ISPRA 2024 Spring Conference

Please join the ISPRA board and school PR pros from across the state for the spring 2024 conference on April 11-12 at the School Administrators of Iowa offices at 12199 Stratford Drive, Clive, IA 50325! This conference will feature a best practices session on translation and interpretation, a Q&A with education lobbyists, and more, including a full-day “Changemakers” training from Your Clear Next Step. 

After our first day of learning, join your peers at The Revel Hotel for a social hour and the annual awards banquet as we celebrate and honor the great work occurring within our field. Make plans to attend, and register today!

Questions: Contact Alexandra Wade, ISPRA President-Elect and Conference Chair

Thank you to Finalsite for sponsoring our social hour and Thursday lunch, ParentSquare for sponsoring our Friday lunch, and to Class Intercom for sponsoring our breaks!


Register for the spring 2024 conference and awards banquet
Registration Deadline: March 15, 2024

Enter the Communications Contest
Submission Deadline: March 6, 2024 — NO EXTENSIONS! 

Fee and Lodging Information

  • Conference Fee for Members—$110
  • Conference Fee for Non-Members—$125
  • Awards Banquet Fee for Members—$35
  • Awards Banquet Fee for Non-Members—$45

Hotel Block
The Revel Hotel, 11211 Hickman Road, Urbandale, Iowa 50322: Make a reservation.
Reservation Deadline: March 10

Conference Sessions

Thursday, April 11

10 a.m. Continental Breakfast

10:30 a.m. Conference Welcome

11 a.m. Annual Meeting

11:30 a.m. Your Communication Plan: Stop Doing Stuff That Doesn’t Work
Nicole Kirby, she/her, CESO Communications
Have you ever said, “I don’t have time to make a communication plan” or “I wouldn’t know where to start on a communication plan”? A veteran school PR professional will share why you don’t have time NOT to make a plan and how it will let you stop doing communications work that isn’t helping you meet your goals. Get real-life examples of how a communication plan can bring focus and purpose to your overall communications efforts, and dig into the four steps to a strategic communication plan and how to make them work for you.

12:30 p.m. Lunch and Networking, sponsored by Finalsite
Finalsite Logo HRZ

1:30 p.m. Layering Communication for K-12 Multilingual Families
Natalie French, she/her, WDMCS English for Speakers of Other Languages Director
Abdiel Quiroga, he/him, WDMCS Multilingual Family Engagement Specialist

In this session on multilingual communication best practices, learn how to:

  • Determine why, how, and what we communicate
  • Identify and organize multilingual communication resources in your system
  • Partner with cultural brokers for complex conversations
  • Leverage and share resources with all staff and stakeholders

2:30 p.m. Website Session with Iowa City Community School District
Kristin Pedersen, she/her, Iowa City Community School District Community Relations Director
Allie Moeller, Iowa City Community School District Communications Specialist

Learn from Iowa City Community School District Community Relations Director Kristin Pedersen and her team as they share their process for updating their district website to best reflect and serve their students, families, staff, and community.

3:15 p.m. Break, sponsored by Class Intercom
Class intercom logo

3:30 p.m. Panel Session with Education Lobbyists
Bring your legislative questions and concerns to this panel session with four Iowa education lobbyists:

  • Margaret Buckton, Urban Education Network and Rural School Advocates of Iowa
  • Melissa Peterson, Iowa State Education Association
  • Emily Piper, Iowa Association of School Boards
  • Kate Walton, Iowa Area Education Agencies

4:30 p.m. Awards Dinner Preview

6 p.m. Social Hour, sponsored by Finalsite
Finalsite Logo HRZ

7 p.m. Awards Dinner

Friday, April 12

8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Welcome

9 a.m. to noon Changemakers Workshop

Noon Lunch and Networking, sponsored by ParentSquare
ParentSquare Logo

12:45 p.m. Changemakers Workshop continued

1:45 p.m. Break

2 p.m. Changemakers Workshop continued

3 p.m. Conference Closing

Full-Day “Changemakers” Session 
Sinikka Waugh, she/her, Your Clear Next Step

Changemakers are the individuals who put the good of the organization first, make authentic human connections, and consistently treat change as a process, not an event. They make t0hings happen. More often than not, though, Changemakers get stuck. There’s not enough budget. Our projects keep falling behind. We rarely stick to a change when we propose one. Someone is always upset about an initiative. Is there a better way?

Yes! This jam packed and engaging session will give you the tools and techniques for a better way…

  • For change
  • To get more done
  • To bring people along

By attending this course, participants will:

  • Gain tools to help you improve your influence
  • Encounter a simple, easy-to-apply model for talking about one of the most disruptive forces at work
  • Enable you to identify and empower Changemakers around you

Sinikka Waugh, PMP, President and CEO of Your Clear Next Step, spends her days helping people have better workdays. Trainer, coach, business leader, and difference maker, Sinikka is known for consistently helping people solve problems and get things done at work. With a 20+ year background in languages, literature, and project management, Sinikka has helped over 50,000 people have better workdays since 2008. Her clients value how her professionalism blends seamlessly with her down-to-earth, “try this now” approach and her passion for helping others. Sinikka holds a BA from Central College, an MA from the University of Iowa, and is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute (PMI).