7 Questions with Shayla Beaco ’97
After working in leadership positions for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pritchard, Shayla Beaco was recently tapped by current Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson to be the city’s senior director of community affairs. Beaco assumed her duties in November of 2013, with her primary focus on public outreach, especially in underserved areas of the city.
Beaco graduated with a political science degree from Spring Hill College in 1997 after attending McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. She recently took a few moments from her busy schedule to talk about her SHC experience.
SHC: What made you decide to attend Spring Hill?
SB: I looked at two other Catholic schools in the region, but knew that Spring Hill College had a long history and great tradition. I decided that I didn’t need to go out and find what was already in my back yard.
SHC: Why did you choose to study political science at SHC?
SB: I’ve always had an interest in governmental affairs and politics; it’s such an important aspect of our community. So many local rules and ordinances are developed through the governmental process. After studying political science, my primary career interest has been making sure that all groups are represented at the “table” and that voices are being heard through the political process.
SHC: What organizations were you involved in at Spring Hill College?
SB: I was involved in so many activities, but the ones I enjoyed most were Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the Multi-Cultural Student Union, and working as a volunteer in the Foley Center with Dr. Kathleen Orange.
SHC: What stood out to you the most as a volunteer tutor through the Foley Center?
SB: I spent a lot of time in the Mobile County Public School system with students who were having a series of academic issues. I was matched with students that I could help and, together, we worked through their challenges in any way we could. It was gratifying to watch them grow and mature as young people. I learned so much from those students.
SHC: Your mother, Linda Jones, is also a graduate of Spring Hill College?
SB: Yes! I’m so proud of her. She’s a 1993 graduate of the Spring Hill College life-long learning program. She is a registered nurse, and currently works in Health Services support for the Baldwin County School System.
SHC: Do you keep in touch with Spring Hill classmates and professors?
SB: Definitely! I am on the Spring Hill College Alumni Board, which I really enjoy. It keeps me involved and in the loop with all of the SHC activities. I also keep in touch with Dr. Alex Landi, professor of political science and law at Spring Hill College. He was such an important mentor in my personal and professional life.
SHC: Tell us about your family.
SB: It definitely takes a village! My mom is my greatest cheerleader. I am married to Rory Beaco and we have two great children. Brooks is two and Shelby is six years old.
Beaco is a member of many local volunteer groups, including the Junior League of Mobile, Keep Mobile Beautiful, and the Mobile Area Education Foundation.
For more information about Spring Hill College, visit http://www.shc.edu.