National Scholastic Press Association to Recognize SM East Teacher with Pioneer Award

Dow Tate SM East
Shawnee Mission School District

Dow Tate, Shawnee Mission East High School journalism teacher, will be recognized with a 2018 Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). The Pioneer is the highest honor NSPA awards to journalism educators. 

He is one of five educators in the nation who will be presented with the honor at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Advisors Luncheon this November in Chicago. 

Pioneers honorees are individuals who make substantial contributions to high school journalism programs and scholastic journalism education outside their primary employment.

In her letter of support, Sherri Taylor, Syracuse University, said one of the strengths of the SM East journalism program, led by Tate, is how it has shaped new directions in scholastic journalism. The program has expanded to web publications in creative ways. Taylor also complimented the innovative design in SM East yearbooks.

“I admire the way he manages his publications program,” Taylor said. “He truly puts the responsibilities and decisions in his students’ hands. He is a great leader of that program: tough, demanding, respectful, involved, and tireless. He frequently brings in professionals to work hands-on with his students. He takes them to conventions where they do all the competitions. In their spare time, they meet with speakers and expert presenters to critique and learn.”

Tate was also recently honored with the S’Park Media Mentor Award from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. This award is given to educators who demonstrate a “commitment to igniting a passion for media among students.” Tate was selected for the honor after a nationwide search. Read more about this story here.