Lori Keekley is the 2016 Dow Jones News Fun National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Keekley, an English teacher and media adviser from St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School, was selected from among 25 teachers nationally.
Lori was the 1990 co-editor (with Betsy Davis) of the Hagerstown High School yearbook Epitome. She went on to Indiana University where she was the editor of the 1994 Arbutus, I.U.’s yearbook.
In her application for the Dow Jones Fund award, Lori had this to say about her time at HHS and the influence her experience there had on her as a journalism teacher:
My media education didn’t begin at Indiana University. I credit Dan Diercks, my high school journalism adviser, with igniting my passion for journalism. When he visited my honors English 9 class to recruit students for publications, I was hooked. I continued during my three years of high school and was the co-editor of the 1990 Epitome yearbook.
During the three years I worked on the Hagerstown High School Epitome yearbook, my adviser taught me to be a better journalist, and he cultivated an interest in the First Amendment. I still remember Mr. Diercks posting a newspaper article in 1988 about the Hazelwood ruling, which I learned he strongly opposed.
Mr. Diercks believed student media should be the student voice and should not be controlled by administrators or the adviser. We were able to make our mistakes and learn from them.
He empowered us and had faith in us — something I try to do daily with my own students.