3 L E T TER FROM EDITOR By Lori Keekley, MJE D uring the past year as the Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year I have been very blessed. I am taking away from this experience more than I ever imagined. I’ve learned so much from fellow advisers, my students and the staff at St. Louis Park High School and through the opportunities from the Wall Street subscription. I’m honored to have been able to share my voice by writing for Adviser Update, talking about the status of scholastic journalism at AEJMC and speaking at both the CSPA and JEA/NSPA Conventions. I’m grateful for these experiences because of the professional growth I’ve experienced. Reflecting on this experience, I wanted this issue of Adviser Update to help show some best practices in the scholastic journalism field. Every school year, creates a new chance — a new start for not only the students, but also for advisers. One of these best practices involves the article on Forum Status by John Bowen and Candace Perkins Bowen. By knowing your forum status and understanding its importance, students are empowered to question administrators and school staff when issues of prior review and censorship arise. It’s important to teach students about their rights at a young age, which is why starting and supporting a middle school program is important — as Mike Malcom-Bjorklund writes. When schools create interest and locate funding for these programs that feed into secondary programs, students learn not only journalism skills, but soft skills they can use if they pursue journalism in the future. As we know, journalism is authentic learning at its best. It’s been an honor representing advisers as the 2016 DJNF Teacher of the Year. Although the primary sponsorship changed from Dow Jones to CSPA, I am confident the 2017 recipient will experience similar professional growth. My students also learned from the experience when they competed in the scholarship contest. While the application can be daunting, the reward is great. I am happy to answer any questions concerning the experience or application. Remember, applications are due Oct. 20. If you have an idea for the next issue of Adviser Update, please contact Heather Taylor. ~ Lori Keekley Guest Editor-in-Chief Lori Keekley, MJE, teaches at St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School where she has advised The Echo online and print for 14 years. She was named the 2016 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Keekley serves as JEA’s Scholastic Press Right Committee’s director.