Meet Elissa Hadley Ternes

Elissa Hadley Ternes, EE, is the district communications liaison for District 9. She is an alumna of Emporia State University, KS, and has been a volunteer for Alpha Sigma Alpha since 2009.

“Throughout the years [Elissa] has been a source of knowledge and a great example of an Alpha Sigma Alpha woman,” said District 9 Panhellenic Liaison Caelee Lehman. “She selflessly gives of her time, she believes in her commitment to Alpha Sigma Alpha.”

Her passion

I am passionate about education. I am a high school English and speech teacher who truly enjoys what I do for a living. Although there is sometimes a great deal of negativity surrounding public education, I know that if I impact one student’s life, I am being successful. I value hard work and dedication, and I try to teach my students the importance of those qualities in their daily lives.

Her role model

One role model in my life was my great-great aunt Anna. She was an extremely hardworking woman who owned her own business in the early 1900s, at a time when women were expected to be in the home. She passed away right before I started high school, and the kindness and drive she always displayed pushed me to work hard in my own life.

Whenever I read stories about the integrity and dedication of Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Founders, I think fondly of the woman who inspired me.

Her proudest moment

My husband and I love home improvement; we are definitely [do-it-yourself] DIY’ers. Sometimes we get in over our heads, but it all seems to work out in the end. We have done everything from a bathroom remodel to residing a shed. Our next project will be to re-do our mud room to incorporate more storage. I love to organize, so I cannot wait to make the room more efficient.

Her favorite quote

I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s words: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” This quote  resonates with me because it reminds me of the importance of believing in others and in myself. I share Eleanor Roosevelt’s words with my students when we discuss their future plans and changes they want to see in themselves and their community.

This quote also applies to volunteering as I like to encourage [sisters] to follow their dreams and inspire others.

Her last word

I am a wife and mother, and I hope as my daughter grows, she will notice my commitment to Alpha Sigma Alpha and choose to join a fraternal organization. At 20 months, she already loves ladybugs, so that’s a good start.


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