NSPRA Front-Runner: Gracie Valle-Chimal

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.

Gracie Valle-Chimal
Gracie Valle-Chimal

Current Title & District: Community Relations Liaison, Pasco (Wash.) School District

Alma Mater: Washington State University – “Go Cougs!”

My PR Motto: “If you don’t look great, I don’t look good!”

I am inspired by…God. If you take a moment to be still, you can find beauty in all He has done, but not everyone seems to take the time to see it.

Favorite professional fantasy: To have a PR Department of 15 people so we can each take a break once in a while.

Current communication tool I use the most is…regular e-mail and Google.

Communication tool I rarely use anymore is…the phone book.

Greatest PR Success: PEAK! Partnership Program. PEAK! stands for Partners in Educating All Kids. It is our Business and Community partnership with our schools and it has brought over $25,000 to our district.

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Greatest Communication Challenge: The bilingual gap is still on the rise. We need to find a way not only to better communicate with our non-English-speaking parents (this includes facial expressions, body language, written documents, advertising pieces, and student communication) as well as keep the lines of communications open with our community leaders so they are able to see and hear what is really going on in their own community.

A strong communication program supports student success by…being able to spend the time with them. One thing is to let them know who you are and what you are doing. Or as a company to donate money, but being able to spend time with them on an on-going basis is priceless.

My favorite part of my job is…networking and making people feel that Pasco is their home away from home.

I believe school PR/communications is...vital to any job and if used properly can make a difference in how the world views you and how you view the world.

Joining WSPRA helped me…connect with people that are in the same profession as I am. Not only in learning from them, but establishing great relationships. We are a small PR Department and it always feels good that mentors are just a phone call or drive away.

I’m an NSPRA member because…NSPRA ROCKS! What I would normally learn in a year in college, I can get condensed into one week. I am able to pick and choose classes, workshops, one on one counseling sessions and great speakers. It is the Disneyland of any PR Professional.

My epitaph: “Here lies Gracie with a smile; when it came to PR work, she always went the extra mile.”