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.

2016-2017 Front-Runners

Check back soon to see our next featured Front-Runner for 2016-2017.
This month's featured Front-Runner:

Danielle (Dani) Brink

Dani Brink
Dani Brink

Current title: Director of Community Relations, DuPage High School District 88, Addison, Ill.

Alma Mater: Downers Grove South High School; Illinois State University

My PR motto: The Beatles said it best — “I get by with a little help from my friends.” The networking opportunities provided through NSPRA and the Illinois Chapter of NSPRA (INSPRA) have been phenomenal, and it’s wonderful to have a group of PR experts just an email or phone call away.

I am inspired by...the endless stories that fill the hallways of our schools. Our students and staff reach amazing levels of success each and every day inside the classroom and beyond, and I’m inspired by their accomplishments and the opportunity to share their stories.

Favorite professional fantasy: To have a calm, smooth school year!

Current communication tool I use the most is...there are so many — it’s difficult to choose! I love trying the newest communication tools and seeing what works best for our audiences. One app I use to create quick videos is “Video Editor” by WeVideo Inc. It’s fast, allows you to edit and provides effects, transitions and music.

Communication tool I rarely use anymore is...press releases. I send out a weekly electronic newsletter, and the media receives that through email. Members of the media can copy the content from that newsletter, and they can click on the photos to access high-resolution versions of those images. The media seems to be more receptive and responsive to that format versus a press release.

Greatest PR success: Gaining the trust of our students and staff, so they feel comfortable allowing me to share their information with our stakeholders.

Greatest communication challenge: Balancing pushing out information quickly to meet the expectations of today’s society, yet taking the time to ensure information is as accurate as possible.

A strong communication program supports student success by...telling the story of the school district through the faces and voices of students and staff.

My favorite part of my job is...never knowing what I’m going to experience next. Every day is an adventure, and there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow!

I believe school PR/communications is...the secret tool that helps school districts succeed.

Joining INSPRA helped me...find a second family. I’ve met amazing people who have helped me navigate the world of school public relations.

I’m an NSPRA member because...NSPRA helps me continue to develop my skills as a school communicator.

My epitaph: She finally worked herself to death — no one who knew her was surprised.

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.)


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