Virginia students, Indiana principal win First Amendment awards

Four student editors from Virginia and a high school principal from Indiana are the winners of the fourth annual Courage in Student Journalism Awards, presented by the Student Press Law Center, the Newseum and the National Scholastic Press Association. The awards are presented annually to student journalists and school officials. Student winners are journalists who have shown determination, despite difficulty and resistance, in exercising their First Amendment press rights. School administrators are selected on the basis of demonstrated support, under difficult circumstances, for the First Amendment press rights of their schools’ student media.

This year’s winners are Beth Covington, Thomas Silvers, Erin Grantier and Rachel Johnson, former student editors at George Washington High School in Danville, Va., and Thomas Wachnicki, principal of Avon High School in Avon, Ind. The awards were presented on Nov. 10 at the National Scholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association (NSPA/JEA) convention in Boston. The four student winners shared one $5,000 prize, and Wachnicki received the other $5,000 prize.

The student winners, who are former editors of GWHS