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Mary Kay Larson was selected for the position, will begin duties immediately

REVIEW PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mary Kay Larson at the 2019 LO Schools Foundation luncheon.Mary Kay Larson has been selected to serve as the director of communications for the Lake Oswego School District. Larson previously served as the executive director for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, a position she held since 2016.

Larson is excited to take on the new role and help provide clear communication in the district. "Communication is my background, it's always been my passion," she said. "I'm excited to be a part of the administrative team and work with a lot of different stakeholders to keep moving things forward. This is a great opportunity to expand my passion for clear communication and community-building districtwide."

As of Monday, Oct. 14, Larson is responsible for districtwide communications and community engagement initiatives. Whitney Woolf, who has served on the Foundation staff and board of directors for the past several years, is taking over management of the Foundation as interim executive director. A public search process will commence soon for a permanent executive director, Larson said.

Larson brings with her more than a decade of professional public relations experience, leading clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Network Associates, Chevron and Children's World Learning Centers through corporate and crisis communications, as well as brand-building efforts.

"She also brings a decade of volunteer leadership including serving on bond development, levy campaign and boundary committees for Lake Oswego schools, and parent club, school advisory and art literacy for Hallinan Elementary," said a district statement. "Over the years and in all positions, Mary Kay has been recognized as an effective leader with strong communication skills who is a natural community builder."

Larson grew up in the California Bay Area and received her bachelor of science in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

"Mary Kay's leadership, communication and community-building talents are evident in her work with the Foundation," said LOSD superintendent Lora de la Cruz in a press release. "She understands and cares greatly about our entire community. I am thrilled to expand her trusted insights and expertise on our administrative team."

The district statement said Larson was selected for her new position following a competitive interview process from a strong pool of applicants. She succeeds Christine Moses, who resigned from the position in September 2019.

Larson said she is focused on three areas in her new role: brand building and clear messaging; day-to-day communication with parents; and engaging with students, teachers, parents and staff.

"I want to make sure that people feel like they have a good understanding of what's going on," she said. "And find out how people are finding out about things versus how they would like to."

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