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Huntley High School teacher wins journalism education award

Huntley High School Teacher Dennis Brown was the recipient of the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s Tidwell Award.
Huntley High School Teacher Dennis Brown was the recipient of the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s Tidwell Award.

A Huntley High School teacher has been recognized as the top high school media educator in the state.

Dennis Brown – who has worked at the school for 22 years – teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and news media production.

Although only about one out of every 10 students taking his media production class ultimately pursues a career in journalism, Brown said the lessons of leadership, management, writing and design that are taught in his classes are unique.

“It’s not just a writing class,” Brown said. “It’s a life class.”

Brown said some of his former students who ended up going to law school or medical school tell him his journalism course was one of the greatest things they did.

In recognition for his work in journalism education, Brown was named the 2019 recipient of the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s Tidwell Award.

Brown also serves as an adviser to The Voice, the high school’s national award-winning news magazine that his students help to turn out every month. Earlier this year, students on staff picked up their third consecutive Silver Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Brown said the class provides some students with an opportunity to take a stance on an issue for the first time and see how things pan out.

“Even though you’re not a journalist, there’s a lot of things you can pick up by doing this,” Brown said.

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