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District wins awards for public service campaign

TAVARES – The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) recognized Lake County Schools at the 2019Sherri Owens holding 2 FPRA plaques Mid Florida Image Awards this week. The district was presented with a Judges’ Award and an Image Award in the category of Public Service for its informational campaign, “Safety Tax Referendum: The Choice is Yours.”


FPRA presents Judges Awards for outstanding projects that achieve maximum results while using a minimum amount of money. An Image Award may be presented to the top-scoring entry in each category. 


In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, Lake County Schools took many initial steps to enhance student safety including adding school resource officers, offering safety training to employees and students and implementing the guardian program, which allows trained and qualified administrators to have access to a firearm on campus so they can respond if an active shooter situation arises.


But district leaders quickly realized the need for a dedicated funding source to sustain the changes and to make additional safety improvements. Voters were informed of the need through the “Safety Tax Referendum: The Choice is Yours” campaign, which explained in a variety of ways how additional funding would be used. Ultimately, voters approved an additional 0.75-mill property tax that will generate $16 million per year for four years, helping our district to enhance school safety, security and mental health services.


“I am proud to serve a community that is willing to go the extra mile to support students and help  keep our campuses safe,’’ said Communications Officer Sherri Owens, who directed the campaign under Superintendent Diane Kornegay’s leadership.