Greetings, and welcome to my teacher website. I plan to use it mostly as a resource for my journalism colleagues and students, and if you’re here, then that’s probably you.
Feel free to click around to find what you need. I will be adding more content frequently, including news of impending deadlines and links to helpful materials. If you have any suggestions for content, please e-mail me.
HiLite adviser, communications teacher, author
2016-17 will mark my 22nd year of teaching at Carmel High School, where I advise the award-winning HiLite and its corresponding website, www.hilite.org. I also advise the topically-based Acumen newsmagazine and I teach Newspaper 1-2 and Visual Journalism as a member of the school’s
communications department. In 2008, I earned my Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification through the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and am one of only a couple of hundred journalism teachers in the country to have earned that distinction.
I was named the 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and was named a 2012 DJNF Distinguished Adviser. In 2012 I was also named an NSPA Pioneer. I was named the 2011 Carmel Clay Schools Teacher of the Year and I was a 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year semifinalist. I was also named the 2011 Ella Sengenberger Award winner (Indiana Journalism Adviser of the Year).
I graduated from Ball State University in 1995 with degrees in journalism, secondary education and English. I advised Carmel’s high school magazine, the Prerogative, for four years. Now the sole adviser of the HiLite, I served as the associate adviser of the publication under former adviser Tony Willis from 1995 until 2003. My journalism textbook, titled High School Journalism: A Practical Guide, and my web journalism eBook, titled Scholastic Web Journalism: Connecting with Readers in a Digital Age, are available for purchase online through McFarland & Company Publishers.
I teach several journalism workshops throughout the year and am a member of the Indiana High School Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association, the Journalism Education Association and the Indiana Teachers of Writing/National Writing Project.
A teacher and lifelong learner
What makes a newspaper experience so unique is that it gives students a sense of ownership — a chance to create a real product for a real audience on a regular basis. They have a chance, as well, to be part of something that is an integral component of all students’ high school experiences. How many other classes offer that type of opportunity?
But when you’re a newspaper adviser, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the publications your students produce are merely byproducts of the learning that takes place in class from day to day. I remind myself each day that I am a teacher first and an adviser second. We make mistakes, as everyone does, but we try to learn and grow from those mistakes. Each issue of the newspaper, every deadline, offers its own unique opportunity for learning. Our classroom experience is different every day. And often, I learn more from my students than I give back to them.