Fall Conference
  • Fall Conference (In-Person)

    Date: Oct 25-26
    Location: Leavenworth, Washington
    Hotel:  Enzian Inn 590 US-2, Leavenworth, WA 9882  |  Booking Information
    Conference Rate: $175 Members  |  $225 Nonmembers  |  $75 Student Members
    Conference Information: Presenters  |  Safety Mitigations (Coming Soon)

    Sunday, Oct 24

    4:00 - 6:00 p.m.  |  Registration

    Monday, Oct 25

    7:30-8:30 a.m. – Registration & Breakfast

    8:45-9:45 a.m. – Choice Session 1 (Choose one of the three options)

    10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Choice Session 2  (Choose one of three options)

    Option 1 #SchoolPR 101 - Jessica Morgan, Communications Director, Sunnyside School District
    Are you new(ish) to School Communications and Public Relations? Could you use a mentor? Do you want to learn more about how WSPRA and NSPRA can support your career?
    Plus, what are the top tips you need to know to work efficiently and successfully in school communications and PR.  Jessica, an experienced school communicator, will take you through a tutorial so you can get up to speed fast

    Option 2 Tips to Managing a School PR Team - Catherine Carbone-Rogers, Chief Communications Officer, Highline SD
    Is your communications team growing? Learn tips on how to keep the team working smoothly and with student success as the focus.

    Option 3 Elevating the School Communicator Role at the Board and Cabinet Table - Morgan Delack, Communications Director, Finalsite
    Many school districts have a communicator on staff but never before has the position held such an important and prominent role. Join Finalsite’s Morgan Delack to learn how to leverage the increased responsibility and visibility of the School PR pro to not only get a seat but a voice at the table. In this session, you will learn:

    How to establish your personal brand
    How to shamelessly showcase your work
    Tips for negotiating your contract
    Success stories from the c-suite

    11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Buffet Lunch: Welcome from Platinum Sponsor ParentSquare (Valerie Wilson)

    11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  – KEYNOTE: Navigating School Communications in a Politically Charged Era

    Janet Swiecichowski, Vice President, CEL Marketing

    Early in the pandemic, author Daniel Pink tweeted an alert that we were reliving the pandemic of 1918, the stock market crash of 1929, the civil unrest of the 1960s, a 1998 presidential impeachment, and the 2008 Great Recession — all within the same year. Thanks, 2020. 

    Each of those historic events has contributed to decades of growing political division, and last year only fanned the flames. Schools are a microcosm of our society. As we live and work in one of the most politically charged eras of our time, what is a school communicator to do?

    Together, we will explore practical strategies for navigating as school communications leaders. And we will gain a critical understanding of the public engagement work of the Kettering Foundation, Public Agenda Foundation, Public Policy Forum, World Cafe´, Frameworks Institute, and Annenberg Institute. And, because we are school PR pros, we'll reflect on the lessons learned in our decades of collective work — theory and practice. With war stories, of course. Been there. Done that.

    1:00-1:30 p.m. – Break (Visit Sponsors, Pro Headshots/Team Photos)

    1:30 -3:00 p.m. – Message from Gold Sponsor Apptegy (Yury Baik)

    Putting an End to Customer Service Through Hospitality

    Sarah Roberson, Senior Education Advisor, Apptegy  |  Yury Baik, Strategic Partnerships, Apptegy

    There’s a lot of talk about the “customer service mindset” in K-12 education. Who are those customers and why does it matter for schools? School administrators have a unique “customer” base that is made up of students, families, business leaders, political leaders, staff, and on and on. Today’s customers are smarter than ever before: they know what good service is - and expect it. In this session, we will talk about how to go beyond customer service - and aim to create a culture of hospitality.

    3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m. – Break (Visit Sponsors)

    3:30-4:30 p.m. – Earning Trust and Respect from Stressed Out Staff

    Morgan Delack, Director of Communications, Finalsite

    It’s no secret that teachers and support staff are feeling burnt out. This overwhelmed group can also feel overlooked by district administration. Building stronger bonds between the central office and school staff start with effective internal communications. In this presentation, join experienced school leaders to learn proven strategies to gain trust and respect from staff, especially during turbulent times.

    4:30-4:45 p.m. – Day 1 Wrap Up, Survey, Announcements for Tomorrow’s Sessions

    5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Happy Hour with Apptegy

    6:00 p.m. Experience Leavenworth! No-host dinners, socials.

    Tuesday, Oct 26

    8:30-9:00 a.m. – Registration & Breakfast

    9:00-10:00 Small Group Session 1

    10:15 - 11:15 Small Group Session 2

    Leadership Lessons for School Communicators

    Barbara Hunter, NSPRA Executive Director

    Experience is the best teacher ... unless you have a teacher who can share theirs! In this session, you'll hear leadership lessons that have been collected over the last 30 years during the best and worst of times in school communications. You'll be able to use these lessons to reflect on and improve your own practices when you return to your districts and agencies. 

    Using FB Live to Create Engagement

    Phil Campbell, NSPRA Northwest Vice President
    Samantha Williams, Community Relations and Communications, Bonneville School District 93 (Idaho Falls, Idaho)  |  Dr. Scott Woolstenhulme, Superintendent, Bonneville School District 93 (Idaho Falls, Idaho)

    From fall carnivals to multi-camera live streams, this communications team has found a way to connect with their community without breaking the budget. This NSPRA Roundtable favorite has been reworked to allow more interaction at WSPRA. 

    11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Buffet Lunch: Welcome from Gold Sponsor, WA529 (Jackie Ferrado) 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

    11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. How to Plan for Success

    Nicole Kirby, NSPRA 2021-22 President

    If you map out your communication plan instead of just jumping in and winging it, you will see the difference in your results. You will also be able to save time by setting better boundaries for turning down work (we all need that!) that doesn’t move you toward your goals. Nicole will take you through the four-step strategic communication planning process, plus examples from her team on how it guides their work.

    12:30-1:00 p.m.  NSPRA Updates! Nicole Kirby, President; Barbara Hunter, NSPRA Executive Director; Phil Campbell, NSPRA Regional Representative

    1:00-1:30 p.m. – Break (Visit Sponsors)

    1:30 -2:45 p.m. – Message from Silver Sponsors Strategies 360  (Lesley Rogers) and Blackboard (Aliza Wilson)

    Communication Aikido

    Leo Novsky, Owner, SPEAK with Power Consulting

    Effective communication is important in the best of times. But as we find ourselves living and working in a hyper-polarized, demonizing, ideology-driven world, effective communication becomes even more critical. In this engaging, thought-provoking, and provocative presentation, Leo will share tools to deal with hard questions and difficult people in a way that can reestablish control, rebuild trust, and restart the conversation on common ground.  

    2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. – Break (Visit Sponsors)

    3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Conference MVP Awards! Conference Wrap-up. Virtual PD Session Update. Spring Conference Update. 

Thank You Sponsors

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