Community Leader. Parent. Education Advocate. Collaborator. Change Agent.
Lila Anna Sauls knows how to build community. With 25 years in the nonprofit sector, she’s spent a career bringing people together around challenging issues: encouraging diverse voices and points of view; modeling and engaging in the art of generous listening; working together for positive change. She’s a champion for children—all children—and has spent more than a decade working within our district’s schools to create innovative programming that achieves results.
It’s why she’s the right person at the right time for Richland School District One.
The mother of five children and a champion of hundreds more who have lived at St. Lawrence Place—each of whom attends or attended school in Richland One—Lila Anna understands the opportunities and challenges faced by teachers, parents, administrators and neighborhoods who want the best for kids.
As Chief Executive Officer of Homeless No More, a nonprofit based in Columbia, Lila Anna leads an ambitious strategic plan to eliminate family homelessness in the Midlands by creating a complete, coordinated, and viable continuum of services and service providers to meet the needs of at risk families with children, where they are.
Lila Anna oversees the operations of St. Lawrence Place, a 30-unit transitional housing community, and Live Oak Place, a system of affordable housing units across our city. Lila Anna joined St. Lawrence Place in 2005 and became CEO in 2007.
Since 2007, Lila Anna has worked in district schools through the McKinney-Vento programs for homeless children, and outside of that as a volunteer with other at-risk students. Through the University of South Carolina’s continuing education programs, she has worked closely with teachers to ensure they are armed with the information and support they need to help those children succeed.
Lila Anna and her team created an after-school and summer camp curriculum for low income children that battled the “summer slide” and saw over 96 percent maintain or increase their reading levels. This curriculum serves as a model for use by other nonprofits addressing the same important educational issue across the United States.
Lila Anna advocates for children on local, state and national levels. She worked at the district level on the creation of the Montessori Middle School located at WG Sanders. She has served on the School Improvement Council and PTO committees at both Brockman Elementary and Crayton Middle School. And she is a founding member of the Health and Wellness Committee at Brockman, which recently was awarded the Healthy Schools Gold Award. Brockman was the first school in South Carolina to earn this distinction.
Voice of the Community.
Lila Anna is often called upon as a speaker and panelist in important community conversations. Most recently she joined a panel of educators, politicians, social workers, city officials and law enforcement to discuss the best ways to lead children in times of racial discord.
A graduate of the University South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications, Lila Anna also holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Change and Leadership from Columbia College. She is a 2015 fellow of the Blue Ridge Institute, recipient of the Carolina Academy Alumni Award, TWIN Honoree of the Palmetto Center for Women, and Renaissance Foundation honoree for servant leaders.
She and her husband, Brad, are proud parents of five boys who are students at Brockman Elementary, Crayton Middle and AC Flora High School in Richland One. Her St. Lawrence Place children attend many elementary, middle and high schools across the district.