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.

Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Come Home Alumni Hall of Fame Weekend

The goal was to produce a first-of-its kind annual DPSCD Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony demonstrating exemplary alumni achievements to serve as encouragement for current students to stay focused and continue attending school every day. In addition, to help offset costs, the decision was made to leverage this event as a fundraiser for the Fine and Performing Arts Program. The weekend culminated in a successful gala with attendance exceeding 900 individuals. The alumni database grew by 1,000 members, and the district raised $6,000 for the Fine and Performing Arts Program. The district also strengthened community partnerships through the event.

Congratulations to Detroit Public Schools Community District!


Kalamazoo Public Schools’ 2022 Bond Campaign

The goal was to pass a $197 million bond campaign for capital improvement projects with a no mill increase through strategic outreach and communication with community stakeholders. The campaign messaging focused on investments in safety and security projects, building improvements, and technology upgrades. The campaign timeline was built around the absentee voter window, based on recent election data and changes to state voter laws. It was highly successful, with nearly 71% of voters supporting the bond. This was the largest bond ever passed by the district, and the election saw an increase in the percentage of “yes” votes over the previous bond election.

Congratulations to Kalamazoo Public Schools!


Oakland Schools’ Careers, Not Just Jobs Campaign

The goal was to raise public awareness of and student enrollment in Oakland Schools Technical Campuses (OSTCs) while removing the stigma associated with career and technical education programs. The team launched a campaign that consisted of both print and digital marketing efforts targeted at current and prospective students and families, highlighting hands-on learning activities, student testimonials, and career opportunities. The campaign also engaged students as informal brand ambassadors on TikTok. The campaign was highly successful, with OSTC enrollment increasing by 36% for the following year and an 80% increase in website users with an average session time of 2:40.

Congratulations to Oakland Schools!


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

 Group photo with Dr. Dedrick Martin shown holding his award

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 receives plaque from Andrew Munson
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.








Additional Opportunities

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) also offers communication awards.


NSPRA Front-Runner

Karen Heath headshot
Karen Heath

NSPRA's Learning and
Liberty Legacy Leaders


Tom Scheidel head shot

Tom Scheidel


Diane Bauman, APR

Micki O'Neil, MBA

Communication Contest Award History

PDF Document2014 Award Winners
PDF Document2015 Award Winners
PDF Document2016 Award Winners