Brian Eriksen, media and publications teacher and adviser at South Salem High School, has been selected as 2016 Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Eriksen is responsible for several student-run media outlets, including the newspaper, the Clypian, the student website, Clypian.com and the weekly news broadcast, SaxonTV.
In the last few years, the influence has spread to social media, where the students are heavily involved in Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and student-made filters on Snapchat. Eriksen also advises the weekly television show and pre show, Saxon Wrap Up and Saxon Wrap Up 2.
The news production staff has been awarded numerous times by the Northwest Scholastic Press, the American Scholastic Press Association, and Quill and Scroll. These have ranged from “Best of Show,” to first and second place awards. Several of his past students have gone on to pursue media and/or public relations careers.
Erkisen has also been the teacher for the 2014 and 2016 Oregon Journalists of the Year, Rachal Meza-Rojas and Takur Conlu.
Along with teaching, Eriksen currently works at KYLC radio as a sports announcer and show host, with previous background as a producer and director. Eriksen is also active in podcasting on two different online shows. He has a degree in radio/television from Linfield College and has worked in the television and newspaper industry since 1991.
Takur Conlu, Editor-in-Chief of South Salem High’s newspaper, The Clypian, has been selected as 2016’s Oregon High School Journalist of the Year.
Conlu has been a member of The Clypian since his freshman year. He has had many roles in the news organization; as a reporter, as sports editor and two as Editor-in-Chief.
“I’m really proud of where we brought the paper the past four years,” Conlu said. “Though our strengths may differ with each new class of students that come and go, it’s the fact that we manage to accomplish many things just as well, if not better than the previous years.”
“Takur is a great leader in allowing his staff to be a big part of his success,” media and publications teacher Brian Eriksen said.
As part of the award, he was given the Alyce Sheetz Scholarship. In the fall, he will be attending the University of Oregon to continue his journalism career.
“I was happy at least [about winning], but I think the stress of doing my job is more important in my mind, which kind of fits the point of the award if you really think about it,” Conlu said.
Conlu has also been involved in the expansion of The Clypian’s videography, social media, and online web presence. The work of Conlu and his staff can be viewed on www.Clypian.com.
Story contributed by: Anna Scherer, South Salem HS Junior