Monroe Public Schools’ Director of Communication, Rosemary O’Neil was surprised with the Learning and Liberty Award from the Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) at the group’s recent spring conference.
The award is presented to a school communications professional who has contributed greatly to the profession through an extensive body of work, unique achievements, collaboration with colleagues and/or mentoring other school communications professionals. O’Neil was nominated by members of the Snohomish County Schools Public Information Cooperative, a public school communications group that collaborates on issues related to school district communications. O’Neil has contributed to this group since she joined Monroe Public Schools in 1996 as a part-time specialist.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” said O’Neil. “My colleagues in WSPRA are all hard-working and deserving of recognition.” O’Neil, who has been a member of WSPRA for 17 years, has served as president and board member of the organization.
Craig Degginger, Public Information Officer of Shoreline Public Schools, spearheaded the nomination. “I’ve known Rosemary for 30 years,” he said, “dating back to when we were both on the staff of local newspaper in Bothell. Rosemary was incredibly welcoming when I started at Shoreline seven years ago. Her advice was extremely helpful. She even invited me to come up “north of the border” to join this group.”
“Student learning is what it’s all about for Rosemary…” wrote Mary Waggoner, APR, Director of Communications for Everett Public Schools, on the application form. “…Rosemary is the ‘go to’ person for anything about schools…more than her years in the business is her innate willingness to share her depth of knowledge and experience…”
She is “a passionate professional who is truly committed to her district, community and career,” according to Jayme Taylor, Director of Communications of the Lake Stevens School District. “She is well respected by her peers and one of the first people to lend a hand when needed.”
WSPRA leaders Taylor and Willie Painter, Public Information Officer of Franklin Pierce Schools, will officially present O’Neil with her award at the June 10 meeting of the Monroe School Board. The district received additional awards from WSPRA this year including recognition for excellence in writing and publications for a special purpose.
“You can tell Rosemary is a vital part of Monroe Public Schools,” said Degginger. “She is such an important part of the community and of getting things done for the district.”