By Candace Barczyk
The Vermilion Local School District and its students have something to say, and according to Marketing/Communications Director Jason Sockel, his job at the district is to get that message out. Supt. Phil Pempin introduced Sockel, who was hired several months ago in the new position for the board of education, at its Monday, Oct. 8 meeting.
Sockel said he did similar marketing and promotional work in the private sector and is looking to do the same in the Vermilion Schools. Sockel stated his job is to brand the district and get the word out to bring other students and families into the district. “We want to tell as best we can about our innovative ideas.” Sockel has been working in the district as a coach for the past nine years coaching basketball. His primary job is to create revenue for the district in the way of naming rights and business ventures.
Sockel said his focus is in many areas, including school alumni. “It is an untapped market.” He is also trying to create opportunities for students. One of those opportunities is promoting being safe on social media, complete with student liaisons. Twelve juniors and seniors are being used in the marketing to younger students. Sockel said he did not know of any program like it in the area.
Other promotional campaigns include Dunkin’ With Deliz, a coffee mixer with VHS Principal Lisa Deliz; Power House Athlete of the Month; partnerships with existing business and alumni; SMASH Food Truck for Let’s Get Ready; a winter catalog in conjunction with Brummer’s, Swan Creek, and Poppin’ Around, and other promotions with Panera Bread and Spitzer. Supt. Phil Pempin said this opens up other opportunities such as a virtual reality planetarium through a local business.
Board President Chris Habermehl lauded Sockel’s accomplishments, saying that it was good to see so much accomplished in such a short period of time.