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Communications Among State Best
Communications Among State Best
Posted on 02/05/2018
The Buncombe Schools Communications team: Ben Rickert (left), Tim Reaves (center), and Stacia Harris (right).
The Buncombe Schools Communications team: Ben Rickert (left), Tim Reaves (center), and Stacia Harris (right).

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) is western North Carolina's largest public school system with over 3,700 educators hard at work preparing nearly 25,000 students for their future. Everyday, this mission creates countless learning moments, school success stories, community partnerships, and important innovations. It also requires that important safety, emergency, and media information be shared effectively. Telling these stories and keeping the public informed is at the core of the BCS Communications Department, and in 2018, the three-person team was honored for its excellence in these areas.

“We are delighted to be recognized by our colleagues for our efforts to promote the teachers, students, and staff that make Buncombe County Schools special,” said Stacia Harris, Director of Communications.

“I believe in the power of public education. Every time I step into a classroom I am amazed by the engaging lessons I see. I’m proud to be able to tell these important stories and show the community all our schools have to offer,” she added.

@NCSPRA Tweets about @buncombeschools Communications Dept.In January of 2018, the team received 17 Blue Ribbon Ribbon Awards through the North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) for excellence in the areas of electronic media (includes video production), publications, special events, writing, graphic design, and special events, earning 14 Gold level and three Silver level awards. Each year, NCSPRA also gives eight Best of the Best awards chosen from all Gold level awards. This year, BCS received the Best of the Best award in Image/Graphic Design.

A Blue Ribbon Award is the highest honor a school district can receive from the state association, and this is the second consecutive year that the Communications team earned the Best of the Best distinction. NCSPRA tweeted, "@BuncombeSchools earned a repeat #BestOfTheBest for Image & Graphic Design at the 2017 #BlueRibbonAwards! Their billboards are eye-catching, community-supported, and effective."

Harris's team includes Benjamin Rickert, Assistant Director of Communications, and Tim Reaves, Digital Communications and Marketing Specialist.

"We spend a lot of time in the classroom, and it's inspiring to see the breadth of what our students and staff are accomplishing," said Rickert. "Our goal - and our craft - is to let their stories shine, because so much is going right with education everyday. It is these successes that make our community the kind of place where we want to live."

The small department brings together a wealth of experience in public relations, corporate communications, broadcast, media production, and journalism. Reaves is the newest member of the team and joined in April of 2017.

“I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful team,” he said. “Our students, faculty, and staff work hard every day to build a better tomorrow, and we want to let everyone know.”

2018 BCS Communications Department Blue Ribbon Awards

Best of the Best
Image/Graphic Design

Electronic Media
Everyday Heroes – Gold Award
Honoring Our Veterans – Gold Award
Remote Evacuation – Gold Award
Enka High School - Proud to be a Jet – Gold Award
One Student at a Time – Gold Award
Preparing for Tomorrow – Gold Award
Senior Walk – Gold Award
Teacher of the Year 2018 – Gold Award
Buncombe Schools from the Sky – Silver Award

Excellence in Writing
Weaverville Elementary Counselor Honored – Silver Award
Image/Graphic Design Student Success Posters – Gold Award

First Day of School – Gold Award
Thursday Night Lights at Enka – Gold Award

BCS Advantage Magazine – Silver Award

Special Events/Programs
2018 Teacher of the Year Banquet – Gold Award
Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Gold Award
Top Scholar Awards Banquet – Gold Award

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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