Mountlake Terrace HS one of 16 schools to receive 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Mountlake Terrace High School is one of 16 high schools nationwide to be honored with a 2023 Press Freedom Award.

It’s the 12th time – and 10th year in a row – that MTHS has been named a First Amendment Press Freedom Award school.
The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content.
“While it’s true that in order to earn this award a school must have robust student media, the award is for the school community because of its respect for the First Amendment, especially as it relates to student voices,” said Vince DeMiero, MTHS journalism and English instructor who advises the school’s Hawkeye student newspaper. “I can’t tell you how much of an honor and privilege it is to continue to live, teach and advise at this school.”

The selection was made by a committee comprised of representatives from the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association, and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society.This is the 23rd year for the award.

As in previous years, schools competed for the distinction by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor; those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from an administrator, all media advisers and a student editor from each publication. In addition, semifinalists submitted their published district, school and media policies.

Here’s the complete list of 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners:

  • The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
  • Arvada (Colorado) High School
  • Brighton (Colorado) High School
  • Chantilly (Virginia) High School
  • Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, Maryland
  • Denver School of Science and Technology: Montview High School, Denver
  • The Harker School, San Jose, California
  • Kirkwood (Missouri) High School
  • Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, Virginia
  • McLean (Virginia) High School
  • Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School
  • Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • South Salem (Oregon) High School
  • Wayland (Massachusetts) High School
  • West Springfield (Virginia) High School
  • Whitney High School, Rocklin, California

The committee said it was especially impressed with responses from the supportive school leaders. Said MTHS Principal Greg Schellenberg: “As principal, I feel honored to work in a community that honors First Amendment principles. I see how these principles modeled by our student-run journalism extends to other corners of our school community. MTHS is an organization that respects student voice and will look to listen before acting.”

The 16 winning schools will be honored on April 20 as part of the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco.

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