South Washington County Schools

Familiar face in the community takes the lead of District 833’s Communications Team

District 833 is pleased to announce that Shelly Schafer has accepted the position of the Director of Communications and Community Relations and plans to begin her position on July 5, pending School Board approval. A Woodbury resident, Schafer now serves as the Deputy State Director for U.S. Sen. Al Franken, and has worked for several members of Congress in both Washington, D.C. and in Minnesota over the past two decades. She has also been active in several volunteer positions in District 833, where her children attend school. 
Of her acceptance for the position, Superintendent Keith Jacobus commented, “I am so pleased to have Shelly join our team. Her past work with our school district and community provides an outstanding framework that will allow her to enhance our efforts to more actively engage our community through her proven track record and community connections. In speaking with people who work with Shelly, all highlighted her outstanding conflict resolution skills and her calm approach to problem solving that has helped her in past situations to bring multiple perspectives together to create a common solution. Shelly will be leading a strong team of communication specialists and we are so excited to welcome her to our district.”  
Throughout the interview process, Schafer noted her community engagement and communication abilities. This, combined with her political acumen and strategic thinking skills set her apart from other applicants. The interview team saw her wide array of experience from the past 20 years in government, public speaking, writing and community relations. This experience, along with her obvious passion for education and positive attitude, strongly support her ability to be a good fit for the Director of Communications and Community Relations position.
Schafer has extensive leadership and volunteer experience throughout the community and in South Washington County Schools. She is currently serving the Woodbury Thrives organization, is part of the District 833 Community Education Advisory Council, and has been active within the district's K-12 Spanish Immersion program. More district volunteer experience has been through strategic planning and long range facilities planning.
When asked about her change in career path and exploring the education field, Schafer said, “As an active parent in the school district for many years, I am very excited for the opportunity to become a part of the South Washington County Schools team. This new opportunity will allow me to blend my professional experience in community and public relations with my passion to see our schools, our community and especially our kids succeed.”
As she begins her time with District 833, Schafer plans to better understand how the communications team currently operates and look for additional opportunities to engage our community. She plans to build positive relationships with people within the organization, as well as people in the community and media, and welcomes feedback as to how we can work together to create highly effective communication systems that will serve our community well.
Schafer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and political science from the University of Minnesota-Morris. She replaces Barbara Brown, who served as the Director of Communications for the past twelve years and is retiring at the end of August.