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PenSPRA Excellence in Education Communications Contest Winners!

We are so pleased to announce the 2020 Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) award recipients!

To see the winners' names and projects, visit our Communications Contest Winners site www.penspra.com/contest-winners.

Congratulations again to all - your dedication and talent is an inspiration to us all!

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PenSPRA's Strategic Plan

The Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) was chartered in 1969. It continues to be one of the largest state chapters of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Several PenSPRA members have served as NSPRA Presidents and the Chapter is the recipient of more than eight Blue Ribbon Awards.

PenSPRA is divided into three regions, West, Central, and East, and is governed by an Executive Committee of three elected officers: President, President- Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer. Other members of the Executive Board include: West, Central, and East Program Chairpersons, Contest Coordinator, Newsletter Editor, Membership Mentors, Symposium Committee Members, Fundraising Chairs, Reference Librarian, NSPRA Representative, and PenSPRA’s Immediate Past President.

Members of the PenSPRA Executive Board 2000-2001 developed this Strategic Plan. Many thanks go to Marci Davis, Kathy Disque, Jane Filowat, Michale Herrmann, Ellen Jamison, Pat Kennedy, Tom Labanc, Jessie Long, Anita Miller, Todd O’Shell, Regina Reitmeyer, and Jan Zastawniak for their hard work and vision.Published: March, 2002

The Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association strengthens and evaluates the leadership role of the school communications profession, fosters the continual development of its members, celebrates student and teacher achievement, and promotes school and community partnerships in support of education.

PenSPRA's Beliefs

      • PenSPRA believes that community support for education is best achieved through systematic, proactive communications programs that promote student achievement and excellence in schools.
      • PenSPRA recognizes the communications professional as a leader within the educational community.
      • PenSPRA prepares members to identify and proactively address issues that impact education.
      • PenSPRA benefits form strong cooperative relationships with other professional organizations.
      • PenSPRA supports the goals and objectives of the National School Public Relations Association.


We will develop and support a wide range of activities, including programs, recognitions, awards, workshops, and special events to highlight the value and enhance the profession of school communications.

Membership Development

We will plan and implement ongoing programs to orient and educate members. These programs will be based on membership needs assessments.


We will continue to develop networks with other organizations, with a common goal to enhance school and community partnerships.

School and Community Relations Outreach

We will advocate school programs that enhance communication and encourage parent and community involvement.

New Member Services

We will initiate programs and services geared to acclimating new professionals in areas of education and communications.

Goal # 1 Professionalism

Speakers BureauTo raise awareness of the organization throughout the state.

    • We will develop a presentation that introduces the organization, explains what Public Relations is, and discusses how to accomplish it. Supporting handouts, including the PenSPRA Job Description Booklet, will accompany the PowerPoint presentation.
    • We will find at least one member in every Intermediate Unit who is willing to make these presentations throughout their IU. The presentations will be geared to superintendents, board members, Intermediate Units, and individual school districts.

Professional Registration Program
To enhance the credibility of communications professionals as those committed to high quality communications activities within the education arena and to increase the skill level of members.

    • A Professional Registration Program will be developed for PenSPRA members to improve skills, increase awareness, and enhance credibility of communications professionals working in the field of education.
    • A curriculum will be developed to train professionals and those new to school Public Relations. Courses and course materials will be standardized.
    • Four courses will be offered every year. To earn PenSPRA Professional Accreditations, all courses must be completed within a two-year period.

Job Description Booklet
To increase awareness of PenSPRA, raise the educational value of high quality communications, and continue to encourage school districts to hire qualified professionals.

    • The committee will revise and reprint the PenSPRA Job Description Booklet.

Goal # 2 Membership Development

Implement Program Plans (West, Central, & East)
To provide programs for members and others in education or education related fields that adhere to the mission, beliefs, and strategic plan of PenSPRA. Also, to utilize the resources of other professional organizations to expand the knowledge and skills of our members.

    • Program chairs, along with a committee, will implement program plans that adhere to the mission and beliefs of PenSPRA.
    • Program chairs will form localized member networks which inform, educate, and encourage professional development opportunities and participation in PenSPRA.

State Meeting
To offer development opportunities and planning time, to present incoming officers to the membership, and to recognize accomplishments of the organization, its members, and others who have contributed to quality school/community relations.

