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Letter from Nomination Chair 2019

Letter from the Nomination Committee Chair

Dear TSPRA Colleagues,

Throughout my years as a journalist, bank marketing officer, and school public relations professional, I have had the pleasure of working with some remarkably talented teams – teams that gelled together with individuals working as one. Everyone knew what they had to contribute to reach a common goal for the good of the organization. Sometimes the work was lots of fun and sometimes the work was serious business with big decisions to ponder. But, somehow the group always made it look easy.

It was only when I was blessed with leadership positions that I realized how important it was to create a cohesive group. And that’s why I am encouraging you to consider serving in a TSPRA leadership position. You may nominate yourself or a colleague.

Here are two important deadlines:

•  Tuesday, September 3, 2019: Completed online nomination forms must be received by the TSPRA state office no later than 4:00 p.m.  You will receive an email confirming the submission.

Monday, September 16, 2019: To be eligible, a person must be a professional member in good standing with dues paid by September 16, 2019

Nominees must meet all the membership requirements as defined by the bylaws, agree to attend three Executive Committee meetings yearly and must have the support of their district or organization.

Please note, TSPRA's Standing Rules state that each area shall have no more than two vice presidents. Since the At Large Vice President Position 1 is currently held by a member from the Central area, ESC Region 13, no one from that area would be eligible to serve as in the At-Large Vice President Positions 2 and 3. Also, the At-Large Vice President Positions 2 and 3 must be held by persons from two different TSPRA regions.

 Nominations are needed for:


Area Vice Presidents & At-Large Vice President (Positions 2 and 3)

  • Gulf Coast (ESC Regions 1, 2 & 3)
  • Houston/Beaumont (ESC Regions 4 & 5)
  • North Texas (ESC Regions 9, 10 & 11)
  • Far West (ESC Regions 18 & 19)
  • San Antonio (ESC Region 20)
  • At-Large Position 2
  • At-Large Position 3

In accordance with our bylaws, the Nominating Committee will meet on September 19, in Dallas to select a slate of officers. Electronic ballots will be sent to members who are eligible to vote on November 5 and the results will be announced in December. 

TSPRA has been a very important part of my life both professionally and personally for more than 25 years. The more involved I got in this organization, the more I learned, grew, and felt rewarded. Thank you for allowing me to serve as TSPRA’s president-elect.

Veronica Castillon, APR
2019-20 TSPRA President-Elect & Chair, Nominating Committee 
Laredo ISD

Read the Requirements for Nominees and the Duties of Officers

Submit a nomination  [will be active 11 a.m. August 1 thru 4 p.m. September 3, 2019]

Anti-Harassment Policy

TSPRA Anti-Harassment Policy

The Texas School Public Relations Association - TSPRA is committed to promoting inclusive environments where persons feel valued, respected, and welcome. TSPRA will not tolerate anyone intimidating, humiliating, harassing, bullying or sabotaging others in our workplace and at events. TSPRA will not discriminate based on age, race, color, gender, religion, physical disability, mental handicap, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any similar status.

Anti-Harassment Policy
This policy pertains to all members, including officers, persons appointed to positions, staff, persons attending TSPRA activities, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, contractors, and anyone else who come into contact with with persons in the TSPRA workplace and at meetings and events. TSPRA is firmly committed to an environment free from all forms of harassment. Harassment violates TSPRA policy and, in certain instances, may violate state and federal laws. It is neither permitted nor condoned.

For the purposes of this policy, workplace includes any location in which employees and/or members are engaged in association business activities necessary to perform their assignments. This includes, but is not limited to, association offices, parking lots, association event sites, workshops, conferences and meetings, and during business related travel.

