MIPA Recognizes Journalism Educators With State Awards

The Missouri Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) recently selected two outstanding Missouri journalism educators for its annual Journalism Teacher of the Year and Emerging Journalism Educator awards.

Christina Manolis, the journalism teacher at Washington High School, has been awarded MIPA’s Emerging Educator Award for 2018.

Christina Manolis, the journalism adviser at Washington High School, Washington, Mo., is MIPA’s 2018 Emerging Journalism Educator. The 2018 recipient of the MIPA Journalism Teacher of the Year honor is Clay Zigler, a 23-year journalism adviser at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Mo.

In 2017, MIPA launched Emerging Educator award to recognize promising new journalism educators. These “rising stars” show a commitment to journalism education, improving the media programs at their school and empowering their scholastic journalism students.

In her recommendation letter, Manolis’s student editor said, “Mrs. Manolis embodies every quality that makes a good journalist, adviser and mentor. She is dedicated to this career not only for herself but for her students. She is committed to being the best no matter the circumstances. Most importantly, she is the person that cares for others in a world where it is so much easier to care for yourself.”

Judges noted: “She has a strong philosophy on publications being student-led, and her students’ work samples back up her claims of high-level work.” And, “Christina has immersed herself in the world of student publications by taking on additional responsibilities on the state and local level and truly committing herself to a student-led staff by empowering her editors.”


Clay Zigler, the journalism teacher at Rockwood Summit High School, has been awarded MIPA’s Journalism Teacher of the Year Award for 2018.

For 47 years, MIPA has honored outstanding journalism teachers with the state Journalism Teacher of the Year program. Zigler is currently advising the school’s newspaper, yearbook, and an FM radio station, which he started in 2015 at Rockwood Summit High School. In one of his recommendation letters, his assistant principal said, “Through his thoughtful and outcome-based lesson designs, students are able to produce quality work and gain valuable skills that transition beyond the classroom. He creates a classroom culture that imparts student leadership and growth. Students take on responsibilities and roles that assist them in gaining valuable skills in all facets of life. The activities and lessons teach students to have a critical eye of the world around them and to look for ways to be a part of the solution.”

In the decision, a judge wrote: “This was a challenge because all applicants produce exceptional student material. In addition to advising an outstanding yearbook and newspaper as well as an innovative student-radio station, Mr. Zigler’s excellence goes beyond awards and production excellence that is

MIPA 2018 Journalism Teacher of the Year works with a student in the FM radio station he created for Rockwood Summit High School. Submitted photo.

reflected in the aforementioned student media.”


Manolis and Zigler will be recognized with their awards during the annual Journalism Day on Wednesday, March 28, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. They will each be given a plaque and a cash prize on stage in the awards ceremony, as well as be given time for a short acceptance speech.

This year’s sponsors donated:

Emerging Journalism Educator

  • $225 from Balfour yearbooks, balfour.com
  • $150 from Josten’s yearbooks, jostens.com
  • $100 from Walsworth yearbooks, walsworthyearbooks.com

Journalism Teacher of the Year

  • $100 from Balfour yearbooks, balfour.com
  • $100 from Herff Jones yearbooks, herffjones.com
  • $100 from Josten’s yearbooks, jostens.com
  • $100 from Walsworth yearbooks, walsworthyearbooks.com

For more information on these award, please read: http://mipajournalism.com/awards/emerging-journalism-educator-award/ and http://mipajournalism.com/awards/teacher-of-the-year/

Author: MIPA Admin

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