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First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Smoky journalists hard at work on the Summit yearbook, NEXT magazine, and SmokyNow.com website in the newsroom during 3R​


SHHS News - 3/4/15


Congratulations to the administration of Smoky Hill High School for being honored with a First Amendment Press Freedom Award.  


A committee with representatives from the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society is announced the winners of the 2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award late last month.  


The award recognizes public and private high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content.  


“I am so proud to work for Smoky Hill High School,” publications adviser Carrie Faust said.   “The administration and faculty truly support the First Amendment rights of our scholastic publications and create an environment where every student’s voice and opinions matter.  The successes our publications have realized - local, state, and national winnings - are due to the freedom our students have to pursue journalistic greatness.   While this is the first year we’ve applied for the award, we will do so again and I hope that we qualify every year Smoky Hill is in existence.“


As in previous years, schools competed for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor. Those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from the principal and all publication advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their printed policies.  


2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners are as follows:

• Chantilly (Va.) High School

• Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.

• Kirkwood (Mo.) High School

• Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School

• Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colo.

• St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School

• Whitney High School, Rocklin, Calif.  


These schools will be honored April 16 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver.  


Four of the schools are first-time recipients: Chantilly, Smoky Hill, St. Louis Park and Whitney high schools.  


“We are proud of each of these schools for supporting their student media as they practice critical life skills like decision making, critical thinking and civic engagement while informing their audiences,” John Bowen, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee director said.

This is the 15th year for the award.  


First round applications are due annually by Dec. 15. Downloadable applications for 2016 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.​


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