• ----- The Leading Edge-----
    An Update for Chapter Leaders on NSPRA Business and Board Actions
    Issue: Fall 2011
    The Leading Edge is an update for chapter officers sent out following NSPRA Executive Board meetings during the year. Executive Board meetings are held in July, November and March. In it we will update you on important chapter information and deadlines and provide a summary of Board actions impacting the Association. We encourage you to read through this newsletter and to forward it to your chapter members as well.

    Welcome back!
    We hope that the school year is off to a smooth and productive start for all of you. We know that many of our member school districts around the country have faced incredible challenges in opening school in the face of tornados, fires, hurricanes and floods. But with amazing dedication, determination and resiliency, and with the help of many NSPRA and education colleagues, the school year is underway and students are in class and learning.
    Many thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Leaders’ Meeting at the 2011 Seminar in San Antonio. We had an informative and productive meeting that included chapter best practice roundtable presentations and a preview of the results of the NSPRA/K12 Insight CAP Survey on communication preferences of parents and non-parents (see below).
    At the meeting we also discussed how we might create an online sharing platform for NSPRA chapter leaders. Based on the interest of those in attendance, we will be exploring some possible options to help chapters stay connected this year.
    A very special Thank You goes to our terrific Texas Chapter who made sure we were welcomed to San Antonio in a “big” way, as only Texans can do!

    Access Important Chapter Information and Resources at www.nspra.org 
    If you were not able to join us at the Seminar or you missed the Leaders’ Meeting, you can find all the important information you need as a chapter leader on our website. Go to the NSPRA Info tab and follow the menu to Updates for Chapter Leaders to access the list of deadlines, Cash Flow report form, the “Mark of Distinction” chapter recognition program application, scholarship and recognition nomination forms, and other chapter resource items. If you have questions or need additional information or assistance, contact Associate Director Karen Kleinz, APR, at kkleinz@nspra.org. We have put all of this information on the NSPRA website for your easy access and use. 

    Congratulations to Our 2011 “Mark of Distinction” Exemplary Chapters!
    The 2011 “Mark of Distinction” Awards were given out at the Annual Meeting at the San Antonio Seminar in July. See their award winning entries on our website under Chapter Awards.
    Special Focus Areas – Category A (less than 50% NSPRA membership)

    Professional Development/PR Skill-Building

    • MSPRA (Michigan) - Michelle Ready, chapter president
    • MOSPRA (Missouri) - Jill Filer, chapter president
    • WSPRA (Wisconsin) - Lori Blakeslee, chapter president
    The deadline for next year’s entries is May 15, 2012 and recognitions will be awarded at the 2012 Seminar in Chicago on July 8, 2012. We encourage you review the “Mark of Distinction” guidelines and application now and challenge your chapter to enter this coming year. Complete applications of this year’s Exemplary Chapters can be found under Chapter Awards in the Updates for Chapter Leaders section of the website so that you can review them and gather ideas for your chapter’s entry in 2012.

    PR Power Hours Make a Great Chapter Program
    Thanks to the sponsorship of SchoolMessenger again this year, we are able to offer our 2011-12 PR Power Hour programs to the first 100 members who sign up for a reduced price of only $49 per program, per phone line. (Cost to members after the first 100 is $69 per program, per line.) Consider taking advantage of this special offer and the great line-up of topics being featured this year as a chapter meeting program and discussion starter. Click here to see the entire schedule of programs and to sign-up.

    NSPRA Executive Board Officers Affirmed
    Congratulations to our new NSPRA Executive Board officers who take office on October 1. No election was held this year as all candidates ran uncontested. The Board affirmed them as officers by acclamation (as allowed per NSPRA Bylaws) at the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Antonio.
    Your 2011-12 Executive Board is:
    New officers:
    • President – Fran Kwan, director of communications, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, Calif.
    • President-elect – Joe Krumm, APR, director of community & government relations, North Clackamas Schools, Milwaukie, Ore.
    • South Central Region Vice President – Julie Zwahr, director of communications, Little Elm (Texas) ISD
    • North Central Region Vice President – Brett Clark, executive director, communications & strategic planning,  Glenview (Ill.) School District 34 
    • Vice President of Diversity Engagement – Stan Alleyne, executive director, communications, Minneapolis (Minn.) Public Schools
    • Vice President at Large for Superintendents (appointed) – Dr. Steven Walts, superintendent, Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas, Va.
    Continuing officers:
    • Northwest Region Vice President – Maureen Wheeler, APR, public communication officer, Beaverton (Ore.) School District
    • Southeast Region Vice President – Jeff Nash, communications director, Durham (N.C.) County Public Schools
    • Vice President at Large for Civic Engagement & Deliberative Democracy – Matt Leighninger, executive director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Washington, D.C.
    • Northeast Region Vice President – Nancy Dzija Vaughan, APR, school community relations coordinator, Waterbury (Ct.) Public Schools
    • Mideast Region Vice President – Patti Koslo, public information officer, Nordonia Hills City School District, Northfield, Ohio
    Our thanks and gratitude to departing Board members Ron Koehler, APR, president, Nicole Kirby, South Central Region vice president, Mary Ellen Marnholtz, North Central Region vice president, Stephanie Bateman, vice president of diversity engagement, and Dr. Sandy Husk,  vice president at large for superintendents, for their leadership and service to NSPRA.

