Schools’ spokeswoman spreads the word

Published 6:47 am Monday, December 7, 2015

Meri Page Spencer is putting the word out on Lunenburg County Public Schools.

Spencer is the system’s coordinator of parental involvement and spokesperson, and also runs the webpage that has school officials gushing with excitement.

“It was a year ago you couldn’t find us on Google,” School Board member Amy McClure recently observed.

Now, she said, that’s changed.

Superintendent Charles M. Berkley Jr. agreed, noting that the system’s website is not only updated regularly but is often updated multiple times a day.

“We have never had what we’ve got right now,” he said of the site.

Spencer, who will have been with the school system11 years in December, is unabashed in her enthusiasm for the system.

“I am the cheerleader for the school system,” she said. “I love Lunenburg County Public Schools. I operate the school system’s website, and I see that as a huge part of communication between the school system and our students, teachers, parents, and the community as a whole. We are doing some fabulous things in our school system, and the website is a great way to highlight them.”

Spencer said her love for the school system comes from her deep roots. She and her husband Cal both graduated from Central High School, and her mother taught there for years. All three of her children are in the system — her son at the high school, a daughter at the middle school, and another at Kenbridge elementary.

Spencer got her first job in public relations several months after graduating from Radford University — working with the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative.

The couple moved to Virginia Beach for Cal to clerk for a federal judge, then back to Charlottesville for him to take a job with McGuire Woods. She worked, though not in public relations — and when they had their first child she decided to stay home.

“My husband was then offered the opportunity to come back to Lunenburg to practice law and we jumped on it,” she said.

They had a second child.

“Finding that I was not really the ‘stay at home type,’ I started looking for a job,” Spencer said.

She was hired by the school system as the Parental Involvement Coordinator. They had a third child. Then she ended up coordinating a federal community grant for the school system. Finally, last fall, when Berkley became superintendent, he gave her the opportunity to do public relations.

“I have thanked him numerous times for offering me the opportunity to do what I love,” she said. “The administration has always been very supportive of the things that I do, and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to work for Lunenburg County Public Schools,” Spencer said. “I love my job, but I don’t like being in the spotlight. I like for my work to spotlight what the school system is doing.  I am here to help the students we serve and their parents.  I don’t do anything without thinking about them first.”