🏅School Communicator of the Year
The School Communicator of the Year (SCOY) Award honors one outstanding individual from the school public relations profession in Oregon. This NSPRA program is designed to recognize the outstanding leadership and contributions of active, front-line school communicators who work full-time in school districts or education service agencies. 

Nominees were selected through OSPRA member nominations and submissions from the OSPRA board. Now, we want our members to choose one outstanding OSPRA member to represent the best of Oregon!

The first national SCOY award will be given at the 2024 NSPRA Seminar in Seattle/Bellevue. The winner of the OSPRA chapter's SCOY award will be submitted for the national award by our board.

✅ Please read through the four nominees below and cast your vote for the School Communicator of the Year!
⭐️ Aaron Harada
Aaron Harada is the communications leader of one of the biggest districts in the state, Salem-Keizer Public Schools. He is innovative and continues to evolve as the needs of his district and community change. He is a strong leader and has supported many on his team, in the region and beyond, even before taking on the Director of Communications role. Aaron has a proactive approach to communications, preparing his team and the district for any communication challenges. He lives in the district, has students in the district, and has been part of the community for years. 
⭐️ Athena Vadnais
Athena Vadnais: mentor, advocate, leader. Athena is an empathetic and compassionate leader at Gresham-Barlow School District, with over 20 years in school public relations. Her strategic, proactive communications plans have paved the way for other communicators. Athena consistently seeks out opportunities to share with our members. From posting resources, articles, and templates to highlighting jobs and professional development opportunities, she ensures our members are equipped with high-quality information to continue growing in their careers. Athena is often the first point of contact for many OSPRA members and continues to be a guiding light for us all.
⭐️ Michael Clark
Meet Michael Clark, a beacon of leadership in school communication with a passion for public education. From being a lone-wolf communicator in Oregon City to building a dynamic team at WESD, Michael's leadership journey showcases his ability to empower and maximize the potential of his colleagues, secure funding for schools, and build long-lasting strategies. He simplifies complex messages and elevates community voices to drive positive change. His impact extends beyond his professional achievements. He fosters leadership and belief in others, making him a respected leader in Oregon's education community.
⭐️ Natalie Hurd
Natalie Hurd is the epitome of a leader. She faces challenges head-on, leaning into them with a strategic approach and an open mind. Her calm nature during crises, paired with her ability to find optimism and hope in any situation, define her leadership and professionalism. She always brings new ideas to our Medford communities and is an excellent resource for both new and seasoned members. Natalie's communication skills and plans set an example for others, yet she remains a humble leader who constantly works toward improving her work.
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