CCISD racks up awards at Texas School Public Relations conference
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Out of more than 1,331 entries from school districts and foundations across the state, the Copperas Cove Independent School District and its communications department was among the districts receiving Star Awards from the Texas School Public Relations Association.
The awards were announced at TSPRA’s annual Star Awards Celebration held February 21 during the association’s 56th annual conference held this year in Frisco.
CCISD’s director of communications, Wendy Sledd, attended the conference where her work on behalf of CCISD was recognized by her colleagues in education from across the state.
Sledd’s writing for Copperas Cove ISD 2017 Convocation: Fire Up for Student Success! won Best of Category in Writing (Less than 10,000 Students) and in the category of Published News Release, Edited (Less than 10,000 Students), Sledd took the category for her article Copperettes dance in the Big Apple. Those two articles also took gold in the respective categories.
Sledd also received numerous gold, silver and bronze awards, which are essentially acknowledgements of reaching certain scores in the judges’ eyes, said Eric Betts with the TSPRA state office.
Her “Stuff the Bus” flyer garnered a bronze medal, as did her Military Impact Aid brochure, and her poster for CCISD being a Workplace of Distinction. Her 2017 State of the District invitation winning gold. She was also recognized for her photography work, medaling in several categories.
Each year, the 900-member TSPRA recognizes communicators in school districts, education foundations, education associations and organizations for their work in print and electronic media categories.
This year’s awards had the most entries ever for a convention, and some entries did not even medal, stated Janet Crock, with the TSPRA home office.
The Star Awards encompass 45 main categories covering various media such as newsletters, programs, posters, reports, writing, image/identity packages, photography, graphics, video, electronic presentations, mobile apps, campaigns, events and web sites. Larger, more comprehensive projects and special programs are entered in one of ten Crystal Commendation categories or the Platinum Award category. The Platinum Award honors a year-long project that exhibits the highest standards of excellence in all facets according to research, analysis, communication and evaluation.
The TSPRA divided entries into several sections, one for schools with fewer than 10,000 students, then 10,000 to 30,000 students, and a third, school districts with more than 30,000 students.
Independent judges evaluate and score each entry based on its own merit. Bronze, Silver and Gold Stars are awarded based on set criteria. Finally, the judges review their highest scoring Gold Star winners and select a Best of Category for each division in each of the 45 categories.
Of the 1,331 entries this year, the judges awarded one Platinum Award, three Platinum Certificates of Merit, ten Crystal Commendations, 34 Crystal Certificates of Merit, 116 Best of Categories, 609 Gold Stars, 436 Silver Stars and 199 Bronze Stars.
The Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) is a nonprofit, professional organization dedicated to promoting public schools through effective communications. TSPRA is comprised primarily of public information and communications professionals who serve the public-school districts and education organizations of Texas. The membership also includes superintendents, administrators, principals, web/technology/electronic media and graphic professionals, education foundation executive directors and their boards, association executive directors, school consultants, vendors and others who support public education in the state. TSPRA provides professional development, resources and networking opportunities for members and others in the education community.