Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Year-End Banquets Inspirational

Planning a publications banquet at the end of the year when life is crazy enough without another event is a real leap of faith. However, many advisers and their staffs continue to promote a final celebration of the year.

I have enjoyed attending several publications banquets in the last few weeks. It’s fun to see the different approaches and traditions the schools establish. Some provide a formal banquet, and others create a party theme. Some name one Journalist of the Year while others name an All-Star Publications Staff or Top Seniors.

Advisers and/or editors provide reviews of the year that speak volumes about the worth of the publications experience. Jeff Dick, editor in chief of the Muncie Central Munsonian, mentioned two specific events that had built the character of his staff. The first was very positive. The staff covered the Clinton and Obama rallies next to professional journalists and reported the events extensively with news, features and opinion pieces.

The other event was a computer catastrophe that forced the staff to recreate all of their established templates and documents. The two experiences provided a great comparison of the agony and ecstasy of high school publications and the overall feeling of accomplishment that all kinds of circumstances can provide.

At each banquet there were healthy amounts of teasing and praise, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the worth of an 8 ½ by 11 inch sheet of paper. It may only cost a few cents, but when that sheet becomes a certificate that honors excellence or dedication, it makes the transition to a priceless document. Parents nonchalantly whisk away tears, and most recipients modestly try to hide the joy they feel despite a pride that is difficult to conceal and wonderful to observe.

At each school the students thank the advisers who have made the publications experience possible, yet I doubt that they can fully imagine the effort involved.

Thanks to each of you for the commitment you make to scholastic journalism in general and the many students who benefit from your dedication.

Note: In the photo above, editors Elizabeth Munroe and Elizabeth Robins each thank Ryan Gunterman for his expertise and patience as adviser for all the Bloomington High School North publications. Robins presented him with a publication of “The Last Lecture.”

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thanks Diana! Seeing the student's reactions make advising worthwhile. And the few parent comments and thank you's make me want to come back and do it all again next year. I guess I must be doing something right!