by Julianna Troccoli, Class of 2019
Every year, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore selects 10 qualified members of their community to be acknowledged with the “Phenomenal Women Under 40” award. On September 14, Ranney’s own Tracy Mutchiga will receive this honor at Seaside’s Park Pavilion. As the director of Community Engagement at Ranney School - a role that includes coordinating volunteer opportunities, liaising with the Parents’ and Alumni Associations, supporting philanthropic efforts, and managing school-wide events - Mrs. Mutchiga has fully immersed herself in her school community and beyond.
Mrs. Mutchiga has been surrounded by service her entire life; her mother was a school volunteer and influenced Mrs. Mutchiga to become an active member of her community, volunteering in a multitude of nonprofit groups ranging from Lunch Break to the Family and Children’s Services. After graduating from Rutgers University, Mrs. Mutchiga continued working in the college’s Athletic Department to “encourage the student-athletes to be involved not only in the university community, but in the community around it,” she explained.
A Girl Scout since the first grade, Mrs. Mutchiga recently searched for ways to become more involved with the national organization. Because of her work with Ranney, she was able to find the perfect spot to volunteer - working with the Corporate Leadership Council on their Development Committee. The work includes handling the council’s major fundraising events, such as the annual Women of Distinction Gala, Golf Classic, Phenom Awards, and their Dancing with Our Stars ballroom competition. She also serves as chair of the recently established scouts’ Jersey Shore Alumni Council. “This alumni group will help current scouts in the region have the best possible experience and provide networking and mentor opportunities for all alumni.”
Mrs. Mutchiga has been a proud Ranney Panther member for 14 years. Although most of her job description doesn’t fit into one category, she says she loves the diversity of her job. “I know what I am doing is for the benefit of the school and our students,” she says.
Despite all her community and leadership work, Mrs. Mutchiga says she never considered herself as much of a role model. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to give back to the community around me. Girl Scouts gave me so much growing up, it was a natural fit for me to give back to the group. Being able to help other local organizations while working with great people and doing things I enjoy makes it even more fulfilling.”
Mrs. Mutchiga looks forward to seeing the impact her work has on people, and loves knowing she helped to create a great experience for them. Earlier in the summer, she joined the Corporate Leadership Council on a visit to Camp Sacajawea in Farmingdale, where she participated in scouting activities with day campers. The most rewarding moment of the night was hearing about their experience with Girl Scouts and what it meant to them. “Hearing that the events we worked on to support the camp’s operations and scholarships for the girls to attend camp - there is no better feeling!”
The Phenomenal Women Under 40 award not only honors Mrs. Mutchiga’s commitment to her community in the past, but also recognizes her growing commitment to the future. Mrs. Mutchiga plans to continue her work with the Girl Scouts to advance their mission. As for her work at Ranney she says, “Ranney School has been my home for 14 years and I will continue to do whatever I can to keep it as extraordinary as possible. Both Ranney and Girl Scouts focus on creating well-rounded and healthy individuals, encouraging young people to be smart, strong, independent leaders of character and confidence. That’s why I am proud to be both Panther and Scout!”