Annual Spring Conference: Charting the Course

  • WSPRA Annual Conference


    Registration is now openEarly registration ends Tuesday, April 16. 


    • Early Registration - Member*: $175 (ends April 16) 
    • Early Registration - Non-Member: $235 (ends April 16) 
    • Registration - Member*: $225
    • Registration - Non-Member: $285
    • Guest Registration for WSPRA Awards Banquet: $35

    *To receive the member discount on registration, make sure your WSPRA membership is up to date. 2017-18 WSPRA memberships expired on August 31, 2018. Please make sure you have renewed your membership for the 2018-19 school year before you register for the workshop. Visit our membership page to join or renew your membership: 


    We are excited to host our annual conference in Leavenworth! The agenda is filling up with interactive sessions and nationally recognized speakers. Topics include engaging diverse audiences, skill building through video and in-depth gold mine sessions. Don’t miss this opportunity to get inspired, find new ideas, re-energize your commitment to the profession and network with communication professionals from around the state. 

    How to Make a Communications Plan Your Road Map to Success - NSPRA President Carol Fenstermacher, APR

    You wouldn’t start out on a cross-country road trip without looking at a map—or plugging in your final destination to your GPS—so why not map out a plan to help accomplish your communication goals? During this presentation, we’ll go step-by-step on how to develop a communications plan. Learn how to set goals and objectives and identify tools and tactics that will make the journey easier. And finally, we’ll look at ways you can ensure your plan doesn’t just gather dust on a bookshelf. Hint: It has to do with your evaluation.

    Are You Communicating a Reflection of Reality? - NSPRA Vice President for Diversity Engagement Heidi Vega

    Is your district’s brand one of equity and inclusion? Are you accurately showcasing diversity that reflects the community you serve? From the images you are using to the teacher recruitment strategies, it all sends a message. During this workshop, learn what contributes to delivering a message that your organization values its members and the students they represent.

    Lessons from the Frontiers of Data Storytelling - Catherine Hinrichsen, APR, Project Director, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness

    Learn best practices for linking stories to data to advance your goals with policy makers, media, donors, community and more at this session. The presenters, who collaborate through funding from the Gates Foundation, will share data visualization and storytelling tools, apps and platforms, data and storytelling initiatives such as StoryCoprs and The Month as well as outreach events that break the panel-discussion mold—and have made changes in Washington state public policy. You will walk away with new strategies, skills and tools for connecting the data to the people behind the numbers.

    Power in the Palm of Your Hand - Create Professional Looking Videos on Your Smartphone! - Kelly Guenther, North American Video Specialist, Shootsta

    Bring your smartphone, because in this session you’ll create a pro-looking video for your organization and ideally post it on one of your channels by learning just what your iPhone is capable of simple techniques and cheap tools professionals use, and just as importantly—how to find and adjust video and camera settings on the fly. Smartphones have surprising video and microphone functions that rival the quality of broadcast television cameras from just a few years ago. Match that technology with the growing need for ‘authentic’ video content across an organization’s channels and your phones’ ability to upload anywhere—and you end up with a lot of power in the palm of your hand.

    Listen to your Heart and Align to your Purpose Michelle, Executive Director of Communications, Issaquah School District

    It’s not a secret, but we don’t talk about it either. Public Information Officers experience tremendous personal and professional stress on the job. It is our duty and obligation to answer to multiple stakeholders—from teachers, administrators, parents, business owners, voters and elected officials at large. We also answer to federal and state legislators and the politicians who govern us and often depend on us. We do this to provide answers during school shootings, natural disasters, spurious lawsuits, emergencies, social media scandals, and never before seen levels of political divisiveness. Our stakeholders demand answers from us that only society as a whole can truly answer, and yet we must respond over and over again to that never-ending question: “What are YOU doing about… keeping kids safe at school, addressing homelessness, improving air quality, traffic congestion, and creating jobs…” the demand for answers goes on and on. How do we stay positive and dedicated to our true purpose, both in our professional and personal lives, under so much strain? In this workshop, learn powerful strategies that will help you to realign your sense of purpose and your passion for the work. 

    Gold Mine Roundtables

    Gold Mine roundtables let you gather a treasure-trove of best practice ideas on a variety of topics to try in your district. Here’s your chance to attend three mini-sessions of 25 minutes each (think school PR speed dating!). This is your opportunity to capture the best ideas from your colleagues in a time-saving format.

    Hotel Accommodations 

    Enzian Inn

    Reserve your room at the Enzian Inn by April 1 to secure our group rate of $110 + tax/night. Call (800) 223-8511 and use code 10174. The rooms from our block will be released after April 1. Rooms booked after April 1 will still get the group rate but there is no guarantee that rooms will be available. No-Host Dinner

    No-Host Dinner

    Want more time to network with your WSPRA friends? Join us for a no-host dinner on  Wednesday, May 1. You will have the choice of eating at Visconti's or South. We will meet at the restaurants at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to eat at one of these restaurants, please indicate which one when registering.


    Thank you to all of our sponsors for making our annual conference possible!

    Keynote: West/SchoolMessenger

    West/SchoolMessenger Logo

    Signature Sponsors: K12 Insight, Peachjar, FinalSite, Strategies 360, WA529, MarketVolt 

    K12 Insight
    S360 Logo
    WA 529 Logo
    MarketVolt logo

    Event Sponsor: Blackboard

    Blackboard Logo

    Banquet Sponsor: eSchoolView

    Banquet Sponsor: eSchoolView