The North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) held its annual Blue Ribbon Awards celebration on February 11th. During the virtual event, Nicole Kirby, President of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) paid tribute to award winners and thanked all North Carolina school districts for their efforts to effectively communicate during difficult times. "At a time when we are all under extraordinary pressure, you have continued to produce award-winning work,” Kirby said. “I’m proud to serve students and schools alongside professionals like you.”
During the celebration, NCSPRA honored 37 districts with Blue Ribbon Awards for outstanding communications in eight categories:
- Digital Media Engagement
- Electronic Media
- Excellence in Writing
- Image/Graphic Design
- Special Events/Programs
Individual entries earned either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze level award. Altogether, NCSPRA presented nearly 300 Blue Ribbon Awards to the winning districts. 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:
- Digital Media Engagement: Cabarrus County Schools
- Electronic Media: Rutherford County Schools
- Excellence in Writing: New Hanover County Schools
- Image/Graphic Design: Pitt County Schools
- Marketing: Asheville City Schools
- Photography: Union Academy
- Publications (Electronic & Print): Pitt County Schools
- Special Events/Programs: Cumberland County Schools
NCSPRA’s Blue Ribbon Award ceremony also featured remarks from North Carolina’s 2021 Superintendent of the Year, Brent Williams. Williams emphasized the tremendously important role that school communicators play in the success of students and public education. “You have devoted tireless effort to connecting and engaging school and community stakeholders,” Williams stated. "You also have affirmed and championed the positive and consistent truth that we have seen so frequently during this pandemic: the awe inspiring power of human resilience rooted in a pure love for each other as people.” Williams praised the work of the Blue Ribbon Award winners by saying. “You have surely set a new standard of excellence. You have worked to connect and highlight, uplift and advocate, and to empower and motivate. You have given all that you have to lead by touching the hearts and minds of others.” See Williams’ full remarks by clicking here.
Ken Derksen, NCSPRA President and Executive Director for Community Engagement & Student and Family Support for Wayne County Public Schools, said the work of the award winners exemplifies the high standards and qualities members demonstrate in their daily school communications programs.
“Blue Ribbon Awards are among the highest and most prestigious honors that a member of our organization can attain. I congratulate all of this year’s winners for achieving statewide recognition as a Blue Ribbon Award winner. These awards highlight the superior work being accomplished in the area of school communications and all that our members are doing to support and promote public schools across North Carolina,” Derksen said.
The Georgia School Public Relations Association judged NCSPRA’s 2021 Blue Ribbon entries. The judges praised the work of North Carolina’s school communicators as “comprehensive, professional, impressive, and engaging.”
NCSPRA is a statewide professional organization serving more than 150 members. Its mission is to build support for public education through well-planned and responsible public relations.