Houston reporter/newspaper earn TCTA awards for journalistic excellence
AUSTIN – The Texas Classroom Teachers Association has named Margaret Downing and the Houston Press, as 2011-12 recipients of the Silver Apple media award in the print category, circulation of 50,000 or more. Founded in 1927, TCTA is an association for Texas teaching professionals and serves 50,000 members across the state.
Silver Apple award nominees are evaluated according to how well the submitted pieces promote understanding of teachers and education in Texas public schools and improve communication between educators and the community. Silver Apple awards have been presented since 1983.
Downing’s award is based on three articles she wrote: one on class-size limits and why they matter; another on a Houston elementary school coping with the many challenges of a large homeless population; and a third on a high school library that tossed many of its books to make way for an e-cafe, and stirred controversy.
Downing has been a journalist for more than 30 years and has served as editor and writer for the Houston Press since 1998. From 1993-1998, she was managing editor of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, MS, and from 1980 to 1993 held several positions at the Houston Post, including reporter, city editor and managing editor. She also worked for the Dallas Times Herald and the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal. Downing has won numerous awards, including the Benjamin Fine Education Award and several National Awards for Education.
TCTA award judges praised Downing for “highlighting the highs and lows of what educators experience and showing that teaching goes beyond the classroom.”
TCTA will honor award winners on Feb. 9, 2012 in Houston, just before the association's annual convention, where educators from across the state will participate in professional development seminars, elect TCTA leaders for statewide and district positions, and discuss current education issues.