Victoria ISD’s Ashley Scott wins TSPRA Rookie of the Year

Scott introduced new additions, one that has already shown improvement
Ashley Scott Headshot 2021 1
Ashley Scott, executive director of Communications and Public Relations

VICTORIA, Texas – The Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) held its 60th Annual Conference this week. At the conference, Victoria ISD’s Ashley Scott, executive director of Communications and Public Relations, won the association’s Rookie of the Year award.

The TSPRA Professional Awards Committee honors its members, persons in the media and public education supporters every year. The Rookie of the Year award honors a TSPRA member, who is in good standing and has been employed in school public relations up to 36 months by the nomination deadline. The recipient of this award demonstrates a creative, dedicated and professional approach to school communications. Scott is in her second year of school public relations and communications with Victoria ISD.

Superintendent Quintin Shepherd released the following statement

Dr. Shepherd Headshot

“Ashley has catapulted the Victoria Independent School District forward in so many ways it almost seems mind-boggling she has been here for just two years,” said Superintendent Quintin Shepherd. “Entering during the midst of a pandemic would be difficult for anyone in communications and she has been exceptional. I am so glad she was awarded Rookie of the Year.”

Following Findings 3.1 in VISD’s District Strategic Plan, Scott has dedicated her time to achieving effective, two-way communication between the District and its community. She followed the directions outlined in this Finding to create radical transparency. Scott also improved existing communications using feedback from the community.

In Scott’s first year with VISD, she led and carried out many new additions to create multiple avenues for communication with the Victoria community. Here is a list of the following new additions she introduced:

  • established bonds with local media outlets in order to share important VISD news to the community, including VISD’s “School Matters” column featured biweekly in the Victoria Advocate;
  • led the transition and launch of a new user-friendly district and campus website and;
  • spearheaded the creation of VISD’s first-ever mobile app where the community can view everything they would on the website, on their phones;
  • created more accessibility for the community to stay informed by having additional
    cameras put in the VISD Board Room with the ability to live-stream board meetings;
  • formed a partnership with the City of Victoria to stream board meetings on local television channels.

District social media channels experience increase in followers, engagement

Along with Scott’s team, she also grew District social media channels at an astonishing rate. From August 2020 to July 2021, Facebook experienced a 10% increase in followers and a 311% increase in engagement. Instagram saw a 13% increase in followers and a 381% increase in engagement. Twitter experienced a 32% increase in followers and a 41% increase in engagement. LinkedIn saw a 14% increase in followers and a 330% increase in engagement. Finally, YouTube experienced a 542% increase in followers and a 55.47% increase in engagement.

Under Scott, Victoria ISD’s written communication produced has also increased. Press releases and statements published by the district increased by 197% from August 2020 to July 2021. At the beginning of November 2021, Scott and her department began producing the first-ever districtwide e-newsletter. The weekly e-newsletter, until this day, has reached over 260 subscribers with an average open rate of 72% and an average click rate of 13%. This is 41% above the industry average.

In October 2021, Scott also presented the first-ever Communications Review to the Victoria ISD Board of Trustees. Scott will present the Communications Annual Review annually each October. The review will provide trustees, parents/guardians, and stakeholders an overview of current communication strategies. It will also show the progress of the departments’ efforts.

Victoria ISD would like to offer Mrs. Scott a huge congratulations on this achievement.