District Media Manager Jennifer Delgado acts as middle ground between students and administration

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, the temperatures dipped well below zero. Forecasts predicted that the following day would have wind chills as cold as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Students all across District 214 (D214) began praying to Jack Frost for a snow day.

As school cancellations continued throughout neighboring communities, students started reaching out to the D214 Twitter account, voicing concern about the dangers of going to school in sub–zero temperatures.

The district account responded wittily to students, communicating with them through Mean Girls references and memes. When the superintendent called off school for Jan. 7, the district tweeted a snow day themed Oprah meme that received almost 1,000 favorites and 500 retweets. Within a day, the account gained 1,500 followers.

The voice behind it all? Jennifer Delgado.

This past July, Delgado joined the D214 Board of Education as the Media Manager. She is responsible for coordinating all of the district’s social media outlets and communications as well as reaching out to reporters about news within the high schools.

“I connect with a lot of different reporters and give them story ideas,” Delgado said. “When students win awards or teams make it to State, I let the reporters know so they can come and cover the story.”

Before joining the administration, Delgado worked for the Chicago Tribune as a journalist. Every day, she would go into her office not knowing what was in store, whether it be a crime or a press conference with the governor. After working there for four and a half years, she decided she was ready for a change of pace.

“I liked working for the Tribune because I was always meeting new people and learning new things, but I was ready for something new,” Delgado said. “This new job is a better balance of work and free time. I am able to take my journalism skills and apply them as the Media Manager. I communicate closely with reporters, and because of my background, I understand the importance of deadlines. It gives me a different perspective.”

Delgado also helps her colleagues prepare for interviews. She is able to anticipate what reporters will ask, and gets her colleagues ready for whatever comes their way.

Day to day, Delgado is constantly updating the district’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Since the snow day phenomena, she has seen an increase in student interactions.

“We communicate with students mainly through Twitter and with parents and alumni through Facebook,” Delgado said. “We are trying to get people excited about the Instagram account. Since Jan. 1, we have seen more likes, comments, retweets and shares on our posts.”

More recently, students have also been utilizing the district accounts for help. Students will tweet at the account asking about things such as in–school wifi problems or bus schedules. This is an effective way to communicate with the administration quickly and effectively.

“I love running the accounts because I am kind of like the middle ground between students and parents and the administration,” Delgado said. “Now that we have more followers, we have more eyes on us, which motivates us to keep posting relevant and interesting information.”

At least once a week, Delgado travels to schools in the district to shadow different classes. According to her, being at the schools is the best part of her job.

“Each high school has a different personality,” Delgado said. “Usually I am interacting with students and staff from behind a screen on Twitter, so it’s amazing to see teachers and students interacting in their regular environment.” Follow Delgado’s updates at @District214.