Jordyn Kiel of FHN Wins National Recognition - JEA Rising Star Award`

Posted on 02/08/2017
Jordyn Kiel of FHN Wins National Recognition - JEA Rising Star Award

The Francis Howell North (FHN) High School Publications team is no stranger to awards. Visit their newsroom on the FHN campus, and you’ll see each wall covered in plaques, certificates of achievement, and trophies. But there is a different type of trophy among all that hardware – Excalibur Yearbook Adviser Jordyn Kiel. She inspires her students to do their best, and it shows in their work. As a result, Kiel was recently announced as a Journalism Education Association (JEA) Rising Star Award winner, one of just ten educators from across the country.

Kiel is in just her third year of teaching at FHN, and as yearbook adviser, she oversees the 320-page, nationally recognized book. Under the watchful eye of journalism teacher and Director of Student Media Aaron Manfull, Kiel teaches many of the introductory journalism courses at FHN. She also works in other areas of the journalism program, including working with the Quill and Scroll members and the school’s Parents of Publication Students program. She even helps coordinate special event planning and staff training.

Kiel said, "I feel more blessed every day to do what I do and to work where I work. I love the challenges and opportunities that journalism provides, the rich experience it becomes for all students in the program and above all, I love the students I encounter working as a journalism adviser.”

Having seen her progress from a student at FHN to a teacher, Manfull doesn’t take her encouraging presence for granted. "Jordyn has been a great partner to tag team the FHN Journalism program with,” he said. “She's gone way above and beyond in her three years teaching. The energy she brings to the room each day is contagious, and she works incredibly hard to connect with students and help them reach their potential."

If you don’t believe Manfull, take it from her students. FHN senior Maddie Mitchell, Excalibur Yearbook Co-Editor-In-Chief, said, “Mrs. Kiel has been one of my biggest role models in high school. Ever since I took her class as a sophomore, she's pushed me to be the best I can be and continues as my yearbook adviser. She's a wonderful person with a kind heart, and is always willing to help – whether it's personal or academic."

"Mrs. Kiel has helped me not only in school, but grow as a person,” said fellow FHN senior (and fellow Excalibur Co-Editor-In-Chief) Ryanne O’Donnell. “She's so patient with everyone. No matter what the problem is, she’s always there to help."

That is correct; Kiel is there to help her students – whether it be in a classroom setting or otherwise. She and Manfull host a free summer camp in June at FHN for high school journalism students, and she helps teach the yearbook class at Media Now Mizzou, a four-day summer journalism workshop for high school students and advisers. Jordyn is currently completing work toward her master's degree in Journalism Education from Kent State University.

Kiel appreciates the recognition, but the success simply motivates her to do even more for her students. “They make me extremely proud daily,” she said, “and provide constant inspiration for me to be better and learn more. I'm just lucky to have them and lucky to have the chance to teach them and learn from them."

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