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Monday, December 03, 2007

Chantilly High Teacher Named National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by JEA

            Mary Kay Downes, who teaches English and photojournalism at Chantilly High School, has been named the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) for her work as adviser of the Chantilly yearbook, the Odyssey, for the past 17 years.  The award is designed to honor outstanding high school advisers and their exemplary work from the previous year as well as throughout their careers.  Chantilly High School is a Fairfax County public school.

            During Downes’ tenure as adviser to the Odyssey, the yearbook has won multiple Pacemaker awards and Pacemaker Finalist awards from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), has been a two-time winner of the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Charles Savedge Award for continued excellence, has received multiple Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), and earned multiple Trophy Class ratings from the VHSL.  The yearbook also played an integral part in numerous Wachovia Cup awards for Chantilly High.  The Odyssey was also named to the NSPA Hall of Fame.

            Downes, who earned Master Journalism Educator certification from the JEA, has also been honored as the Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser and Distinguished Yearbook Adviser by the JEA and received a Gold Key from the CSPA, the NSPA Pioneer Award, and the Douglas Freeman and Thomas Jefferson Awards from the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers. 

  An FCPS employee for 26 years, Downes has taught at Chantilly High since 1987. She currently serves as the English Department chair. Downes is president of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers’ Association and of the Association of Fairfax Professional Educators. She has published multiple articles on scholastic journalism.

Note:  For more information, contact Mary Kay Downes at 703-222-8126 or .