El Paso ISD’s Diana Sayavedra named NSPRA 2022 Superintendent to Watch
EL PASO INDPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – Dec. 15, 2022) – El Paso ISD Superintendent Diana Sayavedra has been selected as a 2022 Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Sayavedra is one of 25 superintendents nationwide who were selected for the honor in recognition of their innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.
“I am pleased and honored to be recognized by the National School Public Relations Association,” Sayavedra said. “El Paso ISD is the pioneer of education in El Paso. We know that communicating for impact with our schools, our community and our stakeholders is a vital component of our relentless pursuit to deliver high-quality learning experiences to our students. We will continue to engage in those strategies as part of our mission and vision to inspire and empower students to thrive.”
Sayavedra believes cohesive communication is a significant factor in the success of El Paso ISD, which is geographically and socioeconomically disparate. Since her arrival Jan. 4, Sayavedra outlined a plan to deliberately engage with the district’s existing culture as part of her transition.
A key tenet of the plan entailed individual and group meetings with school board members, senior staff, campus principals, parent organizations and parents throughout the community, as well as the city’s political and business leaders. These meetings were an opportunity to listen, learn and lead.
Sayavedra also garnered input from internal and external stakeholders to formulate the district’s short-term and long-term plans. This feedback was initially integrated into her 90-day districtwide entry plan and has since served as the basis of informational metrics that are continually monitored and shared with district leaders and community members through new forums such as the Teacher Advisory Council, the Principal Advisory Council, and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. These two-way communication avenues allow Sayavedra to connect with the district’s various internal stakeholders, validate their contributions and highlight their collective purpose.
Sayavedra’s most recent success involving the opening of avenues of communication is Hopes and Dreams listening sessions, a series of town-hall style forums that informed El Paso ISD’s recently adopted Mission, Vision, Core Values and the Hopes and Dreams Realized 2022-2025 strategic blueprint. She is intent on carrying out the district’s vision for the future while operating with transparency. Her open-door approach is aimed at regaining the faith and trust of the community in the district.
In addition, Sayavedra frequently utilizes social media platforms to engage stakeholders by effectively providing district updates to ensure the community is well- informed of current news and information about the district. Social media posts also show the superintendent leading El Paso ISD as she visits campuses and as she represents the district throughout the community. She also uses social media to highlight teacher and student success, and to market El Paso ISD as the region’s destination district. In addition to her regular posts, her weekly superintendent message and monthly Dialogue with Diana video also are shared on social media.
“This year’s honorees understand just how important effective communication is in building trust and relationships with families, employees, students and community members in their districts,” said NSPRA Executive Director Barbara M. Hunter, APR. “These emerging leaders have proven to be dedicated champions of innovative communication efforts to advance their district’s success.”
NSPRA had a record number of nominations this year and many exceptional candidates, making the selection process very competitive. Since the 2015-16 school year, NSPRA has recognized 127 school district leaders as Superintendents to Watch. Honorees must have fewer than five years of experience as a superintendent and must demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core.
Visit www.nspra.org/superintendents-watch to learn more about this award.
As the leader in school communication, NSPRA serves more than 2,500 members who work primarily as communication directors in public school districts and education organizations throughout the United States and Canada. NSPRA provides high quality professional development programming through on-demand learning, an annual National Seminar, webinars, online forums and resources. For more information, visit NSPRA’s website at www.nspra.org.