Meet The PowerPRos: Staci Adelman Vincent

We are proud to share more about one of our five 2022 PowerPRo recipients: Staci Adelman Vincent as she answered our slate of questions in her own words.

How long have you been in school PR and where/what titles? 
This is my 13th year working for the Orange City School District as Communications Assistant. Prior to this, I was a television news journalist in Washington, DC covering Capitol Hill, the White House, and international news for more than a decade and then worked at WKYC-TV where I won an Emmy, Best of Gannett and Society of Professional Journalist awards. I am honored and humbled to have received OHSPRA’s Best of the Best Award nine times (eight in photography) as I am well-aware of and inspired by the extraordinarily talented people in the OHSPRA circuit.

What attracted you to school PR?
After I left television news and raised my boys in their formative years, I wanted to do something that would allow me to continue to be a storyteller but still permit me to be near my young boys and not be on call to travel 24/7. I was looking for something that would fulfill my writing, photography, and videography storytelling passions. I reached out to the Orange Schools Communications Director (and OHSPRA Board Member) Lou DeVincentis whom I knew through my work as Orange Alumni Association President for some insight. He let me know that the Orange Schools Superintendent at the time had just initiated a program called "The Orange Story." It turned out to be a perfect fit for me. Once hired, I was sharing stories of the amazing programs and initiatives at my Alma Mater which also happened to be the school system where my boys were thriving. I had majored in Broadcast Journalism with a specialty in education at the graduate level at Northwestern University, so it truly felt like I was "coming home." In effect, I was.

Tell me a bit about yourself, family and outside interests.
Following my dual MSJ/BSJ degrees in journalism from Northwestern, I began my career in Washington, DC covering stories ranging from politics to national news like the Oklahoma City Bombings to international news like Princess Diana's funeral in London for a group of stations around the country. I first served as a Washington Correspondent for Newslink and Hearst Broadcasting and later as Director of News for Tribune Broadcasting’s Washington Bureau. 
While in DC, I joined a singing/performing chorus (much like the Singing Angels organization I had grown up in) and met my husband, Leland, who proposed to me in front of the entire group which later sang at our wedding! When he began law school in Cleveland, I returned to be with him after covering one of my most emotionally challenging stories -- the death of JFK, Jr., whose extended family I had known and covered for years. I have a wonderful photo of my husband with JFK, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy at the Washington Correspondents Dinner just a couple months before the tragedy happened. 
After working at WKYC-TV as Assistant News Director and Executive Producer for Special Projects, I left the business to raise our two boys before getting into School PR. I am a product of the Orange City Schools so I was proud to bring my children back to my Alma Mater.  Ryan, our oldest, is now a senior at the College of William and Mary and is studying to be a history teacher because of the influence his educators have had on him; Caden is a freshman in Ball State's Honors College where he is majoring in sports journalism/broadcasting in the Sports Link program there. My husband is an employment attorney with Dennis Seaman & Associates.
Along with work and my family, I have enjoyed a 35-year career coaching and instructing competitive color guards and drill teams throughout the country and have been honored to be a judge in both the ASJA and MEPA Circuits. I also announce and emcee at various events in the community including the most recent Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Orange. I still enjoy singing with my various show choirs. 
And the buried 2019 I was elected as a Councilwoman in Orange Village where I have served for the past three years (it's a four-year term). I was the inaugural Co-Chair of the REDI Committee (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and a volunteer with our Orange Cares program. I also serve as the Orange Schools liaison to the Kiwanis Club of Lander Circle. I wear a lot of “orange-colored” hats. 

What interested you in applying for the Power PRo designation?
First and foremost, I am competitive and love a good challenge! When I saw the opportunity to delve more deeply into doing what I already love and further collaborate with School PR colleagues, it was a no-brainer for me! It has been a lot of fun; it has enabled me to build new bonds and friendships with colleagues in the school PR community; and (OHSPRA Board Member) Crystal Davis's enthusiasm is contagious! Now that I have had the title in my email signature for the past few months, it is definitely a source of pride. 

What did you think of the Power PRo program? Would you recommend it?
I LOVE it! It has not only allowed me to get more involved in OHSPRA, but I have already learned and grown from the experience. I am excited to show my pride for the program by showcasing the logo that I helped inspire and "wearing it" as a Badge of Honor. I also love the opportunity to further serve my OHSPRA and NSPRA chapters and network and connect more closely with colleagues experiencing the same things I am. I have already recommended it wholeheartedly and signed up to continue for next year!

