District communications wins 3 awards

District communications and outreach efforts win 3 statewide awards
Posted on 10/25/2023
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Piscataway Township School District was honored three times at the 2023 New Jersey School Communication Awards on Monday, Oct. 23. Piscataway is one of just two districts in the state to win three awards.


The awards are given out by the New Jersey School Public Relations Association and were developed to recognize New Jersey’s professional school communicators and their community outreach programs that go above and beyond to disseminate important messages to their school communities.


“Congratulations to Piscataway Township Schools for setting the standard for effective school communications here in New Jersey,” said Paul Zeller, director of technology and communication at Pascack Valley Regional High School District and president of NJSPRA.


Piscataway’s awards included:


·      First Place in the Photography category for a happy photo of two students from Knollwood Elementary School making a new discovery while working together on a project. The students, Zain Patel and Anandita Gurjar, were third-graders at the time the photo was taken in October 2022. They were taking part in a STEAM Challenge to design and build a car using K’Nex building kits.

two students working in class


·      Second Place in the Specialty Publications category for the district’s 2022-2023 School Guide and Calendar, which was mailed to all district families at the start of the school year. The annual booklet contains 10 pages of vital district information as well as a full wall calendar with key dates and events marked.


·      Third Place in the Media Relations category for a story about Piscataway High School Science National Honor Society students designing and building traps to catch spotted lanternflies, which aired on CBS New York Channel 2 in November 2022. Of the three winners in the category, it was the only story focused on student achievement.


Public Information Officer Gary Miller accepted the awards at the NJSPRA awards ceremony in Atlantic City, held in conjunction with the annual New Jersey School Boards Association workshop. He was accompanied by Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli and a large contingent of top district administrators and Board of Education members.

educators accepting awards
A group representing Piscataway Township Schools accepted three awards from the New Jersey School Public Relations Association. From left are Board Attorney David Rubin, Board member Nancy Corradino, Board member Kimberly Lane, Director of Administrative Services Dr. Glenn Lottmann, Public Information Officer Gary Miller, Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. William Baskerville, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dr. C. Alex Gray, Director of Pupil Personnel/Guidance Services Theresa Edmondson, and Board President Shantell Cherry. In attendance but not pictured were Board of Education Vice President Dr. Tom Connors and Director of Human Resources Colleen Pongratz.
“We take great pride in our communication and outreach programs, which keep parents, staff, students, and other stakeholders informed, as well as build a sense of community pride in our schools,” Dr. Ranelli said. “Thank you to Gary Miller for leading these efforts throughout the year. He’s very deserving of this recognition.”


The 2023 contest was the most competitive on record with 102 submissions from 41 different school districts. The submissions for the 2023 School Communication Awards were judged by an panel of 18 judges from nine states, including experienced and award-winning school communications professionals and professors from Rowan University.


Piscataway’s communication programs had also been honored nationally earlier this year, winning three awards in the Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Piscataway won awards in the Calendar, Social Media, and Print Newsletter categories.