Neshaminy newspaper adviser named Pennsylvania journalism teacher of the year

The last few months for the students of Neshaminy High School’s The Playwickian haven’t been easy. As the student staff has fought administrators for editorial control, their adviser Tara Huber has stood behind them at every step. Tuesday night, Huber found out she was being named Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania High School Press Association.

“It makes it worth continuing to fight the good fight,” Huber said.

In October, the staff announced they wouldn’t use the word Redskin – the school’s mascot – because they say it’s a racial slur. Administrators pushed back and demanded students print it.

PSPA received two nominations for Huber, one from Jane Blystone, a professor at Mercyhurst College, and the other from Dennis Howie, an English teacher at Neshaminy. PSPA President Robert Hankes said it was clear the she deserved the recognition.

“Tara’s a real hero on this end of the continent,” Hankes said. “She’s not the one who’s bearing the brunt of the blows — [student Editor-in-Chief] Gillian [McGoldrick] is – but she’s doing everything she needs to do as an adviser to help the group do what they’re supposed to do, which is bring out a paper.”

The recognition has helped inspire her students as they were putting out their final issue of the year, Huber said.

“When I told them this morning they were so excited,” she said. “They clapped and high fived and they were very excited. It was some positive motivation for them, some inspiration to keep fighting for what they believe in.”

Huber has served as The Playwickian’s adviser for 14 years and also teaches English at Neshaminy. According to a PSPA news release, she works on numerous committees, teaches summer school and teaches English at Today, Inc., a substance abuse program.

She will be formally recognized at the PSPA Student Journalism Competition in October.