Susan was a lost soul finding difficulty marrying the push and pull of the left brain/right brain struggle for dominance. After double majoring in mathematics and communications, she went on to earn her graduate degree in political rhetoric and public address. Somehow she was able to blend her passion for analytics and politics and wrote such enthralling rhetorical analyses on works such as Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. As the daughter of public school teachers, Susan then found her way back to education securing her first school communications job in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.
Over 20 years and four Twin Cities suburban districts later, Susan joined CESO in 2020. She has been an active member of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) by facilitating annual workshops for new school communications professionals. Her involvement with the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA) includes serving as treasurer (dug, math major) and president.
She enjoys all aspects of strategic communications and especially likes engaging with stakeholders to elevate their voice and help them feel valued and heard. Susan is outspoken in her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion and enjoys coaching others on their own learning journey. Her biggest pet peeve is when she hears people say that something won't work because "we tried it before", which leads to her penchant for always asking questions and seeking deeper meaning (often to the exhaustion of her husband, Bob). She enjoys yoga, TRX, knitting, and cooking and often seeks energy in the stillness.
Samantha is a visual storyteller focused on helping districts get noticed amid all of the online noise. Whether it's designing websites, video, print publications, social media campaigns, or other forms of communications, she creatively brings ideas to life. With over seven years of experience working in a small Twin Cities, Minnesota suburban school district, she knows how to create an engaged social media following from scratch and use infographics to illustrate complex ideas. Sam has an eye for capturing special moments through photography and elevates our storytelling with her images and video. When she's not photographing students and teachers, she can be found snapping shots at weightlifting and CrossFit competitions (or participating in them herself), gardening in her backyard, traveling the world, or watching sci-fi movies.
Through her communications coordinator role at CESO, Olivia supports the strategic communications efforts of school districts. Prior to joining the team in 2021, she spent two years in marketing public and private education. From personalizing prospective family experience to coordinating retention initiatives, she is skilled at maintaining professional standards and clarity. Her experiences emphasize her ability to effectively adapt to the ever-changing school day and quickly problem solve. She is a self-proclaimed ABBA superfan who enjoys the hiking, nature photography, playing the violin, and taking part in the hygge lifestyle (the Danish art of enjoying life's simple pleasures through cozy unplugged relaxation).
Nicole spent more than 23 years leading the communications program for the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri before joining CESO with a passion for authenticity, transparency, and public education.
She served as vice president of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) as well as earlier terms as NSPRA regional vice president and the president of the Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA).
Nicole is an NSRPA Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader. She received the NSRPA Front Runner Award, the NSPRA Award of Excellence, the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award, and the MOSPRA Distinguished Service Award. In 2019 she was awarded the NSPRA Gold Medallion for her comprehensive communications program.
She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University, a master's degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Kansas, and her accreditation in public relations.
Nicole and her husband, Rob, live in Fairway, Kansas - just a few blocks from the Missouri state line - with their son, William, and their dog, Bentley.
Liz is a written and visual storyteller, frequently combining the two on social media, website design, and print publications. With over five years of professional public relations experience, Liz can confidently tell your story with personality and tone to make your voice seem effortless yet powerful.
From journalism to corporate communications to event planning and sales, Liz has explored where her journalism degree could take her. In 2018, she took a leap of faith and moved to Thailand to teach kindergarten students in Chiang Mai for two years. She took an opportunity within school public relations when she realized she could combine the power of storytelling with her experience as an educator. It's the possibility of learning something new about a student, parent, staff or community member that inspires Liz every day. If genuine storytelling doesn't drive good storytelling, then what does?
When not writing, you can usually see Liz zooming around on her yellow scooter, drinking copious amounts of coffee, working at her local farmers market, tending her vegetable garden, and dreaming of the day she and her partner will own a dog (for now they just visit dog parks and pretend they're dog owners).
