NSPRA Front-Runners

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.The annual distinction recognizes four members, each from a different NSPRA region.

Each Front-Runner receives recognition in an issue of e-Network, NSPRA's monthly member-only e-newsletter, as well as a commemorative plaque during the NSPRA Celebration of Achievement and Annual Meeting, which is held during the Seminar each summer.

2017-2018 Front-Runners

Check back soon to see our next featured Front-Runner for 2017-2018.
This month's featured Front-Runner:

Jennifer Harris, APR

Jennifer Harris, APR
Jennifer Harris, APR

Current title: Director of Communications, Arlington (Va.) Public Schools

Alma Mater: Cornell University (Go Big Red!)

My PR motto: It is never wrong to do what is right.

I am inspired by...our students’ success and the wonderful team of people throughout our school division who ensure that many choices and opportunities are available to all students who walk through our doors each day.

Favorite professional fantasy: That everything would be executed in accordance with the written communications plan.

Current communication tool I use the most...is social media. In our district, we have mastered Twitter and the use of hashtags. I’m currently obsessed with Instagram stories and podcasts. I would love to see these platforms continue to grow.

Communication tool I never use anymore is...a printed news release distributed by a fax machine. I have fond memories of beginning my career in that era of media relations.

Greatest PR success: I’m very proud of the work our department has led with our PR liaison network in schools. Our group shares consistent, positive, and engaging social media communications that welcome the community into our schools every day. The positive effect we have on others is the most important currency we have.

Greatest communication challenge: Engaging the diverse voices in our community and making sure they all feel heard, acknowledged, and included in our communications.

A strong communication program supports student success by...sharing their stories. There’s no better way to connect with our community than through telling a story, because people will always remember how it made them feel and that is what truly inspires their engagement and support.

My favorite part of my job is...mentoring others in their personal and professional development. Our team’s capacity to serve is only as great as the individual growth of each person within it.

I believe school PR/communications is...an evolving challenge. Every day presents an opportunity for me to learn something new, and to pass it along to others. You touch eternity daily because never know where your influence ends.

Joining CHESPRA helped me...connect with fabulous school communicators who welcomed me into this profession in 2014, and have supported me every step of the way.

I’m an NSPRA member because...I love to learn, network, and collaborate with others. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when you can simply redesign it to fit your needs. Some of our greatest successes have come from the strategies and tools that NSPRA members have shared with me.

My epitaph: We can be perfect and admired or real and loved. She chose the latter.

Past Front-Runners

Click the years to show or hide the Front-Runners for that year. Click the person's name to see the full eNetwork profile (available to NSPRA members only.)

(Note: These profiles reflect responses at the time of selection.
The person may have since changed jobs or districts.)


Lori Perlow
Admissions Officer/Community Liaison
Mercer County Technical Schools
Pennington, N.J.

Becky Bean
Communications Manager
South Carolina School Boards Association
Columbia, S.C.


Danielle Clark, APR
Executive Director of Communications
Poudre School District
Fort Collins, Colo

David Beil
Community Relations Director
Central Kitsap Schools, Silverdale, Washington

Danielle (Dani) Brink
Director of Community Relations
DuPage High School District 88, Addison, Ill.

Kristin Magette, APR
Director of Communications
Eudora (Kan.) Public Schools


Lesley Bruinton, APR
Public Relations Coordinator
Tuscaloosa (Ala.) City Schools

Carla Pereira, APR
Manager of Communications
Peel District School Board, Mississauga, Ontario

Tom Scheidel
Public & Media Relations Coordinator
Allegan (Mich.) Area Educational Service Agency

Tierney Tinnin
Senior Communications and Community Relations Officer
Oklahoma City Public Schools


Curtis Campbell
Director of Communications
Sunnyside (Was.) School District

Jason Gaston, APR
Coordinator of Public and Media Relations
Hoover City (Ala.) Schools

Kala Morrissey
Communication Specialist/Webmaster
Papillion-La Vista School District, Papillion, Neb.

Heidi Vega
Director of Communications
Arizona School Boards Association, Phoenix, Ariz.


Teri Kranefeld
Manager of Communications
Harford County Public Schools, Bel Air, Md.

Zac Rantz
Director of Communications
Nixa (Mo.) Public Schools

Dan Sherman
Director of Communications
Questar III BOCES, Schodack, N.Y.

Kim Yielding
Manager, Communications & Public Relations
District School Board of Niagara, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada


Mychal Frost
Public Information Officer
Clover (S.C.) School District

Carrie Hilger, APR
Director of Communications
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools, Mendota Heights, Minn.

Stephen Nichols
Public Information & Community Relations Officer
Folsom Cordova USD, Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Casey White-Zollman
Director of Communication & Print Solutions
InterMountain ESD, Pendleton, Ore.


Tim Bullis
Director of Community Relations
Chesterfield County (Va.) Public Schools

Jill Filer
Director of Communications and Community Relations
Harrisonville (Mo.) School District

Briget McGuiggan, APR
Community Relations Coordinator
Orland School District 135, Orland Park, Ill.

Jessica Scheckton
Program Manager
Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, N.Y.


Danielle Gittus, APR
Public Relations Specialist
Oakland Schools, Waterford, Mich.

LaTarzja Henry
Executive Director of Communications
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C.

Trinette Marquis
Director of Communications
Twin Rivers Unified School District

Gracie Valle-Chimal
Community Relations Liaison
Pasco (Wash.) School District