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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 Shannon Luis, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

A new superintendent in Era ISD, north of Dallas, Dr. Shannon Luis took the helm smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing an administrator who had held the position for more than a decade. Her colleagues in Era say she’s done a remarkable job since making the move to the tiny, one-campus district.

“Dr. Luis has worked to honor the success that the district has had, while pushing the staff out of their comfort zone to raise student achievement across the district,” says Matt Brennan, Era ISD principal. “She is an enthusiastic and inspiring leader of our small school.”

“We look at our size as an opportunity, not a challenge,” Luis says. “I am proud that we offer our students varying programs of study as they enter high school, and we work to continually improve the opportunities all of our students have. We are a family all working to graduate seniors each year who know their path in the world, whatever that path may be.”

Luis says that staying positive keeps her going in a job that can be challenging even in the best of times.

“At the end of the day, I am here to serve the Era ISD community, and that is what keeps me going,” she says. “I choose to keep making each decision based on what is best for our students. I know that with that foundation, we will continue to make positive strides in the right direction.”

As an inspiring leader, Luis feels an important part of her role as superintendent is mentoring other administrators in her district so that they are prepared to step up as needed.

“Having served as a principal myself, I know exactly what they are experiencing,” she says. “My approach is to provide guidance by asking questions that allow new leaders to sit with their struggle a bit, then discover the solution. I believe that learning sticks with them much longer than me just answering their questions.”