The Official Site of the Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association


The Official Site of the Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association


The Official Site of the Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association


Three to be Honored for Service to Scholastic Journalism

Today, the MIPA Board of Directors chose the 2017 recipients of its three service awards, Contributing Medium, Taft and Knight awards.

Contributing Medium Award:

MIPA recognizes a media outlet or publication, person, or people, who have provided outstanding support to scholastic journalism either to an individual school, a school district or MIPA, in some form. The 2017 Contributing Medium Award winner, Leigh Kolb, English and Journalism Instructor at East Central College, Union, Mo., supports many new programs MIPA added this year.

In the nomination, MIPA vice-president Michelle Turner wrote: “Leigh Kolb has gone out of her way to assist MIPA and this school year. In the fall, when I approached her about MIPA’s desire to hold regional journalism workshops/summits, she was MORE than on board. She offered space, food, assistance with speakers, and more for FREE to students wishing to attend. Yes, she even fed all participants! It was a catalyst for an on-going relationship. When I found out about her passion for media literacy, I explained to her that MIPA had taken over the website and needed content on that very subject. She’s been faithful in her writing and content for the website and newsletter. Articles like this one: have been well-received by journalism advisers and students across America. She’s been an amazing friend of MIPA and Her generosity, kindness, and willingness to network with us has greatly impressed me. She is for someone who is more than deserving of this honor.”

Taft Award:

MIPA strives to honor its tradition of recognizing excellence and dedication. The Taft is awarded to a person or group giving outstanding service to scholastic journalism and/or to MIPA. Journalism teacher Megan Palmer’s, Park Hill South High School, Riverside, Mo., dedication to MIPA and scholastic journalism were deemed exceptional by the board members.

The nomination read: “Megan has stepped up to help MIPA repeatedly since being elected as secretary. From helping with the new monthly photo contests and organizing spreadsheets for the journalism challenges to updating content on the website, she’s simply been amazing. Also, she’s helped us move over to the Survey Gizmo system to help make contest entry uploads even easier for our membership. She’s also been excellent at making sure that the contests stay on track and on time by being punctual and never skipping a beat. We are blessed to have Megan on board with us at MIPA. The knowledge she has brought with her, as well as her strong work ethic, have helped make MIPA even better. She is quiet and humble, and could easily just sit back and not take any credit, but credit is certainly due to her.”

Other 2017 Taft Award nominees include:

  • Journalism teacher Michele Dunaway, Francis Howell High School, St. Charles, Mo.

Knight Award:

With the Knight, MIPA wishes to honor a person, or people, who have provided outstanding service to scholastic or minority journalism and/or who have furthered student freedom of expression in Missouri. Board members selected journalism teacher Christina Geabhart of Oak Park High School, Kansas City, Mo., as the 2017 Knight Award winner for her work supporting scholastic journalism in our state over the years and in supporting the national website, this past year.

The nominator wrote, “Christina has worked her rear off for MIPA. I’ve watched her give up many precious hours so that the students our organization serves get the best possible experience she can give them. She’s organized, intelligent, and driven. She often keeps us (board members) on task and reminds us what all we are supposed to be doing. I appreciate that SO MUCH about her. Besides all that she does for MIPA, she also has taken any crazy idea I have about and made it happen…a new look/design? Sure, she can do that! She gives so much of herself to MIPA,, etc. that I cannot imagine where either would be without her.”



These service award recipients will be recognized at the annual Journalism Day on Wednesday, March 29, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

For more information on these awards, please read:

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