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2020 President's Award

Tim Carroll, APR, Allen ISD

DSC 5919A 39-year veteran of school PR in both Indiana and Texas, Tim Carroll was honored ahead of his retirement with the 2020 President's Award in recognition of his contributions to the profession as well as his continued support and guidance to the Texas School Public Relations Association and its members. Tim served as TSPRA President during the 2011-2012 year. He is the winner of numerous Star Awards and has sat on nearly as many TSPRA committees during his 25 years as a member. He has served as the longtime MC of the Star Awards Banquet at the TSPRA Annual Conference.

2020 Chapter Award Winners

The chair of TSPRA’s 2019-2020 Professional Awards Committee is Susan Ard, CPC, of Cleveland ISD. Other committee members include Patti Pawlik-Perales, Alamo Heights ISD; Julie Thannum, APR, Carroll ISD; Cynthia Ybarra, Mission CISD; Kate Hope, Magnolia ISD and Erin Gregg, Lubbock ISD.

2020 Professional Achievement Award:
Ian Halperin, Wylie ISD

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"In the five years that I have worked in School PR, Ian Halperin has been one of the most trusted professionals in our field. It is my honor to consider him not only a friend, but a mentor. He has led multiple TSPRA committees, as well as our state organization in his year as TSPRA president. He's a pioneer in the field of school safety, an expert on open records and crisis, and is passionate about connected people, and mentoring new School PR professionals.

"His 20+ years of experience has allowed Ian to watch the landscape of School PR change, and Ian has adapted
gracefully to shifts in our profession.

"I can genuinely say that I wouldn't be where I am in my career today, if Ian hadn't reached out to me, and shared not
only his expertise, but his friendship. We are all fortunate to have Ian Halperin as a colleague."




2020 Most Valuable Member:
Tim Carroll, APR, Allen ISD

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"Since joining the organization in 1995, Tim has served a myriad of roles, most notably as TSPRA
President in 2011-2012. He has hosted countless conference sessions and is also a frequent mentor to the TSPRA Rookie Bootcamp classes.

"Tim is a public relations professional through-and-through, but he’s also a teacher at heart and loves to share his
knowledge with others. Hardly a week goes by when he isn’t contacted by another TSPRA member looking for sage advice. No matter how busy he is, Tim is always willing to take the time to listen and offer his wisdom and guidance.

"Tim has also served as the emcee of the Star Awards Banquet for the past 15 years. He takes the role seriously
and thinks of ways to keep it light and entertaining, often by encouraging audience interaction through games and sing-alongs, and also produced video spoofs on The Office or Undercover Boss.

"Tim is truly a significant asset to the TSPRA organization and its membership, and I appreciate you for considering his nomination."





2020 Rookie Of The Year:
Kelsey Purcell
, Friendswood ISD

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"Kelsey hit the ground running as soon as she was hired with her creative and innovative ideas and caring attitude.

"She was solely responsible for creating and producing numerous innovative projects, including a weekly Staff and Student Spotlight, a bi-monthly electronic newsletter for the community, and the "Challenge Accepted" video series which highlights the Superintendent accepting various challenges from students.

"She connects with staff and students by spending time in the schools and by mentoring a high school student every week. Kelsey is detail-oriented, creative and an excellent communicator. Her talent in all aspects of her work (writing, producing videos, social media) have truly transformed the culture and enhanced communication in Friendswood ISD."









2020 Bright Idea Award:
School PR Happy Hour; Erin McCann, CPC, Crandall ISD and Justin Dearing, Carroll ISD

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 "Erin and Justin were named to 2018-2020 NSPRA's 35 under 35 class. The two took the opportunity for national recognition and turned it into a platform to further promote the professional development of School PR Professionals.

"In a brainstorming session for their upcoming NSPRA presentation, a conversation on how they could continue the important conversations from state and national conferences began.
From that conversation, the bright idea of School PR Happy Hour became a passion project for both Justin and Erin.

