New Hanover County Schools


Engaging Students, Achieving Excellence


NHCS Receives Outstanding Achievement Recognitions for Child Nutrition and Public Relations

Recipients of the NSPRA Golden Achievement Award and the Gene Causby Award

New Hanover County Schools is pleased to announce that the district has been recognized for outstanding achievements in Child Nutrition and Public Relations.

NHCS Public Relations Division Receives NSPRA’s Golden Achievement Award
PR Team: Tufanna Thomas, Valita Quattlebaum & Kelly Baugher
Public Relations Division team: Tufanna Bradley-Thomas, Valita Quattlebaum and Kelly Baugher.

The Public Relations Division, led by Valita Quattlebaum, Chief Communications Officer, received the 2018 Golden Achievement Award in Publications and Digital Media from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). This award is the school district’s first national award in public relations. The Public Relations Division received this award for its exemplary public relations project design for the Hoggard Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on October 18, 2017.

The Hoggard Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony had several components that made it an award-winning public relations event including media coverage, website, and social media content and messaging, and program participation including Coach Sheila Boles, past and present students, student-athletes and coaches, and performances by the Hoggard chorus, band, and cheerleaders. The NSPRA award judges carefully sought outstanding achievement in the four steps of a public relations program: 1) analysis of the need; 2) planning to meet the need; 3) execution and communication of the program; and 4) formal evaluation.

NHCS also received an Honorable Mention for Distinguished Achievement in the category of School District Blog for the Superintendent’s Blog.

Since 1935, the National School Public Relations Association has been providing school communication training and services to school leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Dependent Schools worldwide. For more information on the National School Public Relations Association, please visit their website at

NHCS Child Nutrition Receives Causby Award
Imer Smith, Child Nutrition and a photo of the Causby Award
Imer Smith, Director of NHCS Child Nutrition

Imer Smith, Director of NHCS Child Nutrition, received the Gene Causby Award from the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina (SNA). The award is given each year in honor of Gene Causby, a great supporter of the SNA-NC. Dr. Causby’s profession began as a teacher, which led to him becoming the executive director of the North Carolina School Boards Association and then during his retirement he was a lobbyist for several groups, of which one was the School Nutrition Association of NC. The scholarship is given to a school nutrition director or supervisor, who is a member of the association, for the purpose of attending the SNA's Legislative Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

The SNA-NC Vision is to be the authority and resource for school nutrition programs. Their mission is to empower and educate members and partners to promote quality school nutrition programs. For more information on the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina, please visit their website at

For more information regarding NHCS Child Nutrition, contact Imer Smith at (910)254-4212. For more information regarding the Public Relations Division, call (910) 254-4245.