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Norfolk School Board Appoints New Chief to Lead Communications and Community Engagement

Kenita B. Matthews, APR, was named Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer of Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) upon school board approval during the October 21, 2020, school board meeting. In this new role, she will lead the Division of Communications and Community Engagement (CCE). Her responsibilities include developing and deploying multidimensional communications strategies to increase awareness about education initiatives that impact various stakeholder groups as part of the mission of NPS.

Prior to joining NPS, Mrs. Matthews served as Director of Communications and Constituent Services for the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), where she successfully evolved the Virginia is For Learners campaign into the new brand identity of the state agency. She has also served in various other roles to include Director of Communications and Media Relations for Richmond Public Schools, Director of Community Engagement, Legislative Affairs, and Media Relations for Isle of Wight County Schools, Community Affairs Media Coordinator and Producer for the NBC affiliate WAVY-TV 10/WVBT FOX43, and Adjunct Professor at Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism.

She is the Immediate Past-President of the board of the Maryland/Virginia “Chesapeake” chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (CHESPRA - NSPRA) and serves on the NSPRA Equity Taskforce. Mrs. Matthews is the Vice President of the board of the Virginia Government Communicators (VGC), serves as President-Elect for the board of the Public Relations Society of America Mid-Atlantic District (PRSA MAD), as well as First Vice President of Programming for the board of the Richmond chapter of PRSA. As an accredited public relations (APR) practitioner with more than 20 years of experience, she has presented at local, regional, and national conferences.

Mrs. Matthews earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media – Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University and a master’s degree in Public Relations from Norfolk State University.

Mrs. Matthews is a proud Norfolk native and graduate of Norfolk Public Schools.