By Tamas Mondovics

Journalism Teacher Among Rising Star Award Winners

East Bay High School teacher Ashley Clark was one of 13 journalism teachers and media advisers to receive the Rising Star Award in 2016. According to The Journalism Education Association (JEA), this year’s winners will be honored during a luncheon of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Convention in Los Angeles in April.

“Every day I get to help students tell their peers’ stories that will actually be published in a keepsake that will be shown to children and grandchildren,” Clark said adding that in the process, her staff gets to learn life lessons: how to talk to people, how to present information, how to make decisions, how to meet deadlines and how to be part of a team.

“It feels validating to have this day-to-day process and my part in it recognized,” she said. “It’s empowering to know that the Journalism Educator’s Association sees value in the opportunities I create for my students and the products that result from that process.”

The Rising Star Award honors scholastic student media advisers who have completed five or fewer years in the profession. A total of 109 advisers have been honored since the award’s inception, and many have gone on to greater involvement in local, state and national scholastic journalism organizations.

For more information about The Journalism Education Association, visit

Local Community Leaders Among Junior Achievement’s Elite Award Winners

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay (JA) announced the names of local community leaders selected from more than 213,000 U.S. volunteers to earn the organization’s premier award for volunteerism.

Today, JA reaches 4.5 million students per year in 113 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.7 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide.

Last year, Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay reached 94,579 students in the Tampa Bay area. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from Kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Honored by the Outstanding JA Alumnus Award was Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman. Murman also received the Silver Leadership Award.

Also honored with the Bronze Leadership Award were Chief Financial Officer of American Traditions Insurance Company, Brian Adamski; Chief Financial Officer of HSN, Michael Attinella; Chief Executive Officer of Bloomin’ Brands, Liz Smith; Owner of Jose E. Valiente, CPA Consulting, Jose Valiente; and President of ASSET Management, Inc., Betsy Whitaker.

Honored as 2016 Legacy Award Recipients were GTE Financial, Tampa Bay Lightning and Wells Fargo.

Receiving the Spirit of Achievement Award was President of University of South Florida, Judy Genshaft. 

“These leaders and partners are a wonderful example of how one person can make such a huge difference in the lives of young people in our community,” said Richard George, president of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay.

Emphasizing that the local business community has been supportive of Junior Achievement’s goal of inspiring local students, George said that the honorees are a great example of the spirit of generosity.

“In a very real way, they help Tampa Bay’s JA students develop financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness skills, contribute to the community and participate in the revitalization of the economy,” George said.
Genshaft began her JA career in 2004 serving on the Capital Campaign of JA BizTown and was awarded the National Bronze Leadership Award in 2013, and the Silver in 2015. 

With 245 volunteers, USF is one of the top Junior Achievement volunteer providers.


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