TN school district gears up to retool comms program

NASHVILLE, TN: Nashville's Metro Schools District is revamping its communications program with the hope of starting off the 2004-05 school year with more user-friendly PR.

NASHVILLE, TN: Nashville's Metro Schools District is revamping its communications program with the hope of starting off the 2004-05 school year with more user-friendly PR.

The plan calls for hiring a new communications officer, who will report directly to schools director Pedro Garcia.

The school district has been subject to complaints from parents who felt the system was unresponsive to their concerns, according to The Tennessean.

"I think Garcia wanted to have more proactive communications," said Olivia Brown, publications specialist. "We've done real well responding to press inquiries, but I think he wanted more work in other areas."

Brown said that she didn't know the specific reasons why the program was being overhauled, but noted that the impression in the department was that the article in The Tennessean was accurate.

The new communications strategy will eliminate the current PIO position, which has been held by Craig Owensby for the past nine years.

Owensby reported to LaVoneia Steele, now associate director of communications and strategic planning.

Steele will now assume the role of assistant superintendent for community resources and planning.

Brown said it was "too early" to talk about the details of the search process.

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