The official site of the Missouri Journalism Education Association - an affiliate of JEA

Missouri JEA.

2016 MJEA Administrator of the Year

Legacy editor in chief Kyndall Truelove thanks Mr. Mershon and discusses how he has supported yearbook.

Legacy editor in chief Kyndall Truelove thanks Mr. Mershon and discusses how he has supported yearbook.

Clark Mershon of Staley High School in Kansas City has been selected as the Missouri Journalism Education Association’s 2015-2016 Administrator of the Year.

Mershon has been Staley High School’s principal since the school’s 2008 opening and has also earned several awards for outstanding service to education including 2003 Missouri Middle School Principal of the Year by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, Southwest Missouri Principal of the Year and two Greater Kansas City Principal of the Year awards. Mershon was a columnist for his high-school newspaper and has supported and promoted scholastic journalism throughout his career. Even as a middle-school principal, he launched a daily student-produced broadcast and a student-produced hardback yearbook.

He was nominated by Staley’s yearbook adviser Cherie Burgett who wrote, “When our school district required each publication to print a paragraph on the staff/table of contents page stating that the publications were not a forum for student expression and that school officials had the right to edit and review content as they see fit, he supported my students as they chose to cease publication until the decision was reversed.”

“Our school district allows Mr. Mershon the right of prior review, yet in the entire time the school

has been opened, he has not once asked for or practiced prior review. He puts his full trust in the advisers and the student editors to make good decisions on content. He has also never come after publication to criticize coverage. He does, however, make sure to come to the journalism room to praise the students who have specifically created the content for the magazine, the yearbook, the news broadcast or online. He pulls them into the hallway or in front of the class and gives them specific positive feedback,” Burgett added.

The MJEA judge noted: “Mr. Mershon gets the nod for his steadfast support of student free expression when the district attempted to impose a questionable statement in publications stating that student media do not enjoy First Amendment protections. Of course, not every administrator is confronted with such a clear situation, but that sort of courage (perhaps with nod to his days as a high school journalist) deserves to be honored.”

The Missouri Journalism Education Association is the largest state scholastic journalism organization formed to help protect and enhance scholastic journalism in Missouri. MJEA works to provide outreach and support to advisers and journalism programs across the state. MJEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.

We had students from STTV (daily broadcast), Legacy yearbook, Talon newsmagazine, StaleyNews.com and N2 Sports (live sports broadcasting) present Mr. Mershon with the award. They each spoke about specific ways he has supported their particular program. It was a staff meeting, and the Superintendent was present along with Mr. Mershon’s wife. The N2 sports broadcasting student (who is also in STTV) is Mr. Mershon’s son, Ward Mershon, a very talented broadcast journalism student.

We had students from STTV (daily broadcast), Legacy yearbook, Talon newsmagazine, StaleyNews.com and N2 Sports (live sports broadcasting) present Mr. Mershon with the award. They each spoke about specific ways he has supported their particular program. It was a staff meeting, and the Superintendent was present along with Mr. Mershon’s wife. The N2 sports broadcasting student (who is also in STTV) is Mr. Mershon’s son, Ward Mershon, a very talented broadcast journalism student.

The official site of the Missouri Journalism Education Association - an affiliate of JEA
2016 MJEA Administrator of the Year