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Press Release - Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti Honored as 2016-2017 'Outstanding Superintendent Communicator' by SUNSPRA

December 2, 2016
Press Release - Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti Honored as 2016-2017 'Outstanding Superintendent Communicator' by SUNSPRA
CONTACT:  Laureen Ricks  |  904.390.2211


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., DEC. 2, 2016 – The Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) presented Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti with the “2016 Outstanding Superintendent Communicator Award” for providing exceptional school district communication planning and implementation in the State of Florida. Dr. Vitti was recognized yesterday at an awards luncheon during the 2016 Annual Joint Conference for school boards and superintendents held in Tampa. Dr. Vitti’s communication outreach included hosting community based “Chat with the Supe” meetings, launching “The Parent Academy” to increase engagement, expanding the use of digital platforms and broadcast programming, and collaborating with schools to develop internal marketing plans to strengthen brand equity. The award recognizes the superintendent’s vision to use traditional forms of engagement, such as frequent town hall meetings and focus groups, but also nontraditional mediums, such as social media and podcasts.

“It is always an honor to be recognized by an outside, objective third party. It validates our hard work and reform agenda,” said Dr. Vitti. “Despite my willingness to implement difficult and needed change, I have always attempted to listen to stakeholders through that process to improve and refine plans and create greater understanding and acceptance of change.  I also strive to transparently explain and engage stakeholders on all issues when there are questions and concerns, even when those conversations are tense and uncomfortable.”

In addition to successfully implementing communication tactics, key school leadership and community partners recognize the importance of the superintendent’s communication. In her recommendation to SUNSPRA, GRASP Academy Principal Ellen Sauer commented on how Dr. Vitti strives to anticipate communication issues and challenges, and continuously seeks feedback on messaging. Nina Waters, President of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, also conveyed the superintendent’s commitment to transparency, clarity, and consistency.

“As the leader of one of the country’s largest school systems, he has faced numerous challenges and he has maintained open lines of communication with parents, students and fellow educators,” wrote Waters. “We are proud of Dr. Vitti and his efforts to send a strong message to the community when he articulates his vision for the future of Duval County Public Schools students.”

In consideration and part of the nomination process for being chosen as SUNSPRA’s Outstanding Superintendent Communicator Award, key highlights that have occurred under Dr. Vitti’s tenure include a 70 percent increase in attendance at the School Expo; a 51 percent increase in subscribers to district’s community e-newsletter, The Duval Digest; a 166 percent increase in website users; a 46 percent increase in social media followers; and an 859 percent increase in broadcast minutes watched/listened through television programming, YouTube, and podcasts.

About Duval County Public Schools
Duval County Public Schools is the 20th largest school district in the nation, educating more than 128,000 students in over 190 schools. Its mission is to provide educational excellence for every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Visit to learn more.
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