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Award Winning Year for Communications
Award-Winning Year for Communications
Posted on 01/31/2017
Every day, nearly 25,000 students in Buncombe County Schools are learning, inventing, achieving, and growing together, while over 3,700 teachers and employees lead the charge in creating dynamic learning environments to help them succeed. Behind the scenes, a small award-winning Communications Department continually works to share these successes with the greater community. The department also manages emergency and district communications, social media efforts, media relations, and high-profile, annual community events such as the Buncombe County Teacher of the Year Banquet, and the Top Scholar Awards, which recognizes 15 graduates from each high school with the highest grade point averages.

"Our students and teachers are the fuel of our work," said Ben Rickert, Assistant Director of Communications, "and our primary business is to shine a light on all that they are accomplishing and learning, as well as the greater local and state issues that affect them. We want our parents and community members to be part of the education that happens within the walls of each school, and that's why keeping them informed is critical."

Mr. Rickert works alongside Stacia Harris, Director of Communications, and both worked with former director Dr. Donald Porter, who exited in the fall of 2016.

In January of 2017, the team learned that they were receiving 11 state-level "Blue Ribbon" Awards from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) for their communication efforts for Buncombe County Schools. Harris and Rickert attended the awards ceremony in Greensboro on January 27, where they learned that they also earned one of only nine Best of the Best awards in the state, for their 2016 billboard campaign, which promoted local fine arts, as well as the Summer Meals Program which ensures all children in the community have access to healthy food in the summer.

"Certainly, we are grateful to be recognized; however, we couldn't do our jobs without the support of fellow employees, administrators, schools, and teachers," explained Harris. "We love promoting all of the wonderful people and programs that make Buncombe County Schools great. This is what we strive to do every day, and we work hard to tell these amazing stories."

(See photos and award details below.)

On January 27, the BCS Communications Department was presented 11 awards from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association at the Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony: 6 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze, and one of only nine Best of the Best awards for Image & Graphic Design:

2016 Billboard Series
Best of the Best, Image and Graphic Design

Success Story: Christina Maxwell's Journey
Gold, Electronic Media

Successful #BCS Schools
Gold, Electronic Media

Serafina Week Campaign
Gold, Digital Media Engagement

Zulemi: A Graduation Story
Gold, Electronic Media

2016 Billboard Series
Gold, Image and Graphic Design

2017 District Teachers of the Year Profile Video
Gold, Electronic Media

Senior Walk 2016
Silver, Electronic Media

2016 Top Scholar Project
Silver, Special Events and Programs

Success Story: Caleb Johnson, American Idol
Silver, Electronic Media

2017 Teachers of the Year Banquet
Silver, Special Events and Programs

BCS Advantage Magazine
Bronze, Publications

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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