2022 Fall Conference

2022 Fall Conference

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 26 - Friday, Oct. 28, 2022
    Location: SeaTac, WA
    Hotel: Cedarbrook Lodge 

    Conference Rate: $185 - WSPRA Members

                                   $235 - Non-members

                                   $75 - WSPRA Students

    Lodging: Book Your Room Today!

    Conference Information: Join WSPRA for the fall conference where we will focus on "rebuilding trust in public schools."  


    Wednesday, October, 28

    4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 26 Registration, in front of SUMMIT Auditorium

    5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 26 No-Host Networking Dinners at various restaurants - Please utilize this Google Sheet to click through the tabs of the offerings and write in your name and information for the restaurant/time/group that works best for you.


    Day 1 - Thursday, Oct. 27


    7:00 to 8:30 a.m. - Registration in front of Summit Auditorium; breakfast in TAMARACK HALL

    8:00 - 6:30 p.m. Visit Our Sponsors (CEDAR I

    8:30 to 9 a.m. - Welcome (SUMMIT Auditorium)

    9 to 10:30 a.m. - Keynote - Andrea Gribble (SUMMIT Auditorium)

    “What’s Working Best for Social Media Right Now” - My, how things have changed in regards to school social media! While navigating the negativity can drain your energy, there is still so much to celebrate. Grab a pep talk from School PR’s biggest cheerleader, Andrea Gribble. She’ll break down five proven strategies for social media success this school year. We’ll even take the final 30 minutes of our time together to create your first (or next) Instagram Reel. You’ll learn:

    • How to build an army of storytellers without spending a dime

    • Easy ways to save time

    • How to plan your content

    • Why community engagement matters and ways to boost it

    • How to create Instagram Reels that reach thousands

    Refreshments available in CEDAR I

    10:45 to 11:45 a.m. - Breakout session

    Option 1: Effectively Educating YOUR Community: Strategies that Passed a Levy in a Divisive Climate (SUMMIT Auditorium)
    Presenter: Jessica McCartney - Director of Communications, Enumclaw School District
    Sharing the strategies Enumclaw School District used to effectively educate our learning community and discussing how to best apply strategies based on your district's local context. Highlighting what made the difference in passing our levy, despite the challenges of strong opposition, diminished trust and support of schools, and relentless misinformation. 

    Option 2: Guided Meditation - Setting Professional Goals (CEDAR III

    Focus your mind - choose an area where you have struggled or would like to experience some transformation. You will then be guided through a meditation process that will help you focus on what outcomes you’d like to see, while focusing on specific goals and creating achievable timelines.

    12 to 1 p.m. Lunch (TAMARACK HALL)

    1 to 2 p.m. - Breakout session

    Option 1: Building a Strong Multilingual Community with Website Translation    (SUMMIT Auditorium)
    Presenters: Kirsten Fitterer - Chief Communications Officer, Yakima School District, Rory Berg - Regional Account Executive, Finalsite and John Doornbos - Regional Vice President District Sales, Finalsite
    Yakima School District in Washington was faced with the challenge of determining how to ensure their district website was available in multiple languages in order to serve their community. Join this presentation to learn how Kirsten Fitterer, Chief Communications Officer, partnered with Finalsite (the new home of Blackboard K-12), to provide award-winning translation services for their site, leading to more representation, increased access, cultural pride, and a more inclusive community. Sponsored by Finalsite - Sponsorship helps cover cost of NSPRA scholarship.

    Option 2: Public Radio remains an effective way to reach the Latino Community (CEDAR III)
    Presenters: Elizabeth Torres, Director of Operations, Northwest Communities Education Center/Radio KDNA and Dorelis Zapien Uribe, Opioids Coordinator, Northwest Communities Education Center/Radio KDNA

    As outlets of communication evolve over time, public radio continues to be an effective way to reach the Latino community in the Yakima Valley. With a wide reach and immediate delivery, public radio allows organizations, businesses, and government agencies to project their message in front of targeted, yet large audiences. Public Radio is an important platform that keeps the community informed and up to date with critical information that can impact the health and well-being of its audience. Public Radio can also clarify misinformation from other non-trusted outlets of communication and answer relevant community questions. Public Radio can influence change, a movement or an action that can benefit the community related to health, education, social change and/or others. Additionally, Public Radio is used as an outlet of information for resources and can bridge community needs. Some reasons why radio is relevant to the Latino community is because it can immediately reach the audience, reach different groups of individuals within this audience, adapt to changing technologies and consumer trends, reach listeners more efficiently at low cost, segment and target a specific audience, it’s an important source for local information to be dispersed, one of the most trusted sources for news and information, and finally broadcasts are a vital means of communication in emergency situations. When disaster strikes or is anticipated, public radio can be relied on to provide timely news and information updates.

