Community Relations & Communications


Sylvia McDaniel

Sylvia McDaniel ♦ Director of Community Relations & Communications

Sylvia grew up in the Salem-Keizer area, attended Salem-Keizer Public Schools and is an alum of Richmond Elementary School, Parrish Middle School and graduated from North Salem High School. Sylvia has more than 20 years of experience in the field of public relations, marketing and communications. This experience includes working as Creative Manager for Georgia DOT in Atlanta, in public affairs and outreach for Oregon’s Department of Energy, public relations and communications consultant at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, public affairs director for KPDX-TV, director of marketing and communications for Downtown Seattle and director of marketing communications for the internationally-renowned Pike Place Market.

Sylvia sets the vision and leads the planning for strategic marketing communications and community relations for the district. She also serves on the Superintendent’s Executive Leadership and Cabinet teams and coordinates planning with managers in the department and oversees staff.

Photo of Aaron Harada

Aaron Harada ♦ Communications Project Manager and Operations Supervisor

Aaron has served in the Office of Community Relations & Communications since December 2007. He specializes in video production, working with news media, assisting schools and departments with crisis communications, fulfilling public records requests, telling dad jokes and the occasionally coming up with a good idea. He supports the district by guiding the communications team in day-to-day operations, tracking the implementation of communication plans and is part of the district’s COVID Response Team.

Photo of Karma Krause

Karma Krause ♦ Capital Construction Public Engagement Manager

Karma has worked for Salem-Keizer’s Community Relations & Communications department since 2010. She specializes in communicating about capital construction projects funded by general obligation bonds, and plans the information programs that inform the community about bond measures. Karma is a Keizer native and proud graduate of McNary High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State University and has a background in communications and marketing for local non-profit organizations and associations.

Photo of Emily Hicks

Emily Hicks ♦ Public Relations Specialist

Emily has served in the Office of Community Relations and Communications for Salem-Keizer Public Schools since 2018. Emily graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Advertising Management. With a passion for building connections, Emily serves the district through coordinating a wide variety of content creation, internal and external communications and creative services. Emily writes for and oversees district publications, campaigns and supports the CRC department in crisis communications and media relations.

Jordan Hagedorn

Jordan Hagedorn ♦ Internal Communications Specialist

Jordan joined the communications team in 2019 after graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in Speech Communication. Jordan’s role as a communications coordinator entails a variety of responsibilities from media tracking for the weekly newsletter, and district website support, design, communications planning and monitoring. In Jordan’s role she supports the communications team as back up as well as takes the lead on event planning with communications students and special projects. Born and raised in Salem, Jordan loves working for the district that helped shape her.

Photo of Caleb Roberts

Caleb Roberts ♦ Stakeholder Relations and Engagement Specialist/Capital Construction Communications Coordinator

Caleb joined the Community Relations & Communications department as a communications intern in 2018 while attending Willamette University. He then became a communications assistant before graduating. Upon graduation in 2019, Caleb was reintroduced to the team in a new role as a contracted worker. He is now the Capital Construction Communications Coordinator for the 2018 Bond Program and focuses on communications for the 2018 Bond Program through writing, graphic design, videography, photography, and event coordinating.

Bryan Andersen

Bryan Andersen ♦ Digital/Multimedia Content Producer

Bryan joined the Community Relations & Communications department in 2007. He specializes in website management and development and in content creation. His prior work experience includes teaching English at universities and working as a newspaper reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Mass Communication, along with post-graduate work in Adult Education.

Jessica Boone

Jessica Boone ♦ Communications Coordinator/Creative Services

Jessica has served as a communications coordinator for Salem-Keizer Public Schools since June 2021. She specializes in design of both internal and external communications. Jessica graduated from University of Oregon in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Jessica’s passion for graphic design and journalism started in high school. She is proud to be part of SKPS and help the next generation of students find their passion.

Photo of Karina Esparza

Karina Esparza ♦ Senior Secretary

Karina joined the Salem-Keizer Public Schools department of Community Relations and Communications in August of 2018. She monitors the budget, info inbox, mail, phone and flyer review process. Karina is bilingual and often supports the department with translation needs.

Dara Elkanah

Dara Elkanah ♦ Student Intern

Dara is a senior at South Salem High School and she specializes in Community Outreach in the SKPS district. She thrives in making connections with everyone she encounters, and is aiming to master five languages so she can make those connections with people from various communities. Dara loves working with kids. One of her nicknames is ‘Mama Dara’ because she is always taking care of somebody’s children. She plans to major in Child Developmental Psychology and Special Education. Her big dream is to open up a Special Education Learning Facility in the future.

Grace Caldwell

Grace Caldwell ♦ Student Intern

Grace is a senior at McKay High School, along with her role as an intern she is also serving as Salem-Keizer’s second Student Advisor to the School Board. Grace works to represent the student voice in all avenues of district responsibilities including board work and subcommittees. She hopes to pursue an interdisciplinary doctorate degree in law and public policy with hopes of working in a field involving social work or jurisdiction.

Paul Quach

Paul Quach ♦ Student Intern

Paul joined the Community Relations & Communications department in the summer of 2021 as one of two student interns, proudly representing North Salem High School and the Class of 2022! With a passion for students’ voices and equity in Salem-Keizer Public Schools, Paul is excited to officially work this year as a Student Communications & Creative Media Intern. Paul’s eye for graphics and presentations has already shined in district videos, publications, student engagement panels, and much more. Paul is involved in just about everything, from being the president of multiple clubs, elected as ASB secretary, serving on district committees, and partaking in any community conversation that presents itself, if you haven’t met him, you surely have seen him! On track to achieve his goals that once were just a dream, Paul plans to attend one of the nation’s top universities, embarking down a physics, political science, and business career path. This past year, Paul celebrated his acceptance into selective college-prep programs: the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America Cohort 17 cohort and the Alexander Hamilton Scholars 2021 cohort. The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter each day as Paul counts down the days to graduation, but until then, he has a lot of work to do and knows that, “I am not throwing away my shot.”