International Women’s Day ignites reflection on Influential Women

International Women's Day allows Hoof Print members to reflect on those who've made an impact on their lives.

Jessica Phillips, Business Manager

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March 8 is a day designated to celebrate the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women in history. This day also is a day used to reflect those women who’ve made a positive impact on our lives. A positive impact that has left an ever present imprint on the make-up of who we are today.

Today, the Hoof Print has taken the time to reflect on the women who’ve made a great impact on our lives, helping to shape who we are and make us the young adults that we are today.

So in lieu of International Women’s Day, here is the Hoof Print staff’s list of Influential Women.

A Reflection on our Influential Women

1. Ashley Briggs – Her Mother

“As cliché as it may sound, the most influential woman in my life is my mom. At age 18 she migrated from her home in Trinidad to America in order to provide a better life for me, the daughter she didn’t even have yet. She works hard every day to provide for me and the rest of my family and makes sure we always have everything we need, and a little bit of what we want.  Although she can oftentimes be overbearing, I appreciate everything she does for me. She is hilarious, compassionate, and EXTREMELY forgiving. She has stressed the importance of education since I was in Kindergarten and I’m thankful for the foundation she’s laid for me.”

2. Calye Beale – Her first grade teacher, Mrs. Clenny

“The most influential woman to me was my first grade teacher, Mrs.Clenny. She encouraged me to read and always made sure I was a leader and set good examples for the class. Every morning before we walked into class she would make us read a list of vocabulary words from each grade level. She would usually stop at 5th grade but with me she kept going, and by the end of first grade I was reading and had vocabulary on an 8th grade level. She always pushed me to achieve my classwork and my reading goals and never let me skip out on anything. She was like a second mother to me and I thank her for encouraging me to work hard.”

3. Kylie Upole – Her Mother 

“The most influential woman in my life is my mother because she has worked so hard to give me a blessed life and to make me have a bright future. She pushes me to make me do the best I can to get everything I want in this world.”

4. Savannah Simpson – Her Little Sister

“The most influential little woman in my life is my younger sister, Emily. She has recently made the transition into middle school without knowing a single soul. I commend her for her bravery and for her confidence to go into a new environment and stand up for things that are not right. Emily is very polite and innocent to where she tells people to stop cursing and do the right thing and in my opinion, those are the kind of people we need in our society today. I know my sister has made me a better person by her diligence to do homework on time and for her drive to make the world a better place.”

5. Raven Woodlief – Her History teacherMr. Burns

Mr.Burns, while no longer a little girl, is one of the best teachers I have ever had. His begrudging attitude towards students and co-workers alike is something we should all aspire to.”

6. Bronlyn Holland – Her Mother

My mom is the most influential woman in my life. She has helped me boost my confidence with my golf game. She encourages me to not let the other people around me at the course bother me and to only focus on what I’m doing.”

7. Ellie Chandler – Her Mother 

“When I was younger, my mother was my favorite person. Being that I will never see her again, that has changed. Even though most people can complain about how often their mothers try to talk to them, my mom really just wasn’t feeling the whole “children” thing. My mom was is influential because of the large impact she has had on my life and childhood. After all, if it weren’t for my mom, I would have spent all these 16 years without going to a single funeral.”

8. Gracie Henderson – Her Big Sister

My sister Emma Kate is the most influential person to me. This is because she is alway pushing herself to be the best that she can be. She is nice, kind, hardworking, and a perfectionist. Everything she does it is done with all her heart. Ever since I was little I always wanted to be just like my older sister.”

9. Kayley Boan – Tahereh Mafi 

“At any chance I get, I am always shouting out Mafi’s name for recognition because I feel that she truly deserves it. She wrote a book about a girl whose whole meaning was to explain to other girls that you can be courageous and powerful despite what others may say. She does this by writing such an emotional book that follows you for years after you read it. She is truly the embodiment of a role model for girls everywhere.”

10. Jessica Phillips – Her Mother, An Author, and A Teacher (or two)

My mother is incredibly influential in my life, because she has put me and my twin brother ahead of herself on multiple occasions. She came here from Germany and has sacrificed seeing her family to live here in the United States with my family. I feel so lucky to have her as a mother. She cares for me and believes in me in everything I do, and I’m incredibly blessed to get to enjoy her spirit every single day.”

Jodi Picoult is also very influential because she was the first author that made me feel something. I think she is so incredible in what she does, and I every single day of my life, feel so lucky to have found her work because it pushes me so often to continue in my endeavor to be an author.”

Mrs. Cynthia Corley is largely influential in my life because of her kind spirit. There are so many teachers who don’t have the same drive she does to make sure every one of her students feels so loved. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have known her for so many years (dating all the way back to third grade) and to have become so close to her as a person. There are not many people who have genuine souls with a servant’s heart, but Mrs. Cynthia takes the cake. There are not many people who can extend their loves to multiple hearts.”

Mrs. Lori Vincent is a huge influence on my life, as well. I was given the opportunity to take her class as a sophomore, and I’ve had her class five different times in the past three years. Mrs. Vincent pushes me to do my best in everything, and completely entrusts me with my creative ability to become the best I can be. She has seen me through my worst and my best times, and even was the foundation for my success and achievement in the Governor’s Honors Program. Her drive and her resilience pushes me to strive to be my absolute best every single day in both journalism and my creative works.”

11. Lori Vincent – A Mother, Some Teachers, and a Former Student 

Linda Cooley – “Of course, the first influential woman in my life is my mother. From her, I’ve learned about how to be a loving mother, a compassionate person, a supportive wife, and a loyal friend.”

Rachel Kemberling: “She is a retired teacher and a former department chair at Ola. She taught me lessons about how to be a rigorous teacher and the importance of coaching students versus teaching them. She also encouraged me to take time to balance my work and personal lives… and that balance doesn’t always mean a fifty-fifty split.”

Dr. Susan Ryan: “She is also a former department chair at Ola. She is currently a college professor and she influenced my career as a teacher by modeling her passion for learning. When I think of her, I think of someone who is full of grace and intelligence. She is one of the smartest people I know and I admire her passion for learning.”
Laura Kate Butrill: “Laura Kate is a former student of mine. She is currently in nursing school. She inspires me because of the way she approaches life as a Type I Diabetic. She is fearless. I am not always disciplined about checking my blood glucose or sending the data to my doctor. She is a constant source of encouragement for me.”


The Hoof Print is thankful for these incredible women in our lives, and we hope that everyday you are able to celebrate the souls that have changed yours.