Nichols wins adviser award
Sarah Nichols from Whitney HS in California earns Lester Benz Scholarship
April 25, 2022
Former National Yearbook Advisor 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.
2023 Benz Scholarship applications will be available in January 2023
- 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