Brittany Kaple - 35 Under 35

35 Under 35 Class of 2018-19
Brittany is one of 35 professionals, age 35 and under, who is part of the Class of 2018-19. These 35 individuals are emerging leaders who are making a difference in school public relations.

Brittany Kaple
East Valley School District
Yakima, Wash.

What does leadership mean to you? 
To me, leadership is the ultimate learning experience. Leadership provides an opportunity to share one’s gifts, knowledge and experience with others, while continuing to grow as an individual and professional by listening to, and learning from others as you go.  

What was the most fulfilling professional moment you have experienced? 
So far one of my most fulfilling moments in school PR was being able to share our year-end communications survey with my school board this past spring. I’m a total data dork… I love it! From creating the survey to crunching the numbers and creating the report, it was fabulous. To be able to show how much growth we’ve made in just one year in the eyes of our community, made me feel proud of the work that I do daily. 

What is the most challenging and/or rewarding part about working in school PR? 
The most challenging part of my work is being out of the classroom. Before coming into my current position, I was a teacher in our district. I miss building relationships with my students and watching them grow. The most rewarding part of my job is being in a position to share snapshots of what goes into the education of our community’s children on a daily basis: the hard work our employees are putting in, the growth and successes of our students and programs, the moments of struggle that allow us to grow… the things people don’t get to see unless someone takes the time to point them out. 

What’s your favorite work app and personal app?
My favorite work app is definitely Canva. It’s an easy way to make clean, quick graphics for social media and other publications. Outside of work, I like Fred Meyer’s ClickList and Walmart’s Grocery apps because I can order my groceries throughout the week, clip coupons, pay and then just swing by without ever entering the store. So much time and drama saved! 

What book has inspired you professionally? 
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Carol Dweck’s work in growth mindset and the belief of the power of the word “yet” is inspiring and empowering. I think everyone should read it! 
 
How has NSPRA and your state chapter guided you along the way?
I joined WSPRA as a newbie to school PR. The connections that I have made with other professionals and the expertise they have shared with me has definitely helped me advance in my role. If I have a question, there’s always a lifeline to help guide me in the right direction. Just a few months in, WSPRA members recommended that I go to NSPRA’s Annual Conference. I flew to San Antonio, sat through dozens of sessions and left feeling inspired and motivated to head back to my office and get to work! As the newly appointed VP of our Eastern Washington Region for WSPRA, I have had the valuable experience of working closely with other board members to make sure our training experiences are engaging, informative and worthwhile. I know that my time as a member of both WSPRA and NSPRA has had a positive impact on the quality of communication that I am able to provide in my district… I couldn’t imagine doing what I do without my support system.  

What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed – either one of your own or one you saw nationally?
One of my favorite recent campaigns was one that a few districts (Kennewick, Richland and Pasco) put on together here locally to educate voters on levy changes. I really liked the way they come together and collaborated on the project…it was a great way to show unity in education among neighboring districts. I also appreciated the way they easily explained the legislation behind the changes and what they meant for districts and communities, the overall design of the website, and the commercials I saw running all the way here in Yakima. Great work!

What emerging trends in school public relations get you excited? 
I find myself Googling anything that has to do with unique campaigns for potential employee recruitment!