Nichols Strategies Expands Team

Lesley Bruinton
Lesley Bruinton

SACRAMENTO — Nichols Strategies hired nationally recognized communicator and school public relations expert Lesley Bruinton as its Executive Vice President.

Bruinton, who has more than 20 years of strategic and crisis communication and superintendent counsel, will help guide Nichols Strategies to expand to new markets.

She brings deep knowledge in communications planning, leadership, social media, print and TV journalism, and educational governance issues.

“Lesley is well versed in a variety of strategic communication situations and is a great addition to the Nichols Strategies team,” Nichols Strategies founder and president Stephen Nichols said. “I am very fortunate that she has chosen to join our team. Her expertise, experience, and creativity will be an asset for superintendents around the country.” 

For the past 10 years, Bruinton has worked for the Tuscaloosa City Schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as its Public Relations Director. Tuscaloosa City Schools (TCS) is a district of 21 schools with just over 10,000 students and 1,500 staff members.

During her time with Tuscaloosa City Schools, she was recognized three times by the National School Public Relations Association with its highest award, the Gold Medallion. 

In 2018, Bruinton received her second Gold Medallion recognition from NSPRA for creating a strategic plan to increase the demand for the District’s summer learning program following the 2016-2017 school year.

The summer school plan was so successful that the community raised $40,000 in additional funding to support increased demand from students and their families. Students who attended the program avoided the summer slide and outperformed their peers who did not attend.

Bruinton has also published several pieces about communications in various national superintendent and school communication publications, including SchoolCEO magazine.

“I am excited for this new chapter in my career and the opportunity Nichols Strategies will provide to assist superintendents, and school communication professionals connect and engage with their communities,” Bruinton said. “Education has always been a big part of my life with educators in my family, and I am looking forward to helping students, families, and districts across the country engage with one another.”

Bruinton is the past president for both the National School Public Relations Association and the Alabama School Public Relations Association.  The former television reporter was also named a 2020 Women in School Leadership Award winner by AASA, The School Superintendent’s Association.

Bruinton resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with her husband and two children.


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For more information, contact Stephen Nichols at (916) 476-3471 or