Though a bit sobering to be considered a 'pioneer,' I am deeply touched and honored by the recognition
Ferndale, WA (PRWEB) September 17, 2009
Student Press Law Center Legal Consultant Mike Hiestand has been selected to receive the National Scholastic Press Association's Pioneer Award, the organization's top honor for individuals. The award recognizes substantial contributions to scholastic journalism, as well as service to the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and its programs.
Hiestand has been assisting students, advisers and administrators with questions about scholastic press law on behalf of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) since 1991. In that time, he has directly served an estimated 14,000 callers, in addition to many thousands who have attended his lectures and workshops. He is a regular speaker for NSPA at state and national conventions, and he writes the "It's the Law" column for the NSPA Web site.
Hiestand, a graduate of Marquette University's College of Journalism and Cornell Law School, lives with his family in Ferndale, Wash., where he handles West Coast inquiries to the SPLC.
"Though a bit sobering to be considered a 'pioneer,' I am deeply touched and honored by the recognition," Hiestand said. "I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be associated with the Student Press Law Center and everyone who has made the Center's work possible. It is a special place and it has been a true blessing -- for almost two decades -- to go to work every day passionate about what you do."
"Mike Hiestand is an absolutely tireless advocate for the student media," SPLC Executive Director Frank D. LoMonte said. "More than anyone else I know, he truly understands and believes in the connection between good student journalism and good adult citizenship, and he has spent the last two decades taking that message across the country to anyone who will listen. It is no exaggeration that there are dozens of teachers who have their jobs today, and dozens of student publications that exist today, because Mike Hiestand came to their defense."
Hiestand was one of five individuals recognized with a 2009 NSPA Pioneer Award. Awards also went to SPLC Advisory Council members Mark Newton of Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Monica Hill of the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association.
Those selected for the Pioneer Award will be honored at the Journalism Education Association/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. The NSPA displays a composite plaque of Pioneers at the JEA/NSPA national conventions. Candidates are nominated and selected by previous Pioneer Award winners.