NSPRA Live 2020: On-Demand Presentations

NSPRA’s brand new professional development virtual series, NSPRA Live 2020, is coming to you on July 13 and 14.

NSPRA is offering all registrants access to pre-recorded, on-demand presentations on a variety of school PR topics. If you register, you’ll be able to view these videos at your leisure during NSPRA Live 2020 as well as at any time throughout the coming year.

On-Demand Presentations

Internal and/or External Stakeholder Engagement 

PR/Communication Equity and Diversity


PR/Communication Strategic Planning

PR/Communication Tactics 

PR/Communication Wellness and Stress Management


Internal/External Stakeholder Engagement Session Descriptions

Owning It: Empowering Staff for Proactive School Engagement

Learn how the communications director for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas created and implemented a systemic training program to teach school staff the basics of communications and social media. The program cultivates a better understanding and sharing of the agency’s strategic plan with stakeholders, resulting in a multi-state outreach. Session participants will learn best practices of a one-person shop on engaging staff and leveraging buy-in for a top-notch, formalized school communications program.


  • Jade Fulce, public affairs officer, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) 

  • Judith Minor, Ed.D., director of student excellence, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas Region 

Jade Fulce  Judith Minor  

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Engage Staff and Community Through Profile of a Graduate

Connect with your students, staff and community in creating a Profile of a Graduate that answers the question, "What knowledge, skills and experience will our graduates need to be successful in work and life?" Learn the steps to develop a Profile of a Graduate through a strategic community engagement initiative that connects with your families, staff and students as well as adults without kids in school.

Presenter: Peg Mannion, APR, community relations officer, Glenbard Township High School District 87, Glen Ellyn, Ill., and NSPRA North Central Region Vice President

Peg Mannion  

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PR/Communication Equity and Diversity Session Descriptions

The Intersection of Policy, Equity and Communications in Public Schools

As the focus on equity increases on the national education landscape, school communicators have to know how to communicate the equitable policies and initiatives their school divisions are implementing and the positive impact they have on educational outcomes for historically marginalized groups. School communicators also play an integral role in progressing the equitable practices of their school division, so this presentation will discuss how to equitably communicate with families, students and staff.


  • Daryl Johnson, communications coordinator - family engagement and public Information, Arlington (Va.) Public Schools

  • Carolyn Jackson, equity and excellence supervisor, Arlington (Va.) Public Schools

Daryl Johnson  Carolyn Jackson

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Marketing/Branding Session Descriptions

Branding for Beginners

Branding can seem like an overwhelming feat, but it does not need to be. Learn steps you can implement the minute you leave the session that will help your district achieve a cohesive and expensive look, created with reasonably-priced tools. You do not need to be a graphic designer to make your district look good!

Presenter: Rebecca Latham, director of communications, Deerfield (Ill.) Public Schools

Rebecca Latham  

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PR/Communication Strategic Planning Session Descriptions

Your Superintendent Just Resigned. Now What?

Asheville City Schools had six superintendents in six years. As the school board began its 2019 search,  they understood an extensive public engagement campaign was vital for the success of the selection process. Knowing a simple press release wasn’t going to cut it, hear the steps we took to engage our community and introduce the new boss. Whether it’s the dos and don’ts of hosting 11 forums, a peek at the three surveys we sent or a look at our interviews with elementary students, learn from our good, bad and ugly.

Presenter: Ashley-Michele Thublin, executive director of communications, Asheville (N.C.) City Schools

Ashley-Michele Thublin  

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Slow. Stop. Stay. Working with Emergency Responders to Prevent a Tragedy

A recent tragedy in the state and years of data led four school districts to work together to address school bus stop arm violations. By joining forces with local police agencies and a local health network, the districts launched the "Slow. Stop. Stay." campaign. This unprecedented county-wide cooperation resulted in increased awareness and enforcement of stop arm violations. Explore the development, roll-out and successes of the campaign.


  • Krista Stockman, APR, public information officer, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Community Schools

  • Jennifer Atienzo-Fisher, director of marketing and communications, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Community Schools

  • Tamyra Kelly, Public Information Officer, East Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Lizette Downey, Chief Communications Officer , Northwest Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Stacey Fleming, Director of District Communications , Southwest Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Krista Stockman  Jennifer Fisher  Tamyra Kelly   Lizette Downey  Stacey Fleming    



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Partnerships for Future Ready Students

Our schools prepare students for an unknown future. How can communications and partnership professionals engage internal and external stakeholders to lead that work? Join us to learn how Wichita Public Schools has partnered with community organizations and businesses to create programs that focus on third grade literacy and middle school career awareness. We will share program descriptions, history, progress and lessons learned along the way in working with our outside partners as well as internal stakeholders in each area.

