ATLANTA — Based off a nomination from the Walton County School District and the Walton County Board of Education, the Georgia School Boards Association awarded The Walton Tribune with the Beacon Award at its 2018 Annual Conference on Friday.
The Beacon Award is GSBA’s highest honor for print and electronic media representatives or organizations whose coverage over time has created an understanding of public education issues by informing the general public about programs, policies and/or issues affecting the public schools, students and/or communities.
“Our district believes that under the leadership of Patrick Graham, The Walton Tribune has become a beacon of truth for the citizens of Walton County, Superintendent Nathan Franklin said.
“With their unwavering commitment to our community, they continually focus on ensuring the community is well informed on a variety of topics, issues and events. Most importantly, The Walton Tribune serves as a valuable resource for all citizens to better understand both public and private education issues.”
The school system said The Tribune dedicates valuable space on a regular basis to recognize the outstanding things going on in local schools with its Focus on Education page as well as weekly column space that is given to each school system to use as they see fit. This continued coverage and space has been integral in increasing community support for our schools and extremely successful in helping us educate our community.
In addition to consistent coverage, Graham created the Newspapers in Education program that provides a variety of free instructional resources to our schools. Through this program, all interested teachers are provided with free newspapers twice a week as well as lessons connected to state-standards.
In addition to receiving hard copies of each newspaper, teachers are given access to complete, interactive replicas of the print version via the e-edition all free of charge. This program engages students in their lessons and in our community.
“I’d like to thank Superintendent Nathan Franklin and the Walton County Board of Education for nominating The Walton Tribune for this prestigious award,” Graham, the newspaper’s owner, said.
“We are so fortunate to have such outstanding students, teachers and administrators in Walton County, and credit goes to our news editor, Stephen Milligan, who is primarily responsible for our education coverage, and the entire staff for telling their stories and telling them well.
“I’m truly humbled and honored to accept this award on behalf of the newspaper and its staff.”