Colleagues, family, and friends surprised Shawnee Mission North Journalism teacher Becky Tate on Thursday, when she was recognized as “Yearbook Advisor of the Year” by the Journalism Education Association. This national award was presented by last year’s winner, Charla Harris, journalism teacher at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas.
Tate, a Shawnee Mission North graduate, has been teaching at SM North for 30 years. Her Shawnee Mission high school journalism colleagues, C. Dow Tate, Tucker Love, Susan Massey, and Amy Morgan attended the announcement.
To be considered for this national award, applicants must first apply for and be recognized as a special and then distinguished teacher. Her husband C. Dow Tate, journalism teacher at Shawnee Mission East, and Susan Massy, journalism teacher at Shawnee Mission Northwest and 1999 national winner, encouraged and helped her with her application.
Ms. Massey challenged the journalism students during the announcement. “Don’t ever give up,” she said. “Becky Tate is an outstanding example of what you can achieve when you persevere and follow your dreams.”
“Ms. Tate is a passionate educator who helps us with everything, even if our struggles are not related to yearbook,” Renner Bradley, SM North senior yearbook student, shared. “She has really taught me to write well and given me the skills to be a leader.”
Tate believes journalism is still important today because it allows students to tell stories.
“Stories help capture the spirit of people,” Tate explained.
If a student does not continue in the field of journalism, Tate knows they have acquired important and valuable life skills including working on a team, meeting deadlines, and excelling in initiative.
The Journalism Education Association (JEA) is a US-based national organization for teachers and advisers of journalism. The annual JEA national convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, where Tate will receive the award in front of her peers and have the opportunity to address the conference attendees.