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NSPRA members

The 2022-23 Annual Report to
NSPRA Members

With the tremendous work of association staff and outstanding leadership by the NSPRA Executive Board, your national association maintained its upward trajectory witnessed in the previous two years. In 2022-23, record numbers were seen in membership growth, awards submissions, communication audit services, scholarship applications, and National Seminar attendance and proposal submissions.

NSPRA’s strategic plan continued to serve as the association’s powerful roadmap for the future and provided clarity about the mission and priorities of the association. In turn, staff focused their efforts on meeting the goals and objectives within the plan. 

During the year, the Executive Board started important conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and explored how its work should reflect these values. An important resource on which to draw during these conversations was NSPRA’s first-ever “Sharing Our Diversity” member survey, which provided a wide range of insights and information. NSPRA also used its research services to better inform national conversations on the roles and value of school communicators.

Above all, NSPRA’s success during 2022-23 was rooted in the exceptional leadership of the Executive Board and the tireless commitment of the staff to move the association forward to meet the evolving needs of our members.  


Highlights of the 2022-23 Year*

  • Membership growth continued to rise and topped 2,800 for the first time in decades.
  • The second Presidents Summit was held in Chicago, Ill., to provide targeted professional development for chapter presidents, presidents-elect and executive directors/administrators. 
  • The second School Communicators Day was celebrated on May 12, 2023, which recognized the outstanding work of school communicators throughout the U.S. and Canada.
  • More than 1,500 in-person attendees – another record-breaking number – networked and learned at the 2023 National Seminar in St. Louis.
  • The new National School Communicator of the Year Award was announced with plans to honor the top winner at the 2024 National Seminar in Seattle/Bellevue. 
  • The new NSPRA Academy program was launched for new professionals. 
  • New virtual Mini Labs were introduced and offered a quick dive into tech and tactical tools.
  • NSPRA welcomed our newest chapter, the Louisiana School Public Relations Association. 
  • NSPRA shared results from the first-ever “Sharing Our Diversity” member survey.
  • NSPRA brought the proprietary, nationally benchmarked SCOPE Survey in-house and expanded its research services to include standalone survey projects as well as its longtime communication audit services. Staff saw a steady growth in contracted research services.

* NSPRA’s annual report covers fiscal year Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023.

2023 Presidents Summit

Chapter presidents, presidents-elect and executive directors/administrators at the 2023 Presidents Summit.

2023 Seminar

More than 1,500 attendees attended the NSPRA 2023 National Seminar in St. Louis.


The NSPRA Executive Board signs a charter document welcoming the Louisiana School Public Relations Association as an official chapter. 


Risa Engel, chief  marketing officer for Finalsite, announces the new National School Communicator of the Year Award, supported by Finalsite.


Powerful Partnerships for Purpose


One of the ways in which NSPRA displays its leadership in school communications is through the powerful partnerships formed with other national education associations to benefit members. 

AASA logo
  • NSPRA continued its partnership with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, to co-sponsor the Leadership in School Communication program, a unique opportunity for teams of superintendents and their communication professionals to learn how to improve their districts’ communication program.
CoSN logo
  • NSPRA and the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) continued its work to request that six major social media companies allow school district accounts to be officially verified and to make it easier to report and take down those accounts that are rogue or harm kids. Twelve other national education associations continue to support this effort. 
LFA  logo
  • NSPRA was an active participant in the 2023 national campaign #HereForTheKids, created by the Learning First Alliance, an umbrella organization of 13 national education organizations including NSPRA. This campaign was designed to combat the negative and divisive rhetoric in many communities by highlighting success stories of students and staff. 

Partnerships That Matter Award

In March 2023, NSPRA was recognized by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) for its collaborative leadership on the initiative to urge social media companies to allow school district accounts to be officially verified and to be able to report and remove accounts that are hurt or harm students. CoSN continues to co-lead this effort with NSPRA. 

CoSN Chief Executive Officer Keith R. Krueger presented NSPRA Executive Director Barbara M. Hunter, APR, with the organization's Partnerships That Matter award at their annual conference in Austin, Texas.


NSPRA by the Numbers in 2022-23



Media or trade articles in which NSPRA was mentioned or quoted



Professional learning opportunities and programs offered by NSPRA, beyond the Seminar.


Discussion posts on the NSPRA Connect online community




Members who participated in NSPRA's free APR Cohort programs



Participants in NSPRA and AASA's Leadership in School Communication program


Participants in the Mid-Career NSPRA Academy program

NSPRA Continues Historic Membership Growth

During the past year, NSPRA welcomed a record 341 new members, who saw firsthand the incredible value of the high-quality programs and services that support their work as school communications professionals. Efforts by staff and the board to align NSPRA’s deliverables with its research-based strategic plan are the foundation for this membership growth. 


