Teacher Testimonials

Last Year’s Testimonials

Sybel Alger, Nuview Bridge Early College High School, Nuevo, Ca.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend the ASNE High School Journalism Institute at the University of Texas, Austin. As a journalism adviser and English teacher, I left the institute with much inspiration and information that will benefit my students at Nuview Bridge Early Colleg High School in Nuevo, California.

In addition to attending informative lectures and gaining practical experience, I met many peers from across the nation. Comparing our programs and sharing experiences bolstered my confidence and sparked new ideas. And I now have a support network on which I can rely, which means so much during these difficult times for teachers.

The university setting was especially helpful. My school is based on sending students to college, so I appreciated seeing what a top-flight university is like today. I already have told all my students about UT, Austin and will continue to share my experiences to encourage them to reach out for admission to the best schools. Again, thank you for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. U hope you can continue providing these institutes for advisers.

Adam Bearson, Rio Americano High School

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the outstanding experience that I had at the Reynold’s Institute this summer. I believe it was the single most enriching professional development experience in my 20 years of teaching.

The range and quality of speakers was astonishing—from both young and accomplished journalists to cutting-edge academics to legal experts to veteran teachers serving up their best curriculum—and even more impressively, the professor sequenced these presentations to align with our assignments, so that each topic felt immediately useful. The assignments themselves forced us out of our comfort zone and on to the streets of Reno to search for stories, which we then retold in multimedia formats on a group WordPress publication. I cannot imagine a more practical or powerful method of instruction than, “Here is the information, now go out and create stuff.” We were all challenged, and if we faltered—and we all did at some point—the Reynold’s staff was there to guide us, redirect us, encourage us. The publication, which you can view at is a testament to the staff’s commitment to nurturing an environment where creative things can happen.

Now that I have benefitted directly from your wonderful program, I plan to endorse the Reynold’s School of Journalism to my high-school seniors. I take it on faith that the methods, care and professionalism demonstrated during the Institute is indicative of a well-run program, and look forward to hearing from my students’ experiences at your school.

Candace Brandt, Providence High School, Charlotte, NC

I recently completed the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute at Kent State University and found the two weeks to be thoroughly enriching and renewing. The program was professionally organized and implemented and well designed to target the needs of diversity of teachers who attend. I am very grateful for the hard work and efforts of all those involved in making this educational opportunity available.

In particular, I was impressed with the knowledge and skills of the presenters and teachers for our classroom sessions. It is doubtful that I would have ever had the opportunity to meet and learn from such an array of leaders in the journalism education field: Sarah Nichols, Jan Leach, Candace Bowen, H.L. Hall and Susan Tantillo, to name a few. As I prepare to start a new academic year with two basic journalism classes and a small newspaper staff, I am excited to implement many of their strategies and ideas.

In addition to the classroom experience, the camaraderie of the group made the two weeks even more memorable. Beyond working together on projects, we had the opportunity to enjoy organized group outings and activities. Often, we gathered in groups to take a break from the projects and relax. Most importantly, we established supportive relationships for exchanging information and ideas that I feel certain will continue into the future.

The Reynolds Foundation is providing a valuable educational service to teachers who richly deserve it. My hope is that this program will continue to be offered to journalism teachers for many years to come. I will certainly recommend it with high praise.

Elizabeth Granger, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis, IN

I knew I needed to more fully embrace 21st century skills in my journalism program—or retire. I also knew I didn’t want to retire. Thank you for making my choice to stay in the classroom the right choice.

Even though most people would call me a seasoned journalism teacher, there were so many things for me to learn at the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute at ASU. I shot and edited my first video and did my blogging, but I also learned a great deal about many print improvements from typography to design to an expanded number of story angles as well as legal and ethical issues.

What I’m most excited about, however, is the encouragement I felt to accompany the training I had. Being there for an expanded period of time, with no school or home distractions, was a remarkable gift.

I met with my student editors this week and was so excited to tell them all I had learned that they could hardly get a word in. The best part: More than specific knowledge is my willing-to-try-new-things attitude. We won’t get everything right on our first try but we will keep trying. And for that we all thank you.

Marilyn Hess, Plainwell High School, Plainwell, MI

I am writing as a beneficiary of your foundation, as a recent Fellow at Kent State University’s Reynolds Journalism Institute. Any words I can say to you would be clichéd, such as “I can’t thank you enough,” and we were taught that using clichés are weak and should be avoided in writing. However, it is truly hard to express my appreciation for the foundation’s generosity.

This program was intense in terms of time, quality of instructors, expectations of work required, self-reflection generated, relationships formed, and degree of revision that will now take place in my program. I know this came at a cost, and my colleagues and I did discuss several times what dollar amount must have been required to make those two incredible weeks happen. If I can take liberties to speak for my entire cohort, I can guarantee that it will be an investment in the future of journalism. The program was quality from start to finish. I don’t know how it could have been done any other way and be as effective.

Thank you so much again for the choice the Reynolds Foundation has made to improve scholastic journalism. I am only about a third of the way through my to-do list that was generated by ideas I got during the institute. I’ve set up our new online site; ordered leadership and team-building books for my editors; I’ve made an appointment with my principal to discuss revising the district’s publications policy. Re-writing my curriculum is next, and that will take awhile. But at least now I have the tools to do it!

Jill Ocone, Manchester Township High School, Point Pleasant, New Jersey

Thank you so very much for the opportunity of attending the ASNE Reynolds High School Institute at Kent State University in July 2013. It was truly an honor to be selected as a Fellow.

The 13 days I spent at Kent State University were days I will never forget. From the sessions led by the best in the field, to the time spent with my Maestro group working on our project, I learned so much and I am looking forwarding to putting what I learned into action when I return to my journalism classroom at Manchester Township High School in September.

My experience at Kent State provided me with more confidence and more direction as a journalism educator. After a few years of doubts and feeling lost, I now know I am on the right path and have a rejuvenated passion for learning. I am looking forward to continuing my education by applying to the online master’s degree program for journalism educators at Kent State University.

I am truly grateful to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and to the American Society of News Editors for the opportunity of attending Kent State University’s ASNE Reynolds High School Institute. Thank you again, for everything.

Chichi Pierce, Miami Beach Senior High

I cannot tell you how amazing the Reynolds High School Summer Journalism experience was and how it changed my view of teaching. I feel excited, energized and renewed. I am a TV Producer and started teaching as a second career. I am going into my eighth year of teaching TV Production at Miami Beach Senior High. I decided to teach because I’ve always loved interacting with young people. I feel when one interacts we communicate and learn from each other. And that is what happens in the classroom.

The Summer Institute reinforced how teachers do make a difference. The lectures and speakers were so full of information and were invaluable. Their stories of being in the classroom and creating working with the new digital age were so innovative. They welcomed us into their classroom and gave us such amazing resources. We also had the best guides and leaders—Adam, Roger, Amanda, Le Anne, Megan and the chefs and staff! Every day was a new experience full of spice and information. We were truly treated like royalty! I thank you so much for the support.

Barbara L. Quill

Last April when I received notification of my selection to the Reynolds High School Institute, I was thrilled beyond words. I knew the Institute would be filled with useful information that I could employ in my Journalism curriculum, but I was blown away by the caliber and volume of that information. It is, by far, the best professional development and personal experience I have ever had!

In the three weeks we’ve been back in school, I have used so much of the information already. The lesson plans that my fellow participants and I created have been beneficial; information and worksheets shared by the presented will be invaluable to me this year and in the future; the participants have become friends and an ongoing source of information.

The Institute was particularly meaningful to me this summer because my school just reinstated the Journalism class after a three year hiatus because of budget cuts. So, with my new knowledge, I have rewritten the curriculum to add the volume of info I collected, and more importantly, I can now bring the course into the 21st Century with New Journalism and technology ideas.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for giving me this outstanding experience at the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri this summer. Thank you so much.

Kimberly Reese, Kaneland High School, St. Charles, Illinois

Please allow me to introduce myself: my name is Kimberly Reese, and I am the journalism teacher and newspaper adviser for Kaneland High School’s Kaneland Krier. I attended this year’s Kent State Reynolds’ Institute for journalism advisers. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience, one that would have been impossible without your financial support.

While I have been teaching English for 12 years, the 2012-2013 school year was my first as journalism adviser. Last summer was spent learning everything I could to assume the advising role of a highly successful student publication. The school year was spent learning even more, but it was my time at the Institute that brought it all together.

