Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SBISD’s Leader Earns National Communication Technology Award

Scott R. Muri, Ed.D.
Spring Branch ISD Superintendent of Schools Scott R. Muri, Ed.D., was named earlier this week as the sole recipient of a high national recognition, the 2017 Communication Technology Award for Superintendents, by a leading group of communications and public relations professionals and a partnering education technology services firm.

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), which represents most community relations professionals serving public and charter school systems, and Blackboard, a U.S. technology and educational services firm, announced its award for innovative technology to Dr. Muri in an electronic newsletter published for its association members on Feb. 14.

The annual Communication Technology Award for Superintendents recognizes an education leader working in a K-12 system, or in a closely related function, who is “redefining, upgrading and integrating cutting-edge community technology to improve and expand outreach and engagements with education stakeholders – both internal and external.”

“From his first week on the job as superintendent of Houston’s Spring Branch ISD,” his winning nomination states, “Dr. Scott Muri revealed himself to be a strong, collaborative partner whose creativity and avid belief in technology as a tool to engage and reach stakeholders created excitement among the Community Relations team that communication was going to be a true priority.”

After his official start as new SBISD superintendent in July 2015, Dr. Muri began a #VisionLock Twitter campaign to introduce himself to the greater community and leverage the district’s core values as connection points and foundation frame for his leadership, shared focus and reason for joining the school district. Tweeting in both English and Spanish, his near-daily tweets (@ScottMuri) reached more than 9,000 followers.

“Since he took the reins of the 35,000 student district . . ., Dr. Muri has served as the district’s lead learner and inspirer, sustaining its history of meaningful two-way engagement and communications, while trying new technology tools as part of the district’s own Learner’s Journey strategic plan to communicate and connect with families, colleagues, students, community, partners, elected officials and others with a stake in the success of SBISD schools,” his nomination stated.

Some of the initiatives that reflect Dr. Muri’s commitment to strong, two-way communication and engagement include the following:
  • Most SBISD schools and administrators are strong Twitter users, with an increase in special messaging in areas ranging from Twitter Meet Ups to Periscope live-stream video activities;
  • Superintendent podcasts using SoundCloud digital audio technologies;
  • Text messaging and mobile applications with multi-language translation capabilities;
  • A District of Innovation (DOI) model website, now used by several Texas school districts considering similar Board process/planning leading up to potential DOI status;
  • It’s Learning, a cloud-based learning management system;
  • District use of the popular Peachjar online flyer distribution platform;
  • Xtra Credit, the new employee perks program offering area discounts and special pricing at businesses;
  • A new district website and employee-focused intranet, to be launched this summer.
Dr. Muri’s strong leadership and focused commitment to “think differently” has “allowed SBISD to extend its communications capabilities through new apps, new cloud-based collaboration tools and new parent engagement technologies that are moving the district forward at an impressive pace on its strategic Learner’s Journey.”

In addition to the award announcement, Dr. Muri will be honored this summer in San Antonio during NSPRA’s annual national meeting, where a special session will be held reflecting on the community technology award.

Congratulations, Dr. Muri!

Read the full National School Public Relations announcement here >> 


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