M.A.S.S. Hosts 17th Annual Women’s Educational Leadership Conference (WELN) – Building Allyships Among Women Leaders


The Conference was held remotely on Thursday March 31, 2022. The theme of the Conference was Building Allyships Among Women Leaders. The event featured the following components;

A key note address by Cheryl Watson-Harris, Superintendent of the DeKalb County District Schools in Stone Mountain Georgia. She was formerly the Deputy Chancellor for the New York City Schools and Network Superintendent for the Boston Public Schools. Her topic was Gender and Racial Disparities Among Women Leaders: Creating Empowering Opportunities and Removing Self-imposed Barriers.

A featured presentation by Almi Abeyta, Superintendent in the Chelsea Public Schools and Priya Tahiliani, Superintendent in the Everett Public Schools. Their remarks centered on their respective Journey and Challenges of Women Leaders of Color as new Superintendents.  They shared who had mentored them, gave them a seat at the table and listened to their voices.

Supts Tahiliani and Abeyta

Closing remarks were delivered by Deputy Commissioner Regina Robinson who shared her Personal Journey as a Leader of Color and as a Mother.

Deputy Commissioner Regina Robinson

Participants engaged in break out discussion groups which afforded them the opportunity to reflect on the messages from the keynote and the featured presentation. These discussions also helped them to explore ways in which they can build these allyships within their own districts.

To finish out the event, Supt Darcy Fernandes was presented with the prestigious Bobbie D’Alessandro Leadership Award.

Former Supt Bobbie D’Alessandro presents the award to Supt Darcy Fernandes.

The attendance total 190 superintendents, assistant superintendents and current and aspiring female school leaders. The WELN Planning Team will review the participant evaluations and use this feedback in planning future events.

M.A.S.S expresses their gratitude to the members of the WELN Planning Team for hosting this great event.

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