Nikki Davis, Elizabeth Granger to retire

By Diana Hadley

Nikki Davis is about to end a 30-year career that includes one semester at Linton-Stockton Jr./Sr. High School, five years at Owen Valley Middle School, and 25 years as a publications adviser at Westfield High School.

Davis completed two IHSPA/HSPA adviser internships at the Noblesville Daily Ledger, one in writing and production and another in advertising.

Regarding memorable moments, she says she will always remember listening to her students agonize over how to cover 9/11 from a student perspective. She has loved watching students plan and work toward deadlines, and she says she never loses the excitement of seeing the completed, published yearbook.

A major move to L.A. in June will be followed by a trip to India in August to visit her daughter, son-in-law and four granddaughters. After that she will return to L.A. to be a granny nanny to her other two granddaughters. She hopes to earn a license in scuba diving in her spare time.

Davis says it may be difficult to transition to a regular calendar after living within semesters for so long, but she is overjoyed that she will never have to grade another composition.

Elizabeth Granger will complete 28 years of full-time teaching in public schools including Superior Central Junior High, Wisconsin; Romulus Central School, New York; and Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis (She also taught GED classes part-time for eight years and college freshman English one year.)

Granger’s honors include Sengenberger adviser of the year, Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser, Lawrence Central Teacher of the Year, ASNE Reynolds fellow, two Lilly teacher creativity grants, an IPL Golden Apple award, two NEH Landmarks grants, the Peter Jennings seminar, National Federation of Press Women first place winner for advising student publications, 2015 finalist for Youth Journalism International Journalism Educator of the Year, and the ASNE winner of a plaque and $1,000 for First Amendment lesson plans for the “1 for All First Amendment Challenge.”

Her memories include an all-night Cub Reporter deadline at her house in 1991 when Lawrence Central was in the midst of a major renovation. She had taken equipment home for the summer (two Apple SEs, a printer, a light table and a waxer). She says the staff planned to publish a newspaper on the first day of school, so the deadline work session was at Granger’s house. By midnight only three students remained, and Granger went to bed. About 5:00 a.m. the editor gently awakened her and asked, “Can you get up and help us finish the paper?”

Granger will become the national coordinator of the NFPW high school communications contest in September.

Both Davis and Granger have seen many changes during their careers as they have worked to keep publications included in their schools’ curricula. Technology has exploded exponentially since waxers were major pieces of publications equipment; media platforms have expended into new areas, and the politics of education have provided different challenges all along the way. An example: when Granger moved to Illinois and applied for a teaching job in 1971, the superintendent told her that in his district, “housewives substitute teach.”

Thanks to both Nikki Davis and Elizabeth Granger for their contribution to IHSPA specifically and scholastic journalism in general. Best wishes to both as they begin new chapters in their lives.

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