KISD’s storyteller

Lauren Jette, KISD’s public relations specialist, needs two monitors and a phone stand to keep up with social media, monitor the KISD website, and communicate via email with parents and the community. Some of her printed flyers decorate the wall behind her.

Lauren Jette says that, as the Kerrville Independent School District’s public relations specialist, she “handles district communications,” making sure students’ parents and the larger community are up to speed on what’s happening inside KISD.

She says, “I manage social media, including Facebook and Twitter; update the KISD website; photograph campus events throughout the year; and correspond directly with parents and the community. I cover the eight main campuses; Early Childhood Center; Daniels, Nimitz, Starkey and Tally Elementary; BT Wilson Sixth Grade; Hal Peterson Middle School; and Tivy High School. If anyone has a question about KISD, I’ll find an answer.”

Her main direct communication tool is email, Jette says. She has a database which allows her to target information, like the announcements that were critical during the recent winter storm, wherever it needs to go. She can send a message to all second-grade parents, or all grades at a particular school, or district-wide. “It’s a lot faster and more reliable than printing flyers and hoping students get them home, so the printed information I produce is mostly for bulletin boards and such.”

She says she’s responsible for attending and photographing the wide variety of events that happen during the school year, including concerts and performances, pep rallies, field days, team recognition occasions, and student community involvement events.

Her website duties include maintaining the KISD calendar, covering school board meetings, publishing the online newsletter, and publicizing district highlights with photos and stories both on social media and in conjunction with local newspapers and radio stations.

KISD’s social media presence is also expanding, Jette says. “More and more of our parents are getting on social media. I keep our Facebook and Twitter active by answering questions and sharing helpful information. Nearly all of our students are active, and I’m planning on adding Instagram for them.”

Jette says her background in journalism has prepared her well. She was born and raised in Marble Falls, so she considers herself a “small-town kid.” She graduated from Marble Falls High School in 2009, and since she comes from a dedicated family of Longhorns, went off to the University of Texas in Austin.

“Both of my parents are Texas Exes, and my older siblings graduated there. Justin is my older brother, Bryan is in the middle, married to my sister-in-law Jeanna. All four of us marched in the Longhorn Band, where I played the cymbals. I earned a bachelor of journalism in 2013, then went to work for small-town Texas newspapers.”

She says she started as the sports editor of the Colorado County Citizen, in Columbus. After two months, she was named the managing editor, a position she held for 14 months. She was lured away to be the editor of the Yoakum Herald-Times, then became the sports editor for the Liberty Hill Independent, serving the Liberty Hill area and the Bertram community.

After a year in Liberty Hill, she was contacted by a fellow Texas Ex, the publisher of the Elgin Courier, a paper founded in the 1890s. She worked for a year as sports editor, then for another year as managing editor.

She says, “In 2018 my mother, Debra Jette, developed some health issues. Also, I was burned out in journalism. Mom and my father, Francis, live here in Kerrville, so I took from August of 2018 to 2019 off, to help them. Mom’s doing okay now, and they both attend First United Methodist Church.”

She adds, “I believe, ‘Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.’ I discovered I had a liking for school public relations, so in May of 2019 I applied at KISD. I interviewed in July, and started in August of 2019, and I’m excited to come to work every day. I get to interact with kids, and the days are all different.”

Jette says on her off time she has a two-year-old female Corgi, Sunny, and they both love the River Trail.

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