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2022 Alan C. Miller Educator of the Year

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2022 Alan C. Miller Educator of the Year
Jamie Gregory
Greenville, South Carolina

When it comes to teaching students to become more news-literate and helping her peers integrate news literacy education across disciplines, Jamie Gregory, librarian and journalism teacher at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, South Carolina, leads the way.

Gregory is NLP’s 2022 Alan C. Miller Educator of the Year award winner. Tamara Cox, a librarian colleague at Wren High School in Anderson, South Carolina, nominated her for the honor. “She has been committed to integrating news literacy skills into various aspects of curriculum since she began teaching 17 years ago and is willing to learn more to adapt her teaching methods as students’ needs change,” Cox said.

Gregory will join the Gwen Ifill Student of the Year and John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year award winners in a virtual celebration event Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m. ET. Register here to join the event.

Gregory discovered NLP’s resources six or seven years ago, when she returned to teaching journalism after a break of several years and realized that she needed a new approach in the classroom.  She attended her first NewsLitCamp®, where NLP experts like John Silva, senior director of professional learning, and local journalists work with teachers to explain news literacy and journalism concepts.  “I quickly knew that I was going to have everything I needed to help me to develop a curriculum,” she recalled. “Hearing John Silva say every student has the right to news literacy education reignited my passion, and I knew I was in the right place, and I have not looked back.”

Cox said Gregory serves as a subject matter expert for her school and others in the region, immersing herself in professional learning opportunities and helping NLP create a teaching framework for educators to use across grade levels. When she was asked to begin teaching a newspaper production class, Gregory applied and was selected for a Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, where she received two weeks of instruction from journalism professionals and educators. She is committed to sharing what she learns with other educators, recently presenting news literacy webinars with the South Carolina Association of School Librarians.

“No matter which school, which course, as a classroom teacher or school librarian, Jamie has consistently found ways to incorporate news literacy into the curriculum, showing her belief in its importance,” Cox noted.

For example, Gregory helped an English teacher implement coursework built around censorship. Students read books that the state of South Carolina had challenged, conducted research about the attempted censorship and then wrote editorials defending freedom to read, resulting in some students’ work being published in the local newspaper. Gregory also worked with a science teacher to craft a weekly assignment in which students shared news articles related to science topics, and she taught a lesson on discerning fact from opinion as the class was reviewing news coverage about stem cell research. “Students can find information on their own, but they lack the skills to really differentiate what’s reliable. And they need instruction on being an ethical digital citizen,” Gregory said.

“It has been said that democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and Jamie Gregory embodies this sentiment with her passionate work to build critical thinkers, creative lessons and programming on media/news literacy topics, and a focus on helping students develop their voices and make themselves heard,” Cox said.

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