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Emily Smith from Pittsburg named Jackie Engel Award winner

Congratulations to Emily Smith, the 2015 winner of the Jackie Engel Award, presented to an outstanding publications adviser in the state of Kansas. Awarded by Kansas Collegiate Media, the award has a long history with Smith becoming the 26th winner. Please read the text of the press release from Kansas Collegiate Media’s Michael Swan.

And, please join KSPA in congratulating Emily Smith, the 2015 Engel Award winner.


Pittsburg High adviser wins Engel Award

The Purple & White yearbook and Booster Redux newspaper adviser at Pittsburg High School has won a prestigious journalism teaching award for 2015.

Emily Smith is this year’s recipient of the Jackie Engel Award, sponsored by Kansas Collegiate Media (KCM) and named in honor of a former journalism teacher at McPherson High School. Engel helped bring national recognition to Kansas high school journalism and was the first recipient of the award in 1990. She died in 2005, but her legacy of excellence lives on in this award.

The award was created to honor the best high school journalism teacher in Kansas. Smith received a plaque and cash award.

Her acceptance speech, at the annual KCM Awards Conference in Wichita on Monday, April 13, was followed by a standing ovation.

She will also be honored at the Kansas Scholastic Press Association state contest and adviser brunch May 2 in Lawrence.

Smith has advised the student newspaper and magazine for the last five years. She was chosen because of her ability to inspire students, her support of a free press and helping to spread the good name of Kansas journalism. Her students’ work was described by a judge as “sophisticated and impressive.”

In her acceptance speech in Wichita, she talked about how the journalism program at the school has expanded and the challenges they have encountered. These included creating a “melting pot” of students and taking large groups of students to national conferences, where they won numerous awards. She gave the examples of 30-hour round-trip bus rides with 100 students to Minneapolis and San Antonio. She also supervised airplane trips with 30 students to Boston and San Diego. A recent trip was to Washington, D.C. with 28 students when she was eight months pregnant.

In her nomination materials, Miranda Moore, editor of the yearbook and managing editor of the newspaper, said Smith’s efforts contribute to their growth as young adults.


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