Fitzpatrick advises the FHS Press student newspaper, the Shawnee yearbook, and the Bulldog Beat broadcast program. Both the FHS Press and Shawnee have earned numerous regional, state and national awards. He is a nationally Certified Journalism Educator through the Journalism Education Association. He is also certified as a Google Certified Educator.
Fitzpatrick was chosen as a fellow, through a rigorous selection process, to attend the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Az, in June 2013.
Kayla Eaton, FAHS '18, who served as Editor-in-Chief of the Shawnee Yearbook and FHS Press, said, "I can attest to the incalculable value of what he has taught each of his students. These valuable lessons have caused not only our publications to thrive, but also each of us in our everyday lives. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s level of understanding, engagement, knowledge, and passion is what makes him not only one of the best teachers I have ever had, but is what contributes to the overall quality of our publications.”
“Students in his class are always at major school functions reporting on the events of the district,” Freedom Area High School social studies teacher Nathaniel Langelli stated in his recommendation. “At school board meetings, members of the staff cover the meeting to ensure transparency. Not only do they report on these various activities, but they do so without complaints. They take journalism seriously.”
“Mr. Fitzpatrick instills a passion and a desire for quality and constant improvement in each of the student journalists he advises. They share a collective desire to never rest until their absolute best has been achieved,” principal William Deal stated. “His commitment to the highest standards inspires students to reach beyond their self-imposed limits to achieve at levels they could not imagine were possible on their own. He has taught them the value of teamwork, collaboration and perseverance.”
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Fitzpatrick also serves his school district as their public relations director, senior class sponsor, and as a building representative for the Freedom Area Education Association. His expertise as an educator has also earned him The Golden Apple Award through the Prevention Network & Class Academy, in Baden, Pa.
In January 2018, Fitzpatrick was invited to serve on the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania School Press Association. Pennsylvania School Press Association originated in 1925 and stands as one of the oldest scholastic journalistic organizations in the country. The organization supports K-12 student journalism statewide through journalism competitions, summer critiques, awards and recognition, mentorship for advisers, and other resources.
To nominate advisers for the 2019 PSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year, visit the PSPA website to submit applications for any active member of the organization by June 15, 2019. Nominations can be submitted by any teacher, administrator, student, or media professional.
For more information about Pennsylvania School Press Association, visit www.paschoolpress.org or contact Paul Fantaski at firstname.lastname@example.org.