Leanna Albrecht receives 2021 Learning & Liberty Award
Congratulations to Leanna Albrecht for earning the 2021 Learning & Liberty Award from WSPRA. Leanna serves as the Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Clover Park School District.
Leanna has served as a school communications professional for the past 18 years in four districts, including Tacoma Public Schools, Northshore School District, Everett School District and Clover Park School District, where she currently serves. She has served her colleagues across the state in the position of President and Vice President of Finance for WSPRA, and has been a true mentor and friend to many through the years.
She was nominated for this award by Craig Degginger of Mercer Island School District, who says, Leanna has always been the first person he calls or emails when he needs support or advice, ever since she supported him through a brief teacher strike while in his second year of school communications work. During a particularly frightening districtwide lockdown in Shoreline in January 2015, she was the first person to reach out and offer help. “She has continued to be a source of help as I moved on to Mercer Island five years ago.”
Leanna’s superintendent, Ron Banner, says she does an exceptional job building capacity in her team to grow and be successful in their individual jobs as they contribute to the team/department. “In a very short time, she has garnered the trust and respect of her staff, district and school personnel, and our community partners. As a member of the Superintendent’s Council, she plays a crucial role on the team leading the district.” The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the district and all school districts. In times like this he lives by the mantra that “leaders have to lead.” Leanna exemplifies that leadership by bringing a balance of her expertise and positivity as she counsels him and the rest of their district leadership team.
Ben Miller, Community Relations Manager, and Shelly Thornton-Simon, Supervisor of Publications, both agree that Leanna believes in collaboration and bringing people together who share the same goals and values. She will often reach out to WSPRA members who are going through similar challenges to ones she has faced during her time in the four districts she has served. And most importantly, she works closely with her staff members to help them grow and effectively contribute to the district team.
Leanna works hard to empower her staff members to do their best work. She is accessible, approachable and always offers a calming demeanor in stressful situations.
Diane Bradford, Communications and Public Relationship Director with Mukilteo School District, remembers having Leanna as a supervisor for two years while in Everett. Leanna was a strong advocate for her whole staff. She worked with them on professional development plans and encouraged them to follow through on their own self-improvement. She was understanding, patient and supportive and Diana always knew she had her back. Diane learned many valuable skills from Leanna and strives to emulate many of her leadership strategies in her new position as a communications director.