2020 YWCA Women of Distinction: Judy Jankowski

Community Champion

Head of School, Chesapeake Bay Academy

“Our commonalities far outweigh our differences if only we are open to looking outside of ourselves.”


Judy Jankowski Women of DistinctionIf given the opportunity and proper support, everyone can reach their full potential. Judy Jankowski quickly realized this truth during her early years working as an educator for special needs students and young men in the juvenile justice system. Her responsibilities in the education system span from the classroom and admissions office to her current seat in the office of the Head of School at Chesapeake Bay Academy. There, as she has at previous institutions across the country, Jankowski instills in herself, her students and her colleagues the importance of lifelong learning and its power to eliminate racial barriers, facilitate community and create equal opportunity for all. When away from campus, Jankowski spends much of her time raising financial support for the Westminster Canterbury Foundation and helping to organize camp experiences for Horizons Hampton Roads.


In your own words, what makes a good leader?

Hard work, the ability to listen, humility and placing the needs of others in front of your own.


What led you to a career in education?

The truth is, I came to education rather accidentally. While waiting for an internship after graduation, I took a job at a school for severe and profoundly emotionally disturbed students as a classroom assistant. In what I thought would be a temporary step, I found my calling.


What is Chesapeake Bay Academy’s “HI C” philosophy?

HI C is an acronym for honesty, integrity and collaboration. All of these are values that make up far more than a motto—they are words to live by.

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