2020-2021 Superintendents to Watch-Brad Hunt

Brad Hunt

Brad Hunt
Coppell (Texas) Independent School District

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is more than a title or position, but a frame of mind and understanding that our actions speak louder than our words. Actions are most important and serve as a visual demonstration for how a leader serves, but we cannot fully dismiss the power of our words. The style, method and tone of a leader's communication is critical. I believe a strong leader sets the tone for the entire organization, as well as creating the vision and direction. Leadership is modeling the positive behaviors you desire from others and inspire those on your team. Leadership is the understanding that every action and word can have an impact on the success of the organization or group. To me, that success comes from service; leadership is about serving others above oneself.

How have you integrated communication into your district’s strategic plan?

Our district has been executing the plan from our strategic design work for the past three years. The four pillars of this plan center around the district's core values of Great Teaching, Redefining Success, Relationships and Engagement. All four of these values are supported by a strong communication plan that has been integrated into this work, but the core value of Engagement has communication as the main focal point. Through the lens of engagement we use communication to build strong relationships with our community members. Even during the period of time our district was closed during the spring, we were able to remain connected and engaged with our community because of our strong communication plan.

What communication initiative are you most proud of that have you implemented in your district?

There are two communication initiatives that are a source of pride for me. As a way of keeping our community informed with all things CISD, we implemented a weekly video series entitled "Catch up with Hunt".  Each episode is under five minutes and  includes the three to four  key topics we want our community to know more about.  By sharing this information weekly, we are able to message out our most current and important information. We share the link on social media, email and our website. We have received very positive responses from our student body, faculty and community. The second initiative was something that materialized during our school closure last spring. We brainstormed ideas to engage with our community and build relationships which led to the creation of "Hobbies with Hunt".  This video series allowed our students to share their hobbies and passions with me virtually.

What communication tool  do you enjoy using the most in your profession? Why?

The communication tool I enjoy using the most is video. Through the use of video, we have been able to stay connected to our community and share important information with our stakeholders. It is an avenue for us to be creative and have some fun with communication. It also allows us to dive a little deeper with topics of interest to our community. We have used a video series called "Lunch Bites" where we are able to share content around a specific topic that people can watch at any time. These videos are 30 minutes or less about various district programs and initiatives. Previous topics included Technology, Safety and Security & Community Based Accountability (CBAS). The videos are shared via Facebook with a live Q&A. This feature allows for us to engage directly with our community.

How have you used social media in your strategic communication efforts?

The power of social media is significant and to fully understand its impact on how you communicate with your public is used. Social media can help a district quickly get a message out to a large group of students, parents and staff. It's an excellent method of not only getting the message out, but of engaging with your community too. Through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and other social media platforms, a district can strategically share it's message and subsequently tell its story. Social media is also a way for the collective members of the team to collaborate, share ideas and communicate directly with the community. In turn, the community is able to equally participate with responses and share the district message with others. It's a powerful tool that can have a positive impact on the work of the district and sharing our highlights with the community.