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TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development; it describes our members themselves — school leaders who inspire others as they work to prepare future-ready students. Meet David Belding, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

For David Belding, involvement in TASA and his work as superintendent of Aubrey ISD go hand in hand. In May of 2017, the district’s board of trustees adopted a comprehensive strategic plan that embraces the TASA Visioning Document. Aubrey’s vision statement says: “Inspire Passion-Empower Excellence-Nurture Innovation: We are Aubrey ISD. Challenging ourselves to be World Class,” and Belding says everyone is on board, from staff members to parents and the community as a whole.

“We are working together to support and provide every single child with engaging, rigorous educational experiences to achieve excellence,” Belding says. “Our entire community loves our children and are unified in the vision to become a world-class district while maintaining a personal connection.”

That commitment to the community is evident in the work Belding does, and it’s helped to create a tight-knit family culture on the district’s campuses, something that’s felt by those who work in the district.

“When it comes to a commitment to a community, Dr. Belding is miles above anyone I have seen,” says Shannon Saylor, assistant superintendent of HR and student services in Aubrey. “He has implemented many awards programs in Aubrey ISD to recognize staff, students and the community. He has taken time to go to local businesses and honor them with thanks for supporting Aubrey ISD. Through his leadership, he has inspired me to be my best self, to be a visionary thinker, and to consistently recognize and honor others.”

Belding says it’s his personal mission to serve people. By working in education, he knows he’s helping create a long-term, positive impact on students, families, school staff and his community. He sees communities and schools as intertwined and believes schools should be a reflection of the communities they serve. It’s this philosophy that gives him the focus and drive to do his job in the best possible way, and he feels it’s an honor for him to be able to make a difference beyond school walls.

“Our work won’t always show progress in a short time period, but we must remember that what we do is important for those we serve now and generations to come,” Belding says. “Ultimately, I know that I am part of something bigger than myself. I am part of a district that changes lives for the better and will have an impact well beyond my own life.”

This commitment to the community and the children Aubrey ISD serves isn’t just lip service. When a student or a student’s family is in need, Belding makes a personal connection, reaching out to provide support and encouragement. He inspires other staff in the district as he leads by example, and others in the district recognize and appreciate his efforts and are quick to sing his praises.

“Dr. Belding is the epitome of a leader,” says Jennifer Hazen, director of instructional media in the district. “I’m not sure how he manages to make it to so many of our students’ events. A glance at his Twitter feed (@frogman87) tells the story: his face in selfies surrounded by students from banquets to ballgames to book fairs … and that’s in one day! It really shows the value he puts on our students and the adults who organize and run these events.”

Belding represents Region 11 on TASA’s Executive Committee, an experience he finds rewarding and educational. Working with other education leaders from across the state, he has participated in the Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network, the School Transformation Network, the First-Time Superintendents Academy, as well as many other conferences and events.

“I have witnessed many different plans and heroic efforts from TASA to support education throughout the state,” Belding says. “TASA contributes to the excellence Texas has attained in education, and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful association.”