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Collins Elected President of Oregon School PR Association

Members of the Oregon School Public Relations Association elected Katherine Collins as their president for 2002-2003. Collins, who served as vice president of the organization this school year, was elected during the group's spring conference, May 16 and 17, in Portland.

The director of public information and community involvement, Collins has been with the Ontario School District since 1993, bringing with her an associate's degree in journalism from Treasure Valley Community College, a bachelor's degree in public relations from Western Oregon State College, and six years as an editor at the Argus Observer. She earned universal accreditation in public relations in 1999.

Collins has presented workshops in public speaking and customer service at the local, regional and national levels, having presented in Boise, Portland, San Antonio and Minneapolis, as well as New Orleans. She has taught community ed. courses and been a featured speaker at a local women's conference. Two years ago, Collins served as the campaign manager for Joe Krumm of North Clackamas School District, in his bid for leadership of the National School Public Relations Association's Northwest Region. Krumm is now in his second year of office.

"It will be an honor to serve those in school communications," Collins said. "My work with the school district is really all about connecting with people and building relationships. The students of Oregon are the real winners if we're doing a good job."

Collins said in addition to starting a key communicator program in the district, she is most proud of having helped form a local organization of public relations and marketing practitioners.

"The idea and information sharing that takes place in the Oregon School Public Relations Association is invaluable," she said. "I wanted to be able to create that on the local level."

The new OSPRA president is a graduate of Ontario High School and this fall, will enroll the youngest of her three children in the district. Being paid to tout the accomplishments of students and staff in Ontario Public Schools is a dream realized, according to Collins.

"When I was writing stories for the paper, I loved interviewing teachers and taking photos of students. I always thought there were so many great things happening in the schools," Collins recalled. "The main reason my husband and I decided to raise our family in Ontario was because of the people who live here. And many of those people are connected with the district in some way, whether they are current or former staff, board members, parents, grandparents or students."