Female figures leading Grayslake community

Predominant women lead the Grayslake community to success with their continuous attributions

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Photo provided by Haley Wickstrom

Social studies teacher Haley Wickstrom honors considerable women in history by creating a poster outside of room 2465. In celebration of WHS Wickstrom created a poster that honors important female figures such as Anne Frank, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and many more. “These women impacted our history and society today by paving the way for us to be successful in all areas of life. Women have done remarkable things in the past, that encourages us [women] to continue to do so in the future,” said Wickstrom.

Maia AlBarrak, Sports & Opinion Editor

Celebration of female figures worldwide began on Mar. 7, 1982, when Congress proceeded to pass Public Law 97-28 which permitted and called for the president, Ronald Reagan, to declare the week beginning Mar. 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” But the week later changed to the whole month of March as of 1987. To this day, women all around the world are being recognized for their contributions to our history and society.

With the world and society advancing every day more than ever, we see female leaders growing and taking the role of empowering women to take charge. Some of the most powerful and impactful leaders in our lives come from figures in our community. Impactful female leaders exist in GCHS, such as Associate Principal Barabara Georges who has worked tirelessly to provide students with programs that maintain and nurture student goals.

As many young females find inspiration within Georges’s attributions, she was also motivated by a close female figure in her life. Growing up with a generation of empowered women leaders, Georges had many role models to look up to. With her mom being one of the first female hospital administrators in the state of Illinois, Georges’s expectations of a successful female were set at a high bar. 

“When you grow up of an image of a woman standing there in a stiletto telling Grizzly Fire Chiefs what they’re going to do, and they say ‘yes ma’am,’ it kind of sets the bar pretty high. That as a woman, even though society says there’s some things that maybe we’re not supposed to do, that’s not true… I can do whatever I set my mind on,” stated Georges. 

Role models can also help one set goals and expectations for themselves and help them reach the finish line. Junior Yuri Park stated, “My parents inspire me because they push me to never give up on working towards my goals.”

Due to Georges’s hard work and efforts with the help of other dominant leaders in our school, she was able to bring new curriculum opportunities for students. Programs like AIM, blended classes, and the selection of unique AP courses for students to take were introduced in hopes of engaging different students.

Georges explains, “The other just big piece is just opportunity, trying to keep as many unique opportunities going as possible and especially niche fields, such as Project Lead the Way, or some of our really unique AP courses or some of our fine arts, making sure that we do everything in our power to nurture those programs… so every kid has an opportunity to pursue their passions regardless of what they are.”

Through these programs, many students came to be great leaders in our school and helped them to develop long-lasting and useful skills. Senior Brooke Mueller shares, “I am extremely proud and grateful that GCHS has given me the opportunity to find my role as a leader and allowed me to succeed.”

Park also shared her gratitude for Central’s help by stating, “I feel grateful for the contributions I have made to GCHS as it has granted me so many opportunities and experiences.”

To help younger females to develop their own path to success, Georges aspires to be a positive female example for the younger female generation and hopes to break the stereotypical traits of being a woman and shatter glass ceilings like the generation of women in her family.

“Mentoring moments are important to me because I think society sends confusing messages, to girls and women about having to pick between being one or the other, having to either be successful and intelligent, or beautiful and kind and caring and all of those typically female traits, and I want to model for all of you female students that you can be all. You can be all of those things you can carry yourself with poise and class and care about your appearance and be ladylike, but also be a powerful force to be reckoned with for change, to be a powerful leader in an organization, making things better for people making hard decisions that others have to adhere to or tackling difficult topics such as equity, you can do both,” Georges explained. 

It is important to have female figures in your own community to look up to. With female leaders to look up to, it can inspire younger generations of women to make a change. “I feel that female leader figures give young women someone to look up to because often, you see males dominating leadership roles and it gives you inspiration that you can strive to be like that too,” said Park.

With success, struggles follow. No matter the task or level of success, difficulty and complications find their way to interfere. Mueller shares that she too has her own struggles to face, but with help and dedication, she is able to surpass the difficulties. “Just like everyone else I experience challenges. This could be feeling overwhelmed, having difficulties on an assignment, or something unplanned happens. I have learned that the best thing to do is reach out for help when needed, plan ahead when you can, and avoid procrastination,” said Mueller.

When facing struggles Mueller encourages reaching out for assistance. Using your sources is part of being a leader. Mueller explains, “Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. A good leader is one who knows when they need help and how to use their resources.”

Being a woman at this time is a blessing as females were not able to express leadership and power in the past generations. With great sources at your disposal and opportunities that some are not presented with, you are capable of altering the way women are defined with success, you are capable of something shattering the glass ceiling.

“You are blessed. And you are afforded opportunities that women around this world do not have, and therefore, you have an obligation to take that torch, to keep it lit, and to go through all the hard things that have been previously prevented from women being able to achieve,” reminded Georges.