Dr. Dedrick Martin Named 2022 MSPRA Superintendent Communicator of the Year
Congratulations to MSPRA’s 2022 Superintendent Communicator of the Year Caledonia Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Dedrick Martin. Dr. Martin received the award—one of MSPRA’s highest honors—for his communication excellence.
According to his award nomination, Dr. Martin joined Caledonia Community Schools in 2018 during a period of rapid community growth and changing demographics. He immediately recognized the need to build trust with all stakeholders to help collaboratively establish the district's new direction and launched multiple initiatives that centered on purposeful communication. Under his leadership, Caledonia Community Schools has developed new branding standards, added a district communications position, and invested in a new app to better connect students, staff, and families.
It was clear to our panel of judges that Superintendent Martin:
- understands the value of a year-round, ongoing communication program,
- invests in communication tools,
- strategically works with the district’s communication professional,
- practices communication management techniques,
- and demonstrates excellent personal communication skills such as ethics, honesty, openness and active listening.
Congratulations to Superintendent Martin and the entire Caledonia Community Schools' team!
Each year a superintendent is honored for communication leadership. To learn more, check out the Awards Application Page.
Ashley Kryscynski is 2022 Gerri Allen Outstanding School Communicator
Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) Communications and Public Relations Specialist Ashley Kryscynski is the Michigan School Public Relations Association’s (MSPRA) 2022 Gerri Allen Outstanding School Communicator. The award recognizes a practicing school communicator for outstanding leadership in school public relations and communications.
Ashley received the surprise honor during WISD’s January 24, 2023 board of education meeting. “Being recognized as this year’s Gerri Allen School Communicator of the Year awardee is such an immense honor,” shared Ashley. “Our district is providing truly incredible educational instruction and services to children, students and families in our community, and I am privileged to share their stories and successes.”
In presenting the award, MSPRA Awards and Recognition Committee Chair Andrew Munson said, “It was clear to MSPRA’s expert panel of judges that Ashley:
- Understands the value of a year-round, ongoing communication program;
- Practices communication management techniques;
- Exhibits excellent personal communication skills such as ethics, honesty, openness, and active listening; and
- Demonstrates outstanding leadership in school communication and public relations through involvement in local, state, and national activities that support, promote, and grow the profession."
According to her award nomination, Ashley strives to keep diversity, social justice, and relationships at the center of her communications work. She has worked tirelessly to lift the voices of staff and families to improve two-way communication efforts in the district. Through her collaboration and partnership efforts, she has centered WISD as the primary source and leader for all educational communication throughout the county.
Outside of her organization, Ashley is an active communications professional at the state level, serving as an MSPRA board member for several years, as well as Co-Chair of the MSPRA DEI Task Force. She has also been recognized nationally, being named in the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 35 Under 35 Class of 2020-2021 and was selected to present at NSPRA’s 2022 National Seminar.
Ashley’s awards and accomplishments will be celebrated at MSPRA’s Annual Conference in March.
To learn more about the award, see the Awards Application Page.
Gold Medallion Award Winners
MSPRA’s Gold Medallion Award recognizes outstanding programs or projects that advance education through responsible communication. The entries are judged on the clarity of concept, good writing, and evidence of using the four-step Public Relations process known as RPIE: Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. The following four programs exceeded the judge’s criteria for Gold Medallion recognition.
Oakland Schools’ Educationally Speaking Podcast
The goal was to position the district as a thought leader and advocate on key issues in the education community, strengthening Oakland’s reputation and public understanding of the services provided to the community. The podcast was featured in both MSPRA and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) newsletters, as well as in the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) magazine, and has earned thousands of total plays since October 2019.
Congratulations to Oakland Schools!
Waterford School District’s Virtual Orientations Program. The goal was to provide transitional orientations for students and their families in an engaging and interactive way virtually, since Waterford was unable to host the traditional in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this challenge, Waterford surpassed its attendance goal for all three virtual orientations and was positively received by families.
Congratulations to the Waterford School District Communication Team!