Prohibited Conduct 
All types of harassment are prohibited, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. Harassment in the workplace or at any TSPRA function is prohibited. Some examples of unacceptable behavior include the following:

    • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form, whether actual or implied, that results in a hostile environment.
    • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service or event provider, or other guest.
    • Examples of unacceptable behavior include verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion or national origin, or threatening, stalking or harassing person.
    • Engaging in unwanted advances of any nature.
    • Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.
    • Ridiculing someone in front of others or singling them out for unrelated work duties against their will.
    • Unwelcome questions or sharing of information regarding a person’s sexuality, sexual activity or sexual orientation.
    • Conduct or comments intended to create, or having the effect of, creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment 
    • Bullying

Punishment for harassment depends on the severity of the offense and may include counseling, reprimands, suspensions or terminations of employment, removal from positions of leadership and/or membership. Sanctions against an Executive Committee member, any member serving in leadership and other appointed positions, may include, but are not limited to, oral warnings, written warnings, removal from the TSPRA commitment, and/or legal action. In addition, TSPRA may remove an offender from any meeting without warning.

Complaint Procedure
Any member, staff person or person who believes he or she has been or is being subjected to any form of harassment is encouraged to directly inform the offending person that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. If the person who believes he or she is being harassed is uncomfortable approaching the offending person, or the meeting is unsuccessful, or the conduct continues, he or she will report the matter to the TSPRA parliamentarian, or if the parliamentarian is the alleged offender, to the TSPRA president. Any third party who knows of or suspects the occurrence of harassment is encouraged to report the matter as set out above. Nothing in this policy will require the person alleging harassment to present the matter to the person who is the subject of the complaint if they do not wish to do so.

The TSPRA parliamentarian is responsible for investigating and resolving all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations of harassment and, at his/her discretion, shall advise the TSPRA Executive Director and/or President.  The parliamentarian may confer with others and/or with legal counsel to initiate an investigation. If an investigation occurs the affected individual will be notified of the outcome at the conclusion of the investigation. The Executive Committee will be notified of the outcome at the discretion of the parliamentarian and president.

Protection from Retaliation
Retaliation for any good faith report of harassment is prohibited. Any person who believes he or she was subjected to such retaliation or further harassment should immediately follow the same reporting procedure as that set forth above for reporting harassment. Confirmed acts of retaliation will be treated in the same manner as confirmed harassment.

To the fullest extent practical, all reports and any associated information relating to the investigation of harassment will be kept confidential. All Executive Committee  members, the parliamentarian and the Executive Director who receive information concerning alleged or actual harassment will keep such information strictly confidential and only discuss such information when appropriate.

Approved September 27, 2018


2016-2017 New or Re-Elected Officers

These newly elected officers will begin their terms February 24, 2016.

Current Executive Committee

Melissa Tortorici

Melissa Tortorici is the Director of Communications at Texas City ISD and a seventeen-year veteran of TSPRA. Melissa previously served as Houston/Beaumont Area Vice President from 2011-2016, filling an unexpired term before being elected to two full terms herself. During her time in TSPRA she has won Gold, Silver and Crystal Commendations in TSPRA's annual Star Awards Competition. She is active in the PTO, the Girl Scouts and the Rotary Club in Texas City.


ariannav hwebGulf Coast Area Vice President
Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez

Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez works as the Public Information Officer at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD. A member of TSPRA and NSPRA for nine years, she has served on the Blue Ribbon Committee for her area, been TSPRA's Professional Awards Chair and a conference presenter. She has been the recipient of numerous Gold, Silver and Best of Category Star Awards, as well as an NSPRA Golden Achievement Award and Award for Merit. 


kramer mug2015Houston/Beaumont Area Vice President
Mark Kramer

Mark Kramer works as the Public Relations Officer at Channelview ISD. He has served as an At-Large Vice President from 2005-2007, as Parliamentarian for the 2009-2010 school year and been a two-time chair of the Bylaws Committee, including for the 2015-2016 school year. He has won numerous Best of Category Star Awards, including a Platinum Award with the communications team at Pasadena ISD. 


