The Communications Department assists Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler and helps with district management and employees in interpreting public attitudes; identifies and helps shape district policies and procedures in the public interest; and helps to provide ways to inform and involve Union’s various audiences in an effort to gain understanding and support for Union Public Schools and the services it provides.
The Communications Department provides a system for fostering open, two-way communications and good relationships between the district and its various internal audiences (students, certified employees, support employees, Board of Education members, administrators, etc.) and external audiences (parents, taxpayers, community organizations, lawmakers, businesses, etc.).
The Communications Department oversees a number of printed and electronic-based products, including this website, designed to inform patrons about Union Public Schools. The department also oversees the Alumni Center at the High School.
More than 40 publications are printed and include everything from handbooks, course offerings and report cards, to brochures, programs and annual reports.
Audio/video productions include bond-related videos, staff recognition videos and news coverage of the district.
The Communications Department created a successful 2018 5-year multi-media bond election information campaign. Voters in the Union Public School District overwhelmingly passed both two propositions in the district's $128.6-million, five-year series bond, enabling completion of the Ellen Ochoa Elementary School, improvements to athletics and fine arts facilities at Union Tuttle Stadium and continued expansion of Union’s districtwide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative.
Productions by Communications include:
The Communications Department oversees all of the district’s 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.
Flyer Distribution System
Union Public Schools offers an electronic flyer communication tool called “Peachjar.” To view school-approved Digital flyers, simply click the Peachjar button on your school’s website homepage. For more information, see our Peachjar page.
Parents tell us Union’s automated phone messaging system is a great way to announce weather-related school closings, upcoming events, and important information.
For your convenience, we have also added a district phone message replay line where you can access recent messages sent to you by the district and/or the school your student(s) attend(s). The Union Connect-ED Message Line is 918-357-6210. The system searches the database by the phone number of the telephone you use to call the message line and gives you the choice of the last nine messages sent to that phone. Visit our Phone and Text Page for more information.
Communications oversees designs of all major publications, and coordinates district printing. Designs include, but are not limited to, student handbooks, boundary maps, report cards and more, complex four-color projects.
Requests for use of the district’s registered names and logos should be directed to the manager of the UWear Store.
News, Photography and Web
Communications manages online content for Union Public Schools, including a website, emails, automated phone calls and various social media outlets. Communications also gathers information and photos for news distribution on print and electronic media, as well as local and national media.
Communications creates videos that highlight the many exciting successes that surround Union Public Schools. Videos may be news- or featured-related and shared internally for various events or on our YouTube Channel.
Chris McNamara Joins Communications as New Videographer
Chris McNamara has been hired as the new videographer for Communications at Union Public School. He comes to Union from KOTV News/Channel 6 in Tulsa, where he worked for about 10 years as a video editor and award-winning photojournalist.
“Union is fortunate to have landed someone the caliber of Chris McNamara, as he is an extremely talented photojournalist. He will be serving as the district’s videographer, helping us to share the many great stories taking place on a daily basis in our district,” Chief Communications Officer Chris Payne announced.
“I was born and raised in Claremore,” he said. “I’m the oldest of three; I have a younger brother and sister. I attended Claremore Public Schools until fourth grade, when I transferred over to Claremore Sequoyah. I was in Boy Scouts of America since Kindergarten and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2002. I was the video producer for my high school class, producing senior videos and other projects.”
McNamara attended Rogers State University for four years, studying radio and television production, where he also worked as a paid assistant for one of the professors in Communications, creating videos for internal and external clients. He has also volunteered at RSU Radio.
“I also volunteered at RSU Radio and had my own two-hour classic rock radio show once a week for two years,” McNamara said. “I also worked for RSU Public TV for a year-and-a-half as a master control operator and volunteered as a production assistant.”
In 2009, he went to work for KOTV News on 6 as a video editor, and in 2013, he started shooting video for them and was promoted to a fulltime photojournalist. In that time, McNamara has earned three Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Awards for breaking news in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He also helped KOTV win an Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence just this past year.
McNamara, who was born and raised in Claremore, has been married since 2016. He and his wife, Alex, are the proud parents of daughter, Paisly, who will turn 2 this fall. “My wife is now a stay-at-home mom. We have two dogs, Floyd and Lucy, and one cat, Midnight. We currently live in Collinsville,” he said.