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Superior School District adds public relations position

The school board also approved a new human resources talent acquisition specialist position.

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SUPERIOR — The Superior School District is adding a communications specialist to oversee its publications, social media and community relations. The school board approved a job description and salary schedule for the new position at its Monday, July 11, meeting.

“This is a position the district had had previously,” District Administrator Amy Starzecki told the board, and it would help the district reach its public relations goals.

The communication specialist, who falls under the professional category, would work out of the district administrator’s office along with the administrative assistant.

“The volume of work that comes at that office is more than one person can take on,” Starzecki told the board.

Board members approved the position unanimously.

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“I’m excited. Part of our mission has been being community connected as well and utilizing our community partners, working together, and I think this is a really good first step towards that,” Laura Gapske said.

Steve Olson said it’s important to promote the district and get school news out to the public.

“We need to be more upfront about all the positive things that are going on in our district,” he said.

“I see a need for the position. I absolutely want the position,” Ed Gallagher said.

Both Olson and Gallagher raised concerns about long-term funding for the position, particularly when federal COVID-19 relief funding runs out in 2024.

“This isn’t just an issue two years from now, this is an issue we face every spring,” Starzecki told the board.

Each year, she said, the district has to analyze what’s working in the district and what’s not, and make adjustments across all departments based on priorities.

The board also approved creating a human resources talent acquisition specialist position. It’s something the district is going to need to combat teacher shortages and fill specialized positions that no candidates have applied for, according to human resources director Molly Devine Webb.

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“We need to start thinking outside the box and doing other things to get candidates in here,” she said. “We haven’t been able to do a lot of recruiting at job fairs or other virtual events, because it would have just been me doing it.”

The new position would be paid, in part, by not filling the human resources secretary position. Because it is a professional level position, it would cost the district an additional $13,000 per year.

In other action, the board approved creating an extracurricular fund for the Black Student Union at Superior High School, which allows the student group to fundraise. Members of the group and Kari Saunders, director of diversity, equity and inclusion, ran a booth at Juneteenth events in both Superior and Duluth this year. It’s the first time the district has had a presence at the event.

The district has also posted school supply lists for the 2022-2023 school year on its website and Facebook page.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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