Ray Weikal has been named the new Director of Communications and Community Relations for Kearney School District. He is currently the Public Relations Manager for Kansas City Public Schools.
Mr. Weikal started working for KCPS in March of 2014. Over the last seven years, Weikal has been part of the team that has led the district in a remarkable turn-around from nearly being subject to a state takeover to being on the cusp of full accreditation for the first time in modern memory.
In his new position, Weikal will help shape the narrative about KSD, align communications and community relations to the district’s strategic plan, and provide pertinent counsel for Superintendent Matt Miller and other district leaders.
“We’re excited to bring Mr. Weikal on-board as part of our executive leadership team at Kearney School District,” Dr. Miller said. “He brings the kind of high-quality experience, focus on excellence and commitment to public education that matches perfectly with our vision, mission and values.”
After earning his undergraduate degrees in journalism and history at the University of Iowa, Weikal launched a career as a newspaper reporter and editor. This period included terms working for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the Ottumwa Courier and the Kalona News. He moved to the Kansas City area in 2007 to cover education for the Sun Tribune, Sun Gazette, Liberty Tribune and Kearney Courier.
As a reporter, Weikal developed a deep interest in public education. He left journalism in 2011 to take a position in public relations with the International Association of Administrative Professionals. That led to an opportunity to join the communications and community engagement team at KCPS in 2014.
Weikal brings strong existing connections to Kearney with him to this new position with KSD. In addition to covering the schools as a reporter, he lived in Kearney with his wife, Jenny Hayes, a former member of the Kearney Board of Aldermen who founded and ran the Kearney Enrichment Council and Firehouse Community Center. Mr. Weikal served hundreds of volunteer hours for the KEC and Firehouse. He has a son who is studying vocal performance at William Jewell College and two stepsons who attended KSD schools.
“Kearney School District is quite simply one of the best public education providers in the state, region and nation, and I am thrilled to be joining this team,” Weikal said. “I’m looking forward to helping showcase our remarkable students, staff and schools. I want everyone to know about KSD.”