In looking at the illustrious history of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter, there are several women whom have served as president of the Chapter and carried out the mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. It has been because of their commitment, determination, loyalty, and devotion to the Sorority that the chapter has been able to reach new heights and accomplish many goals. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus”, Dr. Martin L. King Jr., and “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more you are a leader”, John Quincy Adams. These statements made by profound leaders are descriptive of the 16 women who assumed the awesome responsibility of president of Theta Omicron Omega. In addition to their leadership roles in the sorority, they have also been recognized as leaders in their professions and communities.
Ms. Theodore Downs (Ivy Beyond the Wall) Term – 1967-1969
Ms. Downs, the chapter’s esteemed first president, was most active in planning and implementing the process to assure the chartering of the chapter. A resident of Rome, GA, she received her post-secondary education at Morris Brown College and Atlanta University, majoring in Education. Ms. Downs taught for 41 years in the public school systems of Rome and Floyd County.
Ms. Downs became a member of the sorority at Morris Brown College, Gamma Gamma Chapter and she remained active in the sisterhood throughout the years and became a Golden Sorority Member.
Ms. Downs was very active in her community and volunteered with Floyd Medical Center as a Gray Lady, the Rome Girls Club, the Red Cross, and tutoring programs in the community. She was a recipient of the Heart of the Community Award.
Ms. Yvonne Williams (Ivy Beyond the Wall) Term – 1970-1971
Ms. Yvonne Williams, a resident of Rome, GA, was an educator in the Floyd County public school system. Her area of expertise was Reading. She became a Reading Specialist and conducted reading workshops throughout the system.
Ms. Williams was initiated into the sorority at Savannah State College, Gamma Upsilon Chapter. As president of Theta Omicron Omega, she was described as a visionary leader who encouraged the chapter to become more involved in undertaking service projects. The first Fashionetta™ Program which was presented during her tenure provided the opportunity for girls to demonstrate their talents to the community.
Mrs. Mary Ann Callins (Terms – 1972-1973 and 1993-1996)
Mrs. Mary Ann Callins, a native of Cedartown, A, is an educator, par excellence, who holds a Bachelor Science Degree in Vocational Home Economics, Morris Brown College; a Master of Education Degree in Counseling, and a Specialist in Education Degree in Counseling, University of West Georgia. Her professional work experiences include teacher of Home Economics, General Science and Art in the public school systems in Georgia; Coordinator of Student Personnel Services, and Director of Admissions/Financial Aid for Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and adjunct professor at Berry College, Mt. Berry, GA.
A life and golden sorority member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mrs. Callins was inducted into Gamma Gamma Chapter at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, GA in 1957. She was one of the 16 women chartered Theta Omicron Omega Chapter in 1967 and served as president for two terms. Examples of service programs that were implemented during her tenures as president were the establishment of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), which was designed to assist children and youth in the Rome, Floyd County area, and the chapter’s participation in the AKA International Math and Science Awareness Week.
Mrs. Callins has received numerous honors and awards such as Vocational Guidance, “Educator of the Year 1981-1982; AKA Service Award; Georgia Retired Educators Leadership Award; “Virtuous Women” trophy, 2011 MLK Annual Celebration; Outstanding Leadership Certificate as Chapter President, and in 2008 she was honored at the Boule for 50 years of service.
Mrs. Callins’ philosophy of sisterhood is ‘It gives women and young ladies the opportunity to get to know and work with others of like minds with the dedication to help each other and to help persons in their communities as well as other parts of the world to improve their stations in life.”
