Osceola County School District Superintendent Melba Luciano is this year’s “Outstanding Superintendent Communicator,” an honor handed out by the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA). Luciano accepted the state award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in building relationships and communication on Thursday, December 3, in Tampa at the 70th Annual Joint Conference of the Florida School Boards Association.
Since being named Superintendent in 2012, Luciano has set forth clear expectations and direction for the district that all stakeholders could rally behind. As a result, the public trust and support of the district has increased through new partnerships, donations, and volunteer service. For example, the number of school volunteer hours district-wide increased over 15% during the last two school years. The district's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives have expanded through donated funds from the Osceola Board of County Commissioners, Walt Disney World Resort, the Education Foundation - Osceola, and other valuable partners working together to ensure Osceola students are college and career ready.
In her ongoing efforts to find ways for the district to improve, Superintendent Luciano has created opportunities to listen to employees and the community for input to better understand the needs in the school district and to craft solutions. Her outreach efforts to create new lines of communication include employee focus groups, a Superintendent's Parent Advisory Group, monthly Roundtable luncheons with community organizations, an annual State of Education address, and a Principal for a Day program. Each year, she solicits feedback from hundreds of stakeholders both inside and outside of the school district as she and the Osceola County School Board develop the annual strategic plan.
A committee of judges who are Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and Certified Public Relations Counselors (CPRC) scored this year’s state entries. Judges included Chris Carroll, Donate Life Florida; Cheray Keyes-Shima, Florida Public Relations Association; Leah Lauderdale, Polk County Public Schools; and Jennifer Moss, Silverstein Institute.
For more information, please contact SUNSPRA President Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, at 352-671-7555 or Kevin.Christian@marion.k12.fl.us.
Attached photo caption: Osceola County Superintendent Melba Luciano receives SUNSPRA’s 2015 Outstanding Superintendent Communicator Award on Thursday in Tampa. Standing with Luciano from left to right are Blackboard’s Judd Aungst,, Osceola Schools Public Information Officer Dana Schafer, and SUNSPRA President Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC.