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Lorain Schools CEO hires Washington, D.C., public relations firm

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LORAIN — Lorain Schools CEO David Hardy has hired a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm to communicate the district’s message until a new communications director is hired.

Hardy began using Finn Partners shortly after he took over running the district last summer under a state-mandated reform plan.

At the time, Erin Gadd was serving as the district’s spokeswoman, but Hardy said Finn Partners was brought in to lessen her workload.

The firm also was involved in crafting the district’s message about the status of Superintendent Jeff Graham, to whom Gadd is now married.

Hardy announced Nov. 29 that Graham was “exploring other professional opportunities.”

Neither Hardy nor Graham have explained what that means or what Graham’s status with the district is. Graham’s contract as superintendent expires July 31.

Hardy said the district signed a three- to four-month contract, worth about $40,000, until a new communications chief is hired. Since Gadd’s Dec. 4 departure, Finn Partners has taken over most of the public-relations work for the district.

“The most important thing is we want to make sure we are able to still communicate with our community, provide insight of what’s going on and continue with our path of transparency and open dialogue with our community,” Hardy said.

The CEO hopes to have his leadership positions finalized about Feb. 28, according to the latest details of his improvement plan.

Contact Bruce Walton at 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BruceWalton.



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