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School system racks up 10 Blue Ribbon awards for communications

Molly McGowan Gorsuch Molly McGowan Gorsuch

The North Carolina School Public Relations Association honored the Henderson County school system and its public information officer for excellence in communications during the 2020 Blue Ribbon Awards celebrated virtually on Friday.

Officer Molly McGowan Gorsuch won a total of 10 Blue Ribbon Awards for outstanding and effective communication in multiple categories. These included six Gold awards in Image & Graphic Design (2), Marketing (2), Digital Media Engagement (1) and Electronic Media (1) and four Silver awards in Image & Graphic Design (1) and Publications (3).

"These award recognitions reflect the unparalleled service Mrs. McGowan Gorsuch provides to our school system and to our greater school communities," schools Superintendent John Bryant said. "Her gifts and talents as a Public Information Officer and leader of our district communications are on daily display. We are so proud of these well-deserved honors for her work, and we thank the NCSPRA Blue Ribbon Awards committee for recognizing Molly's outstanding contributions."

Ken Derksen, NCSPRA president and communications and public relations officer for Wayne County Public Schools, said the work of the award winners exemplifies the high standards and qualities that 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," he said.

During the virtual 2020 Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony on Friday, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt paid tribute to award winners and thanked all North Carolina school districts for their efforts to effectively communicate during difficult times. Truitt praised the districts and their communications teams for the powerful way they have responded to help parents, students, and staff during the Covid crisis.

"You have conquered the digital landscape in order to meet the ever-changing demands of this pandemic,” Truitt said in a video message. “You have mastered the use of social media channels, video messages, and email sending platforms, and you have remained vigilant in the face of an overwhelming demand for answers. Most importantly you all have been steadfast in your determination to ensure that questions posed by parents and teachers have received the answers they require and deserve.” Truitt called the work of the winners “exceptional,” and thanked them for their dedication and for helping to shape the communications landscape.

NCSPRA recognizes outstanding communications through its Blue Ribbon Awards program each year. With 115 public school districts in the state, HCPS was one of 41 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 2020 Blue Ribbon entries.