Lynsey Saunders, a Key West woman with a background in broadcast news, is Superintendent Mark Porter’s choice to become the first official public information officer for the Monroe County School District.
The job title is communications and community relations coordinator with a salary range of $63,200 to $85,200, but the job was inspired by the spokeswomen who work for the city of Key West and the Sheriff’s Office who are known as public information officers on the payroll.
Saunders said in a statement she is ready to accept the job pending approval from the School Board, which meets Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at Marathon Middle High School. The agenda was not available Friday.
“I’m aware of the challenges, but accept them, knowing I have full support and the skill set to do so,” Saunders said.
In a news release Friday, Porter said Saunders, who grew up in the historic black neighborhood of Bahama Village in Key West, is a graduate of the University of Florida and Columbia University in New York, where she earned a master’s degree in arts and culture journalism on a partial scholarship.
She started out at as the morning host for WUFT, a National Public Radio affiliate in north-central Florida, and later worked as a legal assistant and a writer for WSVN in Miami, a Fox station.
Since 2013, Saunders had taught at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she teaches writing for electronic media. The course focuses on social media branding as well as public relations and news writing.
Porter said she was chosen from a pool of more than 30 applicants because she has the skills the district is looking for in its first spokesperson.
“Her commitment to accurate, timely and transparent communication using all available technologies will be a great asset to the Monroe County schools.” Porter said in a statement. “I’m excited to see what she will do with this new opportunity.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen