Carla Pereira leads a staff of more than 50 at the Peel District School Board, which serves an incredible 154,000+ student body in 257 school buildings in Ontario, Canada. She ascended to the role of Director of Communications & Community Relations in 2017 after working at Peel for more than a decade. She has had the opportunity to work closely with the senior leadership team and the board of trustees, and she has provided timely responses and strategic counsel on issues ranging from straightforward to sensitive and complex, with high legal implications. She’s contributed and led award-winning campaigns and projects, shined a light on major topics and issues of our time, and she is well-respected in the profession leading workshops and training on topics like social media, equity and digital citizenship.
Prior to her work in school PR, Carla led major accounts for a PR firm in Toronto. These clients included pharmaceutical companies and major brands. She helped lead national media relations campaigns with great success, but the idea of working to help students drew her into working with Peel School Board.
If you’ve seen Scandal, think of Carla as an Olivia Pope-type. She handles media and never shies away from what might be considered a “controversial” issue. We talk about some of those issues in this conversation. The role of school communications officer is a vital, yet often misunderstood role, but it is one in which Carla has thrived. She has faced down many voices of opposition and people who have just been flat-out insensitive and on the wrong side of history, in my opinion, and she’s given voice to the many diverse pockets of students that have needed an advocate to lift them up.
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