With the 2021-22 school year well underway, what will be your focus? What will be your takeaway? This year, my focus is pandemic recovery and mental wellness. Invariably, priorities will be different from province to province – even district to district. One thing is for certain, as communicators in education we endeavour to uphold the highest standards in public relations and communications.

Navigating a global pandemic with your regular duties doesn’t make it easy, does it? If you are like me, our daily routines have been disrupted by all things COVID. Implementing health and safety guidelines, handling exposures or outbreaks in schools to dealing with communities who may not see eye-to-eye on the many mandates we must follow. Now more than ever, public relations and communications have become vitally important with more organizations realizing the tremendous value of effective and timely communications.

Since March 2020, we’ve been asked to perform at our best seven days a week and at all hours of the day. This is not to say life was easy before the pandemic, but these past 18 months brought with it an additional sense of urgency with a side of caring and compassion. Again, if you are like me, being at the ready is a badge of honour, but is it sustainable? Please take a moment to breathe, take a walk outside and practice self care.

I would also like to welcome our new communicators in education. If you haven’t already, you’ll see why it is so very special to be working in this sector. The variety of stories to cover on a daily basis is never ending. How can you not love pictures of smiling kids?

Finally, thank you for choosing to be a CACE member! Remember, you are part of a team of almost 300 experienced individuals who are here to share best practices. Do not be afraid to reach out.

What’s next? In the coming months we will be hosting our second virtual AGM, hosting online workshops and celebrating your work with the BRAVO! Awards. We will be sharing more information in the coming weeks. Hopefully, this time next year we’ll be preparing to meet in-person at our national conference. I look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time!

Dale Burgos