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Communications Awards

Recognizing the diversity among CTA affiliates, especially in their size and resources, the Communications Awards Program allows for the granting of more than one award in each category. Each entry judged deserving of an award receives an inscribed plaque.

In addition, Merit certifi cates are conferred for entries that are of very high quality, but not viewed as qualifying for an award.

The Communications Awards Program is designed to:

  • Encourage CTA chapters, service centers and UniServs to communicate with their members; and to
  • Recognize and honor those CTA chapters, service centers and UniServs which communicate regularly and effectively.

Entries are solicited each summer from the previous school year. The entries are judged by members of the Communication Committee of CTA’s State Council of Education. The awards are conferred at local Service Center Councils.

Entry forms are prepared and distributed by CTA’s Communications Committee. The form is accompanied by a copy of CTA’s Mission Statement.


Newsletters and newspapers

  • Locals with 1 to 99 members
  • Locals 100 to 499 members
  • Locals 500-999 members
  • Locals 1000-2999 members
  • Locals 3000 to 4999 members
  • Locals 5000 and above

Newsletters and newspapers may be of any size and shape.

The date of the publication and the address of the CTA chapter, service center or UniServ must be indicated on each newsletter or newspaper. Additionally, publications must include reference to or logos of CTA/NEA affi liation. At least three (3) samples of different issues of the publication must accompany the entry form.

Special Membership Communication

The list of Special Membership Communications is a long one. CTA chapters and service centers have used T-shirts, buttons, and door-signs to build morale and strengthen campaigns. They have also produced audio and visual cassettes, bumper stickers, e-newsletters, and a myriad of other items.

  • Awards for this category will be given in the following three areas:
  • Publications - printed material such as fl yers, surveys, handbook, etc.
  • Audio-visual media, tapes, videos, CDs or DVDs, etc.
  • Other forms of communications.

Communication to Parents or Community

 This category is designed to recognize outstanding efforts by CTA affi liates in reaching out or informing parents or other members of the community.

  • Awards for this category will be given in the following three areas:
  • Publications - printed material such as fl yers, surveys, handbook, etc.
  • Audio-visual media, tapes, videos, CDs or DVDs, etc.
  • Other forms of communications.

Number of copies produced, the target audience(s), and the distribution must be indicated , as well as the person(s) who produced the entry.

Jose Colmenares Memorial Award

Jose Colmenares (1930-84) was manager of CTA’s Communications Department from 1977 until his death. This award was established, in his honor, in 1985.

The Colmenares Award recognizes outstanding overall contributions to communications with members and with the community. What’s looked for is an effective, coherent, and extensive communications effort. Such efforts include special campaigns, community outreach, or effective support for a political campaign.

No one affiliate or member is eligible for the Colmenares Award more than one time in any fi veyear period and the purpose of this award is to recognize the extraordinary, rather than the usual day-to-day communication effort. Winners will be recognized at a State Council meeting.

Ralph J. Flynn Memorial Award for Websites

Ralph J. Flynn was Executive Director of CTA from 1976 to 1995. Under his visionary leadership, CTA grew into one of our nation’s most progressive, effective advocacy organizations. Mr. Flynn’s leadership truly made the CTA great as he helped it develop many programs including our multi-faceted communications program. These awards are meant to recognize efforts by CTA locals to use modern technology to communicate with its membership and the public through websites.

Categories shall be:

Category A, General Websites (aimed for audiences equivalent to chapter newsletters/newspapers), broken down by size of local;

Category B, Special Purpose Websites (created for a specifi c period of time, for a specialized purpose). Websites shall be evaluated on a basis of 1-10 points per category, 10 being outstanding, 1 being barely worth consideration. Points shall be totaled, with awards given on a basis or rankings of scores.


Entries should refl ect the philosophy and principles of the chapter, service center or UniServ and of CTA-NEA.

Nominations should include, but are not limited to:

  • A devotion to equal educational opportunity and to raising the quality of education for all students;
  • A parallel allegiance to elevating the status of the teaching profession and advancing the well-being of its members;
  • A commitment to reflecting the state’s cultural and ethnic diversity and to promoting mutual understanding and respect among all Californians.

Those preparing the entry form are asked to identify:

  • Number of members in their chapters and bargaining units;
  • Name and position (teacher, association staff member, etc.) of the person(s) responsible for producing the communication;
  • Method(s) employed in producing it.

Locals may submit entries for as many different categories as they choose; however, locals may not submit multiple entries in one category (one entry per category). If more than one entry per category is entered, all entries will be disqualified.


Contact CTA Communications Manager
California Teachers Association
P.O. Box 921
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 697-1400 ext: 5316

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

© 1999- California Teachers Association