The Minnesota High School Press Association has presented its 2010 Journalism Educator of the Year honor to Lori Keekley of St. Louis Park High School and adviser to the Echo newspaper. Keekley was recognized during the newspaper class at the school on May 24, 2010. She has been teaching at St. Louis Park High School since 2002.
Selection criteria for the award include teaching/advising preparation, experience and ability; relationships with students and others; contributions to the profession; promoting appreciation for journalism and as a career; and support for the First Amendment.
The newspaper program at St. Louis Park has long been among the top in Minnesota and in the nation. The Echo is an avenue for free expression for students and a vehicle showcasing outstanding reporting, writing and design both in print and online. Recent awards for the staff of the Echo include Second Place in the Best of Show contest at the national convention in Washington, D.C., in November 2009. In 2007, the paper was a finalist for the top national award, the Pacemaker, from the National Scholastic Press Association, and in 2006, it earned a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Individual students have also earned numerous honors.
One of her colleagues, Laurie Hansen of Stillwater Area High School, the 2008 Journalism Educator of the Year, nominated Keekley for the award. “It has been satisfying and exciting to share time with a person of her caliber and talent, and I am merely one teacher of many who has had the privilege of working with her.” Other journalism teachers from around Minnesota shared the praise for Keekley.
Keekley is an accomplished educator and recently earned certification as a Master Journalism Educator through the Journalism Education Association. She teaches editorial leadership at the summer workshop sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association at the University of Minnesota. She has also taught workshops and convention seminars around the nation.
Keekley holds a master’s degree in journalism education through the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University, where she was a copy editor for the newspaper and editor in chief of the yearbook. She taught high school journalism for three years in Indiana, before joining the staff of the National Scholastic Press Association in Minneapolis as its director of national contests and critiques from 1998-2000.