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.

Joe Krumm, APR2017 Learning & Liberty Award Recipient

Joe Krumm, APR
Director of Community/Government Relations
North Clackamas School District, Milwaukie, Ore.
2012-13 NSPRA President

Joe Krumm was passionate about a lot of things — his family, his community, his music, baseball, red shoes — but public education and serving students and their families certainly ranks near the top of the list. Public education and NSPRA lost a great friend and champion with Joe’s unexpected passing last September 28 at the too-young age of 61.

Joe was the consummate communication pro. He started his communications career as a reporter at the Clackamas County Review in 1984, eventually working his way up to editor/co-publisher. In 1990 he was recruited by the superintendent of North Clackamas School District (a very wise man!) for a government/media relations position. With a new purpose and single-minded dedication, Joe took his one-person shop and grew it into a comprehensive, award-winning program focused on all levels of engagement and social justice in the greater Milwaukie community. In the process, he not only raised the district’s profile and role in the community, Joe himself became an integral community leader.

He brought that same focus and commitment to NSPRA as a member, a Northwest Region Vice President and then as NSPRA President. Joe believed that accountability is paramount to effective communication. There are many who think the connection between student achievement and a comprehensive communication program is difficult to prove, but Joe worked tirelessly to demonstrate tangible connections and helped NSPRA with our benchmarking project to prove otherwise.

He was also very interested in and committed to the science of leadership and helping young NSPRA colleagues grow into leadership roles in their districts, chapters and NSPRA. He was a mentor to many of us over the years, and with his warm and welcoming persona, never failed to expand his circle of friends and colleagues at the Seminar each year.

At the core of much of Joe’s work was his deep commitment to equity and social justice and he was a powerful advocate and voice for those most in need. His influence is woven throughout NSPRA’s communication equity and diversity efforts and his loss is being felt strongly by the Task Force as they carry this important mission forward. As he admonished the team in one memorable call, “We really need to show our colleagues that this work is more than hosting Taco Tuesdays.”

Joe’s passion and commitment to serving students and families and ensuring equity, tolerance and respect for all truly represents the heart of the Learning & Liberty Award. He was a champion for celebrating and honoring diversity in all forms and he worked tirelessly to that end, both at home and in the national arena. We can think of no more fitting tribute that NSPRA can bestow on our talented and beloved colleague, Joe Krumm, APR.

The NSPRA Learning & Liberty Award will be presented to Joe’s family at the San Antonio Seminar closing banquet on July 12. His son Patrick will be accepting the award for the family.

If you would like to contribute to the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education in Joe’s memory, the funds will be applied toward hopefully continuing the Joe Krumm Leaders Memorial Scholarship next year in Anaheim, Calif. You can contribute online or send your check to:

NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education
Attn: Joe Krumm Leaders Memorial Scholarship
15948 Derwood Road
Rockville, MD 20850

Complete list of previous award recipients.