Now I have a solid foundation from which to continue developing my skills. I gained a deeper understanding of scholastic journalism, legal and ethical issues facing student publications, and have built new professional relationships. All of this will allow me to effectively teach my students authentic, ethical, and responsible journalism.

Before attending the Institute, these various pieces were somewhat compartmentalized. As a result of attending, their connections ware clearer, my foundation stronger, and vision evident. It would have taken me years to achieve this on my own. I am deeply indebted to you and pledge to do my utmost to be the most effective journalism teacher I can be.

I have a dedicated staff of about 60 students who produce a 20 page monthly newsmagazine and an online website. Your investment in me will enrich their lives. They are the true beneficiaries of your generosity, and for that I am infinitely grateful.

Larry Turner, John H. Guyer High School, Denton, Texas

 I am truly honored that I was selected to attend the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute in Columbia, Missouri on July 14 to 26, 2013. I learned so much from experts, credentialed teachers, and my fellow participants. My goal of putting our school paper on-line will be met and I have so many more ideas to include in the journalism program at my school.

Attending the Reynolds Journalism Institute was a once in a lifetime experience event that will guide me for years to come as I teach journalism. I plan to share what I have learned with other colleagues in my school district. I hope the program continues for many years to come. Consider inviting previous fellows back! I would gladly attend again.

RJI has set the standard for journalism workshops—so high that I don’t think it can be beat! Thanks again and I will continue to promote RJI to all who listen.

Testimonials from Previous Years

Julie Albertson, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis

After attending the Reynolds Institute I noticed my standards for what constituted a good news story for our school paper rose dramatically. I have held my students to much higher standards after gaining the insight, knowledge and training offered me at the Institute. I also use the lesson plans on regularly. They were especially important, though, during my first year of teaching.

Janet Amezcua, Olympian High School, Chula Vista, Calif.

The Reynolds Institute made me realize more than how to publish a school newspaper, it has changed my teaching career completely! I learned strategies and activities that have completely transformed my classroom. The modeling of great presenters and teachers made me a better teacher. I have used the strategies in all my classes, including English.

Don Anderson, Jewell High School, Seaside, Ore.

The Reynolds Institute was exciting, encouraging, even life changing. Not only did I get to learn the craft of journalism from some of the greatest journalists in the United States, but I also got to closely collaborate with teachers from around the country whose desire is to make journalism an indispensable part of their curriculum. I have never been more excited to go back to school in the fall! A special thank you to Diana Mitsu Klos for making all this possible. You’re the best!

Alicia Archuleta, Kenwood High School, Clarksville, Tenn.

The experience at the Reynolds Institute allowed me to make connections with fantastic advisers across the country. It helped me with organization of my classroom and with other skills that I didn’t think about as an adviser. It also gave me the inspiration and guts to ask for an introductory class for my students coming in as freshman. This has not been done in the program before and will help me grow and help the students by learning the skills and their rights as citizens of the world along the way.

Michelle Balmeo, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Calif.

I walked away equipped to deal with those concrete skills every adviser benefits from having, like how to use industry-standard software, but also the insight on and preparation for the greater challenges advisers face — teaching students about their legal responsibilities, helping them make ethical decisions, and avoiding burnout. It was and still is the single most effective professional development experience I have had.

Krystle Bassett, Juab High School, Nephi, Utah

After attending the Reynolds Journalism Institute, I feel energized and ready to jump back in to the newspaper swing of things. I have never received such impressive training. During the Institute, I filled one entire legal pad with notes and tips to take back to the classroom. It was an incredible experience.

Jeremy D. Beauchamp, Greater Atlanta Christian School, Norcross, Ga.

Two weeks in a quiet Midwestern town experiencing the most wretched days of one of the hottest summers on record was one of the most rewarding fortnights I’ve ever spent as an educator. Really. Being an unrepentant journalism nerd, I relished the opportunity to spend the last couple weeks of my semester learning at the feet of some of the best minds in the business. I expected excellent, hands-on instruction from the trailblazers at the esteemed University of Missouri, and in this, and every regard of this wonderful program, I was not disappointed. What I did not expect was the amazing support group I found in my fellow attendees. Since the Institute’s end (too soon!) my group has been actively encouraging and challenging each other. The connections we’ve made have been invaluable. I feel a connection to my fellow advisers that is in many ways far stronger than the connection I feel to teachers at my school. Who better to understand the daily drama (and comedy) of the life of an adviser of student publications than a fellow adviser? Thanks to the outstanding support and commitment of the fine folks at, Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Connie Southard, the Reynolds Foundation and University of Missouri, I have felt a confidence this year that I haven’t known in my six years of teaching journalism. That confidence is wholly attributable to this program, and my publication students are reaping the benefits as well. I wanted to glean two specific abilities from this program: a greater understanding of how to integrate the tools available to today’s journalists and practical advice for how to empower student journalists to connect to their community through the for a that student media provide in the face of so many competing opportunities. The Institute met and surpassed my wants and needs. It has informed every facet of my instruction this year. Whether I were a rookie adviser or a grizzled veteran, I would leap at the chance to gain the insights the Institute provides — even in the sweltering heat.

Rebecca Bennett, Bastrop (Texas) High School

I had very high expectations of the Reynolds Institute, and all of my expectations were exceeded. The top-flight instructors, content and activities have given me what I need to teach my students the skills they will need not only to pursue a journalism career, but also to help them succeed in whatever path they choose after high school. Although I have taught newspaper for 10 years, I learned more in two weeks at Reynolds than I have during those 10 years. I came home from Reynolds exhausted and very excited about starting the new school year, which is something after 20 years in education. I hate to wish my summer away, but I can’t wait for the new school year to begin and I can share with my students what I’ve learned. Reynolds is easily the most relevant and useful professional development I’ve ever attended.

Ingrid Benson, Elizabeth Seton High School, Bladensburg, Md.

As we wind down the Reynolds High School Journalism Workshop, I have to say it has been one of the most valuable experiences of my teaching career. Not only has the training been up-to-the-minute with the latest in high school journalism, but it has been so gratifying to meet other advisers who are dealing with the same issues and bringing a wealth of knowledge to the table. The workshop is so seamless and professional; I would highly recommend it to newbies as well as veteran journalism teachers.

John Berge, John Muir Charter School, Sacramento, Calif.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity of attending the 2011 ASNE Journalism Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. The experience of engaging with my peers in the area of high school journalism was priceless and from a professional standpoint – so rewarding in countless ways. The enthusiasm of the staff, including George, Li, and Monica was certainly contagious. The sincerity and knowledge of the presenters was boundless and contributed greatly to the program and my understanding of the role that high school journalism plays in our school. While at the Institute, I felt a sense of community in the group. That sense of community continues even now as I access and utilize the wealth of resources available to me as a teacher as well as to my students. Diana Mitsu Klos, Connie Southard, (Craig Branson) and all the others, including the Reynolds Foundation – please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful effort.

Jillian Bieber, Braden River High School, Bradenton, Fla.

I was a new teacher to journalism. I found the Institute materials invaluable and still refer to them today. I made several valuable contacts with other journalism teachers in the nation and keep in touch with social networks. Since the Institute, I have increased the journalism program at my high school, produce a printed color version of our paper, and the paper can be viewed online on the school website. In partnership with The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald my students have been published several times for their “Journalism Next” series. I feel very privileged to have been offered the opportunity to participate in the program and, in fact, would like to attend again!!! One of my students this year is going to UT-Austin to study Mass Media and Communications and last year my editor in chief won a county prize for journalism, and is now studying journalism at UConn. Very proud! My students and I refer to regularly for story ideas and journalism info such as ethics. I always refer to the lesson plans page for inspirational ideas.

Joe Boffa, Desert Mirage High School, Thermal, Calif.

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a participant in the Reynolds Institute. This experience was invaluable to me, but even more so for my students, who benefited in many ways from my experience; they are still reaping benefits. I continue to keep in touch with several of the advisers I worked with, and we continue to grow and share together. Our school features only an online publication at, and without the wonderful assistance and support, we would have no school paper. It is very easy to use and the resources available are incredible.

