Highland Park ISD school-board president Leslie Melson has announced that she will not seek reelection this spring.
Melson has served as president for three years, and was a trustee for six years before that, bringing her time on the board to nearly a decade.
“It’s great timing for my family,” she said. “It’s time for others to step up and serve.”
During Melson’s tenure, she’s seen many ups and downs. But one of her most memorable moments was being a part of the district’s centennial celebration in 2014.
“It surprised me. I couldn’t have forecast that, but it was such a fabulous time to be a part of the district for any of the trustees, but I’d say one of the shining moments as president,” she said.
In addition to celebrating 100 years of Highland Park schools, Melson has also guided the board as they navigated academic changes when literary selections were reviewed last year.
“We will miss her calming presence on the school board,” board vice president Jim Hitzelberger said. “She just exudes professionalism and always keeps an even keel.”
A parent of four Highland Park graduates, Melson is also involved in La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, the Highland Park Education Foundation, and the SMU Alumni Board, to name a few.
“Whatever you sow, you gain ten-thousand fold,” she said. “I am simply giving back what others before me modeled so well.”
Melson said getting to know students, seeing parents get involved in their children’s education, and working with a passionate team of professionals are some of the task’s benefits.
“The school district is really special and it’s because of people like Leslie that step up and put themselves out there for criticism and don’t take a lot of credit,” Hitzelberger said. “It really is like a family — we live two blocks away from each other so I’ll still see her a lot.”