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SIPA recognizes Richland Northeast High School principal with award

By Leslie Dennis, director of scholastic media organizations
Photo by Nina Brook, literary magazine, newspaper and yearbook adviser at Richland Northeast HS
Posted March 28, 2018


The Dr. Kay Phillips Administrator of the Year is someone who has been not only a strong supporter of the journalism program at their school but also someone who encourages publications to write about all of the issues important to students, even the sensitive ones.

Since Dr. Sabrina Suber became the principal of Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, South Carolina) in 2013, she's supported all of the physical needs of their media department. She was extremely important in securing funding to upgrade their news studio and classroom spaces. She also makes journalism a priority in her budget allocations, providing funding for the school newspaper (The Cavalier) and literary magazine (Psyche) every year.

Dr. Suber has also encouraged student journalists to approach stories in a way that nurtures the principles of scholastic journalism. She is always willing to be interviewed for stories and trusts the students to follow proper journalism ethics. She also stays actively involved with the journalism programs by retweeting and liking content on social media that supports the First Amendment and its impact on high school students.

She is extremely supportive when it comes to students going on trips to state, regional and national conferences because she believes these conventions are valuable to their professional development. Not only does she support her students but she also supports her full-time journalism teachers and advisers. She is constantly communicating with the school's media program to find out how she can be of help.

"The main reason I want to nominate her is to thank her for fostering real journalism," A.J. Chambers, "RNE-TV" broadcast adviser, said. "She understands that our students are journalists and not publicists. She respects their voices and encourages them to cover topics that other principals might not. This top down leadership promotes a positive reputation for Convergence Media on the school and district level. It is refreshing and encouraging to work with someone who is supportive of my students and willing to invest time and money into their work. This investment correlates with their success. Her open-door policy is extremely helpful and supportive to my students."