Marist High School journalism teacher and advisor of the school paper, The Sentinel, John Gonczy, was elected president of the Illinois Journalism Education Association at the organization’s board meeting and All-State Journalism Team luncheon, hosted by the Illinois Press Association on Saturday, June 2 in Springfield, Ill. He has served on the board for most of the past 15 years, most recently as vice-president of membership. At the luncheon, Sentinel managing editor Gianna Miritello ’18 became the second Marist student in program history to be named to the Illinois All-State Journalism Team.
Gonczy, who holds a master’s degree in education from St. Xavier University and earned certified journalism educator status through the Journalism Education Association (JEA), has overseen the school’s journalism program for the past seven years. During his tenure, more than 20 students have advanced to the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state final competition in journalism, with four students taking state medals. Additionally, both the Sentinel and many of the students on the newspaper staff have earned awards at the local, state and national levels each year. He was the only Catholic educator in the nation to receive the JEA’s Rising Star award in 2005.
Additionally, on June 11, Gonczy was one of 12 educators from around the state to receive the IHSA’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award. Gonczy is also serving on the local planning committee for the JEA’s fall national high school journalism convention, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency-Chicago November 1-4, 2018.
“I am deeply honored to serve IJEA in this capacity and grateful to have the support of my fellow officers and board members, who inspire me with their dedication and commitment to excellence,” Gonczy said. “The IHSA’s decision to recognize me this year is an honor I share with my administrators and all of my colleagues at Marist, because their steadfast support continues to play a crucial role toward the success of the RedHawk journalism program. Most of all, I am indebted to the parents of the many fine students with whom I have worked, and I deeply appreciate the sacrifices they make so that their children can receive an excellent Catholic education at Marist High School.”
Gonczy is also a reading teacher in the Marcellin program at Marist High School and secretary of the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago.