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 Clark, APR

Danielle Clark
Danielle Clark, APR

Current title: Executive Director of Communications, Poudre School District, Fort Collins, Colo.

Alma Mater: University of Southern California (Fight on!)

My PR motto: When in doubt, take it out!

I am inspired by...people who stand up for something they believe in, act with integrity and keep the goal of supporting children in mind when they make a decision.

Favorite professional fantasy: Local media will understand that just because someone is complaining, it is not necessarily a story!

Current communication tool I use the most is...texting. I could not live without it!

Communication tool I rarely use anymore is...a press release. We email and text and even tweet our information now.

Greatest PR success: Getting a card from a parent thanking me for handling the communication of her son’s death and services with dignity and grace in the face of overwhelming media interest and community speculation.

Greatest communication challenge: In a large system, it is difficult to have a common message through diverse communication channels and with different stakeholders in our community.

Make Your Messages Connect with Your Community
School Communication That Works
Do you know what parents and taxpayers really care about when it comes to the schools they support? School Communication That Works, a new book by NSPRA member Ken DeSieghardt, shares advice on how to best reach members of your community with the messages they want and need to hear. The author of Think Like a Patron (Without Losing Your Mind) shares another 20+ chapters full of helpful tips for reaching your community. Order now!

A strong communication program supports student success by...making sure that stakeholders understand the perspective of the district, feel engaged in the process of decision making and know the district has the best interests of children at heart.

My favorite part of my job is...working with an amazing communications team to strategize on a potential crisis issue and coming up with a positive outcome.

I believe school PR/communications is...critical to the success of a school district and the future of our communities. An informed citizenry is a supportive population and we need community support to educate our children.

Joining COSPRA helped me...to know that I had colleagues and supporters around the state who understood my perspective, could help me problem-solve and ensure that I didn’t have to face any crisis alone.

I’m an NSPRA member because...the communications function in schools is crucial and we all need advocates in our state and across the nation. Knowing that our support network spreads across the country gives me comfort when the walls come tumbling down and I don’t know if I can go another day. There is strength in networking and support and getting through the chaos to do valuable work.

My epitaph: Loving mother, wife, daughter, sister. Your joy was infectious, your wit was sarcastic, your love was all encompassing. Thank you for sharing.

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.)


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