Two things journalism can’t live without are good sources and strong support from the community. Hoover High School principal Sherry Poole has provided both to the school’s young reporters and editors. That is why she was honored as Administrator of the Year by the Iowa High School Press Association, according to journalism, English and speech instructor Sarah Hamilton.
“I nominated her for her continued support of my programs and her encouragement of my continued learning,” said Hamilton. “Plus, she is very generous with her time by always being available for my students.”
Poole has overseen a lot of what journalists call ‘breaking news’, especially in her first year as principal at Hoover. Hamilton called it ‘a perfect storm’ of community upheaval and severe storms that damaged the roof so bad water leaked in many places inside the school. Hamilton says the former police officer has taken praise and criticism from student journalists with gratitude and grace, a great example for staff and students.
“During her first year as principal, she held up an unflattering student opinion story during a professional development session with our staff, and she said, as our principal, she needed to do better,” said Hamilton.
Poole has encouraged professional development among staff and the expansion of the journalism program into broadcast reporting, giving students new options to pursue. She’s coordinated efforts during the pandemic to get the school newspaper, The Hoover Challenger, to students. To young reporters, she is always available for comment.
“Because of all these things, I felt compelled to nominate Sherry as the Iowa High School Press Association’s Administrator of the Year, because she continues to show up, despite a flood or a pandemic or the perfect storm, she continues to support my programs as well as be a strong leader that my school needs,” Hamilton wrote in her speech for the Iowa High School Press Association awards ceremony. “She encourages me to continue to be the best advisor to my students, she encourages my students to continue their learning by granting them access to field trips and extra programs and she provides us with the resources we need.”
Great leadership and teaching appear to be having an impact beyond Hoover’s journalism classrooms, too. Hoover’s yearbook staff won several awards already this year and The Hoover Challenger is up for consideration for the News Team of the Year award. Sounds like a perfect storm of Husky talent is brewing on the Northwest side of Des Moines.