December 1, 2023

Nora Carr remembered for her tireless advocacy for little ones

Nora Carr, a longtime Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Guilford County Schools employee, died June 30 at age 63.

Nora Carr, a longtime Charlotte-Mecklenburg Educational facilities and Guilford County Colleges personnel, died June 30 at age 63.

Nora Carr was 50 years outdated when she shed her father, a person she compared to the Energizer Bunny and she thought would “go on for good.”

In her January 2010 web site entry “When you get rid of anyone you adore,” Carr described how her environment was without end divided by a new sense of ahead of and following that reduction.

“For me, time is standing however, even while the earth has rotated 6 occasions,” she claimed.

Additional than a ten years later on, Carr’s words resonate with individuals who realized her.

Carr, who after worked in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Colleges and additional just lately for Guilford County Universities, died June 30 just after struggling a coronary heart attack. She was 63. She was nationally acknowledged for her get the job done in public relations, marketing and disaster communications.

Carr fought tirelessly for kids, challenged anyone about her to do better and was a champion for fairness, inclusiveness and variety. Now, several of the people today she touched are seeking to make perception of how their earth will go on without her passion, empathy and coronary heart.

Carr is survived by her partner, Kevin, three children, two grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and cousins.

“She just fought so hard for young children and it appears to be so very unfair,” Guilford County Superintendent Sharon Contreras explained to the Greensboro Information & History. “What I’ll bear in mind her most for is the humanity she noticed in each human being she interacted with.”

Carr had labored for the previous yr at the Z. Smith Reynolds Basis, a statewide, personal, family foundation centered in Winston-Salem “dedicated to strengthening the good quality of existence for all North Carolinians,” according to its site. Formerly, she worked 13 many years as main of staff members at Guilford County Schools.

Carr was posthumously honored with The Get of the Prolonged Leaf Pine award by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper at her funeral services July 5. The award is presented to these who have designed substantial contributions to the point out and their communities.

“She was an extremely distinctive particular person,” said Maurice “Mo” Green, who worked with Carr. Environmentally friendly is the government director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Basis, a former Guilford County Faculties superintendent and previous deputy superintendent and general counsel for CMS.

“She was so awesome — it is tough to boil it down to just one particular thing,” Inexperienced claimed. “Nora was just usually current. Constantly there when you needed her. It’s a good reduction for the total state.”

Advocate for community schooling

Ann Doss Helms, the longtime instruction reporter for The Charlotte Observer who now addresses the conquer for NPR affiliate WFAE, stated Carr led the CMS communications section through some of its most historic and tumultuous decades. Carr was recruited to Charlotte in 1999 to function for Superintendent Eric Smith. She worked for a CMS for a full of 6 a long time until finally 2008, with a a few-calendar year break combined in that span.

“Nora explained to me she experienced worked in various towns but in no way observed one particular the place (the) media and public concentration on instruction was so solid,” Helms explained. “Bear in mind CMS had just come by a lengthy authorized struggle over desegregation that had torn aside the local community, so her purpose was crucial.”

Helms claimed Carr confirmed her the ropes as a new schooling reporter, not only supplying her info and figures but filling her in on who was media-welcoming in CMS at the time and who was not.

“She particularly warned me that the deputy superintendent did not like speaking to reporters,” Helms explained. “But when we did a wander-as a result of of the workplaces, he was there and she released me. I beamed and reported anything alongside the strains: ‘Nora tells me I can just pop right in and speak to you when I need to have something.’

“She located a swish way to get me out of there, and got a chuckle out of that.”

As a general public relations specialist, Carr was committed to obtaining in front of a tale, even if it was poor. She and district leaders experimented with weekly information conferences and reports to the media when there was a security incident on a district campus.

Helms stated a single of her most vivid memories was when CMS held a unique information convention in 2007 to announce an elementary university teacher experienced been found locked in his classroom preparing to inject heroin.

“It was immensely embarrassing to CMS, but it led to enhancements in their qualifications checks and some considerate protection of how a excellent teacher with habit landed in this place,” Helms mentioned.

Carr, numerous explained to the Observer, was a remarkably-respected advocate for community faculty training. Her partner was a CMS instructor and administrator, and she experienced a daughter with distinctive desires who attended CMS faculties.

“She was as invested in public schooling as it is probable to be,” Helms claimed.

‘She knew it was important to help’

In 1999, Carr was one particular of four nationwide industry experts questioned to give on-internet site assistance to Jefferson County Community Educational facilities in Golden, Colorado, for the duration of the aftermath of the Columbine Higher Faculty massacre that took the lives of 12 college students and just one instructor.

Far more than 20 a long time later, Environmentally friendly reported the chairperson of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth university board achieved out to him to find Carr just after a scholar was shot and killed at Mount Tabor Substantial Faculty very last September.

“She was generally hunting out for individuals that wanted support, regardless of whether that was students, directors, nonprofit boards, everyone she was affiliated with,” said Philip Tate, who wrote a remembrance for the Community Relations Modern society of The us (PRSA) College or university of Fellows. Both of those Carr and Tate had been inducted into the group. “She had these a spirit of advocacy for individuals a lot less fortunate. She was on so several nonprofit boards — she didn’t have time to be accomplishing it, but she knew it was essential.”

All over her job, Carr been given several recognitions, like the Barry Gaskins Support Award, the highest honor awarded by the North Carolina College Community Relations Association (NCSPRA).

“She had a massive personality, a larger-than-life character,” he claimed. “She challenged men and women who worked for her to do better. She wanted to make a local community wherever she went. She actually brought men and women alongside one another.”

But her life was not all about her work.

“Nora cherished to giggle. She’s Irish, and she cherished her Irish heritage,” Green explained. “She cherished to swim and liked to go kayaking. She liked to go through and had multiple guides heading on at one time. She cherished to sing. She was 1 of these people who definitely embraced daily life.

“It was not all about get the job done, but you would be hard-pressed to find an individual who would get the job done far more than Nora.”

‘Hope heaven likes it loud’

Carr blogged periodically from September 2009 till about four several years ago. She wrote on almost everything from how lovely the autumn seasons are in North Carolina to university spending plan cuts to how educators are patriots to the pains of dieting.

“Does including blueberries make vanilla ice product a nutritious snack?” she wrote May 3, 2018.

When her father, a B-24 bomber pilot in the course of Earth War II, died at 85, she imagined he was in heaven building the angels chortle.

“I’m confident he’s ingesting beer and singing Irish tunes in heaven with his brothers and sisters though my mom plays the piano and my grandparents smile and nod,” she wrote. “I hope heaven likes it loud.”

And during Xmas a person 12 months, she wished she could wave a magic wand and give the gift of “a caring, capable grownup to lead each individual youthful particular person by means of childhood.”

“We wonder why they’re not all on grade level? Youngsters are incredibly resilient,” she wrote. “They can defeat any obstacle. But they need a lot more aid from the adults in their life, in their educational facilities and in their communities.”

Carr’s zeal for education and supporting other people prompted Guilford County Educational facilities to leave this information on its site: “We miss out on you already Dr. Carr.”

This story was initially revealed July 8, 2022 11:35 AM.

Profile Image of Anna Maria Della Costa

Anna Maria Della Costa is a veteran reporter with much more than 32 decades of working experience covering news and athletics. She labored in Florida, Alabama, Rhode Island and Connecticut just before moving to North Carolina. She was lifted in Colorado, is a diehard Denver Broncos fan and happy graduate of the College of Montana. When she’s not covering Charlotte-Mecklenburg Educational facilities, she’s paying out time with her 11-yr-outdated son and shopping.