Executive Board Welcomes Five New Officers-Elect

The NSPRA Executive Board will welcome five new officers following the close of annual elections on Sept. 4, 2020. New officers formally take office each year on October 1.

Congratulations to the five new NSPRA officers in 2020-21:

Learn more about the Executive Board.


President-Elect 

Nicole Kirby, APRPresident-Elect 2020-21

Nicole Kirby, APR

Nicole Kirby, APR, is the director of communication services for the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Mo., where she has led the school public relations program for more than 20 years, growing and developing the department and its work. She is a past NSPRA regional vice president and a past president and treasurer of the Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA). She is an NSPRA Learning and Liberty Legacy Leader, and she received the NSPRA Front-Runner Award, the NSPRA Award of Excellence for publications, the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award and the MOSPRA Distinguished Service Award. In 2019, she received the NSPRA Gold Medallion, our organization’s top award for programs, for her comprehensive, strategic, year-round communication program. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Kansas, and her accreditation in public relations.

Vice Presidents

Tracy Jentz, APRNorth Central Region Vice President 2020 - 2023

Tracy Jentz, APR

For more than seven years, Tracy Jentz, APR, has been the communications and community engagement coordinator at Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, ND. As a Cabinet-level administrator and proud one-person school communications office, she provides communications and sociological perspective through her work in creating and utilizing strategic communications. She promotes and supports students and employees and their many accomplishments through proactive communication efforts.

Melissa McConnellSouth Central Region Vice President 2020 - 2023

Melissa McConnell

Melissa McConnell has held several positions in the Belton School District in Belton, Missouri. Her career began as an elementary library media specialist in 1997; a position she held for 15 years. She then transitioned to the role of educational technology specialist for 3 years, and she has been the district’s communications specialist for the last 5 years. McConnell’s long tenure with the same district gives her a unique background and set of experiences that strategically influence the way the district communicates at all levels. She has built relationships and partnerships that have helped raise the level of trust and pride throughout the district and community.

Joshua Sauer, APRVice President at-Large for Communication Technology and Innovation 2020 - 2022

Joshua Sauer, APR

Joshua Sauer, APR, has been the communications and marketing specialist for Moore Norman Technology Center Vocational School in Norman, Okla., for six years. During his time there, he has built and implemented marketing communication plans focused on long-term growth and innovation; led and facilitated MNTC’s district website redesign; provided strategic communications support for the successful passage of a $60 million bond; planned and produced dozens of award-winning district publications; served as a community and media liaison; helped develop the district’s first Diversity and Equity Committee; and provided administrators with trusted counsel and guidance during crisis situations. Prior to joining MNTC, he also spent three years as a marketing director for a security systems company. Since 2014, Sauer has been a member of NSPRA and the local chapter, Oklahoma School Public Relations Association. He also founded the #ROAD2NSPRA social media campaign, which gets attendees excited for their trip to the NSPRA National Seminar each year. Sauer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Yolanda Stephen, APRVice President for Diversity Engagement 2020 - 2023

Yolanda Stephen, APR

Yolanda Stephen’s progressive career in public relations, corporate communications, and writing started after she graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelors in Communication/Broadcasting and English. She began telling the stories of for-profit, non-profit, and now public education entities while successfully navigated strategic (communication) planning with C-suite employees and Executive Cabinet members from conception to completion. With 15 years as a PR professional, she has earned her MBA and is honored to now be an APR with an Accreditation in Public Relations. As the Director of Public Relations for Troup County School System, she oversees the communications function for 12,100 students, 1,200 employees, and 21 locations. Every day is different and she loves it! She is also an active community member where she works on the Board of several professional organizations, including Toastmasters, Leadership Troup, and Georgia School Public Relations Association.