Ann Haruki-Shelton, Communications Director
Dennis Threadgill, GHTV / PAC Coordinator
A sound and complete marketing effort for public schools like Grand Haven has become a requirement. With the advent of charter schools and increasing choice options, the nature of public education has become much more competitive. This is a new and different role in public schools, but definitely one that is required. GHAPS has traditionally done an excellent job of providing quality education for students in West Michigan. However, school districts have not always told of their successes as loudly as they should.
This department is the official link between GHAPS and the community. It is the responsibility of this department to establish and facilitate a variety of two-way communication opportunities within the district, and between the district and all aspects of the community. Staff utilize a number of avenues to tell the GHAPS story including the district website, GHTV and Spotlight newsletter. The department is responsible for establishing connections with and providing information to the local media outlets, as well as offering support for students, parents and staff.
The district's website provides comprehensive information including curriculum, bus schedules, menus, athletics schedules, parent resources, etc. Over 30,000 people access the website every month which demonstrates how vital this resource has become.
GHAPS also has its own local educational access cable channel - GHTV. This is a very valuable tool to showcase what is happening in the district. Programming includes board of education meetings, Buccaneer sporting events, Issues & Answers (featuring the superintendent and school board members), and a variety of other shows highlighting the students and programs in the district. Sponsorships by local businesses help support the operation of GHTV.
Spotlight, the district newsletter, is published five times a year and is distributed to over 18,000 households in the community. Each edition features an extensive amount of district information, as well as a featured page on each of our school buildings.
The Communications Department is responsible to serve as a liaison with the community to facilitate involvement and support of a number of agencies and organizations. This department also surveys parents and community members - gathering valuable information on a variety of topics.
This award-winning department has received many accolades from the Michigan School Public Relations Association as well as the National School Public Relations Association. Department staff has been recognized for both publications and programs - including the NSPRA's coveted Golden Medallion Award recognizing outstanding public school programs an unprecedented two times.
Also under the Communications Department umbrella are the district’s three performance arts facilities located at the high school and both middle schools. The Grand Haven High School Performing Arts Center is hosts an average of 30 events each year and welcomes over 13,000 patrons. The Lakeshore and White Pines auditoriums are additional facilities utilized for concerts, talent shows and speakers.