VINTON, IOWA – The Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District was honored by the National School Public Relations Association for its exceptional community outreach efforts through social media. The recognition was announced as part of the 2023 Golden Achievement Awards held by the organization.


Superintendent Kyle Koeppen of Vinton-Shellsburg (VS) highlighted the dedication required to keep the public well-informed. He pointed out that the district’s achievement is especially noteworthy considering that the other districts in Iowa receiving awards were Waterloo and West Des Moines, both much larger districts with extensive communication departments. 


According to Koeppen, the success of Vinton-Shellsburg’s outreach results from valuable partnerships cultivated over several years. The first crucial partnership is with the school board, whose commitment to sharing information and fostering meaningful connections with parents and the community is indispensable. The second key partnership involves the teachers and staff, who enthusiastically share the remarkable happenings throughout the school day, demonstrating their dedication to the students. Koeppen also notes that the district’s partnership with Monkeythis is pivotal in ensuring effective outreach. Monkeythis receives submissions from teachers and staff, prepares them for distribution, and ensures dissemination across all the district’s social media platforms.


Monkeythis, with offices in Vinton and Denver, CO, provides social media and communications services to schools striving to inform and engage their entire community. The company created the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School website, produced several Vinton-Shellsburg videos, and generates publications mailed to all households in the VSCSD district in addition to managing social media outreach.


Jenni Birker, a board member at Vinton-Shellsburg, emphasized that sharing information through social media, publications, and the district’s website is a responsibility the board wholeheartedly embraces and supports. Recognizing that community members and parents are not present in the schools on a daily basis, Birker emphasized that by keeping them updated on the school’s activities, the school can build trust, showcase the incredible work done by teachers for the students, and instill confidence in the district’s commitment to serving the entire school community.