Kyle is a storyteller and strategist focused on effective and consistent messaging that earns community trust and drive the organization's mission. With over eight years in public relations and communications consulting, he has seen a variety of challenges and helped school districts tell their stories. Kyle's experience includes working on a number of operating levy and bond referendum campaigns, communications auditing and planning, and managing day-to-day communications efforts for organizations. He thrives in the fast-paced world of communications and can find the right method to share the right message with experience in website creation, social media campaigns, email newsletter campaigns, and more.
Kristin brings 10+ years of experience in public relations and community engagement. She has a passion for bringing people together through quality, consistent communications all while putting students first. Her natural drive is to exceed client expectations through a strong eye for detail and unparalleled project management. Kristin is an active member of the Illinois National School Public Relations Association (INSRPA).
Prior to joining CESO, Kristin worked at a high school district in the western suburbs of Chicago. Before shifting to education communications, she worked at an agency in Omaha, Nebraska serving clients in the arts, education, and public health industries by focusing on their brand and communications needs.
When not working, Kristin enjoys taking walks with her husband and two young children, going on vacation (although with kids it's more like "relocation"), and hosting dinners for family and friends. As an Illinois transplant with no allegiance to Chicago sports, she is a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan.
Justin has been telling stories since he walked into his first Media Technology class as a junior in high school. After teaching film and radio for several years, he made the jump to school public relations. He has served in communications roles in multiple school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Justin remains an active member of TSPRA and has been recognized for his work in social media and visual storytelling. Additionally, he is the co-host of the award-winning podcast School PR Happy Hour. When he isn't at work, Justin enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Caty, and daughter, Kinleigh, catching a Dallas Mavericks or Dallas Wings game, binging the latest Marvel content, and participating in the most over-the-top fantasy baseball league around.
Julie loves solving problems and is passionate about involving key stakeholders - especially teachers and students - in the decisions that affect them most. She has 30+ years of experience in crisis communications, school safety, and public engagement and is past president of both the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA). With a keen eye toward conflict resolution, Julie knows that earning trust in education involved truth and transparency over time. She mentors communications professionals and empowers school leaders to find solutions to everyday problems by leading with integrity, inviting internal and external feedback, and focusing on the end game.
Her expertise includes launching strategic communications programs, raising revenue for the classroom through corporate partnerships, and creating target messaging for your school safety program. She's known in north Texas as #SAFEdragon after successfully writing, implementing, and marketing her district's crisis management response plan. Julie's resiliency and self-confidence are best demonstrated by her lifelong commitment as a Chicago Cubs fan. It's no surprise that she's an Enneagram Type 8. She and her husband live in Texas with their teen son and paw pals Loki and Meeko. They also have two adult daughters and a son-in-law who remarkably still find it fun to hang out with their parents. Julie loves reading fiction, binge-watching Netflix, and traveling - especially when the trip involves beach views, Central Park, or Downtown Disney shopping.
Since joining CESO in 2019, Julie has assisted with the created and execution of strategic communications plans for clients. Leading their digital presence, Julie has developed social media and article content that aligns with the district's goals and enhances digital communication. Along with these ongoing efforts, she has implemented social media advertisement campaigns to reach new audiences and increase student enrollment. She has been integral in building new websites that merge strategy with creativity to drive traffic and engagement. Julie enjoys adventuring outdoors - a pastime that became fundamental to her years exploring the Pacific Northwest. She is often chasing waterfalls, creating music, or cuddling someone's dog.
Growing up in a house with nine people and one bathroom, Jim learned early in life how to handle crisis and hostile environments. As a recovered Philadelphia sports writer, he also is used to being booed. Jim has worked for more than 30 years in developing and executing strategic public relations programs for three Arizona school districts. He is a member of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) where he served as President from 2014 - 2015. He also served twice as President for the Arizona School Public Relations Association (ASPRA). Jim has won multiple associations awards including NSPRA's 2012 Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award.
In addition to his body of work, he is a frequent and popular seminar speaker with his content-rich, high-energy presentations. A glutton for punishment, he remains loyal to Philadelphia sports teams, especially the Flyers and Phillies. He lives in Arizona with his wife and a cat who has turned into a Facebook and Instagram star.
