COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONALS RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE


Watch the Virtual Communications Contest

More than 100 Illinois school communication professionals were recognized for their exceptional communications efforts by the state’s school public relations association.

The Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) held its annual Communications Contest Awards on September 11, at which it recognized the top communications in the state. Professional school communicators from across the country judged the 133 submissions. Each entry was evaluated by three judges against a rubric of excellence, with awards given to those who scored within the established ranges for merit and excellence.


“The entries in this year's communication contest not only showcase the ability of our members to thoughtfully and accurately communicate with constituents on a regular basis, but also shined a spotlight on the importance of having professionals in these positions to manage communication during a crisis such as the one we have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said INSPRA President Carol Smith, Director of Communications and Community Relations for St. Charles CUSD 303.

Those individuals wishing to share a personalized press release may download it here.

The complete list of 2020 INSPRA Communications Contest winners is as follows:


 Annual Report

Awards of Merit

  • Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Annual Report 2019 - Megan Hewitt
  • 2018-19 Annual Report - Community High School District 155 - Shannon Podzimek
  • Learners - The Winnetka Public Schools - Trisha Kocanda, Katharine Hughes, Brad Goldstein

Award of Excellence

  • Annual Report - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Communications Department and Strategies 360

 Calendar/Handbooks

Award of Merit

  • 2019-2020 Calendar - Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 - Lincoln-Way Foundation for Educational Excellence

Award of Excellence

  • Schools of 58: A Handbook for Families - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - 

    Megan Hewitt


Golden Achievement

Awards of Merit
  • D155 Workforce Development Campaign - Alex LeMoine and Shannon Podzimek
  • Parent Understanding and Support for Educational Programs-#28Empowers - Northbrook District 28 - Dr. Larry Hewitt, Dr. Kris Raitzer, Michelle Jackson, Terry Ryan, APR

Award of Excellence

  • Referendum 220: Second Time's the Charm - Barrington School District 220 - Annie Loizzi and Samantha Ptashkin

 Marketing Materials

Award of Merit

  • Glenbard Profile of a Graduate - Glenbard Township High School District 87 - 

    Peg Mannion, APR, Melissa Creech, and Wendy Tritt

Awards of Excellence 

  • District 228 Career Guide - Bremen High School District 228 - Corinne Williams & Renee Mack
  • 100th Anniversary Program - The Winnetka Public Schools - Trisha Kocanda & Katharine Hughes
  • 100th Anniversary of Progressive Education Posters - The Winnetka Public Schools -  Trisha Kocanda and Katharine Hughes
  • Schaumburg School District 54: Open Enrollment Booklet - School District 54 - Meagan Kasper

 Newsletter (Electronic)

Award of Merit

  • Morton Grove: Condon’s Catch-Up - Morton Grove School District 70 - Matt Condon and Jesse Chatz
  • Community e-Newsletter - Community Consolidated School District 21 - Kara Beach
  • The Bridge - Sharing News Across the Highway - Township High School District 113 - Karen Warner
  • Welcome to Kindergarten - Weekly E-Newsletter - Oak Lawn-Hometown Scohol District 123 - Communications Team

Awards of Excellence

  • MyD97 Weekly Wrap-Up - Oak Park Elementary School District 97 - Amanda Siegfried & Rochelle LeBreck
  • 58 Connects Staff Newsletter - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Megan Hewitt & the District 58 Central Administrative Team
  • Communicate 58 - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Megan Hewitt

 Newsletter (Printed)

Awards of Merit

  • D69 Winter Newsletter - Jesse Chatz
  • Bannockburn Bulletin - Jesse Chatz and Scott Herrmann
  • District 69 Connections - Jesse Chatz, Brad Voehringer, Michelle Lipa
  • Learners - Trisha Kocanda and Kate Hughes
  • District 60 - Nicholas Alatzakis and Mitchell Riportella

Awards of Excellence

  • District 207 Newsletter - Maine Township District 207 - Brett Clark, APR
  • Quarterly Report to the Community  - Lisle 202 - Jenna Engler

 Podcasts/Audio

Award of Merit

  • 1,2,3 from District 123 - Oak Lawn-Hometown Scohol District 123 - Communications Team

Awards of Excellence

  • D202 Talks: A Conversation with D202’S First Director of Digital Learning and Innovation - Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 - Tom Hernandez, Linda Taylor,  Alyssa Groh
  • #WorkforceWednesday: An Interview with Dr. Emily Landon - Community High School District 155 - Alex LeMoine

 Social Media Campaign

 Award of Merit

  • Behind the Scenes of Remote Learning - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Justine Sisul, Dr. Kevin Russell, Megan Hewitt & Featured District 58 Teachers<

Award of Excellence

  • #U46AlumniSunday - U-46 School District - School and Community Relations Team
  • Foreman Frankie - Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 - Nicholas Alatzakis, Mitchel Riportella, Otis Hickman

 Special Purpose

Awards of Merit

  • [email protected] Learning For You - Zion Elementary District 6 - Donelle Staples
  • District 99 Class of 2020 Day - District 99 - Jill Browning, APR
  • Meet Your New School Administrators - Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 - Linda Taylor, Alyssa Groh
  • Bullying Prevention Bookmarks -  Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 - Nicholas Alatzakis, Mitchel Riportella
  • D123 Live Community Update - The Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123

