District 62 honored at association's Distinguished Service Awards luncheon
Community Consolidated School District 62 was among those school districts honored by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association on May 10. The statewide Distinguished Service Awards program honors individuals and groups who have consistently gone above and beyond on behalf of their schools and whose efforts have enhanced education and conveyed its importance to the community at large.
INSPRA recognized honorees in the categories of Administrator, Board of Education Member, Community Member, Faculty/Certified Staff, Parent, Support Staff and Team.
Iroquois Community School parent volunteer Pamela Kroschel received a Distinguished Service Awards of Excellence from INSPRA.
Understanding the importance of maintaining a community connection in the school, Kroschel currently serves as president of the school's Parent Teacher Council and is seen throughout the school as a volunteer, engaged and working with students. Kroschel led fundraisers for multiple years, researched best practices for fundraising and raised tens of thousands of dollars. Through her leadership, Iroquois' new playground was installed last summer.
"Pam Kroschel is the definition of what it means to volunteer," said Director of Community Relations Jennifer Tempest Bova. "Time is our most precious commodity and this individual volunteers both in and out of the classroom at Iroquois Community School in District 62."
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul E. Hertel also received a Distinguished Service Awards of Excellence from INSPRA.
Hertel was recognized for his efforts to strengthen relationships with the community, the media and staff following his appointment from interim superintendent to superintendent of schools in June of 2018. Dr. Hertel led the district through a critical process of creating a five-year strategic plan, remaining available and transparent from beginning to end.
As his focus of engagement expanded to staff as a whole, Dr. Hertel introduced staff vodcasts that are sent out electronically once a month featuring news and updates from his office. In addition, he gathered community leaders last summer to begin an Intergovernmental Committee that would work together and focus on collaborative partnerships.
"Dr. Hertel took time to meet with staff, walked the hallways and visited classrooms, reminding everyone that their purpose was to educate and support children," said Bova. "He has continued to be a constant presence in the schools ever since."
The mission of INSPRA is to provide a source of connection, collaboration and professional development for school communicators in order to strengthen support for Illinois public schools, which leads to greater student success. Workshops and programs take place throughout the year, providing opportunities for members to learn and grow in their craft. The Distinguished Service Awards luncheon is a highlight of the year and is attended by communications professionals, superintendents, board of education members and other school leaders.
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