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Company: Tennessee Department of Education
Deputy Communications Director
Job Status:  Full-time
Ad Expires: 
January 30, 2013
Job ID: 1330169


Job Title: Deputy Communications Director

Summary: There are innovative things happening at the department of education, and we need our online and public presence to reflect that. This position will take the lead on most of the department’s online endeavors, while also providing backup for the communications director in areas such as media relations and communication strategy.

In the past six months, the department has created a robust social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and we don’t want to lose ground. Our ideal candidate will be able to adopt our voice, take what we’ve started and run with it, exercising strong judgment while interacting with our broad range of followers. We need a person who is not only creative and poised, but also detail oriented and organized.

The department’s communications team is small but mighty, and everyone must pitch in to complete the wide variety of tasks. Tennessee is leading the charge in national education reform, and there is plenty about which to communicate. This means that the deputy must be a quick learner, understanding how the pieces of our work fit together.

Characteristics: The right candidate must be comfortable both organizing massive amounts of information and crafting pithy tweets. As a part of the communications team, the right candidate must have solid communication judgment and feel comfortable knowing when, what and with whom they should be communicating, both internally and externally. We’re looking for a big-picture thinker and a self-starter who can take an idea and run with it. Strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as a keen attention to detail and intimate knowledge of AP style, are a must.


  • Provide constant monitoring of the department’s social media presence, tweeting and posting multiple times per day
  • Serve as primary web liaison, making decisions about what content is appropriate for the department’s online presence
  • Work together with the department’s webmaster to reorganize and keep content updated
  • Facilitate a weekly process of reviewing department-wide communications
  • Create and send weekly, monthly and quarterly newsletters to various stakeholder groups
  • Electronically track and disseminate news coverage of department
  • Track social media engagement goals and submit reports
  • Work closely with other members of the communications team to provide media relations and related support, when needed
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Two to five years’ experience in a communications, content management or web-related field
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and experience with website management, development or design
  • Proficiency in photography, videography or graphic design a bonus


About the Tennessee Department of Education

The Tennessee Department of Education, under the leadership of Commissioner Kevin Huffman, is focused on an ambitious goal: ensuring that Tennessee is the state with the fastest growing student achievement. With 935,000 students, 137 districts, significant urban and rural populations and lagging national achievement results compounded by significant gaps by income and race, achieving this goal will dramatically impact thousands of children and the future of the state. We seek to build a team dedicated to the goal of dramatically improving student achievement, and committed to the belief that children from all backgrounds can succeed when given the opportunities they deserve.

On the backbone of our winning Race to the Top application, we have outlined a strategic plan with ambitious goals and initiatives to advance student achievement. The Department of Education seeks to:

  1. Expand kids’ access to effective teachers and leaders
  2. Expand families’ access to good schools
  3. Expand educators’ access to resources and best practices
  4. Expand public access to information and data


Undergirding these priorities we will:

  • Build an effective state agency that serves as a delivery system to districts
  • Support policies that remove bureaucracy and unleash innovation; and
  • Operate from an ethos of continuous improvement through measurement at every level


Accomplishing this work will require a talented team of individuals who share our core values:

Excellence- We hold ourselves and our colleagues to high standards for our daily work and for reaching our goals. We actively seek and give feedback in an effort to advance outcomes for ourselves and the students we serve. We believe in the importance of continuous improvement, and we constantly strive for a higher level of performance in all of our work.

Optimism- We believe in the potential of all Tennessee students to reach high levels of academic achievement. We believe that, in collaboration with our colleagues across the state, we can and will build a system that helps our students meet their potential. We operate with a strong sense of possibility that we can accomplish difficult tasks, and we foster innovation in ourselves and others.

Judgment- We aspire to make wise decisions. Therefore, we seek input from a diverse set of perspectives and think critically about the impact of our choices. We use accurate data to set goals, analyze results, and to make changes based on evidence.

Courage- We are unwaveringly student-centered in our decision making, prioritizing the needs of students over the comfort of adults. We align our words and our actions to the core belief that all students can achieve at a high level when we provide the opportunities that they deserve. We make hard decisions to improve the academic achievement and life prospects of Tennessee students.

Teamwork- We believe that excellent teams, composed of high-performing team members, can have an enormous impact on student achievement. We value the diverse experiences and commitment to service that each team member brings. We strive to communicate effectively within teams and across teams, ensuring that we are successful in helping all Tennessee students reach their potential.


Equal Opportunity Employer: Pursuant to the State of Tennessee's policy of non-discrimination, the department of education does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military services in its policies, or in the admission of, access to, treatment, or employment in its programs, services, or activities.


To Apply: Please email résumé, cover letter and three samples of your work to Kelli Gauthier, director of communications:



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