The Turlock Unified School District Communications was recognized in several categories at the 2022 CalSPRA Excellence in Communications Awards ceremony in Sacramento last week.
The district won two Awards of Excellence and two Awards of Merit for entries on COVID-19 and social-emotional support for students and parents. TUSD Communications Coordinator Marie Russell was recognized as CalSPRA Communicator of the Year.
“It was an honor and a surprise to be selected as the 2022 CalSPRA Communicator of the Year,” said Russell. “As a former student, teacher, counselor and administrator in TUSD as well as a parent of three current and former TUSD students, I try to approach my role as the Chief Communication Coordinator by looking through as many different lenses as possible. I am proud of our entire TUSD team, especially Dana, our superintendent, and site principals, and the efforts we have made to communicate more effectively during an incredibly challenging time.”
CalSPRA is a nationally-recognized organization of education public relations professionals, administrators and school personnel who have a full- or part-time responsibility for communications.
TUSD Superintendent Dana Trevethan, board trustee Anthony Silva and the executive cabinet surprised the communications team and traveled to Sacramento to show their support.
“Turlock Unified’s community has been kept informed and inspired by Marie’s relentless communication work that has centered on education, relationships and updates,” said Trevethan. “Her timing is remarkable as is her ability to effectively communicate in order to keep students, staff and our community feeling ‘in the know’ and confident in our work.”
Russell appreciates the community reaching out when they have questions or concerns, even when those questions are difficult to answer.
“I would also like to recognize the many TUSD community members who have reached out, especially in the past two years, to ask questions and share their concerns,” she said. “These conversations were not always easy but as shared by Ginni Rometty, former chairman and CEO of IBM, ‘Growth and comfort do not coexist.’ We are better communicators today because of their feedback.”