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The Highland Park Independent School District received ten national awards for excellence in school communications from the National School Public Relations Association. Each year, NSPRA recognizes school communicators for outstanding work in print and electronic media. This awards committee evaluated work completed from March 2012 - March 2013.

The following HPISD projects earned awards:

"Teacher of the Year - Jay Harris" - Award of Excellence in the category of   Videocasting/Videostreaming. Produced by video consultant David Leeson, the video introduced HPISD's Secondary Teacher of the Year at the district's annual convocation program. Harris' students talked about his dynamic, passionate teaching method and his impact on their lives.

"Convocation Program" - Award of Merit in the category of Videocasting/Videostreaming. Produced by video consultant David Leeson, the video showcased Superintendent Dr. Dawson Orr's program honoring teachers and setting the vision for the new school year.

"Students blast into the future with rocket project" - Award of Merit in the category of  Videocasting/Videostreaming. Produced by 2011-12 Communications Department intern Cristy Angulo, the video showcased an innovative, project-based learning experience that engaged students, allowing them to use creativity while also performing an engineering experiment.

"Teacher of the Year - Betsy Bogdovitz" - Award of Merit in the category of  Videocasting/Videostreaming. Produced by video consultant David Leeson, the video introduced HPISD's Elementary Teacher of the Year at convocation. We learn about her from her students who tell us why she deserved the honor.

"Fame arrives in the blink of a shutter" - Award of Merit in the category of Excellence in Writing. Written by Communications Director Helen Williams, the release tells the story of 2013 graduate Ann He, an award-winning photography student whose interests and activities range from medicine to writing and cross country running.

"From kindergartners to graduates, students are our inspiration" - Honorable Mention in the category of Excellence in Writing. Written by Superintendent Dr. Dawson Orr, the column describes the magic of the first day of school and paints a picture of the convocation program and how it reflects HPISD's values, goals and traditions. 

"HPISD e-newsletter" - Honorable Mention in the category of Electronic Newsletter. Produced by the Communications Department - Director Helen Williams, Web Services Coordinator David Hicks, Communications Specialist Jacki Moran, 2012-13 Communications Department intern Elena Harding, and 2011-12 intern Cristy Angulo, the enews provides a dynamic weekly digital magazine full of stories, photos and links to video and external sites for district staff, parents, community members, trustees and the media. 

"Learner for the Future" - Honorable Mention in the category of Special Purpose Publication. Produced by Web Services Coordinator David Hicks and 2011-12 Communications Department intern Cristy Angulo, the brochure articulates the vision HPISD has for its students. The six highlighted qualities are the result of the work of a study team that identified the knowledge, skills and attributes HPISD students will need to become accomplished people and lifelong learners.

"Stephanie March visits her alma mater" - Honorable Mention in the category of Videocasting/Videostreaming. By video consultant David Leeson, the video follows actress and 1992 HP grad Stephanie March as she visits HPHS and describes the vital role the supportive community played in her success.   

"www.hpisd.org" - Honorable Mention in the category of Internet/Intranet Website. By Web Services Coordinator David Hicks, the website provides students, teachers, parents and citizens of the community with thorough information about HPISD in a timely manner. The site features elegant design, user-friendly navigation and interactive capabilities.

Award recipients were selected from entries submitted by school districts across the U.S. and were announced in coordination with the annual conference, which will be held July 7-11 in San Diego.

Since 1935, NSPRA has been providing school communication training and services to school leaders throughout the United States and Canada. NSPRA's mission is to advance education through responsible communication.

Story courtesy of HPISD