Krystyna Baumgartner, APR
Krystyna M Baumgartner, APR, is a strategic communicator who has been practicing public relations, communications, and community relations since 2006. She is passionate about helping to craft strategies for telling stories, sharing information, engaging audiences, and managing crises. She began her career working with elected officials and government offices, including as Communications Director for a Member of Congress. Krystyna has worked in school public relations since 2015, when she became the Public Relations Specialist for the Bay Shore School District (New York). She has helped the district to “open the window” into their schools to engage families and community members through storytelling on their website and social media channels, and through printed materials and events.Krystyna has presented at various conferences, including the National School Public Relations Association, the New York School Public Relations Association, the Long Island School Public Relations Association, and the Texas School Public Relations Association. She is the current President of the New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA). She previously served as the Vice President/Suffolk County for the Long Island School Public Relations Association (LISPRA) and on the National School Public Relations Association’s (NSPRA) Communication Technology and Innovation Project Team. She is a two-time recipient of the SCOPE Support Staff Service Award. She was the 2021-2022 National School Public Relations Association Front-Runner for the Northeast Region.
Krystyna is a proud graduate of Stony Brook University (Go Seawolves!), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Magna Cum Laude with Departmental Honors (2007) and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award and the Stony Brook University Provost’s Award. She earned a Master of Arts in Public Policy (2008) from Stony Brook University. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law (2013), where she served on the staff of the New York Litigator Law Journal, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Labor and Employment Arbitration, and was named a Robert Nobile Scholar for Excellence in Labor and Employment Law. She recently earned an Advanced Diploma with Merit in Local History from Oxford University (2022).
When she is not at work, Krystyna enjoys reading, traveling, watching baseball, rooting for Georgia football, and going to the gym. She is a lifelong resident of Long Island.
Vice President/President-elect, 2023-2025
Michelle Verna is an award-winning journalist who has worked in PR and strategic communications consulting since 2006, representing public officials, political candidates and small to mid-sized businesses. She joined the world of School PR at the most opportune time- in 2020- and represents the Scarsdale Public Schools. She has experience in crisis communications, public speaking, website planning and development, event planning and communications plan development. Recognitions include 2022 NSPRA Golden Achievement Award, 2020 NYSPRA Award of Excellence, 2016 Aide, Peekskill St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2013 Westchester Business Council 40 under 40 nominee, 2003 Special Recognition: Features, New England Press Association, and 2002 3rd Prize, Associated Press Managing Editors Association for work following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Michelle was the first woman president of the Hendrick Hudson Lions Club, serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Irish Festival, and is a former Board Member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce. When she's not nerding out about communications, Michelle enjoys sharing stories about her experiences in the funeral industry as a way of encouraging people to talk about their end-of-life plans with their families.