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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 Jessica Hanson, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

With 16 years of public education work on her resume, Jessica Hanson was recently named executive director of educational leadership in Azle ISD. She came to the position from the district’s human resources department, having begun her career as a classroom teacher before moving into administration. She replaced Mark Kehoe, who retired from the position last year after 38 years in education and has nothing but positive things to say about his successor. 

“Jessica Hanson radiates positivity in every aspect of her life, and this quality has a profound impact on everyone fortunate enough to interact with her,” Kehoe says. “Jessica’s unwavering dedication to positive leadership makes her the perfect choice for the ‘Inspiring Leader’ spotlight.”

Hanson says she’s happy to step into the new role, and is dedicated to serving the Azle ISD community, of which she says she’s exceptionally proud.

“We truly have an amazing school district that serves from the heart and leads with purpose,” she says. “One thing we value most and live by daily is our mission: making a difference to every child, every chance, every day.”

Hanson’s positivity is an inspiration to many in the district, and her ability to shine under pressure allows her to lead by example in a way that promotes a forward-thinking mindset among staff. 

“A trainer for ‘The Power of Positive Leadership,’ Jessica possesses a remarkable ability to see the silver lining in even the most challenging situations and to inspire those around her to adopt a similar perspective,” Kehoe says. “Her infectious enthusiasm is a constant source of motivation for all of Azle ISD.”

In a job that can be challenging, Hanson says she maintains focus by knowing her purpose and dedicating herself to serving the district each day with love, compassion and positivity. 

“Believe me, some days are harder than others, but I know when I wake up in the morning that I am called to this mission,” she says. “While this work is challenging, I find that practicing gratitude, showing kindness, and having a positive attitude has been a key to my journey.”

She also cites mentorship and fellowship with other school staff as two key components that keep her learning and growing in the work that she does.

“I find that most great mentor/mentee relationships are reciprocal and relationship focused,” Hanson says. “Once this relationship is built we can truly develop together. I can learn so much from someone with new insights and fresh ideas, and my hope is to empower others who want to become positive and inspiring leaders.”

If you’d like to nominate an Inspiring Leader, email