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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2023 40 Under 40: Daniel Ortega

Ozark School District

Posted online

Daniel Ortega knows what it takes to motivate people toward a common goal. This skill is crucial for his role as director of communications at Ozark School District.

On the internal front, Ortega, 35, manages a team of two communication specialists and eight building communication coordinators. Together, they rally external support for the district through events, partnerships and sponsorships.

He honed his knowledge of the public school landscape on the communication teams at Willard Public Schools and Nixa Public Schools. During the pandemic, he helped organize Nixa’s Back to School Bash, which served more than 700 families with $150,000 in goods and services.

What is your proudest moment? The birth of my kids. The bond that was created with each of them is indescribable, and these events solidified my relationship even further with my wife.  

What about your job would shock people? It is our job to communicate everything, from a crisis, accomplishments/recognitions, news (and) community partnerships, to over 23,000 individuals.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? There are things we face every day that we can control and things that we cannot. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and keep moving forward.

What is your favorite food item to order in the Springfield area? Wagyu steak, lobster mac and cheese, and Lyonnaise potatoes from Flame. 


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