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BoE adds PR position
Native spreading enthusiasm for schools
ap Ed Sikes pic
Liberty County School System Public Relations Facilitator Demeré Sikes - photo by Alena Parker / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Board of Education has added a new position to let people know what is going on in the schools.
And as its public relations facilitator, as the job is titled, Demeré Sikes has jumped on board, looking to steer the community into mirroring her enthusiasm.
"There are so many exciting things that people just aren't aware of," she said.
Since January, Sikes has been the new face during the "good news in our schools" portion of the monthly BoE meetings and will contribute to new teacher orientation and recruitment. She's also fed numerous news releases and photos to the Courier and other media, as well as helping start a new education page in the Courier.
BoE Chairwoman Lily Baker said Sikes' position is another way the board is "providing great resources for our community."
"The position of public relations is very important to any governing organization," she said. "This position is one that the board of education has been considering for some time and this body decided that it was time."
Baker explained how as the county's population grows, "they look for good information about the educational system."
Sikes said one of her goals is to bring people to the schools.
"What we're hoping for is a lot more community involvement," Sikes said.
As Liberty County native, she knows first hand about the opportunities for students to better their education and parents to increase their involvement.
Sikes couples education and experience in her contributions to the BoE.
She has a business administration degree in marketing from Georgia Southern University.
And Sikes has worked at a community bank, serving as a banking officer and marketing director.
Her two years of teaching at Savannah Christian Academy, also helps her relate to teachers, as well as the public.
"It's sort of an easy transition with the banking background being business and the education time in the classroom, as well," Sikes said.
In addition to her role as to "facilitate between the schools and the public," she will work toward developing business partnerships and she said being a native will help.
"Being from here is a huge asset because the networking opportunities are an easy fit," she said. "This is my community."
Sikes explained how her family's history is in Liberty County. She, her parents and grandparents went to county schools.
And the connection continued to the next generation, with her son attending a LCSS elementary school.
"I have a long history with this school system. And I feel like they have given very much to me and my family," she said. "And I want to give something back to the community, particularly the school system."
Sikes' desire has moved her to organizing and contributing to a variety of projects.
As a member of the Kiwanis Club, she is organizing "Read across Liberty" this month encouraging volunteers to read to students.
Sikes is gearing up for training this summer for the Stop It Now program by Prevent Child Abuse Georgia to teach a community course.
She will also represent the BoE in Prevent Child Abuse Liberty and the Family Connections Collaborative.
"I'm just one of those people that's very outgoing and likes to be involved," she said. "So this (PR) is a really neat way to do that."
The BoE is funding the position at approximately $38,900 for 220 work days, according to Harley Grove, interim superintendent.

Joe Parker, Jr. contributed to this article.
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