Chris Waugaman, (MA '14), joined an elite group of high school journalism educators when he was named the Dow Jones News Fund's 2014 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year at the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.
Waugaman has been teaching journalism for more than a decade, and under his advisement The Royal News and the trnwired.org website at Prince George (Va.) High School have received several awards.
Waugaman said he plans to stress the significance of the media classroom as the center of project-based learning and the standard for the “21st Century English class.”
“This type of learning will not be forgotten,” he remarked during his acceptance speech. “Our memories have a huge role in defining who we are today, and in the future. I believe students will retain and apply project-based learning lessons well into their future. I strongly believe they will forget what they crammed in their minds for the standardized test in one week. What we remember tells us about what we learned, and what we value.”
The Fund has selected 56 Teachers of the Year since 1960, including John Bowen (1983), Associate Professor Candace Perkins Bowen (1989) and Valerie Penton Kibler (2010). Both Waugaman and Kibler are graduates of JMC’s Masters of Arts program. Both Bowens and Kibler teach in the online program for journalism educators.
Award recipients are selected by an advisory panel that weighs in on “teacher's service in journalism organizations, personal and publication awards, quality of their students and of the school newspaper, newsmagazine or online publication, their philosophy and approach to student press rights and ethics.”