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  • 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!

  • Tue, January 17, 2023 10:22 PM | Jillian Daley

    Lucky for OSPRA, a communications expert has stepped up to fill a vacant At-Large position on the board. Gregg Koskela, Director of Communications for Cascade School District, now sits in At-Large position 1.

    Although it was only in September 2022 that Koskela joined Cascade, which stands just outside of Salem, he has spent many years in the communications field. Prior to joining Cascade, Koskela spent five years working in a variety of positions at Newberg School District, including Communications Coordinator.

    Yet Koskela wasn't always in communications. He offers a fresh perspective, with a unique background and education for a communicator. He earned a bachelor's in Sociology/Social Work from George Fox University and a M.Div. with an emphasis in communications at Fuller Theological Seminary. Then Koskela spent decades as a pastor, most recently leading a church in Newberg.

    Needing a career change, he was drawn to the mission of public schools to educate and guide young people. He chose to support that mission through sharing positive stories. As a communicator, Koskela loves collaborative relationships, finding simple language that all can understand, and encouraging the hard-working staff of K-12 schools.

  • Fri, December 09, 2022 1:54 PM | Jillian Daley

    OSPRA members have elected OSPRA Board At-Large member Steve Padilla to fill a vacancy in the Vice President seat for the board. 

    Padilla is an experienced OSPRA leader and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Public Relations and Partnerships at Reynolds School District in Fairview. Following this position change, the board is seeking nominations to fill the At-Large vacancy. 

    Future At-Large Members: Add Your Names Here

    Why should you consider becoming an At-Large member? Scientific studies show the physical and mental health benefits of volunteering. That is because there is a great deal to gain: a stronger social network, new skills and career development. (We here on the OSPRA Board also think that we’re pretty fun to be around too.) So, please, join us!

    Submit your interest by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14. 

    Questions? Please contact info@oregonschoolpra.org.

  • Thu, December 01, 2022 12:20 PM | Jillian Daley

    The board announced a vacancy in the Vice President seat for the OSPRA Board and sought nominations last month. Now, in accordance with OSPRA’s bylaws, the board is holding a special election to fill the vacancy. Please follow the directions below to submit your ballot for the 2022 OSPRA Special Election.

    Here are a few tips for successfully completing your ballot:

    • All active communications professional members and superintendent members are eligible to vote in annual elections.

    • Once you open the ballot, complete it. You will not be able to access the ballot again after closing out the ballot window.

    • Each active member can only vote once.

    • All ballot submissions are anonymous.

      Elections will close at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8.

    Check your email inbox for the ballot link and password!

    Questions? Please contact info@oregonschoolpra.org.

  • Fri, November 18, 2022 12:48 PM | Jillian Daley

    Did you catch the news from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) yesterday? Our very own OSPRA member and Director of Communication and Safety for Bend La-Pine Schools has been named as a 2022-23 NSPRA Front-Runner!

    NSPRA Front-Runners are members identified by the NSPRA Executive Board as emerging leaders who are doing outstanding work for their schools, their chapters, and for NSPRA.

    “Since I began in school public relations in 2015, Julianne Repman has been an inspiration, a source of solid information, a mentor, and the provider of a much-needed laugh when times get tough. Julianne is always there when you need her,” said OSPRA President Natalie Hurd. “Her work and partnership helped elevate me in my district and for that, I am forever grateful and now work to pay it forward.”

    Julianne is a long-time OSPRA member, former OSPRA president, and established school PR leader and we hope you will all join us in celebrating Julianne as a 2022-23 NSPRA Front-Runner!

  • Mon, November 14, 2022 9:31 AM | Jillian Daley

    Did you know that the Instagram algorithm prefers reels over any other form of content?! Find out how to use reels, and watch your engagement skyrocket! Medford School District Communications Specialist and Social Media Expert Danielle Craig will share data on why reels are effective and will offer tips! The presentation is at 11 a.m. Nov. 17 on Zoom. It's free for members, $25 for non-members!

    Register today!

  • Fri, October 28, 2022 12:22 PM | Jillian Daley

    We had a wonderful time at our 2022 Conference! We were impressed with all of the amazing entries this year from our talented OSPRA members!

