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    Media Adviser Chris Waugaman Receives National Award

    Media advisor Chris Waugaman searches for files to help his students create the newspaper.
    Media adviser Chris Waugaman searches for files to help his students create the newspaper.

    On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 18th, it was announced to the students of PGHS that newspaper adviser Chris Waugaman had been elected Dow Jones News Fund’s 2014 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Even though Waugaman received the news before the announcement, he still held the same feelings of excitement.

    “I’m honored to be on that list. There are so many great advisers that have not gotten the award and deserved to, so I’m honored. It’s also great for Prince George because it’s representative of the students that come through these doors,” Waugaman said.

    An award of this magnitude is not just given away. Waugaman had to complete a lengthy application process before he was nominated for this honor.

    “Generally, the basics are that you have to respond to 12 questions in length. You are recommended by a peer that can be an adviser from another school,” Waugaman said. “It’s not an award that’s a surprise. There’s a bit of preparation involved in it.”

    Waugaman is adept in the field of journalism after teaching the subject for 13 years, and as a result of his knowledge as well as the hard work of the students, The Royal News staff has accumulated multiple awards under his advisement. The group continually strives to produce strong work.

    “We’ve always been visually impressive. We continue to work on that, and we do a pretty solid job of getting to the heart of people’s stories,” Waugaman said. ” [Also] the fact that we cover all areas from print to digital really well. We were somewhat the first on the scene digitally.”

    The title of DJNF National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year is not one Waugaman takes lightly, but he and his staff are still continuing to improve the quality of their work as they would have done before the award.

    “Obviously, the one thing we, and I as an advisor, want to do is bring in new print one students and teach them how to maintain a level of journalism. We could also do a little bit better job of investigating stories that involve asking tougher questions. We will cover those stories, but we are not consistent on asking the tougher questions.” Waugaman said.

    The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 10th during a luncheon at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association, two organizations from which he had previously earned noteworthy distinctions.

    During the ceremony, Waugaman will give a short speech and then be awarded a plaque and a laptop for his classroom. He will also gain access to “webinars” from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Along with those prizes, a senior from PGHS will receive a 1,000 dollar scholarship.

    “I think I’m most excited about one of our seniors receiving a scholarship, because that’s a true testament to our program, how well our students do [after high school],” Waugaman said.

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