Executive Director of Communications
The Communications Department provides a myriad of services to help the District with its mission of educating children and keeping the community informed of District programs and needs.
Gretchen Haas-Bethell, Executive Director of Communications
Gretchen Haas-Bethell is responsible for overseeing the district’s internal and external communications programs. Those programs include serving as Union’s liaison with the media to facilitate accurate, timely and fair news coverage; supervising the creation of written and electronic publications including newsletters, brochures, videos and the web site; planning and executing information campaigns for a variety of issues including bond elections and new curriculum programs; planning and executing special events and projects; providing information, referral and follow-up to ensure prompt and courteous responses for people seeking facts and registering complaints; conducting formal and informal public relations training for staff and school-related groups; regularly evaluating communications strategies and advising the administration on communications issues; serving as the district’s liaison to the Union Schools Education Foundation; and facilitating information as part of the district’s crisis communications team.
Information distributed through students or staff must be approved by the executive director of Communications. Requests for use of the district’s registered names and logos should be directed to the executive director of Communications or the manager of the UWear Store.
Haas-Bethell's professional background includes broadcast journalism and public relations.
Janie Froman, Graphic Designer
Janie Froman designs all major publications, and coordiates district printing. She works with employees, parents and volunteers to insure that printing and/or copying is cost effective. Froman designs include, but are not limited to, student handbooks, boundary maps, report cards and more, complex four-color projects such as the Annual Report and the Communicator.
Froman has been with the district for more than 20 years. She worked in the Union Print Shop before moving to her current position in the Communications Department.
Beverly Thummel, Administrative Assistant to Communications and the Board of Education
Beverly Thummel is responsible for helping the Executive Director of Communications to garner support for the district and facilitate appropriate responses to the district’s needs. Her duties include but are not limited to copy editing, maintaining budgets, coordinating mailroom procedures, orders and flyer distribution.
Thummel also serves as secretary to the Board of Education. As Board Secretary, Thummel is responsible for assisting Board members and the Superintendent in facilitating all Board of Education and district business. Duties include, but are not limited to maintaining and recording all official Board proceedings, maintaining the Board budget and requisitions for Board purchases, preparing and posting the Board meeting agendas and works with the public regarding School Board policy.
Thummel has been at Union since 1980, and has worked as a teachers' aide at Boevers and Darnaby elementary schools, media secretary at the Education Service Center, and now as the Administrative Assistant for Communications and for the Board of Education.
Beth Turner, Video Producer/Communications Specialist
Beth Turner creates videos that highlight the many exciting successes that surround Union Public Schools. Turner works closely with the communications team as well as students, staff and administrators, in utilizing video to tell a story or pass along needed information to the district and its community.
Turner has more than 15 years of journalistic experience, working in television news and print media in Arkansas and Oklahoma. She obtained her Master’s in Documentary Film from the University of Arkansas in 2009.
Michael Vore, Webmaster/Communications Specialist
Michael Vore manages the web sites for Union Public Schools, including the UMAC and employee network web sites. Vore also serves as the primary writer and photographer for the district’s public relations needs. Vore works closely with communications representatives to collect information about school and department news.
Vore has more than 10 years experience in journalism, working for newspapers in Kansas and Oklahoma as well as special projects for the Associated Press.
Studio photos for administrators, including principals, are all by Montag Photography of Tulsa.
In addition, a number of media stories on the Union web site, particularly from the Tulsa World and the GTR Union Boundary, have been re-posted on our website as a courtesy from these media outlets. Outside media stories are not endorsements of any particular program or programs by news organizations.