The district’s Key Communicator Network: a questionable strategy

Key Communicator Network Training mailing Rob Hardy rhetorically asked in comment #71 attached to Kathie Galotti’s guest blog post about the district calendar flap, “How can the school district make itself feel like a real community, instead of education insiders vs. outsiders?”

I’ve been invited to attend the Northfield School District’s Key Communicator Network Training on March 19 (page 1 of the 4-page mailing is on the right – click to enlarge and then click the green arrow to enlarge again), and I plan to attend. I don’t think this program is likely to help address the issue Rob raises. (continued)

The Key Communicator Network has been around for a while, but ironically enough, I can’t find much information about it on their web site. The letter says that “The reorganization of the school district Key Communicator Network is included in the Community Services Site Improvement Plan for 2008-09.” That current plan does not seem to be online but the 2007-08 plan still is… and it included this: “A new plan for the school district Key Communicator Network has been developed and reviewed by the Cabinet and the School Board. Implementation began in August 2007.”

I’ve also tried to find information on the Community Relations Asset Mapping program/session. And who was on the Task Force?

But the real issue for me is that District needs to examine how it can better engage the citizenry, become more transparent and collaborative in everything it does. (I do have some ideas on how.)  Then a PR strategy like the Key Communicator Network would make more sense.

But of course, I could be wrong.

Here are the other three pages of the mailing I got. (Click to enlarge and then click the green arrow to enlarge again.)

Key Communicator Network Training mailing Key Communicator Network Training mailing Key Communicator Network Training mailing


  1. Kathie Galotti said:


    They are lucky to have you. IMHO, the poor communication they’ve shown on the calendar (and previous) issues really are the root of a huge problem. I hope they’ll listen to you.

    February 25, 2009
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Kathie. I’m going to the meeting but I’ll wait to decide on whether I continue. And they may rescind the invitation!

    February 25, 2009
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    img_3528 img_35261

    There were about 40-50 people at tonight’s Key Communicator orientation training meeting; just 8 men.

    School board members in attendance: Kari Nelson, Ellen Iverson, Ann Maple.

    Administration: Director of Business Affairs, Tom Stringer

    Other notable attendees: City Councilor Kris Vohs, Northfield News publisher Sam Gett, board member Jane McWilliams.

    After we all briefly introduced ourselves, Community Services director Hannah Puzkco presented the training using Powerpoint.

    The main thing we learned was on slide #5:

    How will the Key Communicator Network operate?

    • As a Key Communicator, you will receive all information via e-mail from Heather Kuchinka and/or Hannah Puczko
    • Information will always be contained in the Information Form sent as an attachment. (Word document)
    • Periodically, you will receive a phone call or email from Hannah Puczko checking in with you.

    Hannah used the word ‘listserv’ when describing the tool they’ll use to send out the email. She also expressed the hope that members of the network would communicate via email back to them, as well as via phone, that they wanted the process to be two-way, not just one-way.

    I then asked if we members could use the listserv to reply so that everyone in the network could communicate with one another as a group about the district communications issues. She said she was uncertain about the technical capabilities of the software but said that that was not their intent. She said we were certainly free to contact one another on our own.

    March 19, 2009

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