May 2, 2013 / News & Notes

McCrossen, Massy to be honored by KSPA

Written by Idea File Staff

Kansas City, Mo. (May 2, 2013) – Jim McCrossen and Susan Massy, both yearbook advisers at Walsworth schools, will be honored this Saturday by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA).

McCrossen, from Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., will receive the Jackie Engel Award, given each year to honor outstanding high school journalism teachers in the state. Massy, from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kan., will be inducted into the KSPA’s Hall of Fame. McCrossen and Massy will both be honored at the KSPA’s state conference in Lawrence, Kan.

McCrossen has taught journalism at Blue Valley Northwest for the past 20 years, where his publications staffs have won some of the top prizes in scholastic journalism. He was chosen the winner of the Jackie Engel Award because of his staunch defense of the First Amendment and the commitment he has made to his students. He is currently the KSPA’s president-elect.

“I know there is not a stronger state for scholastic journalism than Kansas, and I’m proud to be a part of such a distinguished group of educators,” said McCrossen. “Listening to the recent list of Best of Show and Write-Off winners from the (JEA/NSPA) Convention in San Francisco and hearing Kansas publications and students mentioned so often, it’s humbling to be in the company of the amazing students and advisers Kansas has to offer.”

As the selection committee wrote about McCrossen on the KSPA website, “The common thread that runs through letters from colleagues and students is that Jim McCrossen shows the ability, through his hard work, genuine interest in students and passion for journalism, to let students learn by doing, to learn and grow from their mistakes, and to lead.”

The KSPA started its Hall of Fame in 1995 as a way to honor members and friends for their contributions to scholastic journalism, and Massy will become its 37th member. Among her numerous honors, Massy’s yearbook staff at Shawnee Mission Northwest just won its 17th Pacemaker award last weekend at the JEA/NSPA Convention in San Francisco. In 1999, she was the winner of JEA’s National Yearbook Adviser of the Year award and is also a past recipient of the Jackie Engel Award.

“It’s highly emotional. A lot of people I’ve looked up to are already in the Hall of Fame,” said Massy. “It’s very humbling. I’m so complimented that Amy Morgan gathered up the nomination letters and the things that people wrote were so nice.”

Morgan, the current yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kan., and a former student teacher for Massy, wrote in her letter of nomination, “It is difficult to imagine a teacher who has given more of herself than Susan.”

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Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.