    • This annual meeting will be held in the spring. The by-laws ensure that officers are elected prior to the annual conference.

New Member Orientation Program
To introduce members to PenSPRA and NSPRA and their services, to provide background on basic precepts of school community relations, to involve new members in the life of PenSPRA and its national organization.

    • Work in conjunction with the New Membership Services to make an orientation program for those new to School PR.

To determine continuing development needs of widely experienced members with an annual survey.

    • A survey will be developed to determine the profile of the organization.
    • An evaluation will also be developed to determine the effectiveness of the annual State Meeting.

Goal # 3 Partnerships

Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials
To continue to improve and expand the partnership between PenSPRA and PASBO.

    • Explore ways to increase the visibility and highlight the accomplishments of the partnership.
    • Develop a PASBO Liaison position to continue to improve and expand the partnership.
    • Explore the idea of PenSPRA holding communications seminars in conjunction with PASBO.

Pennsylvania School Boards Association
To continue to improve and expand the partnership with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

    • Annually, host two communications sessions in conjunction with PSBA.
    • Develop cooperative projects which will describe, enhance, and improve communications within school districts.
    • Expand the number of PenSPRA sessions given at the PSBA/PASA annual conference.

Other Educational Groups
To increase the awareness of PenSPRA, the educational value of high-quality communications, and continue to emphasize that PenSPRA members are well-qualified professionals.

    • To continue to make contacts with other organizations in the educational arena.
    • Mail an annual letter encouraging educational organizations to use PenSPRA resources - for help with communications programs.

National School Public Relations Association
To determine continuing development needs of widely experienced members with an annual survey.

    • Continue working with the National School Public Relations Association to enhance and increase the skills of PenSPRA members.

Goal # 4 School and Community Relations Outreach

Parent Groups
To extend professional communications services to parent groups working within the school districts or Intermediate Units.

    • Encourage PenSPRA members to help PTA/PTO and other parent groups working in the school district with communications issues.
    • Explore additional ways in which PenSPRA members can work with/help parent groups.
    • Develop programs where members can teach communications skills to parent groups and keep in reference library.

Community Groups/Businesses
To provide development opportunities for members of PenSPRA to work with community groups and businesses to highlight education and build partnerships.

    • Explore ideas for districts and Intermediate Units to join with community groups and area businesses to highlight educational achievements and build further partnerships.
    • Encourage all members of PenSPRA to join with organizations such as local Rotary and Business affiliations to further partnerships.

Annual Publications Contest
To continue to recognize and encourage good communications efforts by volunteers or employees who are not professional school communications specialists.

    • Review the areas in the publications contest that are applicable to non-communications professionals. Add and modify those awards deem necessary.
    • Continue to explore new areas to highlight communications efforts of non-professionals.

Develop Comprehensive Campaign to Heighten Awareness for School/Community Relations
To build awareness for the importance of high quality communications as a management tool and to establish PenSPRA and its members as committed high quality professionals.

Goal # 5 New Member Services

New Member Programs
To continue to improve and build the skills of new members.

    • Hold at least one seminar per year, as part of the West, Central, & East Programs, a session for those new to school PR.
    • Continue to develop a separate “track” at the annual Symposium specific to those new to school PR.

Membership Introduction
To introduce members to PenSPRA and NSPRA and their services, to provide background on basic precepts of school community relations, to involve new members in the life of PenSPRA and its national organization.

    • Programs and information will be developed to introduce new members to PenSPRA, provide them with initial background on specific needs.
    • To provide the Executive Board with quarterly new member updates to initiate communications between the organization and new members.
    • Membership mentors will be established to provide new members with a contact person for help when needed.

Ongoing Review of Membership Products and Services
To continue to improve support services and growth opportunities to new members.

    • As part of the annual survey, receive input from new members concerning PenSPRA services.
    • The PenSPRA librarian will submit an annual report on the use of the materials in the Reference library, and order new materials as appropriate.

Seminar Scholarships

      • To encourage members to attend the PenSPRA Symposium.
      • Research the feasibility for PenSPRA to offer scholarships to attend the annual Symposium.
      • Develop criteria and application process.

c/o Chester County Intermediate Unit

Downingtown, PA 19335

Phone: 484-237-5731

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