Women’s Month: Mrs. Bugaj


Photo by Will Nickerson

Vidia O'Bryant, Editor-In-Chief

As a principal and CTE director here at Wheeling Park, Mrs.Bugaj represents another strong woman in a powerful position.

While many may not necessarily see the work she does, it is important to make sure her impact does not go unrecognized! For this woman, International Women’s History month is more about respect.

Mrs.Bugaj believes women are often undermined in their talent and dedication. She made the analysis between being a housewife and principal, saying, “People used to talk about ‘oh you’re just a housewife’, but being just a housewife means you’re running your family and your house. The same thing with the school systems and businesses.”

As someone who possesses loads of experience in her field, being a woman still had an effect on the acquisition of her leadership role. Mrs.Bugaj stated that she was a teacher for career tech in prostart. Although, her position in the food industry was even affected by her sex.

In a joking way she shared that, “Women cook, men are chefs. There’s a difference.” This was yet another obstacle Bugaj was forced to deal with on her path in the career tech field. Knowing that the title of job would always hold a different connotation than a man’s isn’t exactly easy. This is why she added that, “I don’t think [I had to work] harder, but maybe smarter.”

This work ethic is commonly seen among women who are working in traditionally male dominated fields. Fortunately for Mrs.Bugaj, she is a very resilient woman.

She believes that, “Women are traditionally, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, more organized and not necessarily more go-getters, but they are in a way. I think it’s because women have always had to prove themselves, so they work harder and better.”

The tough nature a woman must possess in order to rise above is incredibly inspiring. Mrs.Bugaj agrees with this.

“When I see a woman who’s running something, I think ‘I could do that. If they can do that, I can do that’,” she shared. In relation to inspiration, Mrs.Bugaj is an outstanding example of a woman who worked diligently to get to where she is now. Her entire career is inspirational alone.

Giving herself the recognition she so greatly deserves, she said, “So I came from that background as being that teacher [in prostart] to being in the position to run the programs and be in charge of all of them. As a woman, I think that’s very powerful.”

Her position isn’t simple though. Her advice on being a woman in power, and going through the adversities women face every day is pretty straightforward. “Don’t be fake, just put yourself out there the way you are.” She finished off saying, “Being yourself. Being human. Being genuine.”

These three traits are what she believes to be the most important attributes in a woman, which she carries through her everyday life and career!