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Other Recognition

Friend of WSPRA Award

In promoting and modeling the value of strong partnerships, the WSPRA board of directors recognizes that it must take positive steps to show leadership in this area. The purpose of the Friend of WSPRA award is to recognize the individuals or organizations that have worked with WSPRA throughout the year and who are critical to the success of the WSPRA organization.

Friend of WSPRA Award Winners:

  • 2022-23   Damian LaCroix, Superintendent, Howard Suamico School District
  • 2021-22   Nathan Chow, Foundry
  • 2017-18   Luke Francois, Ed.D., Superintendent, Mineral Point Unified School District
  • 2016-17   JP Cullen & Sons and Eppstein Uhen Architects
  • 2015-16   INSPRA (Illinois School Public Relations Association)
  • 2014-15   Amy Kant, Milwaukee Public Schools
  • 2012-13   March Schmidt
  • 2011-12   WASBO (Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials), Woody Wiedenhoeft
  • 2010-11   Joe Donovan, Donovan Group, LLC
  • 2009-10   WEAC
  • 2008-09   Miles Turner, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators
  • 2007-08   Molly Andrews, Committee for School Safety & Citizen Preparedness
  • 2006-07   John Ashley, Wisconsin Association of School Boards

Past-President’s Award

Each year the WSPRA past-president selects one individual to honor. This individual is someone who has provided particular assistance to the president during his/her term of office. The individual is honored at the fall conference and receives a recognition gift.

Past President's Award Winners:

  • 2022-23   Debbie Brewster, presented by Past-President Tracy Habisch-Ahlin
  • 2020-21   Tracy Habisch-Ahlin and Joelle Doye, presented by Past-President Christina Brey
  • 2018-19   Debbie Brewster, presented by Past-President Sarah Heck
  • 2016-17   Dorreen Dembski, presented by Past-President Kevin Hickman
  • 2015-16   Kit Dailey, presented by Past-President Kevin Hickman
  • 2012-13   Kit Dailey and Heather Westgor, presented by Past-President Melissa Badger
  • 2011-12   Mabel Schumacher, Kit Dailey, and Melissa Badger, presented by Past-President Lori Blakeslee
  • 2010-11   Dorreen Dembski, presented by Past-President Lori Blakeslee
  • 2008-09   Barb Fleming, presented by Past-President Dorreen Dembski
  • 2007-08   WSPRA Board of Directors, presented by Past-President Dorreen Dembski
  • 2006-07   Joe Quick, presented by Past-President Lori Holly
  • 2005-06   Mabel Schumacher, presented by Past-President Mark McLaughlin
  • 2004-05   Mary Ellen Marnholtz, presented by Past-President Janay Wittek-Balke
  • 2003-04   Mabel Schumacher, presented by Past-President Amanda Brooker
  • 2002-03   Mary Pat Pfeil, Rick Kaufman, Diane Aschmann, and Vern Schumacher, presented by Past-President Mabel Schumacher
  • 2001-02   Jerry Freitag, presented by Past-President Dave Petroff
  • 2000-01   Mark McLaughlin, presented by Past-President Janet Swiecichowski
  • 1999-00   Patti Welch, presented by Past-President Mary Ellen Marnholtz
  • 1998-99   Mary Ellen Marnholtz, presented by Past-President Hjordy Wagner
  • 1997-98   Janet Swiecichowski, presented by Past-President Rick Kaufman

Honorary Lifetime Membership

As part of its membership structure, Wisconsin School Public Relations Association honors retired members for their contributions to WSPRA, public relations, and education in general. When appropriate, the board of directors selects an individual(s) for this honor and provides them with lifetime memberships in WSPRA. 

Honorary Lifetime Members:

  • Brian Hanes
  • Terry Falk
  • Richard Wenzel
  • Mary Ellen Marnholz (2012)
  • Roseanne St. Aubin (2012)
  • Sheryl Miller (2011)
  • Doug Keiser (2011)
  • John Hedstrom (2010)
  • Joan Graff (2009)
  • Mark McLaughlin ( 2008)
  • Marge Crawford (2007)
  • Ken Cole (2006)
  • Mabel Schumacher (2005)
  • Mary Pat Pfeil (2005)
  • Gerry Freitag (2005)
  • Darlene Hovorka (2004)
  • Nancy Hewes (2003)
  • Hjordy Wagner (2002)
  • Jane Grinde (2001)
  • Don Ladd (2000)
  • Howard Gage (2000)
  • Tom Fabian (1999)
  • Dick Wenzel
  • Ann Weizenegger
  • George Tipler
  • Bernard Hughes
  • Lois Hilleshiem
  • Jenelle Elder-Green
  • Jean Dyer
  • Elaine Cary

Flag of Learning and Liberty

Each year, WSPRA presents the National School Public Relations Association’s Flag of Learning and Liberty to WASDA’s State Superintendent of the Year. This Flag has been recognizing individuals since 1985 for their work on behalf of education and improved communication, which is something all Superintendents work hard at each day and as WSPRA members, can benefit from excellent networking and programming to help us continue to grow in this everchanging field. 

Flag of Learning and LibertyThe design symbolizes America's historical belief in and reliance upon education. The flag features:

  • A horizontal red stripe across its top depicting the strength and vitality of a democratic way of life.
  • The blue stripe running horizontally along the bottom represents the stability and opportunity made possible by a strong system of education.
  • The center field of white conveys the virtue and aspiration of a nation of free people. The central focus of the flag is the emblem in the middle of the white field, featuring:
    • Two gold flames at the top - one for learning and one for liberty. These flames are supported by a base of four elements, arranged in alternating blue and red pairs.
    • The blue elements represent the two key foundations of strong education - high expectations and effective teaching.
    • The red elements symbolize the cornerstone institutions of a democratic society - responsible families and involved communities.

The Flag of Learning and Liberty will be presented to the 2024 State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Mark Hansen during the January 17th WASDA Luncheon at the State Education Convention. 

List of past Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year recipients