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Journalism teachers receive national honors

CASTLE ROCK – The Journalism Education Association (JEA) has announced that three Douglas County School District teachers will receive national honors this spring for their work with student-journalists.

Jed Palmer, the journalism teacher at Sierra Middle School (pictured) was one of only three teachers nationwide to be named a Distinguished Adviser this year, in the Journalism Education Association (JEA) National High School Yearbook Adviser of the Year Award program.

In the 18 years that the JEA has been awarding this prestigious honor, Palmer is only the second middle school adviser to receive this award. He is also only the fourth adviser in Colorado to earn recognition from the JEA in the Adviser of the Year program.

Melissa LarsonJessica LeifheitThe JEA also recognized Melissa Larson (pictured at left) of Mesa Middle School and Jessica Leifheit (pictured at right) of Castle View High School with its Rising Star award. The award, which began in 2006, recognizes teachers with one to five years of journalism teaching and/or advising experience who demonstrate a commitment to journalism education and show promise as up-and-coming advisers.

Palmer, Larson and Leifheit will receive their awards in April at the spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, in San Diego.

January 15, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Castle Rock Middle School, Castle View High School, Sierra Middle School, District, High School Education, Middle School Education

District News

High school students across Douglas County, and many students in respective feeder schools, are once again learning that a little kindness can go a long way. Again this year, our high schools hosted Wish Weeks to make dreams come true for Make-A-Wish Foundation beneficiaries.

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education has named Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D. as the sole finalist to lead our 68,000-student district as superintendent on a unanimous vote.


The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) has certified Sagewood Middle School as a Recognized ASCA National Model Program (RAMP). A prestigious honor, Sagewood is now the only middle school in the state of Colorado to have gained this certification. Schools must receive a near-perfect score on ASCA’s scoring rubric, which outlines guidelines for building and maintaining student achievement, behavior, counseling curriculum, school culture, and several other factors, in order to become certified.