SchoolMessenger Names Video Contest Winners

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Joliet West High School and United Independent School District Spread the Word About The Value of Notification Services and Win $10,000 in Grants and Scholarships

SchoolMessenger, a leading provider of parent notification services for education, today announced the winners of its Spread The Word Back-to-School Video Contest. A video from Joliet West High School in Joliet, Illinois was named ‘Fan Favorite’ for receiving the most online votes. The Judge’s Panel award went to United Independent School District in Laredo, Texas for producing a video that best met the contest goals.

The three-month contest, designed to help educators communicate the value of notification services to their school communities, drew 55 video entries from 20 states and generated nearly 50,000 online votes. Each winner was awarded $5,000 in grants and scholarships.

“We applaud our winners and the creativity demonstrated in the making of their videos,” said Nate Brogan, vice president of marketing for SchoolMessenger. “Our goal was to give schools and districts a fun way to spread the word about how their notification systems have increased parent involvement, academic achievement and safety. In addition to winning a prize, we were pleased to learn that that the competition also gave staff, students and their communities an opportunity to come together to support a good cause.”

A group of 30 students who publish the Joliet West High School newspaper and yearbook embraced the challenge of creating their first video project. With the help of their Community Relations Department, they wrote the script, created a storyboard, and videotaped and edited their 30-second video in less than two weeks. Once complete, they banded together to promote it using Facebook, Twitter, email blasts, their school newspaper, and local media in which they were featured on the air to generate support.

“We are overwhelmed and so thankful for all the support we received,” said Jennifer Galloy, Journalism teacher at Joliet West High School. “This $5,000 grant will allow our students, who have done their jobs admirably with just 8 computers, to add at least 10 new laptops to their technology arsenal and to fund a journalism scholarship for one or more of this year’s graduating seniors. Our entire community rallied around our students and the contest and we really appreciate it.”

United Independent School District (UISD), located on the Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, operates its own Instructional Television department to produce educational programming for the community. Its broadcast staff took the lead on creating two public service announcements (PSAs), one in Spanish and another in English. With its SchoolMessenger service in place for just three months, the PSAs helped inform families about how the technology will alert them to emergencies, special announcements and attendance issues throughout the year.

“We are extremely proud to donate our winnings to the District’s scholarship fund,” said Susan Carlson, director of Instructional Television at UISD. “We serve 40,000 students and our broadcasts are designed to keep parents updated and informed about their children’s schools. This contest gave us an opportunity to spread an important message, but also got our staff and the entire community involved in the process.”

Both winning videos can be viewed at:

About SchoolMessenger
SchoolMessenger is a leading provider of notification solutions for education. Thousands of school districts, public schools, colleges, universities, private schools and other educational facilities in all 50 states depend on the company's innovative solutions to connect and effectively communicate with millions of parents, students and staff every day. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. For information, visit or call 888.527.5225.


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Carleen LeVasseur
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