The Journalism Education Association has chosen Jeffry M. Henderson, principal of Bloomington High School North, Bloomington, Ind., as its 2011 Administrator of the Year. This award goes to an administrator who has shown a dedication to journalism education.
According to Ryan Gunterman, publications adviser at Bloomington High School North, Henderson went on record in a special First Amendment edition of the paper, saying “Part of teaching responsible journalism requires that students be placed in positions of making decisions regarding the content of the student newspaper.”
And he has held to that position, defending the paper when it published the name of a student who had fired a gun at school, when it covered the firing of two secretaries or when the paper endorsed a candidate for school board, incurring the wrath of another candidate.
Henderson spoke eloquently on free expression at the Indiana High School Press Association First Amendment Symposium last March. Diana Hedley, executive director of IHSPA, said, “He easily could have passed on this Statehouse event, since his school was playing a sectional basketball game later that evening – a kind of religious experience in Indiana and a priority for most administrators – but he managed his schedule to do both.”
Hedley also mentioned wishing she could clone Henderson for other schools.
“We are truly lucky to have a principal so willing to support publications,” said 2007-08 North newspaper editor Elizabeth Munroe, “and to allow students to practice their First Amendment rights.”
Henderson will receive the Administrator of the Year award during the fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, on Nov. 19, in Minneapolis.
The Journalism Education Association Inc. is the only independent national scholastic journalism organization for teachers and media advisers. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan .