Irene Payne - Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer775-333-3774I have been a marketing communications professional for more than 20 years. It’s a job I love doing. Before joining Washoe County School District, I was Executive Director of the Human Services Network in Reno, Nevada and worked as a consultant helping nonprofits build capacity and develop effective marketing and public relations strategies.
Educating our children is important to me. I worked in the field of education in London where I was responsible for European marketing and global media relations for a higher educational organization. As part of that role, I was lucky enough to represent the UK higher educational system on a British government sponsored tour of Pakistan. What a memorable experience that was. Prior to that, I was responsible for internal communications, marketing and branding for a large financial services organization.
Along with the previous Washoe County School District Superintendent, Heath Morrison, I was the recipient of the 2012 Leadership Through Communication award, sponsored by Blackboard Connect, the National School Public Relations Association and the American Association of School Administrators. We were recognized for our exemplary efforts to enhance communication between schools, parents and the community the school district serves. This was a great honor for me as I strive to ensure we communicate authentically with all our stakeholders.
The level of friendliness of Nevadans never ceases to amaze me. It truly is a wonderful place to live. As an outdoors type of girl, I like to horse ride, ski, snowshoe and hike. I try to make the most of living in this beautiful part of the world. I am very proud to be a part of this amazing school district as we work together to get ‘Every Child, By Name And Face, To Graduation’.
Jen Caldwell - Executive Assistant775-348-0250Megan Downs - Communications Managermdowns@washoeschools.net
The Communications Manager develops, manages, and implements strategic communications plans for the District, ensuring that internal and external audiences are provided with accurate and timely information. The Manager oversees the development of district-wide publications and media communications, provides support to schools around communication issues and effective messaging.Victoria Campbell - Public Information Officer775-333-3789The Public Information Officer for the Washoe County School District works directly with the media to promote activities in the District. The PIO fields media calls, answers reporters’ questions, organizes media events, provides information and works with the rest of the Communications staff to publicize the outstanding work of WCSD students and staff.Coleen Delong - School Stakeholder Communications Specialist775-348-0377The School Stakeholder Communications Specialist develops and directs support to our schools and school and district administrators so that they can effectively communicate important and emerging issues to their school communities using a variety of communication tools.Jeff Foss - Broadcast Media Specialistjefoss@washoeschools.net775-325-2074The Broadcast Media Specialist is the videographer for the Communications and Community Engagement Office. The videographer creates multimedia packages to further the District’s brand and promotions. He also assists in social media, community engagement and all forms of media projects. He finds it very rewarding to be able to frequently to meet our staff and students and tell their stories.Melissa Gillis - Graphics & Communications Specialist775-348-0270Melissa is responsible for creating, managing, and organizing Washoe County School District publications. She works on visual concept development and creative direction for District level communications, including marketing support materials, and sets brand standards for the District.Charles Rahn - Social Media Specialist775-333-3761The Social Media Specialist is responsible for the development and use of internet based communication platforms to support the WCSD’s strategic plan. Responsibilities range from creating new tools for our staff and stakeholders, to training WCSD staff to use popular social networking platforms to better engage the school communities that they serve.
Fatima Rivas - Multicultural Outreach775-348-0339
The main objective of the Multicultural Outreach Specialist is to help establish genuine, trustworthy, consistent relationships with our underserved communities. I help establish a new vision for engagement and partnership that takes into account the strengths and needs of our underserved students and families. Targeted groups include Latino/Hispanic, African American/Black, and American Indian/Native American communities. In addition, the Specialist will support department programs and/or initiatives that directly affect underserved communities and families.Riley Sutton - School Capital Needs Initiative Public Relations Specialist775-348-0278The Public Relations Specialist – School Capital Needs Initiative is responsible for communicating with and engaging the community regarding school facility conditions and capacity issues.Irene Zaraco - Welcome Center Receptionist775-348-0200