Barry Gaskins Award

  • The Barry Gaskins Service Award
        for outstanding contributions to school public relations

    Jeff Nash, 2018-2019 Barry Gaskin Award Winner

    The North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) is proud to present its 2018-2019 Barry Gaskins Service Award to Jeff Nash, who serves as the executive director for community relations for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

    Jeff is no stranger to school communications and public relations.  He spent 19 years with the Wake County Public School System and then two years with Durham Public Schools before joining the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in October 2012.

    His experience includes dedicated service as a teacher, coach, department chair, school administrator, and central office administrator.  Jeff is the past president of the North Carolina School Public Relations Association and also served as Southeast Regional Vice President for the National School Public Relations Association.

    A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science from Buffalo State College and his Master of Education from North Carolina State University. 

    When people like Jeff are an expert in a particular field, you often hear the phrase, “He or she wrote the book on ....”  Well, Jeff did just that. His book “Rock ‘n Roll Customer Service” was published in 2009.

    However, customer service was on Jeff’s mind long before his book came off the press.  As a teacher and school administrator, he encountered many parents and community members who wanted to know various things about the school district.  This led him to develop the idea of a welcome center for schools – a place that would act as a one-stop question-and-answer resource for parents and others who needed information and wanted to connect with the school district.  Wake County opened its welcome center in 2000, and Jeff led the successful initiative for 10 years.

    In all of his work, Jeff has brought an endless amount of creativity, enthusiasm, and fresh thinking to the table.  His ideas and perspective have been a driving force behind the success of NCSPRA over the past 15 years.

    Jeff Nash is extremely deserving of NCSPRA’s most prestigious award.  He knew Barry Gaskins and remains in awe of Barry’s profound knowledge, unique style, and remarkable ability to befriend and support his school PR colleagues.  It is safe to say that Barry would be extremely proud of his friend and our winner for 2018-2019 – Jeff Nash.

    ■ About the Award
    The Barry Gaskins Service Award is the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the North Carolina School Public Relations Association. The award is named in memory of Barry Gaskins, the first public information officer for Pitt County Schools in Greenville, who was known to so many people as “Mr. School Public Relations.”

    Barry was a trailblazer in our field, and he helped to put the North Carolina chapter on the map. Barry Gaskins is the reason why North Carolina is viewed as one of the top state chapters in the country.

    He served our state organization so well and even took his service, leadership, and vision to the national level, serving as president of the National School Public Relations Association from 2001 until 2002.

    Barry died unexpectedly in March 2003 at the age of 49. His passing was a shock to PR people across the country. While Barry is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through the Barry Gaskins Award.

    Click here for more information and a list of past winners.