The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) is the recipient of a Sunshine Medallion Award for excellence in public relations. The award was presented by the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) at the annual conference of the Florida Association of School Administrators held recently in Orlando.
The winning entry was the Secretarial Leadership Conference ’15. This annual statewide conference provides professional development to all public school administrative support professionals including both school-based and district/departmental secretaries and assistants. Six years ago, conference founders Vicki Moody, executive assistant to the Superintendent, and Gina Fallica, administrative assistant to the Chief Financial Officer, saw the need for professional development among their peers and developed a conference to provide training to colleagues across the state holding the first in 2011.
This year’s winning conference was developed by Moody and Fallica along with a five-member team of volunteers from the SJCSD including Miriam Testasecca, executive secretary for the School Board; Carolyn Johnson, executive secretary for Curriculum Services; Rebecca Johnson, executive secretary for Professional Development; Renee Baker, executive secretary for School Services and Danielle Cook, administrative assistant for Community Relations.
Each year’s conference focuses on leadership, ethics and critical skills development as well as legislative updates. This year’s conference, which took place February 26-27 in St. Augustine, included 171 attendees from 27 Florida counties. The theme was “Connect, Commit, Care,” and the featured keynote speakers were Elizabeth McCormick, best-selling author and one of the first female U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilots and SJCSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph G. Joyner.
The SUNSPRA Sunshine Medallion Awards showcase the best public relations projects from public school districts in the state. Districts and schools compete in two major categories – “Programs and Projects” and “Publications and PR Tools” – and various sub-categories to score first-place honors from an independent panel of judges. Entries are judged against a Standard of Excellence including research planning, measurable objectives, identified target markets, budget and cost effectiveness, creativity and technical excellence.