Dr. Christine Vespe being honored at the 2018 annual “Outstanding Women of Burlington County” awards
Held tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Merion in Cinnaminson.
Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs announced today the recipients of the 2018 annual “Outstanding Women of Burlington County” awards. Honorees will be recognized at the annual awards reception which be held on tonight, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Merion in Cinnaminson.
Education — Dr. Christine Vespe
Dr. Christine Vespe’s dedicated service to students, parents, and community in her career as a leader in the field of public education is longstanding. She has continuously and prevalently demonstrated a concern for furthering the interests of women in leadership, particularly in education. As a highly effective and respected Superintendent of schools for the Shamong Township Public Schools located in Burlington County, Dr. Vespe is also a member of the Lenape Council of Superintendents.
The Lenape Council of Superintendents consists of the nine superintendents of schools that make up the Lenape Region (i.e., Evesham, Medford Lakes, Medford, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and Woodland) as well as the Lenape Regional High School District. In her role on Lenape Council, Dr. Vespe confers on and influences educational initiatives that impact student learning, employment trends, and educational programming for all students that extend far beyond her own district’s borders. She has had the opportunity to advocate and discuss the importance of ensuring that equity and access issues are addressed in education and in our schools when it comes to girls being underrepresented in the areas of mathematics, science, and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses and careers.
Dr. Vespe advocates for women’s leadership roles in education at the local, county, and state levels. She does so in her daily practices as a superintendent of schools, in her various leadership roles within the county and statewide professional organizations (NJASA, BCASA) that serve educational leaders, through her commitment to teach and mentor educational leaders (NJ EXCEL), particularly when it comes to women and young girls seeking to pursue careers in education, and through her leadership and engagement with institutions of higher learning (College of New Jersey; Rider College).
Dr. Vespe, along with another woman serving in a district leadership role, started club for middle school girls designed to mentor and facilitate their development of leadership skills. After reviewing other approaches by national organizations, Dr. Vespe examined and modeled her group after the “Ban Bossy” approach. This enabled Dr. Vespe to design the group in a way that encourages girls to develop traits and skills that will help encourage them toward success in leadership roles in the future. Dr. Vespe believes leadership programs for girls should not only provide opportunities for girls to act in a leadership capacity, but should include activities that provide education, promote empathy, self-awareness and reflection.
In education, Dr. Vespe has proven herself to be a lifelong learner as she earned her Bachelors of Science and Master of Arts Degrees from Rider College in Lawrenceville, NJ. In continuing her education, Dr. Vespe earned her Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and Innovation at Wilmington University. Dr. Vespe’s dissertation research, entitled ‘’Overcoming Barriers: A Study of Women in the Position of New Jersey School Superintendent”, focused on recognizing the underrepresentation of women in the position of school superintendent not only in New Jersey, but nationally.