Summary

Serving as Director of New Media Communications for Atlanta Public Schools, Tammy Garnes is responsible for the development and implementation of internal and external communication plans, ensuring their alignment with the strategic plan of the district.  Garnes markets the great work of the district's students and employees through the APS website, blog, social media channels, promotional films, employee news shows and intranet. She works in tandem with the district's Executive Director of External Affairs and Communications as well as the Associate Superintendent and Superintendent to implement strategic communications that result in factual media messaging, innovative public presentations, unique community relations efforts, creative graphics and publications and cohesive branding for the district.  

Serving  as the district's webmistress and responsible for over 33,000 pages of digital content, Garnes writes communication plans for all divisions within the district including curriculum and instruction, human resources, IT and the office of the superintendent.  She also leads the district's crisis communication annual planning and supervises a team of communication officers who write, film and photograph stories for the district's stakeholders. 

In 2011 Garnes joined the district, combining her love of public education with her entertainment and social networking skills.  She was an immediate hit with the public, using her social media expertise to craft transparent and useful messages via the district's Twitter and Facebook sites.  Within weeks, her work was publicly applauded by the Board of Education, the AJC and her work was featured on 11 Alive News.  A graduate of the prestigous Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California, Garnes earned her Master of Arts Degree in Film Producing, and her Bachelor of Science in Education, Theater and Speech from Arkansas State University. She began her professional career as a certified high school teacher.  Prior to joining the district, Garnes worked as a film and television producer in Los Angeles, California. Always seeking to focus on family-themed entertainment and stories with substance, her film and television credits quickly grew to include: Co-Producer, "Roots- Celebrating 25 Years" for NBC, HBO's award winning indie film "Dancing In September," and Associate Producer for the Laurence Fishburne action movie "Biker Boyz" for DreamWorks.  One of her many talents as a producer included branding, marketing and product placement. She sold her first feature film to MGM studios immediately after completing graduate school in 1997.  Garnes earned an education degree and became a certified teacher in 1993.    

Work History

Work History
Jan 2011 - Present

Local - Senior Correspondent

AOL Patch Publications

  • Senior Correspondent writing 3 weekly and bi-weekly columns on issues related to finances, parenting and local history for the local Cascade Patch publication.
  • Responsible for photographing people and events relevant to articles in the online newspaper.
  • Responsible for pitching story ideas for parenting articles and education on a weekly basis, in addition to articles about Atlanta area events.
  • Substitute Police Beat, Breaking News and Arts reporter.
Oct 2013 - Present

Director of New Media Communications

Atlanta Public Schools

Responsible for development and implementation of all internal and external communication plans, ensuring their alignment with the strategic plan of Atlanta Public Schools. Markets the great work of the district's students and employees through the district's website, blog, social media channels, promotional films, employee news shows and intranet. Works in tandem with the district's Executive Director of External Affairs and Communications as well as the Associate Superintendent and Superintendent to implement strategic communications that result in factual media messaging, innovative public presentations, unique community relations efforts, creative graphics and publications and cohesive branding for the district.

  • Writes and implements communication plans for divisions and departments within the district including curriculum and instruction, human resources, IT and the office of the superintendent.
  • Develops talking points, as needed, for the Superintendent, Associate Superintendent and Board of Education.
  • Supervises a team of communication officers who write, film and photograph stories for the district's blog and television station.
  • Serves as the district's webmistress - responsible for over 33,000 pages of digital content.
  • Leads the district's crisis communication annual planning.
  • Responsible for all social media channels used by the district including Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • Reviews press releases and media statements, when needed.
  • Working with district archivist to create digital archives to compliment the district's museum.
Jun 2011 - Oct 2013

Digital Media Manager

Atlanta Public Schools

Performed a massive overhaul of the school district's digital media outlets resulting in an increased number of online followers, outpouring of support from online stakeholders and an overall measure of trust being built during an extremely difficult time of low public perception.  In addition, serviced the divisions of Curriculum & Instruction, Operations and Organizational Advancement, providing traditional and digital communication plans and support.

