For the last three years, we have been proud to recognize exceptional school districts for their efforts in improving school communication by with the Leadership Through Communication Award. This year, in conjunction with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the Washoe County School District, a K-12 urban school district located in Reno, Nev., has been named as the 2012 award recipient. Superintendent Heath Morrison, Ph.D., and chief communications and community engagement officer Irene Payne have demonstrated leadership and innovation in enhancing communication within the district and between the schools and parents.

The state of Nevada was hit hard as a result of the economic downtown, and its unemployment and foreclosure rates rank as some of the highest in the country. Many Nevada school districts have experienced budget restrictions, forcing many administrators and educators to make do with limited resources. Despite the recent turmoil, Dr. Morrison and the district’s Board of Trustees have made significant advances by instituting a strong communication program to support parent involvement and student achievement.

The award will be presented to Dr. Heath Morrison and Irene Payne at both of this year’s AASA and NSPRA annual national conferences. In addition to the award, the Blackboard Connect team will be making a $10,000 donation to the Washoe County School District to help fund student scholarships and to support future communication programs benefiting the district and its surrounding community.

To learn more about the Leadership Through Communication award and to find out how your district can apply for recognition next year, see the award resources and application available on the AASA and the NSPRA websites.

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