Women who lead the way

When we began tossing out ideas for this edition, I realized that while coronavirus is an important problem, I wanted to avoid having a magazine devoted to it because it’s something that we’ve heard plenty about already.

I flipped through past editions and even Googled themes for August and September. In doing so, the theme for this issue became a no-brainer. As a woman in business myself, what better way to celebrate women’s equality than to feature women across the Imperial Valley from all walks of life than to highlight Women & Business?

These women, whether they be a cake lady, a mask lady, a hemp lady, a church lady or a public health lady, take anything in stride and tackle it with conviction and courage. I hope in reading these stories they persuade you to learn more about the women around you. Your neighbor, your sister, your friend, your boss. I believe every woman has a story to tell that can teach, uplift and inspire others.

And of course, we cannot leave out our teachers as it is back-to-school time, kind of. We caught up with three teachers (one former) who share how they’ve been preparing as well as tips for parents to prepare. It’s going to be a continued learning process for teachers, students and parents alike.

In March, when it became clear the coronavirus outbreak was a worldwide crisis, schools across the country canceled in-person classes. Educators who prided themselves on engaging students in learning and maintaining relationships found these tasks much more difficult to accomplish. They scrambled to post class material online and master the software needed for class discussions.

Bewildered students found themselves at home with only family members for company. Their friends, sports, clubs and activities were suddenly missing. Instead of live lectures and interesting class discussions, they were forced to adapt to watching instructor-posted videos while being “connected” in classes via virtual meeting software.

Fast forward to August and our county, along with many others, is continuing with the distance-learning platform to begin the new school year. Do I agree with it? Most definitely, because I personally would not have been sending my daughter if they opted for in-person classes right now.

But that doesn’t mean I like it. My daughter, who is an only child, is entering her senior year of high school, and as a mother, I can’t help but feel helpless. Helpless, because no matter what the situation, Mom is supposed to always have a solution. Just not this time. I don’t have a magic wand to make it go away, nor can I look her in the face and promise her that she’ll get to experience all of her senior firsts and lasts.

It’s still too early to predict what is going to happen with the Class of 2021, but I am extremely proud of Astyn for going with the flow of things with (almost) no complaining and for focusing on what she needs to get done to continue on after high school. She’s ready for the college applications, college visits, auditions and life outside the Imperial Valley.

Mom, on the other hand, has been holding on tight to that kindergarten graduation photo because I can’t bear the thought of being an empty-nester this time next year. For now, my focus is on helping her get through whatever this school year may bring. I’ll cry later.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay hopeful, and happy reading!

—Lex

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