Linda Drake given 2007 Teacher Inspiration Award
Linda Drake, Certified Journalism Educator and publications adviser at Chase County (Kan.) High School, will receive Journalism Education Association’s Teacher Inspiration Award during the organization’s national convention at the Hyatt Regency Denver, Saturday, April 14.
The Teacher Inspiration Award recognizes a teacher who, through the teaching and/or advising of journalism, inspires others to pursue journalism teaching as a career and who has made a positive impact on the teaching community.
“Linda’s ongoing concern and compassion for her students is contagious and her inspiration and passion for teaching is overwhelming,” wrote Chad Rummel, one of Drake’s former students who is now advising publications in his own classroom.
“Now that I have my own classroom,” Rummel wrote in his letter of nomination for Drake, “I find myself mimicking many of Linda’s traits – I make Mexican food or her world-famous sloppy Joes on work nights, I take kids to workshops and conventions and I make a personal point to get to know my students.”
At Chase County High School, Drake teaches Spanish I and Spanish II along with advising both newspaper and yearbook and teaching related classes including Photoshop, Desktop Publishing, Photojournalism, Digital Media, Journalism I, Journalism II and In-House Training.
As if that weren’t enough to keep her busy, Drake is president of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA) and coordinates the Bethany College Workshop for Jostens Publishing where she also teaches new adviser sessions.
“Linda knows every new teacher in the state,” wrote John Hudnall, executive director of KSPA, “and becomes a one-person mentoring program for the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. She provides encouragement and assistance to these new teachers. She helps them get through the tough times every novice instructor experiences. In addition, Linda follows their careers and recommends individuals for officer positions within our organization to allow them to play a role within the organization’s structure.”
Jennifer Hanson, yearbook adviser at Satanta (Kan.) High School, is one Drake encouraged to join and become active in KSPA. Currently, Hanson is KSPA secretary after Drake asked her to run for the board in 2003 as Area 5 Representative.
“Though Linda possesses more knowledge and more experience in advising student publications, she treats me as an equal,” Hanson wrote. “Her passion and enthusiasm empower those around her. Advising a student publication is the most demanding and rewarding part of my job, and Linda continues to inspire me as a person and adviser each day.”
Besides her full-time teaching and advising position at Chase County High School, Drake makes time to travel to Emporia State University to prepare prospective journalism teachers for student teaching. In this setting, she treats her college students like colleagues while creating activities to help them begin to think like teachers.
“That is the heart of her inspiration,” wrote Dr. Cynthia Patton who oversees Drake’s teaching at Emporia State University. “Linda has the confidence in her students to let them test themselves in real professional settings. Even more, she insists they try new things – difficult things – then step back and understand what they have learned from the attempt.”
As the yearbook adviser at Chase County High School, Drake has developed its publications programs “to a level of achievement far above most schools in the country,” according to Derius Mammen, the Jostens Publishing representative who works with Drake.
“Her dedication to her students’ education is very clear,” Mammen wrote. “There is never an opportunity that passes by the journalism students of Linda Drake. Linda is always willing to go the extra mile to provide opportunities for her students by making herself available for local, state and national contests, state and national workshops, and state and national conventions.
At last fall’s Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Drake presented her session called “InDesign Tricks and Tips.”
“Her wealth of knowledge and volumes of examples help create amazing sessions that inspire,” wrote Dr. Sally Turner of Eastern Illinois University who worked with Drake at Emporia State. “In addition, she truly understands the mission of journalism education, which is, in part, to help train and maintain a high level of expertise in the field. She knows that teachers gain valuable knowledge and insight from listening to their fellow advisers and professionals.”
Drake infects everyone she touches with her enthusiasm for journalism education – from her high school students, to her fellow advisers, to her own students teachers.
“From the first time I met Linda, I could sense her passion, not only for teaching, but for the teaching of journalism,” wrote Jenny Acree, journalism curriculum specialist at Cloud County (Kan.) Community College. Acree became Drake’s student teacher after interviewing her during her college teaching methods class. “I know she’s made a difference in the journalism teaching community. I firmly believe that teachers are better because of knowing her and students strive for excellence after working with her.”