Mrs. Laney Stevenson (Term – 1974-1975)
Mrs. Laney Stevenson, a native of Lindale, GA, is an outstanding educator who received her postsecondary education at Knoxville College, with a B.S. in Education and a M.A. in English from the University of West Georgia. She impacted the lives of students for 21 years as a teacher on English at Main and West Rome High Schools in Rome, GA. Mrs. Stevenson also served as a GED Instructor for 16 years at Coosa Valley Technical College, now known as Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
Mrs. Stevenson, a life and Golden Sorority member, 2006, was inducted into Gamma Eta Chapter, 1955, Knoxville College, Knoxville, TN. She was one of the 16 women who were chartering members of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter in 1967 and served as president from 1974-75. Examples of several programs that were implemented under her leadership were the chartering of Kappa Tau Chapter, West Georgia College, now the University of West Georgia, and the initiation of
a Summer Reading Program for elementary children in collaboration with the local branch NAACP, and local churches in Rome, GA. She has received awards from many community and service organizations. Some of the awards are Outstanding Women of Rome: Pioneer Roman Award, Quality Contributions to Schools Award; Child Advocate of the Year Award; Martin Luther King Commission recognition; St. Paul AME Outstanding Citizen Award and NAACP recognition for service. Her philosophy of sisterhood is “observing, practicing, and extending to my sisters and to others as well the “Fruit of the Spirit” and applying the biblical teachings as found in Matthew 25: 3
Ms. Freda Dawson (Ivy Beyond the Wall) Term – 1976-1977
Ms. Freda Dawson was one of Theta Omicron Omega’s chartering members. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, she received postsecondary degrees from Jackson State College, Jackson, MS and Clark College, Atlanta, GA. Ms. Dawson was an educator par excellence who touched and influenced the lives of many African American students and teachers across Georgia, whereas she taught in DeKalb and Polk counties. However, it was the role that she fulfilled as the Jeans Curriculum Director that impacted so many lives. The Jeans Program was implemented to provide “racial uplift” in African American communities. As Program Director, Ms. Dawson worked with classroom teachers and principals to help raise the quality of education and ultimately the quality of life for African American children in Colquitt County, 1942-45, Floyd County and Rome City Schools, 1948-1968.
Mrs. Sylvia Haynes Morgan (Ivy Beyond the Wall) Term – 1978-1979
Mrs. Morgan, a resident of Rome, GA, received her postsecondary education at Knoxville College, BS, English Education, Georgia State University, MS, Special Education, and Jacksonville State University, Ed. S, Special Education. She dedicated her professional life to helping people with special needs. Mrs. Morgan has assumed such positions as Coordinator of NWGHA-ROSS Family/Neighborhood Networks/Adult Education Programs, teacher/administrator for the Georgia School for the deaf (30 years), tutor/consultant AWE Enterprises, and Lead teacher/Assistant Director of the Hose of Children Academy.
Mrs. Morgan was initiated in 1971 through Gamma Eta Chapter at Knoxville College, Knoxville, TN. She transferred to Theta Omicron Omega Chapter in 1974. During her tenure as president, she leaded the chapter in becoming actively involved in voting endeavors. She also promoted the expansion and active collaboration of programs with religious, civic, and social organizations in the African American community. The chapter was instrumental in expanding Black history programs on local radio stations.
Honors bestowed upon Mrs. Morgan are Who’s Who in American Education, 1996-1997 and 2005-2006 and Who’s Who Among America’s Teacher’s 2006-2007. She was a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
Ms. Morgan’s philosophy of sisterhood is as follows: “I believe that this sisterhood is a lifelong bond of love, respect, and caring between and for women. This sisterhood enables us to face challenges as well as support each other and become active representatives of love and change agents for our local communities and this world. We are empowered with the heritage of our founding sisters and emblazoned with the fortitude and hope as we continue to unite in love and service to all mankind.
Ms. Gloria Sherfield (Terms – 1980-1981 and 1987-1988)
Ms. Gloria Sherfield is a lifetime resident of Cedartown, GA. She acquired her postsecondary education at Clark College, Bachelor of Arts degree and West Georgia College, Master of Arts in Education. Ms. Sherfield dedicated her professional expertise to helping younger children achieve in their academics and thus taught for 34 years at elementary schools in Polk County, Cedar Hill, Fish Creek, and Eastside.
Ms. Sherfield, Life and Silver star member, became a member of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter in 1972. She has been an active participant in all facets of the organization. In addition to serving as president for two terms, Ms. Sherfield also held the office of assistant secretary, treasurer, and financial secretary. She also played a major role in the chartering of Kappa Tau Chapter at West Georgia College.
Ms. Sherfield describes her philosophy of sisterhood in the following words. “Sisterhood is recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of members and realizing the importance of each other. It is our ability to promote unity and friendship, to study and work to alleviate problems, and our commitment to service to all mankind.”
Ms. Henrice Berrien (Terms – 1982-1983 and 1990-1991)
Ms. Berrien is a lifetime resident of Rome, GA. In preparation for an outstanding professional life as an educator, she received her postsecondary education from the following institutions: Savannah State University, University of Chicago, Shorter College, Berry College, Atlanta University, and Tuskegee University. Ms. Berrien taught for 37 years in Rome, GA at all educational levels: Graham, Elm, and North Height Elementary schools, Main Junior High School, and Batley Street Hospital Technical Adult School.
