DMPS Earns National Honors for Communications


Des Moines Public Schools has earned recognition for its communications work in several categories from the National School Public Relations Association, including top honors in five.

DMPS received eight awards in NSPRA’s annual Publications and Electronic Media Awards competition, with five entries earning an Award of Excellence, the highest honor in each category. This is the most top awards ever earned by DMPS in a single year, and ties for the most top awards presented to a school district in 2015.

The district earned top honors in the Branding/Imaging category, for a series of school welcome banners; in the E-newsletter category, for the district’s new TheWeek@DMPS newsletter; in the Social Media category for its presence on Instagram; in the Special Publication category for a brochure on working for DMPS; and in the Video category for a report by DMPS-TV on social media at the school district.

NSPRA also presented Des Moines Public Schools with two Awards of Merit in the video category, one for a report on the school district’s Food & Nutrition department and the other for a public service announcement about the school district. Both were produced by DMPS-TV. The district also received an Honorable Mention in the branding/imaging category in recognition of the new marquee signs being installed at schools throughout the district.

“We are committed to providing news and information about the school district accurately, quickly and in a variety of different formats, which is why each year we add new tools in order to be even more accessible to the community,” said Phil Roeder, director of communications and public affairs for Des Moines Public Schools. “We have a great team at DMPS working on our communications efforts, and it’s an honor to be recognized by our peers around the country for the work we do for Des Moines.”

Among the new initiatives implemented by the DMPS communications staff during the 2014-15 school year include launching a new mobile app, developing a new weekly e-newsletter, and transitioning DMPS-TV to a high-definition broadcast.

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




In addition to Phil Roeder, the communications team at Des Moines Public Schools consists of Amanda Lewis, communications officer; Adam Rohwer, graphic/web designer; Mike Wellman, staff writer; and Kyle Knicley and Jon Lemons with DMPS-TV.

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