The New York School Public Relations Association is a state chapter of the National School Public Relations Association, nationally recognized for its efforts on behalf of school public relations professionals. With members representing school districts, BOCES and independent PR agencies throughout New York State, NYSPRA is dedicated to the development and dissemination of educational communications that engage parents, staff, community residents, partners in education and other stakeholders. Together, members support student achievement and school improvement initiatives.
Established in the 1970s, NYSPRA connects individual practitioners with a professional network to share ideas and information and provides support regarding all aspects of school public relations. NYSPRA offers dynamic speakers, stimulating workshops and conferences and a host of professional development opportunities. The organization enables members to broaden their networking base by interacting with some of the best and most talented communicators in the state and beyond. NYSPRA helps members to better balance day-to-day demands placed on their time and talent.
NYSPRA is an all-volunteer organization, tapping the talents and experience of its members to offer colleagues support, information and proven ideas for building and strengthening a successful school communications program.
Current NYSPRA Officers
Adrienne Leon, APR, has worked in the world of school PR since 2004. She is a seasoned public relations practitioner with experience in crisis communications, consent building, public speaking, website planning and development, social media and media relations. As a public information specialist with the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service for 10 years, she worked in rural, urban and suburban school districts. Today, as the director of communications & public relations with the Communications Service, she is a member of the leadership team that oversees more than 60 communications professionals serving school districts across New York. In 2017, Adrienne received her Accreditation in Public Relations and in 2015 was named a “35 under 35” next generation leader by the National School Public Relations Association. Adrienne has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from St. Michael’s College in Vermont. During her college years, she also completed a study abroad program in Ghana, West Africa, where she learned how to make glass beads and speak Twi. She currently lives in the Schenectady, N.Y., area with her husband and two children who remind her every day of the importance of public education.
Vice President/President-Elect 2019-2021
Patricia McCabe, Ed.D.Treasurer, 2019-2021
Patricia McCabe, Ed.D., is the program administrator for communications and research at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. Her background is in writing/journalism, business, organizational behavior, marketing, and educational leadership and she holds a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in business administration, a post-graduate certification in school district business leadership, and a doctorate in educational leadership. ESBOCES' vision statement is “Educational Services That Transform Lives” and she is most inspired by knowing that the work she does increases awareness of often life-changing opportunities that are available for students of all ages. She is a compulsive reader, and enjoys it most while camping or kayaking (yes, I bring reading material on a kayak for when I anchor up next to my fisherman husband). Her other hobbies include quilting, napping and avoiding all forms of housework. She has three grown children and five happy, healthy grandchildren with whom she spends every spare moment she has.
Immediate Past President, 2017-2019
Monica Lester, APR
NYSPRA Communications Coordinator & Contest Coordinator