Shelby County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Brooks, was recently honored by the Alabama School Public Relations Association (ALSPRA) with the Outstanding Leadership in Community Relations Award.
The award recognizes an individual, other than those directly responsible for a public relations program, who has proven himself or herself to be a leader in using effective school and community relations to build support for public education in their community. It is one of three professional awards given by ALSPRA, along with Communicator of the Year and the Nez Calhoun Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Brooks is an active member of both ALSPRA and the National School Public Relations Association. He was nominated for the award by Cindy Warner, Public Relations and Community Education Supervisor. Warner cited Brook’s impact on the Shelby County School District, specifically in the area of school public relations, since taking office as superintendent in January 2019.
“Dr. Brooks has made it a priority to enhance the way that the district shares its good news with the community,” Warner said in her nomination. “This led to the creation of a new digital media specialist position that has allowed our public relations department to put a much larger emphasis on creating digital content.”
In addition to the expansion of the district’s Public Relations department, Dr. Brooks was credited with branding his theme for the 2019-2020 year, “Together”, which highlighted an old African Proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go TOGETHER!” The “Together” theme, which was promoted on staff t-shirts provided at the back-to-school institute event, helped promote a district-wide sense of culture and pride – both prior to and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Brooks also implemented a new parent-involvement initiative called All Pro Dad, which aims to strengthen the father’s involvement in their child’s life. Hundreds of fathers attended the initial kickoff meetings held in September, and continued to attend meetings at local schools until the extended closure of schools occurred in March.
“Thank you ALSPRA for this award,” said Dr. Brooks. “I share this recognition with my amazing colleagues. There has never been a more important time for communication and community relations.”
In addition to the award given to Brooks, ALSPRA also presented four Excellence in Communication awards to Shelby County Schools.
Dr. Resia Brooks, Human Resources Coordinator, and Kendall Williams, Director of the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, were honored for their work on the 2019 We Honor You event, which honored retiring employees from across the district.
Dr. Resia Brooks was also honored for the 2019 Glow and Grow event which provided support to all first-year teachers and support staff.
Bryan Pope, Digital Media Specialist, was honored for the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year videos and digital photography content.