DKG California
Making an Impact

DKG California 
Educational - Professional - Making an Impact
Support Team for Emerging Professionals (STEP)

  1. Promote International’s Support Early-Career Educators (S.E.E.) project
  2. Administer the DKG California Teachers Helping Another Teacher [THAT]  program
  3. Administer the Penne Ferrell Fund which promotes literacy
  4. Plan and present professional development
  5. Support Area Directors and chapters in focusing on the needs of emerging professionals
  6. Promote DKG California to potential members by offering support, resources and opportunities for learning
New Teacher?  Years One to Three?

Monetary Support

Professional Development


Tips for Educators

Service to Fellow Educators (i.e. Teachers Helping Another Teacher)

Marine Avagyan, Chairman

Chapter: Epsilon Epsilon           Area:    IX    

I am currently the principal of a K-6 elementary Armenian dual immersion school, first one of its kind internationally. Previously I served as the district administrator coordinating curriculum and instruction, professional development, and state & federal categorical programs. Prior to this, I was an Assistant Principal, Teacher Specialist/Reading Coach, and taught at the elementary level for several years. I first began working in the school district as a bilingual education assistant and a noon duty supervisor. 

At the Chapter level, I have served two biennia as Chapter President, and several years as the Communications Chair. At the Area level, I served as the Legislative Chair and later as the Area IX Director in 2011-2013. I have completed one biennium as the Chairman of the Early Career Educators Committee, renamed in 2016 as Support Team for Emerging Professionals and am excited about continuing this work into another biennium. Most recently, I have had the honor of participating in the Society's Golden Gift Leadership Management Seminar at the University of Texas in Austin, representing the Golden Gift Class of 2014.

Cathey Ryder

Chapter: Epsilon Omicron      Area: XIV

Professionally, I taught in the Garden Grove Unified School District from 1974 to 2011 at both junior and senior high. I taught SDC, English (honors-basic & ESL). I was the Title One Coordinator and the Activities Director at Los Amigos High School from 1994-2011. At the Chapter level, I have
served as Corresponding and Recording Secretary, 1
st Vice President, and President. Currently, I am the Chapter Treasurer. My Chi State involvement has been serving as Area XIV Director 2013-2015.

Diana Sawin

Chapter: Zeta Zeta            Area:  III

Professionally, I have over 32 years as an educator which includes the following: Elementary Principal, Middle School Vice Principal, High School AP, and District GATE Coordinator. I’ve taught at the Elementary and Middle school levels K-6. At the Chapter Level,  I was initiated in 2002 and have served as Co-President, Parliamentarian, Program, Recruitment Grant, Membership Chair, Co Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary. My Chi State Leadership Team experience includes serving as the Area III Director, Chi State Executive Secretary, Nominations Committee, and Membership Committee. I currently serve on the Support Team for Emerging Professionals (STEP). For DKG International, I have served as a member of the DKG International Executive Board as Chi State Executive Secretary.


Stephanie Zierhut

Chapter: Epsilon Phi    Area: VIII  


Professionally, I have been a preschool teacher and a 3rd through 8th grade teacher specializing in math and marine science.  I also acted as a magnet school gifted coordinator/assistant principal and UCLA teacher trainer for National Science Foundation Marine Science program teaching labs and wrote a lab book. At the Chapter level, I have been Corresponding and Recording Secretary along with President for many years. I have also been a mini conference chair.  My Area level involvement includes Treasurer and Area VIII Director. For DKG California, I served as the Area VIII Director and Support Team for Emerging Professionals (STEP).