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.

National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year

Pictured above are previous DJNF Teachers of the Year at the 2016 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis (L-R): John Bowen, Mitch Eden, Jim McGonnell, Dow Tate, Lori Keekley, Karl Grubaugh, Valerie Kibler, Candace Bowen, Jim Streisel, Robin Sawyer, Aaron Manfull, Ellen Austin. Photo by Bradley Wilson.

Recipients for 2020 


The Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the Dow Jones News Fund, the Poynter Institute and The Wall Street Journal will select one National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year based on their work during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Along with the Teacher of the Year, an additional eight (8) high school journalism teachers and media advisers will be named Distinguished Advisers and Special Recognition Advisers.

The National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year receives numerous honors, including:

  • ♦ a plaque commemorating their achievement;
  • ♦ an iPad tablet and Apple Pencil;
  • a column in the CSPA Student Press Review;
  • ♦ a $1,000 scholarship for a graduating senior from the Teacher of the Year's school;
  • Poynter Institute webinars; and
  • ♦ a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal

The Teacher of the Year will address journalism educators and media professionals during CSPA's annual student journalism convention in New York City. The honoree will also join a select group of 60 teachers who have previously been honored with this premier achievement.

Distinguished Advisers receive:

  • ♦ a plaque
  • ♦ a $500 scholarship for a senior in their school;
  • Poynter Institute webinar; and
  • ♦ a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal.

Special Recognition Advisers receive:

  • ♦ a plaque;
  • ♦ a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal


How to apply 

CSPA has launched an online application to collect the information needed to select the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Completion is requried by each candidate.

We seek those with at least three years’ experience, preferably from those who have been honoredas lifetime achievement, state or regional winners by local, state and regional groups.

Current membership in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association is NOT a prerequisite for nomination or award.

Professional media and press associations are invited to forward candidates from their competitions. The nominee must complete the online application, which will ask for the electronic submission of the following:

  • ♦ up to three (3) letters of support;
  • ♦ an updated résumé; and
  • ♦ a color head shot, sized to 120 x 120 pixels, uploaded as a JPEG or TIFF file

After submitting your application, we will ask you to send six (6) copies of your single best newspaper/newsmagazine issue from the 2019-2020 academic year to the CSPA office in New York City.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Teacher of the Year is Friday, January 29, 2021.


Past NHSJTOY recipients

The Dow Jones News Fund (DJNF) established the program in 1960 to select one outstanding high school media teacher or adviser each year as National Newspaper Teacher of the Year. Today, the award is referred to as the National Journalism Teacher of the Year and recognizes a high school educator who teaches innovative media techniques, mentors students to produce award-winning journalists and encourages students to consider media careers. Along with the Teacher of the Year, eight additional high school teachers and media advisers who go beyond the call of duty are selected as Distinguished Advisers and Special Recognition Advisers.

CSPA has been a valued co-sponsor of the program for decades, featuring the Teacher of the Year at an advisers luncheon during its Spring convention, providing accommodations, promoting the program and inviting honorees to present sessions. This is the third year that CSPA will take the lead role in promotion, selection and participation of the winners, with DJNF becoming a co-sponsor.