Return to Headlines

Lisa Melendez Receives INSPRA Distinguished Service Award

Lisa Melendez


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 10, 2019 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.


Sixty-one 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 13 states 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 (


Lisa Melendez from Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 received an award of merit in the Support Staff Member category. Ms. Melendez supports the district’s Department of Student Learning as a Special Education Business Specialist.


“Lisa is gifted at developing cooperative partnerships between our schools and the community and builds a positive climate and culture within our department and the district office as a whole,” said Kelli Catini, Director of Special Education.


“The Distinguished Service Awards is an opportunity to honor those deserving individuals who passionately advocate for public education in our state,” said INSPRA President Kristine Liptrot, APR, director of communications and community engagement in Yorkville CUSD 115. “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. To learn more about INSPRA, visit or visit the INSPRA pages on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.


For more information, contact INSPRA President Kristine Liptrot, APR at 630.538.5124