    2:15 to 3:15 p.m. - Breakout session

    Option 1:Trust Capital - How to Nurture a PR Leader's No. 1 Asset (SUMMIT Auditorium)
    Presenters: Catherine Carbone Rogers - Chief Communications Officer, Highline Public Schools, Andrew Lynch - Public Information Officer, Chehalis School District, Sandra Jarrard - Executive Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Spokane School District, and Yasmine Mehtadi - Account Executive, ThoughtExchange
    As our communities have become more polarized than ever before, PR leaders are faced with the important work of uniting district stakeholders through transparent and meaningful engagement. In this challenging environment, how can we recapture trust and find common ground? In this breakout session we will share tried and true practices to leverage community voice to create shared ownership in district priorities. During the conversation we will be using the ThoughtExchange platform to scale our conversations and gain meaningful insights from the group. By joining this session, you will walk away with new tactics on how to listen and learn from your community so that you can inform district priorities such as passing bonds and levies, strategic and facilities planning, student experience, staff engagement and culture, safety and security, and more! Sponsored by ThoughtExchange - Sponsorship helps cover cost of NSPRA scholarship.

    Option 2: Get Out and Vote! – Rebranding Your District for a Contentious Levy Election (CEDAR III)
    Presenters: Mike Ward - Director of Communications, Riverview School District, Meisha Robertson - Director of Business and Operations, Riverview School District and Katie Pond - Principal Hutteball + Oremus Architecture and Consultant, Riverview School District
    After Riverview School District failed a bond election in February 2020, they saw a need to refocus efforts in marketing for upcoming Replacement Levy Propositions going on the ballot in February 2022. Reaching out to a local consultant, they initiated the "Get Out and Vote" campaign, focusing marketing materials around that theme, as well as using images of students, coaches, technology, support staff, and activities to underscore many of the important things these levy renewals meant for their district. These materials appeared in social media, on the district website and the "Get Out and Vote" logo and slogan became synonymous with their campaign. "Get Out and Vote" is also civic-minded, encouraging people to use their voice, get out and vote, and let their voices be heard. In a deeply polarized community, this campaign was a tremendous catalyst in helping renew both levy propositions and encourage high voter turnout - third highest in King County for school levy and bond elections during the February 2022 elections cycle.

    3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - Breakout session

    Option 1:Two districts' stories of how they attracted and retained staff and students (SUMMIT Auditorium)
    Presenters: Xanthi Soriano - Executive Director of Communications, Sacramento County Office of Education and Kris Cosca, Ed.D - Vice President of Education, Target River
    Learn from a current executive director of communications and a former superintendent how they helped their districts attract and retain staff and students, increase district revenue and decrease district expenditures all while increasing community engagement and their districts' trust capital. Sponsored by Target River - Sponsorship helps cover cost of NSPRA scholarship.

    Option 2: 40 years in the making…Changing school boundaries (CEDAR III)
    Presenter: Sandra Jarrard - Executive Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Spokane School District

    4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Break

    5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - “BOOzy Social Hour” sponsored by Talking Points, WSPRA members trick-or-treat to sponsors; dress up in costume if you choose! CEDAR I

    6:30 - 8:00 pm - No-Host ($35) FARM-TO-TABLE CHEF Dinner  TAMARACK HALL


    Day 2 - Friday, Oct. 28


    7:30 to 9 a.m. - Breakfast Tamarack Hall

    8:00 - 1:00 p.m. Visit Our Sponsors (CEDAR I

    9 to 9:10 a.m. - Welcome Back (SUMMIT Auditorium)

    9:10 to 10:40 a.m. - Keynote - Janet Swiecichowski (SUMMIT Auditorium)

    “Don’t Forget Your Website - It Plays an Important Role in Your Communication Plan” - Every day, we as communicators, work hard to reach our families, our staff, and our community. There are so many tools available that we often overlook the basics. We can’t forget that our website serves as the front door to our districts. It’s the landing site for many people - ranging from our students to our staff members. I’ll show you ways you can make the most of your website - using it to form important connections.”


    Refreshments available in CEDAR I

    10:55 to 11:55 a.m. - Creating Spaces of Belonging through the Lens of Equity (SUMMIT Auditorium)
    Presenter: Dr. Maxine Janis, Ed.D, MPH, RDH, Professor and President’s Liaison for Native American Affairs at Heritage University
    Equity and belonging requires creating conditions for individuals to thrive. This session will offer insights of how we create safe spaces of belonging and how it matters in education.  Liberating learning space structures to re-engage students requires disrupting the master narrative of how we learn. This session will highlight ways to honor students and those sacred learning spaces.

    11:55 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Closing Session (SUMMIT Auditorium)