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2020 Conference Roundtable Discussions


Take a quick look at some vital timely topics during this high-energy, fast-paced learning opportunity with industry experts. Choose four of these 20-minute sessions, which will run on a first-come-first-served basis.

1. 20 Ways to Engage Your District and Community Stakeholders in 2020

Jessica Johnston, Brenham ISD

Learn how to engage a diverse community immediately to break down barriers, change public perception, and build a community of supporters.

 2. Uncovering a Community's Dark Past - The Discovery of the Sugar Land 95

Veronica Sopher & Amanda Bubela, Fort Bend ISD

How Fort Bend ISD navigated the legal, political and moral landscape to reinter the remains of 95 individuals whose remains were discovered during the construction of their newest school. 

 3. The Ultimate Power Couple: Marketing and Communications

Lisa Losasso Jackson, 11 Productions

Learn how to maximize marketing efforts, implement succinct plans, and tap some hidden gems. Session includes at-a-glance checklists, a planning guide, and examples for inspiration.

 4. Get Schooled - How We Used "Takeover" Style Social Media to Engage Stakeholders

Brittany Blanchard & Laurin Moore, Angleton ISD

Angleton ISD’s new series - Let's Get Schooled - invites the community into our classrooms as we tweet, post and Instagram at one campus from the tardy bell to dismissal.

5. Certified Public Communicator Certification

Erin McCann & Jerry Cantu, Northwest ISD

Learn how TCU’s Certified Public Communicator program helps you create a communications plan for your district and earn a certification. 

 6. As Important as Textbooks:  Discover the Missing Ingredient that will Keep Families from Leaving Your Schools

Shelby McIntosh, Ph.D. & Tina Shanks, K12 Insight

New research says building trust is priority No. 1 for school leaders. Yet, few have the confidence to do this work. Find out why.

 7. Hiring a Full-Time Parent as a School Administrator

Cecelia Jones, CPC 

You want to be the best at your job and family life. Find out how this mother for four balances appointments, soccer, dance and work, while keeping her sanity.

 8. Build Your Ballot!

Laura Yeager, Texas Educators Vote

Learn how to use TEV and LWVTX non-partisan tools to build your ballot (and teach staff and colleagues) without getting into political trouble!

 9. Taking a Marketing Campaign from the Foundation to the Building

Nikita Russell, Ed. D, Derrick Thompson & Chelsea Davis, Everman ISD

Participants will learn about time management, collaboration, community partnerships, and how to develop a marketing campaign.

10. Equity in Communications - Reaching ALL Parents

Hillary Berman, Alboum Translation Services

Oftentimes, parents of ESL learners don’t speak English at all. Learn how to use translation to empower your district to reach students and parents in diverse communities.

11. Avoiding Burnout

Danielle Clark, APR, Harris County Department of Education

School PR is tough. But you don’t have to sacrifice yourself for the job. Chat with a 20-year veteran about signs, recovery and boundaries.

12. Emotional Intelligence & Leadership: Crowdsourcing Insight and Cultivating Ownership with Staff, Students & Community

Laura Milne & Colin Doherty, Thoughtexchange

Thoughtexchange is a tool that supports emotional intelligence, inclusion, and well-being by helping leaders align their staff, students, and community and cultivate broad ownership of district culture.

13. Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About the APR
Rebecca Villarreal, APR, New Braunfels ISD & Angela Duitch, APR, Tyler ISD

Thinking about earning your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), but didn’t know who to ask? Here’s your chance to talk with a few APRs about the process and the benefits of earning your accreditation. 

14. Parent Engagement: Work Smarter Not Harder

Ryan Ta, ParentSquare

We all know that parent engagement can be complex and difficult. Learn how to streamline all your communication tools and reach your diverse parent population.

15. Why TSPRA Leadership?

Kristin Zastoupil, Forney ISD; Veronica Castillon, APR, Laredo ISD; Monica Faulkenberry, APR, Northside ISD; Melissa Tortoricci, Texas City ISD

TSPRA is a strong organization because of its membership and leadership. See why you should consider a leadership role in TSPRA and how it can positively impact your career.

16. Keep and Grow Engaged Volunteers

Patrick Hicks, VolunteerNow

Prevent volunteer burnout, learn effective ways to approach volunteer recruitment, and understand how leadership impacts volunteer recruitment and retention.

17. Great Things are Happening in YOUR Texas Public School

Jennifer Storm, Friends of Texas Public Schools

Learn about the Marketing Toolkit included with Friends of Texas Public School Membership and get tips on how to market the great things happening in your school!

18. Saving Time While Making a Difference

Frank Ciraci, Peachjar

It's hard to find a work/life balance when you're overloaded. Learn how to save time while feeling good about the work you're putting in.

19. Managing Your Marketing/Communication Team Using Wrike

David DelToro & Kristi Hernandez, Region 4 ESC 

Looking to manage your marketing and communication team's activities in a more effective way? Learn how Region 4 ESC uses Wrike, an online project management system.

20. Bond Elections: 5 years, 4 Bonds

Susan Ard, CPC, Cleveland ISD

Four Bonds, Five Years. Check out information, steps, and share ideas that will help in a successful Bond Election.   

21. No Google Translate Here! CFISD English & Spanish Website

Jennifer Ongoco & Rosario Meehan, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

Learn how the digital content coordinator and the Spanish translator work together to offer a mirror-image website in English & Spanish to the CFISD community.

22. From Must-Haves to What's Next - 20 Minutes to Improve Your E-newsletter.

Pat Hawn, MarketVolt

Your newsletter need a revamp?  Parents aren't paying attention?  We’ll cram as many tips and tricks as possible to help elevate your email newsletter!

