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Maren Smagala of North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional HS District
Named NJ Communicator of the Year

In this photo: Maren Smagala (c), District Communications Coordinator at the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District, accepts the NJSPRA 2021 Communicator of the Year Award from NJSPRA President Lori Perlow (l) and her superintendent, Jeffrey Bender.

The New Jersey School Public Relations Association announces Maren Smagala, District Communications Coordinator at the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District, as their 2021 Communicator of the Year. This annual award recognizes exemplary leadership and commitment to enhanced communication and relationship-building between public schools and the stakeholders they serve. NJSPRA President Lori Perlow, communications director at the Camden County Educational Services Commission, presented Ms. Smagala with the award during a district administrative meeting on May 19th.

“Maren has been a role model for school communications professionals for 14 years,” notes Perlow. “She delivers exceptional service to her district and continuously sharpens her skills through professional development.” In his nomination letter, North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional HS District Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Bender confirmed, “Maren’s communications to the school community allow parents to easily  learn how they can best contribute to their children’s educational well-being. Communications are informative without being overwhelming, well timed to ensure consumption and contain a tone of  positivity that serves to build community confidence in their schools.” 

In addition to her work in school communications, Ms. Smagala also works on other important initiatives in the district, including the District Equity Plan and as the internal coordinator of the district’s Strategic Plan. One of the award judges agreed, “Ms. Smagala is doing important work with her contributions to the district's equity plan in a way that is creating true change in her community. She has an amazing track record!”

Veteran accredited school communication professionals from across the country served as judges for the award and unanimously agreed Ms. Smagala should be the 2021 recipient from among six nominees. In addition to her work in her district, she has also served NJSPRA as Vice President of Programming and Secretary  and on the advisory board, contributing to the profession and advancement of other school communications professionals across New Jersey.

For more than 25 years, NJSPRA has provided professional development, training, resources, networking, and collateral support in all facets of communication to education communities across the state. Members include public relations and communications professionals, as well as superintendents, administrators, board members, principals, teachers, and consultants. NJSPRA is a chapter of the National School Public Relations Association and has been recognized for the breadth and depth of programs it provides to its nearly 80 members across the state. 

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