Ms. Berrien is a Life and Pearl member as she was initiated into Gamma Upsilon Chapter at Savannah State College in 1952. As president, she led the chapter in implementing a mentoring program for young ladies in middle and high schools, a summer Academic Camp for elementary to high school students, and a Family Math and Reading Program. The chapter also co-sponsored a bone marrow drive with Thankful Baptist Church and the American Red Cross, the result of which was a successful match was found. A recipient of many awards and honors, some of the recognitions are Child Advocate of the Year, Heart of the Community Award, Service Award- Rome Girls Club, Red Cross Service Hurricane Disaster Relief Award and Dedicated Service Award Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth.
Ms. Berrien’s philosophy on sisterhood is “The bonding of college women as sisters and friends who have similar views and ideas of making a difference in the world is beautiful. Bonding together in life to make a positive impact in the lives of young ladies their service wherever it is needed is what true sisterhood means to me.”
Ms. Nicie Parks (Term – 1984-1986)
Ms. Parks is a native of Cedartown, GA. She prepared for a profession as an educator to obtaining degrees in Elementary Education from Morris Brown College, BA, and Atlanta University, MS. As a teacher for 30 years, she taught American Literature at Cedar Hill High School and Reading and Arithmetic at Rockmart Elementary School. She also served as Director of the Robert Parks Funeral Home for a period of two years.
Ms. Parks has served her community for many years. She was President of the Cedar Hill Alumni Association for 22 years from which she received special recognition in 2012. She is a Life Member of the Georgia Retired Teachers Association and the Polk County Retired Teachers Association.
Ms. Parks, Golden member, became a member of the sorority through Theta Omicron Omega in 1969, and she has been an active participant in the chapter for 43 years. Her philosophy of sisterhood is as follows: “Sisterhood is helping each other to do whatever they want to do inside and outside the sorority. It is working together selflessly to achieve common goals, and it is sharing with pride and satisfaction the joy of accomplishment when goals have been fulfilled.”
Dr. Sherri Garrett (Term – 1989-1990)
Dr. Garrett, a native of Cedartown, GA acquired her postsecondary education at Clark College, BA in English, West Georgia College, MA in Curriculum/Supervision; and the University of Georgia, PhD in Language and Literacy. Her multifaceted professional life as an educator includes high school English teacher, principal, curriculum director, literacy coach, and assistant professor. She also has held administrative positions with McGraw-Hill and McDouglas Littrell Publishing Companies.
Dr. Garrett has received numerous honors and recognitions among them being Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Outstanding Young Women of America, and a recipient of the Human Relations Awards – The Links, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She was inducted into the following honor societies associated with her profession: Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Upsilon Omega.
Dr. Garrett, life and silver star member became a sorority member in 1973 at Alpha Pi Chapter, Clark College, Atlanta, GA. During Dr. Garrett’s tenure as presidents of Theta Omicron Omega, the chapter sponsored two very successful Heritage Balls as a way of recognizing Black History month. The chapter also sponsored a book fair and gave donations of children’s books to community agencies. A reception was hosted by the sorority for the 48th Annual NAACP State Convention in Rome, GA.
Dr. Garrett describes sisterhood in the following manner. “I look upon sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha as a network grounded in commonalities and purposes. “As sisters, in a collective sense, we are able to move mountains.” In the words of Isadora James, “A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”
Ms. Maguerite Parrish (Ivy Beyond the Wall) Term – 1991-1992
Ms. Parrish, a native of Cedartown, GA, had a love for learning and helping others which led her to a career in Education. She completed her postsecondary education in Fort Valley College and then she taught in the various school systems of Emmanuel, Bullock, Troup, and Floyd counties.
Ms. Parrish, life and silver star member, had and ardent desire to service mankind which was evident through her service in Theta Omicron Omega through which she was inducted into the sorority in 1969. Throughout her 44 years as a member, she chaired several committees, attended numerous local, regional, and national conferences, and she held the offices of vice president, corresponding secretary, and Graduate Advisor prior to becoming president. She is remembered by members as a woman who was small in stature but gigantic in leadership qualities.
