By Jill Terreri
Lorey Schultz, deputy director of Mayor Byron Brown's Communications Department, is leaving to become the chief of public relations for the Buffalo Public School District.
Schultz, 49, starts on Monday, and will report to Superintendent Pamela C. Brown, she said in an interview today.
She said she was approached about the school district job in July, and is anxious to hit the ground running. She will be responsible for the district's interactions with reporters and its communications with parents and students."My goal is to have good, honest, open communication," she said.
Schultz will have plenty to do. Her appointment comes at a time when the district has been criticized repeatedly by the state's top education official, Commissioner John King, which has precipitated speculation about a state takeover of the district. The district's low graduation rates and number of low-performing schools has contributed to its problems. The district's problems are not strictly academic, as it has been criticized for not being transparent with the public about its activities.
Schultz left WIVB-TV, where she was a news reporter, and joined Brown's staff in October 2011.
Schultz did most of the writing that came out of the mayor's office, and organized news conferences and appeared on the government access channel, where she moderated CitiStat meetings and hosted "Inside City Hall," which features Brown. She also kept track of projects in city departments that were of public interest and organized communications for major events, such as the mayor's State of the City address.
“Lorey did a great job, this is a good opportunity for her and we wish her all the best,” Mayor Brown said through a spokesman.
Her 18-year career in radio and television in Buffalo, and nearly two years in public relations for the city, helped prepare her for the school district job, she said.
Schultz's salary will be $115,000. She currently makes $81,000.
"I will work so hard to make myself worth every penny of that," Schultz said. "I don't take that lightly."
Schultz, who lives in North Buffalo and has two children, said she is preparing to be an empty-nester next year, as her daughter is college-bound, and said she is ready for the challenge.