KEMPA Press Release
March 20, 2013
The Kettle Moraine Press Association has gained from Stan Zoller’s years of service. Our Board of Directors and our member schools and journalism advisers have learned of Adviser Stan Zoller’s job loss from his teaching position at Rolling Meadows High School with great concern for both the students in the newspaper program and Zoller.
Associate Superintendent for Human Resources at Northwest Suburban High School District 214 Kurt Laakso and RMHS Principal Eileen Hart have granted press interviews and attributed Zoller’s job loss to reduction in staff. Current and past editors suggest otherwise. Since Hart began as principal in fall 2011, Zoller’s teaching schedule was reduced each year to the single class assigned 2012-13 year for newspaper. He was notified March 7 of no job for the next school year.
Former Editor-in-Chief Alexandria Johnson, a 2011 graduate and a journalism student at Northwestern University, in a March 12 interview with the Student Press Law Center http://www.splc.org/news/ noted Zoller’s outstanding work as adviser who supported the newspaper’s coverage of both positive and negative news.
“What was rare and great about Mr. Zoller was he would always make suggestions to us… but ultimately we came up with the content for our newspaper,” she said in the SPLC interview. “We were able to go through the learning process on our own, and he was there as he should be, as an adviser.”
KEMPA has received great benefit from Zoller’s passion for journalism as a Board of Directors member and president Fall Conference presenter and Summer Journalism Workshop instructor. Likewise, his newspaper staff and his high school as well as District 214 have earned numerous awards that point to the high standards of journalism Zoller established in his eight years as adviser of the nationally recognized Pacer newspaper. The RMHS Pacer has earned seven All-KEMPA awards, four Quill & Scroll Gallup awards, three National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalist awards, three NSPA Best of Show places, a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown, and Zoller is a twice recognized Dow Jones Newspaper Fund adviser. His students gained recognition as two claimed Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year-Illinois; two, NSPA Story of the Year; and six, Illinois All-State Journalists. Letting go a professional educator like Zoller is certain to impact quality journalism programs and students who lose that expert experience and guidance in practicing ethical and responsible journalism.
KEMPA supports Stan Zoller and high school scholastic journalism where students in Illinois, Wisconsin and the United States may exercise First Amendment rights. Those teaching as advisers and those learning as journalism students should never be subject to fears of recrimination, punitive action against a journalism organization or individual or job loss as they pursue the practice of a free and responsible student press. Our goal is to support journalism advisers and students with the full voice of the Kettle Moraine Press Association.
Sandy Jacoby, President-Kettle Moraine Press Association
Linda Barrington, Executive Director-Kettle Moraine Press Association