Leading With Intention with Guest Contributor Dr. Julie Vitale

Julie Vitale Voice4Equity Advisory Board Member

Dr. Julie Vitalie is one of our key presenters at the When Women Lead ’24 education summit in Vancouver, Washington, and a 2024 Equity Warrior Award winner.

We asked Dr. Vitale to respond to the following prompt:

What does it mean to lead with intention?

Leading with intention is not just a concept; it’s a philosophy that guides every decision, action, and interaction of school leaders. It’s about understanding one’s identity, values, and purpose, and using that self-awareness to drive positive change within the education system. For me, being an equity leader isn’t just a title or a role—it’s a deeply ingrained part of who I am. From my earliest days as a teacher to my current position as superintendent of schools, creating an inclusive and safe environment for all students has been my driving force.

Intentional leadership requires a clear understanding of one’s values and principles. For me, it’s about standing up for every student who feels marginalized or “othered” in our schools. It’s about recognizing the systemic barriers that exist and actively working to dismantle them. In a society where exclusion is often the norm, it’s crucial that we, as school leaders, are intentional in our efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive education system.

But leading with intention goes beyond just having good intentions—it requires action. It means setting concrete goals and consistently aligning our behaviors with our values. It means actively seeking out opportunities to challenge the status quo and create meaningful change. Whether it’s implementing inclusive curriculum, fostering diverse representation among staff, or creating safe spaces for dialogue and collaboration, every decision we make should reflect our commitment to equity and inclusion.

As school leaders, we have a responsibility to ensure that our schools are places where every student feels seen, heard, and valued. This requires intentional effort to address the systemic inequalities that exist within our education system. By leading with intention, we can create schools that not only serve the few but truly uplift and empower the many. It’s not always easy, and it requires ongoing reflection and growth, but the impact we can have on our students and communities makes it all worthwhile.


Would you like to respond to an equity, policy and leadership prompt that reflects a compelling issue affecting education today?

If you are a school or district education leader that would like to be invited as a contributor to The Stories We Tell, please send an email to tiana@voice4equity.com and a prompt related to equity, policy and leadership may be sent to you to respond to for future newsletters. Your voice matters! Voice4Equity retains all publishing and editing authority, and does guarantee publication.