Col. Joseph Murphy began the tradition of awarding Gold Keys in 1929, more than 70 years ago, shortly after the Association was founded in 1925.
With the Gold Key, CSPA recognizes, educators, professional journalists and others in public life primarily for their service to the Association. Through their contributions to the CSPA, Gold Key recipients have demonstrated their support for excellence in teaching journalism and advising student publications.
The Gold Key Award citations state:
"In recognition of the outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press, encouragement to the student editors in their several endeavors, service above and beyond the call of delegated duty, leadership in the field of education, and support of the high ideals from which the Association has drawn its strength and inspiration."
All six of this year's recipients were present for the ceremony, which took place on March 17, 2006 at a special advisers luncheon. The luncheon was part of CSPA's 82nd annual Scholastic Convention at Columbia University in New York City.
Bonnie Blackman ends each email with a reminder to both students and advisers.
“Dare to Be Remarkable,” she writes.
She encourages young journalists to believe in themselves, to think outside the box, to record the history of their school and to do it remarkably!
A Jostens representative since 1981, Bonnie Blackman believes life is filled with the joy of learning and the opportunity to go beyond the ordinary.
Her enthusiasm spilled over to Marie Rozman when she became the yearbook adviser at North Brunswick Township High School.
“I was accosted in the hallway by the most energetic, and spirited woman who I figured had overdosed on caffeine,” Rozman says, “ but when I attended my first yearbook camp, I discovered she is always bright, sunny and upbeat—even at 6 a.m.”
“Bonnie is a regular cheerleader for CSPA,” says former CSPAA President Laura Schaub. “She pushes her staffs to produce top quality books based on the CSPA criteria.” She is a regular participant at CSPA conventions having attended for the last seven years either working the exhibit floor or presenting sessions.
“Cultivating young journalists is her passion and her calling, says Claire Regan, a Wagner College journalism professor. “Bonnie never forgets to bring a long a bucket of Twizzlers or a bag of pretzels to nourish hungry staffers and advisers.
Bonnie Blackman herself sets the example of being remarkable.
The Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association is proud to confer its Gold Key on Bonnie Blackman.
Dr. Gloria Schultz Eastman
As a teenager, Gloria Eastman’s favorite place in school was the journalism room.
As an adviser she made her room a favorite place where kids from different cliques with different abilities and problems were all welcome. Gloria taught high school journalism and advised award-winning publications for over 25 years in suburban Denver.
“Modeling the truth that blue collar kids from my rather poor school could accomplish as much and more as students from more affluent schools is one of my greatest contributions to student journalism, she said.
Dr. Eastman now serves on the College of Education faculty at Metropolitan State College and continues to contribute to scholastic journalist. From participating in Crown judging for CSPA to presenting sessions at conferences, her commitment and contributions to CSPA and scholastic journalism at the national level are noteworthy and significant.
Gloria co-authored the adviser’s guide for the Jostens 1,2,3 curriculum, a publication that helps advisers with grading, lesson planning and survival on the job.
“The fact that she is a professor at the collegiate level makes her voice credible to educators and students at the secondary level,” says Gary Lundgren.”And her contributions are truly voluntary since her position is not attached to a school of journalism or a state scholastic press association.”
At this stage in her life she says encouraging advisers is her passion.
“I really want to be sure that the generation that’s about to retire is replaced by advisers with just as much energy, creativity and dedication. So many people helped me and taught me over the years I want to ‘play it forward.”
The Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association is proud to confer its Gold Key on Dr. Gloria Eastman.
Margaret "Peggy" Gregory
Peggy Gregory says she has two goals for her journalism students at Greenway High School in Glendale, Az.
- To offer a complete history of their school and
- to appeal to their readership through relevant and entertaining stories.
“There is always some story or package that wows me,” she says.
Peggy says she has learned so much about journalism over the years because she has attended conferences including the CSPA conventions. Her publications (the Demon Dispatch and the Demonian) are consistent CSPA winners having received both Gold and Silver Crowns. She is a contest judge for CSPA and a regular speaker. Her publications are members of the NSPA Hall of Fame and they have received NSPA Pacemaker awards.
“By teaching at conventions, by judging and by taking students, I feel I have modeled that involvement is important,” she says.
Gregory is a special recognition adviser from Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and has been a copyreader for the Arizona Republic reflecting her professional experience.
Just as her students wow her, she wows us with all she does.
