Samuel “Butch” Keller Jr., Upper School division head of The Harker School in San Jose, California, has been named Administrator of the Year by the Journalism Education Association. He will be honored Nov. 12 at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis.
JEA presents this award to administrators who show exceptional support of scholastic journalism.
Keller has been at The Harker School since 2007 after spending seven years in a similar administrative position at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia.
“I have been a journalism adviser for 16 years now, and have served under nine principals in that time span. Butch is the first principal that I have wanted to nominate for this honor, and I find it interesting that the administrator I have found most consistently supportive of scholastic journalism is working in a private school environment,” nominator Ellen Austin, MJE, wrote. She has served as the director of the journalism program at the school for three years.
In Austin’s first year at the school, spring 2014, Keller endorsed and supported a mandatory all-school assembly for “The Tinker Tour” featuring Mary Beth Tinker and Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center. He has also schedule regular meetings with student media editors.
“With him in the principal’s chair, my students have produced stories about sex trafficking, presidential elections, feminism, sexism in tech sectors and in math classes, LGBTQ issues and equity, and more,” Austin added. “Butch has not balked at nor tried to suppress any of these stories. If anything, he has just encouraged my students (and me) to ensure that our work is careful and accurate.”
Keller also has accompanied journalism students to a national convention and on a summer planning trip as a chaperone.
The Journalism Education Association is headquartered at Kansas State University. The group supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities and by promoting professionalism in student media education and advising.