PRINCETON, N.J. — The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund named Paul Kandell of Palo Alto (Calif.) High School the 2009 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Mr. Kandell advises the Online Pacemaker and Webby-winning Paly Voice and Verde, a 72-page newsmagazine.
Richard S. Holden, executive director of the Fund, said, “Paul brought a wealth of journalism experience into the classroom, and it shows in the quality of the media he advises. He also played a large role in working with the University of California to ensure journalism courses were treated with the respect they deserve. Paul joins a long line of dedicated and talented advisers who have been honored as our journalism teacher of the year.”
In addition to original content, his student staff at The Paly Voice produces a Web site which contains material from three other journalism teachers’ classes and publications.
Kandell said, “I work with amazing people who are the best at what they do. I feel lucky and I’m delighted to be serving as Teacher of the Year. I realize I am part of a team. Part of my year is going to share with my peers at other schools across the country the vision of that team and how it works.”
The program honors the nation’s top journalism teacher, four Distinguished Advisers and several teachers cited as Special Recognition award winners. A panel selected Mr. Kandell and eight other teachers based on submissions by 26 teachers that included their student publications, résumés, letters of recommendation and responses to 14 questions.
The panelists were: Karl Grubaugh, 2008 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, Granite Bay (Calif.) High School; Logan Aimone, executive director, National Scholastic Press Association and a 2005 Distinguished Adviser; Candace Perkins Bowen, scholastic division chair for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, executive director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University and 1989 Teacher of the Year, and Diana Mitsu Klos, senior projects director at the American Society of News Editors and a member of the Fund’s board of directors.
The Distinguished Advisers are: Ray Westbrook, St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas; Aaron Manfull, Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.; Carol Richtsmeier, Midlothian (Texas) High School, and Christina Geabhart, Oak Park High School, Kansas City, Mo.
Special Recognition Advisers are: Susan Colyer, Southside High School, Fort Smith, Ark.; Susan Houseman, Conestoga High School, Berwyn, Pa.; Coni Grebel, Lee County High School and Lee County Ninth Grade Campus, Leesburg, Ga., and Denise Croker, The Harpeth Hall School, Nashville.
Kandell will accept his award at the November National High School Journalism convention in Washington, D.C. He will also attend the April convention of ASNE and the college-level journalism educators’ meeting in August in Denver. The Teacher of the Year is also featured at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, a co-sponsor, in New York City each March. Additionally, he can attend a professional-level seminar offered at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, St. Petersburg, Fla., and is a paid columnist for the Fund’s free quarterly newspaper, Adviser Update.
The Teacher of the Year and four Distinguished Advisers will receive free subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition, a co-sponsor, which includes 30 copies of the full-color newspaper for students, a free Teacher Guide, unlimited access to the Classroom Edition Web site and a daily Journal. Poynter Institute will also give the top teachers and their students access to webinars through its NewsU training project.
Kandell will receive a pin and a plaque and the journalism program will get a state-of-the-art laptop computer. The school district will receive a per diem for program-related absences. A senior at Palo Alto will receive a $1,000 college scholarship to pursue journalism studies. One student at each of the four Distinguished Advisers’ schools will receive $500 college scholarships.
Kandell has been advising media for 13-1/2 years. He has been a stringer for Newsweek and taught journalism and English at Lowell High School in San Francisco for four years before arriving at Palo Alto in 2000. He holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri, a bachelor’s from the University of California at Berkeley, and a secondary credential in English from San Francisco State University.