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Author: Sarah Loughlin/Friday, July 1, 2022/Categories: News
Dr. Carr, who began her career in school public relations in 1987 in St. Louis, Mo., most recently served as assistant director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, N.C., a statewide, private, family foundation with a mission of improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians. She previously served as the chief of staff for Guilford County (N.C.) Schools for 13 years, where she oversaw government relations, internal and external communications, special events, media relations, community relations, grant development and more. She received an NSPRA Gold Medallion Award in 2021 for the district's School Finance: Fix Our Schools, Fund Our Future bond campaign.
"I was fortunate to serve on the NSPRA Board when Nora was president in 2013-14," said NSPRA Executive Director Barbara M. Hunter, APR. "We all admired her grasp of national education issues, especially her understanding of their impact on local district leaders. She was deeply committed to the work on student equity and was always willing to share her passion, support and insight with those fighting for justice. NSPRA has truly lost one of our profession's giants."
In 2010, Dr. Carr received NSPRA’s highest honor, the Presidents Award, in recognition of her outstanding professionalism and integrity throughout a career as a school public relations practitioner and for contributions to the advancement of educational PR. In 2017, the North Carolina School Public Relations Association named her the chapter's Barry Gaskins Service Award recipient.
"Among the stars of NSPRA, Nora shined the brightest," said NSPRA President Nicole Kirby, APR. "She was the most brilliant, strategic, principled mind in the school PR family. I know I was not the only person who turned to her when I needed an example of how to approach my work or when I needed advice on navigating this profession while prioritizing my family. Like so many members of the NSPRA community, I am devastated. My thoughts are with her beloved family, and I look forward to celebrating her life and work."
An advocate for student equity and achievement, Dr. Carr was passionate about the critical role of school communicators, vowing to "help NSPRA and its members take a more active - and visible - role in speaking out for high quality schools for all children" as NSPRA president-elect in 2012.
"Every NSPRA leader carries a piece of Nora’s wisdom in them to this day," said NSPRA Past-President Jim Dunn, APR. "She had that kind of impact on our organization.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, at Saint Pius Catholic Church in Greensboro, N.C. If you would like to leave a remembrance of Nora for her family, please click here.
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