New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) logo

ABOUT us

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

Steve King

President 2021-2023
Always passionate about storytelling, Steve has established himself as an innovative and recognized leader in the area of social media and digital communications among public education PR professionals across the country. He is a manager for the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service and has over a decade of experience helping school districts build trust and credibility with their publics. He regularly provides strategic communications and social media guidance to school districts and educational organizations throughout New York state and has presented to audiences around North America. In 2016, he was named a “35 under 35” Next Generation Leader by the National School Public Relations Association. Away from work, Steve is a co-host of A Podcast for Creatives, an audio experience creatives and thinkers in all fields. He lives in Saratoga County with his wife and son.

Twitter: @thesteveking

Krystyna Baumgartner, APR

Vice President/President-Elect 2021-2023
Krystyna Baumgartner, APR, is a strategic communicator who has been practicing public relations, communications and community relations since 2006. She has worked in school public relations since 2015. Prior to entering school PR, she worked for elected officials, including as Communications Director for a Member of Congress. She is passionate about helping to craft strategies for telling stories, sharing information and engaging audiences. In her current role as the Public Relations Specialist for the Bay Shore School District, Krystyna created the district’s first strategic communications plan, including a new content and social media strategy. She has presented at various conferences, including the National School Public Relations Association, the New York School Public Relations Association and Texas School Public Relations Association. She is the Vice President/Suffolk of the Long Island School Public Relations Association (LISPRA) and is on the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Communication Technology and Innovation Project Team. She is the host of Communicating Education, a podcast dedicated to school public relations.

Twitter: @kmbaumgartner

Jake Mendlinger

Treasurer, 2021-2023
Bio to come.

Sapna Kollali

Secretary, 2021-2023
Bio to come.

Adrienne Leon, APR

Adrienne Leon, APRImmediate President, 2021-2021
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.

Twitter: @AdriJLeon

Monica Lester, APR

Monica Lester

NYSPRA Communications Coordinator & Contest Coordinator
In addition to being NYSPRA's communications coordinator, Monica Lester, APR, is a public information specialist for Capital Region BOCES where she has worked since 2006. Her favorite part of school public relations work is sharing stories and helping school leaders strategically communicate in order to improve communities, schools and learning for all students. She is committed to developing NYSPRA into an organization that inspires and encourages members. Monica, her husband, three sons and two dogs live in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. She has bachelor of arts in writing from Loyola University Maryland and a master of science in journalism from Boston University.

Twitter: @elliotsmama

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software