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ACPS Department of School & Community Relations Honored for Excellence at NSPRA 2022 Annual Summit

At the 2022 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Annual Summit, held July 17-20, 2022 in Chicago, IL, the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Department of School & Community Relations (SCR) received eight awards for outstanding work in school communications and community engagement as well as a recognition for leadership. Chief of School and Community Relations Julia Burgos, Alexandria City School Board Member Dr. Michelle Rief and members of the Communications Team accepted the awards on behalf of ACPS. Ms. Burgos and Dr. Rief commended the SCR team for their commitment and hard work.

“I am thrilled to see our SCR team recognized for the excellent work they do for ACPS, and I especially want to congratulate Chief of School and Community Relations Julia Burgos for being honored by NSPRA as an outstanding school communications and community engagement leader. I know this team has high aspirations and continues to work on strengthening communications and engagement with our stakeholders, and I appreciate their dedication to our students, staff and families,” said ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

The recognitions presented to the ACPS School & Community Relations team include the following:

Two NSPRA 2022 Golden Achievement Awards, which recognize outstanding, strategic work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing and engagement, for the following:

  • The ACPS 2021-25 Strategic Communications and Community Engagement Plan. 
  • The ACPS Vision, Integrity and Passion (VIP) Awards employee recognition program developed by the Department of Human Resources and promoted by the Office of Communications.

Five NSPRA 2022 Publications and Digital Media Awards, which recognize outstanding education publications, e-newsletters, digital media programs, radio/TV/video programs, social media, infographics, blogs and websites, as follows:

  • Award of Excellence for the ACPS 2022 Black History Month social media campaign.
  • Award of Excellence for the superintendent’s “Unapologetic Talk with the Supe” podcast.
  • Award of Merit for the ACPS 2020-21 Measuring What Matters annual report.
  • Award of Merit for the Alexandria City Essential Workers Appreciation Week video.
  • Award of Honorable Mention for a nomination video for the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals’ national distinguished principals awards program.

One 2021-22 Front-Runner Award

Additionally, SCR Chief Burgos was honored by the NSPRA Executive Board as the Mideast region recipient of the 2021-22 Front-Runner award, one of four communicators recognized nationally at the conference as an emerging leader doing outstanding work for their schools, their chapters and for NSPRA. Burgos has served as the first SCR chief since joining ACPS in July 2020 and has led divisionwide community engagement and communications initiatives such as The Identity Project to change two school names and the redesign of the ACPS and school websites. Under her leadership, communications and community engagement staff have collaborated closely to improve family engagement and information resources in multiple languages and to strengthen communications and outreach support for ACPS departments and schools. Burgos is the immediate past president of CHESPRA, the Chesapeake regional chapter of NSPRA which serves school divisions in Va., Md., D.C. and W.V.

“I believe school communication is more visible and essential than ever. Our role as communicators contributes to an understanding of our school division's mission and the overall success of students. I am honored to be recognized as an NSPRA Front-Runner and am proud of the work that our school and community relations team is doing to support school leaders, staff, students and families,” said Burgos.

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) serves more than 15,400 students who hail from more than 110 countries and speak 121 languages. ACPS has 18 schools, including two middle schools, two K-8 schools, one pre-K school and the internationally recognized Alexandria City High School. ACPS is committed to putting racial equity at the heart of all decisions and ensuring that each and every student succeeds. Visit www.acps.k12.va.us

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