Heidi Bromall, Mountain Valley High School, Rumford, Maine

I attended the institute in Austin, Texas in 2010. The information I received there was invaluable to helping me get a journalism program started in a very small, very rural school (less that 500 students in grades 9-12). I had a 0 budget for this program and though we had access to a lot of technology, we had limited access to design/layout programs. I received helpful feedback from the instructors, presenters and other participants on how to use the resources we did have in order to improve the layout of our little news magazine and how to get students to “buy in” to taking journalism (instead of quilting!). Our group has stayed in touch through the use of social media and we are still picking each others’ brains for ideas and solutions two years later. We are also planning a reunion in New Orleans for anyone who can come.

Lacey Buidosik, Dorsey High School, Los Angeles

My time in the Institute taught me a lot about design. Getting the opportunity to work with such experienced people was very informational and helpful. Actually getting a chance to experience what the kids do was so informative and helps me lead my class with greater ease. The Reynolds Institute not only allowed me to practice and develop my skills and my curriculum, but also my base of people to go to if I need anything.

Susan Burnett, Aberdeen (Md.) High School

Our journalism program was revived by what I learned at the summer Institute. In the company of other novices, I was comfortable asking questions, comparing challenges and brainstorming new plans. The subject matter experts were relevant and compelling. Using the resources online at makes me feel like I have dozens of mentors offering advice, posing new ideas and suggesting interesting activities to bring home the importance of both basic and advanced journalism skills. I use resources for all three levels of my journalism classes. Having the backing of (Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Connie Southard) also helped me confidently begin to create a culture of student journalism at our high school. We may not publish The Blue and Gold on as frequently as we would like, but when we do, I am proud of the results. The Institute gave me the tools to help my students discover their talents and recreate student journalism.

Kelly Camak, Gateway to College Early College High School, Riverside, Calif.

The most important information I learned at the Reynolds Institute was: 1.) the specifics of good journalism by choosing important story topics, conducting thorough research and investigation, and encouraging strong writing skills and practice; and 2.) the modernization of news reporting, by incorporating Internet, video and social network media to share news information. We are hosted on, but we are still very much in the program development phase … however, I refer to the lessons regularly as I develop a staff and program at my school.

Daryl Campbell, Giles County High School, Pulaski, Tenn.

An intense, enjoyable and inspirational experience, rife with real-life applications, featuring a brilliant faculty, state of the art technology and peers who share a passion for journalism and who, during the course of the Institute, become life-long friends and supporters. This was an amazing and gratifying time for veterans and beginners alike. I wish I could go back!

Cindy Carey, Shenendehowa High School, Clifton Park, N.Y.

One of the most important things I learned is that we must be “lifelong learners” and keep up with the ever-changing technology, demands and issues that occur in the field of journalism. The very aspects that make journalism so appealing are the same things that often create challenges to teaching it. The online lesson plans provided by have been helpful for teaching new units in journalism like convergence and blogging. I frequently recommend the site to new journalism teachers or those wishing to start up media programs at their schools. I recommend the site to student editors as a way to compare their work to that of other students around the country. They are fascinated by the coverage some students provide in their publications. The resources and opportunities provided by the Institute continue to be invaluable years later. I am constantly evolving as an educator because of it.

Dianna Cervetti, St. Benedict at Auburndale, Cordova, Tenn.

I am very grateful to the Reynolds Institute for providing me with new tools to benefit the students that I teach. Everything that I received from the Institute — inspiration from the speakers, up-to-date knowledge of the latest journalism trends, the curriculum guides, the professional association memberships, the opportunity to learn from my peers – will most certainly transform me into a better teacher. Thank you so very much.

Jennifer Chandler, North Harford High School, Pylesville, Md.

The Reynolds Institute experience is phenomenal! In 15 years of teaching, it is the most inspiring, professional, engaging professional experience I have ever had. We were students in the truest sense of the word, learning from some of the most accomplished professionals in the field. There is no doubt that what I learned will be profoundly helpful in my own classroom and with my students. The resources we were given, the opportunities we had, and the long-lasting, coast to coast connections to other journalism teachers is career changing.

Alexandra Clifton, Santaluces High School, Lantana, Fla.

There are few experiences that you can honestly say changed your life. But, attending the Reynolds Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno this summer is certainly one of those for me. As a journalism teacher for the last four years, I have depended on for lesson plans and launched my school’s website though the website. This coming year, I will be using the MCT Campus wire service for our online and print newspaper. When I applied for the summer institute, I had no idea what to expect over those two weeks, but what I experienced has changed the way I think about teaching journalism and what it means to my students. I now have an arsenal of information and an invaluable network of fellow journalism educators and experts at my disposal. Diana Mitsu Klos of ASNE spent several days with us at the institute and inspired us with her commitment to what we do and to making the site a service that is essential to schools like mine that would not have the resources to launch a website otherwise. I would like to thank her, ASNE and the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada Reno for an unforgettable two weeks.

Ellen Cowhey, The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

The Reynolds Institute was a gift that I kept unwrapping all year long. When we had a record number of drug expulsions and we had to cover it sensitively, I had a list-serve list of other high school newspaper advisors. I knew and trusted with whom I could share ideas and concerns about our coverage. Similarly, when we had to face the news of a former student’s suicide, I had the research about copycat suicides based on media coverage fresh in my mind from the conference. And whether we were laying out a centerspread, or brainstorming for our next issue, I had more ideas to share with students, and more resources to point them toward. I am so very grateful for the experience and would encourage any advisor, even a seasoned one, to sign up to get an adrenaline boost and a whole bunch of new ideas!

Becky Cronk, Cheboygan (Mich.) High School

As a new journalism teacher with no formal training, the Institute was a lifesaver! I learned so much about how to put together a paper and about the field of journalism that is really has helped make our school paper a success. The job shadowing experience and connections with other teachers across the country not to mention the great instructors made this a wonderful experience that has changed the way I teach journalism. I use the online lesson plans a lot! Some I use as they are printed and others I have tweaked to suit my needs. They provide a great resource of teacher-tested materials that enhance my journalism program.

Wade Crowder, Skyline High School, Dallas

The workshop sessions provided valuable interaction with other high school journalism teachers and presentations from numerous professional journalists throughout the state. My students are still benefiting from the resources and experience I gained at journalism Institute. Since completing the program, I have used for lesson plans and ideas.

Shannon Curran, Principal, Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice, New York

The Institute provided me with many resources and with the confidence to return to my school with the tools we needed to take our journalism program to the next level! In fact, our newspaper won awards from the New York City ACLU two years in a row. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without the training I received. We used the lesson plans and resources available online through on a regular basis. Whatever we were thinking about teaching next, there were resources on line to help us. As most high schools only have one journalism teacher or newspaper advisor, the website gave me a whole network of support! I wish we had something like that for all subject areas. I wouldn’t have survived without it. I am now a principal. Alas, I have no high school journalism program, but I am hoping to start one soon! I am encouraging one of my teachers to apply to the Institute so that we can get a program started here.

Chris Davis, Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta, Calif.

I have used the High School Journalism’s hosting services for our school newspaper for the past three years. My students have always enjoyed writing for our school community audience, but through hosting our content, my students now have an even larger audience. And with that has come all kinds of feedback, both positive and critical.You can imagine how thrilled my student was to receive a letter signed by Donald Trump after Mr. Trump read her opinion piece on his potential presidential candidacy. And you can imagine how much more seriously another student will think about her word choice and the amount of research she should do after receiving a dozen comments critical of her opinion piece on creationism. This larger audience could only be reached through the hard work of those responsible for this website. Thank you for opening the world to my students so that they can become better critical thinkers and writers.

Judy Davis, Norfolk (Va.) Collegiate School

Even though I am a former journalist with 25 years of teaching experience, the Reynolds Institute was the best professional development I have ever done related to my work as a journalism adviser. The writing sessions allowed me to get back in touch with my “inner writer,” and the technology tools allowed us to take The Oak Leaf online via Though we still have a long way to go in developing and refining our online presence, my Reynolds Institute training and the terrific faculty helped us to get our foot in the digital door … I am a better teacher and adviser thanks to all of you.

Tina Davis, Ketchum (Okla.) High School

I am still humbled by the opportunity to be part of such an informative, rigorous and technologically advanced institute. From the moment we arrived at ASU, I knew that we were seeing, learning and experiencing the best that journalism had to offer. I know that I will be a better teacher because of this opportunity. My students will benefit for years to come. I, now, know more about journalism, but I also know more about writing skills and technology. I feel like I can call on (Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Connie Southard) at the instructors at ASU downtown Phoenix or the other participants for help when needed. I hope that they have the same confidence in me. I feel that I can better prepare my students to be informed and savvy consumers of information. Saying “thank you” doesn’t quite seem to be enough, but it and the knowledge that I will pass this along to my students for the next 25-30 years is all that I have.

