Andrew Potter Named 2018 ISPRA Communicator of the Year

Andrew-Potter

Andrew Potter, communications director for Marshalltown Community School District

Andrew Potter, communications director for Marshalltown Community School District was named the Iowa School Public Relations Association’s (ISPRA) Communicator of the Year at the Annual ISPRA Communications Contest Awards Banquet on April 19, 2018.

Andrew has successfully served as director of communications for Marshalltown Community School District for the past 3.5 years. Andrew has been successfully leading the charge to change the perception of their district through his communication and marketing efforts, highlighting the district’s strengths in videos like Proud to Be a Bobcat and Proud to be Diverse.

“The value and contributions made to the Marshalltown Community School District and the students, staff, parents and community members by Mr. Andrew Potter are too numerous to mention. The body of his work speaks for itself and our school community is very fortunate to have someone with his knowledge, skills, talent and attributes working for our district,” said Marshalltown Community School District superintendent, Dr. Theron J. Schutte.

The ISPRA Communicator of the Year Award recognizes the exemplary leadership of Iowa’s outstanding communications professionals for demonstrated commitment to the enhancement of communication and relationships between their school systems and the families of the communities they serve. The award honors those who recognize that communication is a critical component of leadership.

“I am humbled to win this award from an association that includes so many great school communications professionals. I am thankful to our Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte for nominating me for the award and I accept it on behalf of so many dedicated and hard-working employees in Marshalltown Schools that I’m fortunate enough to call my colleagues and friends,” Potter said.

Awards were also presented to 20 different school districts for their outstanding work in the field of school public relations at the annual banquet.

ISPRA’s Communications Contest awards school public relations professionals throughout the state for their outstanding work. School districts can submit projects for 25 different categories. Each entry is judged by a school public relations association from another state. This year, Oklahoma School Public Relations Associations judged 113 entries using rubrics that assigned points for design/appearance, clarity/focus, quality of writing, overall effect and evaluation.

Scoring is on a scale of 0 to 15 for each set of judging criteria. An average score of 6-9.9 points receives an Award of Merit and an average score of 10-15 receives an Award of Excellence. A Blue & Gold Award is given for best in the category.

2018 ISPRA Communications Awards

Congratulations to the following Blue & Gold Award recipients:

Category School District Entry Title
Advertising West Des Moines Community Schools Parent Quest Marketing Materials
Annual Report West Des Moines Community Schools Annual Report
Bond/Finance Campaign Waukee Community School District #2ndHS Bond Referendum
Branding/Image Package Waukee Community School District WCSD New Logos
Communication Plan Johnston Community School District JHS Grand Copening Communication Plan
Crisis Communication Response Johnston Community School District JCSD Cyber Hack Crisis Response
E-Newsletter Iowa Association of School Boards Board Connect
Excellence in Writing Central Rivers AEA Parents Have the Loudest Voices
Excellence in Writing Dubuque Community School District Support Public Education Editorial
Infographic Iowa City Community School District Recruitment Infographics
Photography Waterloo Community Schools Free Books for Second Graders
Print Newsletter/Newspaper/Magazine Ames Community School District Amazing Magazine
Public Engagement Charles City Community School District Communications & Community Engagement
Social Media Ames Community School District Facebook Page
Special Project Website Waukee Community School District Second High School Website
Special Purpose Publication Dubuque Community School District Leap Program Materials
Special Purpose Publication – Booklet Waukee Community School District Welcome to Kindergarten
Special Purpose Publication – Brochure Central Rivers AEA Dedication Open House
Special Purpose Publication – Poster Iowa City Community School District Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment posters
Video Iowa City Community School District “We Are the Iowa City Community School District” welcome video
Video (Short) Charles City Community School District Iowa BIG North Instructors
Video Series Waukee Community School District #2ndHS Bond Referendum Videos
Website West Des Moines Community Schools WDMCS.org
Department of the Year
Ames Community Schools, Communications Department

Register Today!

ISPRA Awards Night & Spring Conference 2018

 Join us for a night of recognition and a day packed full of learning!

Join us for a night of recognition and a day packed full of learning!

