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2015 Chapter Awards

The chair of TSPRA’s 2014-2015 Professional Awards Committee is Brian Morris, Lubbock ISD. Other committee members include Lynda Queen, ESC Region 16; Tim Carroll, Allen ISD; Kristyn Hunt, Port Arthur ISD; Mark Kramer, Channelview ISD and Adam Holland, Longview ISD

2015 Professional Achievement AwardMARK THOMAS, Birdville ISD


Shellie Johnson, Keller ISD, Megan Overman, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and TSPRA Past President Julie Thannum pose with Mark Thomas.

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"Through the years, Mark has proven himself to be a dedicated, articulate, knowledgeable and reliable voice within the district and community as a whole. Mark is adept at communicating with all segments of the community (parents/families/community leaders and/or media) in a professional, calm and diplomatic manner regardless of the event, issue or situation being addressed. 

Among his staff, Mark is known to be an encouraging, inspiring, humble, supportive, patient and giving individual who daily leads by example...Mark Thomas is the consummate public relations professional and an undeniable asset to Birdville ISD."



2015 Most Valuable Member AwardLORETTE WILLIAMS, Corpus Christi ISD


Lorette Williams poses with her Most Valuable Member plaque.




"Lorette's dedication and commitment to all the members of our professional organization is admirable. She chaired the bylaws committee and their efforts to address some bylaws recommendation. She made sure all members have been informed of the recommended changes and have made the extra effort to communicate and explain these recommendations. 

"Her years of service to TSPRA and current task this past year more than qualify her as TSPRA's Most Valuable Member."




2015 Rookie Of The Year: JAMIE FAILS, Kerrville ISD


Awards chair Brian Morris, O'Connell Robertson's Cathy Brandewie, Rookie of the Year Jamie Fails and TSPRA President Denise Blanchard.



"Even though new to the job, Jamie Fails did not let her freshman status overshadow her initiative and motivation.

"Amidst the extensive responsibilities and high expectations of the new position, she added volunteerism and support for her Texas School Public Relations Association team. When asked to become a membero f the evolving Celebrate Texas Public Schools committee, she quickly said yes and played a vital role in the planning and facilitating of a retooled campaign, the launch of a new website, the creation and implementation of a state-wide video contest and the promotion and marketing of the campaign and contest."





2015 Bright Idea Award: LUBBOCK ISD


Lubbock ISD's Nancy Sharp and Sarah Ancell with Elementary Schoolmate's Rick Hill, center. 



"'Supply our Students' (SOS), a new initiative to place 55 gallon barrels in all nine United, Market Street and Amigos locations in Lubbock was underway. Customers were also able to make monetary donations at the grocery checkout. School supply lists were visible to all shoppers and a QR code was included for easy access to the supply list which included: pencils, glue sticks, crayons, pens, composition books, highlighters, index cards and scissors.

"More than twenty 55-gallon barrels of school supplies and $4,500 were collected during the SOS school supply drive with United Supermarkets. All 57 Lubbock ISD campuses were provided with gift cards and supplies, based on student need. The supplies were distributed to campuses in Lubbock, Frenship and Lubbock Cooper ISD and made available to students and their families during open house the week prior to school. "




2015 Media Award winner Dave Berry photo

Dave Berry, retired editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.




"Dave Berry’s desire to understand a topic fully and maintain a strong working relationship with the district with a positive attitude was always evident. 

"Berry organized meetings between school district officials, members of the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees and the paper’s staff to discuss topics ranging from state funding cuts to changes in the accountability system. These meetings promoted an understanding of these topics not just between an education reporter and source, but among editors and officials in the administration. 

"Berry is a past president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Board of Directors, and the recipient of that group’s Jack Douglas Award, its highest honor for editorial excellence."