Press Secretary Search Goes On at HISD; District Creates New Position on Top of One Held by Terry Abbott

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Despite three months’ advance notice, the Houston Independent School District still hasn’t found a replacement for its former press secretary Terry Abbott, who as of today, departed a week ago.

Abbott, as we previously, semi-fondly noted, had some pretty fine moments during his career with the district.

The board loved him despite, or perhaps because of, his junkyard dog stance. So much so that it now appears they need two people to fill his shoes.

It seems the main reason the district hasn’t named another press secretary is that it is now looking to fill a newly created position of Assistant Superintendent, Communications and Publications. Presumably, this person, once hired, will in turn hire Abbott’s replacement. This new assistant superintendent (because HISD just doesn’t have enough bureaucracy) will be paid something commensurate with his or her experience (Abbott made $160,000/year) and will work directly with Superintendent Abe Saavedra.

A look at the job posting online shows that, whoever it is, status quo in terms of openness (or the lack thereof) remains. The job applicant should be ready to: “Work with the Superintendent’s direct reports to quickly and effectively anticipate, mitigate, leverage and respond to public relations issues and opportunities.” (we added the emphasis)

One step up from Abbott: the job requires a bachelor’s degree – something Abbott never attained while he was spending all his spare time in consultant work. – Margaret Downing

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