"Twice monthly, Justin and Erin interview PR professionals in a podcast format, both here in Texas and nationally, on topics that are important to our industry.
The response has been overwhelming. The shows are averaging more than 200 downloads per show, but more importantly, Justin and Erin are hearing about connections being made throughout Texas and across the country over the conversations had during the 20-25 minute podcast."





2020 Media Award:
David Chancellor, WOAI NBC Channel 4 San Antonio

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"David Chancellor is a true advocate of Texas Public Schools! David listens to those he interviews and always finds deeper meaning in the stories they share. His unique ability to tell the intricate stories of our students, our staff, and our educational communities in San Antonio are heartfelt and honest.

"He has a special way of getting to the heart of the story and drawing out the truth and emotion of just what it means to be a student or a teacher in today’s public education setting. His stories are set in San Antonio, but they speak to the truth of public education across our state.
His work elicits renewed faith in our schools. When you watch, you are guaranteed to shed a few tears. For his honest and heartfelt story-telling, and his message of the resilience, dedication, earnest efforts and strength of our students, staff, schools, and families, we nominate David Chancellor of WOAI News 4, for the TSPRA Media Award."







2020 Partner in Public Education Award: Charles T. Doyle

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"Since the Charles T. Doyle Leadership Education and Development Series (LEADS) was created, Mr. Doyle has pledged in excess of $200,000 to the TCISD Foundation for the Future to operate this program. Above and beyond that pledge, he and his wife annually give out multiple $1,000 scholarships to students who qualify and attend all four leadership sessions while they are in high school. Mr. Doyle, both personally and professionally, has been making a significant contribution to student needs for many years in his banking communities.

"The LEADS program is not the only education program that Mr. Doyle supports in our community. His leadership and vision are indeed positively impacting children and the communities. Because of his broad reach in Galveston County, which includes seven school districts, we believe Charles T. “Chuck” Doyle is the ideal Partner in Public Education and most deserving of this prestigious award."








Star Awards Archive

Click the link to view the Star Awards Winner Book for a particular year. 
Currently these are the only booklets available.


2019 Star Awards Book     Press Release     Word   PDF
View the 2019 Star Awards Gallery

2018 Star Awards Book
    Press Release:    Word   PDF
View the 2018 Star Awards Gallery

2017 Star Awards Book
    Press Release:    Word   PDF
View the Star Awards Gallery

2016 Star Awards Book      Press Release   Word   PDF  
View the Star Awards Gallery 

2015 Star Awards Book      Press Release:   Word    PDF

2014 Star Awards Book      Press Release

2013 Star Awards Book      Press Release

2012 Star Awards Book      Press Release

2011 Star Awards Book      Press Release

2010 Star Awards Book      Press Release

2009 Star Awards Book 

2007 Star Awards Book

2006 Star Awards Book

2005 Star Awards Book

2004 Star Awards Book

2003 Star Awards Book

2002 Star Awards Book

2001 Star Awards Book

2019 Chapter Award Winners

The chair of TSPRA’s 2018-2019 Professional Awards Committee is David Hicks of Allen ISD. Other committee members include Denise Blanchard, Amarillo ISD; Julie Zwahr, Denton ISD; Tiffany Veno, Garland ISD and Kyndall Jirasek, Pflugerville ISD.

2019 Professional Achievement Award: Craig Verley, Mission CISD





“When I came into the world of school PR, I was told that if I ever had a question, I could also count on Craig and ask,” said Jim Zavala of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD. “He has shared his knowledge and experience and has always been open to new trends and change. Craig has been a mentor to TSPRA members of all levels.”

Verley was elected TSPRA’s Gulf Coast Area Vice President in 2017. He has served as TSPRA’s Social Media Chair, founded and continues to organize the charity 5K Run/Walk during the TSPRA Annual Conference and won TSPRA’s 2016 Bright Idea Award for Mission CISD’s Picture YourSelfie at College campaign. 

"The best leaders inspire us to be our best. Craig Verley certainly has this effect on his colleagues,” said Veronica Castillon, APR, of Laredo ISD. “I have always appreciated Craig’s leadership skills.”

