Student media champions honored

Ben Davis HS Principal Sandi Squire, 2020 Indiana Administrator of the Year (photo courtesy of Ben Davis HS Student Media Adviser Tom Hayes)


Dec. 8, 2020

FRANKLIN, Ind. — The Indiana High School Press Association is thrilled to announce the winners of the Indiana Administrator of the Year, Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press and IHSPA Lifetime Membership award winners. Each one of these amazing individuals are worthy of the accolade and praise given them, and we’re all fortunate to have them on the side of scholastic journalism and student freedom of expression. They have made, and will continue to make, our Hoosier student media family stronger.

IHSPA Administrator of the Year
Sandi Squire, Ben Davis HS Principal
Indianapolis, Indiana

Squire was nominated by Ben Davis High School student media adviser Tom Hayes because of her unrelenting support of the school’s journalism program and its students. She is an administrator who is always available for interviews, provides financial assistance when needed, and never practices prior review of any student work. Squire has even gone out of her way to ensure the journalists at her school can continue to inform the community during the pandemic, ensuring the student media rooms remained safely open when the school closed due to COVID in the spring. Her cultivation of an environment that respects the First Amendment and empowers Hoosier journalists is what makes her the perfect recipient of the 2020 Indiana Administrator of the Year.

Former JEA Indiana Director Nancy Hastings, 2020 Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press

Dr. Louis E. Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press
Nancy Hastings, Former JEA Indiana Director
Highland, Indiana

This honor is presented in the name of Dr. Louis E. Ingelhart, professor emeritus at Ball State University, to recognize his invaluable contributions to scholastic journalism and his outstanding service, advice, and friendship to journalism educators. This award celebrates someone who is not a present adviser but has made an outstanding contribution to journalism education and Indiana scholastic journalism in particular. Nancy Hastings is all of those things that made Dr. Ingelhart so special. Her significant contributions as the Indiana director for the Journalism Education Association, and the advisers and students who can credit her support for their accomplishments, are too numerous to count. It’s not hyperbole to say a majority of the student media advisers in this state are better because of her dedication to serving as mentor, colleague, and ally. Hastings is the ultimate friend of the student press.

Retired Student Media Adviser Jeff Gabbard, 2020 Lifetime Membership Honoree

IHSPA Lifetime Membership
Jeff Gabbard, Retired Student Media Adviser
Connersville, Indiana

IHSPA annually honors retired individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Indiana scholastic journalism, both in and out of the classroom, throughout their careers. Gabbard did exactly that during his tenure as an educator and student media adviser, particularly while guiding the student journalists at Connersville and Richmond high schools. It’s no wonder the annual lists of Harvey Award and Hoosier Star recipients were consistently filled with the names of his students and the publications they produced. That type of dedication to the betterment of those he taught and advised is exactly why Gabbard fits the criteria required of someone worthy of this accolade. Those who can credit his support for reaching their personal and professional achievements can be found in all areas of the country in every profession imaginable. The teenagers who entered his classroom are better because of his continuous commitment to serving as their mentor and friend. Gabbard’s impact will last a lifetime and beyond.

While all of our recipients could not be honored at the state convention due to COVID-19, these educators will be recognized during the adviser general membership meeting at the next in-person fall conference. Anyone wishing to submit a nomination for any of the IHSPA awards may do so here:

For more information, email

Leave a Reply