GLASSBORO, NJ - The New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA) awarded top honors to some of the state’s best school communicators at its first annual School and Communications Awards Luncheon, held at Rowan University, and Montville Township Public Schools was among the winners. 

“It is a tremendous honor for Montville to be recognized by NJSPRA for our social media efforts. The district’s social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter were launched just over a year ago. Every district that was considered in the NJSPRA review process is doing an extraordinary job of reaching out to stakeholders through social media. Therefore, to be acknowledged by professionals in school public relations, and to receive first place in the social media category, is a meaningful and exciting honor," Montville Township Public Schools District Communications Officer Susan Marinello said. "Communication is a priority in the Montville district. Identifying new and better ways to communicate with all stakeholders is an on-going district goal. The entire Montville Township Public Schools community is committed to broadening and increasing the district’s communication efforts."

NJSPRA's School Communications Awards recognize outstanding print and electronic collateral materials in New Jersey educational communications programs. NJSPRA developed the awards competition to recognize professional school communicators and administrators in New Jersey – and the stellar programs and materials they develop – that bolster support for schools and school districts statewide.

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"Having the first annual NJSPRA luncheon and awards ceremony at Rowan University is just one more step in our collaboration with the College of Communications & Creative Arts,” said Laura Bishop, President of NJSPRA. “Our chapter is growing as more New Jersey schools and districts realize that ‘Yes, You can have School PR!’ and that it has a vital role in engaging the students, families and communities they serve.”

Both members and non-members were invited to submit entries. NJSPRA received more than 30 nominations from districts and communications firms from 13 counties across New Jersey. Schools competed in six categories.

Lorin Arnold, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Communications & Creative Arts at Rowan, said, “We were particularly pleased to be a part of this event and believe strongly in the value of public relations to the field of education, as our PR graduate curriculum indicates. The work of NJSPRA is important to both practitioners in the state and to the larger domain of state education.”

In addition to the awards program, a networking session, and lunch, there were two workshops highlighting “The Value of School PR: How it Contributes Directly to Student and School Success” and the process of becoming accredited in school public relations. The first workshop was presented by Ed Moore, APR, Associate Professor of Public Relations at Rowan, and the latter by NJSPRA member Ameerah Palacios, APR, Community Relations/Community School Director of Roxbury Public Schools. 

NJSPRA also presented a scholarship – as they have for the past several years – to a Rowan student; this year the award went to graduate student Fabio DiColandrea, who is scheduled to complete his degree in public relations in the fall.

For more information about NJSPRA, visit http://www.njspra.com.

About NJSPRA – For more than 19 years, NJSPRA, the New Jersey chapter of the National School Public Relations Association, has provided professional development, training, resources and collateral support in all facets of communication to education communities across the state. Members include public relations and communications professionals, as well as superintendents, administrators, board members, principals, teachers, and consultants, all of whom benefit from the wealth of information and networking that is available. NJSPRA is dedicated to supporting the state’s districts, school leaders, district leaders, parents, students, and the community through well-planned involvement, communications, and public relations activities.