MIPA journalism award winners announced

The Missouri Interscholastic Press Association announces the results of its top awards for high school journalism. Winners will be recognized at the J-Day awards ceremony in the afternoon of April 8, 2015, at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St., Columbia and on the MIPA website.

The 2015 Taft Award goes to two teachers, Christina Geabhart, journalism/photography/broadcast teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, and Michelle Turner, photo/art/TV production teacher at Washington High School in Washington. Despite being on opposite sides of the state, these two teachers transformed the MIPA contest system by moving the 2015 contests online, making the process as smooth as possible. The Taft Award is given to a person or group giving outstanding service to scholastic journalism; it is named after the first winner of the special award, Associate Dean William H. Taft of the Missouri School of Journalism.

The 2015 Knight Award winner is Stephanie Green, who teaches at Boonville High School in Boonville. Knight Award winners are people who have provided outstanding service to scholastic or minority journalism and/or who have furthered student freedom of expression in Missouri.Stephanie’s leadership includes a variety of MIPA roles, including MIPA president and administrative assistant, in addition to mentoring diverse students at the annual MUJW (Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop). This award is named after Dr. Robert Knight, a former professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, who was a leader in fostering high school journalism and was a former MIPA leader.

MIPA’s 2015 JTOY (Journalism Teacher of the Year) is Michelle Turner, photo/art/TV production teacher at Washington High School in Washington. She has advised broadcast students for 17 years and has taught journalism for 19 years. For 12 of those years, she has co-advised the Washington HS yearbook staff while simultaneously advising the Blue Jay Journal TV staff of 18 students. Enrollment in her photography courses has nearly quadrupled in the past four years, and she is also an active blogger and member of JEA, MIPA (vice president) and other journalism organizations.

Todd E. White, superintendent at North Kansas City Schools, a four-high-school system, has been named the 2015 MIPA Administrator of the Year, which is given to an administrator who has provided outstanding service to journalism. In reviewing his nomination packet, the judge wrote: “Dr. White looks like a worthy recipient of this year’s award. He is creating a new program in broadcasting—particularly sports broadcasting—the latter being one of the really hot college programs in America today. And he did it by partnering with a local company to provide expertise and equipment. Not many places can do that. He could and he did.”

The Student Journalist of the Year, senior Daniel Bodden of Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, was announced Feb. 24. See http://on.fb.me/1CM81ya for more.