By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr.’s term, his public appearances often involved a person working behind the scenes, someone handing out news releases to reporters and suggesting sources to interview.
As communications director for the city of Tupelo, Annabeth Wyatt has considered her role to be a “cheerleader.” During Reed’s administration, she has helped improve the city’s online presence and shared more positive news happening in the city. She also did grant writing and other communications duties.
Reed created the job early in his administration and credits Wyatt, a former WTVA reporter, with helping spread more positive news about the city.
“We’ve had a person dedicated to sharing our story,” Reed said. “I attribute a lot of the success of our term to people feeling like there’s an openness in local government.”
Days after Reed leaves office at the end of this month, Wyatt will also leave her position, a departure planned before learning who would succeed Reed as mayor. In late July, she will begin working as assistant communications director for the Tupelo Public School District.
Wyatt’s position with the city pays $43,775 annually. The school district did not provide the salary for the assistant director of communications position.
Wyatt, who has a nearly 2-year-old daughter, will work part time to promote the city’s public schools.
“I’m a sister, daughter, granddaughter and niece of public school teachers,” Wyatt said. “Having the opportunity to promote the Tupelo Public School District is a dream come true.”
Mayor-elect Jason Shelton said he plans to keep the communications position but won’t make a decision on filling the job until after he takes office in July.
Wyatt said Reed and city employees have made her job easy.
“It’s been an honor to work for him and his administration,” she said. “His energy and attitude have made this job worth it.”