Inspiring High School Journalists

Whether reading an article in print, watching an evening broadcast, or browsing a site on a mobile device, consuming the news is a part of our day. How we get that news—a method of inquiry and style known as journalism—is what Jim Streisel loves to teach in the classroom.

Streisel was named the Dow Jones News Fund’s 2013 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year for his hard work in teaching the next generation of journalists as well as future civic leaders at Carmel High School since earning his bachelor’s degree in 1995. As part of the communications faculty, he advises the award-winning HiLite newspaper and website as well as Acumen newsmagazine.

The Dow Jones News Fund judges told Streisel, “Each of these panelists lauded the strength of your students’ work and their mastery of new media, your activities to promote inclusion, your advocacy for students press rights, and your consistent commitment and work ethic.”

As a result of the award, Streisel will travel throughout North America advocating for high school journalism teachers and media programs,

“I hope that my students see the passion I have for this program and for their ability to do what they do,” Streisel says. “If you believe in something strongly enough, it's worth doing to the best of your ability, and it's worth fighting for each and every day. I hope my students see that passion and have inherited it for the things they do that matter to them.”

Streisel joins a Ball State classmate honored for journalism education by a major communications organization. Jennifer Palilonis, ’96, MS ’04, George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of multimedia, received the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year in 2012. The journalism graphics sequence coordinator, Palilonis frequently leads special topic courses that partner Ball State students with professional organizations. Past projects include collaborations with the Indiana State Museum, Circle of Blue, and the Sun-Sentinel in south Florida.

Dan Waechter, assistant professor and assistant chairperson in the Department of Journalism, says only the best educators are recognized in these competitive awards.

“We are incredibly proud that two Ball State journalism alumni have received national outstanding teacher awards at the high school and college levels in the same timeframe,” he said. “Both Jennifer and Jim studied at Ball State at the same time, so it is even more special that two classmates have simultaneously achieved this recognition.”

Streisel firmly believes his time spent working on various college publications at Ball State set him apart from many of his peers.

“Ball State offered me the opportunity to get involved in my program of study immediately. I had the freedom to get my hands dirty right away. The professors and instructors are there to serve students first. I always appreciated the one-on-one that my professors gave me. They genuinely wanted to see me succeed. If I succeeded, they succeeded.”