East High Journalism Teacher is a Rising Star

East High School teacher Natalie Niemeyer has been named a 2014 Rising Star by the Journalism Education Association. Ms. Niemeyer, who has taught at East since graduating from the University of Iowa three years ago, has focused on strengthening and growing the school’s newspaper and yearbook programs in large part by encouraging students to tell and share the stories that matter most to them.

The following is a press release from the JEA announcing this year’s Rising Star award winners.

The Journalism Education Association has chosen 14 scholastic media advisers to receive the 2014 Rising Star award. This award recognizes teachers with one to five years of journalism teaching and/or advising experience and who demonstrate a commitment to journalism education and show promise as up-and-coming advisers.

The award winners represent nine states and advise a variety of student media, ranging from newspaper and yearbook to video broadcast and website news outlets. Honorees were asked to complete an extensive questionnaire on their experience, their involvement in scholastic journalism beyond their classroom, and their teaching/advising philosophy. Several of those chosen already have seen success from their students and the media they advise through state and national awards.

This award began in 2006, and the newest honorees bring the total to 77 winners, many of whom have taken on leadership roles in their states and at the national level.

The 2014 Rising Stars:

  • Adam Dawkins, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • Adrienne Forgette, CJE, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs, Mass.
  • Nima Kapadia, South Garland High School, Garland, Texas
  • Melissa Larson, Mesa Middle School, Castle Rock, Colo.
  • Jessica Leifheit, Castle View High School, Castle Rock, Colo.
  • Pia Longinotti, Freeman High School, Rockford, Wash.
  • Julieanne McClain, CJE, Hayes High School, Delaware, Ohio
  • Cory Morlock, Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Natalie Niemeyer, East High School, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Megan Ortiz, Summer Creek High School, Houston
  • Kyle Phillips, CJE, Washington High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Rachel Rauch, Homestead High School, Mequon, Wis.
  • Jesse Sutherland, CJE, Waterford Kettering High School, Waterford, Mich.
  • Kim Vinh, Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif.

The Rising Star awards will be presented April 12 during the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

The Journalism Education Association Inc. is the only independent national scholastic journalism organization for teachers and media advisers. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.