Women’s Educational Leadership Network (WELN) Conference was a Success!


The 13th Annual WELN Conference was held at the College of the Holy Cross on Monday March 19, 2018. Approximately 260 women leaders and aspiring leaders attended the event. The theme of the Conference was; Leading for Empowerment.

The Program featured a keynote presentation by members of the Successful Positive Authentic Resilient Kids Network (SPARK) representing a team from the Natick and Westborough Schools led by Anna Nolin, Assistant Superintendent and Amber Bock, Superintendent. SPARK is a group who came together in 2010 with a mission to “build a kind and resilient community where no one feels alone, bullied unsupported or unconnected”. Participants reported that they found the presentation empowering and possible for implementation their own communities.

The practitioner panel addressed student empowerment and featured Mary Czajkowski , Superintendent in Lexington who talked about empowering students by establishing a “rock room” where student come to reduce stress and build a community of peer support. Mary Bourque, Superintendent in Chelsea outlined how her district empowers the student immigrant “dreamers” to attain a sense of belonging and academic success. Carolyn Casey, Executive Director of Project 351 provided poignant examples of how grade 8 students from across the State have been empowered through community service. Participant evaluation forms indicated that the panel sent an impressive message.

Lisa Hughes, Speaker

The luncheon speaker was Lisa Hughes news anchor from WBZ who delivered a powerful message about the expanding role and influence of women in the new media. Participants reported that they could “listen to Lisa all day” as she forged a great connection with her audience.

The participants were treated to an introductory ice breaker activity and interactive table top exercise on women and empowerment.

Dr. Mary Czajkowski (left) and Dr. Pia Durkin (right)

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Czajkowski and Dr. Pia Durkin the 2018 recipients of the Bobbie D’Alessandro Leadership Award.

We look forward to planning the 14th Annual WELN Event!

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