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Hilary McLean - who has spent the last seven years as press secretary to state schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell and communications director for the state Department of Education - is leaving government to join a private consulting firm, the agency announced today.

Incoming state schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson has tapped Paul Hefner as his communications director. Hefner has worked at Ogilvy Public Relations and on the staffs of Assembly Speakers Herb Wesson and Bob Hertzberg and State Controller Steve Westly.

"While I was honored to have the opportunity to work for Superintendent Torlakson, it feels right to explore a new professional challenge at this time of transition," McLean wrote in a statement.

McLean is going to work for Capitol Impact LLC, a Sacramento education consulting firm headed by Jay Schenirer, a Sacramento city councilman; Christopher Cabaldon, mayor of West Sacramento; and Rick Miller, a former deputy superintendent in the state Department of Education. McLean will be managing public affairs for the firm starting on Jan. 1.



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