Ingham ISD’s 2020 Headlee Special Education Restoration Millage Information Campaign. The goal was to help restore Ingham’s full special education millage through planned communication with its stakeholders and communities. If the ballot issue was approved, the funds would be divided among districts and used to support students in special education. The information campaign ran from January 6 to March 10, 2020. It was highly successful, with 72% of voters supporting the March millage restoration ballot request.
Congratulations to the Ingham ISD Communication Team!
Otsego Public Schools’ Propelling Otsego Forward initiative. The goal was to successfully pass a bond proposal through strategic outreach and communication with key stakeholders. Not only did voters pass the bond proposal, but Otsego succeeded in its campaign despite having to shift its strategies during the peak of the campaign due to the statewide shutdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congratulations to the Otsego Public Schools Communication Team!
We look forward to celebrating these efforts at MSPRA’s Annual Conference in March.
Interested in submitting an entry for the next round of judging?
See the Awards Application Page for more details.
Karen Heath named a 2019-2020 NSPRA Front-Runner
Karen Heath, Supervisor of Communication for Berrien RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) is a 2019-2020 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Front-Runner. Front-Runners are members identified by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Executive Board as emerging leaders who are doing outstanding work for their schools, their chapters and for NSPRA. The annual distinction is awarded to four association members each year, representing the seven NSPRA regions on a rotating basis. Each Front-Runner receives recognition in an issue of The NSPRA Network, NSPRA's monthly members-only e-newsletter, and a commemorative plaque during the Annual Meeting and Celebration of Achievement that kicks off the NSPRA National Seminar each summer. Congratulations, Karen!
NSPRA's Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders
Tom Scheidel, Public Information Coordinator for the Allegan Area Educational Service Agency, Diane Bauman, APR, Director of School/Community Relations for Farmington Public Schools and Micki O’Neil, MBA, Director of Public Relations and Communications for Ingham ISD, have each received the National School Public Relations Association's (NSPRA) Learning and Liberty Legacy Leader Award. The award recognizes the many contributions of NSPRA members who have had a positive impact on their colleagues’ careers and who work tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of education and improved communication.
Tom was recognized in 2020 for being a mentor to school public relations professionals in Michigan and nationally. In addition, he hosts regular meetings of school communicators within his educational service agency for professional development and networking. Plus, he served as the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Mideast Region Vice President from 2016-2019. Tom currently serves on the MSPRA Board as a Member-At-Large.
Diane was honored in 2018 for her public relations’ knowledge and skills as well as for the wise counsel she offers colleagues. Through her work at Farmington, Plymouth-Canton, and Pontiac schools, and in conjunction with her 23 years of service on the MSPRA Board—which concluded at the end of August—Diane has positively impacted students, schools, and school PR professionals throughout Michigan.
Micki was recognized in 2018 for being "a highly-respected public relations professional—valued not only for her public relations knowledge and skills but also for the business perspective she brings to any discussion.” She has been impacting Michigan students, schools, and school communicators as a valued member of MSPRA and its Board--serving from the fall of 2011 until stepping down in the spring of 2018.
Micki, Diane and Tom have been and continue to be popular presenters at conferences both for MSPRA and other state associations, enthusiastically sharing their public relations knowledge and expertise.
Congratulations, Tom, Diane and Micki for being true Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders.
MSPRA's 2022 Superintendent Communicator of the Year
Dr. Dedrick Martin, Superintendent Caledonia Community Schools, received MSPRA's 2022 Superintendent Communicator of the Year Award.
MSPRA's 2022 School Communicator of the Year
Ashley Kryscynski, Communications and Public Relations Specialist for Washtenaw Intermediate School District received the 2022 Gerri Allen Outstanding School Communicator of the Year Award. She is shown with MSPRA's Awards and Recognition Chair Andrew Munson.
The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) also offers communication awards.
NSPRA's Learning and
Liberty Legacy Leaders
Diane Bauman, APR
Micki O'Neil, MBA