Legendary high school journalism adviser Gil Chesterton, a longtime member of the California Scholastic Press Association’s board of directors, will be nationally recognized this month for his contributions to student journalism.
The Journalism Education Association has chosen Chesterton as one of 10 recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award, which officially will be presented at the organization’s national convention on Nov. 12 in Indianapolis.
“Gil has been the anchor of the CSPA Workshop for years,” said Larry Welborn, CSPA’s Chairman Emeritus. “His dedication and commitment to high school journalism is an inspiration to all of us.”
The JEA award is given to longtime advisers “for lifetime dedication to journalism education,” a description that only begins to describe Chesterton’s career.
Chesterton advised the newspaper at Whittier High School, then oversaw an award-winning weekly newspaper for 33 years at Beverly Hills High, where he also produced the yearbook and a weekly student broadcast.
Chesterton attended the CSPA — then known as Scholastic Sports Association — journalism workshop at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, as a high school student, then made it a part of his professional life.
Every summer, Chesterton volunteered his time. As part of his work, he advised workshop students as they produced the CSPA Reporter newspaper, which chronicled each workshop, and also taught page design and critiqued student publications.
Chesterton, elected to the CSPA Hall of Fame in 2008, chose to retire from teaching at the workshop in 2016 but remains a valued member of CSPA’s board of directions.
The JEA is a Kansas-based non-profit organization that supports student journalism nationwide.