Recognition with women's Zonta Awards
Maggie Laing, Year 11 student and Judith Poole, Headmistress awarded by Zonta.
Judith Poole, Headmistress of Abbotsleigh, was honoured this week with the 20th Woman of Achievement Award from the Zonta Club of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai in recognition of her contribution to the community.
The Zonta Club of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai is part of a global organisation of executives and professionals who work together to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta International was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1919. Today the group has 31,000 global members in 1,200 clubs across 66 countries.
Also awarded on the evening was our Year 11 student, 17-year-old student Maggie Laing, who was the co-recipient of the Young Performer Encouragement Award for her trombone expertise. Maggie received this award alongside clarinet player Michelle Williams from Brigidine College St Ives.
Judith Poole and Rosemary Abrahams, current President Zonta Club of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai and former Deputy Headmistress, Abbotsleigh.
In attendance at the special dinner at Killara Golf Club was the Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Councillor Jennifer Anderson.
Mrs Poole’s professional achievements were noted and celebrated – from her time in the Peace Corps in Botswana with husband Dr William Poole working in the rural community of Serowe, teaching mathematics at Swaneng Hill, a village secondary school. In Botswana she starting her family with the birth of her first child, Kimberley; returning to the US and expanding the family with two more daughters, Kelly and Anna; and coming to Sydney in 1988. She began teaching mathematics at Meriden and soon moved into the field of computing.
Mrs Poole is passionate about encouraging girls in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. After completing a Master’s degree and authoring a computing studies textbook, Judith joined the business world to become Alpha Business Systems Manager for New South Wales. Her passion for leadership of young girls saw her move back into the education system becoming the 10th Headmistress of Abbotsleigh in 2005. She has led a holistic view of education and strongly advocates for girls being empowered to achieve their very best.
“For the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of leading a school that is committed to developing young women of the future. This involves helping girls discover their own gifts and challenging them to think about how they will contribute to society,” said Mrs Poole.
“I feel blessed to have had such wonderful opportunities to learn from colleagues, students and friends along the way.”