PRINCETON, N.J. — Twenty-one high school media teachers have won subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition through a contest offered by the Dow Jones News Fund and the publishers of the newspaper.
To win, teachers wrote essays describing how they will use the paper to teach journalism. Whether starting a school newspaper, transitioning from a media career to the high school classroom or focusing on improved writing and literacy, the teachers offered a glimpse of how the newspaper will enhance their curriculum.
The Classroom Edition, a co-sponsor of the National High School Journalism Teacher Awards program, will also provide subscriptions to the 2011 Teacher of the Year and eight other honored teachers. This is the third year of free subscriptions.
The winners and excerpts from their essays:
Brian Thielemier, South High School, Pueblo, Colo.: “The Journal’s coverage of technology, media and careers will also be of primary use. I anticipate students will find these sections among others intriguing enough to analyze, thereby beginning an inquiry of their own ideas to then be reported in our school’s paper, The Round-Up.”
Joel Olson, St. Francis (Minn.) High School: “Furthermore, regular use of the Wall Street Journal student edition will help me broaden my students’ world view. I want my students to know that they are part of a larger community. I want them to know that important, consequential decisions are being made all the time.”
Mike Riley, Cody (Wyo.) High School: “I have included a subscription to the WSJ in various years, but it was too expensive given my budget. I think one of the most important things we can teach in high school is how the stock market works, and how to begin investing early, and since I teach journalism, I like to have financial and economic news around for students who are interested in that kind of career.”
Victoria Koontz, Shore Regional High School, West Long Branch, N.J.: “I would be able to provide my students with a consistent, reliable means of learning about current events in an attempt to make them more aware and knowledgeable of the important and meaningful occurrences happening around them every day. In turn, my hope is that this will help to transform my students into more informed and engaged young members of our society.”
Laura Negri, Alief Kerr High School, Houston: “The Wall Street Journal would enhance their studies of current events, journalistic writing, and photojournalistic storytelling. I try to provide my students with outstanding examples on which to base their own work, and the WSJ Classroom Edition would do just that.”
Lories Nye-Slockbower, John F. Kennedy High School, Paterson, N.J.: “With the help of a teacher’s guide, I am confident I could use The Wall Street Journal to increase reading comprehension, improve writing skills, and enhance students’ understanding of the world around them. With The Journal’s help, my students will be better journalists.”
Steve Hanf, R.J. Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem, N.C.: “Having a resource such as The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition – and all the extras that come with it – would be a wonderful addition to my still-forming curriculum. Given my background, I feel as though I can offer my students (90 in the Intro classes, 23 in newspaper) real-world experience instead of straight textbook learning.”
Carole Babineaux, Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas: “I have been teaching journalism for 22 years in four different Texas school districts. I have advised newspaper, yearbook, and magazine staff during those years. I also teach photojournalism. My students will tell you that I always tell them, “To be a good journalistic writer you must read good journalistic writing.” I believe that to be especially true today.”
Travis Armknecht, Confluence Preparatory Academy, St. Louis: “Until we recently discussed it in class, my students did not know that major political conflicts are happening right now in Syria and Libya. They frequently do not have newspapers at home, so I want to bring in a variety of newspapers for them to be able to read here in class, including the NYT, USA Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and WSJ.”
Susie Mercer, Henry W. Grady High School, Atlanta: “I’d like to use WSJ in conjunction with a study of Bloom’s Taxonomy and the teaching of higher order thinking skills. My goal is to get the kids to look for the ‘whys’ of an article, instead of just the ‘whats’ and ‘whos’. All of this in turn falls under the aegis of getting kids engaged in the national and international dialog, with an eye to improving their writing scores on AP exams.”
Cynthia Hingle, North Central High School, Kershaw, S.C.: “The students of North Central High School have never had a Journalism class before. Therefore, I am eager to teach them the wonders of sharing information, opinions, and talents with their peers in a new medium beyond that of texting and social networking sites.”
Elizabeth Dunn, Hightstown (N.J.) High School: “I teach at a school that continues to support its print publication, The Ram Page, while also exploring a responsible approach to online coverage—my students would benefit greatly from the example set by WSJ.”
Tara Campos, Technology High School, Newark, N.J.: “In the past, classroom newspaper sets were easy to come by. In today’s economic times, a class newspaper subscription is viewed as unnecessary. I feel however that giving the students access to the newspaper will convert them into lifelong readers and hopefully help to develop a habit of reading the news.”
Rebecca Moore, South Ridge School, Culver, Minn.: “Last year I taught my first journalism class. I was glad to have the Wall Street Journal Classroom edition available for my students. I was able to give each of my students their own paper to read and take home, and I was able to give one of the papers to the media center for the whole school to read.”
Kathleen Schuckel, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School: “An informal poll of 45 journalism students found that none of their families subscribe to a newspaper or news magazine. Our school has no library for them to read media regularly either, and we don’t have enough computers for them to read news content online consistently.”
Cathy Podalak, Wyoming Valley West High School, Plymouth, Pa.: “I like that the newspaper includes teen friendly articles. When I tried to use copies of our local papers with the students, they were not really interested. If articles do not relate to them personally, they will not bother reading them.
Diane Hicks, Valley High School, West Des Moines, Iowa: “Our students deserve the opportunity to not only be exposed but also to be able to analyze your coverage of business and so much more. We have a growing program and shrinking funding, and without your generous offer we would not be able to receive a print edition of a national newspaper for our classroom.”
Valerie Douglas, James F. Byrnes High School, Duncan, S.C.: “This year, our school has an online newspaper hosted through Google Sites. The Wall Street Journal Online will provide students with visual representation of what national papers are producing and guidance in producing a more effective website.”
Martha Brooks-Richards, Sarah T. Reed High School, New Orleans: “This is the first year since Katrina that Sarah T. Reed High School in New Orleans is offering Journalism. We have no budget, books, etc. I have a group of excited students and we would use WSJ as a resource for good journalistic writing.”
Natasha Olugajo, Lincoln International High School, Minneapolis: “I work at a charter school for refugees and immigrants and so my students are learning English at the same time they are learning content…One way to scaffold their learning and help them to comprehend is to use text that has graphics, graphs, maps, photos, and any other visual cues. I have seen a sample of the Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition and think that it would be a good fit for my students.”
Andi Mulshine, Communications High School, Wall, N.J.: “What we don’t have is full access to a large, well-respected paper that consistently offers the best in conservative opinion writing. Students would benefit greatly from comparing editorials and opinion writing in the Wall Street Journal with those of the more liberal metropolitan dailies.”