Leadership Through Communication Award

The award recognizes the leadership of outstanding superintendents and public relations/communications professionals who, along with their teams, improve communication within their school systems and communities. Typically, one winning school system is chosen.

Sponsored in partnership by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and Blackboard Connect the Leadership Through Communication Award honors those who recognize that communication is a critical component of leadership and who exhibit an ongoing commitment to incorporating communication into their strategic thinking and their daily operations.

Communication Leads to Community Support
Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organization. Strategic communication programs help school system leaders achieve their education goals and build ongoing support for programs, initiatives and staff. School-home connections enable students to achieve at higher rates by engaging parents in the learning process. Increased public involvement leads to better understanding and support — two critical components for today’s successful school systems.

In the current day, technology connects us across time, distance and cultures. What we do now to improve communications may have inestimable value for the future. The Leadership Through Communication Award honors those educators who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in communications for the benefit of the wider community. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • K-12 public school system superintendents and their public relations/communications professionals are eligible to apply for the award.
  • Applicants must currently be employed by a K-12 public school system.

The award is designed to recognize the team of superintendent and public relations/communications professional.

Additional Dates to Remember 

February 26-28, 2015 Award presented at AASA National Conference on Education in San Diego, California. Session presentation by honorees.

July 12-15, 2015 Recognition and session presentation

Questions/Application Process

Visit the NSPRA website or call 301-519-0496301-519-0496
Bernadine Futrell, awards@aasa.org / bfutrell@aasa.org / 703-875-0717

The award is presented at the AASA's National Conference on Education and at the NSPRA Seminar.

The award is presented at the AASA's National Conference on Education and at the NSPRA Seminar.



Nixa Public Schools Receives 2014 Leadership Through Communication Award
The award recognizes Stephen Kleinsmith, Ed.D., superintendent, and Zac Rantz, director of communication, for demonstrating exemplary leadership in the enhancement of school-to-parent communication within the school system and the community they serve.

Arrow Read Press Release
Arrow Read Conference Daily Online

2012 Winners
Washoe County School District, a K-12 urban school system in Reno, Nev.
Heath Morrison
, Ph.D., superintendent, and Irene Payne, chief communications and community engagement officer
Read press release.

2011 Winners
Vancouver Public School District, Vancouver, Washington
Superintendent, Steven T. Webb
Executive Director of Community and Government Relations, Thomas R. Hagley
Read press release.

2010 Winners
Twin Rivers Unified School District, Sacramento, Calif.
Superintendent: Frank S. Porter
Director of Communications: Trinette Marquis
Read press release.

2009 Winners
Rockwood School District, West St. Louis County, Mo.
Superintendent: Craig Larson
Chief Communications Officer: Kim Cranston

2008 Winners
Hamilton Public Schools, Sussex, Wis.
Superintendent: Kathleen Cooke
Director of Public Relations: Denise Dorn Linberg

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Fla.
Superintendent: Rudolph Crew
Director of Public Relations: Cathleen Healy

2007 Winner
Deer Valley Unified School District, Phoenix, Ariz.
Superintendent: Virginia McElyea
Director of Public Relations: Sandi Hicks


For more information, contact Bernadine Futrell - Director, Awards and Collaborations at bfutrell@aasa.org.