After failing twice to pass bond issues to build a new junior high school, the Neosho R-5 Board of Education has decided to put it on the ballot for a third time in April and to help it pass, it has decided to hire a full time public relations director.
My initial reaction after reading the Neosho Daily News article on the hiring is worry for the school district.
Of course, the district does not have to become all about the spin as the Joplin R-8 School District has become since it began adding layers of people who have little to do with education and everything to do with projecting the image, despite all evidence to the contrary, of a school district that has had one success after another.
Neosho's new p.r. director, Megan Spangler, is quoted on her battle plan:
Just making sure it's (information) out there and trying to utilize every possible vessel we have, and to get their good word out thee and to make sure that everyone that wants to be informed and even ones that don't want to be informed are informed, because that I think is your first matter of business.
I worry when we start spending more and more taxpayer money on trying to sell a positive image of school districts. The best way to do that is for school board members and administrators to listen to their constituents and not just those who are connected to the local power brokers.
When you develop that kind of relationship with the community, you don't need to hire someone to sell your image.