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Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) today announced that award-winning Washington Post reporter Theola Labbé-DeBose has been appointed director of communications. In her wide-ranging journalism career, Labbé-DeBose has worked as an international correspondent and written extensively about education reform and charter schools. Labbé-DeBose’s first day at the board will be May 14.
"We are thrilled to have Theola join us as our new director of communications. Her distinguished background as a journalist and her experience covering education reform make her an ideal person to lead the PCSB communications team,” said Executive Director Scott Pearson. Pearson thanked Public Affairs Manager Audrey Williams for serving as Acting Director of Communications for the past nine months. “She did an outstanding job and we are fortunate that Audrey will continue to be a part of our communications team.”
At the board, Labbé-DeBose will oversee all aspects of the PCSB’s communications and engagement strategy. She will direct media relations and the integration of multimedia tools, including social media, with outreach efforts. She will manage the board’s communications team, which oversees government relations and organizes parent, school and community outreach and special events, including the annual D.C. Public Charter School Recruitment Expo. In her role, Labbé-DeBose will provide strategic communications counsel to the executive director as a member of the senior leadership team. Also, she will direct and manage all of the board’s fundraising initiatives and philanthropic relations with foundations.
“D.C. residents, parents, public officials and our local and national education partners rely on the Board to provide first-rate information about charter schools in D.C.,” Labbé-DeBose said. “I am so pleased that I now get to work on making sure that the teaching and learning that is taking place in D.C. charter schools is known to as wide an audience as possible.”
Labbé-DeBose joined the Washington Post in 2001 as a Metro education reporter and has reported on crime, child welfare, social services and juvenile justice issues. She chronicled the growth of the D.C. charter movement and the historic shift in D.C. public education to mayoral control. She has also reported from Haiti, where her family is originally from, and from Iraq, where her work garnered recognition as the Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. She serves on the employee grants advisory committee for Washington Post Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund, and co-chairs the Washington DC Princeton Prize in Race Relations, a contest for area high school students who work to promote racial harmony. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 53 public charter schools on 98 campuses serving nearly 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Seventy-five percent of the students attending public charter schools qualify for free or reduced price meals. Public charter schools serve 41% of all public school students in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the PCSB at www.dcpubliccharter.com.
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