Friday, June 24, 2016

Joplin R-8 spending thousands to send employees on PR junket

The recently-approved salary schedule for classified employees in the Joplin R-8 School District gave them raises, but barely enough to cover increases in their health care insurance costs.

Board members retained the option to increase the salaries if they can find another source of money.
If they are not able to do so, they might need to invest in improved public relations.

That's the only reasonable explanation for why the board is scheduled to approve travel and lodging costs for two employees, most likely Communications Director Kelli Price and her assistant, Whitney Warren, to attend the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) seminar in Chicago July 17-20.

While there, the R-8 representatives can choose from many sessions they can put to use when they return to Joplin, including the following:

-Nailing the Media Interview

-Steer the Ship: Leading Through Change with Great Communication

-When "It" Hits the Fan

-Simple Strategies for Branding Your School

-Can You Hear Me Now? Superintendents Are From Mars, Public Relations Professionals are from Venus

-Building Successful Twitter Engagement

If the local representatives arrive early enough, they can catch the pre-session workshop on July 16, given by former Superintendent C. J. Huff and Bright Futures USA Executive Director Kim Vann on "Leading Through Communication: Solutions For Challenging Times."  Reportedly, Huff will not speak about communicating with female board members during challenging times.

The board documentation for the Tuesday, 6 p.m. meeting shows a bill for $656.40 for airfare for two to the seminar.

The event's website shows that the cost for NSPRA members to attend the event is $765 per person. Those attending can also pay their membership dues at the same time for the bargain price of $1,040 (including the registration fee).

Other interesting bills on this month's list:

-$320 for an annual membership to the Joplin Rotary Club. No indication is given as to whose membership this is, or if it is for more than one person.

-$10,661.16 to the Storm Stanley firm for "adult program advertising

-$9.99 o Wert Music for "Harry Potter for Recorder." Nothing particularly noteworthy about this one, but when I first looked at it, I thought Harry Potter was running for political office.

-$456 to D&E Pizza for MAP celebrations

-$75 for Joplin Rotary Club Centennial Celebration

-$9,778 to Missouri School Boards Association for annual membership dues

-$331.59 to AT&T Mobility for Bus Wi-Fi

-$2.535/60 for airfare for three people to a "Cognitive Coaching" conference.

$3,138.41 to U. S. Bank (credit card) for "lodging." No other explanation is given.

-$480 ($120 apiece) for four people to provide security at the Joplin High School Graduation.


Anonymous said...

Price and Warren should have been fired a long time ago.

Why the delay?

Anonymous said...

My thought......isn't every employee of the district a PR representative to some degree?

Get rid of these two and compensate the real PR team instead.

Anonymous said...

Why in the hell does a School District have a PR function to begin with? We elect a School Board and we expect those members to inform the Citizens as to what is happening within the district at their monthly meetings. Save the money and send the PR folks to private industry where they belong.

Anonymous said...

Business as usual, and now happening with the board that was supposed to be the Savior of the district. What a joke!