The annual Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) conference was held in Frisco this week. Districts from across the state come together for professional development, networking, and a recognition banquet. During the conference, professional awards are given to deserving TSPRA members ranging from Rookie of the Year to Most Valuable Member.
The 2018 recipient of the TSPRA Most Valuable Member was Carroll ISD Assistant Superintendent for Board and Community Relations, Julie Thannum. Thannum was recognized for her service to not only TSPRA and educators around the state, but also for her service at the national level as President of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).
Her colleagues around the country took this opportunity to recognize Thannum’s dedication to the success of public education and public education communication personnel that she has displayed and still displays in her everyday career.
“Julie is a strong, sturdy and consistent voice that represents all members of TSPRA, NSPRA, and PR professional. She has been a sounding board for myself and many others,” says Dane Dellebach, Project Manager from Blackboard, a company that works with educational systems across the country. “She is trusted to see all angles of a situation, with her only agenda being the success of students and the right decision being made. She sees the big picture and strategy, but she always has time for the individual. It is for this reason alone that she has become a mentor for so many.”
Kristin Magette, Director of Communications for Eudora Public Schools in Kansas, believes that Thannum is a shining example of what a servant leader looks like.
“Julie is a true servant leader. She is all at once – confident yet approachable, principled and open-minded. She is a ‘go-to’ resource for truly great advice, but at the same time, I have seen her adapt and listen to varied perspectives.” said Magette. “It’s clear in all she says and does that she cares deeply about this profession – but more than anything she cares deeply about the people in her work and in her life.”
Carroll ISD Superintendent Dr. David Faltys was in attendance for the award presentation and stated, “In our community, superintendents come and go – but there is only one Julie Thannum.” Thannum has worked alongside Dr. Faltys since he joined the district over 12 years ago.
Thannum was presented with the award during the TSPRA General Meeting Luncheon at the State Conference on Wednesday, February 21.