CSPA National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Award
Honoring Our Advisers
2022 Teacher of the Year David Ragsdale interviews 2023 award recipient Debra Klevens at a luncheon honoring award winners at the 2023 CSPA Spring Convention. Applications are now open for the 2024 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Award. Learn more
A critical part of supporting journalism students is supporting their advisers. And as well, recognizing their exemplary work.
The CSPA National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Award Program recognizes a high school educator who teaches innovative media techniques, mentors students to produce award-winning journalists, and encourages students to consider media careers. Along with the Teacher of the Year, eight additional high school teachers and media advisers who go beyond the call of duty are selected as Distinguished Advisers and Special Recognition Advisers. This is the fourth year that CSPA will take the lead role in the promotion, selection, and ultimately the recognition of the winners, with Dow Jones News Fund's support as a co-sponsor.
The Columbia Scholastic Press Association will select one 2024 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year based on their work during the 2022-2023 academic year. Sixty-four teachers previously have been honored with this achievement since 1960.
The National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year receives numerous honors, including:
- A plaque commemorating their achievement
- An iPad tablet and Apple Pencil
- Admission to four spots at the CSPA Summer Workshop, in classes of their choice
The Teacher of the Year will participate in an interview with the prior year’s Teacher of the Year at the CSPA Annual Spring Convention, which will be available through CSPA’s media channels.
Distinguished Advisers receive:
- A plaque
- Admission to two spots at the CSPA Summer Workshop, in classes of their choice
Special Recognition Advisers receive:
- A plaque
- Admission to one spot at the CSPA Summer Workshop, in classes of their choice
At least three years of experience; while not necessary, please note any award recognition for including lifetime achievement or by any local, state, or regional organizations
Current membership in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association is NOT a prerequisite for nomination or award.
How to Apply
Candidates are asked to complete the online application to enter. Professional media and press associations are invited to forward candidates from their competitions, however the application must be completed for consideration. The online application will request electronic submission of the following:
- Up to three letters of support
- An updated résumé
- A color headshot, (120 x 120 pixels), uploaded as a JPEG or TIFF file
After submitting your application, we will ask you to send six copies of what you consider to be your single best newspaper/newsmagazine issue from the 2022-2023 academic year to CSPA
The deadline to apply for the 2024 Teacher of the Year is December 8, 2023.
DJNF originally established the program in 1960, as the National Newspaper Teacher of the Year, to honor each year an outstanding high school media teacher or adviser. For decades, CSPA was a co-sponsor of the program, featuring the Teacher of the Year at an advisers luncheon during its Spring convention, providing accommodations, promoting the program, and inviting honorees to present sessions. In 2017, DJNF transferred the management of the program to CSPA and became a co-sponsor.
Immediate Past Recipients
2023: Debra Klevens, Parkway West High School; Ballwin, Missouri
2022: David Ragsdale, Clarke Central High School, Athens, Georgia
2021: Ray Westbrook, St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, Texas
(Photos: April Renae)