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Former River Mill staff member will take over as communications coordinator for school district

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Maggie Kelly, previously principal's secretary at River Mill Elementary School, has been hired as communications coordinator for the Estacada School District.

Maggie Kelly has been selected as the new communications coordinator for the Estacada School District.

She succeeds Jason Simpson, who was hired by the district in June but vacated the position earlier this month.

"Jason left on excellent terms," said Ryan Carpenter, interim superintendent for the Estacada School District. "(He) put in an excellent framework for expanding communications with parents and the community. Board meetings got more publicity and social media usage increased during his tenure."

Kelly, who was previously principal's secretary at River Mill Elementary School, is eager to continue her work at the school district.

"I fell in love with the district when I was at River Mill," she said. "I love the great things that the district is doing, and I want to show that work to the community and build relationships with parents."

In her new role, Kelly hopes to strengthen the district's relationship with everyone in the Estacada community.

"I want to reach the community and not just parents," she said. "I don't want any parent feeling like they missed out on anything."

When discussing communication strategies for the school district, Kelly emphasized the importance of Facebook, robo calls and sending information home with students in both Spanish and English.

"When we send out robo calls, we get a lot of calls back in," she said. "Facebook cannot be underestimated. People check it on their phones, and if they don't have a computer at home, they might check it at the library."

Accordingly, Kelly plans to create daily Facebook posts for the school district. She also hopes to increase the district's digital communication by starting a blog featuring stories of successful alumni, among other elements.

"It's key to recognize alumni and show students how far they can go," she said. "People in our community are doing amazing things, and I'm excited to highlight that in a blog series."

Kelly also noted that she plans to work with current students on the district's blog and social media platforms.

Carpenter praised Kelly for the relationships in the community that she has created thus far.

"(Maggie) has already proven to be great communicating with students and parents in creative ways and with consistency," he said. "(She) has been a key player in the communications at River Mill Elementary this past year, and we are excited to bring her in to work for the district."

Kelly has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Oregon State University and two associate's degrees from Mt. Hood Community College. She grew up in neighboring Sandy, and her parents attended Estacada High School. Her grandfather used to own the marina at Promontory Park.

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