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 Dalton Sprouse and Donny Ruyball hold up awards received at the 2022 COSPRA Spring Awards event.The ongoing effort to keep the District 60 family, stakeholders and community at large abreast of the achievements of our scholars and the events of the District was this week recognized at the state level.
At its annual conference in Denver, the Colorado School Public Relations Association awarded the District 60 Communications Team with the top-tier Medallion Award for "Communicating With Year-Round Focus:” an overview of the multi-tiered approach the team uses to spotlight success in and out of the classroom through video, photography and the written word.
The D60 Communications Team also earned a Golden Achievement Award for “Maximizing Upon Traditions: Using Special Events to Communicate," which put the spotlight on the team’s effort to promote and highlight events such as the Bell and Cannon Games and the annual partnership with the Colorado Association of School Boards to produce a video summary of that organization’s annual convention.
Under the artistic guidance of Donny Ruybal, Supervisor of Digital Communications, D60 Production Assistant Lawrence Ramos received an Award of Merit in the category Special Purpose Video for his Centennial Graduation highlight reel.
Also earning an Award of Merit was Communications and Social Media manager Jon Pompia in the Writing category, for the piece “Legacy of Alia J. Carillo Continues,” which detailed the Carillo family’s efforts to keep the memory of their late softball-loving daughter alive through a scholarship-bestowing foundation.
Dalton Sprouse, Director of Communications, earned an Honorable Mention award in Photography for his gallery “D60 Launches Mobile App,” taken during the Bell and Cannon Games.
In addressing the Public Relations professionals from throughout the state, Director of Communications Sprouse acknowledged the strong work that his team is capable of producing is deserving of recognition.
“I'm not an awards chaser, but the work of my team deserves recognition and it is important to me that they are honored at the highest levels."
Noting D60's strong presence on social media, Director of Communications Sprouse remarked on the “measured efforts taken to showcase the whole of the District: educators, school principals, student athletes and student achievers, music and theater programs, JROTC, and those who might not receive recognition.
"We are proud of every one of our students, and it brings our District and community great joy to see such a large sampling of our student population on a consistent basis.”
While D60's Communications Team currently produces the majority of content posted to social media, the District has developed a school-level group of communicators encouraged to make their own content.
"This group is supported by my team and we’re seeing a District-wide blanket of photos and stories that come so frequently, they are hard to miss," Director of Communications Sprouse noted.
Understanding that almost all news is consumed on social media these days, D60 shifted focus from traditional means and made the calculated decision to tell stories people want and need.
"We set out with the goal of making the positive so loud that it became almost impossible for the negative to be heard," Director of Communications Sprouse said.
The visual communication campaign, the conference attendees learned, is a combination of “candid photos, high-resolution imagery, cell phone videos and Donny’s high-end videos – with assistance from Lawrence -- which are truly artistic pieces of work.”
Once school lets out in June, the Team's work does not come to a halt.
“Over the summer, we focus on notable alumni and their accomplishments in life: proof that our District educates kids who go on to compete for and earn jobs in some of the greatest professions,” Director of Communications Sprouse noted.
The frequent and informative social media postings have resulted in a wealth of new followers on Instagram – currently 3,500-plus – and Facebook, which boasts nearly 15,500 followers and close to 14,000 likes.
In recapping the work that led to the Golden Award, Director of Communications Sprouse said the Team uses traditions such as the Bell and Cannon Games, Pride and Patriotism, and participation in events like parades, to engage not only stakeholders, but those outside of the District with an enduring interest in such events.
"Capitalizing on lessons learned from the pandemic, live streams and productions have the ability to reach a larger audience and so we see the value in showcasing marque events and approach them as opportunities to maximize on our communication efforts,” he noted.