Janice Phelan Named MOSPRA Professional of the Year
April 4, 2018
Janice Phelan, Executive Director of Communications for the Lee’s Summit R-VII School District, has been named the Missouri School Public Relations Association’s 2018 Professional of the Year at their annual Spring Conference held April 4-6, 2018, at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Missouri.
Ms. Phelan is known throughout the Lee’s Summit School District as a trusted communications professional who provides needed information to school personnel, parents and community.
The primary criteria for the Professional of the Year is that they have made a valuable contribution to either an education institution or MOSPRA in promoting school PR or have made a difference in the life of students. Certainly, Ms. Phelan meets and exceeds those criteria.
MOSPRA President, Paul Tandy, stated, “Janice has been a mentor and confidante to many of her peers in the western part of the state. She is one of the ‘go-to’ people for anything from help with bonds and levies to dealing with school crises.”
Lee’s Summit Superintendent, Dr. Dennis Carpenter, commented, “Janice’s ability to anticipate and foster a calming influence, even in the midst of crisis, has served our district and me extremely well.”
Phelan has served as a MOSPRA officer, including Western Region Director, and on the Executive Board as Secretary and Treasurer.
Ms. Phelan, a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, has worked in school communications for the Lee’s Summit R-VII School District for 30 years. She has announced her retirement effective June 2018.
Lawson Named MOSPRA New Professional of the Year
April 4, 2018
Angie Lawson, Communications & Community Relations Director for the Clinton School District, has been named the Missouri School Public Relations Association’s 2018 New Professional of the Year at their annual Spring Conference held April 4-6 at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Missouri.
The primary criteria for the Rookie of the Year Award is that the recipient is in their first 18 months in the field of public relations and has exhibited a creative, dedicated and professional approach to school communications.
MOSPRA President, Paul Tandy, stated, “MOSPRA is proud to recognize Angie Lawson as our 2018 New Professional of the Year. Angie handles so many duties for the Clinton Schools and holds herself to an incredibly high standard. As the communications leader for her district she has developed an bi-monthly e-newsletter, enhanced the district’s social media presence, and worked to engage Clinton alumni back into the schools.”
Jill Filer is Ms. Lawson’s MOSPRA mentor. Filer wrote, “Angie has become an active member of MOSPRA attending regional meetings, the fall and spring conferences, and the one-person PR shop workshop. As her mentor, we’ve had multiple conversations about specific issues and general communications practices. She is always looking to grow and learn. And at the same time, I’ve learned and borrowed great ideas from her.”
Affton’s Chandler Receives Spirit Award
April 4, 2018
Erica Chandler, Director of Communications for the Affton School District, has been named the Missouri School Public Relations Association’s 2018 Zubeck Spirit Award recipient at their annual Spring Conference held April 4-6 at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Missouri.
The award is given in honor Tina Zubeck, the former Director of Communications for the Platte County School District and a great leader for MOSPRA. Mrs. Zubeck passed away in 2014.
The recipient of the award shares many of the qualities of Tina Zubeck. They are positive, proactive and high energy as well as dedicated to serving the children of their school district.
MOSPRA member, Melissa McConnell, considers Ms. Chandler a mentor. McConnell wrote, “Erica's presence on social media, at conferences, and in digital publications, makes it clear the influence and leadership qualities she has. She leads by example, giving her ideas freely, and sharing documents telling others to ‘steal’ then and make them their own.
MOSPRA President, Paul Tandy, stated, “Erica brings such passion and energy to her work in school communications. She is innovative and proactive. She truly exhibits the qualities of those who have received the Zubeck Award in the past and is a trusted mentor and colleague for all. Erica is a great example to those of us in school communications.”
Gibson Receives MOSPRA Distinguished Service Award
April 4, 2018
The Missouri School Public Relations Association has named Ms. Cindy Gibson the 2018 Distinguished Service Award recipient. The Distinguished Service Award goes to a person who has done exceptional work in the field of education and has been a vocal supporter of public education.
MOSPRA President, Paul Tandy, said, “Cindy Gibson is the consummate communications professional. In her work as a consultant, she provides clients with expert guidance, but she also gives freely of her time and knowledge to those in the field of school communications.”
Erica Chandler, Director of Communications for the Affton School District wrote in her nomination letter, “Not only is Cindy a recognized and respected member of the school public relations community in Missouri, she is highly regarded nationwide for her service and counsel. She is and has been a leader to those of us in school PR and a leader for the profession itself. On a personal level, you cannot find a more dedicated or generous mentor and advisor.”
Ms. Gibson is the past Director of Communications and Community Services for the Ritenour Schools. She is a former leader for MOSPRA, serving as President in 1995-96. Ms. Gibson also received the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award in 2006. Ms. Gibson currently serves as a strategic communications consultant.
Kilbride Named MOSPRA Administrator of the Year
The Missouri School Public Relations Association has named Dr. Chris Kilbride, Superintendent of the Ritenour School District, its 2018 Administrator of the Year. The award is given to a school administrator who exhibits excellent communication skills and supports open communications in his or her school district.
Paul Tandy, MOSPRA President, said, “Dr. Kilbride is clearly an excellent leader for his schools, but it’s not just his personal communication skills that stand out, it is his support of good communications as practiced by his communications staff and others across the district.”
Dr. Kilbride is a true 21st Century leader and communicator, reaching audiences in a variety ways, including social media, video, through the district’s rapid notification system, on the district website and in person.
Doug Bray, Director of Communications for the Ritenour School District said, “Dr. Kilbride is highly visible in the community and believes in the power of effective two-way communication. He understands the importance of listening and goes out of his way to engage students, parents and school staff on a daily basis. He is well respected by business leaders, elected officials and those in the local ministerial alliance, and is actively involved in many civic organizations including the Northwest Chamber of Commerce, North County, Inc., the Overland Business Association, the Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry and the Ritenour Pride & Promise Foundation.”
Dr. Kilbride represents the Ritenour Public Schools admirably. He is adept at sharing his district’s story and his passion for education is obvious and contagious.