After working in a suburban North Texas school district for six years, Hayley joined CESO Communications in 2021. She loves problem solving with creative solutions to help tell a district's story. An active member of the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA), she particularly enjoys networking and building relationships with colleagues who offer years of experience and insight. When not working, Hayley enjoys traveling, watching movies, running, and cheering on the Baylor Bears and the Texas Rangers. She and her husband live in Fort Worth, Texas.
After a successful college softball career and a summer spent traveling Europe, Coley came home and jumped at the opportunity to become a communications and graphic design specialist for a suburban Minneapolis school district. Eight years and lots of experience later, Coley joined the CESO Communications team in 2019. She is a member of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and secretary of the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA).
She is a self-proclaimed branding nerd who loves to take a logo and bring it to life across a district. Her unique skill set combines a talent for design with mad skills in project management. When she's not coaching softball, you can find her behind a camera, cheering on the Twins and Wild, traveling, working on DIY home projects, or walking her 100 pound chocolate lab, Avery (who should've been named Moose). She lives in the Twin Cities suburbs with her husband and son.
After five years in the world of corporate marketing and public relations, Chris found his true calling in the world of school communications. He is a nationally-recognized leader who has spent the last 20 years directing the communications efforts for one of the top-ranked school districts in Missouri and the Midwest. Chris is a go-to strategic advisor in the areas of crisis management, media relations, and community engagement. He believes that when PR work is done well, it often goes unseen. His passion for mentoring drove him to develop programs supporting his Missouri colleagues, and he currently facilities programming for the National School Public Relations Association's (NSPRA) New Professionals Program. He has served in state-level leadership roles with the Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA) and nationally on the NSRPA Executive Board.
You can find him on the pitch coaching a club soccer team, in his backyard near one of his grills or smokers doing magical things with some large slab of meat, or in the kitchen making hand-crafted, old-world sausage or charcuterie. He lives in the St. Louis area with his wife and two daughters.
Cara is a graphic designer with a strong belief in design as a problem-solving tool, as a connection between ideas and reality, and as a method for improving the relationship between people, products, and information. With experience in school communications at Park Hill School District (MO), Cara knows how to develop and maintain a brand, utilize design concepts to communication information, and create a wide array of eye-catching digital and print pieces. She's a pro at vector illustration, photo editing, publication and page layout, motion graphics, and video editing - all utilized to help clients achieve developmental and growth goals through design.
Though she often has her head in the Adobe Creative Cloud - both during and after work - she also loves hanging out with her friends and family, listening to and playing all kinds of music, collecting vinyl records, building things out of wood, and dabbling in video games. She is excited for the opportunity to travel anywhere now that work can be mobile.
Brett brings more than 20 years of experience in school communications marketing, strategic planning, and community engagement in Missouri and Illinois districts. Along with his work at CESO, he is also the Director of Communications for Maine Township High School District 207 in suburban Chicago and a former school board member in his local community. While he lives and works in the Chicago area, don't mention the Cubs - he's a Cardinals fan all the way. You're welcome to bring up the Bears, but only if you want to hear a diatribe on their lowly history outside of the '85 team.
During his career, Brett has worked for school districts, universities, and educational non-profits. He has served as a National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) regional vice president and both writes and speaks on a variety of school communications topics.
Bob Noyed left a short career as a starving journalist to pursue a 30 plus year career in school communications. He accepted his first school communications job because, well, he needed a job. This gainful employment quickly turned into a passion for public education, and he has not looked back. He served as director of communications for a handful of districts in suburban Minneapolis (Minn.) before joining CESO Communications in July 2019.
He has been a member and leader of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) including service as president in 2006-2007, as well as the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA), where he served as president twice. He writes and speaks about school communications to anyone who will listen. He has a deep dislike for the status quo and is known for more than his fair share of crazy ideas (some of the craziest ones actually worked). He loves wine, food, travel and can easily be talked into skipping work to take in an afternoon baseball game. He lives in the St. Paul suburbs with his wife Susan, and more wine than two people should own.