Although students may not know her face, they likely look forward to hearing her voice, particularly in the winter time, when she communicates school closings and delays to the families of Peters Township School District (PTSD).
This is just one of the many tasks that crosses the desk of Shelly Belcher, communications coordinator at PTSD. And she will be the first to admit that she easily has the best job in the district, although narrowing her responsibilities can be as big of a challenge as some of her projects.
"I work with the local media, both proactively and responding to any media calls that come in," said Belcher, a 12-year resident of Peters Township. "I also oversee the district's website and maintain a lot of the content, although I do have help from staff members throughout the district who help at the building level."
Belcher also is responsible for distributing email blasts, producing newsletters, supporting staff appreciation and recognition, board meeting highlights and any other district brochures and marketing materials that are needed. And in her "spare time," she serves as the district photographer, following as many of the district events as she can fit on her calendar.
But, her job doesn't begin and end with communicating the good news of the district. Belcher also serves as the safety coordinator for the district and coordinates staff training, building safety audits and creating all of the safety resources for the staff.
"I love the variety of my position," she said. "I have the chance to do different things all the time. All in one day, I may be meeting with staff, taking photos of classroom events, sending emails to parents about upcoming events, creating a video that highlights a great event, pitching a story to a local reporter and planning staff training."
Belcher acknowledged that there is so much good news to share in a district such as Peters that she almost can't keep up with it all.
"I try to always have my camera with me if I am going to a building," she said. "I often stumble into something wonderful. One of the hardest things about my job is that our staff is so used to the high standards, that they often do not realize that what they are doing is newsworthy."
Born and raised in the South Hills, Belcher is married to husband, Jay, and together, they have two daughters—Katie and Grace.
Aside from her work, Belcher considers herself a soccer mom, dance mom and homework cheerleader. In addition, she is an avid reader and is part of a group of families who are starting a church in Peters.
Belcher said she comes from a large extended family, many of whom reside in the South Hills. Her daughter, Katie, is in second grade at Bower Hill Elementary, and Grace will attend kindergarten next year.
"I really enjoy being a working mom," she noted, "but it doesn't leave much free time. When I am not working, I am with my family."
Heather Holtschlag is a guest columnist for Peters Patch. She is a freelance writer and PR specialist who resides in Upper St. Clair. Visit her website at heatherholtschlagpr.com.