East teacher’s union president moves to district spokesman post
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com March 8, 2013 11:34AM
Adam Harding, teacher and president of East Aurora's teachers union. | Submitted Photo
Updated: April 11, 2013 6:21AM
AURORA — The East Aurora School District has hired Adam Harding as the district’s new interim spokesman.
East Aurora School Board President Annette Johnson said Harding, 37, will first work to develop the district’s internal communications in the post. She said Harding’s appointment gives a teacher a “cabinet-level” position in the district.
“We’re working on getting a better message out to the teachers and the students,” Johnson said.
Harding, a former teacher at Krug Elementary School, had been president of the East Aurora Teacher’s Union Local 604 since May 2012. Harding has worked for the district full-time for 10 years.
As he moves to the new role, Harding said leadership of the teacher’s union passes on to union Vice President Sara Imthurn.
Harding’s undergraduate degree is in communications, and he spent the first part of his career in corporate public relations roles before getting a master’s degree in education.
In a letter sent to teachers after the School Board approved his post this week, Harding said that his parents, siblings and wife have all dedicated their lives to being classroom teachers. He said his personal and professional goal has always been to be in a leadership role “where I could network, build bridges of trust, and share the good news of education in East Aurora.”
When he heard that his mentor and friend, previous district spokesman Clayton Muhammad, was moving on, he decided to apply for the open position. Muhammad left the district last month to join the city of Aurora as director of communications.
“I used to joke with Clayton that (the spokesman job) was my dream job someday because of my communications background and love for school districts. I just never thought it would materialize because I thought he’d be here forever,” Harding said.
The interim spokesman position was open to in-district, employees. Johnson said that two candidates applied for the position.
“My colleagues that know me personally know that my background (prior to teaching) was in communications and my love and commitment for District 131 is authentic,” Harding said. “Regardless of the timing, I applied for this position, interviewed and was afforded the opportunity to build upon the great things happening in district.”
Although it’s now an interim position, Harding said he’s confident in his skillset and hopes to be named to the full-time position.
In his new role, Harding’s salary will be pro-rated at $106,000 a year with other benefits, according to Johnson. Harding’s salary is equal to Muhammad’s salary under his last contract with the School District.
Harding, who was born in Aurora, lives with his wife and two children in Yorkville.