06/16/14 — Wayne schools recognized for response symposium

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Wayne schools recognized for response symposium

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 16, 2014 1:46 PM

A symposium on Crisis Preparedness, Response and Community has earned Wayne County Public Schools the 2014 Golden Achievement Award, the second highest honor given by the National School Public Relations Association.

The February event drew an estimated 300 potential key responders and communicators, including administrators, school counselors, psychologists, nurses and social workers and other staff, said Ken Derksen, director of communications services and public information officer for the district. He said there were also delegates from five neighboring public school districts, three local colleges and representatives from local private and charter schools, as well as area law enforcement agencies.

"The theme for the event was Responding to a Mass Violence Attack on an Education Campus," he said. "Two dynamic sessions offered attendees the most current information gleaned from the growing frequency of school shootings and offered strategies and best practices in crisis management for responding to attacks on an education campus."

The morning session was led by Mike Clumpner, co-founder and president/CEO of Threat Suppression, Inc. He has been recognized by the U.S. government as a subject matter expert in active shooter response, mass violence response and weapons of mass destruction response.

Rick Kaufman, executive director community relations for Bloomington Public Schools in Minneapolis, led the afternoon session. A nationally recognized consultant on crisis management and communications, he formerly served as executive director of public engagement and communications for Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado's largest school system, with 85,000 students. In April 1999, he experienced firsthand the tragedy of the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, and was on the campus of Columbia 15 minutes after two students opened fire on their classmates.

The local symposium was funded by corporate donors, allowing the district to offer it at no cost to those attending, Derksen said.