The CSPA is proud to confer its Gold Key on Peggy Gregory.
Brenda Gorsuch says the first thing she tells new advisers is the importance of getting involved with national, regional and state organizations.
She stresses the importance of having your publication critiqued and she says,"I encourage new advisers to attend the CPSA convention with me so they can experience the educational opportunities provided and get over their fear of traveling with students.”
When she teaches workshops she uses the standards of the CSPA critique books to help new advisers improve their publications.
Brenda has just completed her 23rd year as a teacher and adviser at West Henderson High School in Hendersonville NC and has just completed her year as Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year.
In recent years the newspaper the Wingspan and her yearbook the Westwind and yearbook have won Crowns from CSPA as well as Pacemakers and awards from SIPA,the Southern Interscholastic Press Association.
“Brenda’s expert knowledge of journalism, her passion for truth and accuracy and her gift of teaching make her one of the best journalism instructors I have ever known, says Karen Flowers, director of South Carolina Scholastic Press Association.
"When I think quality I think of Brenda Gorsuch," says Beth Dickey, executive director of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. ”Everything she does is first class, professional and outstanding."
The Columbia Scholastic Press Association is proud to bestow its Gold Key on Brenda Gorsuch.
While most kids can’t wait to get out of high school Robin Sawyer says when she graduated she was not crying tears of joy but of incredible sadness.
“I loved everything about high school my classes, my teachers and my friends. Most of all I loved being editor of the school newspaper.”
She did not go to college right away but when she was engaged her future husband asked, “If you be anything what would it be?” I immediately responded, “I want to be just like Marie Harris,” her high school journalism teacher.
And Robin has done just that and then some.
“Ask Robin to do something and you knew it was done,” explains Kathy Zwiebel, president of CSPAA. Robin has been a long time speaker and judge for CSPA and has served on both the honors and nomination committees. She also served as third vice president of CSPAA.
Her enthusiasm for student publications and advising has not waned over these years, says Dr. Jane Blystone. Whenever she faces struggles against a restrictive publications policy in her district she works endlessly to garner support for her students as they come to learn about student press rights and understand a mature commitment to their journalistic work. Since 1991 her publications have won over 300 awards. And Robin has many awards herself.
As the 2000 Dow Jones Teacher of the Year, Robin is the first high school teacher to serve on the Board of Directors for the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.
Several of her former students have gone on to be advisers, one most recently taking Robin’s position at Manteo High School in Manteo, NC when Robin transferred to a new school to face a new challenge. And whatever those challenges may be she brings her professionalism, her passion and her dedication with her.
The CSPA is proud to confer its Gold Key on Robin Sawyer
In the past 10 years, Vicky Wolfe has missed only two CSPA spring conventions and only because she was about to deliver either her son Andrew or David.
In fact, she arranged for Andrew to be born on the Saturday after the convention last year so that her husband, yearbook adviser Gary Bender, could still come with his 10 students.
Vicky Wolfe has worked as sales rep for Herff Jones since 1995 and helps students in over 40 middle and senior high schools in the Northern Virginia area brainstorm, design, write and produce yearbooks.
However, she is not primarily a salesperson.
“She is a master teacher advocating the principals of good journalism and emphasizing the importance of good writing,” says CSPAA Vice President Mary Kay Downes. “And she always keeps in touch with the latest technology.”
When PageMaker ruled design Vicky offered sessions for PageMaker but as soon as InDesign appeared, she updated her sessions to teach the latest technology to her student and adviser audiences.
Vicky showed her own writing skills by contributing her yearbook expertise to the second edition of CSPA's Scholastic Yearbook Fundamentals. She pushes advisers and students to set the same high standards that she sets for herself.
Her son David has attended more yearbook camps and conventions than any other two year old in the nation. Proudly wearing his yearbook kid t-shirts. David along with his mom and the rest of the family lives and breathes yearbook and journalism because Vicky sets the standard.
The CSPA is proud to confer its Gold Key on Vicky Wolfe.
CSPA Honors Committee
With Shirley Yaskin, former teacher and publications adviser at Miami Palmetto Senior High School and immediate past president of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association as its chair, the Honors Committee this year included:
*Dr. Jane Blystone
North East High School
North East, PA
retired publications adviser
*Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Dean, School of Journalism,
Florida International University
First Flight High School
Kill Devil Hills, NC
*Ms. Sawyer did not participate in the discussion of her nomination to receive a Gold Key from the Association.