Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
Kelley Strutton (888) 879-8282

AUSTIN – The Texas Classroom Teachers Association has named the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Joe Gulick as 2010-11 recipients of the Silver Apple media award in the print category (circulation of 50,000 or more), and KCBD-TV, Channel 11 and morning news co-anchor Sharon Hibner Maines as 2010-11 recipients of the Silver Apple media award in the broadcast category. They were selected based on nominations submitted by the Lubbock CTA, a local affiliate of the statewide TCTA. Founded in 1927, TCTA is an association for Texas teaching professionals and serves 50,000 members across the state.

Silver Apple award nominees are evaluated according to how well the submitted pieces promote understanding of teachers and education in Texas public schools and improve communication between educators and the community. Silver Apple awards have been presented since 1983.

Joe Gulick, Silver Apple media award, print

Gulick’s award is based on three articles he wrote: one featuring a teacher beginning her 40th year in the classroom; another on the Lubbock ISD convocation and its positive effect on employees; and a third on previous TCTA statewide award winners from the Lubbock area.

TCTA judges praised Gulick “for his stories about good things happening in public schools that help to create a positive connection between the community and the schools.”

The Lubbock CTA nomination praised the quality and upbeat nature of Gulick’s stories, even though every once in a while he writes an article “that makes you want to cry into your Cheerios.” He is affectionately described as “the writer who chronicles the tales of teaching,” often reminding teachers why they remain in the trenches. A reporter for more than 30 years, Gulick graduated from Texas Tech University University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communications. He began work at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal after receiving his master’s degree.

Sharon Maines, Silver Apple media award, broadcast

Maines’ award is based on three segments presented on the top-rated morning show, Daybreak Today, which she hosts every weekday on KCBD-TV, Channel 11 in Lubbock. Drawn from Lubbock ISD’s program, Out and About, the pieces covered topics about Lubbock schools, including a program that helps prepare students for a career in cosmetology, a conservation/Earth Day celebration where children are the best teachers, and an aviation boot camp. Due to the joint nature of the production effort, Lubbock ISD Director of Communications Nancy Sharp will also be recognized with a plaque to honor her contributions to education reporting.

Maines grew up in Dallas wanting to be a high school algebra teacher, but while attending Texas Tech University discovered mass communications, earned a degree in telecommunications, and landed a job as the first female news anchor in Lubbock at age 19. She has served as news producer, news anchor, news director and reporter over the past 34 years. She served 12 years on the Lubbock-Cooper ISD Board of Trustees.

The Lubbock CTA praises Maines for her dedication to showcasing the positive things happening in public schools and notes her many years of volunteering in schools and mentoring students. She also is the recipient of numerous education-related awards. TCTA will honor award winners in February in Austin, just before the association's annual convention, where educators from across the state will participate in professional development seminars, elect TCTA leaders for statewide and district
positions, and adopt policy positions on many current education issues.