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50 Game-Changers of PR for 2017

Judy Evola

Director of Community Relations and Marketing

Walled Lake Schools

PR News recently asked its community to tell us who should be listed among the top game-changers of PR in the last few years. Here, we look at game-changer Judy Evola. Check out the complete list of the 50 Game-Changers of PR for 2017.

Judy Evola tirelessly advocates for the students and teachers of the public Walled Lake Consolidated Schools in Michigan.

As the director of community relations and marketing at Walled Lake Schools, she is the go-to person for not just the media, but also for communicating with parents, students and community members who want to understand changes in their district.  She has created complete transparency in her district, providing the public with any and all documents it needs to be fully informed partners in the educational process.

Evola works to shine a light on the positivity of public education through local, state and national media placements, as well as social media and the Walled Lake Schools website (which she spearheaded). She ensures that there is no room for “fake news” by distributing information to a district of more than 14,000 students and 1,400 employees.

And Evola is a bridge builder: She has worked to build understanding, trust, collaboration and partnerships with the local Chamber of Commerce, municipalities, local libraries, senior citizens, businesses and anyone who will listen to the many stories that her students represent.

Evola has handled many crises over the years, including legal issues; student and staff deaths; serious staff and student accidents; and redistricting. What's more, she has handled many bomb threats, school closings, power outages and health concerns.

Evola earned her APR in 1996 and has graded APR oral exams several times for numerous PRSA chapters in Michigan. She is active in the Michigan Schools Public Relations Association, MSPRA, and the national group, NSPRA, as well.

Most Interesting Fact Not Found on Judy's Resume

My husband Rob, cockapoo Baxter, family, friends and my faith are what keep me grounded, balanced and able to serve as an advocate for public education and children. [Also,] snow skiing is my passion, especially skiing in Colorado and Lake Tahoe. The combination of the snow-covered mountains, blue sky and physical exertion provide clear perspective.

Judy's Advice to Her 20-Year-Old Self

Work hard, never give up, do your best and love and listen to those who support you. Make and maintain friendships with people of all ages. Always be open to learn new things and meet new people. As a PR professional, be honest, forthright and truthful.

Judy's Profession in an Alternate Universe

I’d love to experience the creative process of producing a movie. [Or] landscape architect—I love gardens that bloom and provide beauty year-round.