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 Susan Bohn, one of those Inspiring Leaders.
In 2018, Dr. Susan Bohn stepped into the superintendency in Aledo ISD, ready to lead the district into a new era, focused on instruction and best-practice teaching methods.
With Aledo ISD’s fast-growing population, she has also overseen the construction of new schools and significant renovations, while forging new connections with the district’s local community. Bohn is committed to providing exceptional experiences for Aledo’s students, a goal that has not wavered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am so proud of the incredibly high expectations that we have for ourselves in our service to our students, each other and our community,” she says. “Because our community is so centered around the well-being and success of children, we are fortunate to walk arm-in-arm every day with our community members in support of our students as they grow.”
Aledo’s deputy superintendent, Lynn McKinney, says Bohn has maintained her focus on identifying future educational opportunities for students even while responding to the ever-changing needs caused by current events.
“Dr. Bohn’s balanced approach to seeking input from all stakeholders, researching best practices and relying on a team approach, all with a focus on clear, consistent communication, inspires our district to move forward with an intentional focus for our students, staff and community,” McKinney says.
To keep this forward-looking mindset, Bohn says she relies on three concepts.
1. “Always do the right thing for the children you serve. Period … no matter what the personal consequences may be.
2. Do not take things personally. Most of the criticism that you receive in a leadership position is about the decisions you make, not the person you are.
3. Remember that everyone is dealing with something. The negative situations, reactions or feedback that you receive (especially this year during the pandemic) are typically rooted in some very deep pain that another human being is having to navigate. Give grace.”
Mentorship has been a factor in Bohn’s life since she was in the fourth grade. She believes that everyone can benefit from communication and collaboration with their peers.
“One of my favorite things to do is to encourage others to pursue the superintendency. I tell them that while it might not be the easiest job to land, it is absolutely an attainable goal,” Bohn says. “With my mentees, I mostly just listen, take notes and steal their ideas! It is impossible to lead well if you don’t learn something from every interaction and conversation you have.”