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SPJ recognizes high school teacher for Distinguished Teaching in Journalism


For immediate release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ awards coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 210, lrochester@spj.org
Christine DiGangi, SPJ communications coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 205, cdigangi@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists has chosen Mitch Eden, a teacher at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Mo., as the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. Eden advises the school’s Pioneer yearbook and The Call newspaper, which have earned several awards during his tenure.

With the award, SPJ honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made an exceptional contribution to the profession and/or journalism education.

“In my experience teaching at the middle and high school level, I have never met such an inspiring teacher and one who has contributed to the national and local journalism community,” Donna Canan, chair of Kirkwood High School’s English department, wrote in a recommendation letter for Eden.

Eden has advised high school publications for more than 16 years and has been at Kirkwood High School for five. Those who recommended him for this award noted his dedication to the student journalists and the community they serve, as well as his passion for upholding the First Amendment. Eden also awards an annual $500 scholarship, funded by his family, to students who have exhibited strong leadership skills.

SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee was impressed by the amount and variety of endorsements Eden received from colleagues and students speaking to his teaching skills and ability to empower young journalists.

“Because of Mr. Eden, I know how to take responsibility and pride in my work,” wrote Joe Weber, a student. “I’m not afraid to knock on a door or call a complete stranger for an interview. I’m not afraid to make a tough decision, or to comfort another staffer when they’re frustrated about a story.”

Eden will be honored at the Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Sept. 20 to 22.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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