Securing Permissions for the Images You Use

Many people have been asking me how the new book is coming along. I am happy to announce that the manuscript has been sent to the publisher, and I am told the new volume will be available in just a couple of short months. Stay tuned for a big announcement when the new book is ready!

While the publisher prepares the final edition, I have been very busy securing permissions for the pictures to be included. It’s always very TeacherAppleTN1[1]important to me to be sure to meet all copyright laws. I would never want any arguments about copyright to diminish the integrity of the writing! Besides, it’s just good digital citizenship. Securing permissions is a time-consuming, and sometimes expensive, venture. But it’s worth it, I think, to be able to include images to accompany the text. The photographs certainly do increase the visual appeal of the work, whether the reader approaches the text in print or in electronic format. If you are considering writing your own book, think about including appropriate images, and be sure to expend whatever effort and dollars are required to secure any necessary permissions. Keep meticulous records, including back-ups of your email conversations, about all permissions you have  received. Happy writing!


Author Terry Marzell to Appear at Local Authors Fair

COM_W_PEOPLE_0208c[1]Author Terry Marzell will appear at the Local Authors Fair to be held at Perris Library on Saturday, July 19, from 1:30 to 4:30. The author of Chalkboard Champions and a soon-to-be-released second book, tentatively entitled Chalkboard Heroes, will be available to share stories about remarkable teachers in our nation’s history and to sell and sign copies of her book. The fair will feature a total of fifteen authors from the Southern California area. The event promises to be an exciting one, so if you’re in the area, plan to attend!

Below is a roster of the attendees and their titles:

Sharon Edwards: Pioneer Blvd: Los Angeles Stories

Reverend C. Mark Ealy: The Prayer Guarantee

Saitia Faaifo: Seven Letters to Live by Respect

Libby Grandy: Desert Soliloquy; Promises to Keep

Becky Hasted Levin: Adventures in Mustard Seed Faith; Come to the Secret Place

Maureen King: I Don’t Want to Go to Kindergarten…I’ll Miss You Too Much

Maggie Meils: Monster Bella is in a Bad Mood

Lavonne Miller: Living through Hell

S. Kay Murphy: Tainted Legacy: The Story of Alleged Serial Killer Bertha Gifford; Ghost Grandma

Mark Ozeroff: Days of Smoke; Singin’ the Bookstore Blues

Barry F. Parker: Resolutions

Derek L. Saunders: Gangster Love Book 1: The Wonder Years

Elizabeth A. Shanks: Momma, Will I Ever?

Lynn Spreen: Dakota Blues; Middle Age Crazy: Short Stories of Midlife and Beyond



Alabama Teacher Blanche Evans Dean: Noted Naturalist, Conservationist, and Author

m-3087_thumbMany gifted educators are well-known not only for their contributions to the classroom, but also for outstanding accomplishments outside the realm of education. Such is the case for Blanche Evans Dean, a high school biology teacher who is also a renowned naturalist and conservationist from Alabama.

Blanche was born June 12, 1892, the youngest child of her parents, John and Catherine Evans. She was raised on her parents’ farm in Clay County, Alabama, on land her mother’s family had bought from the Creek Indians. Even at an early age, the young Blanche developed a keen interest in science, and exhibited a fondness for the plants and animals that inhabited the world around her.

As a teenager, Blanche attended Lineville High School and, after graduating in 1908, began teaching at the two-teacher school at Hatchett Creek Presbyterian Church. After deciding to make teaching her lifelong career, Blanche enrolled at Jacksonville Normal School, now known as Jacksonville State University, with a major in education. She later transferred to Valparaiso University in Indiana, from which she earned a teaching certificate at age 26.

After graduation, Blanche taught for three years at Shades Valley High School in Birmingham. In 1922, she took a break from teaching and entered the University of Alabama, where she earned a degree in chemistry in 1924. Once she completed this degree, she accepted a position as a biology teacher at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, where she developed her hands-on, experience-based style of teaching. Blanche believed that students were better able to develop an understanding of birds, insects, and plants, and “a sense of being” for all living things by listening and observing first-hand, even getting down on their hands and knees.

In 1939, the innovative teacher married William Dean, but they divorced less than a year later. Blanche decided to keep her husband’s surname.