Ms. Sandra Roberts (Term – 1997-1998)
Ms. Roberts is a native of Carrollton, GA. She received her academic preparation to become a business professional at West Georgia College obtaining a BBA, Marketing, and a Master’s in Public Administration. She also received certification in health care marketing research. Ms. Roberts has held several positions in the field of marketing as a Director in Marketing Information; an Assistant Marketing Director in Planning and Research; a Marketing Strategist and Program Analyst in Senior Research and a Financial Analyst. She is the Sole Proprietor of Roberts Research and Marketing, LLC.
Ms. Roberts, life and silver star member was initiated into the sorority in 1991 in Theta Omicron Omega and she immediately became an active participant. Her leadership qualities were soon recognized as she was elected vice president in 1995 and president in 1997. During her tenure, the chapter achieved 100% giving to EAF. An art exhibit featuring African American artists was sponsored by the chapter at the Mt. Berry Square Mall in Rome, GA during Black Heritage month.
Honors bestowed on Ms. Roberts include the President’s Award of Excellence, the Southside Medical Center, Atlanta, GA; the Grady Hospital Great 100 Award, and the Business and Professional Women’s Award, Carrollton, GA. She was elected president of the Georgia Society for Health Care Planning and Marketing, and she is a member of the American Marketing Association, Atlanta Chapter.
Ms. Roberts defines sisterhood in the following words. “Sisterhood is about being supportive and caring for each other, but also providing guidance when necessary. Exhibiting these truths also helps the giver become a better person and sister. Sisterhood is about helping others when help is most needed, sometimes when your cry is but a whisper.”
Ms. Glenda Washington Allen (Term – 2001-2002)
A native of Cave Springs, GA, Ms. Glenda Allen is an educator who dedicated her professional life to Special Education to help children who were most in need of exemplary teaching in order to become academic achievers. She acquired the Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from West Georgia College and the Educational Specialist Certification from Jacksonville State University, Anniston, Alabama. For 32 years, Ms. Allen served as a Special Education teacher in the Rome City School System at North Heights Elementary and Rome Middle Schools.
Ms. Allen, silver star member holds the distinction of being one of the charter members of Kappa Tau, established in 1976 on the campus of West Georgia College, Carrollton, GA. The chapter was the first African American sorority on the campus. Ms. Allen later transferred into Theta Omicron Omega.
To Ms. Allen Sisterhood in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is showing that all of us are “truly sisters” and can be there for each other. My sorority members are my sisters.”
Ms. Daphnie Morrison (Term – 2003-2006)
Lyrely, GA was the birthplace of Ms. Morrison. She has been a long time resident of Rome, GA where she has devoted many years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. Her academic preparation includes Albany State College, BS; West Georgia College, MEd; and Jacksonville State University, Specialist A-6. Mrs. Morrison was a math and science teacher and a high school guidance counselor in the Rome City School District. Her last position prior to retirement was coordinator of Social Services, Rome City Schools and the Central Office.
Ms. Morrison, life and silver star member, became a member of Theta Omicron Omega in 1980. Under her leadership as president, the chapter established a mentoring program for girls in Rome City Schools and Floyd County. At the regional level, the chapter assisted in the organization of the AKA Crisis Management Team designed to assist members with medical needs at the South Atlantic Regional Conference.
Ms. Morrison has been recognized for exemplary leadership in other organizations as well. She was named the State Loyal Ruler of the Year, State of Georgia, Grand Assembly, and she is a recipient of the Juvenile Court Judge Service Award. Additionally, the Georgia State Youth Dove Council Award, Number 3 was named in her honor. Mrs. Morrison received the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation, Green Diamond Award.
Her philosophy of sisterhood is “To be positive, productive and committed to serving others at all times and to be a good listener. Listen closely to what others say and choose wisely your words and response.”
Ms. Heather Barton (Term 2007-2008)
Ms. Barton is a native of Cedartown, GA, and she was initiated into Theta Omicron Omega in 1995. She received her post-secondary education from Georgia State University from 1988- 1992 and she majored in Psychology. Prior to becoming president, she served as vice president and worked with various committees and community service efforts. Ms. Barton has an extensive background in Psychology, Special Education and Counseling. She has had the pleasure of serving children and adolescents for over 20 years to address their education and well-being.
