From the classroom to communications, Zac Rantz is making a name for himself in the education arena.

Rantz joined Nixa Public Schools in 2002, teaching English, journalism and Web design. In May 2008, he was hired as the district’s communications coordinator, and in June, he was promoted to director of communications.

“Through my efforts in communication, many other districts have come to Nixa or asked me to speak so they can copy what we do,” says Rantz, a 1998 Nixa High School graduate who holds a bachelor’s in secondary English and education and a master’s in communication from Drury University. “Because of that, I have developed guidelines and steps to show them how to start a successful program in their school districts.”His willingness to share what he knows with others led to a full presentation this summer at the National School Public Relations Association Conference.

In 2009, the Missouri School Public Relations Association named Rantz its Rookie of the Year. He served as president-elect of the organization for the 2011–12 school year, and this year, he holds the association’s top post, an honor that he cites as his most notable accomplishment to date because he was nominated by peers.

“You can strive for goals and step on people’s toes, but that means nothing,” Rantz says. “When those around me see that I am a person they would like to lead them and a person who can help guide an organization to greater heights, then I have accomplished something.”

Rantz also has a broad history of helping his community, from a previous role as coordinator of Students Against Destructive Decisions to current roles that include serving on the board of directors for the McAuley Counseling Center and the Nixa Education Foundation. Among his accomplishments with the foundation, Rantz points to legislative approval that granted personalized license plates for NEF.

“It was a three-year process of politics and committee meetings, but it will set the foundation for Nixa to have a program that will last for years into the future,” says Rantz, a 2011 inductee into the Nixa Public Schools Academic Hall of Fame.

Through his band, Human Anyway, Rantz also gives support, playing at events such as Relay for Life and the ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build in Joplin. Rantz says the band will soon release its second album and has been booked for events through the summer and into the fall.

“Who says you can’t be a professional by day and a rock star by night?” he says.

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 Men of the Year.