On Monday night, the board voted 5-0 to approve the hiring of Jeannie Hagan–the sister of board member Thomas Hagan–for a one-year contract set to expire on Aug. 31, 2014. Board member Thomas Hagan was absent from the meeting, as were Board President Russell Bleiler, Barbara LaSorsa and Marian McCouch.
For her work in the role of director of community outreach and communications, Jeannie Hagan, who holds an associate's degree in business from Montgomery County Community College, will earn $60,000 per year, plus benefits.
Superintendent Curtis Griffin had told Patch in the spring that if the board opted to make Hagan's temporary, "trial run" position permanent, the board would solicit an "open call" for candidates.
That did not happen, Griffin told Patch on Monday, because instead of being offered a "full-time position, a permanent position," Griffin instead recommended Hagan for a one-year contract.
"This is still a program that’s under trial," Griffin said.
One of Hagan's main responsibilities, Griffin has maintained, is to sell sponsorships to cover the cost of her salary and "exceed" it.
To date, he said Hagan has sold enough sponsorships to cover the roughly $15,000 cost of the school district calendar and is well on her way to filling the newsletter with enough ads to cover its $6,000 to $10,000 cost per issue.
Besides Jeannie Hagan, Hatboro-Horsham spent $56,000 last school year in fees paid to an outside contracted public relations firm, Jenkintown-based The Communications Solutions Group. Griffin had said the district would begin reducing its costs to the firm. On Monday night, he reported a reduction of $1,500 per month.
In an effort to generate additional revenue, the district, in addition to using Hagan to sell sponsorships, earlier this year hired consultant Advantage 3 to focus advertising/sponsorship efforts solely on Hatboro-Horsham High School, the stadium and its grounds; and Minnesota-based company School Media to zero in on Simmons Elementary School.
"We're walking through this maze of how all these pieces fit together," Griffin said.