*ISPRA Awards Night -Thursday, April 19 | 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Johnny’s Italian Steak House – Holiday Inn & Suites at Jordan Creek

Salon C, 6075 Mills Civic Parkway West Des Moines IA 50266

PHONE: (515) 309-3900 FAX: (515) 309-3019

Government rate is $120.00/night for Standard King or Double Queen rooms. Guest can contact 515-309-3900 to make reservations.

Cost: $35 members | $40 non-members

*Sponsored by Juicebox Interactive & Blackboard

Communication contest entry form now available.
All entries due by March 16.

  • Communications Contest
  • ISPRA Communicator of the Year
  • Department of the Year

ISPRA Spring Conference – Friday, April 20 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Heartland AEA – Room 107 A & B
6500 Corporate Dr, Johnston, IA 50131

Topics & speakers include:
Bonds & Levies: Beyond Campaign Time – Lesley Rogers, Strategies 360
Legal Primer for School Communicators – Matt Carver, J.D., School Administrators of Iowa
News Media Relations: The New Rules of Engagement – Jerry Gallagher, Donovan Group
Lessons Learned: Promise of Iowa Campaign – Lisa Bartusek, IASB

Cost: $95 members | $125 non-members

Register for one or both events here!

Save-the-Date Awards Night & Spring Conference

ISPRA Awards Night – Thursday, April 19 | 5:30-8 p.m.
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse – Holiday Inn & Suites at Jordan Creek
Salon C, 6075 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Hotel Will Offer Government Rate – $118.  Contact 515-309-3900 to make reservations. Please note, the ISPRA Awards Night and Spring Conference are at different locations.

  • Communications Contest – entries due March 16
    • ISPRA Communicator of the Year – entries due March 16
    • ISPRA Department of the Year

Spring Conference

Friday, April 20| 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.Heartland AEA
6500 Corporate Dr, Johnston, IA 50131

 

 

 

ISPRA Fall Conference

Learn. Network. Engage.

Register Today!

Iowa School Public Relations Association Fall Conference

Learn. Network. Engage.

Learn. Network. Engage.

New this year! Invite your superintendent or administrator to join you for the conference. The sessions below have been designed for you to attend as a team, if desired.

Our morning presenter will be a representative from Wixted & Co. who will facilitate a hands-on session around messaging, audiences, handling Q & A, and mastering the news media interview.

Afternoon sessions will include a focus on what makes a strong superintendent/communications director team as well as round table discussions and sharing of best practices in video, social media strategy, bond/finance campaigns, branding/imaging campaign and strategic communication plan. Round table discussions will be facilitated by several of our Blue & Gold award winners!

Register today! Cost is $65/person.

When
Thursday, Oct. 5th, 9am-3pm

Where
Central Rivers AEA, 1521 Technology Parkway, Cedar Falls, IA, United States

Lodging available directly across the street from Central Rivers AEA at Best Western Plus Technology Park Inn & Suites at a rate of $91/night. (State rate.)

For more information contact Beth Strike, APR, Director of Creative Services & Communications, Central Rivers AEA.

Note about payment: Your district will be billed following the conference.

ISPRA Award Results: Jen Woodley Named ISPRA Communicator of the Year at Annual Communications Contest Awards Banquet

Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer Woodley

Jen Woodley, Public Relations Coordinator for Great Prairie Area Education Agency (AEA), was named the Iowa School Public Relations Association’s (ISPRA) Communicator of the Year at the Annual ISPRA Communications Contest Awards Banquet on April 20.

“Ms. Woodley is a self-starter and consistently seeking ways to better serve and communicate to employees and clients. She is not afraid to try a new tool or the most recent technologies to enhance communication and marketing. Even if it fails or is wildly successful, she learns and is on to the next challenge,” said Joel Pedersen, Cardinal Community School District Superintendent.

The ISPRA Communicator of the Year Award recognizes the exemplary leadership of Iowa’s outstanding communications professionals for demonstrated commitment to the enhancement of communication and relationships between their school systems and the families of the communities they serve. The award honors those who recognize that communication is a critical component of leadership.

Awards were also presented to 20 different school districts for their outstanding work in the field of school public relations at the annual banquet.

