Journalism veterans Stapp and Stencel named to SPLC's Board of Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Beverly Keneagy904.626.0017 /

The managing editor for digital news at National PublicRadio and an award-winning journalist and former high school journalism adviserhave been elected to the Student Press Law Center’s Board of Directors.

The new board members are Mark Stencel, who is responsiblefor overseeing all content on and the network’s other online platforms,and Mary Stapp, who taught journalism at the largest public school in Washington,D.C., and co-advised the school’s student newspaper.

TheStudent Press Law Center (SPLC) is a Washington, D.C.-area non-profit whosemission is to advocate for free-press rights for high school and collegejournalists. It also provides legal information and referral assistance at nocharge to students and the educators who work with them.

“I am delighted to welcome Mary and Mark to the Board, and Iam especially pleased that they each bring a lifelong of involvement in studentjournalism to the SPLC’s work,” said Mark Stodder, an executive withMinneapolis-based Dolan Company and chairman of the SPLC Board of Directors. “InMary, we have a colleague who can speak directly to the adversity andchallenges that advisers face daily in the classroom, and in Mark, we have acolleague who has been at the forefront of digital media innovation. They areboth highly respected in their fields, and they will be superb and committedadvocates for the rights of students everywhere.”

Stencel, a graduate of the University of Virginia, formerlyserved as the executive editor and deputy publisher at GOVERNING, a monthlymagazine and website written for leaders in state and local governmentpublished by Congressional Quarterly. He served as a managing editor at CQ,where he helped lead one of the largest news staffs on Capitol Hill,coordinating daily coverage of Congress, online and in print.

Stencel began his career at the Washington Post as an assistant to syndicated columnist David S.Broder and as a researcher for the newspaper’s national politics staff. After astint as a science and technology correspondent for The News & Observer in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Stencelreturned to the Post in 1996 to helplaunch the company’s first website, PoliticsNow.

In addition to his work as an editor, Stencel was a vicepresident at the Post Company’s online division, Washingtonpost.NewsweekInteractive, where he directed the business side of early mobile and multimediaefforts and managed content partnerships and projects with other newsorganizations, online publishers and mobile phone carriers and device makers.

Stapp taught journalism at Wilson High School in Washington,D.C. from January 2008 through June 2011, and co-advised the school’s studentnewspaper, The Beacon.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English from Universityof Miami in 1985, Stapp began her journalistic career writing for the Miami News, and wrote for localpublications such as South FloridaMagazine, Miami Today and New Times before becoming an architecturecritic for The Fort Lauderdale News/Sun-Sentinelin 1987. Before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1990, she covered ports andinternational trade for the InternationalBusiness Chronicle.

While raising three daughters in Washington, D.C., with her husband,author Joel Achenbach, she freelanced stories and worked as a researchassistant for a variety of book, television and grant-writing projects.

The new members were elected unanimously by electronicballot, and will begin their work with the SPLC’s Jan. 27 Board meeting.Leaving the Board due to term limits are Robert Garcia of NPR and Jerry Cepposof the Louisiana State University Manship School of Communications.

The Board alsore-elected to three-year terms three incumbent members: attorneys Pat Carome ofWashington, D.C., Mike Godwin from San Francisco, and Laura Lee Prather ofHouston. The SPLC’s 15-member all-volunteer board includes representatives fromthe journalism, legal, education, philanthropic and nonprofit management fields.

Since 1974, theStudent Press Law Center has been devoted to educating high school and collegejournalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the FirstAmendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issuesfree from censorship. The Centerprovides free information and educational materials for student journalists andtheir teachers on a wide variety of legal topics on its website at