Women’s History Month

Farhin Hossain, Writer

Women’s History Month begins every March first. It is an important month to highlight the contributions and long history of women and their importance to society. During Women’s History Month, we celebrate the countless women who have fought courageously for equality, justice, and opportunity in our country. Women’s History Month provides all people with an opportunity to research, write about, share stories and raise awareness of the diversity of women’s lived experiences and the continuous work that needs to be done for gender equality.

International Women’s Day was first conceived at the Second International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1910. German activist Clara Zetkin, wanted to mobilize working women in a setting apart from the mainstream feminist movement. In 1921, Zetkin proposed the March 8 date in honor of a workers’ strike in Petrograd on that day, which marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution. President Jimmy Carter of the United States designated the first National Women’s History Week, the week including March 8, in 1980. Soon, by 1986, 14 other states in the US had recognized March as Women’s History Month.

Here at TJ, there are several important women who take the form of staff members and administrators. These women have proven to be quite the role models for young students, with their humor, their heartfelt stories, and their motherly instincts.

Sarah Ryley, Field Hockey Coach and a part of the IEP Program, was asked who the most important woman in her life is. Her answer was simply brilliant. “Professionally would be our principal Ms. Kibler, not because she’s my boss but because I’ve known her since I was in 9th grade. She was my geometry teacher and she was my basketball coach in high school and college. She is a family friend – big sister kind of thing to me. She just always has great advice to give so is also part of the reason why I’m here. I love working with her, I love being her student, and so she is very important to me. Personally, would be my mom. She made it a point in her life to always be there for all three of us kids because she didn’t have that in her life. Sometimes it may be a little overbearing with a mom, but I would rather my mom be in my life than not. Having her as a mom has shaped me into the mother I am now.”

Tracey Kibler, Principal of Governor Thomas Johnson High School, was asked the same question.  ]The most important woman in my life…well, the obvious answer would be my mother. She has certainly been a role model for me as I’ve grown up. She’s incredibly strong. She’s been an entrepreneur of her own business, she’s a real estate broker, and was one of the most famous business owners in the state of Maryland. I grew up understanding and appreciating her as a mom. The second part of my life I think one of the most inspirational and important women in my life is my daughter. My daughter is 16 going on 17, but she is unlike other teenage girls. She doesn’t get caught up in drama, is athletic and academically strong. She inspires me everyday. I watch her how hard she works. I just feel like the luckiest person in the world to have a mom who has led me and then to have a daughter who is following our lead.”

Finally, Amber Patterson, a science teacher who teaches Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Biology. “The most important woman in my life was probably my grandmother. She passed away 10 years ago. She was a super integral part of raising me, though I grew up in a completely normal household. I remember being over every Saturday at grandmother’s. As I became older I realized what an important part of my life she was in the example that she set for me and how she held our whole family together, with so many, you know cousins and grandkids. She was one of my favorite people because she was always very sincere, very honest in her interactions with all of us, and did everything she could for us on a very limited income. Now as an adult, I look back on everything and her morals like how to live a good life, how to be there for other people, she was very important to me and how I raised my children.”

Women are a very crucial piece to everyone’ life. Whether it be a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, cousin, sister, or friend. For girls, knowing women’s achievements expands their sense of what is possible. Knowledge of women’s strengths and contributions builds respect and nourishes self esteem, now, and for years to come. Remind the most important woman in your life that they matter, they’re loved, they’re welcome, and that they are deserving of everything good in their life!