by Terry Rogers
Trish Gerken, who has served as the Executive Director of DMI for the past year, will step into a new role starting September 1. Gerken has been selected as the Milford School District Public Information Officer, a new position created by the Board in July.
“When COVID-19 turned the world upside down, it became very apparent the need to get sensitive information out not only quickly, but with correct information,” Gerken said. “I have many years’ experience writing press releases, managing social media, and website management. The way information and news is consumed has changed so much and social media platforms are a great way to get information out immediately with a wide reach. My skillset perfectly aligns with the needs of a Public Information Officer and, as a resident of Milford and product of the school district, it seemed a natural fit.”
Gerken graduated from Milford High School in 2005 and currently lives in Milford with her partner, Stu, and son, Quintin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science from the University of Delaware. In addition to working for DMI, Gerken has also worked at Buena Vista as a Historic Site Supervisor under the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. She was a Marketing and Retail Assistant for Delaware State Parks, an Administrative Assistant for the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Delaware Association of Environmental Education from 2016-2019, acting as co-treasurer in 2018.
“I think the biggest challenge for everyone right now is COVID-19 and how to navigate our lives around it,” Gerken said. “With children beginning the school year fully virtual and transitioning, if opted, into a hybrid model, it will be very important that the lines of communication between schools and district families are open. Keeping families informed with the latest information and resources will be instrumental for a successful first semester. It will also be important that all communities are reached, which means ensuring information is translated into Spanish and Creole and released on various outlets.
Gerken sees her role at the district as being instrumental in making sure all families are up-to-date on the most important information, including the academic calendar and transitioning from virtual learning to hybrid learning and so on, child nutrition programs, and health resources for students and families. Having this role will make it much easier to communicate with district families and celebrate our school district, teachers, staff and students.
As for her goals, Gerken hopes to engage district families and make them proud to be part of the Milford School District family. She would also like to streamline how information is presented to the public and update the District’s website.
“I think I’ll most enjoy interacting with our District families and hearing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. I am also looking forward to recognizing awards and achievements of students, teachers, and families in the Milford community.”