After five years being what many Harford County Public Schools students came to know as the "Snow Lady," Teri Kranefeld is leaving her post as manager of communications for the school system.
Kranefeld has been hired by A. Bright Idea as a senior communications specialist and public affairs manager, according to a press release from the Bel Air advertising and public relations firm.
"I'm thrilled and excited to be going to work for A. Bright Idea, but it's bittersweet because I've definitely enjoyed my position at the school system," Kranefeld, who has been with the school system nine years, said Wednesday afternoon. "For me, it's all about my kids. I want to continue moving forward with my career but be able to spend more time with my kids and focus more energy on them."
Kranefeld, 37, has a fifth-grader and third-grader at Ring Factory Elementary School. She said they're "ecstatic" about her career move.
The Abingdon resident said she wants a separation between "mom" and "career."
"This has nothing to do with being unhappy with my job. I really enjoyed it here. I've learned a lot and grown so much while I've been in his position. That's invaluable," she said. "This really is a family decision."
Around her office, one of the biggest questions is "who's going to make the phone calls?" she joked about the robocalls the system uses to inform its 38,000 students and their parents about school closings and delays for weather, as well as other unusual occurrences.
While that's only about "one 1,000th of my job," it's how people know her, Kranefeld said.
"Strong talent is just one of the things we pride ourselves on at A. Bright Idea," T.J. Brightman, principal and vice president of client relations at A. Bright Idea, said in the firm's hiring announcement. "Teri's resume speaks for itself and her senior leadership and relationships will only strengthen our agency in both the government and private sectors."
For Kranefeld, the move benefits her professionally.
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"I've worked in the non-profit section, now I'm in the public sector and this will round it out for me to gain experience in the private sector," she said.
She's also excited to be staying in Harford County.
"The other draw for me, I can continue to do what I love and work for a company that's embedded in the community where I live and work and play," Kranefeld said. "I'll be able to continue to work with groups been afforded the opportunity to work with all these years."
Prior to joining the school system, Kranefeld spent seven years with the American Lung Association of Maryland, her final three years as the organization's director of education. She was responsible for the supervision, implementation, design and marketing of all asthma and indoor air quality statewide programs, including working with all 24 Maryland school districts.
The manager of communication position is advertised on the school system web site; it is advertised with a salary of $97,233 to $123,030 a year.
Kranefeld's last day with the school system will be Jan. 24 and she'll start with A. Bright Idea in February.
So until then, the "Snow Lady" will still be making the calls – and making kids' days.