TJG Spotlight: Maureen Maguire

TJG Spotlight: Maureen Maguire


How an Unexpected Career Became One of the Most Rewarding Paths for Maureen Maguire

Retiring in May, 2024, consultant Maureen Maguire looks back on 11 years with The Jane Group


Maureen Maguire

Maureen Maguire was serving on the board of an independent school when she first met Jane Hulbert, co-founder of The Jane Group over a decade ago. “My school needed the services of The Jane Group, and as the point person I worked very closely with Jane,” Maguire said, “and that’s how we got to know one another.”

“From the minute we started working on the closing of a school where Maureen was a trustee, we just clicked,” remembered Jane Hulbert. “She had the best instincts and was a natural at managing a very difficult situation. I remember asking her to call me when it was over. She did, and the rest is history.”

Prior to joining TJG, Maguire had a long career in marketing and communications, with her own marketing firm, and later in senior management for a few regional companies. For over two decades she served on the boards of various independent schools. “I’ve always been interested in education, and independent schools have a special place in my heart,” she said. “I went to an independent school, as did my husband and our kids. I believe in them very strongly.”


“Doing this kind of work is very fast-paced, challenging, and unpredictable; no two situations are exactly alike”


Although different from her previous roles, it was her love of education and her business experience that uniquely equipped her for a successful career as a consultant with The Jane Group. “Doing this kind of work is very fast-paced, challenging, and unpredictable; no two situations are exactly alike” she said. “When a school is in crisis, you have to quickly understand the situation, evaluate it and draw up a plan for managing it effectively, working closely with the school’s crisis management team.”

While at TJG, Maguire worked with over 150 schools. “I’ve met a lot of incredible people over the years,” she said. “ The heads of school and their leadership teams have been phenomenal. I have learned so much from every one of them and have gained a greater appreciation for the unique culture and program each school offers.”

And the best part for Maguire? “When a school comes out better on the other side of a crisis,” she said. “When you first work with the head and the team, they are concerned about how their community will respond. But by working together, always doing what is in the best long-term interest of the school and the school community often comes through the crisis stronger and more united. That is gratifying to see. There’s nothing like it.”


Crisis Q & A with Maureen Maguire

Q: What’s the worst thing a school can do in a crisis?

A: When schools try to hide the truth and not communicate the facts - or don’t plan for a possible crisis. It usually doesn’t go away. Not dealing with a situation is never the answer.

Q: What happens when a school communicates a crisis successfully?

A. Many schools don’t realize that when a crisis is handled correctly, the institution can come out stronger on the other side. Most importantly, your community needs to hear from you in a timely manner, with transparency and empathy in everything you say and everything you do. When you respect your community by being honest, they will appreciate it and return that respect and have confidence in your future decisions.

Q: Have you seen any big changes in independent schools over the years you’ve been with TJG?

A: I think the biggest change is the breadth of issues that heads of schools are dealing with today. Topics like transgender students, systemic racism, enrollment challenges, environmental issues, budget cuts, toxic political environment that spills over to the schools, mental health issues, and school closings are common. There’s just so much coming at the schools today.

Q: What are the benefits of partnering with a crisis communications expert?

A: When a crisis hits, it rarely comes at a convenient time. Schools are always busy places, and with a crisis situation, it needs to be addressed immediately. A dedicated professional can evaluate the situation, organize information, and create a custom plan and walk through it with the school step-by-step, through to its resolution. At The Jane Group, we have thousands of examples from previous situations, so we have a wealth of information and a proven track record of successfully navigating all sorts of situations. It’s invaluable to have that kind of partner in times of crisis.


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