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FDL HS English Teacher Selected As Distinguished Adviser


Matthew Smith, an English teacher at Fond du Lac High School, has been named a 2018 Distinguished Adviser by the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year program, administered by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and cosponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund as well as the Poynter Institute and The Wall Street Journal.

Each year since 1960 the program has recognized one national Teacher of the Year as well as a handful of Distinguished and Special Recognition Advisers. As part of the award Smith is slated to receive a $500 scholarship for a senior at the school as well as a digital subscription to The Wall Street Journal.

Smith has taught print and broadcast journalism at the high school for seven years. During that time students working for the school’s student newsmagazine, the Cardinal Columns, have won numerous regional and national awards, including a National Pacemaker Award and the National Courage in Student Journalism Award in 2014. Smith is also a member of the Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee and serves on the board of directors for both the Kettle Moraine Press Association and the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association.

Smith graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and spent several years working as a writer and designer, including two years serving as a reporter for The Gazette newspaper in suburban Washington, D.C. He then taught English at Laurel High School in Laurel, Maryland and earned a Masters of Education from the University of Maryland prior to moving to Fond du Lac.

In 2016 Smith received KEMPA’s Nancy Becher Newspaper Adviser of the Year Award as well as NEWSPA’s Skip Zacher Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award.

This year’s National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year is Tom Gayda from North Central High School in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to Smith, the Distinguished Advisers are Erin Castellano from Clayton High School in Clayton, MO; Mark Harrison from T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, NC; and James Miller from duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY. The Special Recognition Adviser is Kate Plows from Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, PA.

The presentation of plaques will take place at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Spring Convention on March 15 in New York.

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