Mrs. Shira Gilchrist

As the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Norristown Area School District, Mrs. Shira Gilchrist says that “thinking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is natural.” When screening applications for the district, she of course looks at qualifications, but she also looks if applicants have disclosed that they are a minority because diversifying our district staff is so important. It allows our diverse student population to see that they, too, can be leaders and educators.

Working in the education system, Mrs. Gilchrist often thinks about our students. When she herself visits the buildings, she imagines that walking through the halls of any of our buildings may be future teachers, principals, and even future superintendents. 

“Our students are able to accomplish whatever they truly want. No matter how many people that  believe you can’t, there are many more that believe you can.” 

One way that Mrs. Gilchrist has been celebrating Black History Month this year is learning about contemporary Black leaders from her son, Blake. He has been learning about Black leaders in his classroom during Black History Month, and everyday she asks him, “who did you learn about today?” One figure who has recently captivated her is Kehinde Wiley, an American artist renowned for his portrait paintings. Blake was fascinated with one painting in particular, a portrait of President Barack Obama. The portrait features the former president in a wooden chair surrounded by lush greenery. Being able to share in this learning with her son has been a great experience for her. 

Other Black leaders that have inspired Mrs. Gilchrist are Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She said, 

“The inspiration that I pull from them and their stories is that anything is possible. They did what they felt was right in their hearts and that is an inspiration in itself.” 

Mrs. Gilchrist joined Norristown Area School District in the summer of 2021 as our Assistant Director of Human Resources. In the past, she worked as the Human Resources Manager at Colonial School District and in the Human Resources department for two Philadelphia Charter Schools. She graduated from Cabrini University with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Communications. She lives in Wyndmoor, PA with her husband and her 10-year-old son, Blake. In her spare time she enjoys dining out, attending concerts, gardening, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.