News Article
Owatonna Public Schools emphasizes importance of communication with new hire

To help the school district improve communication with staff, parents and community members, the Owatonna School Board has approved hiring Shay Baumbach as the district’s new Communications and Public Outreach Specialist. Baumbach will begin her duties in this newly created position on March 1, 2018. 

“We are thrilled to add Shay to our team to help us develop strong communications systems with staff, parents and community members,” said Superintendent Jeff Elstad. “When staff are well informed, parents are engaged and community members feel a part of our schools, everyone wins.”

Baumbach will be responsible for developing internal and external communications strategies for the school district. Using social media, print, electronic and in-person communication tools, she will help the district maintain two-way communication with stakeholders to support the district’s mission, "Learning excellence, life readiness, high expectations for all:  A family, staff and community commitment."

“The Board has prioritized communication as critical to our work educating students,” said Board Chair Mark Sebring. “The more aware and engaged our community is with our schools, the stronger our educational programs are for our students.”

Baumbach comes to the district team with a background in communications and public outreach. She is currently Assistant Director in Communications for the University of Minnesota Rochester, where she handles all internal and external communications for the University. This includes working with social media, website, internal and external newsletters and special events. She also worked in local government for Olmsted County Public Health Services. There she led multiple community coalitions, coordinated various state and federal grants and managed communication efforts to reach the diverse populations of Olmsted County.

Originally from the Twin Cities, she has lived in Byron for the past twelve years with her husband, Jeremy, who is also the Byron School District’s 8th grade math teacher and coach for girls soccer and boys basketball. They have two daughters ages 7 and 10 who are fast developing a more robust and active social life than their parents.