Mowen leaving public schools system

August 13, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Public Schools Public Information Officer Carol Mowen says she is leaving her position to take a job with a national public relations association.

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), which provides school communication training and services worldwide, is based in Rockville, Md.

Mowen has accepted a senior associate position there, and her last day with the county's school system will be Friday. She worked for Washington County Public Schools for about 11 years.

"You don't get a job opportunity like this very often," she said.

Mowen's responsibilities will include coordinating the production of several publications and providing support for public information officers and other officials within school systems.

Mowen moved to the area in 1996 from Mississippi, where she served as public information officer for a smaller school system. Mowen said she taught seventh grade language arts for about three years at Springfield Middle School before taking a literature resource teacher position.


She began working as the school system's public information officer in 2001.

"I was thrilled for the opportunity to work in public relations again," Mowen said. "I've always had a passion for school public relations."

She said she believes that a school system should encourage communication internally and with the community. Mowen said she has seen growth in Washington County Public Schools' achievement in the classroom and in the way it communicates with its stakeholders.

"Each of those groups has communication needs," Mowen said of administration, parents, the community and other stakeholders. "I hope that through my contributions, we have met all of their needs."

During Mowen's time in the public information office, several new ways to inform the community have been developed. In November 2006, officials began recording weekly podcasts, featuring interviews with school system staff about timely issues, like school construction or test scores. The podcasts are posted at in partnership with Antietam Cable and The Herald-Mail Co.

Mowen also helped with an overhaul of Washington County Public Schools' Web site, She said that experience will help her at NSPRA, where she will assist in that organization's Web site redesign.

While she's excited about her new job, which she begins Aug. 20, Mowen said she will miss her co-workers and said she's been proud to work with them.

"I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Washington County Public Schools," Mowen said.

The job

The complete job description for the Washington County Public Schools Communications Officer can be found at

Title: Communications Officer

Salary: $73,317 to $104,535

Some responsibilities:·

· Information liaison between the school system and the community

· Develop and recommend innovative communications strategies

· Advise superintendent and other staff on all matters regarding communication and public relations

· Coordinate brochures, newsletters, annual reports, etc.

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