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Helping Schools Communicate with their Communities 

Let us help you get there faster.

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Our Vision

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Our vision is to create a world where every public school has nothing but positive engagement with their communities, where parents, students, teachers, and local residents feel informed and become our allies. We're dedicated to being the driving force behind this transformation, one school at a time.


Welcome to K12 Media, where we believe the power of organic communication will change everything in public schools. We're more than just a communications company; we're a team of folks who worked in public education and have decided to become your partners in fostering connections between public schools and their communities in a modern, relevant, different way.

Our Approach

At K12 Media, we help schools communicate differently. We coach our school leaders to communicate like "real people." We have analytics to prove that big words and boring content keep our community upset with our school leaders. Whether through excellent video content, engaging social media campaigns, support from our communications consultants, or high-ranking website content, we strive to make communication a two-way street where schools listen as much as they speak. We can do this because we are a one-stop shop communications department for public schools.

Our Story

Our founder started K12 Media because he used creative content on social media to boost enrollment in a district he had worked for 20 years. After four years of partnering with his superintendent, they brought 52 million dollars to their district using creative content to pass a bond and boost enrollment. While working together, they realized organic creative communication always brought them a high level of positive engagement.


Today, we have blossomed into a team of school communicators who help schools with traditional and digital communication. We have helped pass over $1.1 billion in school bonds, boosted enrollment by millions, and helped manage the reputation of schools and school leaders with organic communication. 


Our founder, an innovator, married that superintendent, who happened to be a numbers person. Together with their educational partner, Cari, an integrator, they partner in helping superintendents and schools navigate the complex challenges of school communication.

Meet The Team

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Founder & CEO

Shawn was a special education teacher and program administrator for public schools for 20 years and brought $52 million to his district using creative content before starting K12 Media. Today, he not only mentors school superintendents on the power of organic communication but also leads a team of school communicators who provide traditional and digital support for public schools. You will also see Shawn leading professional development as he is a frequent speaker at educational events, sharing his insights on effectively communicating as a school leader in public education.  When Shawn is not working, you might see him tooling around on his scooter, traveling to places like Boston, or hanging out with his 6 kids.

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Cari Sinke.jpg
Chief Operating Officer

Cari is a highly experienced and results-oriented leader with a proven track record of success in education, law, and politics. She has over ten years of experience in public schools, where she managed an elementary school and worked as a communications specialist for an ISD. Cari also has an extensive family and corporate law background, amassing more than 15 years of experience and a remarkable 15-year history in politics, where she directed political campaigns and managed campaign finances for state senators and local county politicians. Today, as the COO at K12 Media, she's a driving force in revolutionizing education through innovative communications solutions. When Cari is not building better schools, you will see her and her husband at classic car shows, interior decorating, or heading up to Upper Michigan.

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Cost, Ed.D.
Chief Financial Officer


Dr. Catherine Cost, Chief Financial Officer at K12 Media, is a passionate and strategic leader with over 36 years of experience in public schools. She has served as a math teacher, athletic director, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent for a large district just outside of Detroit, Michigan. In her current role, Dr. Cost manages the fund balance for K12 Media and supports strategic communication for the company and many school superintendents. She is also an avid gardener, loves teaching math, and hanging out at the lake. Dr. Cost is a valuable asset to K12 Media and the education community as a whole.

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Kim Root.jpeg
Communications Director

Kim has more than 30 years of experience in communications. She has served as the Executive Director of Communications, School Safety, and Strategic Initiatives for a large district with 15 schools serving over 8,000 students. Kim also led the campaign for her district's Bond and Sinking Fund initiative, generating more than $300 million for capital projects. Kim worked for three other districts and education agencies. She is also responsible for the core framework for developing The Michigan State Police Office of School Safety. Today, she leads all of our communication consultants, makes sure we communicate effectively, and is a regular presenter at conferences such as MASA, MASB, and The Metro Bureau.

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Mary Ann
Cyr, Ed.D.
Communications Specialist

Dr. Mary Ann Cyr is an experienced educator with over 30 years of experience in K-12 education. She has served in a variety of roles, including teacher, principal, and superintendent. Dr. Cyr is passionate about education and is committed to providing students with the best possible learning experience. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Ottawa, Canada, and later moved to the United States, where she continued to teach in Michigan public schools. Dr. Cyr then transitioned into administration, serving as Assistant Principal and Principal in Monroe Public Schools. She also served as Assistant Superintendent at Taylor School District and Superintendent at Dearborn Heights District 7 and Melvindale Northern-Allen Park.  Dr. Cyr cherishes time with family, delves into captivating literature, embarks on enriching travel experiences, and embraces the beauty of the outdoors.

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Website and SEO Specialist

Jamie Giera is a data-driven website manager with expertise in front-end development, CMS management, ADA compliance, SEO, Google Analytics, and website marketing behavior analysis for public schools. Jamie leverages her technical skills and analytical abilities to drive traffic, improve engagement, and increase conversions. With over ten years experience in education, building numerous websites for local districts as well as ISD's. She has a passion for using her skills and experience to make a positive impact on education. But when she is not working, you will see her road riding on her Ruckus scooter, reading books, and hanging out with friends and family.

