• Thu, April 04, 2024 12:43 PM | Megan Mahoney (Administrator)

    Portrait of Athena VadnaisAthena Vadnais, APR, was awarded the 2023-24 School Communicator of the Year by the Oregon School Public Relations Association (OSPRA) at its conference in Eugene, Oregon.

    Vadnais, the director of communications and community engagement for the Gresham-Barlow School District, was recognized for her exemplary work and leadership in school public relations.

    “I am passionate about bringing the community together to support our schools and the students we serve,” said Vadnais. “It is an honor and a privilege to be named School Communicator of the Year.”

    Vadnais has paved the way for other school communicators through her strategic, proactive communications plans. Vadnais has been instrumental in demonstrating the value of school communications in Oregon and continues to be a strong advocate for public education. With more than 20 years in school public relations, Vadnais is the first point of contact for many school PR professionals nationwide. 

    "Athena was one of the first people I met when I joined OSPRA in 2019," said OSPRA President Megan Mahoney. "She leads with compassion and empathy. Being able to present her with our first-ever School Communicator of the Year award is an incredible honor."

    The School Communicator of the Year award program recognizes the outstanding leadership and contributions of active, front-line school communicators who work full-time in school districts or education service agencies. Nominees were selected through OSPRA member nominations and submissions from the OSPRA board. Then, the chapter's membership voted on eligible nominees to select Oregon's School Communicator of the Year.

    Oregon's School Communicator of the Year award recipient, Athena Vadnais, will be considered for the national-level award presented by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) at the National Seminar in Seattle, Washington, in July 2024.

  • Tue, March 19, 2024 8:44 AM | Megan Mahoney (Administrator)

    Oregon School Public Relations Association's (OSPRA) Spring Conference is almost here! Before you make the trip to Eugene, take just a couple minutes to read through the info and tips below to get ready.

    What to Wear

    There is no formal dress code for OSPRA’s Spring Conference. In the past, attendees have worn either business casual or casual attire, both of which are perfect! For those who registered early, you can wear your shirt on day 2 (on Fridays, we wear green).


    Payment for parking for all guests will be taken at the parking gate. 

    Attendees staying the night: You will be charged upon entry. Select the number of nights you’re staying, pay with a credit card, and you’ll receive a ticket that will allow you to go in and out of the parking lot throughout your stay. 

    Attendees not staying the night: You will be charged when you leave. You will select “here for a group or event,” and you’ll receive a ticket. When you’re exiting the garage, scan the ticket and you’ll be charged based on the number of hours you were parked in the garage.


    Join us for our Social after day 1 at our conference! This year, we are excited to host our social at J. Scott Cellars from 5-7pm. 

    J. Scott Cellars is an upscale wine bar and tasting room in The Market District of downtown Eugene. The J. Scott Cellars brand features an extensive menu of extraordinary tasting wines of the Pacific Northwest, with 18 current and past vintages receiving the coveted 90 Pts and above from national publication, “Wine Enthusiast”!

    Come on down for a drink and a chance to network with other school PR professionals.


    OSPRA is providing breakfast on both days of the conference and lunch on day 1. Morning and afternoon snacks and beverages will also be available between meals. 

    Day 2 Lunch: Poindexter Coffee is available on-site for after the conference. There are also plenty of dining options near the hotel in Downtown Eugene if you're interested in exploring!

    Finalsite Solutions Lab

    We are so excited that one of our Sponsors, Finalsite, is offering a Solutions Lab at this year's conference. Sign up for a time slot by clicking the link below for user support, tips and tricks, or to learn more about using the FinalSite platform for your website! Walk-up support is also available.

    Finalsite Solutions Lab Sign Up Form

    Vote for OSPRA's School Communicator of the Year

    Don't forget to cast your vote for OSPRA's inaugural School Communicator of the Year (SCOY)The SCOY Award honors one outstanding individual from the school public relations profession in Oregon. This NSPRA program is designed to recognize the outstanding leadership and contributions of active, front-line school communicators who work full-time in school districts or education service agencies.

    Vote for OSPRA's SCOY

    Thank You to our Sponsors!

  • Mon, September 28, 2020 11:56 AM | Emily Reverman (Administrator)

    This year, the Oregon School Public Relations Association (OSPRA) launched it's new member mentorship program. 

    Studies show that employees with mentors are five times more likely to get promoted. Studies have also shown that managerial productivity increased by 88 percent when managers held mentorship roles, versus only 24 percent with manager training alone.

    For mentees, this is an incredible opportunity for you to connect with a regional mentor who can offer you insight, advice, and a partner in problem-solving – and help you navigate the next stage of your career.

    For mentors, this is a great opportunity to give back to the school communications community, become a better leader, and refine your own skills and networks – and to gain a fresh perspective from your mentee.

    Both mentors and mentees offer wisdom and creative partnership to each other. There’s no experience requirement to be a mentor or experience limit to be a mentee, only a time commitment of 1-2 hours of communication per month.

    If you have any questions about the OSPRA mentorship program, please reach out to professional development committee chair Emily Abellera by emailing info@oregonschoolprg.org. 

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