Columbia Scholastic Press Association

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

2000 Murphy Citation

2000 Joseph M. Murphy Award citation for Helen F. Smith

Our honoree has advised The Newtonite, the student newspaper at Newton North High School in Newtonville, Massachusetts, for more than 25 years. During that time, staffs that she has taught and advised have won numerous national, regional and state awards, especially for various aspects of writing and coverage.

From 1984 she has taught at the CSPA’s Summer Journalism Workshop, as she had earlier begun teaching at CSPA’s spring and fall conferences. She emphasized training for sports writers, editorial leadership and especially, the advantages of winning editorial autonomy by placing the paper on a sound financial footing.

This teaching brought invitations to revise and edit four of the Association’s publications: Scholastic Newspaper Fundamentals in 1986, The Official CSPA Stylebook in 1988, Springboard to Journalism in 1991 and its accompanying Teacher’s Manual in 1992. Further revisions on several of these works have appeared in more recent years.

She has served two terms as president of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association, following earlier terms of offices as a vice president. In addition, she has ably served as chair of the CSPA’s 75th Anniversary Committee.

In all that she has done, she has displayed remarkable energy, integrity and perseverance in setting, and reaching, her goals as a journalist and an educator.

The New York Times joins with the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in honoring the achievements of Helen F. Smith by presenting her with the Joseph M. Murphy Award for Outstanding Service.


This citation was written and presented by Edmund J. Sullivan, executive director of the Association.