Karen Uthe has been named director of communications at the Lorain County JVS.
“I’m really excited to help spread all of the great stories that the JVS has to tell,” said Uthe.
Uthe served as director of marketing at Magnificat High School in Rocky River from 2008 until accepting the JVS position. She’s also written weekly pet advice columns in Lorain County newspapers and owned her own business, Chameleon Communications, a digital marketing firm.
The JVS board of education approved a two-year contract Aug. 11 that will pay Uthe $71,000 annually.
“I’m going to be doing some strategic marketing and meeting with my all of my staff as soon as possible,” she said. “I’m really excited to work with the recruiters after being heavily involved with admissions as Magnificat.”
The vocational school will accept regular curriculum freshmen students for the first time this year. Uthe hopes to create more opportunities for them to stay at JVS throughout high school.
“If I can provide them with the right tools, we’ll start to see more and more students be able to enjoy their entire high school career here at JVS,” she said. “That’s going to be a big goal of mine.”
Superintendent Glenn Faircloth said hiring Uthe was the product of a vigorous search process.
There were more than 70 applicants, but not all met the school’s list of qualifications. Uthe was among the finalists who were each interviewed for about 90 minutes by the board.
“Karen really stepped out at this time and had an impressive portfolio of work to show us,” Faircloth said. “She was the only candidate that had work with her that we could actually hold and touch.”
The new position was a source of brief discontent between the JVS board and teachers’ union. Union head Eric Robson spoke at a board meeting on April 21, saying teachers felt the marketing position held by the retiring Tina Salyer was being replaced with an administrative position.
“I did not abolish or delete the old position,” said Faircloth. “Other people are assuming the duties of Tina Salyer right now, and someone else could be hired to help in the future… The new position is very different than what our marketing person did because Karen will be leading that team but not physically doing the work.”
Faircloth emphasized the public relations work that will go along with Uthe’s new position, which was not a primary function of the previous union position. He said Uthe’s experience handing marketing and PR at Magnificat was great preparation for what’s needed at the JVS.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Civitas Media Karen Uthe will serve as Lorain County JVS’ new director of communications. It is an administrative position that will deal in marketing and public relations.