Warmer Weather, Friendships and Connections


Dr. Christina Kishimoto
Dr. Christina Kishimoto

Who doesn’t love the month of April! After a long winter, evidence of spring begins to show up bringing the hope of warmer weather, more sunshine and less storms. April is also my birthday month! Every year my birthday brings to mind the Duncan Hines yellow cake mix in a box and chocolate frosting tub of my childhood from the local supermarket in the Bronx. As kids, my siblings and I knew a birthday was coming up when my mother would buy that box of cake mix and it would sit in the cabinet waiting for that special day. On that afternoon of your birthday, the smell of the cake baking in the oven filled our apartment. We didn’t have big birthdays with the neighborhood kids, we had a special day at home in the housing projects with our siblings, parents, and my Abuela, and do you know, there is no sweeter memory!

This year on my birthday eve I was in San Francisco with a group of women who had just wrapped up the CALSA Women’s Leadership Network Conference. We were all waiting for our late flights back home and six of us decided to have dinner in Burlingame. During dinner I shared that the next day was my birthday, and in an instant, there was singing, two desserts in front of me, and lots of celebratory comments. As I flew home after dinner, I reflected on how when women get together, there is magic to the friendship and bonds that form.

This April newsletter highlights two women leaders that I met at the CALSA WLN conference this year. I was struck by each of their stories. One is Dr. Rebeca Andrade, Superintendent of Salinas City Elementary School District in California. The other is teacher Jessica Powell who told her story at one of the workshop sessions of running for school board election and put herself forth so honestly and vulnerably, that I needed to get to know her. I hope that you enjoy reading and listening to a part of their stories, and get to know them a bit yourself.

With less than 90 days to go, I am so fired up about the national When Women Lead education summit! It’s quickly coming up on June 19-21st in Vancouver, Washington. We have women leaders registered from all over the country! Don’t miss your chance to attend!

This summit will provide a beautiful riverfront space to network with other women leaders, to share and learn from one another, and to celebrate the strong, diverse voices of women who are leading for equity, empowerment, and inclusivity. Your chair is welcomed at this table!! Scroll down to learn more!

With gratitude,