ISPRA’s Communications Contest awards school public relations professionals throughout the state for their outstanding work. School districts can submit projects for 20 different categories. Each entry is judged by a school public relations association from another state. This year, Arizona School Public Relations Associations judged over 100 entries using rubrics that assigned points for design/appearance, clarity/focus, quality in writing, overall effect and evaluation.

Scoring is on a scale of one to 10 for each set of judging criteria, and then the total is divided by five. An average score of 6-7.9 points receives an Award of Merit, an average score of 8-10 receives an Award of Excellence and the highest average score in a category receives a Blue & Gold Award. 

This year West Des Moines Community Schools received the Department of the Year Award. This award recognizes participants of the ISPRA Communications Contest. The winner is determined by adding a district’s top score from each category entered, the district with the highest overall score earns the award. 

2017 ISPRA Communications Contest Results

BLOG
District Name Entry Title Award
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis For the Record Merit
BOND/FINANCE CAMPAIGNS
District Name Entry Title Award
North Polk Community School District, in partnership with Heartland AEA Jessica Hartgers North Polk’s Bond Referendum Blue & Gold
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst 3-2-1 Cedar Falls Schools Bond Campaign Excellence
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst Cedar Falls Schools PPEL Renewal Vote Merit
BRANDING/IMAGE PACKAGING
District Name Entry Title Award
Grant Wood Area Education Agency Renee Nelson Grant Wood AEA Enhanced Brand Standards Blue & Gold
West Des Moines School District Elaine Watkins-Miller Brand Development Blue & Gold
Area Education Agency 267 Beth Strike, APR Central Rivers AEA rebrand Excellence
Council Bluffs Community School District Diane Ostrowski Career & Technical Education Career Service Area Logo Package Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis New Welcome Center/Administrative Office Graphics Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis Summit on School Climate & Culture Excellence
Iowa Association of School Boards Tammy Votava The Promise of Iowa Campaign Swag Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis School Marquee Signs Merit
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Branding- New SA Merit
BROCHURE
District Name Entry Title Award
West Des Moines School District Jamie Evans Welcome to Kindergarten Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman School Board Brochure Excellence
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt “Become a Knight” Brochure Excellence
Waterloo Community School District Tara Thomas Points of Pride Brochure Merit
COMPREHENSIVE/STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION PLANS
District Name Entry Title Award
Waukee Community School District Nicole Lawrence WCSD Social Media Plan Blue & Gold
E-NEWSLETTER
District Name Entry Title Award
Urbandale Community School District Dena Soenke “Keeping U Updated” Monthly District eNewslater Blue & Gold
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst Cedar Falls E-news Keeping You In Touch Excellence
EXCELLENCE IN WRITING
District Name Entry Title Award
Urbandale Community School District Dena Soenke “We Believe In U” A Message To Our Students, Families, and Staff Blue & Gold
Waukee Community School District Nicole Lawrence Lady Leadership brings Leader in Me to Life at Maple Grove Excellence
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Rethinking Student Progress Communication Merit
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore Iowa BIG North Press Release Merit
Johnston Community School District Laura Sprague “Pushing Out Cancer for Cooper” Merit
West Des Moines School District Alexandra Wade Kapur “Turbanates” the Single Story Merit
HANDBOOK
District Name Entry Title Award
West Des Moines School District Elaine Watkins-Miller WDMCS Brand System Editorial and Visual Style Guide Blue & Gold
Johnston Community School District Laura Sprague Johnston Community School District 2016-17 Parent/Student Handbook Excellence
MARKETING MATERIALS
District Name Entry Title Award
West Des Moines School District Elaine Watkins-Miller Play.Explore.Learn. Welcome to Kindergarten Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Northview Renovation Open House Excellence
Council Bluffs Community School District Diane Ostrowski Creating the Path Forward through Career & Technical Education Excellence
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Summer Academy Promotional Materials Excellence
Heartland AEA Courtney Croatt Agency Infographic Excellence
PHOTOGRAPHY
District Name Entry Title Award
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis PROTEST Blue & Gold
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore Generational Cleaning Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis GOING THE DISTANCE Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis ELECTION DAY Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis GOODBYE SARGEANT Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis GONE TOO SOON Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis QUIET OUT LOUD Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis ONCE UPON A MELODY Excellence
