JEA selects two Balfour advisers as Rising Star recipients

Two Balfour advisers, John Horvath and Tim Ryckman, were named 2017 Rising Stars by the Journalism Education Association, Thursday, Jan. 26.

The Rising Star award honors student media advisers who have completed five or fewer years of advising and have shown “exceptional promise as an adviser and in service to the profession.”

Horvath, who has been teaching for 17 years, became the adviser at Hill Country Christian School in Austin, Texas in 2012. Despite being unfamiliar with the yearbook world, Horvath learned quickly, taking steps to improve coverage, photography and design each year. The book was a CSPA Gold Medalist in 2016 and NSPA All-American in 2015 and 2016.

“I was intent on it not just being a normal book,” Horvath said. “I wanted to do something awesome. I think kids like doing something awesome. It’s hard to recruit kids to do something mediocre.”

In his third year at Rocky Heights Middle School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Tim Ryckman advises the yearbook and multimedia publications, including a video magazine. His publications have won two yearbook CSPA Crowns and a broadcast NSPA Pacemaker.

His students have also won numerous individual awards at the state and national level, including four NSPA Photo and Design of the year finalists in 2016.

“Simply put, I love my job,” Ryckman said in his JEA application. “I am so blessed with being surrounded by very special students every single day. If I were to select one piece that I enjoy most, it would have to be the connections made with my students as we spend lunches working on content, as we stay late to hit a deadline, as we feel the pressure of trying to get every student in the book. It is those difficult moments that I get to create relationships with kids that will last forever.”

JEA will honor the 10 advisers selected April 8 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.