March 9, 2023 - Smithson Valley High School journalism teacher and yearbook adviser Margaret Edmonson is this year’s recipient of the Edith Fox King Award by the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC). The award will be presented during the annual ILPC state convention, April 14-16, at the University of Texas at Austin.
Edmonson has taught journalism for more than 20 years and has been at SVHS for 17. She was chosen for this award for her leadership in scholastic journalism, expertise in journalism and dedication to her students.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Edmonson says. “I am blessed to work for a school that values scholastic journalism and the role it plays in the community. I know that situation does not exist for many journalism advisers. My hope is we can make workshops and training more readily available to those programs with no budgets.”
The Edith Fox King Award is truly a special honor because teachers are nominated by their colleagues. Texas Association of Journalism Educators executive directory Cindy Todd, who nominated Edmonson, wrote, “Margaret Edmonson is a quiet warrior in the fight for the rights of journalism students to share their voices. She genuinely cares about scholastic journalism and those who teach it.”
Currently, Edmonson teaches journalism I; newspaper I, II and III; yearbook I, II and III; and commercial photography I and II. She would much rather talk about the awards and honors that her students have achieved than her own.
“My kids are the ones who deserve the recognition,” she says. “The 2022 yearbook has once again been picked for the 2023 Jostens LookBook, and valleyventana.org (student online newspaper) is one badge away from our third School Newspapers Online Distinguished Site status.”
She goes on to share UIL journalism team results with the 2022 team tying for second place in the state with then-freshman Bethany Mann placing second in editorial writing and then-junior Emma Siebold placing third in news writing. They are on their way to do well again this year at competition.
Siebold, now a senior, interned with Conference Daily Online during the National Conference on Education in February and was highlighted by the publication’s editor for her work.
As Edmonson heralds the great work that her students produce, she truly is highlighting her own work – her students.
“I cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing or would rather be teaching,” she says. “Watching a student put together a story and tell it through words, photos and videos gives me a sense of satisfaction that I do not think I can find anywhere else. I have watched a growing sense of ownership and responsibility from editors and leaders. I like watching that growth happen.”
Edmonson also serves as a teaching ambassador for the Emerging Journalists Program sponsored by the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism and Scripps Howard Fund. She is also the treasurer of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, is a certified Journalism Educator and is a member of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors, ILPC and the National Scholastic Press Conference.
-Margaret Edmonson, Smithson Valley High School journalism teacher is receiving the Edith Fox King Award by the Interscholastic League Press Conference.