Washington County School District communications director honored for efforts representing schools

In this file photo, Steven Dunham, communications director for the Washington County School District, calls out the names of the 2019-2020 retirees, St. George, Utah, Sept. 8, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Steven Dunham, director of communications and public relations for the Washington County School District, received a well-earned round of applause at the recent meeting of the Washington County Board of Education.

Steven Dunham
L-R: In this 2017 file photo, Steven Dunham, district communications director, joins Vasu Mudliar, chairman of the “Fore the Kids Classic” golf tournament, in presenting a check at a school board meeting, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Superintendent Larry Bergeson announced that Dunham recently earned a media relations award, presented by the Utah Public Information Officers Association. Dunham was presented with the award Sept. 29 at the organization’s annual conference in St. George.

Bergeson praised Dunham’s hard work and professionalism and said he’s gratified that Dunham is being noticed at the state level. The superintendent said the most notable part of the recognition was that Dunham was nominated for the distinction by Chris Jones of KUTV 2News.

Jones serves as KUTV 2News’ investigative education reporter and that his scrutiny includes the Washington County School District. He also hosts a “Beyond the Books” series for the station that Bergeson said “shines a spotlight on education, and not always necessarily a positive spotlight.”

Jones’ faith in Dunham is well-placed, Bergeson said.

“He represents our school district very well and on some very challenging and difficult topics,” he said. “I’m glad it’s him and not me who is in front of the TV camera.”

Dunham told St. George News he has a guiding principle when it comes to his job: “I have to be transparent. That’s my key – to try to be open with everything,” he said after the meeting. “You can’t always control whether (the news) is good or bad. You can control how open you are.”

If transparency is Dunham’s top priority, accessibility is a close second. He makes a point of being available to field media questions 24/7.

“My biggest fear is to look at a story and read, ‘Steven Dunham was unavailable for comment,'” he said.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!