sure to apply during the month of March 2015 for next year's scholarships. If you have any scholarship questions, please contact us and we will help. Your success is very important to all of us. Until next time...

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GROVETON EX-STUDENT NEWS - 10-30-2014

By: Martha Harrison Mericle
GHS Class of 1972

As I told you in last week's paper, I resigned as President of the Groveton Ex-Students Association. Our new President is Jo Ann Anderson Beken, Class of 1971, Life Member L-404. She lives in Montgomery Texas. I will write a series of thank you articles acknowledging everyone I can think of that helped make our Homecoming 2014 a success. After this thank you series, the association will submit letters from the students to be printed weekly and every month our new President will submit an article. We are going to have a smooth transition. Charlotte Tullos Y'Barbo submitted her resignation as secretary. I accepted the position. It is one I have held in the past and I understand the process we use in funding and awarding scholarships. Jo Ann and I will work together and hopefully within the next two years we will find someone willing to work hard in the years to come. Melissa Kemper was elected as Entertainment Chairman. Keep all of us in your prayers, as it is our desire to grow our organization and help the students of GHS achieve a higher education.

Here it comes and there it goes so if you blinked you missed it. Yep, "Homecoming 2014" is history. We have so many folks to thank. The Executive Board, consisting Betty Whittlesey, Kathleen Cockrell, Darlene Pyle, Judy Freeman, Charlotte Y'Barbo, Tommy Walton and me, Martha Mericle sincerely appreciate every Ex-Student that stepped up to the plate and helped. It won't be easy naming everyone and it might take a couple of articles to cover all the thanks. I most definitely will start by pointing out that hard work by the board members renders our organization solid, respected and effective. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you try to organize a homecoming activity, you can follow this outline to make your event successful. Vice President Betty Whittlesey is our Membership Chairman. She works diligently to maintain the membership roll. This roll provides the mailing list for class meetings and other activities. This roll is vital in providing classes with current class rosters. Returned mail is a dead expense so please update your mailing address each time it changes. It is your responsibility and no one else. The letters we mail are a form of advertising for our events. Advertising is vital. Darlene Pyle is the Publicity Chairman. She began soliciting for advertisers in the Smoke Signal months ago. The advertisers paid for the printing of the paper and any extra money helps defray cost associated with each homecoming. In the springtime, we mentioned in the Groveton News we would accept letters of recommendation into the Hall of Fame until the end of July. We as a group met in August, chose a theme for homecoming, chose the Chairman of the nominating committee, chose the candidates from the letters submitted for induction into the Hall of Fame, set target dates for mailing fliers, deadlines for Smoke Signal submissions, recruited a volunteer to get bids for catering, organize the parade, get the plaques, get tickets printed, gifts for the inductees, homecoming queen and prize money for the parade, refreshments for the Meet and Greet, and the biggest job: entertainment. Mid October, we recruited Melissa Kemper to help with the homecoming entertainment, as Tommy has been unable to fulfill his obligation due to unforeseen circumstances. Yes, the faithful few have been busy since school started. Each item listed had a multitude of volunteer Ex-Students helping toward the success of homecoming. Just the same, none of this would matter if we didn't have an exceptional working relationship with the school through our liaison VP Kathleen Cockrell and Superintendent Don Hamilton. So where to begin? Do I start with the ones that put out fires when the flames were about to consume us or do I thank those solid steady workers that are so prepared their work looks effortless? It is a hard question so I will say "Thank You" to all of the workers. You did good.

We received a shot in the arm when Susie Hammond posted on Facebook that we needed help coming up with prize money for the parade. Being from a small town, we realize our businesses are called upon time after time to give. We did not want to burden them asking for more. She was able to gather donations from individual GHS Ex-Students and was very effective. Connie Due and Jeanie Magee are two local business owners that accepted the challenge to donate. We received enough money to provide a token amount of prize money. "Hat's Off to You" to the parade winners: Senior 2015 Class as they won first place. Seniors 2017 won second place and Seniors 2018 won third. A special thanks is extended to those that donated and these will be listed in the next few articles. Miranda Howell secured judges and came up with a system to help the judges correctly recognize each float and the organization it represented. The judges, Debbie McCall with Kalin's Center, Kali Little and Brenda Snyder with CPS and Rana Wingo with SAFFE house with the assistance of 411th District Judge Kaycee L. Jones were impressed by the efforts of our community and school. We sincerely appreciate their attention to detail. Their love of children and community was proven as they gave their time and talent to help when others chose to charge. You just can't beat volunteers.

The second unexpected shot in the arm came when Christy LeBlanc, Rachel Merks, Denise Wars and Dana Cathey donated to defer the cost of the Street Dance. Considering the expense of armbands, security, sanitation, plus the band, a minimum of 100 individuals would have had to attend to break even. With the help of these ladies, our bacon was pulled from the fire once again and we did not go in the hole! The dance was a success as families brought their little ones to the square and those kids had a ball. Literally, while their folks danced, the kids played volleyball and all ages were included. Older kids would toss to little ones and every one of them were laughing and enjoying themselves. It was good to hear and better to see. Last minutes help came from the organizers of the "Indian Spirit Scholarship". This energetic group of Ex-Students organized when fellow classmate Rodney Thomas passed away. They are working to earn money to invest in the lives of Groveton students. This being said, they manned the concessions during the dance. The hot chocolate was a big hit with everyone as the night air was cool! In the weeks to come, more information concerning their scholarship efforts will be revealed. They have plans to hold a golf tournament in the spring so watch for more information. This group is putting forth a might effort to do the right thing for the right reasons.