Tom Deshotels, Hamilton High School, Sussex, Wis.

The skills, relationships and content of the Reynolds Institute have made it possible for me to keep advising student journalists. Before I attended the Institute, I was excited but lost. The instruction, resources and one-on-one advice for my particular situation and my unique student-led staff are employed on a daily basis when making decisions, teaching style and promoting leaders. Now my excitement is focused and directed to improve the role of student journalism at my school.

Lynn Wolf Dulcie, Rock Hill (S.C.) High School

It raised my confidence level so I could move from practicing journalism to teaching it in high school. Working as a journalist and teaching it are two very different skills and the Institute provided curriculum and professional updates that enriched my experience and that of my students. I am a strong advocate of getting the experience and using the online lesson plans.

Joyce Feuerborn, Godinez Fundamental High School, Santa Ana, Calif.

Attending the Reynolds Institute for two weeks was well worth it! The lesson plans I received, the connections I made and the things I learned will truly help me develop a better journalism class and newspaper. After the training, I am so much better prepared to teach my students and I can’t wait for the school year to start. Best of all, I came home with tons of great resources that I can use immediately. The days of “winging it” are gone!

Jenese Giles, Northeast High School, Oakland Park, Fla.

The most beneficial sessions of the Institute for me were the presentation and instruction on the First Amendment from the Student Press Law Center rep. I returned to my school, educated my students, and worked to produce a censor-free student publication. I also learned more about and implemented the investigative reporting strategies and lessons with my students. One more note — we are finally online! The two issues that the students have produced are/were online. And, oh yes, we have generated more ad sales, and I have the paper available in several local businesses. The program was extremely beneficial for me and my students. We had a press conference with the principal. The students had the chance to visit the Sun Sentinel, and they were impressed with the students’ behavior and intelligent questions about journalism and printing/production. Thanks again (Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Connie Southard) for such a wonderful opportunity for me and my students.

Deborah Grund, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

What an amazing experience getting to attend the two week session. I learned as much about my own creativity as I did high school journalism. While you work very hard, you also can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment as you write, edit, shoot video, report and get to be a student. Thank you Reynolds Foundation for supporting a program so educational and informative.

Kyle Higgins, Kelvyn Park High School, Chicago

The training I received has been so valuable to me and the community with which I work I would have never been as successful. First, I felt prepared and knowledgeable when restarting the journalism program at Kelvyn Park High School, an inner-city Chicago Public School. Second, I have shared my knowledge with three student teachers, one of whom went on to start a journalism program at another CPS school. Lastly, thanks to the training, our paper has won awards from the McCormick Foundation. Our neighborhood school has been on academic probation since 1997.Our school paper was awarded Excellent Overall Publication, which was the same rating of a few “selective enrollment” CPS schools. I can’t thank everyone enough for the opportunity I received and how grateful I am for being a part of something so special.

Russell Hill, Coronado High School, Lubbock, Texas

Although I worked for over 20 years at the local newspaper, when I took over my school newspaper last year I had no idea of how to organize a staff or teach the craft of journalism to teenagers. My time at the newspaper had been in marketing and webmastering and I had no training no knowledge or no skills in news writing, news design or first amendment rights. Thanks to my time at the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, I now have the knowledge and resources I need to develop a professional staff of student journalists. The skills taught to me at the Institute and the vast resources that are now available to me have given me the confidence I needed to take the school newspaper to new higher levels. I know that I will be able to motivate, inspire and encourage my students to do the best work that they possibly can, thus benefitting themselves and the entire school community. A huge thanks to the / staff and to Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communications. You have made me a better adviser, given my students the tools they need to be successful and provided my school better student media. We will all be eternally grateful.

Deirdre Jones, Eaton (Colo.) High School

It will take me all year to process and to apply the information and skills I was given at Reynolds Institute at the University of Missouri. I walked in with a time-worn tool belt, and they sent me out with something straight out of the 21st century, filled with techno-tools I’ve never dreamed of. The greatest thing, though, was the completely transparent atmosphere of collaboration — the amount of file and social-media sharing that took place was unprecedented. Plus, they treated us like true professionals — something not a lot of us teachers have ever experienced. We were given the best of the best, coming from the tops in the education and professional field. I’m so impressed. The hard work was well worth it.

Jill Flanagan, Bartlett (Ill.) High School

The more I learned about the Reynolds Institute after I was accepted, the more I had the foreboding thought, “What the heck did I sign myself up to do this summer?” Two weeks’ worth of 12-hour days, assignments to complete, sessions to attend, and lessons to learn­ — smack-dab in the middle of July and hundreds of miles from home — seemed insane, to say the least. However, the information and expertise I took with me are invaluable. I now know I have the support of 35 new friends, the knowledge to help my students reach their potential and the hope to inspire the next generation of journalists to go out and ask both their leaders and themselves some difficult questions. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Diane M. Flemming, James River High School, Midlothian, Va.

I learned the importance of the “craft” of writing. Through the dynamic presenters and hands-on activities, I got to see first hand what my students experience on a daily basis. The second and most important thing is two-fold: being able to network with other teachers from across the country and having affirmation about our lives in the “trenches” of high school journalism. I walked away with so many ideas and resources! I have used many of them already and plan on using them again and again. I’ve also used lesson plans for topics I felt insecure about. offers many suggestions and helps provide ideas and handouts to keep the enthusiasm in the class going. Additionally, my school paper is hosted on Three of my students’ articles have been selected for the National Edition which has made them “step up” their writing in an attempt to be selected. The online hosting has made my online staff begin to function more as a newsroom, which I appreciate more than words can express.

Erin Foster, East Range Academy of Technology and Science, Eveleth, Minn.

The Reynolds High School Institute is truly the best, most exciting professional workshop I have encountered. My background is in English, not journalism, but my director wanted me to create a journalism class at my school. I was very uneasy about this, but after this workshop I can’t wait to share my knowledge with students. These two weeks increased my awareness in several different areas of journalism, and we had wonderful speakers who welcomed any questions I had. I plan on starting up an online newspaper this year, and I’m feeling pretty confident now that I can do so. Over these two weeks I have made some new friends and have created a journalism community that I know I can always turn to for help and advice.

Bridget Freiler, Pottsville (Pa.) Area High School

My experience at the Reynolds Institute taught me more than I could hope to convey in a short testimonial. It was the best conference I’ve attended as a publications adviser, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. The best way I can illustrate its helpfulness and effectiveness is to announce that my newspaper editors have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of taking their newspaper online. Without the two weeks I spent, I cannot imagine feeling comfortable about making such a significant change, let alone eager about it. Thank you to everyone at the Reynolds Institute for making this possible. I owe my excitement for the upcoming school year to you. The best part is that my students’ resumes will be expanded, and those who wish to major in journalism in college will have much more impressive multimedia portfolios to market themselves. I’m a better adviser and my students are becoming better leaders and editors because of this institute.

Myrna E. Greenberg, Plantation (Fla.) High School

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff and administration for the most delightful and insightful two weeks of intense and grueling work this past summer (2011) at Arizona State and the Reynolds Institute! It was just amazing how 32 people from all over the United States came together and formed an extended family. I wouldn’t hesitate to tell any one who is interested to select this opportunity for new intellectual stimulation and the chance to participate in a program heralded as the “best in journalism teaching and training.” Kudos to you all!

Kelly Gionti, High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice, New York

The wealth of resources shared by our leaders, and by the other amazing teacher participants, gave me new ideas, and a better understanding of scholastic media. Since the Institute, our journalism program as grown tremendously. Our student newspaper is now ranked as one of the top in New York state and through their exposure in the program, many current and former students are now pursuing journalism/communications majors in college. Another nice thing about participating in the Institute is that it doesn’t end once the two weeks are over. In the past few years, I’ve kept in touch with the leaders (who are always so quick to share their thoughts or resources) and fellow participants, who have become great friends. I also met my husband at the Institute!

Jarred Goodall, LV Berkner High School, Richardson, Texas

It is a very worthwhile experience that has helped my career tremendously. I’d say the number one thing I took from the Institute was to continue to fight for the right of your students to express themselves freely in a school-wide forum, as it provides a huge benefit for them in high school, college and beyond. I use frequently to supplement instruction about various topics relevant to high school journalism in my classroom. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend an Institute, and I recommend it immensely to anyone who has not attended yet.

