SCSPA Albert T. Scroggins Award: Dr. Al Leonard, South Pointe HS

Since 1984 the SCSPA Scroggins Award, named in memory of Dean
Albert T. Scroggins Jr., has honored individuals who have
made an outstanding contribution to the field of scholastic
journalism and journalism education in general. The honorees
may not be active advisers, but they may be former advisers,
as is this year’s recipient.
Dr. Al Leonard is the principal at South Pointe HS.
Newspaper and online adviser Cindy Koon said, “Dr.
Leonard’s undying commitment to the development of our
journalism program and to the evolution of our high school
journalists and their advisers is a breath of fresh air in the post-
Hazelwood era.”
Blake Roberts, SPiN Wired copy editor, said, “Dr. Leon-
ard has supported the journalism program by allowing us to
produce both print and online without any form of censor-
ship. He often supports us financially. When our online paper, required
additional funds for a new layout because the default was filled
with limitations, we talked to Dr. Leonard about our need, and
by the end of the day he had written a check for the necessary
amount.”
Catherine Stiers, SPiN Wired News Editor, said, “Unlike
many principals, Dr. Leonard allows for complete freedom of
speech in our paper, allowing our experience to be closer to that
of a ‘real world’ journalist.”
Finally, Koon said, “The man in charge here has done a re-
markable thing. He has laid aside power so that others can assume
it and in doing so, learn what it means to be a citizen in a coun-
try where the sky is the limit. Is that not the purpose of a public
school, to produce graduates who can assume the privileges and
responsibilities of citizens in a democracy?”