I've mainly thanked the Executive Board and those that planned or monetarily helped our Homecoming 2014 become a success. Next week I will continue to thank folks and add more of the hands-on workers. To be continued... Groveton Ex-Students Association, PO Box 70 Groveton TX 75845.

GROVETON EX-STUDENT NEWS - 10-23-2014

By: Martha Harrison Mericle
GHS Class of 1972

Homecoming is here! We are so excited and looking forward to visiting with returning alumni! The Commons Area will be our headquarters and we are thankful to Deborah Queen and Deborah Wilson for helping us provide refreshments for the festivities. These ladies are invaluable. We will also have order blanks for the New Groveton Indian Blanket. The cost will be $50 and if needed, add $5 for shipping. The blanket will be on display so please get yours ordered. If you don't make homecoming, you can send your check or money order to Groveton High School, Attn: Cory Walters, PO Box 700 Groveton TX 75845. All organizations are represented on the blanket and it is a true keepsake! The Groveton Baseball Team is selling this blanket and our players are hard working ball smart boys. They made the play-offs last year and represented our school with skill and sportsmanship. Please order early.

Remember the Loose Gravel Band, featuring David Rosser, Class of 1976, will entertain on the Square following the football game Friday night. Tickets are Family $25, Couples $15, Single $10. Remember the Baptist Church will host 5th Quarter for grades 6-12. The street dance will last from the end of the game until 1:00 a.m. Volunteers may be needed so contact Melissa Mericle Kemper if you have a willing and helpful spirit. We are still searching for a sponsor for the expense of the band so let Melissa know if you are interested!

Homecoming is our bi-annual membership drive. Dues are $10 bi-annually or $50 for Life Time Membership. We also do our best to update our membership roll during this time. Betty Kennedy Whittlesey, Class of 1961, Life Member L-077, is our Vice-President and manages the membership roll. Our day-to-day operating expenses are covered by your payment of membership dues. Your membership is important! Please come prepared.

Please check out this weeks insert. "The Smoke Signal" is the time-honored publication of the Ex-Students. Our Publicity Chairman, Darlene Pyle, Class of 1950, Life Member L-527 has surpassed our goal in securing advertising. The 8th Grade Journalism Class under the guidance of teacher Sally Seale has produced a masterpiece and we say, "Hats Off To You"! This paper is a true keepsake for each and every Groveton Ex-Student! We are proud of them and their hard work!

Tickets for the Hall of Fame will be available during registration and at the door on Saturday. Tickets are $15 and we have planned for two hundred attendees. Cheryl Cartwright, Class of 1976, Life Member L-378 will man the ticket booth so let her know if you have called ahead for yours. Please take time from your busy schedule and attend! The well deserving recipients are: P.D. and Florine Hamilton, Bill and Ben Rasbeary, James V. Anderson and Eva S. McLeod. Invite a friend and better than that, bring a student to the luncheon. Unless we teach our youth the ins and outs of maintaining and growing our organization, we are in trouble. Bring your kids and grandkids and let them see your beginnings. Let them see the foundation you built upon! They will be impressed.

The parade will line up no earlier than 8:30 a.m. at the north end of the football field. Tiger Worsham, Class of 1979 will be there to assist. If you will please call 936-642-1128 and let Kathleen Cockrell, Vice President and school liaison then the line-up will be more organized. Parade time will be at 10:00 a.m. The route will be traditional. From the football field to 94 by Sixth Street, 94 to the square, left and across 287 to Front St. right on Front and through the downtown area where floats will be judged. Left onto US 287 to N Crow and back to the football field. There are several prime viewing spots but one that is seldom used is SH 94. The kids are anxious to throw their candy and they have only a few viewers. Parking at the school near the bus ramp or the Church of Christ parking area is ideal. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the sites.

Our college pick of the week is Danielle Traub. Danielle writes: " Time truly does fly by! This past spring was an amazing experience all in itself. I had so many different doors opened and have made new connections with professors that have really helped me in my future goals. Starting this fall, I will be a senior at Sam Houston State University and I couldn't be happier.

My personal goal is to become a zoological veterinarian and to specialize in feline medicine. This spring I took several of the steps to get into veterinary school, such as taking the GRE and obtaining experience in a clinical setting. I was very fortunate to come across the veterinarians at Long Veterinary Clinic, who have invested so much of their time in teaching me how a clinic runs and showing me different procedures. I am currently in the process of sending off my applications to three veterinary schools, and will know their decisions by the end of the fall term.

