Shayla Cannady is the chief communications officer for Chiefs for Change and brings a wealth of experience in spearheading comprehensive communication strategies that drive understanding, engagement, and support for educational initiatives.

Previously, she served as chief communications officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, one of the nation’s largest public school districts. In this capacity, she led the development and execution of overarching communications strategies designed to foster a deeper understanding and a strong sense of community support for CMS students, faculty, and stakeholders. She acted as the primary public relations advisor to the superintendent, executive team, and senior staff, playing a crucial role as a liaison between the district and various external entities, including the press, community organizations, elected officials, and leadership groups.

Before CMS, she served as the assistant director of Public Relations for Orange County Public Schools, recognized as the fourth-largest school district in Florida and the ninth largest in the nation. Her expertise in strategic communications and her commitment to educational advancement were instrumental in driving impactful public relations campaigns and community engagement efforts.

Shayla’s contributions and leadership in the field have earned her significant recognition, including being named one of Charlotte Business Journal’s Power 100 honorees within just 15 months of relocating to the city. She is the immediate-past president of the Sunshine State Public Relations Association and is on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina School Public Relations Association. She is also a member of the National School Public Relations Association Equity Taskforce, the Public Relations Society of America, and was honored as one of the NSPRA 35 Under 35 recipients for her outstanding achievements in the industry.

Shayla earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and pursued further academic excellence with a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of Central Florida. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in Strategic Communications at UCF, furthering her dedication to advancing her expertise and knowledge in the field.