Leading the way in scholastic journalism & media education since 1924

Carl Towley Award

The Carl Towley Award is JEA’s highest honor and is presented to a JEA member whose work is unusually beneficial and of superior value to the national JEA and to scholastic journalism. National JEA membership is required. Since 1985, only one award is presented each year.

The winner receives a lifetime membership to JEA, is asked to speak at the awards luncheon at the fall convention and has his or her travel and hotel paid for the fall convention. JEA members are encouraged to nominate individuals for this award. Nominations of unsuccessful candidates are retained for a maximum of two additional years and the original nominator is invited to send updated information by the July 15 deadline.

History of the award

The Carl Towley Award, JEA’s highest tribute to a member, is given in honor of its first executive secretary. The National Association of Journalism Directors, as JEA was originally known, grew under his leadership.

Carl Towley

Carl Towley

Carl Towley (1907-1959) wrote letters to administrators of high schools and colleges throughout the nation, calling attention to the importance of journalism courses. His action was triggered by the facts that many journalism teachers were not adequately prepared to teach journalism or advise student publications and also that among 556 winners in the 1956 National Merit Scholarship competition, only three students planned to major in journalism.

“Although officers of NAJD came and went, Carl remained the unifying influence that kept the association functioning,” wrote Sister M. Rita Jeanne, FSPA, in JEA’s Golden Anniversary record. “Dedicated, not only to teaching journalism, but also to the betterment of teaching techniques and conditions, Carl was a bulwark of strength in the fight for professional recognition of journalism teachers.”

Towley established commissions, planned programs, strengthened cooperative efforts with other scholastic journalism organizations and created projects to help journalism students and their advisers develop journalistic skills. He chaired a Commission on the Status of Journalism and planned a series of articles in educational journals slanted to interest administrators.

“Blueprint for Tomorrow” was the theme for the Hopkins (Minn.) High School yearbook, The Warrior, in 1959 when the staff made a surprise dedication to their adviser, Carl Towley.

    Dedication:

  • To one who teaches the fundamentals of civic responsibility
  • To one who practices these fundamentals through service to the community
  • To one who perfects these fundamentals by living them each day
  • To one who believes, “The greatest contributions I can make to my classes is to help them develop a social consciousness — which to me is a sensitive awareness of others, their needs, hopes, fears and accomplishments — all of which may lead to mutual understanding and respect.”

We take pride in dedicating the 1959 Warrior to you — Carl Towley.

Nominate for the Carl Towley Award

Please fill out this form to nominate an individual for the Carl Towley Award. Include with the nomination form your letter of recommendation explaining your relationship with the nominee. Describe the candidate’s effort to support JEA on a national, regional, state and/or local level, when applicable. Include nominee’s involvement in local, state, regional or national scholastic journalism organizations and work done to improve scholastic journalism.

Past Recipients

JEA’s most honored winners exemplify the same dedication to JEA and to scholastic journalism that Carl Towley exhibited.

2017
Mark Newton,
Highlands Ranch, Colo.

2016
Nick Ferentinos*

2015
Sarah Nichols,
Rocklin, Calif.

2014
Mark Murray,
Arlington, Texas

2013
Linda Barrington,
Brookfield, Wis.

2012
Robert Greenman,
New York, N.Y.

2011
Steve O’Donoghue,
Sacramento, Calif.

2010
Ann Visser,
Pella, Iowa

2009
John Hudnall, Lawrence, Kan.

2008
Carol Lange, CJE, Reston, Va.

2007
Bobby Hawthorne

2006
Bradley Wilson

2005
Ann Akers

2004
Jack Kennedy

2003
Jack Dvorak

2002
Rob Melton

2001
Julie E Dodd

2000
Marilyn Weaver

1999
Kay D. Phillips

1998
Linda S. Puntney

1997
Candace Perkins Bowen

1996
Susan Hathaway Tantillo

1995
Kenson Siver

1994
John Bowen

1993
Howard Spanogle

1992
Mark Goodman

1991
H.L. Hall

1990
Robert L Button

1989
Tom Eveslage

1988
Nancy L Green

1987
John Wheeler

1986
Hilda Walker

1985
Margaret Johnston

1984
Gary Daloyan
Barbara Nilson
Tom E Rolnicki

1983
Ron Clemons

1982
Richard Johns

1981
Dick Lloyd

1980
Craig Trygstad
Molly Clemons
Marion Hahn

1979
Tom Engleman

1978
Julian Adams
Cam Sims

1977
Jan Wiseman

1976
Dorothy McPhillips*

1975
Clarence Hach*
Minnie McGee
Ted Tajima*

1974
Kathleen Jorgenson*

1973
Dr George Gallup*
Harvey Jacobs*
Alyce Sheetz

1972
Gene Gilmore
Max Haddick
Louis Inglehart*
Virginia Woodring*

1971
John “Jack” Field
Dorothy Greer
Robert Tottingham

1970
James P Alexander
Gretchen A Kemp*
Robert Knight*

1969
Warren Agee
Clifford Helbert
Elwood Karwand*

1968
Edmund C Arnold*
Robert Jones
DeWitt Reddick*

1967
Howard Brier
Laurence R Campbell*
Joseph M Murphy*

1966
Lester Benz*
Sister Ann Heintz*
Helen Sinsabaugh

1965
Ruth Marie Griggs*
Kenneth Stratton*
Paul Swensson*

1964
Mr and Mrs Fred Kildow
Homer Post*
Sister M Rita Jeanne, FSPA*

* deceased

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