  • Revamped the district's Twitter, Facebook and APSUpdate Blog sites causing a spike in viewership.
  • Increased the district's online presence by engaging in conversations with stakeholders and parents in real time.  
  • Increased the following of Atlanta Public Schools on Twitter by just under 50% in less than 6 months.
  • Pioneered the district's first series of "live tweets" and "live blogs," giving real time updates from every district Board meeting and the majority of speaking engagments by the Superintendent of schools.
  • Created district-wide crisis communication plan to align with district's overall communications plan.
  • Served as webmaster for Atlanta Public Schools district-wide website.
  • Created content, including articles and photo galleries, for the district's blog page, Talk Up APS. Supervised the posting by other editors on the site.
  • Served as communications liaison for the North Region, visiting schools, interviewing students and staff and reporting via social media the accomplishments of assigned schools.
  • Served as the communications liaison for the newly launched Atlanta Urban Teacher Residency program.
  • Trained district employees, teachers and staff on the district's web building program via the School Wires content management system.
  • Created Instagram, Pinterest, SocialOomph and other accounts to enhance district's social media presence. 
  • Served as communications department developer for the department's Share Point website.
  • Responsible for sending out district-wide emails and phone-calls to internal and external stakeholders.
Feb 2010 - Jun 2011

Digital Preservationist - Freelancer

Ancestry.com
  • Photographed vital historic documents spanning time periods from the early 1700’s to the present.
  • Responsibilities included digitally archiving photographs and delivering them to corporate headquarters in Utah.
  • Served as liaison between the Georgia Archives and Ancestry.com on specific county imaging projects.
  • Over 350,000 photos taken in 2010 using proprietary Ancestry software and camera equipment.
2008 - 2010

Television Producer and Writer

Tyler Perry Studios

  • Served as lead producer for three - 1 hour episodes of an original television series at the request of Tyler Perry.
  • Adapted screenplays from novels written by an award winning novelist.
  • Scheduled and budgeted all three episodes for shooting.
  • Managed budget of $1.5 million.
  • Hired all cast and crew personnel.
  • Wrote three - 1 hour screenplays and served as creator and producer for original direct to DVD drama series entitled "Georgia Sky."
  • In addition, wrote 1 half-hour original screenplay at the request of the studio.
Sep 2007 - May 2009

Parent Liaison, Parkside Elementary

Atlanta Public Schools
  • Served as the creator of the Parkside Parent educational blog for parents, a Wordpress blog created to provide Atlanta parents with information regarding Parkside Elementary school and specific issues related to parenting, education, testing and child development.
  • Created and monitored Twitter and Facebook sites to coordinate with the educational blog.
  • Maintained website, updating weekly with new articles, calendar updates, links and videos.
  • Developed parenting and community workshops and seminars including researching and consulting with local educational experts.
  • Managed the schools Title I budget as it related to parental involvement and education.
  • Served as a conduit between the parents and grandparents of over 625 students and the teachers, staff and administration of the school.
  • Responsible for creating documentation meeting the standards set forth by the Department of Education's No Child Left Behind Act.
2006 - 2007

Vice President, Entertainment, Social Media and Strategic Planning

Nash Management Group

  • Managed and supported all entertainment clients at the Nash Management Group.
  • Managed all social media platforms for the company, including digital newsletter, Facebook, Wordpress blog and Twitter.
  • Read screenplays, developed budgets, sought financing and gave script notes to and for film and television producers, actors and musicians.
  • Created opportunities for company's owner to be promoted in national magazines and newspapers.
  • Coordinated public relations for company's owner and CEO.
  • Served as liaison between clients and outside vendors such as patent and copyright attorneys.
1996 - 2003

Film and Television Producer

Independent Producer

Served as a co-producer and/or associate producer on the following projects:

  • Woman Thou Art Loosed, Magnolia Pictures (2004) Budget: 1M
  • Biker Boyz, Dreamworks (2003) Budget: $20M
  • Roots: Celebrating 25 Years, NBC (2002) Budget: 1M
  • Dancing In September, HBO (2000) (Nominated for a Humanitas Award) Budget: 1M
  • Cooler by the Lake, MGM (1997 - Unproduced)
1993 - 2000

Work History 1993 - 2000

Talent Manager, Los Angeles, Ca

King Management, Jaime and Marcus King (2000) and Southern Girl Productions and Management (1996-2000)

Film and Television Development Executive, Los Angeles, CA

Reuben Cannon Productions (1995-1996)

Professional Actress, Little Rock, AR

Arkansas Repertory Theater (1994)

Murray's Dinner Playhouse (1992-1994)

High School Teacher

Hall High School, Little Rock, AR

Typing I, Typing II, Shorthand (1993-1994) Long Term Substitute

Summer Camp and Tutoring Program Director

Director, 2 Cool 4 School Summer Camp (1994)

Director, After School Community Tutorial Program (1993-1994)

McClellan High School, Little Rock , AR

Education

Education
Aug 1994 - May 1996

Master of Science

University of Southern California

The Peter Stark Producing Program is known to be the most prestigious film program in the world, only admitting 20 students world-wide each year.  Students are groomed in the business of filmmaking, concentrating on budgeting, scheduling, casting, financing and distributing of projects in the film and television market.  It's graduates have gone on to become Hollywood's leaders.

Media