• NCSPRA Presents its Highest Honors During Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony

    The North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) awarded its highest honors during the annual Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony on February 9, 2024 at the Blue Heron Event Venue in High Point. NCSPRA presented Blue Ribbon Awards to 35 school districts for their outstanding communication and public relations during 2023. NCSPRA also presented eight Best of the Best awards to the districts that displayed the most outstanding work in each category and awarded the organization’s inaugural School Communicator of the Year award.

    The Blue Ribbon Awards are the highest honor presented by NCSPRA to school districts. The awards are given for outstanding communication in eight categories:

    •       Marketing
    •       Digital Media Engagement
    •       Electronic Media
    •       Excellence in Writing
    •       Publications
    •       Image/Graphic Design
    •       Photography
    •       Special Events/Programs

    Individual entries earn either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze level award. Altogether, NCSPRA presented 344 Blue Ribbon Awards to the winning districts. To see the full list of winners, please click here. NCSPRA also honored the top entry in each category with the Best of the Best Award. The eight Best of the Best winners received special recognition for having the most outstanding entry in each category. 


    Valerie Newton, NCSPRA President and Director of Communication and Family Engagement for Sampson County Schools, said the work of the award winners exemplifies the high standards of the North Carolina School Public Relations Association and the outstanding work of its members. “We are extremely proud of the work being done by NCSPRA members across the state, and the Blue Ribbon Award winners have demonstrated excellence in all facets of communication. Their expertise and professionalism in the field of communications highlight the superior work being done by North Carolina public schools, and their accomplishments deserve recognition. I congratulate all of our winners for the outstanding work they do to support students and teachers and promote public education.”   

    The Georgia School Public Relations Association judged NCSPRA’s 2023 Blue Ribbon entries. The judges praised the work of North Carolina’s school communicators as “a model of excellent communication” and “an exceptional showcase of the incredible work that students and districts are doing.”  

    In addition to the Blue Ribbon Awards and Best of the Best Awards, NCSPRA presented its inaugural School Communicator of the Year award to Les Atkins of Alamance-Burlington Schools.

    The School Communicator of the Year award recognizes one NCSPRA member each year for excellence in the field of school communications. Candidates are nominated by NCSPRA members and are evaluated based on outstanding performance in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Professionalism, and Community Involvement.

    Les Atkins of the Alamance-Burlington School System was honored for the exemplary way he handled multiple crises during the 2022-2023 school year that put the Alamance-Burlington School System in a national spotlight. He also was recognized for his continuing emphasis on transparency and open communication to all stakeholders as well as his community involvement. “Les Atkins  has distinguished himself as an exemplary communicator under immense pressure, said James Shuler of Alamance-Burlington Schools. “Come crisis or celebration, Les is always transparent, responsive, and compassionate. He represents the best of the four pillars defining successful school communicators, and he deserves to be NCSPRA’s School Communicator of the Year.”

    Les Atkins will now be considered for the National School Communicator of the Year Award, which will be presented by the National School Public Relations Association during its national seminar in Seattle in July.

    NCSPRA is a statewide professional organization serving more than 175 members. Its mission is to build support for public education through well-planned and responsible public relations. For more information, please visit the NCSPRA Facebook page or www.ncspra.org.