Unless you went to my high school, chances are, you don’t know who Kim Green is.
She was my high school journalism advisor/fearless Triangle newspaper leader. If it weren’t for her, I honestly have no idea how my life would have shaped up. I definitely wouldn’t have my current job. I may not have gone to college. And this blog sure as hell would not exist.
And I know I wasn’t the only person she influenced, but I do know that she was finally recognized for it—in an awesome way—by being inducted into Ball State University’s Journalism Hall of Fame.
I met her, Mrs. Green, during my sophomore year. I thought I wanted to learn how to take pictures, and to do that, I had to take a beginning publications class, which included journalism writing, and ad sales, aside from photography.
In that year, I wrote for class, and was hooked. I could have given a damn about pictures. I didn’t know much about the school paper before I took the class, but that class was also a requirement for the paper. If you did well in class, made a stellar portfolio, and nailed the application process, you could be on the newspaper staff.
And that I did.
I loved spending mornings before class in the newspaper room, and sometimes I stayed after school. We were one of the only school papers that didn’t have to have our articles screened by our principle—it was empowering. Every third Friday, the staff would arrive to school upon sunrise, to fold and stuff all of the freshly printed issues. There were always donuts.
In the summer, I took Mrs. Green’s advice to attend journalism camp at Ball State, where I met even more mentors, and writers I still look up to, today. As nerdy as it sounds, that week of the summer was always so beneficial and inspiring. It was there that I won my first awards for my writing.
Since graduating from high school, I’ve been horrible about keeping up with Kim. I visited once, and attended a board meeting when the paper was under fire for printing sex education. My cyber stalking skills tell me Kim may have physically moved on from our old school, but I’m certain she’ll never leave journalism.
In February, I saw a post on our newspaper alumni Facebook group page asking all of us to say where we went to college, our major/degree, our jobs, and what we still take from being in student media. I know how much it benefitted me, but to see 32 other comments, of former newspaper students, and their careers—UFC, Las Vegas Sun, Angie’s List, Tampa Bay Times, Walt Disney, USA Today, The Washington Post—blew me away.
And so, maybe you’ll never know Kim personally, but I hope you’ve been lucky enough to have someone like her in your life, at least once. And Mrs. Green, if you’re reading this, thank you, and congratulations!
She is such a great teacher. I took the beginning journalism class as a sophomore, too, and it was an amazing experience! I remember reading Fahrenheit 451 and talking about First Amendment rights. When I joined the Triangle, we published a controversial story about oral sex and high schoolers that got the school board up at arms. We learned from Mrs. Green that even as high schoolers, we have first amendment rights, and we don’t lose them when we enter the building. I’m proud to say that I was a part of that newspaper staff!
Nicole, I’m so happy you had that experience! When I was on staff, a student at North was circulating a petition to get more wheelchair ramps at the school. Enough students signed it, and I had an interview with the Vice Principal. When I quoted him in my article, he said I fabricated it, and Mrs. Green presented my notes to the office to prove I was being true. I felt empowered, even at 17. May every high schooler have the opportunity to meet someone as awesome as her! -HP