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Welcome to Episode 002 of District Leader. My guest this week is Dr. Lily DeBlieaux, Superintendent of the Pendergast Elementary School District in Phoenix, Arizona, where she took the helm in May of 2014. Lily was born in New York, where she attended elementary and middle school, and two years of high school, before moving to Puerto Rico where she completed high school and college. Lily holds degrees in Elementary Education (BA), Educational Leadership and Supervision (MA and PHD). She also obtained a Business Administration (BA). Lily owned a technology company for six years before returning to her true love: Education. Lily has been a teacher, elementary principal, middle school dean, assistant superintendent, adjunct professor, ESOL instructor, business owner, director of religious education, and volunteer extraordinaire. She loves her community and is excited to work with a school board that supports moving the school district to the next level of achievement. Lily loves to spend time with family, read, travel, and serve her community. Lily founded Si NoYo, Quien?, in 2015, a company offering her services as a motivational speaker and trainer, to empower women to reach new heights in their personal lives and careers. She is married to her best friend, Earl, a retired chaplain who served 30 years in the United States Air Force. She has two children; Joel, a network engineer who owns his own business in Ft. Myers. FL and Dr. Linda, a pharmacist in Tucson, AZ. She has a beautiful granddaughter, Evangeline.
From The Conversation
Lily grew up in poverty, yet education was always the main focus in her family. The impact on her life was great. Leaders in her life included her parents, who helped her to see that things can get done. As a result, she leads knowing that it is going to happen - make it happen!
As a business owner Lily learned a great deal. However, education was always her love and eventually returned to it. The superintendency is the best job Lily has had. In working with the various stakeholder groups, she believes that she can make a difference. It is also the hardest job she has ever had. It is an incredible position to be in to make a difference in the life of a child.
The 3 Pillars:
Challenges Lily presently faces as superintendent:
Lily believes that a big part of what it means to be a leader is to take care of oneself. Exhaustion is not healthy for effective leadership. Conversations about self-care are rare, but critical. Part of her advice is to "make time for your passions, and for yourself, and never give up on your family."
This episode is being sponsored by Isagenix, one of America’s leading health and wellness companies, and by Wiredprofiles.com, Education’s Daily Digest.
You can reach Luis Valentino on Twitter, and on Facebook, at
"...be yourself. Don't try to be anything else, anyone else, be yourself, stand by what you believe in, and walk away if you have to."
- Lilly DeBlieux, Ph.D.
Episode 002: Lily DeBlieux, Ph.D.