March 2022 Conference Presentations

  • Three Strategies For Upping Your Communications Game

    Ashton Bellenthin, communications coordinator for Danville Schools, shares how a strong communication plan is a key element in showcasing your school. This session will focus on three main strategies for improving the way you share the stories of your students and staff, and provide real tools you can use today to up your game. 

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  • Ethical Framework for Communicators

    Michael Meath, founder and president, Fallingbrook Associates, shares an Ethical Framework for Communicators, consisting of examples and practical approaches to decision-making that I feel would be valuable to educational administrators and communication directors/managers.

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  • Current Trends in Public Access Law

    Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt addresses current trends in public access law analysis and how it applies specifically to schools, including new legislation. His talk also addresses the practicality elements of complying with these laws and how to interact with the Public Access Counselor’s Office.

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  • Tax Increases, Troubling Ballot Language, Trolls: Winning Rural Referenda

    No matter where you are located in the state of Indiana, it’s challenging to pass a referendum. Take Benton Community School Corporation in west central Indiana. This politically conservative farming community has a declining population, declining school enrollment, and a challenging economy. The school corporation also faced rapidly eroding finances before passing an operating levy in June 2020. This session, led by Jeff Dehler, a veteran of more than two dozen referendum campaigns, tells Benton’s story, providing hope for small districts statewide.

    Jeff Dehler, APR, is the “Chief Relationship Builder” with DehlerPR, a strategic consulting firm serving clients acting in the public good and specializing in public schools since 2011. DehlerPR has written communications plans, completed branding processes, assisted with communications, and helped schools pass more than two dozen referendum questions. He is Accredited in Public Relations through NSPRA and is active in school PR associations in Indiana and Minnesota.

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  • 2022 INDSPRA State of the Association

    INDSPRA President Maria Bond and Executive Director Donna Petraits provide the State of the Association for 2022.

    • State of the Chapter
    • Election of officers
    • News and updates
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  • How Our Stories Get Us Through Life Storms - Angela Cain

    As a TV news anchor/reporter for nearly 30 years, Angela Cain has written thousands of stories, including reporting on national and local crises and people’s personal crises. She will share some of their stories and the insight she has gained from watching people rise when the storms of life can overwhelm them. And she will share some of her own personal journey of purpose that both guided and carried her through life and career transitions.

    Angela is a multiple Emmy award-winning former television news anchor/reporter and, today, an entrepreneur and professional coach. In 2016, she launched Angela Cain Communications, a PR/Media Relations, communications, and brand storytelling agency. She focuses on purpose-driven businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals and specializes in creating compelling content through videos, blogs, podcasts, commercials, and internal and external communications to build a business’s brand, customers, and revenue.

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  • Communicating Through Chaos - Tom DeLapp, APR

    Giving parents a greater voice in school policies is emerging as a central hot button political issue in the 2022 campaign season. It is a rallying cry and a catalyst for mobilizing voters and activists to “take over” locally elected seats on school boards, city councils, and county boards of supervisors. For two years, public schools have been trying to navigate through a “Perfect Storm” of controversies, catastrophes, challenges, and critical situations. Public schools have become the political battleground for an increasingly uncivil debate in a new “culture war” sweeping the country. In this session, veteran communicator Tom DeLapp will share his views about where we are and where we are headed when it comes to public engagement in education. He will also lead a collaborative discussion about practices, pitfalls, and possibilities for isolating and containing the negativity virus in our schools.

    Since 1996 when he founded his consulting practice, Tom has served as communications counsel for over 500 school districts in California. He has conducted over 700 workshops across the country, training nearly 300,000 educators on effective communication, community engagement, crisis management, and media relations.

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  • Legal Update and Hot Topics

    Sara Blevins shares the latest in school law and discusses current hot topics. Sara practices in the areas of education and employment law. She represents public, charter, and private schools on a wide range of issues including employment law, student matters, board governance, SBOA investigations, and compliance with state and federal law. In addition, Sara represents both public and private employers on a broad range of employment and human resources matters including employee policy manuals, severance agreements, ADA and Title VII accommodations, FMLA, and compliance with other federal and state laws. Sara is skilled in a wide-range of civil litigation areas including representing employers in employment-related litigation, breach of contract, defending personal injury claims, and school law-related litigation. Sara is a co-editor of Indiana School Laws and Rules. 

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  • Community Care: Principles and Techniques for De-Escalation

    In this presentation, you will learn the psychology of conflict and escalation as well as some of the fundamental principles of de-escalation. You will also learn a practical step-by-step process to de-escalate situations with community members and customers. Additionally, there will be time for discussion and Q&A.

    Jeremy Pollack, Ph.D. is a social psychologist and a leader in the field of workplace conflict resolution and peacebuilding. He is the Founder of Pollack Peacebuilding Systems, the largest workplace conflict resolution consulting firm in North America. Jeremy is a master coach, master trainer, mediator, and author. He coaches and trains executives and employees at a variety of levels and industries, from Fortune 500 companies to major non-profits. Jeremy has mediated conflicts between business partners, co-executives, and coworkers at all levels of organizations, aiming as often as possible to transform relationships and create Win-Win resolutions for all parties involved.

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