As Tucker Love met with students on the first days of school, one message he shared with them was a thank you.
Weeks prior, the Journalism Education Association (JEA) announced they would present Love with a 2020 Rising Star Award. They are recognizing his commitment to scholastic journalism and media advising. But, he said none of this recognition would come without his students.
“None of this happens without great students who dedicate a lot of extra time and I think they are some of the best students,” Love shared.
Earlier in his life, Love filled a similar role on a Shawnee Mission student journalist staff. Becky Tate, Journalism teacher at Shawnee Mission North, shared with JEA that “she knew Love was a rising star when he entered her journalism classroom as a student in 2008.”
“After only having him in class for a few days, I knew that I’d hit the jackpot,” Tate noted in a release. “Here was a then-freshman who acted like a seasoned upperclassman.”
Love described his time in Tate’s classroom as “transformative.” He said she created a classroom experience where students were able to take personal ownership of their work and find their own purpose and voice. They also developed interpersonal skills by making connections and telling stories.
“I learned a lot about myself and developed friendships with lifelong friends,” Love shared. “It was an space where we wanted to be there. As a teacher I am continuing to figure out how I can create that kind of experience for students now. I want to create that for my students.”
Love also credits his success to his time working with all Shawnee Mission journalism instructors as he studied to become a teacher and in his first years as a teacher. As he advises journalism students at Shawnee Mission South this year he said students are still telling stories, connecting as a class virtually, and are working to shift the way they tell stories in this unique year.
“It’s an interesting challenge, but there are still stories to tell,” Love said. “I’m still getting to see and chat with my students and that is life-giving. I’m still getting to teach and make connections.”
JEA presents the Rising Star award to advisors in their first five years advising school media programs, who have shown dedication to scholastic journalism, and who are successful advising at least one media program. Love will be honored as a Rising Star in a virtual presentation as part of the Fall JEA/National Scholastic Press Association National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 19-20.