Smithson Valley High School (SVHS) journalism teacher and yearbook adviser Margaret Edmonson, described as a “quiet warrior for the rights of journalism students,” is the recipient of this year’s Edith Fox King Award from the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC).
She will be honored at the ILPC’s state convention on April 14-16 at the University of Texas at Austin.
Edmonson was chosen for her leadership in scholastic journalism, expertise in journalism, and dedication to her students. She has taught journalism at SVHS for 17 years.
“I cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing or would rather be teaching,” she said. “Watching a student put together a story and tell it through words, photos and videos gives me a sense of satisfaction that I do not think I can find anywhere else. I have watched a growing sense of ownership and responsibility from editors and leaders. I like watching that growth happen.”
The journalism teacher was nominated by Texas Association of Journalism Educators Executive Director Cindy Todd.
“Margaret Edmonson is a quiet warrior in the fight for the rights of journalism students to share their voices,” she said. “She genuinely cares about scholastic journalism and those who teach it.”
Edmonson said SVHS values student journalism and the role it plays in the community.
“I know that situation does not exist for many journalism advisers,” she said. “My hope is we can make workshops and training more readily available to those programs with no budgets.”
Edmonson teaches Journalism I, Newspaper I, II and III, Yearbook I, II and III, and Commercial Photography I and II.
Under her leadership, SVHS’s yearbook was selected for the 2023 Jostens LookBook and ValleyVentana.org, the school’s online newspaper, is one badge away from its third School Newspapers Online Distingished Site status.
Edmonson also serves as a teaching ambassador for the Emerging Journalists Program sponsored by the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism and Scripps Howard Fund. She is treasurer of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators and is a member of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors, ILPC and the National Scholastic Press Conference.