Lucinda Hogentogler, Central York High School, York, Pa.

Each morning as I rested my generous binder, laptop, and cache of other journalism essentials on a table in the classroom at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism for the recent Reynolds Institute, I wondered what I could possibly learn that would be more valuable than the lessons and presentations of the day before. And each evening, I left that classroom feeling that day’s lessons topped those of the days prior. No workshop disappointed, and I marveled at the scope of the content, the quality of the presenters, and the relevance of the lessons. After two weeks, I felt more invigorated and equipped to revamp my seasoned journalism program than ever before. In addition, I soon regarded the reporter’s hat logo as a newfound friend and a buttress of support for me in my job as a journalism teacher and publications advisor, which can sometimes be thankless and even lonely. Not only is there a website brimming with suggestions, activities, and lesson plans, but there is a coalition of human reinforcement too. I can’t say thank you enough.

Crystal Holtzman, Spring Grove (Pa.) Area High School

The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute was the single most important step I have taken in increasing my competence and confidence in teaching high school journalism. I learned more in that two-week program than I learned in the previous five years of teaching or four years of college. The program helped take my embarrassingly unprofessional high school journalism program from the laughingstock of the county to one of the best newspapers in the state. After the institute, I immediately started implementing what I had learned, and within the next two years, I had multiple students earning state-level writing awards and going on to work in the journalism field. The students who have pursued higher level education in the journalism field have come back to thank me for setting a strong foundation for their collegiate studies in journalism. It is all due to the HSJ Institute. Thank you!

Zachary Steven Houp, Fleetwood (Pa.) Area High School

The Reynolds Institute was the most intensive and fulfilling opportunity I could have every hoped to find. Before those two weeks began, I knew very little about journalism, and all that I did know was self-taught. Now I will return to school with a broader and deeper knowledge of what it takes to develop my students into professional journalists and to develop our school newspaper into a genuine public forum for student expression.

Beth Kennedy, David Crockett High School, Austin, Texas

Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in The Reynolds Institute last summer (2011). It was amazing! Meeting, networking, and learning with so many talented colleagues was the most valuable professional development I have ever experienced in my 14 years of teaching. I was so excited to incorporate some of the new technologies into my curriculum this year. I came home so proud that I experienced the production of my own news segments and published them online. I learned what my kids feel like when they are faced with the challenges of producing quality stories in a limited amount of time. I developed a new understanding and empathy for their challenges and was prepared to approach the year with a renewed attitude and inspiration.

Kimberly Kim, Hiram Johnson High School, Sacramento, Calif.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute has empowered me to teach my students cutting edge methods in this changing world of journalism. I learned to use the latest social media to spread news, as well as how to apply old fashion ethics to every story and situation. I now understand the importance of teaching my students to adapt as the world changes the way in which it delivers the news, gets the news, and reads the news.

Amy Kinney, M.A. Spectrum High School, Elk River, Minn.

I am so grateful to have been extended the opportunity to attend the Institute’s fellowship for two weeks in Columbia, Mo. I was a bumbling fool as a brand-new newspaper adviser, and I really didn’t know where to start with my school’s very limited technology at the time and with students whom were a staff of cluenessness. What occurred after the Institute was that I was able to get off the ground some important head-starts which propelled our group into greatness. I am thankful for the notebook I filled with zillions of hand-scribbled notes I took … and for the modern-day advances I was taught regarding technology in this field. I also was so appreciative of the professional contacts I have made now and thecamaraderie that afforded me during my stay. We even got to do some FUN things like see a play and to explore a historical town just for fun. My accommodations were above and beyond, and I was received like an old friend. I recommend this program highly to everyone; don’t be afraid to apply! You’re going to love it!

Shawn Landry, Billerica (Mass.) Memorial High School

It was one of the few learning experiences in education that was simultaneously enjoyable and influential. Since the Institute, I have implemented a few of the strategies I learned — specifically: staff management and training, the inclusion of interesting “extras” such as fact boxes/pictures/statistics, layout concepts, and, perhaps most importantly, strategies for identifying interesting topics to contain in the newspaper. Finally, and I think most importantly, were the relationships I developed with other teachers. Since the Institute, I have become very close to four of the other teachers. We have traveled together, visited each other in our home towns, shared teaching strategies and, very recently, discussed how my school could implement a journalism course. Because of these relationships, fostered by the Institute, I am more confident and capable as a teacher and advisor and, as a result, my school will have its first journalism course in 15 years. Cool.

Jeffrey Lang, Mt. Everett Regional High School, Sheffield, Mass.

I am happy to share how valuable this experience was for myself, my students and my school. Our small, rural high school lacked a student newspaper and a journalism course. My interest in filling this gap was met with enthusiasm by our principal, despite my lack of professional experience. The Institute was my crash course, providing me with knowledge, contacts, resources and experiences that enhanced our curriculum and student paper far beyond what would have occurred otherwise. Our student paper is online with and I often refer to for lesson plans. I recommend this program highly to both new and experienced teachers of journalism and student publication advisers. I am very grateful for the experience.

Gregg Long, Lake Park High School, Roselle, Ill.

Working with so many dedicated teachers gives you a chance to refine your own style while simultaneously getting so much feedback and ideas from angles you never would have thought for. The Reynolds Institute gave me a plethora of materials to work with, and with journalism constantly evolving, I can think of no greater asset for a journalism teacher today.

Ryan Ludwig, Spanish Springs High School, Sparks, Nev.

I attended the Reynolds Institute in Phoenix. It was an amazing experience. Currently our school is preparing to pilot a signature school in media arts and communication. It is a magnet program that will draw students from all over the district to our school to study journalism in four mediums. The Reynolds Institute was a big component in the acceleration of the journalism program here, so much so that our administration chose the Media Department to be the Signature focus. We are currently having discussions with the University of Nevada-Reno’s school of journalism to create some avenues for students to progress their education to the post-secondary level after graduating our program. All this is extremely exciting, and I attribute it to the Reynolds Institute.

Marie Maddox, Gatlinburg-Pittman High School, Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The input from the thirty-plus teachers from all over the country and seeing their school newspapers helped me so much. Most of all the expertise of the faculty for the Institute was so impressive. In addition to the valuable information they gave us, they also took a personal interest in each of us and our particular situations. Three big things came out of this experience: 1. We quit trying to charge for the paper. I learned how to go about selling ads, and we have successfully done that. We have even raised enough money to purchase an additional computer and printer this year. Now we have TWO! 2. At the suggestion of the faculty at the Institute, I approached our local paper and they agreed to publish our paper for a reasonable price. It really IS a newspaper now – sixteen pages. 3. We did not have a textbook. At the Institute, I saw samples and talked to the teachers there. I was not able to get one the first year back, but this year we have one. It’s a great help to me and to the students. I owe the Institute SO much. It’s two weeks of intense, demanding work, but it is so worth it.

Julie Mancini, Dunnellon (Fla.) High School

The Reynolds Institute was the best training I ever received as a journalism teacher. Before attending my principal had approached me about discontinuing the school newspaper. What I learned helped me save it. Sometimes we get thousands of hits per month on our stories. Our flailing and failing have ceased. We are constantly improving, maybe not by leaps and bounds, but we are getting there! The problem with our newspaper is that it was stuck in the pre-internet world. Now we use to publish. My students love it when their work gets chosen for the National Edition! We are a small school in the middle of nowhere. We get the short end of the stick when it comes to funding, so the website is great, how can you not afford it? I also love the site because it is constantly changing to accommodate different types of news delivery. When there is a kink, it gets ironed out. It gets cooler the longer I use it, rather than getting outdated! Also, there is probably no better place to go for lesson plans than It is my starting point for just about every lesson.

Georgia Mavromihalis, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Bayside, N.Y.

The most important things I learned at the Institute? Where do I begin, ethics, laws, lessons, and my responsibility to give students a voice to exercise free speech, and coach them about how they need to use it responsibly. The most helpful tool was learning about the Student Press Law Center; I have called them many times. Also the books that I received were a great recourse. I came to Institute after my second year as the newspaper advisor. I didn’t know that much about high school journalism when I took on the job of advisor, but after my two weeks at the jam-packed program, our paper took off. Everything about The Verdict changed dramatically, from appearance, to interest level, to receiving awards. It’s hosted online on I’ve used lesson plans at; they are always excellent. My school has just decided to start a Magnet Program for journalism.

