SHS Student Publications Adviser/Journalism Teacher
UIL Academics Coordinator
I graduated from Brownfield High School in Brownfield, TX in 1976. I came to Snyder to attend Western Texas College on a journalism scholarship. I earned my associate in arts degree from WTC in 1978. At that time, I married a Snyder boy, Joey Arnold and went to work at General Aviation News (GAN) as a typesetter and later became the advertising manager. GAN was eventually sold and moved to the Dallas area, leaving me without a job in 1982. I then turned to substitute teaching and filled in for JoAnn Cotton in 1983 when she had her first child. Mrs. Cotton decided not to return the second semester, so I was able to finish out the year. It was then I decided to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree and teacher certification at Texas Tech University. I drove back and forth to Lubbock (with some fun future teachers) for a year and a half. I student taught at Lubbock Coronado in the fall of 1985 with an awesome journalism teacher and the journalism job at SHS was open once again. I went back to full-time teaching in October 1985, graduating from Texas Tech in December.
This is my 27th year over a four-decade period to teach journalism (yearbook and newspaper) at Snyder High School. I taught until 1989 when our twins, Jamie and Casey, were born. I decided I needed to be a full-time mom more than a journalism teacher, so I stayed home with them for four years. In 1993, the journalism position was open once again and I went back to work until 1996, at which time our son, Riley, was born. I became a full-time mom once again and stayed home with him until he was 5. I was very fortunate in 2001 when the journalism job was available, once again, and I have been here ever since.
I enjoy what I do - I enjoy the students I work with - and I think what we do is very important to high school students: reporting on topics that are important to our students and preserving their bit of history at SHS. My students WANT to be on the newspaper staff or yearbook staff, or they want to be the photographers that document what happens daily at SHS. They find out in their first-year class that yearbook or newspaper are not blow-off classes and they want to be the best they can be at what they do.
UIL Journalism Events
There are five journalism events in which we compete in UIL (University Interscholastic League Press Conference). Those events are news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, headline writing and copy editing. Nine of the last 15 years, my journalism students have won the district championship.
Almost every year that I've been at Snyder High School, my students have advanced to regional competition. I've had students advance to the state level, three of them placing in the top six at state in four different years. In 1987, two of my students qualified for headline writing at state. In 1995 one student qualified for state feature writing and placed third. In 2006, one student qualified for editorial writing and in 2009, one student won fifth in feature writing at state. In 2011, two students competed at state in headline writing. One won eighth place and the other won ninth. In 2014, one of my students won fourth place in state in feature writing. And for the first time, one of my students won first place in headline writing at the state level in 2015! Competing at state is just pretty cool, but placing at state is even cooler! Two years ago, one of my students was alternate to state in news writing. She decided she wanted to return to state the next year in one of the top three contestant spots and she did, in headline writing. She didn’t place at state, but she has one more chance this year.
The biggest thrill for my students, I think, is winning the district trophy. Regional and state competitions are the icing on the cake!
The Tiger's Tale newspaper and Tiger's Lair yearbook are members of the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC), the journalism branch of UIL. I am a member of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, the Journalism Education Association, and a member of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA).
Snyder High School
3801 Austin Ave.
Snyder, TX 79549