Four teachers who show promise as up-and-coming advisers will receive the Journalism Education Association’s Rising Star Award, which recognizes their commitment to scholastic journalism and student media advising. They will be honored at Nov. 18 at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas.
The individuals who will be recognized are Tiffany Cavicchia, Mooresville (North Carolina) High School; Annette Deming, Don Antonio Lugo High School, Chino, California; Sarah-Anne Lanman, Munster (Indiana) High School; and Kathleen “Kate” Plows, Malvern (Pennsylvania) Preparatory School.
Tiffany Cavicchia made the transition into teaching back in 2003. It wasn’t until more recently, however, that she began teaching yearbook, using her background in advertising and design to help enhance that program. Her goal there was initially to move the program out of debt and increase student participation, but it quickly became much more than that.
“I groom all of my students to become leaders, as I believe this program teaches much more than design, writing, and photography,” Cavicchia said. “I work diligently to empower my editors to take responsibility for their book, manage their peers and deadlines, and make leadership decisions for the betterment of the program.”
Her dedication to the program and her own investment in growth has positively impacted all her students. “Ms. Cavicchia has been driven to improve our journalism and yearbook program as well as striving for her own personal and professional growth,” Mooresville High School principal Michael Royal said. “Our students, staff and community are fortunate to have Ms. Cavicchia.”
Annette Deming, CJE, made the transition from the professional media sector into the media classroom four years ago, and her school and students have significantly benefited from this career move. Deming said she believes in the value of educational experiences and encourages her students to take advantage of those opportunities whenever they can (and it helps that she models this same behavior).
As part of her teacher credentialing process, Deming wrote a research paper focusing on how implementing lessons on the news media could improve literacy. Now, Deming will use this research to train English teachers to use those practices she brings into her newsroom.
“Walking into the Quest Newsroom, one is instantly impressed by the level of student involvement and enthusiasm,” nominator Stephen Slagle, CJE, said. “It starts with Annette, but that enthusiasm is reflected by everyone involved with Quest News.”
Sarah-Anne Lanman, CJE, has had journalism in her blood for a while. After serving as an editor-in-chief for her high school yearbook, it was only fitting she move into the publications director position at her former high school in 2013.
Since then, Lanman has continued encouraging the tradition of excellence for both the newspaper and the yearbook programs.
“My program usually has two goals,” Lanman said. “One, to make sure to meet the needs and wants of the reader, and two, to improve upon what’s been done in the past.”
Lanman has the same expectations for herself as she has continued to educate herself in current journalism trends while also sharing those at conventions when she has the opportunity to teach.
“Sarah-Anne trains responsible student journalists who aren’t afraid to tackle issues and cover topics important to their readers,” nominator Nancy Hastings, MJE, said. “She has trained her staffs to be professional, competent journalists.”
Kathleen “Kate” Plows, CJE, came into teaching journalism and advising the student newspaper as a secondary subject. By degree, she is an art educator, but over the past five years, Plows has come to “spend as much or more time advising publications,” she said.
Plows, who advises the extracurricular program The Blackfriar Chronicle, also started a Journalism and Media Literacy class at her school that doubled in enrollment after the first year. Plow contributes to the Pennsylvania School Press Association and has presented at several national conventions.
“Kate is a passionate adviser who instills in her students a sense of how to do things right,” nominator and JEA mentor Kathleen Zwiebel, CJE, said. “Her greatest gift is the sense of empowerment she gives her scholastic journalists.”
Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.