West Linn High School teacher Glenn Krake was recently honored among the best journalism teachers in the nation as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 2023 Special Recognition Advisor.
Krake has led the student journalism program at WLHS for the past decade and a half, in which the media umbrella of WLHSNow has grown to include a newspaper, magazine, podcasts, yearbooks, blogs, literary reviews and more.
Krake travels to New York this week for the CSPA spring convention, where he will receive his award along with this year’s five other educator honorees while also teaching three seminars related to journalism education. He said he was humbled by the award and particularly by the esteemed company it puts him in.
“I was looking at the list and two of my heroes in journalism education were recognized as distinguished advisors,” Krake said.
Krake was also humbled by the letters of recommendation to CSPA on his behalf, including two from current senior students, one from a fellow journalism advisor in Pennsylvania and another from a former WLHS yearbook editor who is now a yearbook advisor at a high school in Eugene.
Krake’s award shouldn’t come as a shock, as the program he’s built and its students have received multiple honors over the years, including Audrey Lippert, who was named Oregon Student Journalist of the Year this year, and Emily Martin, who received the same award in 2018. Krake was named Oregon’s Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2018.
Given the support of the West Linn community, Krake said he feels responsible to build a robust journalism program.
“We’re in a community that supports education. We’re in a community that consistently passes bonds for education,” he said. “There’s a lot of support for what’s happening in programs and in these offerings. So in a lot of ways I feel a responsibility to achieve and I feel like we are in a position where we have to be leaders in our fields.”
Krake noted that the support of the community isn’t confined to the walls of WLHS. As WLHSNow continues to set the bar for student journalism, its students are helping push students from other schools forward too.
At the Oregon Journalism Education Association’s fall media day last year, Krake said three of his senior students held seminars attended by other students at the convention. Several of them will do the same at a national convention in San Francisco later this spring.
He said his students are also always excited to see other Oregon student journalists recognized.
“It’s always a thrill to see those other Oregon schools at the national convention,” Krake said. “There’s a lot of really great journalism programs in the state and so we encourage each other on.”
Over the years, Krake has learned how much students can accomplish.
“When you give students tools and you set them up and you allow them space to succeed, it’s amazing what they can produce,” he said. “I’m going to be gone for four days for this conference and my senior student editors are in the middle of their print production cycle, and they are not going to skip a beat.”
Krake said this award and Lippert’s student journalist of the year honor are particularly heartening given the challenges of the past few years.
“It takes a lot of effort and momentum to get kids excited and to make forward progress,” he said. “These last couple of years with COVID and everything has been challenging for students to find a way to invest themselves and to continue to push on. So this has been kind of an encouraging affirmation that we’ve been working, and that those efforts have been recognized is encouraging.”