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Website and SEO Specialist

Fueled by a passion for education and technology, Chris brings a decade of expertise to K12 Media. He seamlessly manages websites, ensuring accessibility and engagement across districts. A master of API integration, he bridges the gap between technology and data. Chris's expertise in school websites guarantees top-notch results. Beyond his technical prowess, his graphic design elevates communication across departments, fostering stronger school communities. When he's not wrangling code or pixels, Chris enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family. From scaling Michigan's lush forests to paddling the Great Lakes, his adventures fuel his creativity and keep him grounded.

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Website & Marketing Specialist

Waseem brings a wealth of marketing expertise to his role, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayne State University and a proven track record of success in creative agencies and Fortune 500 companies. His ability to design, build, and measure effective marketing campaigns has consistently driven positive results for his clients. Waseem excels at creating school websites that are both stylish and informative, using his knowledge of school communications and educational marketing to build online spaces that capture a school's unique spirit and connect with its diverse audience. Waseem balances his passion for marketing with cherished moments spent with his wife and two kids. Whether embarking on exciting adventures or simply enjoying cozy evenings and playing with LEGO bricks at home, he's creating lasting memories with those he loves most.

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Nicole DePhillips.jpeg
Social Media Manager

With over 20 years of experience teaching in public schools, Nicole is a dedicated Special Education Teacher renowned for her expertise in primary/secondary education. Now as the leader of our Social Media Managers at K12 Media, Nicole brings her expertise to the forefront by directing our content managers in partnership with educators and school leaders to craft compelling and informative content for multiple school districts, making a significant impact in the education sector.

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Rachel Thornton.jpeg
Social Media Manager

Rachel is a highly experienced elementary educator with 18 years of experience, including 8 years as a literacy specialist. She is currently a social media manager on the K12 Media team, where she uses her expertise in literacy and digital marketing to create and distribute engaging content that informs and inspires parents and educators. Rachel is a social media powerhouse at K12 Media,

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Website and Analytics Specialist

Russell is our resident communication wizard. He has a knack for making everything look, work, and perform better, whether design, analytics or connecting us with the latest AI tools. He's a master of his craft, and we're so lucky to have him on our team. Russell has a diverse background in video, motion graphics, and content development for local businesses, non-profits, and streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. This gives him a unique perspective and allows him to bring innovative ideas to the table. But Russell is more than just a skilled digital communicator. He's also a kind and caring person who is passionate about making a difference in public schools. When he's not working, you can find him paddleboarding, supporting the Detroit art scene, or serving at his local church. Russell is a valuable asset to our team and we're grateful for his contributions. He's truly one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

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Erik Hildebrandt.jpeg
Creative Director

Erik is a creative content pro with 20+ years of experience crafting engaging and relevant content for churches, youth groups, kids programs, public schools, and nonprofits. He's helped raise millions for important causes and achieve organizational goals through his work in countries like Haiti, Africa, and Colombia. At K12 Media, Erik's creative oversight has helped pass $1.1B in school bonds, boost millions in enrollment dollars, and manage many school district reputations with thousands of pieces of content. He also consults with top companies like Hulu and Netflix to ensure their content stays fresh and relevant. In his free time, Erik enjoys spending time with his adopted children from Africa, supporting his local church, and traveling to remote places.

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Digital Media Expert

Paul is a skilled audio engineer and digital media expert with a passion for creating immersive and engaging experiences. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry, working on a wide range of projects, from movie sets to rock videos to corporate events. At K12, Paul is responsible for all aspects of audio and video production, from planning and execution to post-production and editing. He works closely with educators and other stakeholders to ensure that all content meets the highest standards of quality and accessibility. Paul is also a valuable asset to the team when it comes to digital media management. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for storing, organizing, and distributing the company's vast library of digital content.vIn his spare time, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and friends, riding his motorcycle, and playing his guitars.

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K12 Websites and School Branding

Josh is a creative content strategist and branding expert with over 12 years of experience. He has a proven track record of success in helping non-profit organizations, churches, youth groups, local businesses, and public schools create trendy, trustworthy brands that resonate with their target audiences. At K12 Media, Josh is responsible for designing and developing amazing school websites, creating engaging social media content, and developing effective branding strategies for public schools all over the US. He is passionate about helping schools connect with their communities and build strong reputations. In addition to his work, Josh loves spending time with his family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, and supporting his local faith community.

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K12 Photography

Derek Cookson is a photographer at K12 Media, where he uses his experience and creativity to capture the essence of schools and their communities. He is passionate about telling a school’s story through photos, and he believes that great photography can help communicate a school's vision and values. Derek has a knack for connecting with students and school staff and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera. He is also an expert in lighting and composition, and he uses his skills to create beautiful and evocative images. Derek's work has been featured in a variety of public and private school publications, including K12 schools and college website, social media, and marketing materials. He has also photographed a wide range of school events, from sporting events to musicals to graduation ceremonies. Derek is a valuable member of the K12 Media team, and his work helps to tell the stories of the schools and students that K12 serves.

Some of our Friends 

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