NSPRA Front-Runner: Kala Morrissey

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.

Kala Morrissey
Kala Morrissey

Current title: Communication Specialist/Webmaster, Papillion-La Vista School District, Papillion, Neb.

Alma Mater: Iowa State University. Go Cyclones!

My PR motto: Everything you do and say is public relations. Every interaction tells the story of you and your district. Welcome others with open arms, be of customer service nature, always listen, be genuine, smile and talk to everyone, believe that everyone plays an important role.

I am inspired by…my son and our students. Watching the “light bulb” turn on for a child is an amazing sight. Seeing them grow and succeed is what it is all about.

Favorite professional fantasy: To lead a school PR team of enough people that each day we finish ALL our tasks, build great relationships and improve student success.

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Current communication tool I use the most is…our district app. It brings all the information we have in multiple places and brings it into one location.

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

Greatest PR success: Implementing social media within our district. We have successfully implemented social media at the district, school and teacher level. It has opened the doors for teachers to build relationships with parents that otherwise weren’t happening and enhanced the two-way communication in our district.

Greatest communication challenge: Getting the good news stories out. I know that every day there are great things happening in our schools. Teachers by nature are not boastful, so getting them to tell the untold stories can sometimes be a hurdle.

A strong communication program supports student success by…helping to create a strong home-to-school connection. As parents are more informed about their child, the classroom and their learning, they are more involved. No one has ever disputed that when parents are more involved it leads to increased student success.

My favorite part of my job is…getting to celebrate the great stories and success of our students and staff. It is what we are here for.

I believe school PR/communications is...more than just a job. It is a passion. The long hours, stressful days and never ending to-do list sometimes seem daunting. However, knowing you are making an impact for your students, staff and community makes it all worth-while.

Joining the Nebraska Chapter helped me…to grow professionally. At each of our monthly meetings I feel like I learn so much from my colleagues. I find myself taking extensive notes and bringing back ideas for my district. The support and encouragement from colleagues has been instrumental in the development of my career and success.

I’m an NSPRA member because…it is the one organization that the other individuals understand you and your job. The professional development, idea sharing and friendships are instrumental to my success (and sanity). Attending the national Seminar is always the highlight of my year. It energizes and gets me ready for a new year.

My epitaph: Loving mother and wife who always sought to help others.