Founders of Alpha Tau

June 6, 1961

Founding Members

Norma Bulman Anderson

Mary Arnold, 1st Vice President

M. Jeanne Baker

Beatrice Crooker, President

Evelyn Weisenberger Dunn

Ethel Foster Gray

Irene Lafler Gray

Marion Sands Hallock, Treasurer

Wanita Loman

Louise Fisher McKee, Parliamentarian

Freida Buerman Mulheron

Mary Murphy, 2nd Vice President

Marguerite Brewer Rickard

Helen Amelia Schantz

Helen Moran Sworts

Lucia Lowe Wheeler, Secretary

On June 6, 1961 at the Garlock House in Palmyra, New York, sixteen women educators from Yates and Ontario counties were initiated into the Alpha Tau chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. President Christine DeLucca of Omega conducted the ceremony, assisted by Miss Helen Overs, representing Pi State. The new chapter officers were installed as well.

Norma Bulman Anderson (Victor CSD) Reading

Norma received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and did graduate work at Syracuse University, SUNY Brockport and the University of Rochester. She worked for 33 years in the Victor School District as an elementary teacher to students in grades 1-8, as a remedial reading teacher, and as Acting Elementary Principal during one school year.

Mary Arnold (Red Jacket CSD) High School Science

Brought up on a farm in Bloomfield, Mary graduated from East Bloomfield High School. She went on to Keuka College where she obtained her B.S. in Sciences. Her EdM was earned at the University of Rochester. She later did additional study at Union College, the University of Connecticut, Brown University, and Wells and Cortland colleges. Mary taught for 32 years- 2 years at the Greer School, at Hope Farm, New York and 30 years at Shortsville High School which later became part of the Red Jacket CSD. In the area of professional leadership, Mary chaired the Central Western Zone Science Committee, was an officer of the Science Teachers Association of NYS, and sat on the Policy Board for Development of Standards for Certification for Teachers. She also sat on the NYS Retirement Board and was President of the Keuka College Alumni Board. Mary was Alpha Tau’s very first 1st Vice-President. She went on to serve as the President of Alpha Tau from 1966-1968.

M. Jeanne Baker (Bloomfield CSD) Librarian

Margaret Jeanne Baker was from West Bloomfield and graduated from Bloomfield Central. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and later a master’s degree in Library Science

from Geneseo as well. Her first job was that of Elementary Librarian in Schnectady, NY. Jeanne was a librarian in the Bloomfield District for more than 27 years, first for grades K-12, and later for the Junior High and High School. Under Jeanne’s direction, the library was central to learning at Bloomfield. She chaired the Central Western Zone Library Association.

Beatrice Crooker (Penn Yan CSD) English

Bea Crooker was a graduate of East Bloomfield High School, who went on to study at the College of Oratory at Syracuse University. She later received a master’s in the Teaching of English from Columbia University. She began her career in Bloomfield, where she taught English 9, 10, 11 and 12. She later taught at Ovid, Alfred-Almond and Penn Yan. Bea was very interested in innovative curriculum, developing such programs as cross-discipline teaching teams. She directed student plays in all of these districts as well. Additionally, she was President of the Penn Yan Teachers Association and a committee member of the NYS Teachers Association. Beatrice Crooker was the first President of Alpha Tau, from 1961 to 1964.

Evelyn Weisenberger Dunn (Victor CSD) Latin and Spanish

Evelyn was born and raised in Canandaigua and graduated from Canandaigua Academy. She went on to study languages at the Albany State Teachers’ College. She taught Latin and Spanish for 35 years, first in the Victor district and later at Marcus Whitman. She retired from Whitman in 1986, and, shortly thereafter, moved to Ohio to be near her children.

Ethel Foster Gray (Naples CSD) French and Math

Ethel graduated from the University of Rochester in 1923, and did graduate work at the U of R, Syracuse University and McGill University in Montreal. She taught mathematics and French at Naples Academy. She went on to become Vice-Principal and Acting District Principal. Ethel worked for the Naples CSD for 45 years. During those years, she was also advisor for the Naples High School yearbook and won the prestigious Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold key Award for advisors of student publications. She was also the faculty advisor of the National Honor Society and the French Club and President of the Naples Teachers Association.

Irene Lafler Gray (Dundee CSD) Social Studies

A graduate of Middlesex Valley, Irene received her BS at SUNY Geneseo in 1950. She later did graduate work at Geneseo, Ithaca College and SUNY Buffalo. A teacher at Dundee for over 40 years, Irene began teaching in the intermediate grades and later taught Junior High Social Studies, including Citizenship Education.

Marion Sands Hallock (Bloomfield CSD) Elementary Principal

Marion was from Bergen, New York, and graduated from Bergen High School. She went on to receive a B.S. in Elementary Education from SUNY Brockport, followed by an M.S. from the University of Rochester. It was at Macedon Elementary School that she began her career, teaching first and second grades. Then, she went to Bloomfield Elementary school, where she taught first grade for 13 years. With that experience as a foundation, Marion became the Bloomfield Elementary Principal, a job she held for the next 23 years. She also belonged to the Finger Lakes Principals organization, the School Administrators Association of NYS, and the Association of Teachers of the Handicapped. Marion was the first Treasurer of Alpha Tau.

