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Contest/Awards

2020 OHSPRA Achievement Awards - Applications Now Open

We want to recognize you for the work you do everyday within your district! Be sure to submit your work for a chance to earn a 2020 OHSPRA Achievement Award at this year's OHSPRA Spring Conference!

This year's awards recognize outstanding work in 15 different categories. In addition, OHSPRA recognizes communication professionals with the Innovator and Crystal Awards. These awards highlight an individual's contribution to school public relations.

There is also the Friend of Education Award to celebrate those unsung heroes who provide extra help when needed.

All entries must be postmarked or date-stamped by February 4, 2020. Please see below for a list of categories:


Established in 1987 to recognize individuals who have dramatically and positively impacted school public relatoins, the Crystal Award is the highest honor bestowed to an OHSPRA member. All entries are judged by the OHSPRA Board of Directors, excluding any members who are nominated for the award. Regardless of the number of nominations made in any given year, the OHSPRA Board reserves the right to not honor anyone or honor more than one person in any given year, based on judging criteria. 

Innovator Award
The Innovator Award was established by OHSPRA in 2010 to recognize individuals who have introduced or utilized new methods of communication to dramatically advance or impact, or have the potential to highly advance or impact, school public relations locally, state-wide, or nationally. All entries are judged by the OHSPRA Board of Directors, excluding any members who are nominated for the award or who made an award nomination. Regardless of the number of nominations made in any given year, the OHSPRA Board reserves the right to not honor anyone or honor more than one person in any given year, based on judging criteria.

Friend of Education Award
School public relations is more than a one-person or one-department job. With that in mind, OHSPRA annually sponsors the Friend of Education Award to recognize those unofficial members of the school public relations team. Recipients can be individuals or groups of students, parents, volunteers, employees or community partners.

Please contact Olivia Bronczek at [email protected] if you have questions.

Contest/Awards

Congratulations to winners of OHSPRA's 2019 Achievement Awards!

Find a list of this year's winners here.
Follow this link for photos of this year's winners.
 
OHSPRA announces Friends of Education awards
OHSPRA annually recognizes individuals and groups who serve as part of schools' unofficial public relations teams, offering assistance and support when needed. The Friends of Education award announced at the 2019 OHSPRA Spring Conference expresses the association's appreciation of their efforts.

Recipients of this year's Friends of Education award included: 

Julie Liedtke, manager of Orange Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library

Julie Liedtke and two other people
(Nominated by Staci Vincent and Lou DeVincentis of Orange City School District Communications Department)
 
Julie was both the Branch Manager/Head Librarian of the Orange Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library and an officer with the Kiwanis Club of Lander Circle. For the past nine years, she has gone above and beyond in developing greater relationships between these two organizations and the Orange Schools. Relationships that have really strengthened our partnerships. Julie doesn’t just complete tasks. She does it all with a clear passion and dedication to the students, staff and families of the Orange Schools. Julie is reliable, organized, trustworthy, kind, helpful, cheerful, humble, even-tempered, positive and incredibly hard-working. She personifies Orange Schools’ vision of “learning, leading, and making a difference.” She exemplifies the title of "Friend of Education." 

Shaker Heights Teachers' Association, President John L. Morris

President John L. Morris and three other people (Nominated by Scott Stephens, director of communications for Shaker Heights Schools)

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Aisha Fraser, a much-beloved sixth-grade teacher in the Shaker Heights City School District and a Shaker Heights High School alum, was brutally murdered by her estranged husband. Our entire community—students, her fellow staff members at Woodbury Elementary School, families, residents across the City and beyond—were shocked and deeply saddened by her loss.

Only three days after her death, the Shaker Heights Teachers Association (SHTA), organized a beautiful, community-wide candlelight vigil to honor Ms. Fraser. More than 1,000 students, teachers, friends of Ms. Fraser and community members joined the SHTA’s solemn, moving tribute to Ms. Fraser, who was such a lovely, caring, kind-hearted human being. The Communications office provided support to the SHTA to promote the vigil, though the entire event was planned and executed by the SHTA. The Shaker Heights Teachers' Association is an independent association representing the certified/licensed full-time and regular part-time salaried teachers in the Shaker Heights City School District.

Organizing this type of event goes well beyond the expectations of Shaker Heights Schools teachers, however, the SHTA membership is truly remarkable. Their collaboration and desire to host a fitting celebration of Ms. Fraser’s life for our entire Shaker Heights community was nothing short of extraordinary. A video montage of the vigil, which the district Communications Department created and posted on Facebook, was viewed 11,000 times and shared 195 times.

NBC4 WCMH-TV

Four members of NBC4 WCMH-TV (Nominated by Scott Varner, director of strategic communications for Columbus City Schools)

The impact was historic: 50,000 free backpacks - enough for every student in Columbus City Schools, regardless of income, who needed school supplies on the first day of classes. The “Stuff the Backpack” initiative, launched in the final weeks of the 2017-2018 school year through a partnership between the local NBC4 television station and Columbus City Schools, was far more than a traditional school supply drive. The summer-long campaign provided both community-wide and national attention to the potential of students in urban districts to be successful if given the right tools to reach their goals.

For so many donors, the backpacks became a symbol of support for the students of Columbus City Schools, and NBC4’s four-month campaign generated far more goodwill than any short-term district-led public relations could ever do. National television-news program Inside Edition ran a feature story on Stuff the Backpack, and the show’s nationally-recognized anchor, Deborah Norville, provided a special message to our students. Watch the story from Inside Edition at this link: https://youtu.be/QLP9IErwigE.
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