“Craig Verley has been a leader, mentor and friend in TSPRA for me since I joined in 2010,” said Corey Ryan of Leander ISD. “Craig was a friendly face whom I relied on to find a place in the organization, both in the RGV and at the state level. When I moved to Central Texas, I continued to connect with Craig as a valued resource.”






2019 Most Valuable Member: Beth Trimble, CPC, Red Oak ISD





“Beth is a true TSPRAn at heart,” said Megan Overman, CPC, of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. “She personifies the mission of the organization and works to improve opportunities for us all to be stronger communicators in our communities.” 

Trimble, who completed a term as one of TSPRA’s at-large vice presidents in February, was one of the first two school district communicators to join Texas Christian University’s Certified Public Communicator program in the summer of 2014. Following her lead, more than 20 TSPRA members have graduated since  2015. Trimble now serves on the CPC board, helping ensure the program continues to meet the evolving needs of TSPRA members. 

“She was instrumental in promoting and encouraging me to consider the CPC program,” said Renae Murphy, CPC, of Rockwall ISD. “As a member of the CPC advisory board, she represents TSPRA and helps guide a flourishing program to meet the needs of our profession.”

“Beth cares about professional development for TSPRA members and the ways it can deepen and expand knowledge,” said Jacqueline Lambiase, a professor at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication. “She knows the advantages and necessity of boosting the strategic thinking abilities for communicators whose jobs are hard, as they support their districts with storytelling to attract and keep students, families, great teachers, and more.”







2019 Rookie Of The Year: Emily Solis, Frenship ISD





“Her professional skill set of written and visual communication, strategic innovation and support of many district initiatives has lifted the level of our professional quality to new heights,” said Andy Penney, Frenship ISD’s Director of Public Relations and Information. 

Within six months of starting at Frenship, Solis had launched the district’s first-ever magazine, a 64-page back-to-school publication that saw more than 15,000 copies distributed. 

“All the page layouts, graphic design work and content organization were produced through her creative eye,” said Penney. “Not only did the magazine serve as a great promotional tool for us but it also included 34 business sponsorships which Emily secured totaling $27,200. The final product generated more than $13,000 in net revenue for our department.”

She revitalized Frenship’s Homecoming celebration, partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to turn a football game into a three-day celebration including a community dinner, alumni golf tournament, parade and street dance, including fireworks. 







2019 Bright Idea Award: North East ISD



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North East ISD receives the award in recognition of its Meals for Shields program, which seeks to improve police-community relations by offering a free lunch to area police officers visiting district elementary schools.

“We want to show the kids that the officers are their friends,” said North East ISD Chief of Police Wallace McCampbell. “We want to make them safe and we want them to be able to come to us when they have a question or a problem.”

Officers participating must be in uniform when they check in at the front office. They go through the lunch line with students and sit at tables with them to eat their meals. 

The benefits of the program are twofold: Students grow more familiar with law enforcement in their communities, and those officers gain insights into how schools operate that could keep students safer in an emergency situation.  





2019 Media Award: Deborah Knapp - KENS-5

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In 1999, Knapp launched the KENS 5 Excel Award, which recognizes an outstanding public school teacher from each of San Antonio’s 19 local school districts. Recipients of the Excel Award receive a $1,000 check thanks to a partnership with Credit Human and are featured in a broadcast on KENS 5.


“She is more than a news anchor who shares the public education news,” said Patti Pawlik-Perales, Communications Coordinator at Alamo Heights ISD. “She is a friend, a supporter and someone who seeks to shine the light and focus on all that is good about public educators and education.”

In 1994, Knapp established a scholarship to her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, awarded to a San Antonio student who has demonstrated a commitment to community. She serves on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America and the Old Spanish Missions, the organization that restores and maintains San Antonio’s historic Mission churches. She has received the Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI for her years of community involvement and has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. 






2019 Partner in Public Education Award: Fred Markham



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“The Texas Pioneer Foundation has provided resources to build the impact and capacity of hundreds of education foundations, said Laurie Cromwell, President of Foundation Innovation. “Those foundations have in turn become the charity of choice for education and have raised millions of dollars for Texas public school programs.“

The common theme throughout Markham’s work is boosting education foundations not merely through a one-time donation, but by increasing their ability to go out and secure many more donations. Texas Pioneer Foundation awards grants to bring in experts to assist new foundations just starting up or dormant ones in need of a jump start.