What did/do you love about OHSPRA's Spring Conference and/or about being an OHSPRA member?
I have always enjoyed participating in the various conferences throughout the last decade-plus, and it has been a joy to meet so many fascinating colleagues from around the state who all offer inspirational ideas. Engaging with these colleagues as a Power Pro candidate was particularly memorable for me. We had spent the better part of the last two years in a two-dimensional world on Zoom, and now I had the unique opportunity to create multiple ice-breakers and getting-to-know-you sessions that allowed everyone to collaborate without feeling stuck in a box, literally and figuratively. The exchange of ideas at the Spring Conference is phenomenal; the professional development is amazing; and I always leave the conference feeling motivated and inspired with huge takeaways. I am so very grateful to all who volunteer their time and effort to be a part of the Board and offer such a wonderful range of experiences for all of the OHSPRA members. I am honored to be a part of this incredible organization.

Meet The PowerPRos: Betsy Fuller

We are proud to share more about one of our five 2022 PowerPRo recipients: Betsy Fuller as she answered our slate of questions in her own words.

Betsy Fuller, APR

How long have you been in school PR, and what is your title? 

5 years, Lakota Local Schools, Director School/Community Relations.

 What attracted you to school PR? 

Had I not gone into advertising and marketing, I would have chosen to be a high school English teacher. I have always been a strong supporter of public education. When I had the opportunity to shift gears and marry my professional experience with my second career choice of education, it seemed like a dream come true.

Tell us about yourself, family and outside interests. 

A native of Cleveland, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work on both coasts, in Los Angeles and New York City, before returning to my home state. My husband, Doug, and I have two wonderful daughters, Hannah and Emily. When I’m not telling the stories of Lakota’s 17,000+ students, you can find me hanging out with my family and friends, traveling and reading.

What interested you in applying for the PowerPRo designation? 

Participating in professional development opportunities is a priority for me. I always strive to continue learning in order to improve in my field. I’m thrilled that OHSPRA has developed the Power PRo designation. It is yet another opportunity to push myself to learn and give back to this field.

What did you think of the PowerPRo program? 

Would you recommend it? I have already recommended the program to my colleague. It’s always motivating to work towards a goal and knowing that I would need to accomplish certain tasks, or participate in certain events/projects helps keeps me motivated and learning.

What did/do you love about OHSPRA's Spring Conference and/or about being an OHSPRA member? I

love that we were able to get back together in person this year. In addition to some great sessions, having the opportunity to connect with others around the state is refreshing and energizing. I was able to make some connections with people I haven’t met before, as well as connect with colleagues I haven’t seen for a while. I appreciate that OHSPRA seems to be “stepping up its game” when it comes to PD. For example, the lunch and learn opportunities have been great and I hope they continue.

Anything else you'd like to add? 

I’m hoping that there will be an opportunity for OHSPRA members to connect at NSPRA!

Meet The PowerPRos: Mary Stephens

We are proud to share more about one of our five 2022 Power PRo recipients: Mary Stephens as she answered our slate of questions in her own words.

Mary Stephens

How long have you been in school PR and where/what titles?

I just completed my first year in school PR. It has been wonderful working for my alma mater, Vandalia-Butler City Schools, as the PR & Communications Coordinator. 

What attracted you to school PR?

School PR is unlike any other public relations position because it is centered around children, learning, and family. One of my favorite aspects of this position is being a storyteller for our district and celebrating student and teacher successes. 

Tell us about yourself, family and outside interests.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Wright State University and worked as an account manager. When our first child was born, I became a stay-at-home mom. Throughout the last ten years of being an at-home parent, I held various part-time and volunteer positions in school and municipal capacities before making the most recent career change to school PR. I have been married to my husband, John, for seventeen years and we have two boys ages 14 and 10. I enjoy reading, gardening, spending time with my family, and watching our children play sports. 

What interested you in applying for the PowerPRo designation?

As a new school PR professional, I applied for the PowerPRo designation to connect with others in similar positions and to grow professionally.

What did you think of the PowerPRo program? Would you recommend it?

I enjoyed the PowerPRo program and would recommend it to others regardless of career tenure. I enjoyed helping with the ice breaker activities at the OHSPRA Conference and working closely with others in a small group setting.

What did/do you love about OHSPRA's Spring Conference and/or about being an OHSPRA member?
As an OHSPRA member, I look forward to the monthly OHSPRA newsletters.  The Spring Conference was a wonderful experience of networking and professional development. The keynote speaker, Chris Stapleton, was amazing.

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