Recognizing Service to Journalism – Taft and Contributing Medium award winners announced

Each year, MIPA wishes to recognize those teachers, organizations and other supporters of scholastic journalism. This year, the service to journalism awards include the Taft Award and Contributing Medium Award winners.


Without question, the MIPA Board of Directors chose SNO Sites and its founders, Tom Hutchinson and Jason Wallestad, as the 2020 Contributing Medium Award winner.

In the nomination, “I have witnessed what SNO has done for our MIPA site and the SchoolJournalism site. They have also helped over 2,300 High School Newspaper Sites and 54 non-profit organization sites (like MIPA and SJ). They have reshaped the way we look at online platforms for scholastic journalism and deserve to be honored by MIPA.”

SNO Sites has helped MIPA tremendously in the last few years with both the main website hosting and trouble-shooting, and the national lesson plan site, Without their professional expertise, MIPA could not bring its services to so many Missouri journalism teachers and students, as well as teachers nationwide.

Wallestad and Hutchinson with SNO will be recognized on stage at the 51st J-Day on Wednesday, March 25, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


The MIPA Board of Directors voted to name yearbook and newspaper adviser Leigh Rogers of Hermann High School as the 2020 Taft Award winner.

In the last few years, Rogers has reached out and created new ways for advisers to connect with MIPA’s services and to connect with each other. Her innovative efforts have resulted in a membership growth among the underserved small high school journalism programs in our state. In addition, she’s contributed on a national level as a regular contributor to the website, which hosts articles and lesson plans for journalism.

In her nomination, MIPA Vice-President Michelle Turner wrote: “Where do I begin? Leigh Rogers goes above and beyond for not only her students, but many others. Such dedication is something I cannot help but admire – plus she always greets people with a smile. I love her drive and motivation and her love for MIPA, Scholastic Journalism, and journalism students!”

Rogers will be recognized on stage at the 51st J-Day on Wednesday, March 25, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.