NSPRA Front-Runner: Jill Filer

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.


Jill Filer
Jill Filer

Current title & district: Director of Communications and Community Relations, Harrisonville (Mo.) School District

Alma Mater: University of Missouri (Go Tigers!)

My PR motto: Internal first.

I am inspired by…people with a passion for what they’re doing — their excitement is contagious and makes me work harder to be “that” person.

Favorite professional fantasy: As a broadcast journalism major in college, it was to take Jane Pauley’s place on the Today Show. However, today, I would say that it’s to be able to continue working in the school communications profession for as long as I choose.

Current communication tool (resource) I use the most is…our district staff. I am a one-person PR office, so I rely on each member of our district staff to act as PR ambassadors in our community to help me share the stories of our district while also listening and sharing feedback in order to improve our district’s communication efforts.

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Communication tool I rarely use anymore is….print newsletter.

Greatest PR success: Molding and evolving the position of Communications Director in our district. This position was created 10 years ago and I was lucky enough to get the job. I don’t really know if anyone knew exactly what the position could/should be at that time, but I believe I’ve been able to demonstrate the value of communications in our district.

Greatest communication challenge: I think it’s the same for us all — time. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done.

A strong communication program supports student success by…being strategic/pro-active and always asking “what’s best for our students.”

My favorite part of my job is…going into our classrooms and interacting with students and teachers to get photos and stories to share with our community. I was a teacher first, so any time I get to be around students is not only fun, but energizing.

I believe school PR/communications is...what I was meant to do. I truly love my job and working in Harrisonville. It’s my hometown and I feel honored to be able to give back to the school district and community through my job.

Joining MOSPRA helped me…grow and learn as a professional and a leader. My MOSPRA colleagues are the best. Each and every time I talk with one of them or go to a conference or meeting, I bring back something I can use. I also appreciate their encouragement and support of me through leadership roles in our great organization.

I’m an NSPRA member because…the networking, information sharing, and PD is amazing. The annual conference is a “must attend” for school communications professionals.