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Women’s History Month

Mar 31 2021

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by Presidential proclamation to honor the contributions and achievements made by women throughout American history.

In Lexington District One, you don’t have to look far to find strong female leaders who work tirelessly to serve our students, their families and our communities.

During March, we will highlight some of these outstanding professionals. Find out what, and who, motivates them to lead with conviction and compassion.


Nicole Mitchell, White Knoll Elementary School PrincipalNicole Mitchell
Q: Tell us about a woman who influenced your life.
A: “My mother, Shirley Mitchell, influenced me and my love for helping others. I watched my mother go above and beyond to serve others through our community, our church and most of all, through her job in the local elementary school. I am who I am because of her!”

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: “I would tell my younger self to learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power, and no one can ever take your knowledge from you. Invest in yourself!”

Q. If you could meet with one historical or well-known female leader, who would it be? And what would you ask her?
A: “Oprah Winfrey. I would ask her: How did your adversities make you stronger? What was the game changing decision that put you in control of your destiny?”

Q: Why did you choose to serve children?
A: “I have always wanted to be the change I wanted to see in schools. Growing up in rural South Carolina, I was not given many opportunities to compete with students who grew up in better areas. In college, I decided I was going to be a part of the solution. I wanted to help change the outlook for all students and families who may not have a voice in their education. I am an advocate for all students. ”

Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: "With God, all things are possible.”


Dr. Gloria Talley, Chief Academic OfficerGloria Talley
Q: Tell us about a woman who influenced your life.
A: “My mother, Pearl Lane Junkins. She raised three young children as a widow and had high expectations for each of us. She was the kindest and most humble and loving person I have ever known. She lived her life with joy, courage, compassion. I was blessed to have her as a role model.”

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: “Be patient; good things will come in due time.”

Q. If you could meet with one historical or well-known female leader, who would it be? And what would you ask her?
A: “Eleanor Roosevelt. I would ask her how she gained her fortitude and self-confidence against lots of odds against her.”

Q: Why did you choose to serve children?
A: “I think the best way to change the world is to educate the world's children.”

Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more; you are a leader." – John Quincy Adams


Debra Huggins, Enterprise Informational Technology OfficerDebra Huggins
Q: Tell us about a woman who influenced your life.
A: “My mother greatly impacted my life. She was quick witted, never idle, found the good in all people, appreciated everyone for who they were and loved to hear their story. She was in pain everyday, but few people knew it. Everyone knew her for her smile. She taught me resilience and resourcefulness.”

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: “Pray for direction, and trust God when he gives it to you.”

Q. If you could meet with one historical or well-known female leader, who would it be? And what would you ask her?
A: “Eleanor Roosevelt. I would ask her if she realized she was changing history or was she simply doing what she was compelled to do?”

Q: Why did you choose to serve children and/or schools?
A: “I developed an appreciation for the people and the culture of Lexington District One when I was working with the South Carolina Department of Education. I also lived in the community so when I was offered the opportunity, I happily came to work for the district because I believed I could make a difference for children and for our community.”

Q: What is your favorite quotation or words you live by?
A: “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”- Jane Austen


Sally Nicholson, Food Service and Nutrition DirectorSally Nicholson
Q: Tell us about a woman who influenced your life.
A: “My Mom was a mentor and teacher who was full of wisdom and expected the best from all of her five children. I got my love for the great outdoors, as well as the enjoyment of cooking and experimenting with recipes, from her. Mom was an amazing cook. She taught me to practice self-permission … that it was okay to give myself permission to take risks, think differently when problem solving, be yourself, share feelings, share kindness, help others and to stand up for what is right.”

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: “Perfection isn’t the goal. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be the best you can be. Own it, rock it!”

Q. If you could meet with one historical or well-known female leader, who would it be? And what would you ask her?
A: “Diana, Princess of Wales. If you had not met Prince Charles and joined the Royal family, what were her life’s dreams and goals?”

Q: Why did you choose to serve children?
A: “Helping children develop lifelong healthy eating habits and influencing the lives of children in such a positive way is immensely satisfying.”

Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: “There is simply no substitute for having your own positive attitude.” - Gill Hasson, author


Julie Painter, Pleasant Hill Middle School PrincipalJulie Painter
Q: Tell us about a woman who influenced your life.
A: “I have been very fortunate to know and been mentored by some incredible women in my life. A woman who had a strong influence on me (outside of my family) is Betsy Dyches, a Language Arts Coordinator who I worked at the start of my career. She exemplified strong, graceful leadership, and she trusted me with leadership opportunities very early in my career. Betsy made me a better teacher, and I am forever grateful for the growth mindset she instilled in me as I pursued my passion as an educator.”

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: “Listen more than you speak. And, go get your doctorate.”

Q: If you could meet with one historical or well-known female leader, who would it be? And what would you ask her?
A: “My dream would have been to have dinner with Maya Angelou. She was a brilliant artist and teacher who was the embodiment of female power. I was able to listen to her speak at the University of South Carolina one time, and she was such an incredible speaker – I felt like I was the only person in the room. I can just imagine how awesome it actually would have been to linger over a great meal with her, listening to her witticisms and wisdom.”

Q: Why did you choose to serve children and/or schools?
A: “I was the middle child so when we played school, I was the student, and I loved it. Also, we moved around frequently when I was growing up, and the only constants I had were my family and great teachers (from all over the country). From these experiences and people, I learned to love learning, and I wanted to be a part of building educational and life opportunities for children as a career.”

Q: What is your favorite quotation or words you live by?
A: “I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.” - Maya Angelou