Blanche remained at Woodlawn High School until she retired in 1957, spending nearly 30 years teaching in the public school system. In the later years of her career, she became a passionate naturalist and conservationist. One of her projects in the 1940s was a campaign to have the U.S. Government declare Alabama’s Clear Creek Falls a national park. The area, threatened by dam construction, was rich in mountain laurel, contained a rare species of white azalea, and even supported a stand of Canadian hemlock. The campaign failed, however, and the falls were ultimately incorporated into Lewis Smith Lake.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Blanche helped to found the Alabama Ornithological Society, the Alabama Environmental Council, and the Alabama Conservation Council, then known as the Alabama Conservancy. Additionally, the indefatigable educator was involved in the Birmingham Audubon Society, the Alabama Academy of Science, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the American Fern Society, and Delta Kappa Gamma. In 1951, she established an Outdoor Nature Camp, which she directed every summer for thirteen years in order to educate teachers and other adults about Alabama’s natural history. In 1967, after assisting the Alabama Environmental Council in designating Alabama’s first national forest, the Willliam B. Bankhead National Forest,  she was awarded a prize from the National Audubon Society for conservation education. Blanche was the first person from Alabama to receive such an award.

Blanche had always been frustrated with the lack of reference books available about Alabama’s botany and zoology, so after her retirement she wrote several books on the subject. She self-published Let’s Learn the Birds of Alabama in 1957, Trees and Shrubs in the Heart of Dixie in 1961, Let’s Learn the Ferns of Alabama in 1964, and Wildflowers of Alabama and Adjoining States in 1973. Her field guides remain the standard today.

This remarkable educator passed away May 31, 1974, at the age of 88, from complications caused by a major stroke. She was buried in the cemetery at Hatchett Creek Presbyterian Church. But she was not forgotten. In 1975, she was recognized with the Alabama Library Association’s first posthumous Annual Author Award for her non-fiction books. The Alabama Wildflower Society later established the Blanche E. Dean Scholarship Fund and named its Birmingham chapter after her. In 1985, Blanche was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame  in 1985.

Special Education Teacher and Native American Politician Sharon Clahchischilliage

HCLAHMany talented educators distinguish themselves in the political arena. This is certainly true of Native American Sharon E. Clahchischilliage, a Navajo elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Sharon was born in Farmington, New Mexico, in 1949. She was raised in Gad’iiahi, just west of Shiprock, New Mexico. Her parents, Eleanor and Herbert Clah, worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Shiprock Boarding School. She is the granddaughter of two former Navajo Nation Chairmen, Deshna Clahchischilliage (1928-1932) and Sam Ahkeah (1946-1954).

As a teenager, Sharon attended high school at Navajo Methodist Mission in Farmington, where she graduated in 1968. After her high school graduation, she enrolled at Bacone Junior College at Muskogee, Oklahoma, and then transferred to Eastern New Mexico University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1976. She earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Since then, Sharon has acquired additional training in special education, guidance counseling, and administrative education from the University of New Mexico.

Sharon has extensive experience in the public schools. She worked for more than ten years as a special education teacher at Albuquerque Public Schools, Bernalillo Schools, the Farmington School District, and as a guidance counselor at the Southwestern Polytechnic Institute.

In addition to her career in education, Sharon has devoted many years to public service. She was a Lieutenant Commissioned Corps Officer for the US Public Health Service for the Points of Light program of President George H. W. Bush. She also worked for the Family Center Program located at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, a program that helped patients with substance abuse recovery. While there, Sharon also worked at the Strecker Substance Abuse Unit at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital.

As a Native American, Sharon has devoted much of her energy to tribal issues. She has devoted her energy to the Indian Health Service, Albuquerque Service Unit, and has also worked as a liaison between the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and New Mexico tribes under former State Cabinet Secretary Heather Wilson during the administration of New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. In 1999, this dedicated teacher served as the Executive Director of the National Council on Urban Indian Health in Washington, DC. Additionally, she has nine years of experience as the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO). The NNWO serves as the official link between the Navajo Nation and the United States government. The organization monitors and analyzes congressional legislation, disseminates Congressional and federal agency information, and develops strategies and decisions concerning national policies and budgets that affect the Navajo Nation.

When Sharon won her seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives in November, 2012, she became the first Republican Navajo woman to be elected to the New Mexico State Legislature for District 4.

Sharon Clahchischilliage: a true chalkboard champion.