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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 Melissa Wright, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

As executive director of school support in Hutto ISD, Melissa “Missy” Wright’s chief task is supporting the district’s principals. She says that right now, she is exceptionally proud of these administrators and the work they do in the district, even when the going gets tough.

“Every day something out of the ordinary is thrown their way and they all respond,” Wright says. “No hesitation, no push back, and no whining. They lead with the best interest of their students at heart.”

Hutto ISD Superintendent Dr. Celina Estrada Thomas says that Wright exemplifies what everyone wants to see in their district leadership.

“[Wright] is a constant, reliable, supportive presence for our campus principals,” Estrada Thomas says. “She is driven by a commitment to leadership development and to ensure all students receive a quality education in every classroom in Hutto ISD. Always the consummate professional, she makes everyone want to be like her.”

Principals in the district agree that Wright is a tireless, positive force in their work, supporting and uplifting them so that they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

“Missy is a good listener and understanding,” says Ray Elementary School Principal Alexis Campbell. “She is very approachable and wants all students of all levels in our district to succeed.”

Howard Norman Elementary School Principal Carrie Abrams agrees: “[Wright] is like a shot of adrenaline, and immediately after talking with her, I end up ordering a book, having a great conversation, or simply searching for new ways to achieve a higher level of success.”

Wright says that she recites the serenity prayer as a personal philosophy to keep her going, no matter the challenge.

“I strongly believe we need to embrace the unknown for what it is, and let all of these new challenges be opportunities for all of us to grow and problem solve. I commute to Hutto every day from Driftwood because I love the people I work with and value their passion and conviction to keep our schools open and do right by our students. I will go to the ends of the Earth to support our administrative team as they navigate this journey.”

Wright says supporting and guiding her fellow administrators is key to the work she does in Hutto, especially over the past few years, where every day poses a new challenge and everyone is treading uncharted waters.

“It is so important to mentor administrators so they can develop confidence in their situational awareness which results in smart, solid, in-the-moment decision-making. When you build loyal and trusting relationships with your team, they can be vulnerable and are not afraid to fail forward. All of this leads to administrators who are more coachable, willing to grow and open to feedback.”