The Windsor Unified School District (WUSD) announced last week that it’s hired Heather Bailey as its coordinator of district communications. Bailey, formerly an editor at SoCoNews and The Windsor Times, started at the post on Aug. 23.
According to a district press release, the coordinator of district communications is a new position for the WUSD that “arose from the recognition that a unified communication strategy would help keep staff, students, families and the wider Windsor community accurately informed about everything happening in the school district.”
Increasing natural disasters and the ongoing pandemic contributed to the need for a unified district communications strategy. As part of the position, Bailey will oversee internal and external communications, website and social media management, press and community inquiries and more.
“Our search to fill this new role included a broad outreach locally and in the region. I knew Heather from her journalism work in Windsor, but also covering schools at my previous posting in Cloverdale. Her understanding of our district, her knowledge of education and schools, and her experience managing communications on a large scale, plus her experience and love of our local community, made her a great fit for this position,” Windsor Superintendent Jeremy Decker said.
Locally, Bailey worked for Sonoma West Publishers and SoCoNews for five years, primarily covering northern Sonoma County. Her coverage ranged from city council and school boards to crime and disaster recovery. As a journalist, she’s also covered large international events like Olympics and World Championships.
She has worked as a communications specialist and press staffer for local, national and international events, culminating in being the press officer and discipline chief in dressage and para-dressage for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. She began her communications career as Communications Manager for a Washington D.C.-area environmental consulting firm.
“Being a journalist gave me a unique insight into our local Windsor community and all the amazing stories in it,” Bailey said in a district statement. “Every week as I covered the district, I had greater appreciation of the work being done here, and I’m excited to help them move that work forward in a new way and continue telling the story of our schools.”
During her time covering news with Sonoma West Publishers, then-owners of The Windsor Times, Bailey was awarded the 2018 Golden Quill Award in recognition of fair, insightful and accurate reporting on public school news. Golden Quill Award nominees are put forth by districts and county offices of education that are part of the California School Boards Association.
“Effective communication means keeping everybody on the same page,” Bailey said. “It means
getting the facts to the people that need them, and, as much as possible, making sure no one feels surprised by policies, decisions or outcomes.”