Anthony Smith Receives 2020 Crystal Apple Award

Anthony Smith This year’s Crystal Apple winner understands and recognizes the power of communication. A champion of public relations work in education throughout a nearly 40-year career, his keen depth of knowledge and understanding the benefits of a clear, coherent, and transparent communications program has reaped many great rewards for the community he serves. 

The WSPRA Board is ecstatic to award Riverview School District Superintendent Dr. Anthony Smith the 2020 Crystal Apple Award. 

Dr. Smith’s handprints are on nearly every component of the Riverview's infrastructure. His tireless dedication to the community, the district, and his peers, colleagues, and employees is infectious and permeates across all systems. His belief in student voice is revolutionary and he has led the effort in having students serve as consultants, designers and videographers.

Dr. Smith’s accomplishments with school communications, regionally and nationally, speaks volumes.

  • Doctoral Dissertation: Evaluation of Public School Communication Programs, as perceived by Public School Directors of Communications, in which he partnered with NSPRA to complete a national study on the least-used part of the four-step RACE (Research, Analyze/Plan, Communicate/Implement, and Evaluate) process for creating a strategic public relations plan.
  • NSPRA PR Power Hour, hosted by NSPRA Executive Director Rich Bagin, on Strategic Planning and how evaluation is such a key part of providing advocacy and accountability for district public relations efforts.
  • A contributor to NSPRA E-Newsletters on a variety of topics.
  • Three presentations at NSPRA National Conferences:
    • Dissertation Findings with Dr. Pamela Steele, Northshore School District, and Gay Campbell, Everett School District.
    • Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills seminar that taught the 4-Step process to a successful mediation and then role-played scenarios, with time for questions.
    • Raise Communication Program Status by “Statusing” Your Strategic Plan with Mike Vidos, Strategic Planner, Boeing Corporation.
  • Specific presentations at Washington Evaluation and Research Association (WERA) Conferences on the importance of communications and the evaluation process as a critical component of a viable and improving communications program.
  • Consultations with other districts, including Broward County in Florida, to help them with strategic efforts and accountability around communications.
  • Promotion of key positive messaging about public schools as a Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Board Member, WASA Legislation and Finance Committee member, and one of the state’s four elected superintendents on the AASA Governing Board. Part of Dr. Smith’s work has come in the producing of press releases and brochures to communicate with public school administrators and legislators at the federal, state, and local level. In addition, Dr. Smith has presented at press conferences on public education legislative issues, most recently in Seattle on net neutrality and internet access.


“Working alongside Dr. Smith has served as a catalyst to some of the most profound work of my professional life. Not only is he someone who seeks to find the best within you, he steps back in opportune moments and allows you to celebrate your success and growth on a meaningful and personal level. The excitement that comes in working with him is an expectation and understanding that the best is still yet to come," says Micheal Ward, Riverview Communications Coordinator. 

Congratulations Dr. Smith!