Huntley High School teacher Dennis Brown has been named the winner of the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s Tidwell Award, which recognizes the top high school media educator in the state.
Brown teaches journalism and social studies courses and serves as adviser to the school’s national award-winning newsmagazine, The Voice.
“Each year since 2013, the state high school press association, the Illinois Journalism Education Association, has honored a single outstanding high school media educator who has done exemplary work during this and the previous academic year, with the Tidwell Award,” said Stan Zoller, a longtime journalist and journalism educator who serves as IJEA’s East Region Director. “It is IJEA’s highest honor for journalism teachers and advisers.”
In his 22 years at HHS, Brown has overseen publication staffs that have garnered numerous national and state recognitions, and boasts a cadre of alumni who have gone on to successful careers in journalism. Earlier this spring Voice staffers picked up their third consecutive Silver Crown Award in the Magazine Hybrid category from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Crown Awards are one of the most prestigious awards in high school journalism, similar to a Pulitzer Prize.
“He is beloved by his students who rise to the occasion for him and continue to meet those expectations long after they leave Huntley,” said Emma Kubelka, current editor-in-chief of The Voice. “He puts in as much energy and commitment as he expects from others. He demonstrates by example what commitment to a profession and to a belief is all about.”
Brown is a board member of the IJEA and president of the Northern Illinois School Press Association. In 2007 he was named a Special Recognition Adviser by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and in 2017 was named the Kettle Moraine Press Association’s Nancy Becker Newspaper Adviser of the Year.
The Tidwell Award is named in memory of James A. Tidwell, a longtime Eastern Illinois University journalism professor, First Amendment advocate and IJEA co-founder.
Photo by Riley Murphy