    Communication Accountability Program (CAP) Update
    Thanks to a partnership with K12 Insight, this past spring NSPRA invited member districts to participate, at no cost, in a communication survey of parents and community members on where and how they get their information about schools. The survey results were released at the San Antonio Seminar and sent to members last month in an issue of the NSPRA Counselor. We continue to seek our ways to add to our CAP research in compiling a picture of school communication nationally.

    New Project Team Process Implemented
    Last March, the NSPRA Executive Board approved the creation of a new Project Team process to replace more traditional committees (with the exception of Standing Committees required by NSPRA Bylaws). Project Teams will be co-led by a member and an NSPRA Executive Board officer and will be convened as needed or appropriate to address specific issues or projects with well-defined outcomes in mind. The first Project Team that has been approved is tasked with benchmarking effective communication programs in various size school systems. It will also attempt to address standards for staffing based on numerous variables. This team is being led by Barbara Hunter, APR, assistant superintendent of communications for Fairfax County Public Schools, Va., and NSPRA President-elect designate Joe Krumm, APR, director of community/government relations for North Clackamas Schools, Ore.

    Share Your Chapter Best Practices
    We would like to add more chapter-related best practices, tips and program ideas to the chapter section of our website, so please consider sharing your successful programs with us. Just email anything you want us to post that would help your colleagues in other chapters around the country to Karen Kleinz at kkleinz@nspra.org.

    IMPORTANT: Chapter Information and Deadlines to Note
    Approaching Deadlines
    October 30 — Chapter Cash Flow reports are due in to NSPRA by October 30. Click here for a copy of the required reporting form. This report is required by the IRS in order for NSPRA and its chapters to retain group exemption as not-for-profit organizations. If your report is late, the IRS will levy a penalty on NSPRA, so it is critical that the chapter treasurer completes it and submits it within the designated time frame. If you have questions or need assistance with this report, contact Tommy Jones at 301-519-1222 or at tjones@nspra.org.
    October 30 – Chapter membership lists (in Excel or Word format with complete contact information) are also due in to NSPRA.

    Please Keep Chapter Info Current!
    In order for you to receive important reminders and information from NSPRA regarding chapter activities and leadership development programs, please be sure you provide us with updated contact information (e-mail address, phone numbers, etc.) whenever you have a change or when chapter officers change. Just e-mail Karen Kleinz at kkleinz@nspra.orgwith updates. To keep you connected to your fellow chapter leaders, go to www.nspra.org/officersfor a current contact list.
    Start Planning Now to Attend the 2012 National Seminar in Chicago July 8-11 and Share Your Communication Successes
    It’s not too early to mark the dates on your calendar for the 2012 NSPRA Seminar. Don’t forget that the annual Chapter Leaders’ Meeting will be held on Sunday, July 8, so be sure your aspiring officers are aware of that before they set their travel plans.
    The Call For Presentations to present a session is now posted on our website, so here’s your chance to get on the program. We are looking for leaders for one-hour skill sessions, two-hour interactive Action Labs, and Gold Mine roundtables.
    The theme for the 2012 Seminar is “Sharing the Best, Latest and Most Effective Practices in School Communications.” We are seeking presenters to share successful communications, public relations, engagement and marketing strategies designed to support student and school success and build strong relationships with communities. Sessions that focus on practical, replicable solutions to communications challenges in this difficult economic climate are a priority. Presenters whose proposals are accepted will receive $50 off the cost of a full Seminar registration.
    The deadline for submitting your session proposal is Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Go to the online submission form on our website for complete information. If you have further questions, contact Elaine Willis, manager of seminar and programs, at ewillis@nspra.orgor 301-519-1230.

    Thank a Chapter Leader with Recognition as a Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader

    Every one of us has a special place in our hearts for NSPRA colleagues and leaders who have helped us to grow and advance professionally and personally in our careers. Most often, these unsung heroes generously share their knowledge, skills, expertise, advice and time unselfishly, for the simple reward of seeing a colleague succeed.
    Now your chapter can recognize the many contributions of those NSPRA members who have had a positive impact on their colleagues’ careers and who work tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of education and improved communication. By honoring a mentor or colleague as an NSPRA Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader, you will also be supporting the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education in its Communication Accountability Program research and in providing scholarships to the NSPRA Seminar each year.
    For a minimum tax-exempt gift of $75 to the Foundation for the Advancement of Education, you can nominate your mentor or colleague for recognition as a Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader. Those honored as Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders will receive a special certificate, have their name permanently listed on our website, and be recognized at the NSPRA National Seminar. Nominate a colleague today!

    NSPRA Professional Learning Series Videos Now Available
     If you weren’t able to attend the Seminar in San Antonio this summer, now for the first time, NSPRA is bringing some of its popular sessions to you. Five, one-hour break-out sessions are now available along with the accompanying PowerPoint presentations and handout.
    Learn from these five Seminar topics:
    • All I Need to Know About School PR and Never Learned in College!
    • School PR Planning Basics
    • Sixty PR Ideas in Sixty Minutes
    • From the Front Porch Looking In: A “Walk-Through” Process for Evaluating Building-Level Communication
      From Enragement to Engagement: Building Support, Creating Solutions

     To order go to: www.nspra.org/pls

    Learning First Alliance
    NSPRA continues to belong to the Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of 16 national education associations dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Check out their website for lots of great information about education issues.

    Check Out the NSPRA Marketplace
    Also available on our website is the NSPRA Marketplace where you can check out communication products and services offered by businesses and companies that support NSPRA and our members.
Last Modified on October 19, 2011