When Molly Bardine opened the email congratulating her as a Women in Business Networking (WiBN) Woman of Impact, she was taken by surprise — and not sure of how she even became a nominee.
Through her work as an educator at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School for more than 27 years — which includes her time as an English teacher, department chair and senior capstone moderator — Bardine certainly emulated the organization’s qualifications for the honor — that being a person who encourages and inspires those around them by challenging the status quo, working to improve communities, developing employees and/or students, and advocating for women.
"The Women of Impact honor recognizes women in the Miami Valley who are exceptional in their roles and respected in their fields, who are causing more than just a ripple in the public arena and in their communities and who ‘light a spark’ or make an impression,” said Sheri Sword, vice president of communications for the Better Business Bureau.
“They are fierce, fabulous and fearless and set an epic example for other women in the Miami Valley marketplace. Molly Bardine mirrors these values and it was our honor at Women in Business Networking (WiBN) to honor her at this year's gala."
In working with the school’s ministry and service office, Bardine was instrumental in developing and implementing Chaminade Julienne’s Senior Capstone program
, which was piloted during the 2012-2013 school year. Every senior student participates in the program, required for graduation, and is a member of a small group that focuses on a social justice issue of importance to them. They research ways in which they can initiate real change in the world, and then create and implement a project which manifests itself in a specific product or action. In doing this, students learn at a vital age that they can make change happen in the world.
“For me this award is really celebrating the impact the senior students have had in the Dayton community.” said Bardine, “ I am so proud to help direct students in finding their passion and recognizing that they have within themselves, the ability and skills to make an impact on a justice issue.”
Over the past year, Bardine has had the opportunity to meet with other WiBN members, and has found that one of the greatest benefits of being a new member was the opportunity to meet other women in nonprofits and businesses throughout the Miami Valley and learn about their passions and work. Last year she connected a CJ capstone group with Denise Henton, 2022 WiBN class member and founder of Single Parents Rock.
Students met with Denise and learned more about her nonprofit and ways in which they can make a difference.
Bardine enjoyed meeting others through this new connection, but eagerly waited for someone to come forward to share with her that they had been the one to nominate her; but that didn’t happen. After some time, she reached out to the Better Business Bureau and discovered that she had been nominated by coworker and cherished friend, Judi MacLeod ‘88, a former recipient of this same recognition, who passed away in September of 2021.
“I was truly overwhelmed to hear that Judi had thought of me as a woman of impact. It was truly a moment of grace and a Godwink moment for me,” said Bardine.
"Judi MacLeod nominated Molly for this recognition before her untimely passing last September.” said Dan Meixner, president of CJ, “ I suspect she did so because she saw in Molly a person like her — who cares deeply about the art and profession of teaching, loves all students unconditionally, and makes others better by her presence and her gifts."
The WiBN Class of 2022 was recognized at a special gala held in their honor on Saturday, Oct. 8. Bardine accepted her award with family and colleagues by her side.
“I am so proud to be a part of the 2022 class of WiBN,” she said. “I am also so grateful again for Judi's nomination. Each of us received a bud vase with a rose in it with the emblem and our name etched on the vase. It will serve as a constant reminder of Judi's impact and the time and energy she gave to others and especially me in nominating me for this award and being a constant source of support for Capstone.”