Adviser Update Adviser Update Spring 2017 | Page 32

straight . Throughout it all , they have maintained composure , interviewed like professionals and somehow managed to play in tennis and softball games , finish homework for AP classes and still be normal teenagers .
In addition to all of this , The Huffington Post invited the six student journalists , Eric Thomas , executive director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association , and myself to attend the ​White House correspondents ’ dinner .
Throughout this experience , the students have never been acknowledged by the district . The only exception is a ​press release​directly from the board of education members .
Looking back , what was so remarkable ?
Six students : five juniors and one senior , continued to persevere despite doubts and assurances from all angles . On March 16 , the students and I arrived at the foot of a mountain .
They had doubts . Their parents had doubts . I had doubts . But every time those earnest faces looked at me with doubt , I kept telling them : doing what is right is not always easy and this was probably going to be one of the most difficult experiences in their lives . I told them the information they had discovered absolutely needed to be brought to light .
Throughout the process the students met with administration on three different occasions . I think each time they were hopeful the interaction would be different . Deep down , I think their innocence begged for an adult to step in and make this difficult task disappear by shouldering the responsibility .
When this burden of truth was
Emily Smith , CJE , is in her ninth year teaching at Pittsburg High School , Pittsburg , Kan . She is in her seventh year advising The Booster Redux newspaper , The Purple & White yearbook and photojournalism . She loves working with and empowering her students . She earned the Jackie Engel award for Kansas journalism excellence in 2015 and a JEA Rising Star in 2016 . She is the area 4 board representative for the Kansas Scholastic Press Association . not transferred , they realized it was their responsibility to shed light on the situation . They were concerned about the fate of their school .
That is when I lost all doubt . Their information was factual and their claims supported by established , reliable sources . Our intrepid journey was only possible because of amazing guides along the way . Thomas of KSPA was there every step . He brought in Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center . I reached out to a former Booster editor and parent , freelance journalist Andra Stefanoni .
None of this was possible without their unwavering support . Throughout the experience , they never had doubts . They didn ’ t see a mountain , just rocky terrain .
Throughout this experience , I believe all of us learned the importance of persevering . Through the guidance of Thomas , LoMonte and Stefanoni , the students pushed past their comfort zone and became a catalyst for change .
I realized there never was a mountain .