NSPRA Recognition Awards

As a professional association, NSPRA believes it is important to recognize and honor colleagues and supporters whose efforts and expertise have had a positive and lasting impact on school public relations and education.

We have established a number of special recognition awards that offer a variety of opportunities to honor members and individuals who have distinguished themselves through their dedication, talent and commitment to our mission of building support for education through responsible public relations that leads to the success of all students. These include awards that honor those who have achieved the pinnacle of career success and national visibility as well as those who are the unsung heroes of our profession, who work quietly to mentor colleagues and ensure that effective communication is integral to their school district or organization’s success.

If you know of a colleague who deserves recognition for their dedication to our profession and to education, we encourage you to nominate him or her for one of these special recognition awards. Please review the eligibility information and nomination instructions and note the deadlines for each.

Here are some brief descriptions of NSPRA's recognition awards. Please visit each award menu by clicking the links above to learn more about all our awards.

NSPRA Presidents Award

The NSPRA Presidents Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Association.It was established in 1979 to recognize a living individual NSPRA member for outstanding professionalism and integrity throughout a career as a school public relations practitioner and for contributions to the advancement of educational public relations. In addition, it recognizes the member's active involvement and leadership at a national level as well as substantive professional contributions to NSPRA.

Nominations for the Presidents Award may be submitted by current chapter presidents, all past NSPRA Executive Board members (not serving on the current selection committee) and past recipients of the award.

List of past recipients.

Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award

The Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award recognizes a practicing school public relations professional for outstanding efforts in mentoring colleagues new to school PR, providing counsel and advice on job success, and assisting colleagues in their professional development by creating or offering programs and activities designed to improve PR skills and knowledge.

This award is given in memory of Barry Gaskins, APR, an NSPRA past president who was known for his deep commitment to supporting and mentoring colleagues as well as for his passion for public education.

In the spirit of this award, the recipient is allowed to designate a mentee of their choice to receive a scholarship to the NSPRA National Seminar. The funding for this award is provided by the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education through memorial donations from NSPRA chapters and colleagues.

List of past recipients.

Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award

The Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award is given annually to a practicing superintendent or CEO of a school district, education agency or service center in recognition of outstanding leadership in school public relations and communications. The funding for this award is provided by the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education through memorial donations from NSPRA chapters and colleagues. The recipient receives a registration to the NSPRA National Seminar and two nights lodging.

This award is given in memory of Robert L. Grossman, ASPR, an NSPRA past president who believed that the support and commitment of our top education leaders is vital to successful school communication.

List of past recipients.

Communication Technology Award for Superintendents

The Communication Technology Award for Superintendents recognizes a superintendent of a K-12 school system, intermediate unit, BOCES, or County Education Office for leadership in redefining, upgrading, and integrating cutting-edge communication technology to improve and expand outreach and engagement with education stakeholders — both internal and external.

List of past recipients.

Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader Recognition

The Learning & Liberty Legacy Leader Recognition honors the contributions of NSPRA members who have had a positive impact on their colleagues’ careers and who work tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of education and improved communication. Nominations may be made with a minimum tax-exempt gift of $75 to the Foundation for the Advancement of Education, which is used to provide scholarships to the NSPRA Seminar and support our Communication Accountability Program (CAP) research. Honorees receive a special certificate and letter of commendation. Their names are permanently listed on the NSPRA website and included in member recognitions at the NSPRA Seminar.

List of honorees.

NSPRA Learning & Liberty Award

The NSPRA Learning & Liberty Award reflects the symbolism of The Education Flag of Learning and Liberty and is given in recognition of outstanding collaborative efforts between schools, business and community, and the home, and to foster respect, understanding and civic cooperation between people of all backgrounds and beliefs. This is a special purpose recognition used to honor individuals deemed to embody the tenets and symbolism of the award and who demonstrate a deep commitment to education and strong support for effective communication and the mission of NSPRA.

Recommendations of deserving candidates are made by NSPRA Executive Board members and NSPRA staff and approved by a majority vote of the NSPRA Executive Board.

List of past recipients.