Pelham’s Knight named as 2023 Nez Calhoun winner

Published 3:13 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM –  On Tuesday, June 27 Pelham City Schools Communications Manager Nicole Knight was named the Nez Calhoun winner at the 2023 Alabama School Public Relations Association Awards. 

The Nez Calhoun Distinguished Service Award is named after Nez Calhoun, a former Jefferson County Schools director of public information who held the position for more than 40 years. Calhoun passed away in 2020, and the Distinguished Service Award was named in her honor.

The Nez Calhoun Distinguished Service Award is an annual recognition honoring a member of the Alabama School Public Relations Association for their commitment and dedication to the organization and the profession. 

 This is Knight’s first time receiving the award.

“I didn’t even know I had been nominated for the award,” Knight said. 

While she may not have been expecting to receive the Nez Calhoun Award, many of Knight’s friends and colleagues agree that it could not have gone to a better recipient.

“I can always count on Nicole for sound professional advice, and it is absolutely no surprise to me that her industry colleagues honored her with the Nez Calhoun Distinguished Service Award,” said Ainsley Allison, communications manager of the city of Pelham. “Nicole serves in the community both professionally and personally, investing in young people and helping to develop them as future leaders in our communities.”

Originally hailing from Fairhope, Knight has lived in Pelham for the past 24 years. For the last nine of those, Knight has worked for  Pelham City Schools as the communications manager.

“I was surprised and humbled to receive the award,” Knight said “Nez Calhoun was legendary and well-known for her contributions to ALSPRA and its members. Being nominated by my colleagues in school PR and recognized for my efforts is an honor that makes me so happy and proud of our work as an organization.”

During her time working with Pelham City Schools, Knight has worked on several projects, and at the moment, she is working with public retailers to have Pelham-branded items so they are more accessible for members of the community to purchase. However, this is hardly the only thing Knight is working on.

“Summer is one of the busiest times for us, so I’m juggling several projects as we get ready for the new school year,” Knight said. “We’ll be working on the strategic planning process, ramping up plans for Pelham Homecoming Week, and continually focusing on communicating school system news, events and achievements with our parents, students and community.”