Mentor, author, singer and community leader – Zac Rantz wears a hat with many titles.

When he isn’t lead singer of local Chrisian rock band Human Anyway or writing a book about volunteering in the wake of the Joplin tornado, Rantz is the director of communication for Nixa Public Schools.

Since jumping on board in his current position full time in 2008, he took Nixa Public Schools’ communication program to the top, growing from a small newsletter and basic website to one of the model school communication programs in the nation. The R-2 district’s efforts were named top program in the nation by the American Association of School Administrators and by the National School Public Relations Association for 2014.

Karen Kleinz, associate director of the NSPRA, says Rantz is an influential leader for the Missouri School Public Relations Association.

“As a one-person communication department, Zac’s creativity, relationship building, savvy social media skills and boundless energy have helped raise the school district’s profile and build strong community support for Nixa’s schools,” she says.

As the peer-elected president of the MSPRA board of directors, Rantz’s leadership began the process of formulating programs to help smaller schools develop effective communication programs nationwide and in Missouri. Rantz specifically mentored the new Republic communication director to help her develop a comprehensive program for her district.

“Many schools get overwhelmed, and we (try) to break it down to things that will help lay a successful foundation before they expand into bigger things like video productions or magazines,” he says.

In addition to his work in Missouri, Rantz shares his communication and crisis planning skills with other schools nationwide at conferences in both Iowa and Georgia. His work has helped other schools have successful communication systems in place, especially when emergency situations arise.

Not a stranger to being recognized, Rantz was one of Springfield Business Journal’s Men of the Year in 2012 and also received the Award of Excellence as a staff communicator in 2013 by the NSPRA. But his proudest accomplishments are earning the title of the top school communication program in the nation and releasing his book, “Hindsight: Lessons learned from the Joplin tornado and other crisis events,” which he sold as a fundraiser source to support Joplin public schools.

As a community leader, Rantz strives to positively impact the community by educating businesses on how to market themselves.

He also is part of the Nixpo committee for the Nixa Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Nixa Education Foundation’s board of directors.

“We know that a successful business community and successful schools help the community, so I try and help encourage both as much as I can,” he says.