Mark Hilburn, MJE, Wins JEA Future Administrator Scholarship
Written by Sarah Scott
Congratulations to Walsworth Yearbooks adviser Mark Hilburn, MJE, of Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska! The Journalism Education Association announced they have awarded Hilburn the Future Administrator Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to scholastic journalism advisers who intend to earn a secondary administrator’s license and seek an administrative position.
In addition to serving as adviser to the Prowler yearbook, Hilburn advises the school’s news, broadcast and livestreaming. As an eventual admin, Hilburn stated he will continue to support scholastic journalism and the First Amendment.
“Whether it’s in the classroom or in the various committees and professional organizations I am a part of, I tend to seek out opportunities for leadership and look for ways to get more involved,” Hilburn said. “Teaching and advising journalism and working with students is the best part of my job, and as an administrator I have the chance to work with and impact even more students and staff on a larger scale.”
Hilburn is currently working on his doctoral degree at the University of Nebraska. Additionally, he currently serves as President of the Nebraska High School Press Association and on the Journalism Education Association’s Certification Committee.
“These leadership roles have helped build a solid foundation as I work on behalf of advisers from across the state and across the country. My role as a building and JEA mentor have given my chances to work with new teachers and advisers and share with them my solid understanding of curriculum and classroom management. For 12 years as a journalism teacher and adviser, I have immersed myself in the culture and been extremely involved in all aspects of the school that will certainly transfer to the role of an administrator.”
In his advising role, he works with Walsworth Yearbooks sales reps Greg Adams and Jen Sinclair. Before working with Walsworth, Sinclair knew and looked up to Hilburn.
“He is extremely hands on with his students and pushes them to produce high level publications year after year. It is evident by his numerous former students who have since entered the professional world of journalism that the experiences in Mr. Hilburn’s courses have made a profound impact on those fortunate enough to have taken his classes,” she shared. She also admired his dedication to the job.
“Mark often spends his evenings and weekends assisting students as they tell the stories of their peers. In my first year working with Mark as a yearbook rep, I so admire his ability to take a fresh group of students and inspire them to learn the craft of yearbook at an award-winning level. They don’t settle for anything less.”
Sinclair believes this dedication is what will help Hilburn succeed as an administrator.
“Mark has dedicated so much of his personal time to his efforts as a journalism adviser. His students see him as an expert in his field, but also as a trustworthy adult in a high school setting,” she shared. “Talking with Mark about his students, he knows all about their families, their goals, their passions. This genuine interest in his students will serve him well as an administrator. Millard West, Mark’s school, is known for having the biggest yearbook around – his students want to tell EVERYONE’S story. It is clear that these students have learned from a teacher who knows how important it is to represent everyone. This, combined with his tireless work ethic, will make him a fantastic administrator.”