Mrs. Angela K. Campbell (Term 2009-2016)
Mrs. Campbell is a native of Brandon, MS. She received her post-secondary education from Talladega College and the University of West Georgia receiving a BS and MS respectively in Biology. Additionally, she performed graduate studies at Clark Atlanta University and conducted research related to Chlamydia Vaccine Development. Professionally, Mrs. Campbell is the Customer Service Manager, Sr. for the City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works and she is an adjunct professor with Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Mrs. Campbell was initiated into Chi Chapter at Talladega College in 1998. She transferred to Theta Omicron Omega in 2002. She served as president while at Chi Chapter, and in Theta Omicron Omega prior to serving as president, she served as graduate advisor, recording secretary, vice president and chairman of various chapter committees.
During her presidency, Mrs. Campbell focused on chapter operations, structure and membership. Her most notable accomplishments include implementing the annual chapter retreat and awards program, organizing quarterly sisterly relations activities, introducing membership incentive programs, and presenting the 5year plan for the chapter’s 50th Anniversary. Additionally, Mrs. Campbell led the chapter in the implementation of a myriad of service programs. She played a pivotal role in the service rendered among the chapter’s 4 service areas. Examples of such programs are as follows: the Women’s Health Fair, the Family Health and Wellness Fair, Rites of Passage Program and Emerging Young Leaders Program, Habitat for Humanity home builds, Voter Education and Registration Drives, Letter writing Campaigns to elected officials, Canned food and Coat Drives, Relay for Life Fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, School Supply Drives, Lords and Ladies Cotillions.
During her term, she had the honor and privilege to be appointed by South Atlantic Regional Director, Mrs. Sharon Brown Harriott, to the South Atlantic Regional Archives Committee. As a member, she worked on the project for the Commemorative Postage Stamp for Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and the South Atlantic Regional Conference Archives workshops. Lastly, Mrs. Campbell served as chairman of the Kits and Souvenirs Committee for the 67th Boule in Atlanta, GA, and during the 67th
Boule, she worked with the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Dr. Mary Shy Scott Memorial Park.
Mrs. Campbell’s philosophy on sisterhood is that “Our sisterhood exhibits its purpose through promoting unity, friendship and loyalty amongst its members and it encourages a commitment to excellence in scholastic achievement, community service, leadership, and exceptional character, so that we ALL can develop to our full potentials in an atmosphere of love and mutual support.”
Mrs. Sherry Turner (Term 2016 ~ Present)
Mrs. Turner is a native of Polk County and graduate of Cedartown High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Education Degree from Jacksonville State University, and a Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University. She has worked 17 years in education where she serves as the Special Education Instructional Coach for the Polk School District. Additionally, she is the Cedartown High School Variety Basketball cheerleading coach.
Mrs. Turner was initiated into Theta Omicron Omega Chapter in 2001. In Theta Omicron Omega prior to serving as president, she served as corresponding recording secretary, keeper of the door, chapter hostess, member-at-large, and parliamentarian. Mrs. Turner has served as chairman on several chapter committee just to name a few: Chapter 50th Anniversary, Founders’ Day Celebration, Relay for Life Captain, Lords & Ladies Cotillions, Chapter Retreat, Membership, Social Courtesies, and Sisterly Relation Committee. Her most important leadership position in this illustrious sisterhood was that of the membership chairman and chapter hostess due to her love of taking care of her sorority members, serving them, and advocating lifelong membership.
Mrs. Turner is honor and privilege to lead and serve as president to such a talented, dedicated, and phenomenal group of women – diverse in age, talents, and professions. The sisterhood is built on love and service, so that each member strives to exemplify this in every way. We will continue the tradition, expand our programs, and implement with excellence. It is our sincere goal to heighten our service to this community and all mankind. She will remain committed to the Sorority’s ideals of sisterhood, scholarship, and service. Mrs. Turner asks the Lord to continue to order her steps, as she move the chapter forward into “Pursuing Excellence Through Sustainable Service” to greater laurels to win.
Among her many accomplishments as president, Mrs. Turner was instrumental in the creation of the chapter’s emblem. Additionally, Mrs. Turner implemented a technology focused within the chapter that included creating a website, chapter email, Dropbox, and the roll out of PayPal as well as maintaining all financial, historical, and committee reports electronically. These changes streamlined the business of Theta Omicron Omega allowing chapter information to remain updated and stored securely. We will be able to promote our programs, highlight our community involvement and participation on a global level.
Mrs. Turner’s philosophy on sisterhood is that “My confidence in our sisterhood relies on our sisterly love and commitment to each other and the vows that we took. If we work together in love, the sorority can truly be supreme in service to all mankind.”