Ascension Public Schools Wins Top National Award for 2016 Bond Election Communication Campaign
San Antonio, TX – The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) bestowed Ascension Public Schools with its highest honor, the Gold Medallion Award, at its national conference on July 12, 2017, for its successful 2016 bond election communication campaign, "Growing at the Pace of Excellence." Ascension was one of 11 schools districts across the country to win NSPRA's highest honor this year and is the only recipient from Louisiana to achieve this distinction.
"We consider it an honor and a blessing when our work and efforts to serve children receive national recognition. This particular award appropriately affirms the hard work and effort of all those involved in effective communication so that our public would properly understand and agree with our priority for capital improvement projects that includes building new schools," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. "A special congratulations to Jackie Tisdell, who leads all of our public communication efforts and Assistant Superintendent Denise Graves, who was serving as Superintendent during this successful campaign. Once again, hats off to our #AscensionStrong community, who pursue excellence in serving students!"
On April 9, 2016, 80 percent of Ascension Parish residents voted in favor to extend a 15.08 millage to generate $120 million in bonds to fund four new schools and facility improvements district-wide. This was the culmination of a comprehensive communications plan executed by the district's public information office in consultation with Taylor Media Services. Components of the campaign included community meetings, presentations to government and business groups, a comprehensive video, mailers, strategic signage, social media and grassroots outreach.
"This campaign was successful because we were all in, from the superintendent, board members and directors to principals, teachers and support staff. Our community trusts that we are good stewards of their financial investments, and they showed that support at the polls," said Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves.
The school district has worked with Taylor Media Services since 2003 including the successful passage of multiple elections. This was the first election marketing campaign under Public Information Officer Jackie Tisdell, who joined the district in 2015.
"As a parent and Ascension Parish resident, I have always voted to support our schools. This was the first time I worked on an election campaign and am grateful for the support of Taylor Media Services, as well as the hard work by Director of Planning and Construction Chad Lynch and our entire staff," said Tisdell. "Although tremendously humbled by this recognition, we know our work is far from over. We will focus our communication efforts on the construction progress of new schools and renovations."
The Gold Medallion is NSPRA's top program award, recognizing superior educational public relations programs. Entries come from public and private schools; vocational-technical schools or community colleges beyond 12th grade; state/national education groups; and public relations agencies, consultants or private businesses serving such schools and colleges. Judging is against criteria as well as other entries and is highly competitive.
For more information about NSPRA, visit www.nspra.org. Information about Ascension's 2016 bond election marketing campaign can be found at www.apsb.org/2016bond.