Congratulations to all of this year's winners!

We have posted the Awards Day winners on the Awards page. Congrats to all of the winners! The competition was very competitive, with 933 submissions entered to Here were the top winners:

  • Administrator of the Year: Dr. Holly Flora, John Sevier Middle School
  • Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Student Media Adviser: Nola Henderson, Jefferson County High School
  • H. L. Hall Outstanding Student Journalists: Madelyn Bomar, Christ Presbyterian Academy; Keely Hendricks, Harpeth Hall School



Mary Beth Tinker headlines 2015 Fall Workshop

High-school students in Tennessee had the chance to meet an iconic figure this fall.

The annual THSPA Fall Workshop was held on Lipscomb's campus Oct. 16. The keynote speaker was Mary Beth Tinker, who won the 1969 Supreme Court ruling in favor of First Amendment rights for students.

As her website explains:

"As a 13-year-old student in eighth grade, Mary Beth was strongly affected by news of the war. She and her brothers and sisters, along with other students in Des Moines, decided to wear black armbands to school to mourn the dead on both sides of the Vietnam war. The armbands were also in support of a Christmas truce called by Senator Bobby Kennedy that year. The Des Moines school board tried to block the students from wearing the armbands, and most of the students who wore them were suspended.

"The case eventually went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in a landmark decision in 1969 that students in public schools do have First Amendment rights. Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the majority opinion that students and teachers do not 'shed their constitutional rights…at the schoolhouse gate.'"



Two Tennessee advisers among Reynolds High School Journalism Institute's 2015 fellows

Two advisers from Tennessee were among the 140 teachers trained by this year's Reynolds High School Institute.

Emmy McClain of St. George's Independent School (Collierville, Tenn.) and  TJ VanDyke of Dyersburg High School attended the Institute in July. Emmy received her training at the University of Texas at Austin, and TV received his at Kent State University.

In its final year, the 2015 Reynolds High School Journalism Institute brought together 140 teachers from 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for comprehensive hands-on journalism training. For the first time, participants also completed online training before and after the Institute and joined discussions at

“The online training and discussion forum are now open to any teacher who would like to enhance their skills and access resources,” said Le Anne Wiseman, director of the ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative. “We’re excited that many more teachers will be able to benefit from the program developed by the Institute.”

Through the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, teachers learned how to help students gain stronger reporting, writing, editing, multimedia, design and entrepreneurial skills needed to start or improve student news media organizations and understand the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment and their rights and ethical responsibilities as student journalists.

Participants also developed lesson plans that are available at for anyone to use.

“The lesson plans and discussion forum at will help any teacher learn how to teach journalism,” said Wiseman. “The ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative staff is also available to help and answer any questions.”

Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 2,340 secondary school teachers have completed the program. The program is administered by the American Society of News Editors Youth Journalism Initiative and was held at four locations in 2015:

  • Arizona State University, June 21-27
  • University of Texas at Austin, July 12-18
  • Kent State University, July 12-18
  • University of Missouri-Columbia, July 19-25

The Institute was funded through a generous grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which paid travel, housing and instructional expenses for the teachers, as well as optional continuing education credit. Teachers also received journalism textbooks and paid membership to the Journalism Education Association and their state or regional scholastic press association.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $150 million to journalism initiatives nationally.

ASNE’s Youth Journalism Initiative, launched in 2000, is committed to helping students learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st-century citizens. The Initiative invests in the future of journalism and democracy by providing resources and training in youth journalism; news, information and media literacy; and the First Amendment and civic education.

The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism workforce, youth journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.




THSPA Awards Day was on the Lipscomb University campus Monday, March 2. 

  • Congratulations to Sara Hayes, Father Ryan High School, Administrator of the Year!
  • Congratulations to David Flanary, John Sevier Middle School, Bonnie Hufford Media Adviser of the Year!
  • Congratulations to Morgan Ridenour, H. L. Hall Student Journalist of the Year!

Congratulations to these overall winners:

Best Overall Literary Magazine

  • Sculpture Garden, St. George's Independent School, 1st place
  • Hallmarks, Harpeth Hall, 2nd place
  • Flight, Brentwood Academy, 3rd place

Mark Madison Best Overall TV Station

  • Franklin High School, 1st place
  • Brentwood High School, 2nd place
  • Independence High School, 3rd place
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy, Honorable Mention

Best Overall Newspaper

  • The Knightly News, Hume-Fogg Academic High School, 1st place
  • The Sequoyah Scribe, John Sevier Middle School, 2nd place
  • The Eagle's Eye, St. Benedict at Auburndale, 3rd place
  • The Bell Ringer, Montgomery Bell Academy, Honorable Mention
  • The Gryphon Gazette, St. George's Independent School
  • Logos, Harpeth Hall, Honorable Mention
  • The Voice, Brentwood High School, Honorable Mention

Best Overall Website

  • The Bell Ringer online, Montgomery Bell Academy, 1st place
  • The Gryphon Gazette, St. George's Independent School, 2nd place
  • The Central Digest, Central High School, 3rd place 
  • LogosNow, Harpeth Hall, Honorable Mention

Best Overall Yearbook

  • Lion's Roar, Christ Presbyterian Academy, 1st place
  • Auctioneer, Greeneville High School, 2nd place
  • Flight, Hardin Valley Academy, 3rd place
  • Eye of the Raptor, Ravenwood High School, Honorable Mention
  • Traverse, South-Doyle High School, Honorable Mention

Congratulations to the individual Broadcasting winners (and view the videos of the first-place finishers)!

Congratulations to the individual Literary Magazine winners!

Congratulations to the individual Multimedia winners (and view the videos of the first-place finishers...and the top-three lip dub videos)!

Congratulations to the individual Newspaper/Newsmagazine winners!

Congratulations to the individual Yearbook winners!



Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Awards Day! We had 849 entries in over 40 categories.

Here were the three overall individual winners:
  • Administrator of the Year: Nate Morrow, Christ Presbyterian Academy
  • Bonnie Hufford Adviser of the Year: Ronnie Adcock, Brentwood High School
  • H. L. Hall Student Journalist of the Year: Jocelyn Sitton, Harpeth Hall


2013 Fall Workshop Write-Off Winners

Congratulations to the Write-Off winners:

Feature Writing

  • First Place: Katie Stephens, South-Doyle High School
  • Second Place: Madelyn Bomar, Christ Presbyterian Academy
  • Third Place: Kevin Ellis, South-Doyle High School

Sports Writing

  • First Place: Spencer Petty, Christ Presbyterian Academy
  • Second Place: Chandler McCollough, Bolton High School 
  • Third Place: Camille Thompson, Christ Presbyterian Academy



Nagel named state director of JEA

Heather Nagel, yearbook adviser at Christ Presbyterian Academy, has been named state director for the Journalism Education Association. She succeeds Denise Croker of the Harpeth Hall School. Congratulations, Heather, and thanks to Denise for your years of excellent service!  


More about THSPA...

To learn more about THSPA, visit our information page.  To learn how to become a member of THSPA, visit our Membership Page.