The Leander Educational Excellence Foundation announced Coleen Brighton as the new executive director in mid-May.

“The LEEF board is excited for Coleen Brighton to serve as our next executive director,” LEEF Board President Crystal Smith said in a May 16 news release.

Located at 204 W. South St., Leander, LEEF is a nonprofit organization that partners with LISD and other area organizations to aid in achieving district-aligned goals and objectives.

Brighton joined LEEF as a volunteer, then a member of the board in 2015 and was hired as the director of operations and development in 2017. During Brighton’s eight-year period with LEEF, the foundation has grown from $300,000 in annual revenue to over $630,000 last fiscal year, according to the release.

In 2019, Brighton launched the grant writing program and secured over $225,000 through several grant awards during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to LEEF. This funding was used to allow Leander ISD to hire a full-time mental health professional, and through the grant writing program’s success, enough funds were available to support this position for three years through the 2022-23 school year.

“As a longtime employee and supporter of LEEF, [Brighton] demonstrates dedication to our mission and has a passion for supporting LISD,” Smith said. “We look forward to her leadership as we make this transition and continue to reach for our goal of putting $1 million back into the classroom.”

Brighton will replace previous Executive Director Jonathan Campbell, who started in early August.

“Education is powerful, and every student should have access, and I’m honored to serve as LEEF’s executive director to continue advocating and building our team to serve more LISD students and staff,” Brighton said in the release.