Adriana MoonwebEast Texas Area Vice President
Adriana Moon

Adriana Moon began her position as Communications Coordinator at ESC Region 7 on April 10, 2016 after holding the same job at Whitehouse ISD for two years. She served the East Texas region as Zone Coordinator for a year and a half prior to her appointment as VP. 

Adriana was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Ashley Patterson.

tommybrownwebNorth Central Area Vice President 
Tommy Brown

Tommy Brown serves Alvarado ISD as their Public Information Officer. He served the North Central area as zone coordinator before being appointed by the board to the North Central VP position to fill the unexpired term of Karen Permetti. Tommy is a seven-year TSPRA veteran who has presented at the Annual Conference and served on both the scholarship and mentor committees. 


Melissa MartinezwebFar West Area Vice President
Melissa Martinez

Melissa Martinez has served as the Executive Director to Community Engagement for the El Paso Independent School District since June, 2014. Martinez brings more than 20 years experience in communications, having worked as a journalist throughout the region. She presented at the 2016 Annual Conference in Horseshoe Bay. 

Melissa was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Shane Griffith. 


EspinozawebSan Antonio Area Vice President
Anne Marie Espinoza

Anne Marie Espinoza has worked as the Executive Director for Communications and Marketing for Uvalde Consolidated ISD for two and half years.  She has served on the TSPRA Teller Committee, the Celebrate Texas Public Schools committee and most recently as the Zone Coordinator for the San Antonio Area.

Anne Marie was appointed via Blue Ribbon Commitee to fill the unexpired term of Jamie Fails.  


BendenwebAt-Large Vice President, Place 2
Teresa Benden

Teresa Benden has worked as the Director of College Station ISD Education Foundation for the last seven years. Her TSPRA service includes membership on the Audit Committee and Bylaws Committee, as well as presenting at the Annual Conference. She was won several Best of Category Star Awards, as well as being named the Texas A&M University College of Education Dean's Roundtable Outstanding Educator Award for 2015. 


faulkenberywebAt-Large Vice President, Place 3
Monica Faulkenbery, APR

Monica Faulkenbery is the Assistant Director of Communications at Northside ISD. She has served as San Antonio Area Vice President, chaired the TSPRA Scholarship Committee, worked as an APR mentor in the San Antonio area and throughout the state, and was the Chair of the Texas Welcome Committee for the NSPRA National Seminar. Monica is a seventeen-year veteran of TSPRA. 



2015-2016 New or Re-elected Officers

These newly elected TSPRA officers will begin their terms February 25, 2015. 

Current Executive Committee


Lorette Williams

Lorette Williams is the Director of Communications at Corpus Christi ISD. A 10-year TSPRA veteran, she has previously served on TSPRA's Executive Committee as Gulf Coast Area Vice President and Parliamentarian. She has previously served on TSPRA's Conference Planning Committee, presented at numerous TSPRA conferences and the TASA Midwinter Conference and had her writing featured in TASA's INSIGHT Magazine and Texas School Business. She was named TSPRA's Most Valuable Member in 2011. In addition to her TSPRA work, Lorette has volunteered with Spaulding for Children and March of Dimes, and is active in the Junior League of Corpus Christi. 

Ian Halperin

Ian Halperin is the Executive Director of Communications/Community Relations at Wylie ISD and a twenty-year TSPRA veteran. Ian has previously served as North Central Regional Vice President from 2010-2012. During his time in TSPRA he has been a member of the Bylaws Review Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Marketing Committee, Mentor Committee and has chaired the Star Awards Review Committee and the 2013-2014 Professional Awards Committee. Ian has presented on topics ranging from open records to crisis management, and his team’s efforts have garnered more than 140 awards from state and national groups, including TSPRA’s Platinum Award. 


