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New chief, new staff in Communications

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The School District beefed up its communications office with the addition today of a new chief, Jamilah Fraser, and two new staff members for the department.

Fraser, now chief communications officer, has had "a distinguished career in broadcast journalism and strategic and disaster communications," said a District press release. She will be Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s fourth communications chief since 2008; the last one, Lisa Mastoon, stayed in the post less than two weeks. Mastoon’s predecessor, Evelyn Sample-Oates, still works in the department, overseeing the District’s communications organs such as PSTV.

District spokesperson Fernando Gallard said Fraser will make $170,000 a year, the same salary as her predecessor. That pay rate was a topic of controversy this summer, when a series of press reports focused on executive salaries at the District.

Also joining the communications staff are Shana Kemp and Elizabeth Childs; Gallard said "all will be wearing multiple hats."

"It’s very exciting to have new team members and more resources," Gallard said. The office’s media relations staff has not been fully rebuilt since the termination of two media managers early this year.

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