Award-winning CMS Communications team

The CMS Communications team won 38 awards for outstanding school public relations at the North Carolina Schools Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) Blue Ribbon Awards in Greensboro on Jan. 26. The awards recognized excellence in writing, photography, publications and special events.

"The CMS Communications team is dedicated to informing and inspiring students, parents, staff and the community," said Tracy Russ, chief communications officer. "The NCSPRA awards are testament to the team's many talents as storytellers and communications professionals. We are honored and proud."

CMS won more awards than any other school district in the state. NCSPRA President Todd Hagans, executive director of community relations and communication for Gaston County Schools, said entries of the award winners rivaled the best work of public relations practitioners in any field. "Blue Ribbon Awards are the highest honor in our organization and they validate the superior work done by my colleagues this year," Hagans said. "This roster of excellence is tangible evidence that NCSPRA's public relations professionals are among the nation's finest and that they are producing cutting-edge communications and products that support their schools and school systems."

The awards and links to the winning submissions are listed below:

Excellence in Writing:

 Cracking the code - Gold Award, Vicki Grooms

 A Montessori high school - Gold Award, Vicki Grooms

Class of 2017: Rocky River High's Quiet Storm - Gold Award, Vicki Grooms

Class of 2017: East Mecklenburg High's change-maker - Silver Award, Vicki Grooms

Class of 2017: EMT-certified and career-ready - Silver Award, Vicki Grooms

Collinswood honors beloved custodian - Silver Award, Randi Davis

Celebrating and preserving CMS legacy - Silver Award, Yaviri Escalera

Class of 2017: Setting his future in motion - Silver Award, Yaviri Escalera,

Principal of the Year profiles- Silver Award, Randi Davis

Teacher of the Year profiles- Silver Award, Randi Davis

 It pays to be an apprentice - Silver Award, Yaviri Escalera

Educating her palate - Bronze Award, Yaviri Escalera

Inspiring at home and abroad - Bronze Award, Yaviri Escalera

 A legacy of skill and determination - Bronze Award, Yaviri Escalera

 A partnership creates opportunities for students - Bronze Award, Brian Hacker

A year of firsts, Bronze Award, Randi Davis

Class of 2017: Balancing act - Bronze Award, Yaviri Escalera

 The right stuff - Bronze Award, Yaviri Escalera

Learning in motion- Bronze Award, Vicki Grooms

 Dance steps to literacy - Bronze Award, Randi Davis

Help for Houston is on the way - Bronze Award, Randi Davis

Moving into 21st century learning - Bronze Award, Vicki Grooms


Leonard & Cam - Gold Award, Randi Davis

Heart of a Champion - Gold Award, Yaviri Escalera

Tapestry for posterity - Gold Award, Vicki Grooms

A total eclipse - Gold Award, Yaviri Escalera

It is rocket science - Gold Award, Yaviri Escalera

Ready for her closeup - Silver Award, Vicki Grooms

Dance steps to literacy - Silver Award, Yaviri Escalera


MyCMS: Intranet - Silver Award, Randi Davis

CMS Insider - Silver Award, Randi Davis

CMS Connections - Silver Award, Vicki Grooms

Special Events/Programs

A Celebration of Excellence, Teacher of the Year - Gold Award, Randi Davis

All In Campaign - Gold Award, Randi Davis

I Am CMS Awards - Gold Award, Randi Davis

Dorothy J. Vaughn Dedication - Gold Award, Randi Davis

Roy Cooper Teacher Panel - Gold Award, Randi Davis

Renaissance West STEAM Academy Dedication - Silver Award, Randi Davis