Return to Headlines

CCS Public Relations Department Receives 2 Blue Ribbon Awards

Craven County Schools Earns Statewide Recognition for Outstanding Communication

The North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) has honored Craven County Schools for excellence in communications. Craven County Schools earned a total of two Blue Ribbon Awards for outstanding and effective communication. NCSPRA presented the awards during a virtual ceremony.

Craven County Schools received two Gold level awards for outstanding digital media engagement and image/graphic design. The judges praised the work by offering the following feedback on the image/graphic design image submitted, "Fantastic use of a billboard--great graphics and minimal words! Great job!"

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.

NCSPRA recognizes outstanding communications through its Blue Ribbon Awards program each year. Craven County Schools was one of 37 school districts statewide to receive a Blue Ribbon Award. This year’s submission categories included: Marketing, Digital Media Engagement, Electronic Media, Excellence in Writing, Publications, Image/Graphic Design, Photography, and Special Projects and Events. The Georgia School Public Relations Association judged NCSPRA’s 2021 Blue Ribbon entries.

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.”  

NCSPRA’s Blue Ribbon Award ceremony also included 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.” 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.” 

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. For more information, please visit the NCSPRA Facebook page or