NSPRA Front-Runner: Jessica Scheckton

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.

Jessica Scheckton
Jessica Scheckton

Jessica Scheckton

Current Title: Program Manager, Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY

Alma Mater: Columbia University, New York, NY

My PR Motto: Tell it first, tell it all, tell it yourself.

I am inspired by…writers who can move mountains with nothing more than words.

Favorite professional fantasy: Winning a Pulitzer someday (isn’t that every writer’s professional fantasy?)

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

Communication tool I rarely use anymore is…a fax machine.

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Greatest PR Success: I am currently working with several colleagues to help our client districts communicate about New York State’s new property “tax cap,” debunking much of the misinformation that politicians and the media have created. It’s a work-in-progress, so while it’s too early to judge the impact of this initiative, districts have begun countering the popular “sound bites” with accurate, comprehensible information about a law that will be a true game-changer for New York schools. To think that our efforts may be helping in this endeavor is quite rewarding.

Greatest communication challenge: As schools continue to face increasing costs and demands for higher student achievement despite declining revenues, I am dumbfounded by the ever-present mantra of “do more with less,” when common sense tells us you can only do less with less. It’s an ongoing challenge to find ways to solve this disconnect.

A strong communication program supports student success by…focusing on advancing the priorities and goals of the school district, instead of simply producing “things and stuff.”

My favorite part of my job is…collaborating every day with the 50+ professionals that are part of the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service.

I believe school PR/communications is...no longer an option for public schools, it’s a necessity — and a wise investment!

Joining NYSPRA helped me…begin networking with school PR professionals in other parts of New York State.

I’m an NSPRA member because…I value the resources and professional development offerings provided.

My epitaph: “To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.” — Milan Kundera