February 23, 2016 / News

Felix Varela, Mountlake Terrace among Press Freedom winners

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

Two Walsworth Yearbooks schools – Felix Varela High School in Miami, Florida, and Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington – were among the 11 schools announced on Tuesday as winners of the First Amendment Press Freedom Award by the Journalism Education Association (JEA).

Each year, the Press Freedom Award recognizes public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, emphasizing student-run publications.

Schools compete for the honor by answering a questionnaire submitted by an adviser and at least one editor. Once semi-finalists are chosen, responses from all of the school’s media advisers and editors are required, indicating their support for the First Amendment.

Winners are selected by a committee of representatives from JEA, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society. This year’s 11 Press Freedom winners are more than any previous year.

The winners are:

  • The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, California
  • Chantilly High School, Chantilly, Virginia
  • Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco, California
  • Felix Varela High School, Miami, Florida
  • Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri
  • Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri
  • Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, Washington
  • Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado
  • St. Louis Park High School, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Whitney High School, Rocklin, California

All 11 schools will be honored in April at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles.

Evan Blackwell, CJE
Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.