All in all, my junior year of college has gone really well and I'm so close to the finish line I can almost taste it! This summer will be spent getting started on a new personal research project using CT technology and using my time to gain even more clinical experience. I am really looking forward to my last year at SHSU and can't wait to start the next chapter in my life! I want to extend my gratitude toward the Ex-Students Association and all those who have contributed to making my dreams a reality. Without your support, none of this would be possible. Sincerely, Danielle Traub"

An end to an era is about to happen. I have been President of the Groveton Ex-Students Association for several years. It is my belief an organization will stagnate if it doesn't have fresh and new ideas introduced by folks with new and renovating ideas. This being said, the nominating committee will be announcing their recommendations for three positions during our bi-annual business meeting at 3:00 p.m. on October 24, 2014. Charlotte Tullos Y'Barbo, Secretary and Tommy Walton, Entertainment Chairman currently fills the two other positions that will become vacant. These are volunteer positions and the people nominated have accepted the challenge of growing our association into bigger and better. Our nominating committee chairman is Don Hamilton. He has worked very hard searching for volunteers willing to step up to the plate and they promise to do their best to not only maintain but also grow our beloved organization. I'm not moving away, I'm just stepping back. I will write an article next week and do my best to thank all the workers involved with Homecoming 2014, announce the Homecoming Float winners and touch on introducing the new officers. It has been an experience. I've disappointed some; impressed some plus I've made some new friends and lost some old ones. As any good leader knows, you can't please everyone. Our goal is and will continue to be to help and encourage Groveton Indians to attain a higher education. It is doable so be an encourager and as our school prepares our students for graduation, help us prepare to assist them financially for a higher education.

One more to go...

Groveton Ex-Student News

By: Martha Harrison Mericle
GHS Class of 1972

Our Groveton Indians impressed everyone this past week. Our Jr. High team traveled to Hull Daisetta to face the young Bobcats. They won and set the scene for Friday nights match. You should have been there, our Indians have been plagued with injuries but when the chips are down is when the true character of a player is tested. After suffering the loss of Seniors Brandon Kemper, Colton Alsbrooks and Kelvin James, our young Indians were called upon to fill the gap and fill it they did. This week we will play a powerhouse so pray our boys stay healthy because the next week is Homecoming! There will be lots of excitement so please make plans to attend the homecoming festivities.

Don Hamilton, Class of 1981, Life Member L-474, has been asked by the executive committee of the Ex-Students Association to act as Chairman of the nominating committee. We will be filling two positions. Secretary Charlotte Tullos Y'Barbo, Class of 1981, has resigned. Charlotte is an employee of Gardner Oil and has recently acquired additional responsibility. Charlotte has been hardworking in the background coordinating the scholarship payments and distribution. Charlotte has truly done an exceptional job with finesse and know how needed to keep the process streamlined and smooth. We will miss her greatly. This position is most important as all request and payments cross the secretary desk. The position of Entertainment Chairman is also open. Tommy Walton, Class of 1976, Life Member L-242, is stepping down as his mother's health has prohibited him from fulfilling his duties. If you are interested in either of these positions, please contact Don, as it is always best to have officers interested in the growth and well being of an organization.

During our upcoming Bi-Annual Business meeting, we will add a new section to our By-Laws. The IRS is requiring we add a disbandment clause. They pointed out it is a good idea for all organizations and if you are a member of a group such as ours, add a clause clearly stating what is to be done with assets and investments should your group disband. God forbid this should happen but it is good to have it on paper just in case.

The goal of the Ex-Students Association is to assist Groveton students achieve a higher education whether it be technical school, junior college, or college. We provide scholarship money from interest earned on managed investments; donations or memorials and we have fund-raisers plus membership dues to provide operating expenses. We are all volunteers.

Our college pick of the week is Marissa Conrow. Marissa writes: "I cannot express in words how grateful I am to still be receiving aid in my graduate career in college. This proves that the Groveton Ex-Students Association always remembers the students of Groveton I.SD. and supports them past the years of originally being a young, Groveton Indian.

Currently, I am enrolled in my second semester as a student in the Master's of Arts counseling program with an emphasis in mental health at Sam Houston State University. After completing my Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology at Texas A&M University, I desired to complete the requirements of becoming a licensed professional counselor in the mental health field. So far, my experience in the program has been nothing less than excellent and I have acknowledged that I am surrounded by credible, professional leaders who will guide me to success. After completing my Master's degree, I plan to possibly work in a V.A. hospital, a clinic, or a college counseling center. Maybe after settling into my career, I might return to school for a doctorate.

I have finished a year of employment at Onalaska Elementary School as a paraprofessional. My experience as the fitness instructor was very challenging, but enlightening. I learned to be patient and to work diligently, because I knew that I was making a difference daily in the children's lives. I greatly look forward to next year.

Thank you again for assisting me in my education. Respectfully, Marissa Conrow."

In closing, please remember to let us know so we can put in the paper if your class is planning an organized get together during Homecoming. The Old Gym/Commons Area at the High School will be the hub of activities on Friday the 24th and the site of the Hall of Fame. Tickets are $15 and we are very pleased with the incoming inductees! The Forties and Fifties are going to gather at the fellowship hall at First Baptist on Saturday the 25th after the Hall of Fame Banquet.