DMPS Earns National Honors for Communications

Des Moines Public Schools earned recognition for its communications efforts in several categories from the National School Public Relations Association. The district earned a total of seven awards in NSPRA’s annual Publications and Electronic Media Awards competition.

For the first time ever DMPS received two Awards of Excellence, the highest honor awarded in any category. One of the top awards was presented for the district’s on-going use of social media. The school district’s online presence includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and Pinterest, which are integrated with the district’s website.

DMPS also earned an Award of Excellence in the Special Purpose Publication category for “Turning Around. Moving Ahead.” This publication was a progress report on schools in Des Moines taking part in the School Improvement Grant program.

NSPRA also presented Des Moines Public Schools with four Awards of Merit for the school district’s blog (For the Record), newsletter (DMPS Community Report), and for two video reports produced by DMPS-TV, one featuring Iowa judges assisting AP Government classes and the other highlighting the work of actor Forest Whitaker at Findley Elementary School. The district also received Honorable Mention for Excellencing in Writing for a guest editorial about Advanced Placement courses.

“A top priority has been to make news and information about DMPS readily available to the public in a variety of formats, and it’s an honor that this effort has been recognized nationally,” said Phil Roeder, director of community relations for Des Moines Public Schools. “While it’s great to be awarded for our work over the past year, I’m looking forward to our efforts in the coming months and years to do even more.”

The following is a list of the awards earned in various categories by DMPS (with links to those items available online):



  • Blog: The district’s “For the Record” blog at
  • Newsletter: DMPS Community Report, the district’s every-other-month newsletter
  • Videocasting: DMPS-TV report on Iowa judges helping AP Government classes.
  • Videocasting: DMPS-TV report on Forest Whitaker at Findley Elementary School.


  • Excellence in Writing: “Criticism of AP Classes is Wrong-Headed” (newspaper editorial published November 21, 2012 in the Des Moines Register)

NSPRA is a professional organization dedicated to building support and trust for education through responsible public relations that leads to success for all students. For more information about the organization, including a complete list of award winners from across the country, visit