Rich Township High School District 227 Board to hire marketing specialist
By Sarah Zylstra Correspondent August 6, 2013 5:34PM
Updated: September 8, 2013 6:19AM
The Rich Township High School District 227 Board is shaking things up and wants somebody to get the word out.
The board voted unanimously last week to hire a marketing/communications coordinator who will research marketing strategies, write press releases, visit homeowners associations and build relationships with local businesses.
“Residents are constantly saying we have programs they’ve never heard of,” board member Antoine Bass said. “They don’t know when things are going on. ... This is a big problem.”
The former community relations and marketing coordinator for the district, Nikitta Foston, resigned July 8. The new position will replace Foston’s, as well as any public relations work the district had contracted out, school board president Cheryl Coleman said.
“This (position) is a lot more involved and way more aggressive (than before),” Coleman said.
Bass told the board that the position may be able to pay for itself over time if the person is able to improve sponsorship of district events or boost attendance at sporting events.
“A lot of our planning for events is done during the summer,” Bass said, adding that if extra help is needed, the district may be able to pay some of its graduates to work as summer interns.
Coleman said the job should also allow others to focus on their work, such as Jennifer Norrell, the assistant superintendent of student learning and accountability.
“She’s one of the primary people pushing the parenting conference,” Coleman said. “We want her to focus on teaching and learning.”
Behind the board creating and restructuring positions is a desire to move everyone back to the basics, Coleman said. Teachers should be teaching, not mentoring or dealing with behavior problems, and those who run events and programs should be able to leave the task of promoting them to a public relations professional, she said.