Presenter: Suzy Finn, marketing and strategic partnerships supervisor, Wichita (Kan.) Public Schools, 2020 NSPRA Gold Medallion winner

Suzy Finn  

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PR/Communication Tactics Session Descriptions

We Hate Our Logo! A Community Engagement Process for Rebranding

We all know that a brand is so much more than a logo! And education is changing. So, what do you do when you have a logo with a historical legacy that no longer represents your district's vision for the future? The short answer: It takes a process. Learn how our district engaged parents, staff and community members in a rebranding process that addressed some difficult issues: tradition vs. contemporary expectations, inclusion and equity goals, changing demographics, brand promises and unified messaging for enrollment marketing.


  • Jennifer Valley, director of marketing and communications, Richfield (Minn.) Public Schools ISD #280

  • Chelsea Janke, director of school services, CEL Marketing | PR | Design

  • Janet Swiecichowski, APR, vice president, CEL Marketing | PR | Design

Jennifer Valley  Chelsea Janke Janet Swiecichowski, APR

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Sugar Land 95: Lessons Learned after Unearthing a Forgotten Cemetery

A routine school construction turned into international news when an unmarked cemetery was unearthed. Archeologists discovered the remains of 95 people, who were part of a state-sanctioned convict-leasing program that operated in Texas after the abolition of slavery. The unprecedented journey included legal twists and turns and public relations challenges as Fort Bend Independent School District found itself besieged by emotional community members and outside agitators. Learn how FBISD navigated this unique discovery with historic implications.


  • Veronica Sopher, chief communications officer, Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, Texas

  • Amanda Bubela, director of external communications, Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, Texas

  • Kristoffer Smith, assistant director of internal communications, Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, Texas

Veronica Sopher  Amanda Bubela  Kristoffer Smith

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Referendum Reality Show

The word referendum has the likelihood to conjure up stressful emotions. But what happens when it’s your first as a school communicator? When your superintendent has just resigned? When your school board is divided? When your district embarks down an unprecedented path never before seen in your state? How do you balance your mental health with the intense workload of a campaign? Come and listen to Mineral Point's story of passing successful bond and operational referenda simultaneously, despite countless challenges.

Presenter: Joelle Doye, communications director and registered athletic administrator, Mineral Point (Wis.) Unified School District

Joelle Doye  

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Community Engagement, Referendum and Construction - Oh My!

Community Consolidated School District 21 spent nearly $40 million on voter-approved referendum projects in one summer, but the legwork to bring secure entrances and air conditioned spaces to all 13 buildings began years earlier. Discover the steps CCSD21 took to learn the community’s priorities for facilities, to inform the community of the ballot measure and to begin construction on projects approved by 73% of voters. Explore key strategies used to engage and inform the community, and how we might approach the work differently in the future.

Presenter: Kara Beach, communications specialist, Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Ill.

Kara Beach  

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Navigating Change: Promoting Positive and Resilient Community Engagement in a Complex World

Learn how to cultivate and maintain positive community engagement that cuts through the noise of negative sentiments and the trust issues now facing most traditional societal institutions, including school districts across the nation. A panel of industry professionals will discuss the strategic community engagement related to facilities and equity they have undertaken in the past year.


  • Michael Akin, president, Link Strategic Partners, District of Columbia

  • Celso Baez,  engagement advisor, Link Strategic Partners, District of Columbia

Michel Akin   Celso Baez   

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PR/Communication Wellness and Stress Management Session Descriptions

Aligning Your Heart and Mind, Your Passion and Purpose

School PR pros experience tremendous personal and professional stress. We must respond over and over again to that never-ending question, “What are you doing about [keeping kids safe, closing the achievement gap, addressing mental health problems, social media hazing, raising test scores, etc.]?”  This session will offer powerful tools that will help you realign your purpose with your passion, by getting your brain and your heart talking to each other, in a fun and interactive format.

Presenter: L. Michelle, APR, executive director communications, Issaquah (Wash.) School District 411


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Shelby Cares: A Mental Health and Wellness Campaign

Shelby Cares, an NSPRA Golden Achievement Award-winning campaign, was launched by Shelby County Schools in August 2018 to address the growing need for mental health services and awareness for students and staff members. Its launch followed the tragic suicides of three seniors within a two-month time span. Learn about the four-step strategic planning process used for researching, planning, implementing and evaluating the campaign. Walk away with specific resources and strategies to help implement a wellness campaign in your school system.

Presenter: Cindy Warner, APR, public relations and community education supervisor, Shelby County (Ala.) Schools

Cindy Warner  

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