Amy Morgan, Shawnee Mission West High School journalism teacher, will be recognized with a 2019 Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). The Pioneer is the highest honor NSPA awards to journalism educators.
Morgan is one of seven educators in the nation who will be presented with the honor at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association (JEA/NSPA) Advisors Luncheon this November.
Pioneer honorees are individuals who make substantial contributions to high school journalism programs and scholastic journalism education outside their primary employment. This is the second consecutive year a Shawnee Mission School District journalism teacher has been recognized with this national award. Dow Tate, who teaches journalism at Shawnee Mission East High School, was an award recipient in 2018.
“This has been such a humbling experience. I have been so fortunate to have had an education filled with talented and passionate teachers who inspired me to be a teacher” Morgan said. “I am so grateful for all the colleagues and mentors who have helped me and set an example for me along the way.”
Morgan said she loves teaching journalism because it provides students hands-on, authentic, real-world learning experience.
“There is nothing better than watching kids hold the newspaper or yearbook that they made in their hands for the first time,” she noted. “Even if kids don’t want to go into journalism, they are learning skills that will help them in just about any career for the rest of their life. They learn to meet deadlines, work as part of a team, problem solve, and strengthen people skills. You name it, and we probably cover it in journalism,” Morgan said.
Morgan served on the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City board as president, vice president, secretary/treasurer and representative. She was recognized as a special recognition adviser in the JEA yearbook adviser of the year program in 2014, and named winner of the Jackie Engle Award for outstanding journalism advising in Kanas in 2011. Morgan has served on the Kansas Scholastic Press Association executive board as secretary, area representative and endowment chairperson. Morgan was the local committee co-chair for the 2010 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Kansas City, and also served on the committee for the Kansas City convention in 2000.