Membership chart

"This organization means so much to me! Its value more than exceeds the cost of membership every year. The information, webinars, annual seminar and networking have been overwhelming. I truly can't imagine my career without NSPRA!"
- 2022 Membership Profile Survey Respondent

School Communications Becoming More Valuable


NSPRA’s 2022 biennial membership survey showed several noteworthy findings that point to the increasing value of school communicators: 

  • More school communicators are at the district leadership table. Sixty-seven percent of NSPRA member respondents reported they are members of their school districts’ cabinets and/or leadership teams, an increase from both 2020 (59 percent) and 2018 (58 percent).
  • More respondents reported a larger department size of 2 to 4 staff persons. This is the first time a one-person communication office was not the most-reported department size over the last decade, suggesting that districts are increasing their communications staff. 
  • More new professionals are entering the field. Ten percent of school communication professionals reported having one year or less of experience in the field, the highest reported percentage of this experience level since 2014 and double from the five percent reported in 2020. 
  • Experience is evident. A third of school communication professionals have five to 10 years of school public relations experience, while nearly a quarter have 15+ years or more experience in the field. 

Year End Financial Audit Still in Progress

Aligning with best financial practices and NSPRA policy, NSPRA contracts every few years with a new auditing firm to ensure integrity of the audit process and findings. The new audit firm with whom NSPRA has contracted to carry out the FY 2023 audit is still completing its work. NSPRA will share the findings with members as soon as the final audit is issued and approved by the Executive Board. 

As shown in the graph, NSPRA has multiple diversified revenue streams that help to position the organization to weather downturns, such as the projected ESSER funding cliff coming in the fall of 2024. 

Total revenue chart


2023 National Seminar Offered the Best in Professional Development


Named as one of the best education conferences by K-12 Dive newsletter, the NSPRA National Seminar held in St. Louis, Mo., on July 16-19, proved to be a resounding success with a record-breaking 1,528 in-person attendees and 34 sponsors. New features included a Career Center, one-on-one coaching opportunities and the popular Puppy Pawlooza.

With more than 100 skill sessions, amplify sessions, corporate showcases, Gold Mine roundtables and stellar networking events, 96 percent of attendees rated the 2023 Seminar as excellent or good.

2023 Seminar attendees 2023 Seminar attendees 2023 Seminar attendees

"I so look forward to the NSPRA National Seminar every year. It's a great opportunity to look back on what I've been doing, look at the big picture, and find strategies for taking things to the next level in the coming school year."
- 2023 Seminar Survey Respondent

NSPRA members

A Look Ahead for NSPRA and You in the Coming Year
  • The first National School Communicator of the Year will be awarded at the 2024 Seminar, which will honor one individual for their extraordinary achievements.
  • A new Academy Program that focuses on crisis communications will help school communicators hone their skills and plans. 
  • Members will have free access to more than 25 relevant and timely webinars focused on best practices (PR Power Hours), strategic conversations into issues that impact your district and community (Leaders Learn), the new and extremely popular Mini Lab series that dives into online tools, equipment, and platforms school PR pros use daily, and a revitalized monthly #k12PRchat.
  • A celebration of NSPRA's 90th birthday in 2025.
  • An updated Strategic Plan, which will guide NSPRA beyond 2024.
  • And much more!  

Thank You to Our 2022-23 NSPRA Executive Board!

Cathy Kedjidjian, APR
Cathy Kedjidjian, APR
2022 - 2023
Trent Allen APR
Trent Allen, APR
2022 - 2023
Music Watson, APR
Music Watson, APR
VP for Diversity Engagement
Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
VP at Large — Superintendents
2021 - 2023
Julia Burgos
Julia Burgos
VP at Large — Engagement
 2022- 2024
Lori Perlow
Lori Perlow, APR
Northeast Region Vice President
2022 - 2025
Karen Heath
Karen Heath
Mideast Region Vice President
2022 - 2025
Cindy Warner, APR
Cindy Warner, APR
Southeast Region Vice President
2021 - 2024
Tracy Jentz, APR
Tracy Jentz, APR
North Central Region Vice President
2020 - 2023
Jake Potter, APR
Jake Potter, APR
South Central Region Vice President
2022 - 2023
Phillip Campbell
Phillip Campbell
Northwest Region Vice President
2021 - 2024
Jennifer Derico APR
Jennifer Derico, APR
Southwest Region Vice President
2022 - 2025

View the current NSPRA Executive Board here.

Looking for last year's Annual Report?

Read the 2021-2022 Annual Report to NSPRA Members

NSPRA’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan

Adopted in June 2021 by the NSPRA Executive Board, the strategic plan provides staff with a roadmap guided by a new mission statement and four major goal areas:


Mission Statement

NSPRA is the leader in developing professionals to communicate strategically, build trust and foster positive relationships in support of their school communities.  

Goal 1: Be known as the leader in school communications.

Goal 2: Grow and retain membershipGoal 3" Ensure efficient, effective and up-to-date systems.Goal 4: Deliver relevant, high impact programs.

"NSPRA provides excellent resources for those in school PR/communications. The professional networking and willingness among everyone to share their resources and experiences is also invaluable...I love the energy and new ideas." 

-2022 Membership Profile Survey Respondent