Elaine Ledbetter September 20, 1998

If I could choose just one single day in my life to live over,
it would have to be Sunday, April 1, 1973,  That was the
peak day of my National Science Teachers convention in
Detroit, Michigan.

For me that day embodied the total realization of a dream
born 15 years earlier. The night I attended the banquet at
my first NSTA convention in Denver, Colorado, on March
27, 1958, I caught a glimpse of what that Association could
mean to me, It was there that the dream was born that
someday I might serve as president. In the years to follow
my greatest professional inspiration was furnished by that
organization and our annual convention was always a
mountain-top experience. But the one in 1973 was of un-
equaled significance for several reasons.

First, it was the culmination of 18 months of hard work by
me, my program committee chaired by Dr. Earl J. Montague,
(Jack) and the loyal headquarters staff.

Second, it was the pinnacle of my year as president; it was
the climax toward which my year had been building. I was
the star of the show for that brief interval and this was, in
essence, my farewell performance. After that day I would
rejoin the supporting cast.

The day began with my participation in the Life Member's
annual breakfast. This was followed by my address at the
special general session in which I reviewed the present
status of the Association. A copy of this presentation is
found in the Appendix.

Some 1500 were in attendance and I received a standing

That evening I wore a yellow gown to preside at the annual
banquet, always a highlight of any convention. This was a
formal affair and we had two rows of head table guests,
many of which were past presidents. My own Pampa su-
perintendent, Dr. James F. Malone, was present and my
husband Bill gave the invocation. The roving violinists
came to the head table and serenaded me with "The Yel-
low Rose of Texas."

Knowing that Bob Carleton was retiring after twenty five
years as our Executive Secretary, we had dedicated the
convention to him.

It was my happy privilege to announce the establishment
of the Robert H. Carleton Award and to present Bob with a
silver plaque suitably engraved.

I was also able to announce that the awards committee
had selected Dr. Stanley E. Williamson of Corvallis, Or-
egon, as the first recipient of the Carleton Award.

After the banquet Jack and I entertained the head table
guests in the presidential suite to celebrate the close of a
successful convention.

With Bill by my side and surrounded by a host of longtime
NSTA friends, that incredibly extraordinary day was per-
vaded from the beginning by an aura of radiance and glory
impossible to describe.
Is it any wonder that I would like to live it again?

A Litany of Thanksgiving
It would have been enough
To have been born in America,
in this century,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have known my parents and received
the heritage of values they imparted,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have received the education provided
by NOJC and OU,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have been a science teacher
through the exciting 60's,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have published two textbooks
that influenced students,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have been president of NSTA
and a part of that Association,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have celebrated our 51st
wedding anniversary,
But there was more -
It would have been enough
To have walked with God by my side
through this life -
But there is more - much more...
Elaine W. Ledbetter
November, 1993

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