Carolyn Wagner receives Dow Jones / CSPA Distinguished Adviser Award


Carolyn Wagner (right) with KEMPA President Beth Marshall. Wagner was named to the KEMPA Hall of Fame in October 2019.

Carolyn Wagner of Lake Zurich High School in Illinois was named one of four Distinguished Advisers in the United States by the Dow Jones News Fund and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.  Wagner received a plaque as well as a one-year subscription to The Wall Street Journal and access to webinars from the Poynter Institute. A $500 scholarship will be presented to one of her students who plans to major in journalism in college.

Wagner is in her 23rd year advising Bear Facts, LZHS’s quarterly magazine and daily news and she also guides a regular social media presence.  Bear Facts was a Pacemaker finalist in 2007, and consistently earns First Place/highest honors through Quill & Scroll, NSPA, KEMPA, and NISPA.

Wagner was named the 2014 Nancy Becker Newspaper Adviser of the Year by the Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA). She served on the KEMPA Board for five years, acting as Vice-president, Summer Workshop co-director, co-chair and developer of KEMPA Individual Contests, and a member of the Scholarship, Awards, and Winter Seminar committees. She presents sessions at KEMPA’s and the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association’s student conferences as well as at the KEMPA Summer Journalism Workshop. In earning her Master Journalism Educator status from the Journalism Education Association, Wagner developed KEMPA’s Individual Contests program as her culminating project. Last October Wagner was given KEMPA’s highest honor, enrollment in our Hall of Fame.

“I would say, though, my greatest [accomplishment] is the feedback I get from all my J-grads saying how well prepared they were for collegiate journalism,” Wagner said.  “I have former kids working on college media, at professional papers, in advertising, and in broadcast, and they all say their experience with Bear Facts gave them a strong foundation and helped them excel at what they do now. To me, that’s so much more important than any award. Teachers don’t always know the impact they have on students’ lives, and I’m so privileged to know that I made a difference in the lives of my J-kids.”

Congratulations, Carolyn, from everyone at KEMPA.