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  • Monday, October 26, 2020 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    The New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) is pleased to announce that Jean Palmer, Supervisor of Communications and Printing Services at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, has been named the 2020 Communicator of the Year.

    The Communicator of the Year award, which is being awarded for the fifth year, is meant to recognize school communications professionals who demonstrate a commitment to strengthening relationships between public schools and the students, families and communities they serve. The award honors those who recognize that communication and public relations are a critical component of school leadership.

    Palmer oversees a school communications staff of 10 and a printing staff of five, leading both departments with her signature kindness, compassion and integrity, her colleagues say. She began working for OHM BOCES in 2002 as a public relations assistant and later became the senior public relations specialist in 2009, after leaving for a short time to write for SUNY Cortland. She added supervision of the OHM BOCES Print Shop to her duties in the spring of 2019.

    “School communication is now more important than it has ever been in my lifetime, as we have all witnessed in the past seven months of this pandemic,” Palmer said. “I am beyond appreciative and honored to have been selected for this award. Without the support of the BOCES administration, the 12 component school districts we serve, and the outstanding team that I have the privilege to work with each day, our communications efforts wouldn’t be possible.”

    Palmer has been a part of a large number of successful initiatives at the BOCES during her tenure, including a capital project, development of a new mission statement in 2012, the 65th anniversary celebration, rebranding and new website launches.

    “When I think about our school communications leaders across the state, Jean easily comes to mind,” said NYSPRA President Adrienne Leon, APR, Director of Communications and Public Relations at Capital Region BOCES. “I’ve had the fortune of working with her for many years, through NYSPRA as well as BOCES initiatives, and couldn’t be more excited to honor her with this award.

    Palmer was nominated by two members of the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES communications team, Public Relations Specialist Rebecca Neary and Graphic Services Supervisor Andrea Rafferty.

    “Beyond her many career accomplishments, Jean is also beloved by everyone that she works with. From school superintendents to administrative assistants, both within the OHM BOCES and its component school districts, you won’t find a person who doesn’t love working with Jean. She is friendly, easygoing and always a problem solver. She is continually able to find ways to make sure that everyone has what they need and that they get it on time,” Neary and Rafferty wrote in their nomination letter. “She is always willing to go above and beyond for our BOCES programs and our component school districts, regularly working nights and weekends during the busiest seasons to make sure that projects and print jobs are completed to the highest standards.”

    In addition to her colleagues, several others submitted letters on behalf of Palmer. Retired OHM BOCES District Superintendent Howard D. Mettelman commended Palmer for her ability to lead the communications function.

    “Ms. Palmer has consistently demonstrated the unique capacity to clearly articulate vision and concept into a comprehensive communications structure. This ability affords the OHM BOCES the opportunity to reach and connect with a broad and diverse array of public audiences,” he says.

    Palmer was chosen by a panel of judges who work in school communications outside of New York state.

  • Wednesday, October 07, 2020 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    NYSPRA is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 NYSPRA Annual Communications Contest!

    One-hundred and six awards will be presented for excellence in school communications work!

    More than 50 communications professionals from across the country served as judges to evaluate the 340 entries in this year's contest. Winning work is recognized with the designations of "Excellence," "Honor" and "Merit."

    View the 2020 award winners here.

  • Monday, September 28, 2020 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    NYSPRA will be holding a business meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, at 3 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually. Login information for the meeting is available by emailing nyspra@nyspra.org.

    View the meeting agenda here.

  • Friday, June 05, 2020 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    The New York School Public Relations Association 41st Annual Communications Contest is now open!

    Our annual awards recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in educational communications. The awards continue to be one of the largest in the nation and provide both members and non-members with a time to shine and an opportunity to showcase exemplary communication practices.

    Statewide awards provide recognition for outstanding work. They build a greater appreciation for the skills of school public relations professionals and promote a better understanding of the broad range of services rendered by those who have either full or part-time responsibilities for education-related communications.

    Learn more about the NYSPRA Annual Communications Contest here

    Read about our Communicator of the Year program and considering nominating a colleague!

    The deadline to enter is Thursday, July 23, 2020, so don't wait!


  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020 8:50 PM | Anonymous

    NYSPRA will be holding a business meeting on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 3 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually. Login information for the meeting is available by emailing nyspra@nyspra.org.

    View the meeting agenda here.


  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 8:45 PM | Anonymous

    The NYSPRA Executive Board has decided to cancel the NYSPRA 2020 Annual Conference that was scheduled to be held March 15-17, 2020, in Syracuse.

    "I know many of you are concerned about traveling across New York at this time, and as school communicators you are serving as essential personnel in the middle of an unfolding crisis situation," NYSPRA President Adrienne Leon wrote in an email to registrants. "This is bad timing for a conference."

