WEAC Member Awarded Prestigious National Scholastic Press Award
April van Buren, a member of Madison Teachers Inc./WEAC, is one of only three teachers in the United States to receive a prestigious Pioneer award, the highest honor bestowed upon journalism educators. Van Buren is recognized as being among the best in the world by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). She is a Madison East High School Business and Media Teacher.
The Pioneer award recognizes educators who at the highest levels, have shared their passion for scholastic journalism and press freedom with students nationwide. Pioneers are educators who make substantial contributions to high school journalism programs and scholastic journalism education outside their primary employment.
Ever since her first journalism class at age 15, she has been working to share her love of scholastic journalism with students and staff, van Buren said in an interview. She uplifted how she has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and support from the scholastic journalism community and has found ways along her career to serve the field and to help newer advisers on their teaching paths.
Van Buren’s own teaching journey has taken her from Missouri to New Mexico and now Wisconsin, where she teaches East High School’s TV show (the advanced broadcast class), as well as advises the school yearbook. She started East’s Newspaper and Photography Club before the pandemic and is working to create a journalism program and sequence of study within Madison Metropolitan School District.
Van Buren also sponsors the Digital Art Club; is a member of the Information Communication and Technology Pathway team; serves as a board member for the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association and continues her work as a board member for the Kettle Moraine Press Association, which serves scholastic journalism in Wisconsin and Illinois.