Lauren May, Oak Lawn (Ill.) Community High School

I use what I learned at the Institute every single day either in teaching a journalism class or advising our student newspaper. The depth and breadth of knowledge, skills, and hands-on activities provided by the Institute continue to be an invaluable experience that I am continually grateful for.

Michelle R. Martinez-Rivera, Montwood High School, El Paso, Texas

When I attended the Institute I was a new journalism teacher. I had very little experience with respect to student publications, and was very nervous about the upcoming school year and how I would be able to get things done. The most important things I learned were how to get students to produce high quality writing by pushing them to research and investigate. I also learned how to structure my staff and manage my time so that I would be able to get the most out of myself and my staff. I frequently use the website for lesson planning as well as to get ideas and keep up with current trends. hosts The Rampage. The site is extremely helpful because it not only helps me with lessons and keeping current, but it also gives the students valuable experience in maintaining their school newspaper site. I also use the site and refer to it with my student (teacher) interns. I direct them to so that they have another resource besides me when lesson planning.

Sharn Matusek, Lowell High School, San Francisco

As a teacher who had advised a small paper for three years in the 1990s, learning as we went, the Institute taught me every key aspect of journalism needed to begin my stint advising a historical, large, award-winning paper that fall. I fully utilized the in-depth professional preparation, supplemented with lesson plans and other resources. Both the knowledge and inspiration were invaluable, and especially appreciated was finding that our role as journalism educators is highly valued by the professionals. The networking was also very helpful, in our cadre’s informal chatroom (kept by Diana Mitsu Klos, Connie Southard and Craig Branson) I have had help with questions and sent material to new advisors.

Jeri McFadden, Vacaville (Calif.) Christian High School

The Institute changed the fabric of student publications at our private Christian school. Since then, students are in charge of the content of the newspaper and the yearbook. My responsibility to teach them good journalism, advise them when tricky situations arise, correct them so that they continue to demonstrate good journalism does not extend to taking on the responsibility of their words or photos. Instead, they know it’s their own responsibility, and they are accountable to the whole student body. The editors take their leadership roles very seriously, often meeting to determine what they feel the student body needs to hear, stories they need to be aware of, details and information they need to have straight. They have made it their goal to dispel rumors with facts.

Amy Medlock-Greene, Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, S.C.

Even with a decade of advising a student newspaper under my belt, I left the 2011 Reynolds Institute with new and innovative ideas about staff management, publication design, and all types of journalistic writing. The faculty advisers and guest speakers shared their various areas of expertise with the group’s participants, but they allowed us to share our own insight and experiences as well. It truly became a community of learners and leaders and provided that “shot in the arm” I needed to re-invigorate myself, my staff and our publication.

Emily Miller, Arlington (Texas) High School

After three years of looking at the Reynolds Institute postcard and wondering if I should apply, I bit the bullet and did. I figured my chances were slim but my students wanted to take our newspaper online and I knew I needed guidance. I’ve been teaching journalism and advising the yearbook and newspaper for four years. I love my job and I want to do whatever I can to make my students love the class and the craft of journalism. I applied for the Reynolds Institute and am so glad I did. It was a life-changing experience. I learned more in those two weeks than in most of my college journalism classes. Those of course were taken over 10 years ago but I still felt more prepared to teach journalism than when I graduated. I also am more confident with technology and using it in my classroom and for our publications. Most of all, I left the institute more excited about teaching than ever before. I went to the institute in June and was almost disappointed that I had to wait two months before I could get back into my classroom and start teaching. I took that energy, that fire, and poured it into revamping my lesson plans. The contacts I made during the institute have been a vital part of that. I left the institute with 31 new friends who know what I’m doing and what it is like. We’ve spent the summer on Facebook supporting each other and sharing lesson plans, websites, videos and ideas. The Reynolds Institute is a must for journalism teachers and publications advisers. I say that to every journalism teacher I meet.

R.J. Morgan, Starkville (Miss.) High School

Since my time at the Reynolds Institute, our newspaper has tripled its production, and I’ve been named STAR teacher and District Teacher of the Year. The skills I learned at the Reynolds Institute have DIRECTLY contributed to our success here in Starkville, and I could not be more grateful for the training. Our online news site is on and that has really opened up the amount of experience I’m able to give my kids. Production costs are no longer an obstacle!

Marianne Moriarty, Bourgade Catholic High School, Phoenix

No way could I have stepped foot into my journalism classroom to begin advising a brand new student newspaper without having attended the Institute. I didn’t even know exactly what it was I didn’t know at that time. Learning from professionals and others in the classroom made all the difference. The “how to” of everyday high school journalism isn’t taught elsewhere. My lesson plan on teaching photography skills is on, and when I am looking for lesson plans for my class, this site is the first one I go to. This Institute took me from my theoretical base as a journalism teacher to a journalism adviser ready to tackle the everyday issues I face with my students in producing a quality student newspaper we can all be proud of.

Debbie Mueller, Enid (Okla.) High School

The two weeks I spent at the Institute was a very intense training for journalism standards and curriculum. The resources, including large binder, books, and internet sites I received have been invaluable to me for use in my classroom. Years later I am still finding new ideas from these websites and resources given to me. My journalism/newspaper class is determined to be an online paper this year and has provided us with the templates and site to accomplish this goal. They have been very supportive since attending the Institute! Not only has provided this for us, but also numerous times I have visited the section on Lesson Plans and ‘borrowed” some ideas for a particular lesson.

Laura K. Negri, Alief Kerr High School, Houston

I don’t think I really understood what my job was supposed to be until I attended the Reynolds Institute. Afterwards, I became a coach and an adviser to my publications students, instead of being their editor. I gave more control of the publications to students and consequently the creativity and quality improved. got my student newspaper online and opened up the possibilities of online publishing. We would not have a web presence now were it not for

Andrea Lorenz Nenque, Dripping Springs (Texas) High School

The workshop I attended at Kent State University in 2011 was one of the most beneficial and comprehensive workshops I have ever attended. The training covers every aspect of teaching journalism with hands-on assignments and activities that modeled the way a journalism classroom should be run. I got so many ideas for advising my students and came away with a good, clear understanding of my role as an adviser, student press law and colleagues in the same position as me who are always willing to share advice and know-how with the group. I am excited for the future of journalism that this program exists at a time where many schools are cutting back on journalism programs. It was an experience I will never forget, and one that will benefit my students, future journalists, for years to come. Multiply each adviser who attends by the number of students he or she will be in contact with over a teaching career, and this workshop becomes one of the most important in the journalism world today.

Liz Palmer, duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.; Journalism Education Association Kentucky State Director

The Institute was hands-down the best professional development I have ever received. It gave me direct and individual attention from professionals that I would never have received otherwise, instruction that both challenged and inspired me. Before I went to the Institute, I was a one-class journalism teacher in survival mode. Now I teach journalism full time while helping to direct a journalism magnet program. I also serve as the Kentucky State Director of the Journalism Education Association, speak at national and state conventions, am working toward Master Journalism Educator certification, have won the Kentucky Media Adviser of the Year award, and have won a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and am currently a finalist for another Crown. The Institute jump-started a serious career in teaching journalism, with thousands of students benefiting from the Institute’s investment in me.

Deborah Parker, La Pine (Ore.) High School

Grateful and still using all I learned. My experience there was priceless. I walked away with an expanded understanding of scholastic journalism, the core curriculum that I still use with my journalism classes, and a cohort of professional colleagues who continue to be sources of inspiration. Our school paper has given students a voice; it has covered important topics in the years since, and our program has expanded to include photojournalism. None of this would have been possible without (Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson, Connie Southard) and project supporters. At various times, has hosted our paper and, naturally, I have used the excellent resources of When I was the editor of my high school’s paper, I certainly learned about the First Amendment, but didn’t internalize the true value of it or the precarious nature of scholastic publication. The Institute helped remind me; in turn, I strive to drive the point home to my students.

Sarah Platanitis, Feeding Hills, Mass., formerly with Holyoke High School

The skills that I collected during the Reynolds Institute were invaluable to me. The workshops allowed me to design new lessons for my student journalists, helped me steer a long-dormant scholastic publication into an award-winning publication, and, most importantly, educated me about student press law and how to work more efficiently with an at-times trying school administration. My lesson plan, the Influence of James Nachtwey on the Field of Photojournalism, is hosted online at The wide array of lesson plans archived is an amazing go-to for all topics important in the journalism classroom.

