Michelle Turner

Michelle Turner, Washington High School broadcast adviser, is poised to receive special recognition by the Journalism Education Association for her work with “Blue Jay Journal TV.”

National Broadcast Adviser of the Year awards will be presented April 12 during the JEA/NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego, Calif.

Turner will receive a plaque during the awards luncheon, as well as become a regular contributor for JEADigitalMedia.org. She also is presenting a session on broadcast journalism at the convention.

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.


Turner has 18 years of classroom experience, and has her Missouri Certification in secondary art, English and journalism.

She was honored as the 2007-09 Missouri State Teachers Association South Central Region’s Secondary Educator of the Year.

Turner has been with the Washington School District since 1998, where she has taught and/or advised literature, composition, English, television and radio production for the “Blue Jay Journal,” introduction to broadcast journalism, photojournalism, photography, art appreciation and has been a Renaissance sponsor.

She has been the adviser of the Blue Jay Journal TV during her entire career at WHS, and has co-advised yearbook for the past 12 years.

Prior to coming to WHS, there was no introduction to broadcast journalism course, so Turner created the course and curriculum.

She said it’s her goal to teach broadcast journalism until she retires from education.

“It is where my passion is,” she said.

Former Students Nominate

Several former students recommended Turner for the JEA honor, including Johanna Mayer, Emily Rau and Christie Nicks-Castillo.

“The two and a half years I spent in Ms. Turner’s class profoundly shaped the trajectory of my career and gave me a sense of pride and ownership of my work,” Mayer said.

“The trust and high expectations allowed me to truly own the pieces I was producing,” she said. “It’s a rare gift to encounter a teacher who has such confidence in her students, and who will work hard to help them find confidence in themselves. To this day, I am still proud of the work I did in her class.”

Turner said she was surprised to win the award.

“There are times in your life you’ll have tears in your eyes because you are totally humbled and feel great joy,” she said. “This was one of those times for sure.”

Group Involvement

Turner is a member of the National Education Association, Missouri Interscholastic Press Association, Sponsors of School Publications, Student Press Law Center, Student Television Network, Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association.

She participates yearly in the Drury University VidCon Conference in Springfield, Mo., for students and advisers from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Turner also guest blogs for the Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting on occasion.

Other Awards, Honors

“Blue Jay Journal TV” has placed multiple times in the Broadcast Best of Show at JEA/NSPA and has earned several NSPA Broadcast Stories of the Year. The station was a Pacemaker finalist for Broadcast twice and earned a Pacemaker once.

The overall television show has earned five STN Excellence Awards, and has won the RFK Journalism Award in the past.

“Blue Jay Journal TV” staff members have earned the Missouri State Journalist of the Year Award and the STN Student of the Year Award, as well as many other state, regional, local, and national honors.

“Blue Jay Journal TV” recently took both first place and third place in the state-wide Battle of the Belt/Arrive Alive campaign sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“It’s beyond ‘winning’ for our staff,” Turner said. “It’s not just about plaques and certificates. It’s about making a difference, learning the craft and telling the stories that need to be told.’

The show itself has become a nationally-ranked broadcast program. The Student Television Network, the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association have all recognized the program nationally.