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Teacher of the Year

National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Program

Chris Waugaman in his classroom

Chris Waugaman of Prince George (Va.) High School

Chris Waugaman of Prince George (Va.) High School is the Dow Jones News Fund's 2014 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. He advises The Royal News and, award-winning media. He was honored in November at the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.   
The Distinguished Advisers are Michelle Balmeo, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Calif.; Mitch Eden, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School; Gregory Gagliardi, Cherry Hill (N.J.) High School East, and Nancy Y. Smith, Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Mo. Special Recognition Advisers are Christine Keyser-Fanick, John Paul Stevens High School, San Antonio; Evelyn Lauer, Niles West High School, Skokie, Ill.; Matt Rasgorshek, Westside High School, Omaha, and Brian Wilson, Waterford (Mich.) Kettering High School. 
The Fund has selected 56 Teachers of the Year since 1960.

About the Program

We are looking for the best in scholastic journalism. Teachers who are adapting their lesson plans to include the latest digital tools and techniques for storytelling; and high school media advisers who are mentoring students to create award-winning publications.  Applicants must have taught or advised high school media for at least three years and plan to continue in the 2015-2016 school year. We will honor nine high school journalism teachers and media advisers who go above and beyond the call of duty.

How to Apply

Teachers should complete the online application before July 9.  The form must be completed by the teacher. However, the Fund welcomes nominations. Complete this nomination form and we will contact your nominee.

The application includes 12 questions and applicants must submit six copies of their school media, or provide a URL to their online issue in the 2014-2015 school year. 

No more than three letters of support may be submitted along with the application, in addition to an updated resume and a high-resolution headshot of the teacher.

For those applying by mail, teachers are asked to confine their responses to a total of five typed pages. The postmark deadline for the 2015 Teacher of the Year Awards program is July 9.

The online application is available HERE.

The nomination form is available HERE.

Awards and Benefits

The winning teacher will receive a pin, a plaque, a laptop for the journalism program, and travel and lodging expenses to speak at three national conventions: the fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, CSPA Convention spring convention in New York City, and AEJMC 2016 conference in Minneapolis.

The package also includes 12 free Poynter Institute webinars, a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal, a $1,000 college scholarship for a senior student to pursue journalism studies, a per diem for substitute teacher fees and a quarterly column for the Fund's newspaper.

Distinguished and Special Recognition Advisers will receive pins, plaques and digital subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal for their classroom. Distinguished Advisers will also win a $500 scholarship for a senior. 

Selection Process
An advisory panel made up of a newspaper editor, the current Teacher of the Year, leaders of scholastic journalism organizations, the chair of the scholastic journalism division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and a Fund board member confers to select the honored teachers. They weigh each teacher's service in journalism organizations, personal and publication awards, quality of their students and of the school newspaper, newsmagazine or online publication, their philosophy and approach to student press rights and ethics.

The teacher with the highest score is selected Teacher of the Year, the four teachers with the next highest scores are named Distinguished Advisers. Special Recognition Advisers are chosen for their good showing against the criteria. All applicants are notified of their status in the competition in September.

The Teacher of the Year program is co-sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and The Wall Street Journal.

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