Patterson webEast Texas Area Vice President
Ashley Holt Patterson

Ashley Holt Patterson works as a Communications Specialist at ESC Region 7. An eight-year TSPRA Veteran, she has volunteered as a CTPS Video Contest Judge, conference day chair and presenter at multiple TSPRA conferences. She is also a past recipient of TSPRA's Rookie of the Year Award, as well as the winner of numerous Best of Category and Gold Star Awards. 

Traci Marlin web

West Central Area Vice President
Traci Marlin

Traci Marlin serves Midway ISD as the Public Information Coordinator. While running a one-woman shop at Midway, she has received a Crystal Commendation Award and Crystal Certificate of Merit in addition to numerous Gold Star Awards and presented roundtable sessions at the TSPRA Annual Conference. 


Veronica Sopher webCentral Area Vice President
Veronica Sopher

Veronica Sopher holds the position of Assistant Superintendent of Community and Government Relations in Leander ISD. She has served on the Celebrate Texas Public Schools committee, the Audit Committee, as Parliamentarian and beginning in 2013 as Central Area Vice President. She has been honored by the Fort Worth chapter and Dallas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. 

Sharp NancyNorthwest Area Vice President
Nancy Sharp

Nancy Sharp is the Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations at Lubbock ISD. Previously a Northwest Region Zone Coordinator, she began serving her first term as Northwest Region Vice President in 2013. A member of Raise Your Hand Texas and Friends of Texas Public Schools, she also serves on the government relations committee of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce and has served six years on the United Way Campaign Cabinet. 

Kristin Zastoupil webAt-Large Vice President, Position 1
Kristin Zastoupil

Kristin Zastoupil works at Corsicana ISD as the district's Webmaster and Graphic Designer and the Executive Director of the Corsicana Education Foundation. She has served TSPRA as a conference day chair and longtime conference presenter. She is a member of NSPRA, the National School Foundation Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Texas Education Foundation Network, and more. 


Nominees Requirements & Duties

Requirements for Nominees

★ Candidates for President-Elect, which is a three-year term as President-Elect, President and Immediate Past President, must:

• have chaired one or more of the standing committees and/or served as a TSPRA Vice President 
   and have exhibited leadership characteristics

• be a professional member in good standing with both TSPRA and NSPRA

• follow the NSPRA Code of Ethics and TSPRA Statement of Commitment


• be knowledgeable of and willing to enforce the TSPRA bylaws


★ Candidates for Area Vice President, a two-year term, must:

• be a professional member in good standing in TSPRA

• reside in the geographical area of representation (VP areas are based on ESC region numbers.)

Candidates for At-Large Vice President, a two-year term, must:

• be a professional member in good standing in TSPRA

• reside anywhere in the state

• have expertise in at least one of the areas determined by the current strategic plan

• be able to commit time to serve on the budget, strategic planning and conference planning committees

Duties of Officers

President: presides at general membership and executive committee meetings; appoints chairpersons of all standing (and adhoc) committees except nominating, strategic planning, and executive director evaluation; approves the selection of committee members made by the chairpersons; works closely with the executive director; and must be a professional member of TSPRA and hold NSPRA membership.

President-Elect: presides at meetings in the absence of the president;prepares a budget prior to the first executive committee meeting of the fiscal year he/she becomes president; serves as chairperson of the nominating, strategic planning and executive director evaluation committee; and must be a professional member of TSPRA and hold NSPRA membership.

Area Vice President: serves a two-year term; represents one of nine TSPRA regions; coordinates regional membership drives; provides assistance to members and prospective members; provides written report of region’s activities to the executive director and president; attends executive committee meetings; presides at area regional meetings; communicates at least quarterly with the members in the region; other duties as assigned; and must be a professional member of TSPRA.

At-Large Vice President: serves a two-year term; represents all members of the organization; represents specific areas of expertise within the organization as designated by the strategic plan; coordinates membership drives amoung their representative areas of expertise; provides assistance to current members and prospective members in their representative areas of expertise; attends executive committee meetings; and must be a professional member of TSPRA.