A back arrow

All Articles

For the next generation

For the next generation

Shea Donovan '22 December 06, 2021

At Middletown City Schools, Elizabeth Beadle ’10 has transformed the school district messaging and brand — all in the midst of a global pandemic.

Embarking on her fifth year with Middletown, Beadle affectionately reflects on her journey that began just 30 miles north, at the University of Dayton.

Beadle graduated with a political science degree, largely unaware of her current position. She began her professional career as the communications director for a state senator in Michigan and then relocated to Washington, D.C., where she worked for a public affairs company.

Elizabeth Beadle '10
Elizabeth Beadle '10

Four years after graduation, Beadle moved back to Ohio and first began working in the field of school communications and public relations. Taking the leap into unfamiliar but what she calls captivating territory, Beadle got a school PR job with Deer Park Schools in 2014.

“I remember when I got the job. I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ It was just so different,” Beadle said. “Then I absolutely fell in love with it.”

Beadle began working for Middletown in 2017. She not only heads the communications team at Middletown, she is the team. As a department of one, Beadle has cultivated an online presence that represents the strength of the Middletown community and underscores the potential of each student in the district.

“My goal is really just to tell the story of the district and how there’s more going on in the school buildings than what outsiders might see,” said Beadle. “I just want people to know, you can come to Middletown schools and you’re going to get a great education. There are great teachers here.”

Recognizing the power of social media, Beadle created the hashtag, #MiddieRising, as a simple, meaningful way to make the story of Middletown one that everyone could write. It was something people could grasp onto and build upon in unique ways; from kindergartners to experienced staff members, everyone relates to #MiddieRising, Beadle said.

“The kids just need you to believe in them.”

“The kids just need you to believe in them,” said Beadle. “I hope the messages I put out there convey that we have good people, good kids.”

The pandemic presented an unprecedented challenge for Middletown as students left the classroom and started online learning. Beadle had to quickly figure out how to manage working from home with her husband and their two young children, ages 4 months and 4 years old, so she understood where confused and frustrated parents and teachers were coming from.

Despite feelings of uncertainty, Beadle said she knew there was a positive side that also needed to be shared and the district’s children were watching the world around them, wide-eyed.

“These kids are learning, they are growing, but they’re listening to the adults,” Beadle said. “How can we reshape the narrative to help the next generation? I hope that’s something I can do, just to give some hope to some of these kids.”

Three of a kind