In 2012, the Texas Pioneer Foundation launched the Texas Education Foundation Network, which has provided networking opportunities, training and resources and a forum to share best practices for Texas education foundations via regional trainings and an annual conference that is free for all TEFN members. 

“Fred Markham is a true visionary,” said Suzi Pagel, Director of Corporate and Community Development for the Midway ISD Education Foundation. “He sees the potential for education foundations to not only build capacity in funding the public schools, but also to serve as a bridge between the public schools, parents, staff, and those who may not be directly connected with the public schools in their community. Our schools and our education foundations are all stronger because of the work of this humble, generous man. “





2018 Key Communicator

For a complete list of Key Communicators, click here.

2018 Key Communicator Award
Sponsored by









Pastors for Texas Children founder Charles Foster Johnson named
TSPRA’s 2018 Key Communicator


The Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) has named Reverend Charles Foster Johnson, founder of Pastors for Texas Children, as the recipient of the association’s 2018 Key Communicator Award. Johnson receives the award in recognition of his work as a champion for public schools and adequate school funding.

Johnson will receive his award, sponsored by West (SchoolMessenger solutions), from TSPRA President Kristin Zastoupil at the 2018 Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Convention, to be held in Austin September 28-30, 2018.

“Rev. Johnson has worked tirelessly recruiting and leading advocates who know that a strong public education system is a moral imperative,” said Zastoupil. “His unwavering defense of Texas students and educators makes him a deserving recipient of this award.”

Johnson founded Pastors for Texas Children in 2013 with the mission of providing “wrap-around care and ministry to local schools, principals, teachers, staff and schoolchildren; advocating for children by supporting our free public education system to promote social justice for children and advancing legislation that enriches Texas children, families and communities.”

Most prominently, Johnson and his organization have been outspoken opponents of legislative attempts to divert funds from public schools via voucher schemes, believing them to be antithetical to the goal of providing a free publication for all Texas children.

“For years, our schools have been somewhat alone in their advocacy for fair funding and programing,” said Mike Moses, former Texas Commissioner of Education. “Thanks to Reverend Johnson, they have engaged in the debate regarding appropriate support for public schools. Reverend Johnson and the organization have made strong arguments that have been warm and welcomed by Texas educators.”

Johnson has spread that message through his use of social media, speaking appearances at conventions and on university campuses and television appearances. He has also amplified it by recruiting his fellow religious leaders to help spread the message of Pastors for Texas Children in their communities.

Johnson is the founder and co-pastor of Bread, a faith community in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served churches in Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas during his career, including Second Baptist Church of Lubbock and Trinity Baptist Church of San Antonio. He spent two-years as a Visiting Professor of Preaching at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.

“Reverend Charles Foster Johnson is one-of-a-kind,” said Barry Haenisch, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Schools. “He is a most-effective public speaker, he is a man of action, he is generous with is time, and he cares passionately about Texas and the 5.3 million school-aged children who populate it. He is definitely the most-effective communicator for public education in our state today.”

Since 1981, TSPRA has recognized a Key Communicator for outstanding contributions to public education through effective communications. The recipient may be a legislator, educator or a professional in another field who has improved school communications, or a member of TSPRA who has contributed outstanding service to the profession of school communications. Recipients have included leaders from business, media, PTA, politics and education. A complete list of past recipients can be found on TSPRA’s website at www.tspra.org/awards/key-communicator/list-of-key-communicators

West (SchoolMessenger solutions) is the sponsor of the Key Communicator Award. West (SchoolMessenger solutions) is a strong supporter and valuable tool for school districts throughout Texas.

David Hicks of Allen ISD chairs TSPRA’s 2018 Professional Awards Committee, which includes Denise Blanchard, Amarillo ISD; Julie Zwahr, Denton ISD; Tiffany Veno, Garland ISD and Kyndall Jirasek, Pflugerville ISD.