Monthly Archives: August 2020

FREE To-Do List Notepad for School PR & Communication Pros!

I love a list, don’t you?

I recently worked with #SchoolPR Pros Tracy Jentz, APR, Melissa McConnell, and Andrew Robinson to develop a fun and straightforward #SchoolPR to-do list! See the thought behind each section below.

Order your FREE notepad now, or download the printable version.

Order Your FREE School PR Notepad!

Master List

This section is for your master to-do list. It feels good to complete a task, doesn’t it?


Check this off as you move through the day. Grab your coffee, check (or write) the news for your district, check your mail, and turn on the music! Then, circle or color your state of mind. Full of love and joy, feeling mindful/need mindfulness, or maybe you’re a bit stressed and need to yell, “OMG!”.


Use this section during a meeting or phone call—a great place for details.

Questions, Ideas, or Distractions

Use this section when you have questions, ideas you want to save for later, or distractions that you need to acknowledge.

What do these #SchoolPR pros love most about their jobs?

#SchoolPR Pros: What do you love most about your job?

The other day I asked #SchoolPR Pros about their biggest work-related pet peeves and I received a ton of responses! But what makes enduring those pet peeves worth it? What do #SchoolPR pros love most about their jobs? 

Add your response to this list!

My own response — I love stuff like this:

Amber Nuuvali’s response:

Jeanne Berlin’s response is something I rarely think about. Helping our own.

A great point by Nicole Kirby, APR 

I couldn’t agree more with Jason Wheeler’s response. I love it when stories fall into my lap!

11 Unbelievably Accurate Pet Peeves from School PR Pros

#SchoolPR: What are your biggest work-related pet peeves?

I recently asked my fellow #SchoolPR pros what their biggest pet peeves were, and the results were hilariously spot-on! Regardless of our annoyances, I think we can all agree that our work to advance education through communication is worth it. — It’s for the kids, right? 😊

Jim Cummings, APR said it best:

This entire thread is hysterical. It’s a school PR Festivus and we’re airing our grievances!

george costanza seinfeld GIF

Originally tweeted by Bad Hombre Jim Says Wash Your Hands ✊🏼🦅🇮🇪 (@Phxflyer) on August 27, 2020.

#11 Pet Peeve

#10 Pet Peeve

#9 Pet Peeve

#8 Pet Peeve

#7 Pet Peeve

#6 Pet Peeve

#5 Pet Peeve

#4 Pet Peeve

#3 Pet Peeve

#2 Pet Peeve

#1 Pet Peeve

Join dozens of other pros and order your School PR has you covered mask! Orders ship on August 31!

Career and Technical Education Is a Lot More Than Your Grandad’s Vo-Tech

There’s a lot of stigma that comes with Career and Technical Education (CTE). Despite it being a more affordable, lucrative, and rewarding option for Americans, it still has a “less-than” kind of reputation when compared to higher education.

CTE is a lot more than your grandad’s vo-tech. It’s a rigorous option for all students seeking to explore career and life opportunities. I am living proof. I am a graduate of all three levels of public education: K12, CareerTech, & Higher Ed and by far, CareerTech was the most rewarding (and affordable).

My Traditional High School Experience

As a freshman and sophomore in high school, I was an introverted “wallflower” that disliked traditional high school academia and the social expectations that came with it like prom, homecoming, sports, etc. I excelled academically, but I never felt a sense of belonging in the traditional high school setting. In fact, I hated it.

CTE: A Place for Me

Because of my aversion to the traditional high school setting, I applied for and was accepted into the Web Design program at Moore Norman Technology Center, my local CareerTech center. This arrangement allowed me to complete my required core courses at the high school and attend MNTC’s Web Design Program as elective credit during my junior and senior year. A half day at the high school, a half day at the tech center. I LOVED IT.

MNTC’s Web Design program (one of over 30 programs to choose from at MNTC) enabled me to think creatively, work with like-minded peers, and learn and practice much-needed soft skills. I graduated MNTC job-ready and with skills I was able to use immediately.

CTE Leads to Advanced Degrees & Certifications, Too.

After graduating from MNTC in 2004, I earned my undergraduate degree from The University of Oklahoma. Undoubtedly, the skills I acquired in my CTE high school program made my journey through undergraduate college much easier.

In the summer of 2014 I brought my career full circle. I applied and accepted a marketing position at the same CareerTech center I attended in high school: MNTC. 


  • In 2017, with the help of MNTC’s tuition enhancement program, I completed my Master’s Degree in Public Administration from The University of Central Oklahoma. 
  • In 2018, I earned my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).
  • In 2020, I founded The School of Swag part-time blog and freelance business!

Advancing CareerTech Education Through Communication

I am honored to spend much of my day in school PR, marketing, & communications advocating for CTE and helping change the lives of public school students who need it most.

If you want to learn more about CTE and how you can advocate for it, please contact me.

The Top 3 Things Superintendents Need to Improve District Communications

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You’ve seen it on superintendent or district evaluations: Communication is poor or mediocre and needs to be improved. But how do you go about improving communication in your district?

Here are the Top 3 things superintendents need to improve communications:

A commitment to communications in your district strategic plan.

One of the goals of your district’s strategic plan should be to improve district communications. Oftentimes, this starts as a committee of employees who will inevitably decide the path toward achieving this goal. The National School Public Relations (NSPRA) has a great resource for getting started on this path.

Have at least one full-time communicators director or coordinator. 

Teachers, principals, and superintendents should not carry the burden of building and implementing a district communications plan. If they did, it would likely result in tactical-level outcomes because of the number of other duties these employees have. The most successful school districts have dedicated communicators who handle district-level communications. And, those communicators have a seat at the leadership table.

At the school and classroom levels, dedicated communicators can help facilitate school or classroom communications so they align with the mission, vision, and goals of the district’s strategic plan.

An NSPRA Professional Membership

This is a no-brainer. EVERY school district who cares about improving internal or external communications needs to join the National School Public Relations Association and take advantage of free resources and the annual seminar.

Have a special school project or communications need?

Explore our freelance services or contact us. We can perform the work or refer you (for free) to someone who can.