SWBOCES Communications Team Earns Six Statewide PR Awards

 NYSPRA logo Continuing a banner year for award-winning work, the School Communications team at Southern Westchester BOCES was honored with six awards in the New York School Public Relations Association's 41st Annual Communications Contest. Earlier this year, the Office of Public Information won a record seven communications awards in the National School Public Relations Association's 2020 Publications and Digital Media Awards.

The NYSPRA awards announced Oct. 8 include two Awards of Excellence, the highest honor, for Public Relations Specialist Cara Matthews for her work in the Pocantico HIlls Central School District.

Ms. Matthews was honored along with Graphic Illustrator Jeffry Braun for their work producing the district's Community Newsletter. She also was recognized in the Excellence in Writing category for the story, "Brothers Remember Their Father as They Get VIP Treatment from NY Rangers."

Mr. Braun also received an Award of Merit in the Special Purpose Publication category for producing the Center for Adult and Community Services's 2020 Spring-Summer program brochure. The 40-page booklet is mailed to 200,000 homes in the greater Westchester region.

Public Relations Specialist Natalia Baage-Lord led the team with three awards, all for her work for the Valhalla Union Free School District. Ms. Baage-Lord received Awards of Merit for the district's Community Newsletter, "Valhalla Voyages," for the Valhalla Schools E-News electronic newsletter, and for managing the district's Facebook presence, "Engaging Audiences and Increasing Support."

"The work we do in support of public education is reward in itself, particularly during such a challenging year as this. That said, the recognition of our peers is heartening and reinforces our commitment to serving our districts and living the Southern Westchester BOCES mission," stated Brian Howard, Director of Communications.

The NYSPRA Awards will be formally announced at the New York State School Boards Association's annual convention, which will be held virtually later this month. 

NYSPRA is a state chapter of NSPRA, with members representing school districts, BOCES and independent PR agencies throughout New York and Canada. The organization is dedicated to the development and dissemination of educational communications that engage parents, staff, community residents, partners in education & all stakeholders. The entire SWBOCES Communications team holds memberships in both the state and national organizations.