Professional Admiration

sol#SOL18 Day 19

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back. ~ Unknown.

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s slice is about some of the women who have influenced my professional life.  These are a sampling of women I have met and admired on my career journey thus far. To include all of them would be writing a book. A later post will be about the women who influenced my personal life.

Lucy Piotrowski – My mom is my biggest cheerleader. She went to work at a time when all my friends’ moms were still staying at home.  She went because we needed the money, but she flourished in her jobs because she was hard-working, loyal, trustworthy, and compassionate.  She taught me the value of working and taking pride in my work.

Sr. Rosathea, SSJ – She was my first music teacher in elementary school.  She instilled in me a love of music and lit that spark that carried me into the orchestra in HS and eventually on to a degree in Music Education. I can still remember being on that stage at Resurrection of Our Lord School and singing “Joy to the World” – Jeremiah was a bullfrog version.  (I know I am dating myself now!)

Sr. Clare Andrew OSF – She nurtured my love of writing and made class fun.  She helped me to believe in myself as a writer.

Sr. Clare Immaculate OSF – She scared me half to death, but she really help me up my writing game.  I even got published in the Literary Journal that year!

Sr. Maryellen O’Connell RSM – She was my principal for 12 years at St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, PA.  She was tough. She demanded a great deal from her teaching staff, but not nearly as much as she demanded from herself.  She taught me what leadership in action looked like. She was not afraid to stand up for what she thought was in the best interest of the school and its students.  And while she was open to listening to the concerns of parents, she did not let them walk all over her teachers.

Robyn Doyle – She was the school librarian at St. Catherine’s. We worked across the hall from each other for many years.  Our working relationship soon turned into a lifelong friendship, but sticking to work – Robyn was a calming influence on me on days I was letting my emotions get the best of me.  She helped me see many situations in a different light.

Andrea (Andy) Fishman – She was the director of PAWLP when I went through the Summer Institute.  I was in awe of Andy. She was just so intelligent and confident. Andy taught me not to cut myself short (a lesson I still struggle with sometimes) because if you don’t value yourself no one else will value you either.

Mary Buckelew – She is the current director of PAWLP, but back when she was the assistant director, she encouraged me to go to grad school and get my MA in English: Writing, Teaching, and Criticism.  I was afraid, but Mary helped me take that leap. She has also provided me with many opportunities to facilitate professional development in many Delaware Valley school districts, something I love doing!

Teaching Colleagues (too numerous to list without leaving someone out) – They have taught me so many things.  

  • How to be a good team member
  • How to deal with parents
  • How to navigate technology at times.
  • How to keep a work life/home life balance
  • How to accept help when I need it
  • How to laugh at myself

PAWLP Fellows- Becoming a part of this community was life changing!  I treasure the time I spend at PAWLP events especially Continuity Saturdays, the Children’s Book Writing Group, Advanced Institute, and much more.  This is the group that keeps me going, keeps me fresh, and keeps me humble.

Teaching can be a lonely profession, or a profession filled with opportunities to be a lifelong learner.  It is up to you to decide.

3 thoughts on “Professional Admiration

  1. I remember Sr. Rosathea so very well. Do you remember the musicals she put on twice a year, Christmas time and the Spring? Regina Fanelli and I were the stars on the top of the Christmas tree. Thanks for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

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