2014 Dr. Kay Phillips Administrator of the Year Recipient

The Dr. Kay Phillips Administrator of the Year award is given to a school administrator who supports more than one publication and is nominated by an adviser.

This year’s recipient, Teresa Johnson of Chantilly HS, was nominated by yearbook adviser and longtime SIPA member Mary Kay Downes.  Read her nomination letter below.

Click here to see Johnson’s acceptance of the award.


Nomination by Mary Kay Downes:


I can think of no one more worthy of recognition for this prestigious award than Teresa Johnson.


In her role as assistant principal and subsequently principal of Chantilly, she has contributed unflagging support to the journalism programs of our school, to advisers and to the student journalists.


Before she was named principal three years ago, Johnson supervised English and during her tenure was instrumental in keeping Chantilly’s elective offerings strong during a time of FCPS cutbacks and elimination of sections county-wide. She enthusiastically supported field trips, teachers’ technical needs and professional development opportunities for the students and advisers.


As principal she has been a model of support for the First Amendment rights of student journalists. She meets regularly with the editors of all programs and they know she is behind them all the way. She has made it clear both inside and outside of the building that there is no prior review conducted at Chantilly High School.


Chantilly has the largest number of journalism sections in any of the 26 FCPS high schools. One section of Journalism 1, two sections of Journalism 2-4 (newspaper production), two sections of Photojournalism 1-4 (yearbook), and a section of Broadcast Journalism 1-3. We have a yearbook, literary magazine, newspaper, on-line newspaper and a daily show produced by our broadcast class. For the latter she funded camera setups for each of the 25 students and enhanced the computers needed for daily airing.


More importantly, Mrs. Johnson is a staunch advocate of the 1st Amendment. At a CSPA convention three years ago, she attended every available session on student press rights. When she became principal, she presented her assistant principal replacement with a copy of “The Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism.” Last year she was  awarded state recognition by VAJTA for support of journalism in the Commonwealth.


Clare Gartlan, the adviser of the Chantilly newspaper, literary magazine and broadcast group says, “Principal Teresa Johnson consistently goes above and beyond to support Chantilly’s award-winning journalism programs. She has helped build a more professional broadcast journalism program by purchasing new equipment and supporting the staff in its endeavor to start a daily news show. Additionally, she conducts monthly meetings with members of both the broadcast and newspaper staffs to discuss news topics, and she is incredibly supportive of our students’ First Amendment rights.”