Outside the Walls


About the Site

Dick Bernard, Outside the Walls originator and coordinator, devoted a 36 year career to public education, and since 2000 has been an "empty nester" and retiree, 'outside the walls' of public education.

He can be contacted at dick_bernard@msn.com.

Dick is a long time member, and past president, of the Minnesota School Public Relations Association, and was the 2005 recipient of that organizations School Public Relations Professional Award, and its 1995 Exemplary Service Award.

His children are all grown, including one grandchild who is already post-high school. One daughter is a public school administrator.

The majority of his employment in public education - 27 years - was as a full-time representative of teachers through the Minnesota Education Association and Education Minnesota. Prior to staff work, Dick taught junior high school social studies for nine years. He is a life member of both the National Education Association, and Education Minnesota, and a member of both the Minnesota and National School Public Relations Associations. He was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota, the teachers union for one of the largest school districts in Minnesota.

Dick had six years of experience, including training assignments in a number of states, with the National Education Association Family-School-Community Partnership program, and three years active involvement with NEA's Public Engagement initiative. While his day to day assignment was never primarily public relations, he had a career long active interest in development and nurturing of positive public relations between school and community.

Dick grew up, literally, in public education. Both of his parents were career public school teachers.

"Outside the Walls" began as a simple idea, post-retirement, when Dick decided to pay attention to how public schools 'felt' to an outsider; and to listen to what others had to say about public schools relationships with the external community. He had no pre-conception of what he would observe or feel, but early on came to the conclusion that public schools were at the very least uncomfortable about addressing the business of relationship with the great majority of their community members who were outsiders to the system.