Communications staff earns top school public relations awards

Communications staff earns top school public relations awards

The Charles County Public Schools communications department recently received three top National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) awards in the 2013 Publications and Electronic Media Contest.

A video produced by communications staff titled “Every 15 Minutes in Charles County Public Schools” received an Award of Excellence, which is the highest award given by NSPRA. The video was selected from among 135 entries, and was one of only 15 selected for the Award of Excellence. The video features the national Every 15 Minutes program held at Thomas Stone and Westlake high schools which teaches students about the dangers of driving under the influence and texting while driving.

Two additional video entries also received awards. A video titled “Strike up the Band” received an Award of Merit, which is the second highest award given in the contest. Out of 135 entries, 48 were selected for an Award of Merit. The video features performances from the Maurice J. McDonough High School Marching Band.

A video highlighting the Charles County Public Schools breakfast program titled “School Breakfast Program” also received an Honorable Mention award in the contest. The entry was one of 42 honorable mention awardees.

Each year, NSPRA sponsors a publications and electronic media contest. The videos were selected for awards from a total of 894 contest entries. Additionally, the department received three publication awards last fall through the Chesapeake Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association's annual publications contest, covering Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

These awards included an Award of Excellence in the newsletter category for School News, the school system's semimonthly staff newsletter; an Award of Merit for the 2011-12 Charles County Public Schools Parent Handbook/Calendar; and an Honorable Mention for a special events video featuring coverage of the Every 15 Minutes program at Stone.

The communications department is comprised of Katie O'Malley-Simpson, director of communications; Kyle Graves, video production specialist; Kara Gross, communications multimedia assistant; Shelley Mackey, communications specialist; and Gary Nagel, web developer.

For more information on NSPRA, visit

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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