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Gretchen Haas-Bethell

Gretchen Haas-Bethell
Senior Executive Director of Communications / Biography 


Welcome to the Communications Department! 
We would like to know your questions/comments.   Please feel free to contact us.

What we do….

Union SchoolsThe Communications Department assists Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler and helps with district management and employees in interpreting public attitudes; identifies and helps shape district policies and procedures in the public interest; and helps to provide ways to inform and involve Union’s various audiences in an effort to gain understanding and support for Union Public Schools and the services it provides.

The Communications Department provides a system for fostering open, two-way communications and good relationships between the district and its various internal audiences (students, certified employees, support employees, Board of Education members, administrators, etc.) and external audiences (parents, taxpayers, community organizations, lawmakers, businesses, etc.). In 2012, the Communications Department was recognized with five awards from the Oklahoma School Public Relations Association.

Four specialists help the executive director manage the department’s needs:

The Communications Department also relies on a team of staff members appointed to serve as communication representatives. The communication representatives are charged with helping the department keep abreast of news at school sites and departments throughout the district.

Publications and Productions 

The Communications Department produces a number of printed and electronic-based products designed to inform patrons about Union Public Schools. The department also oversees the Alumni Center at the High School.

More than 40 publications were printed and included everything from handbooks, course offerings and report cards, to brochures, programs and annual reports.

Major publications produced by the Communications Department include:


Audio/video productions include an annual bond-related video, a Teacher of the Year slide show, a Teacher of the Year video, district videos and programming for the U-View Scoreboards at Union High School and the UMAC. The Communications Department also supports the Athletics Department in its production of a weekly coach's show during the football season. 

The Communications Department created a successful 2013 multi-media bond election information campaign. Union voters overwhelmingly approved a $20.4-million bond proposal to expand and remodel the 6th and 7th Grade Center, replace the track at the High School, and buy computers and software required for the state’s latest testing mandates. It will also be used to maintain and upgrade facilities, parking lots, and technology throughout the district.

Communications saved the district thousands of dollars in both printing and mailing costs by converting its quarterly newsletter into the Communicator OnLine.  With up-to-date calendar information, stories and photos, the department was then able to email the publication to employees, parents, and the community monthly or as often as needed.