Orange Glen High School one of five to win Press Freedom Award
Written by Idea File Staff
Kansas City, Mo. (March 30, 2012) – Orange Glen High School in Escondido, Calif., has been selected as one of five winners of the 2012 First Amendment Press Freedom Award.
Orange Glen, whose yearbook is printed by Walsworth Publishing, was chosen for the award by a committee of representatives from the Journalism Education Association (JEA), National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Quill and Scroll Honor Society. Each year, the award recognizes public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers.
Orange Glen yearbook and newspaper adviser Jessica Young said her editors learned of the Press Freedom Award on the JEA website, and felt they qualified due to the supportive environment from the administration at their school, specifically Principal Tom Allison.
“This was a chance for us to highlight the outstanding support we have from the administration here,” said Young. “Our students know they have an open-door policy with our principal, who is so supportive of what we do.”
That support has been crucial over the past few years, when the Orange Glen newspaper and yearbook staffs have at times written some stories that were, as Young put it, “not the most eloquent pieces of writing, but they got people talking.” The journalistic efforts of both the yearbook and the newspaper were never stifled.
“We’re in a situation where we can learn and we can grow and get better because of the support we get,” said Young. “They trust me as an adviser to teach the kids the right things and I trust the kids.”
The application process for Orange Glen was thorough, as Young, editors from the newspaper and yearbook staff, and the principal all independently filled out applications explaining why the school deserved the award, as well as providing Orange Glen’s editorial policies and mission statements for yearbook and newspaper.
The effort was well worth it when the email came last week, announcing Orange Glen had been named a winner. Young and the staff will be attending the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle next month where they will be presented the award.
“The kids were ecstatic. They were jumping up and down,” said Young. “Both the newspaper and the yearbook have come a long way in the last couple years. They’ve put in a lot of hard work.”
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