Sheila has extensive experience and qualifications in the following disciplines:
In 2012, Sheila, along with her wife, Linda, and an extremely impactful small group of dynamic women, launched a girls' empowerment series of workshops for young women in high school. Girls-to-girls (G2g) offered young women in grades 10-12, the opportunity to engage in a variety of team-building activities, small and large group discussions, and self-reflections.
In the first year of the program, they brought together 40 girls from two different high schools (20 from each) and 20 women from both of the schools' communities. Among those women were educators, military leaders, homemakers, physicians, architects, and social service workers. By the end of the third and final workshop, a majority of participants reported that the 3-workshop series had a positive impact on their thinking and their actions in certain social situations.
G2g continued over the course of the next five school years, and went from the involvement of two Connecticut high schools up to five over the course of its 6-year existence. While all involved wanted to see G2g continue and grow, managing the planning and execution became too much for the founders to sustain given their professional roles and responsibilities.
During Sheila's high school counseling tenure, she worked closely with College and Career Readiness Staff and served on a regional Allied Health Services Board that oversaw practicum experiences for high school students who were pursuing futures in the health professions. She also taught a seminar internship class for high school juniors and seniors interested in becoming educators after high school.
Sheila advised counseling interns and collaborated with her colleagues to develop a school counseling curriculum designed to serve as an "Intro to High School." While she had experienced multiple opportunities to lead throughout her life, it was through the school counseling realm that Sheila started to find her passion in leadership and program/group development.
Earning a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from The Ohio State University, Sheila aspired to be a teacher for much of her childhood. Upon graduating, Sheila taught instrumental and vocal music in grades 7-12. Early in her teaching career, Sheila observed that young people were yearning to be seen and heard by adults. She went on to earn a Master of Science in School Counseling from Central Connecticut State University.
Throughout her career, Sheila has had incredible opportunities to facilitate small and large groups of students and adults in a variety of endeavors. She honed her skills collaborating with, and learning from, colleagues who brought a fortune's worth in experience working with young adults.
Sheila's philosophy of team building mirrors that of her strong beliefs about education and leadership: Building, fostering, and continuously nurturing positive relationships with and among team members is paramount to the success of individuals, groups, and organizations!
As an established educator, Sheila received encouragement to pursue leadership in the field, a potential direction she had considered for some time, and one that her late father had always encouraged. She attended the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) and was offered a position as an assistant principal in the school where she was completing her administration internship halfway through the 2005-06 school year. After 7.5 years as an assistant principal in two different high schools (one rural and one urban/suburban), Sheila became the principal of a small shoreline town high school in Connecticut where she was named as the William Cieslukowski First Year High School Principal Award Recipient in the fall of 2014. Sheila remained the principal there for nine years until taking a leap of faith to begin !