    The decision to cancel the conference was not made lightly. The board takes pride in the organization's annual conference and was excited to bring an all-star lineup of workshops and presentations to the more than 80 registered attendees. 

    Items Attendees Should Consider

    - If you have already paid your conference registration fee, that will be refunded. Any checks we have not yet cashed will be returned.

    - At this point, you can cancel any hotel or travel reservations you have made. Please note there is a 48-hour cancellation policy before you are responsible for a portion of the room cost.

    - The board meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020, has been canceled.

    Please email us at nyspra@nyspra.org or adrienne.leon@neric.org with questions or concerns.

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    The NYSPRA Business Meeting Agenda for the Monday, March 16, 2020, meeting is now available. The meeting will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Syracuse in the Ontario Room, from 10 – 12 p.m.

    View the meeting agenda here.

  • Tuesday, November 05, 2019 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    Our NYSPRA 2020 Spring Conference will be held March 15-17, 2020, in Syracuse, and we're certain it will be a tremendous opportunity for you to learn about the latest trends and innovative strategies in our field, learn new skills, hear from experts, meet with vendors and, of course, network with your colleagues from across New York and Canada!

    We invite YOU to submit a presentation proposal! All of us have different experiences to draw from in our careers and we can share those experiences and specialized interest areas or skills with our membership.

    To submit a presentation proposal, please complete the NYSPRA 2020 Conference Proposal Form by clicking here.

    Proposals are due by Friday, December 20 at 4 p.m.

    The board will review these proposals and make selections with the goal of offering a variety of topics and themes that will benefit our membership – as well as any school administrators who may also choose to attend our conference.

    This is your chance to share your experience and expertise! Please consider becoming a part of our conference! If you have any questions about presenting, contact Steve King, Vice President/President-Elect, stephen.king@neric.org.

    Please note, NYSPRA will not pay conference registration fees, travel or lodging costs for presenters. Presenters are encouraged to register for and attend the conference; however those who choose not to will not be charged a registration fee.

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:47 AM | Anonymous

    The New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) is pleased to announce that Rebekah Mott, Manager of Communications and Print Shop at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, has been named the 2019 Communicator of the Year.

    The Communicator of the Year award, which is being awarded for the fourth year, is meant to recognize school communications professionals who demonstrate a commitment to strengthening relationships between public schools and the students, families and communities they serve. The award honors those who recognize that communication and public relations are a critical component of school leadership.

    Mott leads St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES’ Communications Office and has been involved in school communications for the past five years. Prior to joining St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, Mott was an account executive for a public relations firm in Burlington, Vermont, where she represented several national and international brands and businesses, as well as local nonprofits.

    “I believe education is the most powerful tool we can give future generations, and when we enhance the stream of communication between the school, parents, and community, everyone wins,” said Mott. “I am honored by this recognition and grateful for the strong partnerships between BOCES and our school districts that make my work possible, and for the support of my stellar communications team.”

    This past year, Mott spearheaded the communications and public relations for the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES $43.5 million capital project—the largest capital project in the history of the BOCES, which includes a total renovation of all three CTE centers across the region. Rebekah presented at the American Association of School Administrators conference in Los Angeles on crisis management, the NYSPRA conference on the BOCES capital project campaign, as well as the NYSSBA conference on the Agriculture Academy. She was recently named one of the 20 Under 40 of the North Country.

    "We are thrilled to announce that Rebekah Mott is our 2019 Communicator of the Year,” said NYSPRA President Adrienne Leon, APR, Director of Communications at Capital Region BOCES. “Rebekah is well known throughout the state for her work and we’re so proud to honor her.”

    Mott was nominated by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES District Superintendent Thomas R. Burns.

    “While there are talented communications professionals at BOCES and school districts all across the state, I can honestly say that I’ve seen none that have had the impact in such a short period of time that Rebekah Mott has had,” Burns wrote. “Although there are larger communications departments at some of the marquis BOCES near urban centers, Rebekah has taken a department of one person, herself, and grown it into a department of 3 professionals who have now merged with our print shop to form a group of nearly a dozen people who serve all of our districts as well as schools in the FEH BOCES. She has earned the trust and faith of school administrators and board of education members who now habitually see her as the solution and the first phone call to help them with a wide variety of projects, PR campaigns, news media interviews, press releases and publications.”

    Mott was chosen by a panel of judges who work in school communications outside of New York state.

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019 9:46 PM | Anonymous

    The NYSPRA Business Meeting Agenda for the Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, meeting is now available. The meeting will be held at the Rochester Hyatt Hotel in the Strong Boardroom, Second Floor,  from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    View meeting agenda here.

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