Wednesday, January 26, 2011

District tabs communications director

Appointment still subject to school board approval

Express Staff Writer

Heather Crocker

The Blaine County School District announced late Friday that Heather Crocker, executive director of the Blaine County Education Foundation, had been selected as the district's communications director.

Crocker's selection is still subject to school board approval. Assistant Superintendent John Blackman said Tuesday that the issue will be put to the board at its Feb. 8 monthly meeting.

Blackman said Crocker was one of 22 applicants for the job. The top five finalists were interviewed by a 14-member hiring committee comprising parents, teachers, board members, building administrators and district office staff.

"The hiring committee has met and the selection was made and she was the unanimous choice," Blackman said. "I think she's going to be awesome. She had some competition but she came out on top by far. I was quite pleased with the caliber of the applicants."

The job of communications director is a somewhat controversial new position. Several members of the public were opposed to the position when the school board approved hiring someone at its Nov. 9 meeting. The measure passed by a 3-2 vote with Trustees Paul Bates and Kathryn Graves opposed.

The job is full time with an annual salary of $78,000.

Crocker has served as executive director of the education foundation for the past five years. In that capacity, she has provided communications with the public for the nonprofit organization and has organized public meetings or events to provide information on school district activities.

She said Tuesday that one of her first priorities as director of communications would be development of a school district communications plan.

"To me, communications is about increased accountability and about giving the public the opportunities to share in the outcome of the district," Crocker said.

Blackman said the hiring committee's selection of Crocker was announced prior to board approval so that the public would be aware of the district's preference for who will fill the job.

Terry Smith:

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