Each year, the National School Public Relations Association recognizes and honors the best work in school communication in addition to chapters of all sizes for their outstanding efforts.

School Leader, the quarterly magazine of the New Jersey School Boards Association, was recognized for its work by NSPRA with a merit award for its Winter 2024 issue.

The issue included numerous articles to inform and help school districts navigate challenges, including:

  • “Strategies for Getting Kids Back in School,” which explored how to overcome stubbornly high absenteeism rates.
  • “Tips on Overcoming Transportation Challenges,” which was a roundtable with Janine Byrnes, president of the School Transportation Supervisors of New Jersey and director of the Sussex County Regional Cooperative in Hopatcong; and Joe Mondanaro, the school business administrator and board secretary at Roxbury Public Schools. 
  • “Principles of Negotiating with District Unions,” which was an incredibly informative article by the Association’s very own Kurt Rebovich Jr., associate director of partnerships.
  • “Continuing a Lifetime of Service,” a feature highlighting the NJSBA’s 2023-2024 Board Member of the Year, Bernadette Dalesandro, president of the Netcong Board of Education.
  • “Bringing the Future to the Present,” which explored how school districts that focus on career and technical education are incorporating educational technology into the classroom.

There were also other articles, such as a feature spotlighting the NJSBA’s Unsung Heroes in Education, a President’s Message by Karen Cortellino, M.D., the Association’s president on “The Importance of Mandated Training”; and an Executive Word by Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of the NJSBA, on “The Power of Transparency.”

Janet Bamford, chief public affairs officer of the NJSBA and the head of the communications department, thanked NSPRA for recognizing the stellar work of School Leader. “The magazine truly is a team effort,” she said. “We would not be able to put out such a quality publication without everyone’s help. Whether it is a member of our legal team, someone in labor relations, our governmental relations team, someone in marketing or another staff member, everybody rises to the challenge when writing an article for the magazine. Likewise, our executive director and president never fail to write an inspiring and informative message to set the tone for each issue.”

She added, “I also want to thank all of the advertisers who support the important work of School Leader.  Without them, we would not be able to devote the time necessary to publish such a quality publication for our members and the school community.

NSPRA provides school communication training and services to school leaders throughout the United States, Canada and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity schools worldwide. As the leader in school communication since 1935, NSPRA today serves more than 2,900 members who work primarily as communication directors in public school districts and education organizations.

Read the full Winter 2024 issue of School Leader.