Mrs. Donna Petraits
Retired Public Relations Specialist, Brownsburg
Donna spent 26 years as an educator, recently retiring from Brownsburg Community School Corporation. The former English, journalism, mass media teacher, publications adviser and Communications Department head spent the past ten years as the Director of Communications for Brownsburg Schools. During that time, Donna saw the district through several years of rapid growth and the resulting demographic change, construction and communications challenges that presented. An expert at school marketing and strategic and crisis communications, she has developed training, policies and practices for schools in dealing with the media, social media, and a variety of communications issues. She was the first in Indiana to develop a unique "community academy" concept - CAST, which has, not only improved the knowledge of how schools function for hundreds of community members, but also significantly increased advocacy for schools. Donna has also trained hundreds of staff and school leaders in customer service and community engagement practices. Donna, along with a handful of other school public relations professionals, was responsible for reestablishing the Indiana Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association, served as its president for two years and now is its Executive Director.