By Christina Smith
Staff Writer

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc, Delta Upsilon Chapter, recognized exemplary educators at their 29th Annual Outstanding African-American Educators Awards breakfast Saturday. The Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center at San Diego State University was filled with the families, friends, and supporters of the honorees who enjoyed the celebratory breakfast and cheered as each honoree was presented with their award.

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The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. is an organization for women certified to work in education. The Delta Upsilon Chapter was chartered in San Diego in 1983.
The breakfast featured a musical selection from Ayana Riley of Lincoln High School, a silent auction, and a raffle. Proceeds from the raffle were donated to Phi Delta Kappa’s youth programs: Xinos, for high school girls, and Kudos, for high school boys.

The 2014 Outstanding African American Educator Honorees were: Felecia Shingleton, Starla Lewis, Stephanie Mahan, Rachel Thomas, Deborah Huggins, and Julia Hutcheson.
Lashae Collins, the First Vice President of the San Diego chapter of the sorority, is glad that Phi Delta Kappa chooses to recognize educators that don’t always get noticed.

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“It’s just to acknowledge those who are unsung heroes, but don’t always get that recognition. We wanted to make sure they know that we really appreciate them for their dedications and commitment to educating and enriching our student’s lives, Collins said.

All of the honorees this year were women, but the Sorority is open to recognizing male educators as well, and they have done so in the past. And recipients of the award are not always teachers in the traditional sense, but are sometimes people who support or contribute to the education of children.

“Too often, we just think of just the principals or just the superintendents or other people, however we have those in the community to are retired educators who still come back and continue the process, those who may not have been officially in the field of education as a teacher, but served as program directors who still put a lot of effort and time into things to ensure that we have the proper services and finances so our kids can move forward,” Collins said.

In addition to the educator’s awards, Phi Delta Kappa gives an award to one member of the community who has supported students.

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For more information about the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Sorority, Inc, Delta Upsilon Chapter, or the Outstanding African-American Educators Breakfast, visit www.nspdkdeltaupsilon.org.

See additional photos from the event in our Gallery.