2018 Key Communicator Award
Pastors for Texas Children founder Charles Foster Johnson named
TSPRA’s 2018 Key Communicator
The Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) has named Reverend Charles Foster Johnson, founder of Pastors for Texas Children, as the recipient of the association’s 2018 Key Communicator Award. Johnson receives the award in recognition of his work as a champion for public schools and adequate school funding.
Johnson will receive his award, sponsored by West (SchoolMessenger solutions), from TSPRA President Kristin Zastoupil at the 2018 Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Convention, to be held in Austin September 28-30, 2018.
“Rev. Johnson has worked tirelessly recruiting and leading advocates who know that a strong public education system is a moral imperative,” said Zastoupil. “His unwavering defense of Texas students and educators makes him a deserving recipient of this award.”
Johnson founded Pastors for Texas Children in 2013 with the mission of providing “wrap-around care and ministry to local schools, principals, teachers, staff and schoolchildren; advocating for children by supporting our free public education system to promote social justice for children and advancing legislation that enriches Texas children, families and communities.”
Most prominently, Johnson and his organization have been outspoken opponents of legislative attempts to divert funds from public schools via voucher schemes, believing them to be antithetical to the goal of providing a free publication for all Texas children.
“For years, our schools have been somewhat alone in their advocacy for fair funding and programing,” said Mike Moses, former Texas Commissioner of Education. “Thanks to Reverend Johnson, they have engaged in the debate regarding appropriate support for public schools. Reverend Johnson and the organization have made strong arguments that have been warm and welcomed by Texas educators.”
Johnson has spread that message through his use of social media, speaking appearances at conventions and on university campuses and television appearances. He has also amplified it by recruiting his fellow religious leaders to help spread the message of Pastors for Texas Children in their communities.
Johnson is the founder and co-pastor of Bread, a faith community in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served churches in Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas during his career, including Second Baptist Church of Lubbock and Trinity Baptist Church of San Antonio. He spent two-years as a Visiting Professor of Preaching at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.
“Reverend Charles Foster Johnson is one-of-a-kind,” said Barry Haenisch, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Schools. “He is a most-effective public speaker, he is a man of action, he is generous with is time, and he cares passionately about Texas and the 5.3 million school-aged children who populate it. He is definitely the most-effective communicator for public education in our state today.”
Since 1981, TSPRA has recognized a Key Communicator for outstanding contributions to public education through effective communications. The recipient may be a legislator, educator or a professional in another field who has improved school communications, or a member of TSPRA who has contributed outstanding service to the profession of school communications. Recipients have included leaders from business, media, PTA, politics and education. A complete list of past recipients can be found on TSPRA’s website at www.tspra.org/awards/key-communicator/list-of-key-communicators
West (SchoolMessenger solutions) is the sponsor of the Key Communicator Award. West (SchoolMessenger solutions) is a strong supporter and valuable tool for school districts throughout Texas.
David Hicks of Allen ISD chairs TSPRA’s 2018 Professional Awards Committee, which includes Denise Blanchard, Amarillo ISD; Julie Zwahr, Denton ISD; Tiffany Veno, Garland ISD and Kyndall Jirasek, Pflugerville ISD.