Women in Leadership Corner 2.2023
  • A Powerful Vision, Strong Women, and Commitment;

    My Journey in Women In Leadership   


    In a recent conversation with a mentor of mine, we were engaged in dialogue regarding leadership, the journey to get here, and my hopes for the future. This discussion truly made me realize where I started, how far I have come, and how many people have supported me along the way. We even discussed what drives me and how I see myself as a leader. 

    So, what was my response? I am and have always been reflective, determined, and fiercely driven.  As a young girl, I was extremely competitive, and winning meant everything to me in sports and competitions. But, there was always an element and focus on the importance of the team. I loved my teammates and to this day, they are still my best friends and confidants. What does this have to do with women in the leadership movement? Everything. It took almost 15 years of being a leader but I have found my passion. My why. My why is to pay it forward, inspire action, and coach others to excellence. At my core, I have always been an athlete and coach. Now I am committed to leading other women to success and greatness. 

    “Be the woman you needed as a girl.”  – Jayne Moore

    A vision. In every leader’s life, there was someone who inspired them. Someone who saw something in them and encouraged them to take a step forward. I have many people to thank for where I am and even for having the opportunity to share this reflection with the readers of this blog! I started my career at my alma mater, Phillipsburg High School. It was there that my administrative leaders encouraged me. This was exceptionally powerful because many of these colleagues knew me as a young girl, a student. They saw something in me that I did not see. I was a child that was super focused on sports, friends, fun, etc. I did not see myself as a leader. I did not see myself as a force or as a positive influence on others. So now, as a woman in leadership, I can be the woman I needed as a girl.


    “Be the woman you would look up to.”  – Author unknown

    Strong women. I have recently had the distinct honor to launch a new Women In Educational Leadership Association in Warren and Hunterdon Counties. After being inspired by Sue DeNobile and Shauna DeMarco of the BCWIEL, my former Superintendent, Sarah Bilotti, and I founded the WHWIEL. Shortly after we discussed this idea and new venture, Sarah left Warren County for Bergen County but I was committed to the cause! 

    With the help of the extraordinary women leaders in Warren and Hunterdon Counties, we began with a steering committee,  including superintendents, principals, supervisors, business administrators, other school leaders, and aspiring leaders interested in supporting each other and providing a platform for female leadership. We met. We connected. We planned. We laughed. We launched! We hosted our inaugural event at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, NJ. We shared our vision, our logo, our journey, our website, and our social media outlets. We were honored to have Kimberley Harrington Markus speak to the group on the importance of taking care of oneself and the importance of having a vision and goals. The event was a success and it all started with a spark - a spark from Bergen County. As the organizer of this event, I was able to become the woman I would look up to. My hope is that I can now inspire generations of others to follow the lead. 

    “Don't take for granted the love this life gives you. When you get where you're goin', don't forget to turn back around. And help the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind.”

    – Tim McGraw, Humble and Kind

     A commitment. The WHWIEL strives to live by our vision and purpose.  Our written vision statement segment reads, “We are dedicated to inspiring and building those around us to greatness with confidence, determination, perseverance, and humor.” We naturally and organically support one another, but we have a commitment and distinct purpose to mentor, encourage and inspire women who have the mindset and skillset to be leaders. It is without a doubt a core value of the group. 

    On a personal note, thank you to all the women and men in my life who believed in me and truly inspired me to be not only what I am now, but who I am now. It is my passion, my why, to pay it forward. In the last few years, I have been able to watch those around me grow and realize their own success. There is no greater reward than watching others succeed, others that you have influenced. 

    The WHWIEL are also committed to helping anyone or any county that is interested in forming their own associations. Please see our website, https://www.whwiel.org/ for our story, and our contact information. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.  We would love to “turn back around and help the next one in line” and we would be honored to do so.