The Southern Westchester BOCES School Communications Team has been honored with an astounding 14 awards including three first-place Awards of Excellence, in the National School Public Relations Association's 2022 Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards.
The award winners were announced in June and will be recognized and put on display during the Annual Meeting and Celebration of Achievement at the NSPRA 2022 National Seminar on Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Chicago. Entries were judged against those from similar organizations from across the country on their overall excellence and comparative quality. Besides the Award of Excellence, second- and third-place awards are given as Awards of Merit and Honorable Mentions in each category.
"This tally of awards by our industry's leading professional organization marks a new record for the Communications team here at SWBOCES and a real point of pride, given that it comes from our esteemed colleagues and peers who know the value and importance of the work we do," stated Director of Communications Brian Howard. "This is a reflection of the excellence our BOCES engenders and our component districts have come to expect. We are grateful for the recognition."
Public Relations Specialist Alicia Smith took two Awards of Excellence, both in the Excellence in Writing category, for two pieces. One was titled "Hall of Fame Induction," written in support of the Elmsford Union Free School District, and "Animal Science First Aid," written in support of the SWBOCES Center for Career Services. Ms. Smith also received an Honorable Mention in the same category for "Principals' Promise Academy," written for the Port Chester Union Free School District.
Graphic Illustrator Jeffry Braun was honored with four Awards of Merit for: the Ossining Union Free School District Calendar 2021-22; the SWBOCES Center for Careers Services Program Brochure; the Pocantico Hills Schools Summer Day Camp Tri-fold Brochure; and the "TLI Year in Review 2020-2021," a publication produced for the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center's Technology Leadership Institute.
Director of Communications Brian Howard received an Award of Excellence for the social media campaign in support of the Blind Brook Union Free School District's Capital Improvements Referendum. Mr. Howard also received Awards of Merit for the SWBOCES 2022-23 Budget Book; the 2021 Annual Catalog Workforce Preparation from the SWBOCES Center for Adult & Community Services, which was produced in partnership with Mr. Braun; and the video, "Welding at SWBOCES," which highlights the welding program for adult learners.
Public Relations Specialist Natalia Baage, for her work in support of the Valhalla Union Free School District, received two Awards of Merit for the Valhalla Voyages Newsletter 2021-2022, and "Celebrating Viking Spirit through Valhalla's Facebook Page" in the social media category. Ms. Baage also received an Honorable Mention for the "Valhalla Senior Sports Spotlights 2021-2022," also in the social media category.
NSPRA is the leader in school communication with a mission to advance education through responsible communication. NSPRA’s Publications and Digital Media Awards recognize outstanding education publications and marketing/informational materials (print and electronic), video/TV/radio programs, social media and websites. The submissions are adjudicated by veteran educational communications professionals across the country who have long-standing expertise in the categories they judge.