In an unanimous decision, the Nevada Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees has appointed Stephanie Leishman to replace former Trustee Jamie Reeves.
Leishman was one of two candidates, beating out former Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer for the position in the Wednesday vote.
The spot was left vacant after Trustee Jamie Reeves resigned, effective May 31. Reeves and family moved to the Oregon coast.
Leishman is the founder of Apiarity — a website, social media, and digital strategy — based in Nevada County but serving clients from around the world. She began her business seven years ago after moving to the area with her husband, and said she’s committed herself to a life of public service.
“I started volunteering almost immediately since moving to Grass Valley and I love to volunteer in educational settings,” she added “I attended public school. I believe education prepares us for careers, for raising families, (and) helps us think critically. I care very deeply that students here have access to wonderful public education.”
Brett McFadden, superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District, said the board’s choice to appoint Leishman will offer a breath of fresh air to the district, and will use her skillset.
“The board had before them two outstanding candidates and though there was public input, I think both were well qualified for the position,” McFadden said. “When it came down to it, the board was looking for a qualified candidate that could represent Area Two well and also provide another perspective to the board.
“The board was very cognizant of the fact that we have three seasoned former teachers on the board and they wanted someone who was younger providing that perspective,” McFadden added.
Leishman herself is pleased with her appointment.
“I feel honored to have this opportunity to serve my area and to serve the district as a whole,” she said. “The trustees received me onto the board with warmth and openness. They see the best in me and I’m thankful for the chance to volunteer in this capacity.”
The newly appointed Leishman will have little time before getting down to work—in fact, it’s already begun.
“The work starts right away,” she said. “Once I took the oath of office, there were resolutions to vote on, and this week I am attending graduations. I am already studying and preparing for the next board meeting. I have begun working with the administration to set up meetings so that I can listen to and understand as many stakeholders as possible.”
Leishman is a graduate of Harvard, having earned her bachelor of arts, and worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for several years. She went on to claim her master’s of business administration and a master’s of science in information systems from Boston University.
Additionally, Leishman is the granddaughter of the late Senator Orrin Hatch, who said she inspired her passion for public service.
“She will bring a great amount of knowledge and experience to the board,” board President Pat Seeley said. “She had a lot of support from the community. She is fresh and excited to serve the students of this district. I’m excited to have another woman on the board that is strong fiscally and willing to put in the time to serve.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. You can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org