Meet Colleen Retherford

Colleen Retherford is this month’s Meet Our Member pin-up. Colleen was initiated into Gamma Alpha in 1994. Esther Loskowske was her sponsor. Even though she was new to the chapter, Colleen jumped right in and got involved with the Service Projects Committee. She has made numerous contacts with the Family Center and their staff. Colleen helped purchase and deliver our school bags and women’s hygiene bags to the Center.

Colleen was originally attracted to Delta Kappa Gamma because of the philanthropic philosophy of our chapter. She enjoys the fellowship of teachers she has met in Gamma Alpha. Colleen delights in learning about the particular talents and strengths of her fellow members, especially our very active retirees.

Colleen completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Eastern Michigan University. She has been teaching for seventeen years. Colleen taught hearing impaired (could this be why she is not soft-spoken?!) and learning disabled students (ages 2-25) for eleven years.

She has been teaching fifth grade at Elliott Elementary in Wayne-Westland Community Schools for the last six years. Colleen is very involved at the building and district level and is active on numerous committees. She and Esther have written a grant to sponsor an after school Drama Club for interested fourth and fifth grade students. They completed performances in February of three plays about famous African-Americans. This was a wonderful experience for everyone involved in the project. Colleen will be at Camp Storer in Napoleon, Michigan the first week in March with her fifth graders. Anyone who has gone to camp knows that it takes a special person to sacrifice private time for this extra-curricular learning experience. Let’s hope for good weather that week.

Colleen and her husband, Joe, live in a fixer-upper house on three acres in Whitmore Lake. She says they always save money for projects before doing them, so sometimes they wait a long time before getting things done. They are in the process of totally renovating their kitchen. With camp and all the extra problems that brings up and no kitchen to speak of, Colleen has been a little wired!

Colleen has many activities that occupy her time. She enjoys gardening, reading, singing, puzzles, aerobics, and refinishing furniture. In the fall, she always shares her bountiful harvest from her garden with the staff at Elliott. She and her husband spent three weeks touring England, Ireland, and Scotland during the summer of ’94. She said that is was the "best experience ever" and they are going to do it again in ’97 before venturing on to the Mediterranean and other faraway places.

Colleen has taken on a new responsibility with Gamma Alpha. She is the Music Chairman and has many surprises planned for us.