This year, the CalSPRA board recognized two individuals as part of the annual Excellence in Communications Awards. These special recognitions for leaders in our field honor one person who is newer to the profession and one who is a veteran. School communications professionals from the New York School Public Relations Association judged the individual awards.
The Emerging Communicator award is intended for a school communications professional with 1-4 years’ experience, who already has demonstrably contributed to the profession and is expected to continue advancing the profession.
The Communicator of the Year award recognizes a school communications professional with five or more years’ experience in school PR, who has distinguished professional accomplishments, service to CalSPRA, and service to the profession.
The 2017-18 Communicator of the Year is Tim Herrera, communications director for the Sacramento County Office of Education.
There were a whopping four letters of nomination suggesting Tim for this award.
Peter Birdsall, executive director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, praised Tim for his work helping CCSESA establish consistent messaging across the state on key issues and called Tim “the ‘go to’ resource for CCSESA staff on communications planning.”
A principal wrote in her nomination of Tim for this award that Tim “is wise, perceptive, and demonstrates excellent communication skills and easily develops relationships with colleges. He is a tireless professional in whom one can trust to act in the best interest of both the organization and the individuals who work in that organization.”
Former CalSPRA President Dan Thigpen said: “Tim has worked hard to share his experience with other public relations practitioners, including as a frequent presenter at CalSPRA workshops. He makes extra time to showcase his hard-working team’s projects in CalSPRA’s annual awards program, and relishes the chance to mentor young professionals navigating the field. At SCOE, he takes the same generous approach, making himself available 24-7 to our area’s smaller districts, which often do not have their own communication professional on staff.”
Tim is a seasoned professional with experience in communications, journalism and media relations, able to effectively communicate positions and policies. He’s an effective problem solver with excellent written, verbal communication and leadership skills who has extensive experience in all aspects of media thanks to previous work as a radio reporter and news director, television reporter and anchor, newspaper columnist and author, and now as a communications specialist.
In addition to his gig as communications director, Tim is an adjunct instructor for Penn State World Campus and National University. He’s the author of 10 books.
Tim holds a BA in journalism from Penn State and a Master’s in Strategic Communications from National University.
One of the judges had a special message for Tim: “Thank you for all of your efforts in public relations! It is wonderful to see people mentoring newcomers, sharing PR knowledge with smaller districts and presenting internally and externally.”