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NOLA-PS Dir. of Media Relations Wins PRSA Silver Anvil Award for Crisis Communications

(New Orleans – Jan. 12, 2022) – Taslin Alfonzo, NOLA Public Schools' (NOLA-PS) Director of Media Relations, was awarded the coveted Silver Anvil Award by the Public Relations Society of America's (PRSA) New Orleans Chapter.

It's the industry's highest honor recognizing the best crisis communications campaigns that showcase unique skills, creativity, and resources in undertaking and solving problems or meeting unmet needs. Alfonzo received the honor for her work in quickly and effectively communicating with the media to keep families, educators, staff, and the community informed about NOLA-PS' efforts to keep students and staff safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic from 2021-2022.

"I am so incredibly proud to have worked closely with the leadership team at NOLA-PS whose sole goal was to ensure the safety and well-being of our school family throughout the pandemic," said Alfonzo. "From the COVID Guidance document, the COVID Tracker, to weekly testing, vaccination efforts, and the overall preservation of in-person learning – all their efforts were bold, based on science, and placed NOLA-PS as a recognized leader in prioritizing the health of students."

Through weekly press releases, media alerts, as well as press conferences, Alfonzo garnered a total of 1,111 media mentions locally, nationally, and internationally. Media coverage pickups included the Associated Press, The New York Times, Yahoo! News, The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, CNN, MSNBC, MSN, ABC, as well as international coverage in Nepal, Canada, India, France, Italy, Chile, Turkey, Netherlands, Malaysia, and beyond. The media mentions included, TV, radio, online, print, and social media.

"The constant communication kept families and schools abreast of virus spikes and decreases, health mandates, testing, and vaccination opportunities all designed to be transparent and give families and schools the tools they needed to make the most informed decisions for their children and staff," said NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams. "We are proud of Taslin's efforts and are happy to have her as part of the NOLA-PS team."

Ultimately, the earned media helped instill trust and eased fears. Families and school leaders felt comfortable returning and remaining in in-person learning.

In addition to the Silver Anvil, Alfonzo received two awards of excellence for the following PRSA submissions:

●NOLA-PS Jazz Ban New Release

●NOLA-PS' Ongoing Media Coverage

In September, she was also awarded the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) Lantern Award for ongoing COVID-19 media relations coverage throughout 2021.


About NOLA Public Schools: NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) is the public school district for Orleans Parish. It includes the district's administration and elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). NOLA-PS currently oversees 72 public schools and is led by Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams, the first woman in the District's 181 years to serve as its permanent superintendent.

For more information, visit For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools. 

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