Photo by: Asa Deggeller
Brian Wilson, MJE, Named California Journalism Adviser of the Year
Written by Jenica Hallman, CJE
It’s hard to know all that goes into teaching and advising unless you’ve been in the position, so when teachers get recognized for their work, it’s a great reason to celebrate. That’s exactly what happened to Brian Wilson, MJE, on Friday.
Wilson, who advises the Madrono yearbook, culture-focused C Magazine and The Viking sports magazine at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California, was honored as the California Journalism Adviser of the Year. He was presented with the Nick Ferentinos Award for Advising Excellence by the California Journalism and Media Affiliates. The award came as a complete surprise to Wilson during a normal staff meeting as students, colleagues and family members from around the country joined him.
Walsworth journalism specialist and former award-winning adviser Mike Taylor, CJE, has worked with Wilson at workshops and in Wilson’s classroom and is proud to call him a friend. Taylor said it was no surprise that Wilson was being recognized.
“Brian Wilson is the ultimate journalism adviser,” Taylor said. “He allows his kids to explore, research and find information. His material is always fresh and entertaining. The best part about Brian is his attitude toward the students – he operates like every student is his peer. He does this through thoughtful humor and sophisticated insight into the world of journalism.”
Walsworth Yearbooks sales representative Natalie Maharaj, who works with Palo Alto High School, had nothing but praise for Wilson.
“He is a passionate teacher. He cares and he is hands on with the students, making sure they have an interactive and real-world experience,” Maharaj said.
His students agree.
“Mr. Wilson truly has passion for what he does, and he shows this every day in class by sharing new ideas with the staff and encouraging us to do our best work. He’s a very enthusiastic person and that motivates me to share that same energy with the staff every day,” yearbook editor Ashley Qiu said.
Wilson has been teaching at Palo Alto High School since 2015 after moving from Michigan, where he also taught journalism at Waterford Kettering High School and was the JEA Chair to the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. Wilson’s publications have won numerous awards over the years, and he has been a speaker and instructor at workshops and judge for publication competitions and critiques. Wilson was nominated by Journalism Education Associate president Sarah Nichols, MJE.