The pandemic did an amazing job magnifying the challenges in our districts. Next year, educational leaders will need five key groups to help move your school district onward. Rachel Thomas will identify the five relationships and some strategies to strengthen your relationships with these groups. Get ready for some aha moments and a solid foundation to create a holistic plan for your next school year!
It all started with a Lip Dub. I was a junior at Leavenworth High School in my hometown Leavenworth, Kansas. Our high school had an unfair reputation among incoming students and neighboring towns. I cared about my community, and the way visitors and potential students saw the school I loved. Four teachers and two administrators from my school let me dream, gave me the autonomy to create this schoolwide project, and the permission to do it. With their validation and this experience, I fell in love with communications and the simple yet important idea of amplifying the everyday stories.
I took my journey to Jayhawk land to study Strategic Communications at the University of Kansas. My curiosity lead me to a one-on-one coaching session with Jeff Fromm, hand-modeling for Dairy Queen, planning TedxKansas City, writing a chocolate milk commercial, a shout-out from Colin Jost, and working for a local author who, in turn, helped me meet my husband. I loved all my unique and informative experiences, but my favorite (other than meeting my husband) was my school public relations internship at Leavenworth Public Schools.
My career started at a national Broadway touring agency representing 11 different cities and bringing the national tours to those cities. While I enjoyed the theater, I missed the focus on the important everyday stories. One November morning, my former supervisor at Leavenworth messaged me about a job opening in school communications at Lawrence Public Schools. I applied immediately, and quickly began an almost three-year run as one member of a dynamic duo at Lawrence Public Schools in Lawrence, Kansas. Recently, I switched gears and joined the team at the Kansas Association of School Boards to help educational leaders across the state tell their stories.
General Session Speakers