Vickie Thomas-Miller (2004-2005)
Personal and Professional Context…
While I was president, I served as the Director of Student Services of Terrell ISD. Our daily decisions in schools at that time were influenced by NCLB Act, TAKS, and school district safety audits. Every school was deep in the throes of school accountability as they still are today.
The conference theme that year was "Leadership: A Bridge to Ourselves." In part of my President's Message, I remembered when Dr. John Hoyle had made references to two golden gifts of women leaders: self-love and finding joy in helping others. That was it! That was my personal mission - loving self and being a bridge for myself and others.
Goals and Accomplishments…
Goals of my presidency were to support and continue the efforts of the TCWSE's mentoring program, to have representation for each region in the state of Texas, and to increase membership by networking and reaching out to women who aspire to lead in the educational arena.
I didn't accomplish anything, but WE did. Membership continued to increase, and many great ideas were implemented for the TCWSE mentoring program (district, regional and state).
Influence of TCWSE…
At that time I felt ownership. TCWSE was mine! I had a sense of belonging. I was surrounded by ladies from whom I learned. They didn't judge me, but encouraged and supported me in my endeavors. Today it remains a sisterhood! If you're missing in action too long, you will begin to receive phone calls, emails, visits, etc… These sisters don't believe in long pity parties. I was once told to dust off myself and get back on the horse and ride. It was all done out of love and caring.
I feel "Thankful & Hopeful" to know that this organization of women will continue to encourage, inspire, and support other women in leadership AND those with the desire/thirst for leadership.
So Many Fond Memories…
17 yrs ago, I was taking a "Women In Leadership" class taught by Dr. Schroth and Dr. Pankake at ETSU (known now as Texas A&M Commerce). For the final exam, we had the choice of taking the exam or attending TCWSE conference. I chose the conference. It was exhilarating. The rest is history! TCWSE was one of the best kept secrets in the State of Texas!
A few years later, Tina Seaman and others invited me to dinner with them. Afterwards, we came back to the Hotel and sit in the lobby. As we sat talking, laughing, watching people go by, etc… Famous people begin to walk through. Not knowing what to expect, hanging with that group of ladies was indeed an experience!
The 6th volume of the Women as School Executives monograph series was published by TCWSC – everyone should have a copy. Read the poem on the last page. I know it is from the heart.
Judge Dr. Bruce Wood, (Past Supt. of Terrell ISD) spoke at my inaugural ceremony. It was an honor!
Conducting a business meeting, we were getting ready to vote, I was trying to use the proper wording for Robert's Rules of Order, and Dr. Katz said "So moved" – I was floored, I didn't understand what was said, so I just stood there, trying to go over in my mind what was said and what to do. Thank God for Shirley Coleman! From her seat, she took over for me. I was totally embarrassed, but everyone continued on like nothing had happened. I was told to get over it, and don't let it happen again!
Margret Montgomery-Sheffield was in my district one evening –I was leaning against the wall, and she was talking to me about getting out of my comfort zone and suggesting that I should apply for a posted position. A couple of ladies passed by, and thought I was in trouble. So the rumors begin. I was asked "What did you do?" Is everything OK? Do you still have a job?
Dr. Virginia Collier presented flowers to me at the end of my reign as President.
My prayer is to let me say or do something that will help somebody in a positive way.
Live - All we have is NOW. The Past is gone (learn from it) – The Future is not ours yet (make plans for it)
Dr. Sharon Ross, Dr. Lu Stephens, and Margaret Montgomery-Sheffield are blood hounds. If they want you, they will find you. They have people!!