ENNIS — For the second consecutive year, Ennis ISD was recognized with a Best-in-State award from the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA).

EISD was presented with the award last month during TSPRA’s annual conference, held this year in Corpus Christi. The award was for an article written by EISD Communications Director Henry Martinez entitled “Memory of Young EISD Teacher Spurs Outpouring of Support.”

The article, which won in the Writing category for school districts with less than 10,000 students, focused on the outpouring of support for the family of Stephanie Brittingham, an Ennis Junior High School teacher who unexpectedly passed away in September 2011 after suffering a stroke and aneurysm on her way home from the first day of school.

“Like other teachers, she returned from summer break to get her social studies classroom ready and to prepare for the 2011-12 school year,” according to the article, which was published in the Ennis Daily News. “She looked forward to seeing her students and helping them become as successful as they could be.

“Sadly, it lasted only one day.”

Brittingham left behind a husband and two young children, which prompted an effort in the schools and community to raise money toward a college fund for their children. The money collected was ultimately presented to her husband at a school board meeting later that fall.

One judge wrote, “Excellent. This is an example of an emotional subject treated with respect and a factual approach. Information is complete and well-written.”

For winning the top award, the district was presented with a gold medal signifying excellence in school communications.

In addition to the Best-in-State award, the article also earned a Gold Star award from TSPRA. EISD also won two Silver Star awards, for a school district magazine published last year and for a brochure that was produced during the summer to usher in the new school year.

“As always, it is great to represent Ennis ISD when school communicators from around the state come together to recognize the best work produced during the past year,” Martinez said. “It was a sad story to write, but I hope I did Mrs. Brittingham justice because she made quite a positive impact while she was here with the Junior High and EISD.”

EISD competed in categories with other Texas school districts with total student enrollments of 10,000 or less. Since 2009, the district has won 17 Star Awards for excellence in school communications from TSPRA.

TSPRA is a nonprofit, professional organization with more than 800 members dedicated to promoting public schools in Texas through effective communications.