By Rick Palsgrove
Jeff Warner, the director of communications and media relations for Columbus City Schools, has left the big city district to join Groveport Madison Schools.
On Sept. 9, the Groveport Madison Board of Education hired Warner to be the district’s marketing, communication and community relations officer. Warner began work in the district on Sept. 16 with a three year contract. He replaces Mary Guiher, who resigned a few weeks ago. Warner’s annual salary will be $108,500, which is an increase for the position from the $66,500 salary Guiher earned.
“For years this district has lost talented principals and teachers to bigger, wealthier districts,” said Groveport Madison Board President Nathan Slonaker. “Now, we have an opportunity steal one of the best in the business from a big district. Jeff Warner wrote the book, so to speak, on school community relations and communications and can provide us with tremendous value from day one.”
When asked about why Warner’s salary is larger than what was previously paid for the administrative position, Slonaker said, “While his salary is greater than what Groveport Madison has paid previously, it’s in line with what someone with his success and experience would make. In fact, he is taking a slight pay cut to come to Groveport Madison. The voters asked us to be responsible with their tax dollars. Hiring one of the most talented and experienced professionals in Ohio at a below market-rate fulfills those expectations.”
The duties for the job of marketing, communication and community relations officer for the district will also be expanded from what they were previously for the job.
Slonaker said that, after a “lackluster response to the posting of the position” following Guiher’s departure, the district approached Warner.
“We discovered he was looking for an opportunity just like this, to join a school district on the rise where he can truly work hand-in-hand with our principals and staff,” said Slonaker.
Warner has more than 20 years of experience in the private and public sector, including being the regional marketing director for the health care company Vencor Corporation. He was the communications director in the South-Western City School District for 11 years and for Columbus City Schools for six years as well as two years with the New Albany school district.
“I’m excited for this hands-on opportunity,” said Warner. “I want to help develop a strong connection between the community and the schools and see what we can accomplish through communications and community engagement. Communication is a top priority of the superintendent and the board.”