Wanita Loman (Marcus Whitman) Middlesex Valley Librarian

Wanita graduated from Geneva High School, and went on to the Albany State Teachers’ College, where she earned a BA in both English and History. She went on to SUNY Geneseo where she obtained a BS in Education. After beginning her career at Middlesex Valley High School, teaching both English and History, she went back to Geneseo to complete her MA in Library Science, and continued coursework at Syracuse University. In 1957, she became the Librarian at Marcus Whitman. She taught in the Marcus Whitman district for over 30 years.

Louise Fisher McKee (Honeoye CSD) English

Louise studied English for two years at SUNY Cortland, and finished her degree at Northwestern University. She did her graduate work at the University of Rochester, and continued study at Syracuse University. Most of Louise’s 29 year career was spent at Honeoye. As a teacher, Louise was known for making her subject, English, live for her students. Research and writing focused on students’ concerns and literature offered an opportunity to understand their own lives. Louise was active in all parts of the school community, in local politics and in her church. The first Parliamentarian of Alpha Tau, Louise was the chapter President from 1978 through 1980.

Freida Buerman Mulheron (Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD) Phelps Elementary

Freida grew up in Rose, NY, and graduated from North Rose High School. She went on to SUNY Brockport, where she received her B.S. in Elementary Education. She later earned her Master’s at SUNY Geneseo. Her first teaching job was at Canandaigua Elementary School, where she taught for 6 years. Freida then moved on to Phelps, where she taught for the remainder of her career. She taught 4th grade for 20 years and 3rd grade for 15 years, and also served as Science Coordinator. Beyond the classroom, Freida was active in NYSUT and in both the NYS and US Reading Associations. She was also a drill sergeant for the Doc Evans Drill Team and an active member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion.

Mary Murphy (Marcus Whitman) Gorham Elementary

Mary Murphy graduated from East Bloomfield High School, and went on to SUNY Geneseo, where she earned a B.S. (1948) and an M.S. (1952) in Elementary Education. She later attained permanent certification in Elementary Supervision and Administration, studying at the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, Cornell University and Buffalo State. After teaching in Canandaigua, Mendon and East Bloomfield, Mary spent 25 years in the Gorham CSD, which merged with Middlesex Valley and became Marcus Whitman. She was a member of the Genesee Valley School Study Council, Chair of the Reading Development Program in Gorham and President of the Gorham Teachers Association. Mary was the initial 2nd Vice-President of Alpha Tau, and she became the President of Alpha Tau for the 1964-1966 biennium.

Marguerite Brewer Rickard (Honeoye CSD) Business

Marguerite graduated from Plattsburg State with a degree in “Commercial Subjects” in 1939. She did graduate work in Business at SUNY Albany, where she was permanently certified. She taught briefly in Cobleskill, before joining the staff at Honeoye CSD. She spent over 20 years at Honeoye, where she developed the Business program in the high school.

Helen Amelia Schantz (Victor CSD) English

Helen was born in Lowville, New York and graduated from the Lowville Free Academy. She received her BA and MA degrees from the University of Rochester. Her career began in Harpersville, NY where she taught English and Latin. In 1952, she joined the staff at Victor High School where she taught for 38 years. She chaired the English department for 31 years. Helen was very involved in curriculum development at the local and New York State levels. She was a recipient of the New York State English Council’s “English Teachers of Excellence” award. Helen was also a gifted musician who played trombone in many plays and musicals as well as in the Rochester Women’s Philharmonic Symphony.

Helen Moran Sworts (Penn Yan CSD) Reading

Helen was a Pennsylvania native who attended Marywood College in Scranton and Mansfield State Teachers’ College. She taught first in the Watkins Glen Elementary School and then in Dundee. In the mid-1950’s, she joined the Penn Yan elementary program as a Remedial Reading teacher. Helen traveled to the outlying elementary schools, such as Branchport Elementary, to meet the reading needs of rural children. She served on the Public Relations Council of the Central Western Zone Teachers Association.

Lucia Lowe Wheeler (Penn Yan CSD) English

Born in Buffalo, Lucia attended high school in Newport, Rhode Island. She completed her undergraduate work at William Smith College (1942) and later went on to obtain her Master’s at Hobart College (1959). Initially, Lucia taught middle school in Middleton, Rhode Island, then left teaching to raise her family. In 1951, she returned to teach English at Penn Yan Academy, where she also served as department chair. Lucia was President of the Penn Yan Teachers Association and Western Zone Representative to the New York State Teachers Association. Lucia was very active in the Penn Yan community, especially as a founding member of the Ontario-Yates Hospice and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service of the Finger Lakes. The original Secretary of Alpha Tau, Lucia was president of the chapter from 1968 to 1970.