Celebrating Women on International Women's Day
Opening a conversation with professional women in media, politics and STEM/health, the first-ever International Women’s Day celebration at Amherst Central High School was driven by young women wanting to raise awareness of women’s issues.
Young women at the high school met in focus groups and the outcome of those meetings framed the basis for the day, which organizers consider one-of-a-kind for a WNY high school. Organized by Assistant Principal Nan Ables, the day was broken into sessions with three guest speakers. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lynn Shanahan referred Mrs. Ables to Sarah Robert, associate professor of learning and instruction at the University of Buffalo, and together they pooled their expertise and contacts to plan the event.
More than 100 students packed into each session to hear the three female guest speakers describe their work and answer questions.
Talking about her career in media, Eileen Buckley, senior education reporter with WBFO, described events she has covered, her new career transition from radio to television and gave advice to students to seek mentors, do internships, volunteer and shoot videos and voiceovers to develop skills.
In response to questions from students, Dr. Noemi Waight, assistant professor of learning and instruction at the University of Buffalo, delved into topics on the government in her native Belize, her support network, STEM contributions across all genders, her research on technology offerings in a Belize high needs school, and who inspires her.
Connecting through Google Hangouts, the final session connected a Chilean education professor with Amherst high school students. Dr. Ana Luisa Muñoz García, assistant professor of curriculum, technology and evaluation at Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Chile, is a former social studies teacher, and an activist who was involved in the South American version of the #metoo movement, called #niunamas (not one more).
Students designed three stickers for the day. One design, similar to Rosie the Riveter, was printed on purple T-shirts. Mrs. Ables distributed purple carnations to every female staffer in the building.