Reaching for Limitless Skies to Empower Women
Judith Hall is the founder and CEO of the Life Coaching and Motivational Speaking Company, Speak. Teach. Coach. Impact! (STCI). She was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the last of six children. She has been an educator for 24 years and spent the last 16 years teaching Spanish and ELA in the NYCDOE school system. She attended Shortwood Teachers College, Jamaica, where she majored in Spanish and Linguistics with a minor in Literature. There, she received the prestigious and coveted- Marjorie Myers Centennial Scholarship for Excellence. In that year, too, she received the tuition – based Teacher’s Scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Jamaica. Her passion for teaching and learning fueled her desire to attain her Bachelors degree at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. She also holds a Master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language ( ESL) from Cambridge College, Massachusetts and in 2007 she completed a second Master’s degree in School Leadership and District Administration from the College of St. Rose in Albany New York.
Judith served as a fearless UFT Chapter Leader in two schools for over a decade where she represented and defended her members with the same alacrity with which she approaches life. This passion for advocacy and “speaking up for those who have no voice”, made her the natural candidate for the widely publicized and politicized position of President of the Association of International Educators. In this role she, in collaboration with The Black Institute, staged demonstrations at City Hall and in Albany, gave radio and television interviews locally and internationally and met with various senators and Congressmen in defense of the beleaguered teachers of the Diaspora. Judith well knew that the position would be radioactive but she accepted the challenge anyway. She said, “The best way to hide is in plain sight.” This said while bestowing her mischievous, incandescent smile on all and sundry. Backed By the powerful President of the Black Institute, Bertha Lewis, the AIE, became a force not to be ignored. Many major and minor concessions were won. Judith had an epiphany!, she realized the role that Advocacy played as an agent of transformation in communities, countries and the world and most importantly, how it transformed and reconnected her to the better parts of herself. In 2017, she was honored to be appointed to the Board of the Black Institute in NY, NY. Because she believes passionately in the issues that TBI champions.
George Washington University became aware of the work that Judith and the Black Institute were doing and when The MacArthur Foundation gave the university a grant to assess the “Ethical Recruitment of Foreign Born Teachers, Judith was invited to be a panelist to help draft the constitution which would ensure that never again would teachers have to endure the conditions they faced as international recruits. Her rallying cry was always, “you came to our countries and chose the brightest and the best, yet you persist in treating us as little more than indentured servants! This is a most egregious situation and we seek redress on the Federal, State and City levels! If our service is no longer required, there must be a structured disengagement, not to exclude one year’s notice and severance pay.”
As Head of the Spanish Department at the Marie Curie School for Medicine, Nursing and the Health Professions, she was responsible for creating the Spanish curriculum and chaired the School Leadership Team meetings. Not only was she a dynamic teacher who consistently reaped extraordinary success at the Regents and Advanced Placement levels; she introduced extra-curricular activities for students because she believes implicitly that “social learning is the underpinning of academic success” and many of the students, 95% girls, needed social skills and esteem- boosting opportunities so, in April of 2011, she facilitated a trip to Spain, Judith viewed the trip as a major esteem-building, discipline-reinforcing opportunity. It was life altering for her students and there were dramatic shifts in achievements, attitude and aspiration as she had hoped. The previous month, on March 12, 2011, with the aid of The Black Institute, she hosted a fundraiser at The Campanile Restaurant to help raise funds to pay for the excursion. It was extremely successful.
Judith admits to being influenced greatly by 3 women in her life, the first was her mother who instilled in her a passion for reading and also imbued her with her sense of industry and philanthropy. Judith moves at a fast pace and hates inactivity. In her own words “inactivity presages boredom and I absolutely refuse to be bored!” The other strong female principle in her life was her high school teacher, Sister Mary Catherine. She was a Franciscan nun who taught her Spanish. She was dynamic and exciting and Judith in turn, was energized and excited to learn all she taught. She ascribes her success as a teacher to the strategies learned from her.
Judith never passes up an opportunity to grow and learn and she is very results oriented. She loves a challenge and is at her best in a crisis. A lifelong learner and educator, she finds inspiration and validation in the words of Mariann Williamson; … “ you are a child of God you were meant to shine. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. When you let your light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” Judith strongly feels that these words succinctly sum up the journey her life has been on her road to self-actualization.