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OSD Honored for Outstanding School Communications

The Mississippi School Public Relations Association awarded the Oxford School District’s communications team with top honors in its Awards of Excellence program.

In March, the MSPRA held its annual awards luncheon in Jackson, Mississippi to recognize superior public relations programs and honor outstanding school communications work from the

previous 2021-2022 school year.

The Oxford School District communications team brought home awards in the following categories: 

  • First Place, Website: Lauren Hitchcock
  • First Place, Video- In-house: Heather Lenard – “Budget: How it’s Made.” 
  • First Place, Photography: Bruce Newman (Contractor)
  • Finalist, Brand Identity: Lauren Hitchcock – Redefining Ready 
  • Finalist, Excellence in Writing: Heather Lenard – “Holocaust Museum and University Bring Local Teacher Development”
  • Finalist, Coordinated School Health: Heather Lenard – Charger Health & Wellness Poster 
Lauren Hitchcock, left, and Heather Lenard took home awards from the MSPRA awards luncheon recently. Photo provided

The Oxford School District Communications team coordinates communications efforts for the school district — incorporating public and media relations, web design, graphic art, social media, publication development, and print and online content — to deliver public education information and school news in a timely manner.

The communications team is skilled in helping Oxford schools determine the best way to deliver important school news and events to parents, students, teachers, the community, and the state of Mississippi.

The OSD Communications Team is made up of three employees: Lauren Hitchcock, Digital Communications Specialist; Lauren Jones, Communications Specialist; and Heather Lenard, Director of Communications.

Hitchcock has worked in the OSD since 2008. She is an Oxford High School alumni who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design. Hitchcock is solely responsible for the management and accessibility of eight websites, plus the district’s search engine optimization. Her expertise lies in design, content management, coding, survey functionality, and survey dashboards. She provides training and technical support to district leaders for content management. 

Lenard has been in the OSD since 2018. She was named MSPRA’s “Communicator of the Year” in 2019 for her work on Portrait of a Graduate. She possesses a Master’s degree in Communication and has twenty years of experience in public relations in city government, non-profit, and K-12 education. She serves as a spokesperson for the district and an advisor to the superintendent and school district leaders on communication strategy. Lenard has produced content featured in state and national publications and broadcasts. 

Jones joined the OSD Communications Department in July of 2022, bringing nine years of experience in marketing, content creation, advertising, and social media to the district. Well-connected to the Oxford community, she is an Ole Miss alumnus who has worked for the Oxford Eagle and the Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association.

Staff report

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