Steve Powell, Lacey, Wash.

I highly recommend the Reynolds High School Institute for journalists like myself who are going into the teaching profession and need to learn all the new whistles and bells in how to deal with and reach young people today. I also recommend it to high school teachers because it gives the important nuts and bolts of journalism that high school programs often lack. Anyone attending a conference will be a better high school journalism teacher and meet other teachers who can help you improve your craft.

Cedric Ranchez, Kaimuki High School, Honolulu

Having to come up with a story idea, report on it, write it, and post it online was one of the more valuable experiences from the Institute. It allowed us to put ourselves in our students’ shoes, and it helped me to better understand how to teach my students. The online hosting by has helped my students see how their work as student journalists applies and affects the world outside of their classroom. It has also prepared my students for the dynamic world of journalism by developing all of the valuable skills journalists today need to know.

Brian Reed, Animo Pat Brown Charter High School, Los Angeles

The Reynolds Institute has been a game-changer for my journalism classroom. I am incredibly grateful for the resources and networking this program afforded me. I am confident that the professional bonds formed among the participants at this year’s program at the University of Texas will allow us teachers for all over the country to continue our own personal growth and professional development as newspaper advisers and teachers. The welcoming and collaborative spirit of all of the presenters during the two-week program provided an invaluable reminder that the work that we do in our classrooms matters not just to our students, but also to our community and country.

Stephanie Rees, Berea High School, Greenville, S.C.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the knowledge I gained through the Institute. As an English teacher, I am not trained in journalistic writing, and taking on a journalism class is rather frightening. I now am confident to face my students in the fall and have the drive to bring back our newspaper. I look forward to using the website and am excited that my students will be able to produce because of the knowledge I have been given.

Janelle K. Reyes, Santana (Calif.) High School

Before I went to the (Reynolds Institute), I felt like I was drowning in a sea of another prep and felt like I was letting down my students due to lack of guidance on the school paper. Now, I am energized for the new year with new lesson plans, curriculum, and online skills to take our paper above and beyond what it has ever been before. I feel like I can actually be the educator in my class, instead of the student senior editor in chief trying to show me the ropes. I can now breathe. Special thanks to Deidre Pike, Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Rosemary McCarthy for allowing us to finally gain the skills we needed as beginning journalism teachers. I am forever thankful and so are my students.

Chad Rickard, Eisenhower High School, Rialto, Calif.

There is a consistent support system for our journalism program. The immersion of content knowledge I received at the two-week Institute five years ago served as a defibrillator for our school’s dying program. Since then you have continued to aid our school by connecting us with national advertisements and by hosting our text, photo and video content online. Without it, our journalism program would have slipped into extinction with many of the other newspaper organizations who were unable to adapt to recent technological advancements in media.

Brendan P. Riley, St. Vincent de Paul High School, Petaluma, Calif.

I find myself still humbled by the unstinting generosity, kindness, professionalism, and high expectations with which we teachers were treated from first to last (in the Reynolds High School Summer Journalism Institute). … I have been involved in many different professional development situations. … None of those has approached the magnitude and caliber of the Reynolds Institute. I will return to school in a few weeks a better informed, more capable, and newly inspired teacher of journalism, and I will do my best to honor the (Institute’s) mission and integrity … by educating and inspiring young minds to develop themselves as critical thinkers, astute reporters, and responsible citizens. Many thanks and best wishes to those (Diana Mitsu Klos, Craig Branson and Connie Southard) that make this unparalleled program available to teachers.

Robert Rojas, Westchester High School, Los Angeles

After my first year as the journalism teacher and school newspaper advisor with little to no budget, materials, and/or professional development, participating in the Institute has provided me with the curriculum that I need to teach my class about news media, especially ethical concerns and newspaper production, as well as with the leadership skills necessary to create an editorial staff of high school students that are competent, focused, and motivated to contribute to their school’s newspaper.Hosting online at has helped to establish and publicize the school newspaper as a reputable source of information that has kept up with media and technology as well as to provide information to alumni, community members, and parents about what is happening at our school in ways that the school’s own website and other materials cannot.

Mary Rose, formerly with Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco

Being chosen to participate in the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute easily qualifies as one of the proudest accomplishments of my life in journalism. Spending time with like-minded colleagues from all over the country learning new techniques in order to teach what we all feel so passionately about was nothing short of inspirational. Armed with all I’d learned, I went home and worked with my students to establish our school’s first online newspaper. Last summer (and again this year), I was invited by ASA Summerfuel to teach digital journalism as a college level seminar at UC Berkeley. I’ve had the opportunity to share what I know with international students and see their excitement when they publish online and understand what it takes to get there. Bravo and thank you!

Karissa Ross, Life School Oak Cliff, Dallas

Each aspect of my learning was invaluable – about ethics, teaching writing, organizing a staff, team building and motivation, and converging media. Not only did the Institute train and equip me to practically run a high school newspaper, it also refueled my passion and inspiration for journalism education. I would not have a newspaper at my high school if it weren’t for the hosting at We have never had a newspaper, and we do not have the resources for a print format. Also, my students love being able to update more frequently, and the study body has responded well to the online newspaper.

Jodie E. Schommer, Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills, Wis.

I want to thank the Reynolds Institute for supporting me at Arizona State two summers ago. I learned a lot, but more importantly I was encouraged to “spread my wings” and try other things. I now have the student paper online via . We have been online with our weekly paper since September of this year. The site is easy to work with and the students are encouraged in journalism when they not only see their work in print, but also online. Thank you so much. The whole experience was so enjoyable I’d do it again and again.

Cindy Scott, Bandera (Texas) High School

Within a month of returning (from the Institute), my tech-savvy journalism students we were able to establish a site and we were publishing world-wide. Last year, the online site received an Award of Distinguished Merit from the UIL-ILPC of Texas and numerous student journalists received individual recognition. Finally, in an age of unprecedented budget cutting, (the Reynolds Institute and and are completely FREE, enabling us to provide a journalism program without fear of ever getting the ax.

Mary Seal, Taylorsville High School, Salt Lake City has been an invaluable tool in my first few years of teaching journalism for ideas on how to teach the increasingly diverse curriculum of journalism. The lesson plan ideas are constantly being updated with ideas that come from teachers who have already used the plans posted and know that they will work in the classroom. Struggling to keep up with multiple preps and over 200 new kids each semester, this website is like having a hundred best friends teaching the same subject as I am who are willing to offer me their help. The Reynolds Institute was a life saver for me. My notebook of ideas from the Institute, the memories of so many influential speakers, and the experience of setting up our own online news site have been invaluable to me as I have taught this year. I have had a completely new sense of confidence and have continued to share ideas and exchange lesson plans with other members of the Institute. Remembering lessons learned at the Institute, I’ve really been able to challenge my students to look at real issues, to tell the whole story and to be aware of their first amendment rights to be a voice for the high school. They’ve written some truly powerful stories, sparked some significant changes at the school and really fulfilled their mission as high school journalists. Thank you.

Antonia G. Seltzer, Del Valle High School, El Paso, Texas

The training was not only helpful, but extremely useful. I am still using quite a bit of the material and ideas I picked up there. It was a valuable experience that becomes only more so in these times of diminished journalism. Budget constraints are sure to impact many high school journalism programs which already receive precious little support from state legislators, district and school administrators. The Institute provides much needed valuable support to those who are at the forefront of an important American institution, the free press. In addition, lesson plans are a helpful resource that will become even more valuable as state budget constraints impact the classroom. Textbook examples and assignments can become outdated, and stale. The resources offered by are definitely of great use.

Nicole Shaw, CAL Community School, Latimer, Iowa

The Reynolds Institute provided me with the opportunity to fully examine what a student publication should and could look like. I learned so many tricks of the trade; I also received support to build a curriculum to enhance the skills learned in a journalism class, which in turn, led to forming a supportive relationship with administration. The opportunities afforded by the Institute have given my students endless resources for creating an award-winning publication. The resources available on the have helped tremendously in finding creative lessons and emphasizing the importance of the press, more specifically, the student press. Also, is easy to use and has a professional look for our online newspaper, The Cadet Gazette.

