Sunnyside schools reshuffle community relations position

With the departure of Julie Kaplicky to a new job opportunity in the Spokane area, the Sunnyside School District is looking to reshuffle rather than replace the vacancy.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole said feedback he received from the media has led him to decide to personally respond to reporter requests for information rather than through a community relations person.

"They would rather talk to me than a spokesperson," he said. "I'm going to accept more responsibility."

As far as documents such as the school newsletter or publicity materials, Cole said the district will create a new support position that will work with the district office receptionist and an executive assistant to formulate those materials.

Cole said Sunnyside's enrollment is right in the middle ground between those districts with full time community relations officers and those without.

"We think it's a much more efficient use of resources," Cole said of having staff devote more time to other areas of work.

The district had a community relations person for the past six years, with Kaplicky filling the post for the past five years. Cole praised Kaplicky's work in communicating with the media and the public.

The new arrangement is permanent, though Cole said the reshuffle will be evaluated to see if it's meeting the district's needs in community relations.

"I'm not sure if can do it as well as Julie did," Cole said. "We'll keep evaluating it to make sure it's working."


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