Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

South Orange-Maplewood Director of Communications Leaving School District April 1

The South Orange-Maplewood School District will see more administrative change this year as its director of communications is stepping down to relocate with her family.

SOMSD Director of Strategic Communications Suzanne M. Turner offered her resignation via a letter to Interim Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ficarra on December 20, 2018.

In the letter, Turner said her resignation would be effective April 1, 2019. She explained that she was looking forward to “pursuing the next phase” of her career in her family’s new location.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have contributed to SOMSD over the past 7 years, and to have supported the administration, the Board of Education and most importantly the students and families of our community,” Turner wrote. “It has been an honor to serve on the Senior Leadership Team and to contribute my voice and experience to addressing the District’s challenges and to developing and communicating a strategic vision for the District’s future.”

Turner said she was “very proud to have been a central part of SOMSD’s work” in the following areas:

  • Breaking down barriers and open opportunities for all students to have full access to challenging and engaging work, as well as the supports needed to set them up for success;
  • Providing clear information to families and students about all of the programs that SOMSD has to offer, about the differences among levels and courses, and about the choice process;
  • Engaging with the community, including strengthening welcomes and enhancing information around key transition points, such as entering kindergarten, middle school, and high school;
  • Creating systems for consistent and transparent communications about curriculum, district and board initiatives, and emergent issues.

“I look forward to continuing to work with you for the next few months, and to ensuring a seamless transition to my successor,” wrote Turner. “I know there are many exciting things on the horizon with the recruitment of a new Superintendent, the approval and implementation of the new long range facilities plan, and the reconfiguration of our elementary schools. As a parent and community member, I will root for the success of all of these initiatives.”

Reached for comment, Ficarra said, “In an ongoing series of challenging situations, Suzanne has done an incredible job at overseeing our strategic communications. She has also served as a source of continuity and institutional knowledge as the district has gone through numerous transitions in leadership during her seven years here. We wish Suzanne and her family well in their new endeavors.”

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