Danielle Booth is the quintessential educator, currently serving as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Supervisor in the Mobile County Public School System. In this capacity, she combines her deeply rooted passion for improving and shaping young lives with her achievements in partnering with local businesses to offer critical programs such as job shadowing and apprenticeships in preparing students for meaningful careers. As a former teacher, she also holds the meritorious and well earned title of the 2010 Murphy High School Teacher of the Year. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Spring Hill College and a Master of Science in Instructional Leadership from University of West Alabama. Danielle lives in Mobile with her husband Bart and their two sons, who she describes as a major source of inspiration in her life.
Tell us about your business(es)/employer. List services offered and/or work you do and how you describe what you do to others:
I am the supervisor for high school Agriscience, Automotive, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary, Welding, and We Build It Better programs in the Mobile County School System. I collaborate with schools and members of the community to develop partnerships with local businesses that provide job-shadowing and internship opportunities in the workforce. I plan, implement, and oversee district competitions such as the Beef, Pork, and Peanuts Culinary Competition, and I am the liaison for MCPSS to Austal USA for their pre-apprenticeship program in welding.
Tell us why you chose your profession, the value it brings to you and/or the community:
I chose education because I valued it above most things. I wanted to help shape the minds of young people by challenging and encouraging them to make the world a better place.
Are you involved with the community, any non-profits, etc., and why is that important?
I am an active member of the Junior League of Mobile whose community programs focus on childhood hunger, fitness, and nutrition. One of our biggest service projects is the Diaper Bank, which supports area families with diaper donations. Community involvement is important because it provides assistance to those who need it most.
What is your vision or hope for women in the Mobile and Gulf Coast communities?
My hope for women in my community is my hope for women everywhere. I hope for women to be able to reach their highest heights, without the burden of unfair treatment.
Are there any specific policies and/or laws you would like to see changed to advance women?
Wage equality in the workplace. We have seen improvement in many areas, and although the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009 (named for Alabama’s own Lilly Ledbetter) helped women to effectively challenge unequal pay, there is still much to be done.
What advice or suggestions can you give to women walking the path of empowerment or struggling with self doubt?
Eleanor Roosevelt may have said it best when she said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If you want something, plan for it, practice it, master it, and go for it!
“Eleanor Roosevelt may have said it best when she said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If you want something, plan for it, practice it, master it, and go for it!”
How important has education and/or continuing education been to you?
I’m passionate about furthering my education, whether it’s through college, trade school, or apprenticeships. Learning and mastering skills will increase employment opportunities. I am a firm believer of lifelong learning.
How do you feel about Forty Over Forty and being a part of it?
I am honored to be included in a group of successful women, such as these.
If you have been to the conference, what impact do you think the organization has on the community?
It provides so many positive impacts for women who may not realize resources like this exist to help empower them.
Do you have a mentor? Who are they and how have they helped you?
I have had a few very special people that have taken me under their wings and helped me throughout my career. My first mentors were my parents who taught me the values of integrity, compassion, and hard work. They are the reason my motto is “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” As my supervisor and friend, Nancy Prine has given me valuable advice, support, and encouragement when I needed it most. Another mentor is Kathy McKenzie, a teacher of 42 years, who taught me everything I needed to know about teaching in the classroom and then some.
How do you think professional environments need to change to support and/or be more welcoming to women?
I would like to see more companies implement policies of inclusion and address culture as a priority in the workplace.
What/who inspires you?
My husband, Bart, inspires me to be courageous through his encouragement, support, and confidence in me. He reminds me that life is an adventure to be lived wholeheartedly.
How do you take care of yourself everyday so that you stay balanced and centered?
I have a three-pronged attack: healthy eating habits, exercising regularly, and finding time to recharge my battery every weekend.
What’s the hardest part about being a working mom/wife/single mom?
The hardest part is having to sacrifice certain aspects of family time. For example, my first day of teaching in the classroom was my youngest son’s first day of kindergarten. Although I have a wonderful support system and family who can attend special events in my absence, it’s not the same as being there.
What does an average day look like for you?
Wake up at 4:45 to enjoy tea with my husband, arrive at work at 6:30, oversee managerial aspects of programs throughout the day, a daily walk at 5:30, and dinner at 7:00.