NSPRA Front-Runner: Casey White-Zollman

NSPRA Front-Runners are members identified by the NSPRA Executive Board as emerging leaders who are doing outstanding work for their schools, their chapters and for NSPRA. They have demonstrated professional leadership at the state and national level and/or have been recognized for innovation and excellence through NSPRA award programs or presentations.

Casey White-Zollman
Casey White-Zollman

Current Title: Director of Communication & Print Solutions, InterMountain ESD, Pendleton, Ore.

Alma Mater: University of Portland (Oregon) — Go Pilots!

My PR Motto: Proactive is always better than reactive.

I am inspired by…my new husband and my family. They are prime examples of how working hard can pay off in so many ways, and that if you put your mind to something, you can make it happen. They also know the importance of balancing work with life outside of the office.

Favorite professional fantasy: Being caught up on work. smiley

Flag of Learning and Liberty
Flag of Learning and Liberty
Searching for a way to dramatize the links connecting education with your community's ideals? Well, look no further than NSPRA's Flag of Learning and Liberty. On July 4, 1985, the Flag of Learning and Liberty was raised over the capitals of all 50 states and in the District of Columbia. Raise the flag over your schools and explain to students, parents, and members of the community why education plays an integral part in maintaining a free and open society.
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Current communication tool I use the most is…face-to-face interactions. We often get so bogged down with electronic communication that the all-important face-to-face communication can be forgotten. Nothing can compare to meeting with someone in person — this diminishes the chances of miscommunication and tone often lost with electronic communication.

Communication tool I rarely use anymore is…the fax machine. It’s going down the same road as the type writer!

Greatest PR Success: My greatest PR success has been making school communications essential in our region. Prior to being hired at the IMESD in 2006, our local school districts did not have a school PR/communication resource. Now many of our local schools have come to rely upon the expertise, knowledge and skills of myself and my communications department staff. The administrators now understand the value solid communications strategies can bring to their schools.

Greatest Communication Challenge: Reaching out to disengaged families.

A strong communication program supports student success by…providing the community with stories about all of the amazing work going on inside our classrooms! A community will support its schools and its students when it knows that good things are going on inside classrooms. Too often the news is filled with negative and depressing education stories wrapped up in budget turmoil. Despite all of this, students and staff are finding ways to be successful, and their stories must be told.

My favorite part of my job is…working with so many talented individuals, both in my department and throughout our organization and the schools with which we work. I am constantly amazed with the talent and breadth of knowledge in our own backyard.

I believe school PR/communications is...essential.

Joining OSPRA helped me…become a better leader and learn best practices from all over the state. Oregon has so many outstanding school PR professionals to network with and learn from.

I’m an NSPRA member because…NSPRA provides me with a giant network of professionals who face similar challenges as I do, and a plethora of information, tools and best practices to put into my communications tool box.

My epitaph: She laughed, she loved, she LIVED.