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D47 Director Recognized with Distinguished Service Award

Monica Petersen

Public education advocates from throughout the state were honored for their support of their local schools and districts during the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association’s (INSPRA) annual Distinguished Service Awards luncheon on May 13, 2022 at Bolingbrook Golf Club.

The Distinguished Service Awards recognize those who make a difference in their school communities by helping to promote public education and enhance its programs and services. Nominees are evaluated on their ability to support or improve understanding and communication in the school/district; foster cooperative partnerships between the school and community; and strengthen the overall support for education by stakeholders. 

More than 40 individuals and teams were recognized in the categories of Administrator, Board of Education Member, Community Member, Faculty/Certified Staff Member, Parent, Support Staff Member, and Team. School communicators from across the country judged the entries against a criteria of excellence, and only those receiving top scores received awards. Winning nominations either received an award of merit, or for those receiving the highest evaluations, an award of excellence. The list of award recipients is posted on the INSPRA website

District 47’s Monica Petersen, director of innovative instruction and professional development, received an award of excellence in the administrator category. Petersen was recognized for her important work and leadership on implementing a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework in alignment with the district’s strategic plan and creating the district’s improvement and professional learning plans. 

“The Distinguished Service Awards is an opportunity to honor those deserving individuals who passionately advocate for public education in our state,” said INSPRA President Alex Mayster, APR, Executive Director of Communications for Naperville 203. “These individuals work tirelessly to highlight the successes of public schools. They understand the importance of building a strong public relations program that provides all members of the school community the opportunity to promote excellence and be champions of students and employees.”

The mission of INSPRA is to provide a source of connection, collaboration, and professional development for school communicators in order to strengthen support for Illinois public schools, which leads to greater student success. Workshops and programs take place throughout the year, providing opportunities for members to learn and grow in their craft. The Distinguished Service Awards luncheon is a highlight of the year and is attended by communications professionals, superintendents, board of education members and other school leaders.