September 15, 2016 / News

McCrossen, Oglesbee named winners of NSPA Pioneer Award

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) announced that eight individuals have been selected to receive a 2016 Pioneer Award, NSPA’s top individual honor.

Included among this year’s winners are Jim McCrossen, yearbook adviser at Walsworth Yearbooks school Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas; and Lori Oglesbee of Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas, a past instructor at several Walsworth workshops and Yearbook Adviser of the Year from the Journalism Education Association (JEA).

Each year, NSPA bestows the Pioneer Award to people who have made a significant contribution to scholastic journalism beyond their regular job requirements.

This year’s Pioneer winners include:

  • Dan Austin, Casa Roble High School, Orangevale, California
  • Ellen Austin, The Harker School, San Jose, California
  • Charla Harris, Pleasant Grove High School, Texarkana, Texas
  • Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest High School, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Jim McGonnell, Findlay High School, Findlay, Ohio (retired)
  • Lori Oglesbee, Prosper High School, Prosper, Texas
  • Marci Pieper, Clayton High School, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Nancy Smith, Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Missouri

McCrossen has spent the past 24 years at Blue Valley Northwest, where his students have won some of the top prizes in scholastic journalism, including NSPA Pacemakers, Best of Show and Photo/Story/Design of the Year, as well as numerous state awards. He is also a frequent judge and speaker at state and national conventions.

Oglesbee has been a public school journalism teacher for 34 years. Her yearbook and newspaper staffs have won CSPA Gold Crowns, NSPA Pacemakers and numerous other national and state honors in Texas. In 2009, she was named the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by JEA. In 2005, she was chosen the Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year.

The winners will receive their awards at the upcoming JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis, Nov. 10-13, and will be honored during the Adviser Luncheon on Nov. 12.

NSPA maintains a composite plaque of Pioneers and displays it at the JEA/NSPA national conventions. Candidates are nominated and selected by previous Pioneer Award winners.

Evan Blackwell, CJE
Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Marketing Automation Specialist for Walsworth. He's been a writer, editor and web content specialist for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 14 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.