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School Website & Marketing Inspiration | InspirED 2022 Brilliance Award Winners
Jana Hoglund

At Finalsite, we’re constantly inspired by the work being produced by our family of clients. This year, more than a dozen Finalsite clients collected 25+ awards at the 2022 InspirED School Marketers’ Brilliance Awards, an annual competition recognizing the best in private school marketing and communications from schools around the world.

Judged by more than 70 school marketing professionals, the awards span 30 categories, including school website design, admissions and marketing material, development appeals, video, and more.

The work submitted by these schools continues to raise the bar higher and higher. Here’s a complete list of the winners, but we’ve compiled some of our Finalsite favorites — they are our clients, after all…Congratulations to everyone!

Screenshot of McCallie webpage

McCallie School | Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Enrollment/Admissions Video In-House, Gold
  • Fundraising Video In-House, Silver
  • Annual Report/Report of Gifts/Donor Report, Silver
  • Fun Video, Gold

McCallie School has always wowed us with its impressive videos, and these four awards add to an already stellar list of engaging content. Their enrollment/admissions video, in particular, combines humor with its mission — a tricky mix.

As one judge commented: “People say humor is the most difficult form of expression in marketing—and McCallie did it so well. I greatly appreciated the creative risks in this piece and the dedication to representing the authentic student experience. Also hard to master is a piece that is entertaining to both parents and students.”

Screenshot of La Salle webpage

La Salle College High School | Wyndmoor, PA

  • Admitted Student Welcome, Gold

The importance of an acceptance announcement can’t be underestimated, and La Salle welcomes the Class of 2026 with open arms, asking if they’re ready to build on a legacy of success. 

It drives home the importance of the next four years, a journey that includes leadership and service but, ultimately, requires the student to make the most of it. Nicely done!

Screenshot of Germantown Friends webpage

Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia

  • Fundraising Video In-House, Bronze
  • Still Photography In-House, Silver
  • Fun Video, Silver

With its two awards for video and one for photos, Germantown Friends School knows a thing or two about the power of imagery and video. There are a lot of answers when it comes to its video, “What makes GFS, GFS?” but the best response is “you!”

Screenshot of Woodland Academy webpage

Woodward Academy | College Park, Georgia

  • Fundraising Video Outsourced, Silver
  • Website Homepage Redesign, Silver

The redesign of Woodward’s homepage is a marvel — it won silver for the story it delivers with mission-focused language, fast facts, persuasive testimonials, and clear calls to action to engage interested families. 

That’s not to be outdone by its fundraising campaign video, which drives home the impact of a gift on the students' accomplishments with some great b-roll moments and professional production.

Brancroft Brilliance

Bancroft School | Worcester, Massachusetts

  • Paid Advertising, Gold
mockup of bancroft summer ads

All advertising roads lead back to your school's website, and Bancroft is well-prepared with some colorful, eye-catching, and creative ads, especially for their summer program.

Screenshot of Stevens Cooperative School

Stevens Cooperative School | Hoboken, New Jersey

  • Paid Advertising, Silver
Screenshot of Stevens Cooperative School

Stevens took silver for its paid advertising campaign, receiving comments like: "AMAZING! Visually and emotionally compelling. The most original of all the submissions." Nice job!

screenshot of holy ghost

Holy Ghost Prep | Bensalem, Pennsylvania

  • Still Photography Outsourced, Gold

Holy Ghost presented a dynamic catalog of images — powerful moments that capture a range of moments from campus life.

Comments included: "These portraits are more next level. The photographer integrated elements of the room and the class equipment into the portrait. Artfully thought out without being contrived."
 

Screenshot of Marin webpage

Marin Academy | San Rafael, California

  • Still Photography In-House, Gold

Take a look around its website, and you’ll find an experience as unique as the photos Marin submitted for entry. The visuals on Marin’s site present such a range of emotions and activities around the day and boarding school’s campus that viewers can sense their learning experience, that indeed, “comes to life.”

Screenshot of Kent Place webpage

Kent Place School | Summit, New Jersey

  • Website Homepage, tie for Bronze
  • Website Homepage Redesign, Gold
  • Magazine Overall Design, tie for Bronze
  • Magazine Photo/Imagery, Gold

Kent Place School brought home four awards, including one for its homepage, which packs a punch with video testimonials, bold text, and differentiators, and top billing for its recent website redesign.

