IEA announces three staff hires

The Idaho Education Association today announced three staff hires.

One isn’t too new: Dave Harbison, the communications director for the statewide teachers’ union. He has been on board since the spring.

Also joining the IEA staff are Matt Compton, director of public policy, who had been a lobbyist for the Idaho Sportsman’s Caucus; and Jason McKinley, a former IEA staff who was named a regional director in North Idaho.

Here is the IEA’s news release:

The Idaho Education Association is pleased to announce the hiring of three highly experienced professionals to critical positions with the organization. Joining the IEA staff are:

  • Matt Compton, director of public policy.
  • Dave Harbison, communications director.
  • Jason McKinley, Region 2 director.

“The IEA is very fortunate to have three top-notch people coming on board to help the organization achieve its primary goals of advocating for teachers, students and high quality schools in communities throughout the state,” said Robin Nettinga, executive director of the Idaho Education Association.

Compton has extensive experience in political campaigns, organizing, fund raising and public relations. He has served as a lobbyist for the Idaho Sportsman’s Caucus since 2006. Compton is a graduate of the Meridian School District and Boise State University. He also has a master’s degree from Humboldt State University.

“Matt’s experience and connections within the Idaho political arena make him a perfect fit as the IEA’s director of public policy,” noted Nettinga. “He is hitting the ground running on a number of key issues and initiatives.”

Harbison has a substantial background in public/media relations and communications, along with extensive work in radio and television. Most recently he served as a strategic communications associate with Scott Peyton & Associates, where he worked on branding and outreach projects for clients such as Sun Valley Resort and Boise Cascade Company. Harbison also worked for Boise State University as director of content development and media projects. His broadcast journalism experience includes work with KBOI/KTIK and the Bronco Radio Network in Boise, as well as with various national networks and local stations in Houston, Washington, D.C. and Ann Arbor.

“Dave’s expertise in public relations and communication strategy makes him a great addition to the IEA team,” said Nettinga. His hands-on experience as a member of the media is also a tremendous asset in his role as the IEA’s media liaison.”

McKinley is re-joining the IEA staff; he previously served as the director of government relations from 2000 to 2003. He also taught English for seven years at Potlatch High School and has had an active leadership role with local IEA associations. Region 2 encompasses Lewiston, Moscow and several other communities in north Idaho.

“Jason brings the IEA valuable knowledge of the local districts and communities in Region 2 as well as experience with the mission and practices of the organization,” said Nettinga.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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