Ignite the Trail

"A woman is free if she lives by her own standards and creates her own destiny, if she prizes individuality and puts no boundaries on her hopes for tomorrow." - Dr. Mary McCleod Bethune

Women in education and women who aspire to work in education are invited to join us for a day of workshops, presentations and a panel lunch discussion that will inspire and motivate you in your personal and professional life.  

Keynote Speaker

Tonjua Williams, Ph.D., President, St. Petersburg College is the seventh president of St. Petersburg College, selected in 2017. Nationally recognized as an expert in transforming departments and institutions through student development and strategic planning, she has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her 31-year career as a leader in post-secondary education. Most recently she won the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s leadership award and was named one of the top 25 women in higher education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. As a tactical leader of the Education Ecosystem movement in the Tampa Bay Area, Dr. Williams has created a pathway for educators, businesses, government and community agencies to work closer together than ever before. That movement has strengthened the alignment between schools, created pathways for working adults to advance their careers, and improved the economic mobility of our residents and the growth of our region.

Panel: My Story

Featuring panelists:

  • Jennifer Wells China, Ph.D., President, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) SouthShore Campus - Jennifer Wells China, Ph.D., is HCC's SouthShore Campus President since January 2018. A servant leader, she is a board member for: Big Brothers Big Sister of Tampa Bay, the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Public Art Committee, and the Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity of the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • Susan Duval, Board Chair, Former Principal, Hillsborough County Schools Board - Susan Duval was elected to the Hernando County School Board in 2014. She is currently the Board Chair and represents District 5. Susan moved to Hernando County in 1969 and began teaching at Brooksville Junior High School. In 1980, she transitioned into administration and with the exception of three years, has been a K-12 administrator. Schools where Susan has worked include Hernando High School, Powell Middle School, Central High School and F.W. Springstead High School. 
  • Heather Fiorentino, author, community advocate, and former Superintendent, Pasco County Schools - Heather Fiorentino became the first female superintendent for Pasco County Schools in 2004, serving eight years in the role before retiring. During her tenure, Pasco School District was the seventh in the state to obtain District wide accreditation, the graduation rate increased, dropout rates decreased, and 20 new schools were built to meet population growth and class size Amendment. Prior to her role as superintendent, Fiorentino co-founded the Deaf Service Center in Pasco County and taught at Elfers/Mittye P. Locke Elementary School.
  • Katherine M. Johnson, Ph.D., PHSC President Emerita - Katherine Johnson served as the third president of Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) from 2005 until her retirement in 2015. PHSC prospered under Johnson’s leadership and experienced tremendous growth. Johnson previously served five years as the President of Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, NC and 16 years at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla.
  • Madeline Pumariega, Executive Vice President/Provost, Tallahassee Community College and former Chancellor for the Florida College System - Madeline Pumariega was named executive vice president and provost of Tallahassee Community College in May 2019. She is the former chancellor of the Florida College System, recognized amongst the top in the nation, appointed as the first female and Hispanic chancellor in August 2015.
Silent Auction

Be sure to bring cash for the silent auction. $5.00 for six tickets. Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward scholarships. 


Register to Attend