Listee Features — June 14, 2021


Deborah Messer Gonzalez is a teacher and educational administrator currently serving as the superintendent of the Slater School District, a position she has held since 2016. A proud graduate of Slater High School, Ms. Gonzalez was raised and educated in the district that she would later return to teach in. For much of her life, she anticipated building a career in business administration, and completed a bachelor’s degree in business management at Missouri Valley College in 1984. She credits her husband of 36 years, Bob, with providing her the initial inspiration to consider a career in education. A teacher himself, Bob was hired by the Slater School District in the 1980s, bringing Ms. Gonzalez back into contact with the student

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Dr. Barbara Ann Woods is a business and management expert with more than five decades of entrepreneurial and human resources experience. Since 1999, she has been a project manager for SVR Inc., LLC, where she handles general operations and employee oversight for a team that monitors and supervises the dissertation process for students at various colleges and universities. Dr. Woods has been the founder and leader of numerous businesses since the early 1970s, and describes building a successful company as one of her major callings in life. Born into a family of nine children, Dr. Woods was an exceptional student with big dreams who found limited family support for her ambitions. After graduating high school as a straight-A student, she

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Kathy Lynn Cedoz is a retired elementary educator with a career spanning almost four decades of service to her students, community and profession. As a child, Ms. Cedoz idolized her mother, a first-grade classroom teacher who had spent more than 35 years in the educational field. She remembers growing up with her mother’s career “always in the back of her mind,” and was once invited to demonstrate a visual arts project for her mother’s class, which was a formative experience. While growing up, Ms. Cedoz enjoyed learning and going to school, and she wanted to be able to pass the same feeling along to other students by becoming a teacher. After high school, Ms. Cedoz enrolled at the National College

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Judith Lovell


Judith C. Lovell is the founder and chief executive officer of Crystal Clear Educational Systems, Inc., a line of educational resources and instructional support products created to help make high-quality coaching, training, and professional development materials available to all. Since childhood, Ms. Lovell dreamed of becoming a teacher like her mother, and felt called to work in community and human services positions that would allow her to help create safer, stronger neighborhood resources. She launched her career in 1980 as an employee of the Metropolitan Transit Authority/New York City Transit, and in 1984, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in urban planning from Brooklyn College. Ms. Lovell pursued additional education throughout the 1990s, first completing a management certificate at the

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Margaret “Peggy” Greif Arden celebrates a career spanning more than 50 years as an award-winning interior decorator and small business owner. Creative and naturally artistic since childhood, Ms. Arden enjoyed crafts and ceramic arts, and took design coursework first at DePauw University in the late 1950s, and then at the University of Illinois between 1960 and 1962. She got her start in the interior design and decor industry by designing interiors for hospitals and corporate settings, and fell in love with the work. By 1965, Ms. Arden had established her own company, Creative Decor, a Kankakee, Illinois-based firm where she remained the principal and primary owner until 1979. Throughout the decade, Ms. Arden also worked as a member of the

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Mildred Mary Wintz, EdD, is an educator and historian who has dedicated more than 50 years combining her deep knowledge of environmental science with her background in education and curriculum design. A self-described maverick who has led a multifaceted career, Dr. Wintz did not begin her career intending to become a teacher. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, briefly taking teacher education coursework before discovering her love for fine arts and architecture. She completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in 1955 after several female-dominated programs were discontinued by school administration in favor of those with more male enrollees. For the rest of the decade, Dr. Wintz worked as a designer for John Reid Interiors and a trainer for the American

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