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Alesha Leemaster

Gaylord Extra: April 2023

Alumni Feature: Alesha Leemaster

By Ashley Mercer, Gaylord College Class of 2024

Alesha Leemaster, executive director of the Norman Public Schools Foundation and a Gaylord College alumni, said she hopes to be a resource and positive influence for women, especially in the professional world.

Leemaster graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. She also obtained an MBA. She is a member of the Board of Visitors at Gaylord College.

Leemaster has held many jobs that have helped her gain experience and skills that led her to the role she now serves at the NPS Foundation. She started with an internship at an electric utility company.

“While I was in college, I got an opportunity to do an internship and it was through a woman who I respected,” she said. Leemaster said she learned many skills and proficiencies that she could apply to future positions.

Previous positions were with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, OG&E, Devon Energy and Norman Public Schools.

Leemaster said she has always been drawn toward nonprofits and what they contribute to their communities. Working at the NPS Foundation has given her a chance to advocate for students who deserve the chance to be successful and earn an education. 

“I want to be a good colleague to the women I work with, and be a resource. It’s important to work as a team and help each other grow” she said.

Although progress has been achieved with women in leadership roles, Leemaster said there is still much work to be done. One key factor is ensuring that colleagues watch out for one another.

“A good leader is someone who will help other people be successful,” she said.

“We all have different strengths, and we all contribute in different ways. I think it's important to work together and lift everybody up. It's important that we all succeed and not just some of us.”

Leemaster is happy to mentor young women and provide guidance on everything from writing a letter of recommendation to offering tips on balancing motherhood and a career. She credits the women who have inspired and helped her find where she belongs.

Leemaster is a mother who said she loves being involved in her son’s life while serving as a working professional.

During Women’s History Month, “every path should be celebrated” she said. “Strong women that are at home with their child are just as important as CEOs.”

Every woman’s path is different, Leemaster said, and for her it is important to be able to contribute to public education and the community of Norman, and also be there for her family.

Aleesha Leemaster