Awards of Excellence

  • Fall Community Mailing - District 200 - Erica Loiacono
  • District 99 Staff Appreciation Campaign - District 99 - Kristin Kelly
  • York High School Distinguished Alumni Program - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Bev Redmond, Jenna Ernst, Kate Sampson, Justin Sampson
  • Immigration Poster - U-46 School District - School & Community Relations Team
  • Emergency Preparedness - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Megan Hewitt
  • Curriculum Guide - Northbrook District 28 - Terry Ryan, APR

 Video (In House)

Awards of Merit

  • Ignite Innovation - Des Plaines District 62 - Dan Chianelli, Adam Denenberg, Pablo Sands
  • New Elementary School Day - Community Unit School District 303 - Carol Smith
  • Bosch Scholars: The Surprise - High School District 214 - Erin Brooks, Cassidy Schmidt, Mark Ciske
  • Career Fair - Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210
  • Alumni Featured Foxes Video Series - Yorkville CUSD 115 - Kristine Liptrot, APR
  • District 205 Teacher Jen Leban Nominated for Illinois Teacher of the Year - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Kate Sampson
  • Elmhurst CUSD 205 First Day of School 2019-2020 - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Kate Sampson
  • Inquiry Based Learning in District 205 - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Kate Sampson
  • U-46 Explore - U-46 School District - School & Community Relations Team
  • U-46 Overview - U-46 School District - Mary Fergus
  • Assistant Principal Appreciation Week Video - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Rozana Qirjagi
  • Supporting Newcomers (Els) Professional Development Video - Downers Grove Grade School District 58 - Rozana Qirjagi
  • 60 in Sixty – Week of February 24 - Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 -  Nicholas Alatzakis, Mitchell Riportella, Kamika Hopkins-Bey
  • Community Time at Clearview - Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 -  Kamika Hopkins-Bey, Andrew Aiello, Daniel Hill
  • Waukegan Public Schools 2019 Holiday Video - Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 - Andrew Aiello, Nicholas Alatzakis, Amanda Patti, Mitchell Riportella
  • #WeAre54 - Schaumburg School District 54 - Amelia Jablonska

 Awards of Excellence

  • The D300 Show - District 300 - Anthony McGinn, Shannon Caputo, Casey DeFauw
  • There's a Place Where You Belong - District 300 - Anthony McGinn, Shannon Caputo, Chris Cherry, Casey DeFauw
  • COVID-19 Donation Video - Maine Township District 207 - Dan Kolen and Brett Clark
  • District 207 Integrated Career Services Video - Maine Township District 207 - Dan Kolen and Brett Clark
  • A Message to Families from Dr. Pearson Community Unit School District 303 - Carol Smith
  • Lincoln-Way 210 Teacher Wins Miller Welding Contest - Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210
  • The District 205 Foundation - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 - Kate Sampson
  • Flexible Seating in District 202 - Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 - Alyssa Groh
  • In Focus: Early Childhood Education - Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 - Alyssa Groh
  • Junior High Graduation - Community Consolidated School District 59 - Justin Sampson
  • Social Emotional Learning in CCSD59 - Community Consolidated School District 59 - Justin Sampson
  • We Are Still Barrington - Barrington Community Unit School District 220 - Samantha Ptashkin
  • Careers in School District 54 - Schaumburg School District 54 - Vincent Baran

 Video (with Outside Contractor)

  • All About Vanguard Vision, Huntley 158's Competency-based Education Program - Huntley 158, Greenroom Video
  • Welcome to Bannockburn! - Jesse Chatz, Scott Herrmann
  • This is Park View - Morton Grove School District 70 - Jesse Chatz, Brad Voehringer, Matt Condon
  • Joliet Central and West High School Graduation Class of 2020 -  JTHS Virtual Commencement Team, Unidos Marketing & Moonstep Productions
  • Joliet West High School Virtual Graduation Class of 2020-  JTHS Virtual Commencement Team, Unidos Marketing & Moonstep Productions
  • 100th Anniversary of Progressive Education in Winnetka - The Winnetka Public Schools District - Trisha Kocanda, Kate Hughes, Robert Mazur
  • EVOLUTION 115 Video - Yorkville CUSD 115 - Kristine Liptrot, APR
  • U-46 Award-Winning Music Program - U-46 School District - School & Community Relations and GreenRoom Video 
  • U-46 Perseveres - U-46 School District - School & Community Relations Team and GreenRoom Video 
  • Together 203 Video Series - Naperville Community Unit School District 203 - Naperville 203 and NCTV-17

 Website

Awards of Merit
  • Bannockburn School Website Jesse Chatz, Liz Loughnane, Amy Hansen, Scott Herrmann
  • We Are Yorkville Website - Yorkville CUSD 115 - Kristine Liptrot, APR, Anthony Hansen, Alicia Lingane
  • COVID-19 Website School & Community Relations Team 
  • Website Creation and Design Margaret Van Duch
  • Waukegan Public Schools website Tam Bieszczad, Josue Cuevas

 Writing

Awards of Merit

  • D62: Working Together Jennifer Tempest Bova 
  • Engineership Press Release Jamie Bonnema
  • LEARNERS Trisha Kocanda, Katharine Hughes
  • Communicators: Growth & Magic" Speech" Kristine Liptrot. APR
  • COVID-19 Updates Theresa Plascencia