2023 Lester Benz Scholarship opens for applications
Quill and Scroll will award the $250 Lester G. Benz Scholarship to an adviser who undertakes a professional development activity over the summer or in the 2022-23 academic year.
The award can be used to attend a National High School Journalism Conference, to pay for tuition for a university course in a relevant subject area, or for a summer workshop, the JEA Summer Advisers Institute or a local summer workshop in your state, to name a few.
Who is eligible?
Quill and Scroll encourages applicants who:
- teach at a Quill and Scroll charter school (check here to see if you are and, if you’re not, how to get a charter),
- have at least one year teaching high school journalism and/or advising publications,
- have a minimum of one year experience teaching journalism or advising school publications,
- plan to return to the high school classroom and media advising next year AND
- will apply the information gained in the course work, seminar or workshop taken as a result of this scholarship.
The scholarship program’s objective is to identify and reward experienced journalism teachers and publication advisers (as defined above) who seek the opportunity to upgrade their journalism skills, teaching methodologies and advising techniques.
Complete the application form below this section, including the requirement that you submit two letters of recommendation from people who will attest to your journalism teaching skill, publication advising, quality of the journalistic writing course(s) you teach and the quality of the publication(s) you advise. The letters of recommendation should come from any of the following sources:
- Vice or Assistant Principal
- Department Chair
- Regional or State Scholastic Press Association Director
- Scholastic Journalism Workshop Director
- A faculty member of the school, college or department of journalism for whom you will take a journalism course
- JEA mentor, current or former
It is the intent to select a journalism teacher/publication adviser who plans to take course work that is definitely beyond the introductory level. Descriptions of courses or workshops should be submitted with the application to help inform the scholarship committee about the plan of study.
Deadline is April 14, 2023.
The award is named after former Quill and Scroll Executive Director Lester G. Benz.
Lester G. Benz Scholarship
Nichols wins adviser award
Sarah Nichols from Whitney HS in California earns Lester Benz Scholarship
April 25, 2022
Former National Yearbook Adviser of the Year Sarah Nichols has earned the 2022 Lester Benz Scholarship from Quill and Scroll.
Nichols will use the $500 stipend to pay for online learning opportunities, specifically courses in Adobe Illustrator, which she’ll then use in her lessons both at Whitney High School in Rocklin, California, but also in her role as an instructor in Kent State University’s master’s program for journalism educators.
In fact, it was the impact of Nichols’ work that most compelled the three-member Quill and Scroll Scholarship Committee to honor her.
“It was the specificity of her request and the impact that she’ll have on others,” one committee member said.
Nichols’ application was supported by stellar letters of recommendation as well.
“The honors her high school students have earned, both for overall publications and individually, speak for that,” wrote Candace Perkins Bowen, the director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State. “The Crowns and Pacemakers and Best in Shows illustrate Sarah’s remarkable advising. Every publication has an off year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the media her students produce.
“Bottom line, awarding the scholarship to Sarah will have a trickledown effect with students at the secondary school and college levels, in California and across the U.S. all benefitting from her new expertise. In fact, I may have to sit in on some of these classes as my Adobe Illustrator knowledge is definitely lacking, too.”
Valerie Penton Kibler, the adviser at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia was also effusive in her praise.
“In my eyes, Sarah Nichols is a journalism education superhero,” Kibler wrote. “In fact, I’m fairly convinced she gets more done in 24 hours than most of us accomplish in two days. I’ve never known another soul who gives so much of herself to others, especially in the field of journalism education.
2024 Benz Scholarship applications will be available in February 2024
- 2022 — Sarah Nichols, Whitney HS, Rocklin, California
- 2021 — Shari Chumley, Tupelo HS, Tupelo, Mississippi
- 2020 — Laura Bowe, The King School, Stamford, Connecticut
- 2019 — Andrea Negri, Alief Hastings HS, Houston, Texas
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