Hiestand departing after 20 years of service

If you’ve ever crackedopen a copy of the SPLC’s reference book, Law of the Student Press,or referred to one of the educational publications housed on the splc.orgwebsite, then you’ve heard Mike Hiestand’s voice.

Mike’s wisdom andcompassion animate everything that we do at the Student Press Law Center, andfor 20 years, he has been our conscience, keeping us focused on the ultimategoal: Helping young people develop the critical-thinking skills they need tobecome educated owners of their democracy.

It is inconceivable tothink of a Student Press Law Center without Mike Hiestand’s upbeat voice on thehotline – where he has given individualized help to some 15,000 students andeducators in his time with us. But starting June 30, we will have to try.

Mike is leaving theSPLC at the end of the 2011-12 school year to devote full-time to some excitingventures that he and his brother, Dan, have been developing. (To check out whatthey are working on, visit www.homehistorybook.com.)

In recent years,Mike’s contributions to the field have earned him the National Scholastic PressAssociation’s Pioneer Award, and the Louis B. Ingelhart First Amendment Award,given by College Media Advisers. These honors assure Mike a place on the “MountRushmore” of student press freedom.

Mike’s legacy will notbe measured in plaques and trophies, but in lives improved and lessons taught.We will miss his kindness, his fortitude, and his wise counsel.