    Please join the OSPRA Board in congratulating our winners:

    Awards of Merit

    Reynolds SD - Branding & Image

    Clackamas SD – Campaigns

    Willamette ESD – E-Newsletter

    North Clackamas SD – E-Newsletter

    Willamette ESD – Special Purpose 

    North Marion SD – Equity in Communications

    Willamette ESD – Public Speaking

    Reynolds SD – Social Media

    Willamette ESD – Staff Training

    Willamette ESD – Website

    Beaverton SD – Video

    Awards of Excellence

    Willamette ESD - Branding & Image

    Willamette ESD – Campaigns

    Bend La-Pine SD – E-Newsletter

    North Clackamas SD – Special Purpose 

    Reynolds SD – Equity in Communications

    Willamette ESD – Equity in Communications

    Willamette ESD – Public Speaking

    Cascade SD – Social Media

    Willamette ESD – Staff Training

    Grants Pass SD – Website

    Beaverton SD – Video

    Oregon’s Best

    Branding: Beaverton SD, Let’s Be BSD

    Campaigns: Beaverton SD, Fake & Fatal

    E-Newsletter: Willamette ESD, Willamette Career Academy

    Special Purpose: Cascade SD, 2021 Bond Newsletter

    Equity in Communications: WESD, inclusive Language in the Workplace

    Public Speaking: Estacada SD, All in Live

    Social Media: Willamette ESD, Comprehensive Comms Strategy

    Staff Training: Willamette ESD, Inclusive Language in the workplace

    Website: Beaverton SD, Proposed Bond Website

    Video: OSBA, The Promise of Oregon: We needed this

    Districts with Awards in All Categories for Honorable Mention

    Multnomah ESD

    Klamath Falls SD

    Estacada SD

    North Clackamas SD

    Reynolds SD

    Willamette ESD

    Cascade SD


    St Helens SD

    Phoenix Talent SD

    Beaverton SD

    Salem Keizer PS

    Bend La Pine SD

    Multnomah ESD

    Medford SD

    Corvallis SD

    Jefferson County SD

    Grants Pass SD

  • Fri, October 28, 2022 12:11 PM | Jillian Daley

    If you joined us for our GOAT conference in Corvallis this spring, you know that there’s nothing like being with a group of folks who just get it. That’s us! Based on your insights and input, this year, we will be hosting one in-person conference near the Portland area March 9-10, 2023. This allows us to go BIG and gives you plenty of time to mark your calendars to save the date. 

  • Fri, September 17, 2021 3:26 PM | Emily Reverman (Administrator)

    As the last of Oregon schools welcome students back for the 2021-22 school year, the OSPRA board is excited to share our first update of the school year!

    2021-22 Goals & Committees

    As the OSPRA board looks ahead, we are excited to further engage with all Oregon School PR professionals to ensure the best-quality support, guidance, and learning is available to all members. 

    As an organization, the 2021-22 OSPRA board established the following as key goals for sustaining chapter success:

    • Elevating the Profession
    • Supporting Professionals 
    • Leading Equitable and Inclusive Communication Practice

    Committee Chair: Emily Hicks, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
    The operations committee works to maintain chapter success through membership development, mentorship and partnerships with other state and national organizations for the support of Oregon school public relations.

    Professional Development  ‍
    Committee Chair: Natalie Hurd, Medford School District
    The professional development committee maintains chapter success through the development of opportunities for continued professional development of members including virtual and in-person conference opportunities, book clubs, hot topics events and more.

    Committee Chair: Nancy Raskauskas-Coons, Brookings-Harbor School District
    The finance committee supports chapter success through the responsible overview of chapter finances including annual budgeting, sponsorships, scholarships and awards programs.

    Committee Chair: Bettina Bautista, Willamette ESD
    Yes! Even professional communicators need a communications committee! The communications committee supports chapter success through ongoing communication to chapter members and external communication to partner stakeholders, districts, and chapters across the nation. 

    Membership Renewal ✅

    Automatic membership renewal emails were sent to your email on September 1. Please follow the link in your renewal email and log into the website to renew your membership. 

    The board is excited to provide exclusive ways to connect as a PR community this year. We are thrilled to have you here with us!

    Board Position Transition

    We are excited to announce that Nancy Raskauskas-Coons from Brookings-Harbor School District has been appointed as the 2021-22 OSPRA Board Chair of Finance. Please join us in congratulating Nancy as she moves into this new and important role to support OSPRA members!

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