Mary Marks, the director of Public Information and Community Relations for the Jericho School District, received eight awards this year in the New York School Public Relations Association's 27th Annual Communication Contest. Marks received the most awards given to an individual school public relations professional on Long Island.
NYSPRA is the New York School Public Relations Association - an organization that promotes best practices in the field of educational communications. For PR professionals and school leaders across the state, NYSPRA is a common link offering support, information and proven ideas for building and strengthening a successful communications program.
"Mary Marks' work was honored by the New York State School Public Relations Association in its 27th annual Communications Contest," said NYSPRA president Jim Vandevelde. "This awards program recognizes the work of Mary and other school communications professionals from throughout New York State. Mary's work was honored in several areas for its outstanding contribution to bettering communications between the schools and the public. She received three awards of excellence, three awards of honor, and two awards of merit. Mary's work demonstrates a consistent excellence year-in and year-out and helps to provide high quality and meaningful communications to the Jericho School District community."
The NYSPRA awards luncheon was held on Friday, Oct. 27 in New York City in conjunction with the New York State School Boards Convention. Marks received three awards of excellence, one for the district calendar and two for photography. In addition, she received awards for the district newsletters, excellence in writing and photography.
Larry Levy, Newsday's senior editorial writer, a member of Newsday's editorial board and an award-winning columnist in the paper's Viewpoints section, was the honored guest speaker at the sold-out luncheon. Levy addressed more than 250 luncheon attendees, including school public relations professionals, district administrators and school board members from throughout New York State, about current educational issues including the controversy surrounding State Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
Barbara Krieger, president of Jericho's Board of Education acknowledges the hard work that Marks has produced and also how much it has helped the district. "Each year at the New York State School Boards Conference, there is a display of the best public relations materials produced by districts across the state," she said. "The pieces that Mary creates stand out even among the award winners because of her talent, as well as the keen interest she takes in the events of our district. We are especially lucky because Mary has been able to save the district money by doing much of the desktop publishing work herself and developing strong relationships with printers."
Hank Grishman, superintendent of Jericho Schools, said everyone in the district is proud of the work that Marks has done and the awards she has received. "Mary is one of many role models in our district who consistently displays dedication, commitment, expertise and sensitivity and she is an incredible asset to our entire school community," said Grishman. "Mary strives to keep our community well informed about every aspect of our school district's happenings and her work is regularly recognized and applauded on a local, state and even a national level. Her number one goal is to serve, to her fullest, the students of the Jericho School District."