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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 Sheleah Reed, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

School district communications teams serve as a district’s voice, whether sending information to the local community, or responding to the press. It’s a job that requires a strong leader, and in Aldine ISD, that leader is Sheleah Reed, APR. Through her work, Reed aims to elevate the district’s image while growing her own team of communicators.

“I have watched her coach and encourage our district executive leadership team and administrators to be the best they can be for the organization and for themselves,” says Valonia Walker, communications specialist in the district. “She takes time to listen to the issues, and she helps the staff and leadership team come up with strong solutions and strategies. She’s a breath of fresh air.”

With Reed’s leadership, Walker was able to complete her APR, an “accredited in public relations” certification designed to identify a high level of experience in PR professionals. Walker says that in Reed, she has found just the inspiring leader she needed to help her succeed. For Reed, she believes that fostering these kinds of working relationships is essential.

“The success of one person feeds the success of the next,” Reed says. “To make sure I am doing my part, I try to leave people a little better than I found them, by encouraging and supporting them to be their best selves, tell their story and lead without a title or assignment.”

Reed says what makes her most proud of Aldine ISD is how the district has worked to place itself as a thought leader in numerous areas, including literacy, COVID-19 and equality. Staff has doubled down on literacy in the district, hoping to improve student’s academic success and open them up to new possibilities. Throughout the pandemic, the district has served as a hub for the local community. After George Floyd’s death, staff in Aldine came together to reflect on the experience of Black students in the district and ensure that all students have the same access to a high-quality education.

“Communications, especially media relations and crisis management, is a world that is based on the actions of others,” Reed says. “It can be overwhelming, time consuming and draining. You are often standing in front of a camera sharing important and sometimes life changing information.”

Throughout her work, Reed has stuck to several personal philosophies. One of her favorites is: “You were prepared for such a time as this.”

“I remember texting a friend that I wasn’t feeling ready for a press conference. She responded with that statement and reminded me that everything I had experienced up to this point prepared me for this moment. There are many days I take a breath and say the words to myself.”