15 Years.

On this exact date 15 years ago, I (finally!) graduated from college. I’d spent a semester student teaching English and Journalism, and while I balked at the Journalism assignment when I received it, that placement ended up being one of the best things to ever happen to me. I knew I wanted to be a newspaper adviser someday.

Someday arrived one year later, when the newspaper adviser at Murray High School in Salt Lake City decided to retire. Knowing my student teaching experience (and I may have put a bug or two in his ear), my principal offered me the position. To prepare for the job, I attended the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Washington, D.C. In a session specifically for high school teachers, I met three people who really impressed me with how they approached publications advising. I soaked up everything I could from them. I kinda wanted to be them when I grew up.

At the beginning of 2015, I applied for the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. The institute takes place at the University of Texas, Arizona State, Kent State, and another school that I can’t recall, because its institute didn’t work with my summer schedule. I was selected for the program and placed at Kent, which feels like a homecoming of sorts, since I completed my Master’s degree at Bowling Green State, a mere two and a half hours away.

Today I received the first set of instructions to prepare for the Institute. The welcome letter included the names of our teachers–the same teachers I met and admired at that AEJMC conference so many years ago.

To say I am excited is an understatement. I am beyond thrilled, and can’t wait to spend an entire week not only learning from them, but also learning from the other advisers who will be part of the institute.

Some days, I just can’t believe my luck.

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