Jodi Cullen coordinates the Alexandria Bay Chapter with Heather McIlrath. She's also married to Chrissy's cousin, Matt. We are so grateful God led her to use her gifts and talents within the ministry of Activ8Her!
1. What is your favorite childhood memory? Summer…every summer, day & night. Riding bikes, swimming, softball and late nights playing hide-n-seek in the dark throughout our small town.
2. What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Ziplining in Alaska with my husband. I am deathly afraid of heights, but I couldn’t fathom the thought of Matt doing it alone. (It took an hour by bus to get to the top of the mountain…a lot of time for second thoughts!)
3. What do you do for a career? I am an educator. I have been blessed to serve the same school district (Alexandria Central School) for the past 28 years. I have taught Pre-First, Second & Fourth grades as a General Educator and Grades 4-9 as a Special Educator.
4. Are you married? Do you have children? Yes, almost 29 years (37 years as a couple) 2 Children (Maddy 24 & Kelsey 21)
5. Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy being involved in the development of girls ice hockey in NY, birdwatching, gardening (flowers & food), home projects and spending time with my family.
6. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? Work outside in my garden beds and make them beautiful. Working in the warm earth is good for your soul!
7. Who is your favorite author? This will sound strange, Geoffrey Chaucer. I grew up as a small town “farm” girl, but went to a big school. I did not feel that I compared to the classmates who came from parents who were more educated and affluent than mine. Apparently my test scores showed that I belonged in a tract with the smart kids. In 9th grade English we read The Canterbury Tales. It was the first piece of literature that I was exposed to that made me believe I belonged with “that group”. I then fell in love with a variety of authors and genres, but Chaucer will always be my personal favorite, as his work changed my life.
8. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? As a history major I was always fascinated with the period of time centered around slavery and the Civil War. Although this was a horrible time in American History, I have often (even as a child) wished that I could go back and assist Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad.
9. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? Prayer. I talk with God, pray and offer gratitude each and every day.
10. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be? Jesus, My Dad, My Grandma Sarah and my Aunt Shirley (I am certain all of these people have a meal together often, I would love to sit with them one day).
11. What made you want to be a coordinator for an Activ8Her chapter? I attended Activ8Her Conference 2021 with my dear friend Heather and felt that there were signs everywhere. We truly felt called to bring Activ8Her to Alexandria Bay and have discovered what a true blessing it has been for us and for the women of our community.
12. What is a highlight of your chapter meetings? The unpacking of raw truth. It comes from Chrissy and Kolleen and then spreads into the room like wildfire. Our women have so much to offer one another and it is amazing to be a part of. So many times the enemy seeps into my days, filling me with doubts about my effectiveness as a coordinator. Then we have a meeting and those doubts are snuffed out by the Grace of God which is present with our Activ8Her sisters.