The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association today honored Rochester High School teacher Julia Satterthwaite with its 2014 Golden Pen Award.

Julia Satterthwaite, Rochester High School

Julia Satterthwaite, Rochester High School

Satterthwaite was honored at MIPA’s Spring Awards and On-Site Contests in Lansing, along with nearly 2,500 contest winners in the organization’s statewide scholastic journalism contest.

The Golden Pen is the highest award MIPA bestows on a student media adviser and has been bestowed continuously since 1952. The recipient is chosen by a committee of previous Golden Pen honorees.

“Golden Pen recipients are the best of the best — so good that their student media staffs make an enormous effort to put together an extensive portfolio showcasing the impact these teachers have on their journalism students,” said Jeremy Steele, executive director of MIPA and a faculty member in the Michigan State University School of Journalism.

Satterthwaite has been adviser to The Talon since 2005. In addition, she has been an instructor at the MIPA Summer Journalism Workshop at Michigan State University since 2008 and is a frequent presenter at MIPA conferences. She has also worked on a MIPA project to align journalism curriculum to Common Core standards and is finishing a two-year term as president of the nonprofit organization.

“Above all, the thing that the staff and I admire the most about Mrs. Satterthwaite is the fact that she, as a teacher, never doubted anyone’s abilities to succeed, whether it was in journalism or not,” Camille Douglas, editor-in-chief of Rochester High School’s newspaper, The Talon, wrote in her nomination letter. “She is our biggest cheerleader. She has a great passion for all of us as not only students, but also as individuals.”

The Talon has won the Spartan Award, MIPA’s highest honor for student media, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, The Talon was named a winner of the Pacemaker, the highest award given by the National Scholastic Press Association.


Founded in 1921 and housed in the Michigan State University School of Journalism, the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association is a nonprofit organization composed of scholastic journalism teachers and publications advisers and their students. MIPA is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in scholastic journalism at all levels through education, training and support of student journalists and their advisers.