Andover Public School’s Director of Communications Nicole Kieser is stepping down to take another opportunity.
Kieser — who has not announced where she is going at the present time — said the new job will be a bit off the news path, but one where she’ll be able to use the skills she’s acquired over the years and grow.
“This was an opportunity that I had been looking at for a while,” said Kieser. “Someone had approached me asking me to consider it and the more I thought about it, I realized it was a going to be a good challenge for me and it was something I wanted to try and the timing was right.”
The school district posted Kieser’s position Thursday. Kieser said she’ll be leaving when the position has been filled, so there is no set date for her departure.
“Once there is a transition, I am committed to making sure the next person is well prepared,” she said.
At least one Andover resident, Gerry Gustus, is questioning whether the district should rush to fill Kieser’s position.
“Frankly, when the position was created and she was hired, I think many in the town didn’t see an acute need for it,” said Gustus. “Now she’s apparently stepping down and they are posting for the position to replace her and given the potential financials that we don’t really understand with the economy and tax revenues and how much money we are going to get from the state, it just feels like a position that could not be filled.”
Superintendent Sheldon Berman said that there are more than 20 people with the same position throughout the school districts across eastern Massachusetts, adding that Kieser did much more than rehash his statements into emails, she also managed all the district’s public records requests, which he said took her about 250 hours last year.
“The expectation of communications with our constituencies has grown extraordinarily over the last couple of years particularly now that we are so much into email and immediate communication. The need for a website that’s responsive, the need for getting emergency messages out,” said Berman, who added that the district plans on replacing Kieser.
“We are very fortunate to have had somebody who had a lot of experience in media relations,” Berman said of Kieser. He later said, “We’ll miss her.”