Leslie Shinault, Rockledge (Fla) High School

The two weeks I spent at the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute continue to pay off every day in my classroom. Not only are my journalism students benefiting from everything I learned, but I have been able to cross curriculum and bring these skills into my other classes. I learned more in that two weeks than I have in any other workshop I’ve attended during my teaching career. In fact, I would LOVE to come back and learn some more! Thanks again for providing one of the best learning experiences and treating the journalism teacher as a valuable member of the academic community.

Karen Stautberg, Glen Este High School, Cincinnati

The workshop was crucial to my survival as a high school journalism teacher. I learned everything from teaching the basic skills of the trade (interviewing, research, types of articles, etc), to layout and design, to handling dicey censorship issues and empowering my students to use their First Amendment right responsibly. I formed lasting relationships with colleagues and mentors that helped me through my years of teaching young reporters.

Suzi Van Steenbergen, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, Calif.

By far the best outcome from my attendance at the Reynolds Institute was the connections I was able to make with colleagues from across the country. I learned so much from my conversations with such bright, engaged educators. We have continued to communicate using social media and e-mail, helping each other solve problems and develop new units. My new journalism family has proven to be a great help in my second year advising our school’s journalism program. In addition to the collegial connections, I was blown away by the professionalism and knowledge offered by the speakers at the institute. I walked away with many practical ideas for how to improve my class, and with a solid understanding of essential journalism topics like the First Amendment, how to write stories, ethics, and journalistic decision making. I am ever grateful to have participated in such a comprehensive training institute.

Sandra M. Trick, Montoursville (Pa.) Area High School

Just the fact that I am more than willing to take a few minutes of my very hectic day to stop and sing the praises of the Reynolds Institute speaks volumes. While I have a degree in journalism, no other program could have prepared me for teaching journalism and advising a student publication better than the Reynolds Institute. The most valuable asset of the Institute is that it provides you with countless contacts with other journalism teachers and supporting programs that you never have to feel overwhelmed or burdened by all the many aspects of being an adviser that can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful.

Scott Turley, Pembroke (Mass.) High School

I’ve been surprised by how resistant students initially were to moving the school’s paper online. They just wouldn’t let go of the hard copy. However, as I drag our school paper kicking and screaming into the 21st century, has been and indispensable resource. Once they saw what we could do for minimal expense and how many more people we could reach, they finally embraced the web. From hosting the school’s online edition to providing a place to post video and slideshows and technical help with all of it, we couldn’t have done it without you.

April van Buren, Mesa Vista Middle and High School, Ojo Caliente, N.M.

Why was/is the Institute an invaluable experience for new advisers? As a new teacher, you’re always looking for a variety of ways to teach a concept, but there are so few journalism teachers compared to English or math. The Institute gives you toolbox full of ideas as well as an actual box of materials and lesson plans! It’s also a great opportunity to network with other advisers and professionals in the field. How awesome are the resources?!? is an amazing resource for advisers from all skill levels. Website design can take a lot of time and knowledge, but the site is a browse and upload template that is very easy to use, but also customizable (optional) for the more advanced. It’s a great way to host your videos, photos and articles online. Best of all, it’s free!

Gregory Vieira, Carson (Calif.) Senior High School

The Institute is the most valuable resource for teaching journalism, mostly because it isn’t just one thing. The experiential lesson of making a newspaper, of doing what we are asking the students to do, was probably the most useful, but I won’t slight the more academic lectures and discussions about the First Amendment and the future of journalism. The institute was inspiring and practical and the best thing I’ve done to improve my teaching of journalism. Also, the institute introduced us to; our newspaper, the Carson High School Trailblazer, has been using it for the past five years. I particularly like the National Edition selections which have motivated my students to improve so that they might be selected.

Todd Vogts, Western Plains High School, Ransom, Kan.

Going into the Institute I was facing my first year as a journalism educator after being a professional journalist. The Institute showed me how to effectively introduce my students to the wonderful world of journalism. I also learned I’m not alone. There are other teachers from across the country who are also trying to figure out how best to teach journalism, especially when the professional industry is in a constant state of change. It was nice to gain the friendship I made there because now I also have a network of fellow teachers I can turn to when I have a question or need help of any kind. Without the Institute, I wouldn’t have all that. My students’ newspaper is on have found it incredibly easy to use, and the students enjoy being able to also read their work online. I also like how by posting items to the site, my students become eligible to be selected for the “National Edition.” When my students get selected, it is a point of pride for them, which is nice because it encourages them to continue to work hard at what they are doing so they can try to be repeat winners of the recognition. I often check for lesson plans … they were created by veteran teachers. It is a wonderful resource to be able to use.

Karen Wagner, Eaglecrest High School, Centennial, Colo.

The Reynolds Institute was a phenomenal experience that showed me how to take advising a publication and turn it in to an experience that truly makes my students 21st century learners. Now I’m working on offering a specialized graduation certificate in Mass Media, which is based on the laws and ethics, writing, designing, and multi-media principles we were taught.

Mark Webber, Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts, Laredo, Texas

I came to realize I was becoming a “dinosaur” as far as journalism was concerned. My curriculum of print journalism classes and mix of digital and black-and-white film photography was becoming irrelevant in today’s digital world. Attending the 2009 Reynolds Institute gave me the that we’ve had since 2002, extensive use of photo stories, stand-alone video stories along with video to accompany text stories, audio-only interviews and blogs in addition to opening and maintaining Facebook and Twitter sites for the newspaper. In addition, I have found many features of vital in presenting relevant information to students, including lesson plans prepared by peers (including one I submitted), vocabulary words, topics under the “student” and “teacher” sections, and winnings received from the Get Clicks contest. These are among many I’ve taken advantage of.

Charis Weiss, L.D.Bell High School, Hurst, Texas

After 20 years in the classroom, I really needed something to reignite my passion for journalism. The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute did just that. From the classes to the field trips, the entire program was first-rate. I learned so much from the instructors and guest speakers, but the time spent with fellow newspaper advisers was gold. I came home with an arsenal of information — notes, materials, examples, contacts — that I’ve referred to frequently throughout this school year. More importantly, I brought back a renewed fervor for this noble profession of ours.

Rhonda Weiss, Cypress Bay High School, Weston, Fla.

The Institute provided invaluable networking and bonding with other advisers from across the country. The journalism teacher is often a solitary figure in his or her high school, so having the ability to bounce ideas around with others in the same position as well as getting information from professors and professionals in the field was something not available anywhere else.

Denice Westover, Snowflake (Ariz.) High School

The Reynolds Institute training I received has made a world of difference to my program. We now have a fully integrated Digital Media Program and journalism class at the junior level. These students receive a full IDM credit as well as and English 3-4 credit. 2010 – 2011 has been our first year and promises to be even better next year! The comradeship that I still receive from fellow teachers is amazing! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you.

Mitzi Wilson, Elyria (Ohio) High School

I came away with tons of great information necessary for a new journalism adviser. The staff was helpful and gave us lots of resources to use for lesson planning. The program was not only informative, but a pleasure to attend as well. Not having a strong background in journalism, I was initially at a loss as to what to teach my students. Luckily, I was able to refer to the website for ideas. This was especially invaluable when I was brand new to this field. Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend this workshop and for sponsoring the website. Newbies to the field find this a lifeline for our teaching.

Nicki Yokota, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

The most important thing I learned from attending the 2010 Reynolds Institute is how to write for a newspaper. It is embarrassing to admit but I’ve had absolutely no background in journalism and have never been on any newspaper staff. Because this is an intensive two-week program, it really fit my kinesthetic learning style of being immersed in learning a set of new skills rather quickly. And while I’m in my third year as adviser to a newspaper staff and have a long ways to go before I feel comfortable in saying I am a journalism teacher, I definitely feel equipped to structure the class and better assist the students because of the Reynolds Institute. The lesson plans at are extremely helpful in that 1) one doesn’t have to re-create the wheel; much has already been done for us, and 2) It saves time by getting ideas and ways to implement those ideas.

Nancy Zubiri, Venice High School, Los Angeles

The two-week Institute was probably the most memorable educational experience in my career as a journalism teacher. I still use many of the ideas I learned then and I am still friends with a few of the people I met. Our newspaper has been on since 2003. We have seen many changes to the web program, all for the better, and I love that I can get Craig Branson on the phone almost anytime. And it’s super easy to use – my students are completely in charge, which is always helpful to a busy journalism teacher, and I also don’t have to be dependent on having a very computer-savvy editor to ensure that our articles get posted for posterity.