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News Release: FMPSD’s Katie Elser Wins Coveted BRAVO Award from CACE

News Release: FMPSD’s Katie Elser Wins Coveted BRAVO Award from CACE

(Fort McMurray, AB, October 21, 2019) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) congratulates Katie Elser on winning the coveted BRAVO! Award from the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education (CACE). Elser, who is the Executive Assistant to Superintendent Doug Nicholls, won for redesigning the FMPSD website, launched this April. The announcement was made today in Winnipeg at the annual CACE conference’s BRAVO! Awards reception. Elser, who has been with the Division for five years is in Winnipeg to receive the Award of Distinction. 


CACE recognizes and honours exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communications, marketing and engagement through the national BRAVO! Awards Program. 

“Re-designing a website that meets the needs of a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders can be a formidable task for anyone. But project lead Katie Elser demonstrated the power of solid research and information gathering. By the time the school Board was ready to throw the switch on the new redesign, Elser had done her homework and had solicited important input from the site’s intended users. As a result, the Board was able to design and launch a digital format that best met the needs of the organization and the public it serves,” noted Galen Eagle, BRAVO! Awards, Canadian Association of Communicators in Education. 

"The Bravo Awards are the only Canada-wide awards program specifically designed to recognize excellence in school board communications. Judges agreed, Elser’s project was worthy of recognition at the national level,” Eagle added.

Elser was delighted to win. She shared her sentiments. 

“Visual communication and design is a passion of mine, and without the support of amazing team members and co-workers at Fort McMurray Public Schools, I would not have the privilege to share my passion on a daily basis. I'm truly honoured and humbled to be recognized by the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education as a BRAVO! Award recipient this year.”

The FMPSD website was last redesigned in 2013. Elser pitched, and worked closely on the project with CentralSquare, our website providers on a modern layout, and user-friendly options. She surveyed principals, and vice principals on what changes they wanted to see for all 16 schools, developed a road-map for timelines, and created a Division website template, which would work well with school sites also. 

Rhys Onofrychuk, Front-End Developer/Support Lead for CentralSquare commented Katie’s diligence was note-worthy.

“Katie came across as a dedicated person with a clear vision and the ability to see it accomplished. As the liaison between the Division and our team, she ensured each party provided the necessary deliverables in a timely fashion. I was impressed by Katie’s willingness to learn and search for answers. When provided with tutorials she was quickly able to grasp the material. With this knowledge, she was able to create advanced content, allowing our team to work on additional code for the Division. Katie’s commitment to the project from beginning to end was pivotal to its success,” Onofrychuk said.

Doug Nicholls, Superintendent, FMPSD agrees.

“Katie began with the end in mind, and delivered on all counts. She spent innumerable hours on this project - creating a template, impressive graphics, launching surveys, collecting feedback, speaking to staff/being cognizant of their requirements, and liaising with our web providers. She ensured all the deliverables were met, and that was no small feat. We congratulate her on an excellent job. This is a well-deserved award. Bravo!” Superintendent Nicholls noted.

Congratulations Katie!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager

Fort McMurray Public School Division


W: 780-788-8009

C: 780-880-7666