Shawnee Public Schools launch TikTok account

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Shawnee Public Schools launched its new TikTok account on Friday and intends to use it to highlight all the school sites in the district.

According to Cherity Pennington, District Communications and Library Services Coordinator, TikTok will be utilized like the district's other social media platforms.

"Shawnee is a wonderful school district filled with creative, caring people, and TikTok is just one more way we can showcase their talents, their learning and their gifts to those who don't have the opportunity to see what we do every day," Pennington said.

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Recently, in other schools across the country, there have been issues with a TikTok trend that encourages students to vandalize their schools.

Pennington said there have been reports of minor vandalism at SPS due to this TikTok challenge, but administrators are encouraging students to make better decisions.

She explained she wanted to create a TikTok for SPS because it's growing in popularity and she wants to utilize it to promote positivity.

She enlisted the help of two new communications interns from Oklahoma Baptist University — Harli Hitt and Carington Morris — to help her achieve this goal.

Shawnee Early Childhood Center kindergarten student KamDyn Bates poses for a TikTok video.

Pennington said Hitt and Morris began their internships this semester and they both have previous internship experience in communications.

"They are both creating content for TikTok and our other social media platforms," Pennington said. "By far, the biggest help they have been is with their creativity. Almost every day they are coming up with new ideas for us to try to communicate with everyone in our community."

Morris said she loves being able to help with communications at SPS.

"I have done political communications, digital marketing and social media but haven’t gotten to see the communications side of a school," she said. "I have learned so much already and am very thankful for this opportunity to grow before graduation in December."

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Pennington explained Hitt and Morris contribute greatly to showing the community how hard the SPS students and staff work, but also how much fun they have.

"We want everyone to know that our schools are a fantastic place for students to learn," she said.

Morris explained when deciding on content creation she, Pennington and Hitt have meetings to discuss the different ways they can showcase SPS.

"We think of trends or popular TikToks that are currently out and then tweak them to become our own," Morris said.

Like Morris, Hitt loves working with SPS and making a difference in her community.

"I have grown up loving children and I knew that SPS was the perfect fit," She said. "I could use my skills, enhance my creativity and fulfill my passion of fostering intentional relationships."

Hitt explained she has really enjoyed working with Pennington and Morris on the SPS TikTok.

"I love going the extra step and it has been nice to work with a team that encourages my love for lavish ideas but will also check and make sure that I am being reasonable," Hitt said.

The intern explained there's a lot more to making content for TikTok then people would think.

"I try to keep the TikToks fun, simple and age appropriate. I love working with all different age ranges and figuring out what they are going to connect to and have fun with," she said.

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The communications team plans to have TikTok Fridays every week and release new content on the media platform to showcase different aspects of the district.

Going forward, Pennington hopes more and more people follow all SPS social media platforms and witness the greatness that the district has to offer.

"I want our families and our community members to know what I already know, that SPS provides an outstanding education to its students," Pennington said.

For Pennington, the best aspect of her job is visiting all the different sites and seeing how excited students are to learn from such an amazing staff.

"When we share photos and videos online, we are sharing just a snippet of the joy we witness on a daily basis," she said.

Elisabeth Slay is a Reporter with The Shawnee News-Star. She can be reached at (405) 214-3926 or eslay@news-star.com