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GBAPS communication specialist recognized at national level

Kristin Rozek named to NSPRA 35 under 35 class

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March 10, 2023

GREEN BAY – Growing up watching her mom work in the communications field, Kristin Rozek, school and community relations specialist for the Green Bay Area Public School District, said she always knew she too wanted to work in the industry.

“My mom worked in communications for Wisconsin Public Service, so I was exposed to the industry early on,” she said. “I’ve always been a people person, and knew the field would be a good fit for my personality and skill set.”

Rozek’s efforts were recently recognized on a national level as part of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 35 under 35 list.

Every other year, the NSPRA recognizes professionals who it sees making a difference for their school districts or education-related employers.

“I feel honored and humbled to be included on the list with so many outstanding and deserving school public relations practitioners across the country,” she said.

Rozek is the only person on the list from the Badger State. 

“To be the only winner from Wisconsin this year feels special,” she said.

As part of the 35 under 35 class, Rozek and the rest of the honorees will be recognized at the annual NSPRA conference in St. Louis in July.

Being recognized as a 35 under 35 by the NSPRA, Rozek said, has only further cemented her passion for sharing the stories of the district and education as a whole.

“While many of us prefer to be behind the camera or in the backgro?und, if we can be a mouthpiece for the importance of education and advocate for our children and staff members, then it’s worth it,” she said.

Peer recognition
Rozek was nominated for the list by Kimberly Uelmen, Director of Communications for the Howard-Suamico School District.

“I have worked closely with Kimberly for many years in our professional roles as well as on the Board of Directors for the Public Relations Society of America Northeast Wisconsin Chapter,” she said.

Uelmen said she nominated Rozek because the work she was doing locally “should be recognized nationally.”

“She is part of a three-person team, which represents 19,000 students and 3,000 staff,” she said. “Most districts across the nation with that many students and staff have teams of six or seven public relations professionals. The way Kristin and the GBAPS team communicate with clarity, efficiency and innovation should be recognized.”

Uelmen said Ruzek is detail-oriented, yet sees the “big picture,” which is reflected in her “clear and honest” communications.

“In addition, Kristin takes responsibility in mentoring the up-and-coming stars in our field as she leads them with patience, energy and excitement,” she said. “In sum, Kristin shines a light within this profession, and I am proud her commitment is being recognized at the national level.”

After being nominated, Rozek said she had to provide a bio and additional information to the NSPRA. 

“It was a great honor to simply be nominated, she said. “I appreciate Kimberly for her recognition of my work.”

Lori Blakeslee, director of communications and public relations for GBAPS, said Rozek being named to the 35 under 35 class is a “well-deserved” honor.

“Kristin is not only a valued member of the School & Community Relations Department but is truly respected across the district for her continued efforts to share the stories of our district, staff and students,” Blakeslee said.

A passion sparked
Though she knew she wanted to be in the communication/public relations field at a young age, Rozek said it wasn’t until college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire she realized she also enjoyed working with children.

“In college, I worked at Longfellow Elementary School for their after-school program,” she said. “It was there I realized my love for working with children. I was also a communications intern at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Eau Claire, and it made me realize the importance of mentoring young people in our society.”

Kristin Rozek

During summer and winter breaks during college, Rozek said she interned with Leonard & Finco Public Relations.

“President Susan Finco was a mentor to me during my time as an intern and beyond,” she said. “She is an excellent role model for communicating with integrity and building relationships.”

After graduation, Rozek returned to Green Bay and worked as a public relations liaison with Sanimax for nearly two years.
Rozek said when she heard about the opening with GBAPS in 2012, she knew it would be a “perfect fit.”

“I love my job in school public relations because I get to tell the incredible stories of our talented students and staff,” she said. “We have exceptional people in our district, and they deserve to have their praises sung.”

As a member of the GBAPS communications team, Rozek said she wears many hats.

“We have a small communications team to serve more than 3,000 staff and 19,000 students – our day-to-day activities are never the same,” she said. “I manage our district and school websites, our social media accounts and our district notifications system.”

Rozek said she also supports school and district events and media relations.

“My favorite days at work are when I get to be out in the schools – whether I am taking photos or videos or simply attending an event, it is always a pleasure to witness our staff and students learning, growing and achieving together,” she said. “Our staff works hard to build and maintain positive relationships with our students, and it’s evident when you’re in the buildings.”

Rozek said the most challenging part of her job is “not having more hours in the day.”

“There is always more that can be done,” she said.

Rozek said though she isn’t sure what the future holds, she’s content to continue sharing the stories of the Green Bay School District.?

“As long as I can continue to write, tell stories and positively influence the lives of children, I will be happy,” she said. “Personally, I plan to spend quality time with my family and friends, travel and continue to volunteer for the organizations dear to my heart. These causes include Foster the Village and the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay.”

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