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JEA honors Flowers as Teacher Inspiration Award recipient

Flowers_Karen_webThe Journalism Education Association has named Karen Flowers, CJE, of Irmo, South Carolina, as its 2015 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award recipient.

The award recognizes a teacher who, through excellent instruction, inspired others to pursue scholastic journalism teaching and/or advising.

Flowers will be honored July 7 at the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas.

Flowers is a former journalism adviser at Irmo High School who now directs the South Carolina Scholastic Press and the Southern Interscholastic Press associations at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Karen Flowers tries to instill a passion for the nuances of communication in all its forms,” wrote nominator Amy Medlock-Greene, MJE, adviser at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, South Carolina, and a former student of Flowers. “She helps students have a respect for the English language and the power that it commands.”

A strong advocate for students’ First Amendment rights, she has been a leader in that cause in both her state and the region.

“During my time at SIPA and SCSPA, Karen and I have dealt with advisers calling us about First Amendment questions, district office and school board skirmishes, and internal debates about whether to publish a story,” wrote Leslie Dennis, scholastic press manager for SCSPA and SIPA. “Through these issues, I have learned so much from Karen about how to deal with our members and others in a diplomatic, level-headed way, a trait I do not innately have.

“Karen’s quiet guidance of advisers also has guided me in how to advise, respond and articulate the most correct reasoning for a situation,” Dennis said.

Headquartered at Kansas State University, the Journalism Education Association is the largest national association of scholastic journalism teachers and student media advisers in the country. Linda S. Puntney, for whom the award is named, was JEA’s executive director from 1989-2010.

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