The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Division of Communications won several accolades from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for the agency’s work during the 2022-2023 year. The recipients of the awards will be recognized during the NSPRA National Seminar, which will be held in July in St. Louis.
The division won 12 of NSPRA’s 2023 Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards for the team’s exceptional work and commitment to advancing public relations in the education sector.
The awards honor exceptional educational publications, e-newsletters, digital media programs, news stories, social media campaigns, infographics, blogs and websites. KDE won awards in multiple categories.
“I am so proud of the work this team has done to share stories about the great things happening in public school classrooms all across the Commonwealth,” said Chief Communications Officer Toni Konz Tatman. “The team’s work not only enhances public engagement with Kentucky’s families and community stakeholders; it also plays a crucial role in promoting educational excellence across the state. It is gratifying to see their hard work recognized.”
Tatman added that the accolades would not be possible without the support of school superintendents, schools and educators across the Commonwealth.
“These stories would not be able to be told and the graphics would not be produced without the expertise of our colleagues here at KDE, as well as across our 171 school districts,” Tatman said. “They allow us to visit classrooms, explain policies and connect with our communities.”
The entries were judged by a panel and winners were announced in early June.
KDE’s Division of Communications was recognized for the following efforts:
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Newsletter – February 2023, produced by KDE staff members Nicole Fields and Jennifer Ginn;
- United We Learn campaign graphic, produced by KDE Division of Communications graphic designer Danielle Harris;
- Kentucky United We Learn Council video, produced by KDE Division of Communications staff member Joe Ragusa;
- “I choose to stay,” essay by 2023 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Mandy Perez. Perez just concluded her 6-month sabbatical with the KDE Division of Communications and will return to her Crittenden County classroom this fall, while continuing to champion public education.
- 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, infographic sharing youth risk behavior found in study conducted in 2021, produced by KDE Division of Communications graphic designer Danielle Harris;
- Bowling Green Independent Schools meets refugee, migrant families where they are with Teranga Academy, news story by former KDE Division of Communications staff member Audrie Lamb;
- Perry County school communities show eastern Kentucky grit, resilience, news story by KDE Division of Communications staff member Wallace Caleb Bates;
- KDE’s Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council presents recommendations to increase school safety, news story by KDE Division of Communications staff member Joe Ragusa;
- Kentucky School for the Blind students digging into the past as part of UofL summer archeological field school, news story by former KDE Division of Communications intern Shelby Stills;
- Kentucky Teacher of the Year social media campaign;
- Kentucky Teacher website redesign; and
- Floyd County Superintendent: Communication and teamwork key to recovery in eastern Kentucky, essay by Floyd County Superintendent Anna Shepherd.