Note: The following is part of an occasional series about “unsung heroes” in the Bulloch County School System.
In August 2009, Hayley Greene was named the public relations and marketing specialist for the Bulloch County Board of Education. As the face of the public school system for the media, she said, she faces daily challenges.
With social media taking off as a source of information, Greene said she sometimes sees misinformation reported as fact. Because of this, Greene said that in her job, "It is even more imperative that I contact the local media immediately to help provide accurate information to the public."
Recently, when the issue of religious liberties arose in Bulloch schools, Greene said she faced her toughest challenge since she assumed her post. Having deeply held religious beliefs, she understood the anger and pain of those who misunderstood what was going on.
Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson, when asked to evaluate her performance, said, "We are very fortunate to have Hayley: She is passionate, compassionate, sincere, professional and forthright in all that she does."
He added: "In our administrative discussions, she never hesitates to speak her mind, even when she suspects I might not like it. Furthermore, she brings two different perspectives to the table: for she is both a school system employee and a parent of children who attend our schools."
This region is home for Greene. She was born in Millen and grew up in Claxton. After graduating from Claxton High School, she enrolled at Georgia Southern University, where she received a bachelor's degree in communication arts.
In doing so, she followed in the footsteps of both her mother, who graduated from Georgia Southern College, and her grandmother, who graduated from Georgia Teachers College. Once she graduated, she moved to Middle Georgia for her first job.
There, she started to raise a family. As time passed, things changed, and she decided to return back to her roots in southeast Georgia. After being a stay-at-home mom for six years, life events brought her back to her public relations career.
Greene and her three children, Meredith, 13, Grant, 10, and Joshua, 7, have made Statesboro First Baptist Church their church home. She said she is actively involved in several music ministries, as she was before with the Wesley Foundation while a student at Georgia Southern.
About her job as the head of public relations, she said, "In any crisis situation, I serve as a resource for the public. They may call their school principal, or me directly at the central office, in order for their concerns to be answered in the most complete and accurate manner."
Once she got settled, Greene reconnected with Georgia Southern’s Communication Arts Department, serving as an adviser for the department and mentoring public relations interns.
Also, she has renewed her ties with all of her extended family in Jenkins, Evans and Bulloch counties. Greene said her mother, Meralyn Smith, is happy to have her home so that she can be a daily part of the lives of her grandchildren.