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 Emerging Communicator of the Year is Sara Sandrik Goins, public information officer for the Merced City School District.
Sara joined the Merced City School District team in April 2016. Sara’s superintendent, Dr. RoseMary Parga Duran, said “within a few short weeks” of her hire, Sara “not only changed the public’s perception of our district in a positive way, but she also changed how we communicate. The public, and more importantly our families, now have access to district news and events via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram…. Sara’s outreach to our families has resulted in more parents becoming involved in their child’s education, whether if be attending more school events, volunteering at their child’s school, or steeping up to be a voice at our Local Control and Accountability Plan meetings.”
Sara’s work resulted in the Merced City School District being awarded a 2016 Golden Bell Award – the district’s first time being recognized with such a prestigious award.”
Sara has presented at past CalSPRA events and regularly collaborates with her Central Valley peers.
She came to school PR from the TV news world, having anchored weekend newscasts for Central California’s ABC30 and reporting during the week.
Before moving to Merced, she worked at KYMA in Yuma, Arizona and KGO-ABC7 in San Francisco.
Sara attended Stanford University and graduated with honors with a major in American Studies, a focus in Policy, Politics, and Economics, and a specialization in Race and Ethnicity.
One of the judges had this to say about Sara: “It’s very exciting that Sara is not only serving the district, CalSPRA and NSPRA, but also helping other districts to hire their own PR specialists. She has made herself indispensable to her district and is situating herself to be a strong presence on the state and national level.”