Ascension Parish Schools wins national award for teacher recruiting campaign

Staff Report

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) selected Ascension Parish Public Schools to receive a Golden Achievement Award for its successful 2021 teacher recruitment campaign targeting Nicholls State University education majors.

Ascension Parish Schools won a national award for its teacher recruiting campaign targeting Nicholls State University students.

Ascension Parish is one of 57 school districts across the country and the only one from Louisiana to win this honor in 2021.

"We are so grateful that this campaign was successful! Leaders in our school district identified both a need and an opportunity to meet that need, then worked together to strategically design and execute an effective plan that produced results," Superintendent David Alexander said. "The greatest reward of this campaign is the potential value it has to ultimately impact our students by attracting quality teachers from a great pre-service program at Nichols State University. The recognition from the National School Public Relations Association regarding this campaign is well deserved and adds icing to the cake. Our Public Information Office is second to none. They are great teammates within our organization, and the Ascension school system is a huge benefactor of their many campaigns and messaging efforts."

The Public Information Office worked with the Human Resources Department and instructional leaders to research, develop, and implement a targeted campaign to recruit certified teachers to work in Ascension Parish, especially at schools located in the western portion of the district.

The campaign, "$46k 40 Minutes Away; We Invest in Your Success," targeted education majors at Nicholls State University to make them aware Ascension Parish is within commuting distance. Campaign elements, which featured current teachers with Nicholls degrees who teach in Donaldsonville, included a dedicated page on our website, two billboards in Thibodaux, a direct mail postcard, a mailed letter from Superintendent Alexander with informational materials including a lanyard with an ID recruitment badge, social media advertisements, a recruitment video, and a special open house event.

The campaign was a tremendous success based on the following evidence: social media advertisements reached 23,600 people with 729 link clicks; 892 people visited the dedicated campaign webpage; 35 people traveled to participate in the in-person open house event; and from the Thibodaux area applicants increased by 218% (34 to 108), applications increased by 395% (61 to 302), and Donaldsonville school applications increased by 517% (6 to 37).

"Ascension Parish schools have long provided excellent opportunities for our candidates, and we are always happy to support initiatives that open doors for our graduates," said Dr. Scot Rademaker, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. "We are excited to see the success of this campaign and look forward to many more Colonels heading Up the Bayou."

Ascension Parish's Public Information Officer Jackie Tisdell and Digital Media Coordinator Danielle Evans were invited to present the campaign during NSPRA's National Seminar in July, which will be held in New Orleans.

"This campaign would not have been successful without the collaboration of many district leaders and the support of Nicholls State University's administration and staff who saw this as more than a marketing campaign. It was an opportunity to develop a reciprocal pipeline to produce more education graduates," said Tisdell. "We plan to continue to nurture our relationship with Nicholls while looking for opportunities to expand our recruiting efforts by partnering with additional colleges and universities."

This is the fifth national award earned by Ascension's Public Information Office in the last six years including NSPRA's highest honor, the Gold Medallion Award in 2017.

For more information about NSPRA, visit www.nspra.org. For more information about Ascension's teacher recruitment campaign, visit www.apsb.org/Nicholls.