Marketing Is More Than a Buzzword to Superintendent
Public schools are facing more competition than ever before
Dr. Fred Brent is a passionate and dedicated educator who is currently the superintendent of the Georgetown Independent School District located just north of Austin, Texas. The district is a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), a collection of more than 40 districts with leadership that is interested in developing next-generation accountability systems to give a more accurate and meaningful representation of student achievement and outcomes.
Fred believes marketing is an often overlooked component to effectively change our educational systems throughout the country. He points to the growing pressures on public school districts to compete with increasing numbers of for-profit institutions like charter and private schools. The problem is public schools have traditionally not had to promote themselves, and the perception that it is a distasteful or unnecessary use of taxpayer money still lingers.
“If we just go out and spend money aggressively on heavy marketing, we might receive a lot of criticism for that,” Fred says. “But a charter school can do that. That’s their business model, and they’re a for-profit business. Make no mistake about it. They’re making money.
“The whole point of the marketing campaign is that its part of their model; it’s part of their platform. People aren’t used to public schools being advocates for their own brand. And yet, it is something that we are going to have to do.
“School boards need to say to themselves, ‘This is a competition now; the game has changed. We must start marketing ourselves.’ And teachers need to brag about themselves. Great things are happening in our schools and teachers have been conditioned to not tell their story, to not talk about the great things their kids are doing.”
There’s no mistaking the enthusiasm Fred has for educating the kids in his district, a commitment he has demonstrated from a young age. I’m sure the student, parents and community members in Georgetown feel very lucky to have such an engaged leader running district efforts.
About Fred Brent
Dr. Fred Brent has devoted his career to public education. Prior to accepting the leadership role as Superintendent of Schools for Georgetown ISD in July of 2014, Dr. Brent served as the Superintendent of Alvin ISD and Anderson-Shiro CISD.
Dr. Brent proudly received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University, his graduate degree from Lamar University, and his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University. During his career, Dr. Brent has been a geography teacher, physical education teacher, world geography teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Other districts where he has worked include Putnam City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, and Navasoto.
Dr. Brent is married to Terri, and they have three children: Austin, Alex, and Abby who all attend Georgetown ISD schools.
Follow Dr. Fred Brent on Twitter.
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