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis WAITING FOR THE DROP Excellence
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt Cross Country 2016 Excellence
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore Learning Ignited Merit
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis HIDDEN FIGURES Merit
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Veterans Day Celebration Merit
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Teamwork Merit
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Saint Albert “This is Us” Merit
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Heroes Merit
PODCAST/AUDIO
District Name Entry Title Award
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore American Education Week Podcasts Excellence
PRINT NEWSLETTER/NEWSPAPER
District Name Entry Title Award
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt Knightly Knews Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Ankeny Advance Excellence
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
District Name Entry Title Award
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore Communications & Community Engagement Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Elementary Party Treats Merit
SOCIAL MEDIA
District Name Entry Title Award
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore Charles City Community School District Facebook and Twitter Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Ankeny Schools Facebook Excellence
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst #CFSchoolsFirstDay Excellence
Waterloo Community School District Tara Thomas West High Social Media Merit
Waukee Community School District Nicole Lawrence Facebook: Celebrating 100 years Merit
West Des Moines School District Alexandra Wade Kindergarten Social Media Merit
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt Facebook Page Merit
SPECIAL PURPOSE PUBLICATIONS
District Name Entry Title Award
Area Education Agency 267 Beth Strike, APR Creative Services Marketing Brochure Blue & Gold
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Certified Budget Proposal Excellence
Waukee Community School District Nicole Lawrence Focus on Finance: Forecast 5 Analytics 2016 Excellence
Iowa Association of School Boards Tammy Votava Legislative Guide Merit
Linn-Mar Community School District Matthew May 2016-2026 Strategic Plan Merit
VIDEO
District Name Entry Title Award
Waterloo Community School District Katrina Hemann Project SEARCH video Blue & Gold
Ankeny Community School District Samantha Kampman Ankeny Experience video entries Excellence
Area Education Agency 267 Beth Strike, APR What AEA 267 Does For Me Excellence
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst Lonely Excellence
Charles City Community School District Justin Devore The Right Place Excellence
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Elementary Safety Video Excellence
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Lincoln Elementary School PBIS Video Excellence
Great Prarie AEA Jennifer Woodley Meet Skyler Excellence
Waterloo Community School District Katrina Hemann Bunger Middle School Volleyball video feature Excellence
Waterloo Community School District Katrina Hemann Elk Run video feature Excellence
Waterloo Community School District Tara Thomas Social Media Awareness Video Excellence
West Des Moines School District Elaine, Alex, Jamie This is Where it All Begins Excellence
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt “Become a Knight” Video Series Excellence
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst CF Schools Give Thanks Merit
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis IMPROVING SCHOOL HOURS AT DMPS Merit
Des Moines Public Schools Amanda Lewis Des Moines Public Schools – PSA Merit
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Secondary School Safety Video Merit
Dubuque Community School Mike Cyze Opening Ceremony Video Merit
Heartland AEA Courtney Croatt “Faces of Heartland AEA” video Merit
Iowa Association of School Boards Tammy Votava SAVE Advocacy Video Series Merit
Linn-Mar Community School District Matthew May LM Connections Video (8:56) Merit
Marshalltown Community School DIstrict Andrew Potter Bobcat Pride 2017 Merit
Waterloo Community School District Katrina Hemann West High Homecoming video Merit
WEBSITE
District Name Entry Title Award
Johnston Community School District Laura Sprague Johnston Community School District Website Blue & Gold
Waukee Community School District Nicole Lawrence Waukee APEX Website Blue & Gold
Woodward Academy Eric Smidt New Woodward Academy Website Blue & Gold
Cedar Falls Schools Janelle Darst Cedar Falls Schools Website Redesign Excellence
Iowa Association of School Boards Tammy Votava The Promise of Iowa Website Excellence
Johnston Community Education Jane Morrison Johnston Community Education Website Excellence
Saint Albert Catholic Schools JoAnn Jensen Website- Complete Overhaul Excellence
DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR
West Des Moines Community Schools, Communications Department