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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 Demetrus Liggins, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

A little over three years ago, Dr. Demetrus Liggins stepped into the superintendency in Greenville ISD with a focus on the crucial role the school district plays in the community. A native of Longview, Liggins grew up poor in a single-parent household and says education was his saving grace. He was inspired by the teachers he had who helped him find his confidence and, in time, his success. Through his work, he now hopes to provide the same kind of support to students in Greenville.

“As a young boy and student, I learned the powerful impact that educators have and how they can influence a child’s life and trajectory,” Liggins says. “Understanding this power is what ultimately led me to become an educator myself.”

In Greenville ISD, Liggins is most proud of how the district helps students find their individual passions by giving them choices and encouraging them to seek out areas that interest them most. Through his efforts, he’s not only bettered the campus environment for the students, but also district staff.

“Dr. Liggins has changed the culture and climate of GISD in a short period of time,” says Sharon Boothe, deputy superintendent of teaching and learning in the district. “He has the ability to share his passion in a way that enables others to feel passionate. In turn, his shared passion makes organizations soar in the accomplishment of their mission and vision.”

When the work gets tough, Liggins says he takes comfort in knowing that the work he does is worth the struggle. Through education, he feels he has the power to change students’ futures — a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly. “I never forget that being an educator is something I get to do,” he says. “Remembering that keeps me going, even during the toughest times.”

Mentorship is also an important part of Liggins’ work. From his 20 years in education, he’s developed experience that he is more than happy to share with his colleagues in any way he can.

“My journey has included both hills and valleys,” he says. “To be able to mentor others allows me to share those ups and downs and lessons learned. It also allows me to learn from mentees and their valuable experiences and perspectives. For me, mentoring is reciprocal and another great way to continually learn and improve.”