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Governor will appear at conference via video

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Governor Kathleen Sebelius will highlight a day of storytelling by and for women, appearing at Bethel College via a special video. Celebrate! 2005 honors women’s stories of vocational call, creativity, success and friendship, and takes place Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Bethel College campus. The Bethel College Women’s Association is sponsoring the event, which is made possible by the BCWA Carolyn Schultz Endowment.

In addition to Governor Sebelius, speakers include Raylene Hinz-Penner, Topeka, Deb Schmidt and Carol Schmidt, both of Newton, Christine Downey-Schmidt, Moundridge, and Lori Schultz, Kansas City, Mo.

Kathleen Sebelius is the 44th governor of Kansas and the first daughter of a governor (John J. Gilligan of Ohio) in U.S. history to be elected a governor. Among her priorities are making government "smarter," more efficient and more accountable, and ensuring quality education for all Kansas children. Sebelius and her husband, Gary Sebelius, have two sons.

Former Kansas state senator Christine Downey-Schmidt will introduce the video of Sebelius telling her story, and respond to questions afterward. In addition, Downey-Schmidt will give a thumbnail sketch of "politics from a retired perspective."

Raylene Hinz-Penner teaches in the English department of Washburn University. She also taught creative writing for five years in several Kansas Department of Corrections facilities. She draws inspiration for much of her poetry, other writing and storytelling from her family’s southwest Kansas farm, from her teaching career which began at age 10 in a one-room country school, and from two decades of relationships with Bethel College students. Hinz-Penner was a member of the Bethel English faculty and, during her husband Doug Penner’s tenure as Bethel College president, served in the advancement office.

Deb Schmidt has been pastor of First Mennonite Church in Hutchinson for nine years. Sources for her life’s stories include her years at Bethel College, her term of service in Bolivia with her husband, Don, her first career as a cardiac rehabilitation nurse, and her pastoral experiences. Deb has three sons, three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.

Carol Schmidt is the principal of Prairie View Day School in Newton. When she tells stories from her life, she weaves in threads of her self-described "past lives" as a singer, cook, author, photographer, publisher, farmer, actress and teacher.

Lori Schultz is a partner with the law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP. She capitalizes on her experiences as a student at Bethel College, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, 18 years of practice in business litigation in federal and state courts, and teaching first-year law students at KU. Schultz and her husband, Bruce Bodamer, have three young children.

There will be two opportunities during the day for women in the audience to share their own stories, which will be moderated by Christine Crouse-Dick, instructor of communication studies at Bethel College.

Also on the program is Full Circle, a group of women from Newton and North Newton who enjoy singing a cappella music together.

The fee for Celebrate! 2005 is $10 (waived for college students), which includes lunch. To register or for more information, call Tara Logan at 1-800-522-1887 or 284-5202. There is a registration deadline of April 8.

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