It’s time to recognize our best, brightest from Oregon at local, state, national level
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Just click on the submenu “NW Hall of Fame” above and you’ll see a list of Oregon advisers and students who have been recognized for their work. Notice anything? It’s kind of a short list, at least on the national front, isn’t it? It’s time to start nominating (and writing letters, tributes, or biographies about) our own people and recognize them for the amazing work they do. We’ll post the results here.
I’ve worked in all corners of Oregon as a journalism teacher for 31 years and as a newspaper journalist before that, and I’m always impressed at the talent and commitment and overall awesomeness of Oregon’s brand of journalism advisers. We need to stop at least once or twice every year to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
So while the press release says “If you plan to submit nominees,” just cross out the “If you” part of the phrase and plan on it!
The nomination deadline for JEA awards for the spring convention is coming up soon, and there’s no time like the present to nominate your favorite journalism teacher from Oregon. Better yet, get together with some friends and all write letters for that person.
Don’t stop there, though. Nominate people for awards that Northwest Scholastic Press sponsors or co-sponsors: Journalist of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Administrator of the Year, or pitch us your idea for a special award if you’d rather do that.
And while you’re at it, honor people you know with your own local award. I’ve done that for friends who, amazingly, had never received an award for the awesome work they do — so I went ahead and created one. I called it the “Golden Apple Award” and designed a fancy certificate and mounted that on a walnut plaque with a piece of glass over the certificate.
It delighted my friend, and was displayed prominently on the wall in her classroom. She received many compliments over the years. She deserved it. That’s my point.
I think that is the appropriate spirit of giving awards to others you know. I first learned about this when I was 17, and editor of the weekly newspaper (and a high school student), from the mayor’s wife, who did not wield the political power of her husband but something more powerful — relational power. How did she do it? Every week, she delivered a plate of her almond cookies to the person she chose who had done the most for the community that week or needed the love of the community that week.
Think about it — every year she honored 52 people. Every week she told everyone why she was honoring that person. Every week someone new felt recognized and a part of a community trying to do good. Who was the most powerful person in that community — his honor the mayor, or his wife? What difference can one person make?
I used this strategy when I first started teaching. We gave out awards for the best story, most helpful person, best photograph after each issue was put to bed, and the award was by design the cheapest and tackiest thing we could think of. It was an extension of the Food-Fun-Friendship strategy for success. We started out with the paper plate awards — something I continued until my last day of teaching.
A talented and fun-loving editor developed his own brand of fun by giving a can of creamed corn to the staffer of the issue. It was the most coveted award and people were honored to receive it. He and the mayor’s wife knew how to generate loyalty and excellence through relational power.
Not everyone knows enough to appreciate the work journalism teachers do, so nominate someone for a state or national award this year, or start your own award or offer recognition in your own unique way!
PRESS RELEASE FROM JEA:
If you plan to submit nominees for the following awards, which will be presented at the spring JEA/NSPA convention, the RECEIVED BY deadline is Monday, Oct. 15.
- Demonstrate a commitment to journalism education.
- Foster an awareness of the rights and responsibilities granted by the First Amendment.
- Seek additional professional development opportunities to improve skills as a journalism adviser/teacher.
- Encourage student editors to attend workshops, conferences and conventions.
- Show commitment to continually improve the medium or media advised.
- Empower student editors to make all editorial decisions in a responsible way without content being subject to prior review.