23. Communications Staff are Parents Too! How to Balance Being a Parent and Communications Professional in Your District

Amanda Simpson, Coppell ISD

Discuss how communications professionals, who are also active parents in the district for which they work, can balance their roles to ensure they remain respected professionals.

24. 7 Tips for More Effective Videos on Social Media

Jake Sturgis & Benji Perez Gonzalez, Captivate Media + Consulting

How do you create video content that cuts through the clutter on social media? Learn seven tips on how to create thumb-stopping video content.

25. 5 Tips to Simplify and Improve Your Email Newsletters

John Doornbos & Claudia McWhorter, Finalsite/Eanes Westlake ISD

Tried-and-true tips for saving time and improving the district's email newsletters. You'll learn tips for ideal timing, layout, subject lines, why planning for mobile is important, and more. 

26. Moments Matter and Have Lasting impact - Learn How to Influence Them

Amy Jones, O’Connell Robertson

Want to create loyalty and increase tenure among staff, teachers, and administrators? Learn how moments matter and what you can do to influence experiences. 

27. You’re Always Trying to Win

Megan Smith, Suzanne Marchman & Lesley Weaver, Huckabee

When should you start ramping up for an election? If you’re asking, then you’re too late. You should always be vying for community support. The time to get started is now.

28. Digital Marketing in a Competitive Landscape

Christopher Ammon, Graham Digital

Discuss the digital marketing opportunities in a competitive landscape where grabbing parents’ attention has become vital.  This will include highlighting platforms like Google, Facebook & Snapchat.

 29. Print in a Digital World

Chelsea Ceballos, Megan Parman & Nicole Shepard, Klein ISD

It's time to make print a central part of your communication again. Learn how to hyper-target your community using print ads in local newspapers and tax letters. 

30. Who's Telling Your Story?

Chris Yee, Frankie Hill, Teddy Gabbart or Mike Palmer, Gabbart Communications

How do we tell our stories, influence the narrative and create positive change?

31. So, You Want to Podcast

Steven Offield & Renae Murphy, Rockwall ISD

Learn the ins and outs of creating a high-quality podcast, including how to make one on a shoe-string budget. Learn about equipment, software, recording and editing and more.

32. Is Free Parent Engagement Costing You Serious Money, Effort and Grief? Learn How to Manage the Input You Get and Get the Input You Need

Kevin Lyons, FlashVote

From meetings, to emails, to social media to online engagement and surveys, there are a lot more ways for parents (and others) to give input to school districts. Learn what’s best for you. 

33.  Going Live: How a Small School District has Leveraged the Power of Facebook Live 
Phil Campbell & Samantha Williams, Bonneville Joint School District 93

From fall carnivals to multicamera live streams, this two-person team has found a way to connect with their community without breaking the budget.  

34. Back to School Communication: Simple, Streamlined, and Sensational!

Charlene LaFerriere, Charles Field & Kathryn Lagden, TeacherLists

How to effectively use communication channels to reach, engage, and wow parents at back to school time. Tips and tricks to keep it fun and informative!

35. One Communications Plan for Every Generation of Your Alumni

Jim Burgraff & Alex Burgraff, Alumni Nations

Creating a manageable communications plan that resonates with every alum – from the Class of 1960 to the Class of 2020.

36. Creating Equitable Schools

Steven Ostler, Blackboard, Inc.

Discuss how schools today face challenges in providing equitable learning experiences. Share and learn from your peers on how to overcome these challenges.

37. One Stop Video Solution

Lisa Harmison, MyVRSpot; Doug Ballamy, Wylie ISD

Benefits of one platform for all video needs: from storage to creating, editing, streaming, sharing and captioning (live/video). No ads or suggested videos - ever!

38. Social Media and School Bond Elections: An Examination of how Facebook Engagement Influenced Election Results.

Lauren Loyless, John Paul II High School

Learn how with the rise of social media, in particular, Facebook, districts are using various social media platforms to engage with citizens on bond elections. 

39. They are Taking Over the Ship! It's not Mutiny, it's a Revolution

Cheryal Loosmore &  Lake Travis ISD; Matt Mitchell, Leander ISD 

When staff and students takeover your social media channels, it can revolutionize social media messaging engagement. Learn dos, don’ts and best practices. 

40. Too Many Apps: Simplifying School-to-Home Communications

Steven W. Anderson, Intrado SchoolMessenger

There are so many ways and apps that are at our disposal to communicate with parents and communities. Learn how to manage it all.  

41. Behind the Scenes:  The Making of a Documentary Series

Tiara Richard & Lari Barager, Duncanville ISD

Do you have a topic powerful enough to capture your audience and keep them coming back week after week? Learns the ins and outs of a documentary series. 

42. Leadership, Innovation, Work-Life Balance

Dane Dellenbach & Jonathan Rivera, S’more

Find more meaning in your work and reduce the stress by stepping back from the minutia, owning your work and putting focus on the things that matter most.

43. Micro-Casting (Short-form Storytelling)

Scott JuVette, Fort Worth ISD

Our attention span is :08 seconds.  Discuss how to hook your audiencewith high quality, beautiful, timely, and most importantly, relevant platform-specific content.

44. How to Navigate New Election Codes Made by Senate Bill 30
Tammy Kuykendall, edVANTAGE

The complexity of new election laws will significantly impact a district’s ability to successfully pass bonds for at least the next four election cycles. We’ll cover the changes and share thoughts around specific strategies districts will need to consider when planning for a bond.