As one of the judges commented, “The bold text and excellent use of clean, white space set the stage, but the perfectly-executed student and faculty video "stories" make it sing— simply awesome.” The school’s magazine is also impressive, winning two awards for its overall design and photography.

Screenshot of Holton Arms webpage

Holton-Arms School | Bethesda, Maryland

  • Graphic Identity Redesign, tie for Bronze
Screenshot of Holton- Arms logos

The new graphic identity of Holton-Arms scored a home run with a clear design and a more modern representation of its mascot. Go Panthers!

Screenshot of Northfield Mount Hermon website

Northfield Mount Herman | Mount Hermon, Massachusetts

  • Magazine Overall Design, tie for Bronze
Screenshot of Northfield Mount Hermon magazine

The cover of Northfield Mount Herman’s magazine certainly caught the eyes of judges. The collage throughout the publication provides a beautiful aesthetic, and as one judge said, “I didn't even have to go past the front cover of this magazine to understand what the NMH community was like.”

Screenshot of Rowland Hall webpage

Rowland Hall | Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Magazine Writing, Gold
  • Special Event, Gold

Rowland Hall captured two awards this year: one for writing and another for its strategic plan video, which immaculately answers the question, “What does the future of education look like?”

rowland hall strategic video screenshot

“This may be the best strategic plan video I've ever seen,” said one judge. “With an engaging Ted Talk-like intro, stellar visuals, brilliant use of student voices, and clarity of message, this video kept me engaged and interested throughout and eager to learn more about Rowland Hall and its initiatives.”

Screenshot of Sun Valley webpage

Sun Valley Community School | Sun Valley, Idaho

  • Magazine Writing, Bronze
  • Magazine Cover Design, Bronze

Sun Valley was recognized with two awards for its magazine — one for writing and another for its cover design.

Screenshot of Sun Valley magazine

Both are powerful, and with impressive layouts and stunning photography, they’re a winning combination that captures the sense of excitement and adventure of the school community.

Screenshot of NIS webpage

Nanjing International School | Nanjing, PRC

  • Podcast, Bronze

Kudos to NIS for its award-winning podcast! Check out its episode on mental health and wellness in young children, and then listen to all their episodes of NIS Voices, available on Apple Podcasts.

ABA homepage website

ABA Oman International School | Muscat - Sultanate of Oman

  • Social Media Campaign, tie for Silver

The 100 days countdown campaign from ABA Oman International School tracked its move to its new campus — posts on social media, posters, promotional videos, and the big inauguration helped capture the progress, and hearts of the entire ABA community.

Screenshot of Perkioman webpage

Perkiomen School | Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

  • Fun Video, Bronze

You can’t help but get excited when Perkiomen’s video kicks in! No script is needed here —  the drums stir up enough energy to engage the whole school community around its athletics program — perfect to start the season or to pump up the crowd before a big game.

Screenshot of UNIS Hanoi webpage

International School of Hanoi | Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Logo, Silver

This international school cleverly incorporated Hanoi’s landmarks with the school colors into a logo that tied its school to the surrounding community. Creative!

Screenshot of Unis Hanoi logo

As one judge commented: “I particularly like the shapes created in between the numerals — they work nicely with the lines and curves of the landmark illustrations. These same shapes also create wonderful windows through which we see background information when the logo is layered over an image.”

Screenshot of Villa Duchesne webpage

Villa Duchesne School of the Sacred Heart | St. Louis, Missouri

  • Logo, Gold

Gold went to Villa Duchesne School of the Sacred Heart for its blending of the Sacred Heart mark into its logo — a great combination of a pre-established entity with the unique experience Villa Duchesne offers.

Key takeaway

If you’re looking for examples of the best in school marketing, web design, and fundraising, the schools above are great inspirations. If you’re hoping to be on the award list for next year — don’t wait! Now’s a great time to have a chat with our marketing, web design, or branding experts to help take your school to the next level!

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Jana Hoglund headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jana is the Client Marketing Specialist with Finalsite, focused on sharing and celebrating client stories and their successes. She's spent nearly the last decade working within the field of education, specifically within independent schools working in the offices of admissions, development, and communications.


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