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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume III, Issue 1 2014 Of course, every large event has unexpected complications. Dr. Edna McDuffie Manning, Superintendent of Tuloso-Midway ISD, Margret Montgomery’s first contact at the national Women’s Caucus, was scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Unfortunately circumstances caused a last minute substitution as Joan Curcio, President of the Women Caucus and administrator in Tuloso-Midway ISD, delivered Dr. Manning’s address instead! No problem! A message was delivered and heard that inspired and challenged the participants. Afternoon sessions ran back to back with no time for breaks. These sessions offered women information about planning and accessing career opportunities from educational preparation to interview skills. They learned about legal issues, negotiating contracts, and gaining access to the right information. Most importantly, they were inspired by women administrators like Pat Smith, Superintendent Marshall ISD, and Elizabeth Clark, Assistant Superintendent Hallsville ISD who had managed to overcome the barriers women faced in the field, and they were encouraged by Dr. John Bowser, UT Tyler, and Dr. Morgan Moses, SFASU to challenge the status quo and aspire to career advancement! The end of the day, but a new beginning for Texas women school executives. The conference adjourned by 2:45 that day, but Margret invited anyone who was interested to stay to be a part of the establishment of the new organization. Thirty women stayed! Pat Shell insisted on being the first to pay her $10 membership fee. An organization for Texas Women School Executives was born! Looking back at that day, Margret recalls, “I really thought it would only last 5 years. I figured by then we would have completed our mission and wouldn’t be necessary anymore!” We may smile at her predictions now, but with a tinge of sadness knowing that 30 years later the work to support and promote women to school leadership is still critical. On that day this event and those women made a difference. This quote says it best, “I had reached a place where I never thought of advancing! Certainly, I had never been encouraged. Looking back, I think you changed my life!”

Dr. Margret Montgomery Sheffield is retired with her husband Tom in Hideaway, Texas. She continues to mentor and encourage women to pursue higher degrees and to apply for challenging educational leadership positions. In addition, Margret is actively involved in local community service organizations and the Hideaway Community Church. Dr. Genie Bingham Linn is Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Tyler in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.


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JTWSE—Volume 3  

JTWSE—Volume 3  

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