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Director of Communications and Public Engagement

Organization: 
Willamette Education Service District

About Willamette ESD:
Willamette Education Service District is one of 19 regional education agencies in Oregon. Working collaboratively with education and community partners primarily in the Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, many of Willamette ESD’s programs and initiatives have a statewide reach. Willamette ESD’s 400+ highly skilled professionals serve 21 school districts ensuring students have equal access to needed services regardless of the size and location of their school district. The agency provides services related to Special Education, Technology, School Improvement, Administrative Services, and administers numerous grants and contracts to support education across the state.

General Position Description:
Under the direction of the Superintendent, and in support of Willamette ESD’s mission and core values, the Director is responsible for the agency’s internal and external strategic communications. The Director is a member of the Willamette ESD Leadership Team, and is responsible for developing, marketing and delivering a robust menu of communication services in support of positive public relations.

The Director is responsible for public engagement, community relations, strategic communication, agency brand identity and crisis communications. The Director provides department oversight and assures that Willamette ESD’s public policy and communications strategy informs and aligns with agency priorities. The Director will ensure a strong focus on the implementation and outcomes of key state and agency initiatives, including specifically the Student Success Act, Regional Educator Network and activities focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Director will drive a culture of success in alignment with the organization’s goals.

This position is based at the Willamette ESD Marion Center in Salem, OR. The selected candidate will follow a 240-day calendar (with nine paid holidays and three paid personal leave days), with an anticipated start date of April 20, 2020. Employer-paid PERS (retirement benefit), health, dental & vision insurance, and tuition reimbursement are also provided. A full job description and summary of benefits will be provided upon request. The Director will be placed on the 2019-2020 WESD administrative salary schedule, range $102,094 - $123,315, based on candidate’s qualifications, education, and experience.

Willamette ESD is committed to having a diverse workforce and strongly encourages all interested candidates to apply.

Qualifications:
 Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) in communications, marketing, public relations or a related field in education, business or leadership administration
 At least three years serving in a leadership position, with major responsibilities for effective program outcomes
 Demonstrated knowledge of current communication trends, challenges, solutions, tools, strategies and platforms
 Experience serving as the primary spokesperson for a public entity
 Experience leading, coaching, and managing teams
 Demonstrated experience of managing numerous projects simultaneously
 Understanding of the legislative process and the environment of public entities
 Excellent writing, editing, proofreading, layout, and design skills; proven ability to present concepts verbally and to produce accurate print materials for a variety of purposes for specific audiences
 Demonstrated ability to develop community partnerships and maintain effective professional relationships with supervisors, staff, peers, elected officials, community organizations, and the public
 Experience developing successful partnerships and collaborations

Essential Leadership Qualities:
 Ability to lead with Willamette ESD core values that include integrity, innovation, excellence, and partnering
 Values and demonstrates outstanding customer service
 Uses equity and inclusion lens in performance of duties and interactions  Possesses excellent facilitation, communication, and presentation skills
 Ability to work with diverse audiences including parents, educators, and the business community; remains open to others’ ideas and contributions
 Entrepreneurial thinker with experience creating and launching innovative services that respond to emerging client needs
 Strong organizational skills and commitment to follow through on complex tasks
 Flexibility to work independently, as well as with a diverse group of staff and clients
 Effective communication across multiple settings, including, urban and rural communities, regionally, and throughout the state
 Meets tight deadlines, manages competing priorities, maintains confidentiality and makes timely accurate decisions
 Maintains contemporary knowledge of policy, news, legislation, trends, and initiatives relating to education

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The duties listed below are not inclusive, and are characteristic of the type and level of work assigned for this position.

Applicants must be committed to equitable practices in education and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to reducing academic disparities among students that exist because of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or family income. The Director will ensure equity principles are integrated into all facets of communication work and will collaborate with the agency’s Leadership Team, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, and staff from all departments to fully implement the agency's equity policy and Oregon’s equity lens.

Under the direction of the Superintendent, the Director will:
 Provide highest level of support to Willamette ESD and agency leadership in planning and implementing strategic communications priorities
 Develop promotional strategies to increase visibility of the array of new and existing Willamette ESD services
 Ensure effective communication support to partner districts  Develop and lead short and long-range strategic communications planning initiatives for Willamette ESD and its programs
 Implement positive media relations and serve as chief spokesperson for the agency; coordinate responses to media in crisis and/or sensitive situations
 Provide stakeholder outreach, brand identity, marketing, and communication strategies
 Provide department leadership to fulfill program goals, performance standards, accountability measures, and budget targets; ensure a culture of high performance
 Supervise communications staff and provide training, coaching and evaluation
 Prioritize requests from Willamette ESD Superintendent, Directors, and districts
 Partner with the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Association of Education Service Districts to develop common strategies related to statewide initiatives
 Write and prepare talking points, presentations, letters, speeches, news releases, award nominations and other materials as requested by the Superintendent, Willamette ESD programs, and partner districts
 Manage sensitive crisis communication for Willamette ESD and partner districts
 Interpret, create, and present complex information to boards, school district superintendents, and education leaders
 Contribute content for Willamette ESD Board, Leadership Team, and Administrative Team meetings
 Produce professional newsletters, publications, shared services communications, and accountability reports
 Oversee the updating and maintenance of Willamette ESD’s website to ensure accurate, timely and relevant information, and professional image
 Remain well informed about legislation that may affect Willamette ESD; ensure timely distribution of pertinent legislative information and attend applicable legislative activities
 Remain current with professional practices in public affairs/communications, and resource development through memberships in professional organizations  Monitor budget and prioritize expenditures for communications program

Working Conditions/Employment Requirements:
 Extended or flexible hours
 Frequent travel within the state and WESD region
 Overnight travel required, some out of state
 Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions
 Nationwide criminal history check

Application Process
 Applications are available at https://willamette.cloud.talentedk12.com (select Recruit & Hire) or online at www.wesd.org.
 In addition to the application, applicants must submit a resume, two letters of reference and a letter of introduction for the application to be complete.
 Unofficial copies of transcripts and license(s) must be submitted. Successful applicants are required to provide official transcripts before completion of the hiring process.
 If you require assistance with the application or interview process due to a disability, please call Director of Human Resources at (503) 385-4752. Alternate formats are available upon request.

Reasonable accommodations for the application and interview process will be provided upon request and as required in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Individuals with disabilities may contact the Human Resources Director at 503-385-4752 for additional information or assistance. Speech/Hearing impaired persons may contact the ESD for assistance through the Oregon Telecommunication Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900 or 711.
The Willamette Education Service District is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Qualifying veterans and disabled veterans may obtain preference by submitting with their completed application a copy of the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214 or 215) or a letter from the US Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs indicating receipt of a non-service connected pension as verification of eligibility. Disabled Veterans must also submit a copy of their veteran's disability preference letter from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, unless the information is included in the DD Form 214/215.

Job #4190