(FRANKFORT, KY) – Toni Konz Tatman, a communications coordinator for the Jefferson County schools and a former journalist, has been named interim director of communications for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown announced Jan. 15.
Konz Tatman comes to KDE through a memorandum of agreement with the Jefferson County schools. She will join the communications staff Jan. 16 and will serve concurrently with the interim commissioner or until a new director of communications is named.
“I’m thrilled that Toni has agreed to serve KDE in this capacity. Communications is critical to our work at KDE, and Toni’s skills and experience in both public relations and journalism make her well suited to fill this important position on our leadership team during this time of transition,” Brown said. “I also want to thank Jefferson County Superintendent Marty Pollio, Chief of Communications Renee Murphy and the Jefferson County board for their willingness to allow Toni to serve in this role during the interim period between permanent commissioners. It is vitally important that KDE communicate effectively with schools, districts and other shareholders during this crucial period.”
In her role with the Jefferson County schools, Konz Tatman has provided assistance in implementing and developing programs that increase awareness of key district initiatives within key internal and external audiences. She has generated articles and worked with the media on stories that highlighted students, teachers and schools, has helped manage the district’s social media channels and has provided communications support to employees on a daily basis. She also created the district’s first monthly e-newsletter for families and assisted in the development of a social media strategy that promotes and shares vital information for the district’s stakeholders.
Since August 2019, Konz Tatman has been working directly with Jefferson County’s Accelerated Improvement Schools on ways to strategically improve both internal and external communication and in turn boost climate and culture at those 33 schools. The result has been increased exposure in the community of many great programs that exist within the schools and highlights of student and teacher success as they work to increase achievement.
Prior to joining the Jefferson County schools in 2017, Konz Tatman covered education in three states over 16 years. For more than 10 years, she reported and wrote about the Jefferson County schools and other K-12 education issues in Kentucky for both the Courier Journal and WDRB-TV in Louisville. Before that, she was the education reporter covering K-12 education for the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser and the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American.
“It is an honor to be asked by Interim Commissioner Brown to serve in this role,” Konz Tatman said. “I am looking forward to working together as a team to highlight the strengths and triumphs of Kentucky’s public schools, while also helping the department effectively relay important information to our employees and our stakeholders across the state.”
Konz Tatman is a native of Milwaukee and attended and graduated from public schools. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003.