MIPA chooses Ritenour superintendent as Administrator of the Year

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Today, the MIPA judge chose Ritenour School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride as the 2016 Administrator of the Year. Dr. Chris KilbrideMIPA strives to honor administrators who support journalism in our schools.

In her decision the judge wrote: “The St. Louis area and Missouri as a whole have faced significant challenges over the past year in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson. Not far away, the Ritenour School District serves a diverse group of students, the majority of whom have limited resources. At Ritenour High School, the students have a passion for journalism and a need to engage with each other in serious–and not-so-serious–conversations about everything from race relations to the pressures and joys of high school. Chris Kilbride, the district superintendent, helps make that happen. Under his leadership, the district provides crucial support for the district’s award-winning Media Convergence Center, complete with its own radio station, television studio and facilities for video production,  print news and yearbook. During his tenure, the new media convergence program also has been certified as a Career and Technical Education program, an acknowledgment that it gives students a strong foundation for future careers in mass communication. Even more important, Dr. Kilbride has shown no fear in allowing the students to report on some of the most important issues of their lives. Indeed, the students’ reporting on race relations has attracted positive coverage in the St. Louis media — quite a feat.”
In her nomination, journalism teacher Jane Bannester said, “He is at times, my biggest cheerleader. His pride for our work is apparent in how he constantly moves us into the spotlight. With his support, we’ve presented to local and state Missouri School Boards about our curriculum.  He has worked with our students to record messages to the school district. The biggest compliments I can give him is that he lacks no fear of our students reporting. Despite the climate in St. Louis in 2015, Dr. Kilbride was a major supporter in allowing us to tackle tough issues.  What a great role model for Missouri administrators on how collaboration with your student media is a benefit to school districts.
He will be recognized as the Missouri Administrator of the Year during the annual Journalism Day on Wednesday, April 6, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Other 2016 AOY nominees include:
  • Principal Clark Mershon of Staley High School, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Principal Dr. Frank Wood of Washington High School, Washington, Mo.