Lenard to Lead Mississippi School Public Relations Association
Oxford, Mississippi (December 1, 2020) — The Mississippi School Public Relations Association (MSPRA) has slated new officers and leading that group is Oxford School District’s Public Information Officer, Heather Lenard. The MSPRA is made up of public school communications professionals across Mississippi and is the local chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) whose mission is to advance education through responsible communication. The MSPRA also serves the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS) at their annual conference with school communication workshops.
MSPRA hosts two annual meetings and The Awards of Excellence program honoring superior school public relations/communications programs, projects, and campaigns. Lenard will follow Past-President, Nicole Thomas of Starkville-Oktibbeha School District. Alongside Lenard, members elected Matt Davis of Meridian Public Schools as Vice-President, Jeff Eubanks of South Panola School District as Treasurer, Andrea Williams of Lauderdale County Schools as Secretary, and Robert Chapman of Clinton Public Schools as the Presidential Appointee.
School communication professionals train continually for school emergencies and crises of all types. In a year when school communication has been vital, Lenard says “the role of our professional organization proved its worth tenfold. This year’s pandemic stretched us more than we could imagine and being able to lean on colleagues in MSPRA for support was our lifeline.” Lenard has offered to serve as MSRPA president for two consecutive years if elected to do so.
“I am very fortunate to work in a district that understands the role of public and internal communications. The OSD invests in quality digital communication platforms that reach parents, students, and staff and they invest in me as the director of those platforms. We are only as strong as our communication and even though the way we communicate is ever-changing, I believe the OSD has excelled and will continue to lead in this area.”
Lenard, a Rankin County native, moved with her family to Oxford from Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Colorado, Lenard led marketing and communications for the City of Colorado Springs Airport and prior to that, worked in communications for a Colorado Springs K-12 school district. For nearly a decade, Lenard worked for the Mississippi-based non-profit, Get2College, as the Director of Outreach where she spoke in over 300 schools a year on topics related to college access. Lenard was hired by Superintendent Brian Harvey in 2018 just prior to the district’s design and adoption of its Portrait of a Graduate project, for which the district won the top Gold Medallion communication award in 2019. Lenard was also named MSPRA’s Communicator of the Year in 2019.