MENTONE — The road home has been long and winding, but for the new director of marketing, public relations, and grant writing for Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, the change in scenery and lifestyle couldn’t be more ideal.
Aaron Leedy stepped into the role last month after the unexpected resignation of his predecessor. A native of Miami County and North Miami High School, Leedy earned a degree in broadcasting from Vincennes University. His first job following his 2008 graduation was working as self-described “one man band reporter” for WLFI in West Lafayette. In his job, he became a multi-platform journalist, doing a little bit of everything for the small television station.
After getting his feet wet in the business, Leedy moved on to WGXA, a joint Fox/ABC operation in Macon, Ga., serving as the television news anchor for the 6, 7 and 11 p.m. broadcasts on the ABC set. He returned to the Hoosier state for a short time in the summer of 2013 to work as an associate producer for WXIN, the Fox affiliate in Indianapolis, before returning to the South to serve as a evening news anchor and producer for the Fox affiliate in Hunsville, Ala.
Although being a public personality has its benefits, Leedy admitted the role isn’t nearly as glamorous as many people believe it to be, including his own perception of the job when he first joined the industry. Long hours in a hectic newsroom that runs on strict deadlines can create a stressful work environment and a lifestyle difficult to enjoy.
“I see this as a welcome change,” said Leedy, who moved back to Indiana following a change in ownership at the station in Alabama. “My job search radius was around three hours from Miami County, so this position with Tippecanoe Valley was ideal.”
Part of the appeal of living back in Indiana was the renewed ability to connect with his family. “It’s nice to not have to get on a flight or drive nine hours to go to a birthday party or my nephew’s basketball game,” said Leedy, who is excited to rejoin his many family members living in the local area.
In his new role, Leedy will wear several hats, including serving as the school district’s media relations contact. In this capacity, Leedy hopes to keep the activities in the Tippecanoe Valley system in the forefront through the local media outlets.
“Having been on the other side of it, I think I know what will help make your job a little easier,” he noted during the interview. “In this role, I’ll still be using my degree by working with the media in the area, and I’ll hopefully be able to use my experience to benefit Tippecanoe Valley.”
Hand-in-hand with those responsibilities will be working in marketing the school district and all of the positive things it is doing both inside and outside of the classrooms. His other main responsibility will be as the district’s grant writer, a role in which he admitted will require on-the-job training, but one in which he is excited and eager to take on. “I’ll be helping teachers apply for various grants to help fund their activities in the classrooms,” Leedy said. “I’ll also search for grants that are a good fit for what our schools and the district are doing.”
Leedy is quietly settling into his new environment and is proving the old adage you can always come home.