Nancy Giuliani the Mother Teresa of Oregon scholastic journalism for decades

Nancy Giuliani

Nancy Giuliani

By Rob Melton
Nancy Giuliani taught and advised journalism in Oregon for many years and has been a long time member of both JEA and OJEA. Active in both organizations, Nancy served as Oregon’s JEA State Director, following Annamae Livermore, for decades and she similarly was active at OJEA conventions and with the OJEA Board.

Nancy retired from her teaching position at Newport High School in 2008 and from her state director position, but she is fondly remembered by advisers in Oregon and across the nation for her spirited involvement in scholastic journalism.

It’s hard to remember a time when Nancy Giuliani wasn’t attending a JEA convention, presenting sessions at state and national conventions and workshops, and teaching newspaper and yearbook journalism.

As a matter of fact, Nancy spent years driving up and down I-5 in her white sports car on her way to teach a workshop in southern or the Oregon Coast or the Portland area. Because of long distances and infrequent meetings, Nancy spent decades on the telephone keeping track of all things journalistic in the state of Oregon. (We all had a great role model in Mary Hartman, director of Oregon Scholastic Press.)

Nancy grew up in Albany, Oregon, near Corvallis, and her whole life she has been a devoted daughter, sister and aunt to her extended family. She has never strayed too far away from the central Willamette Valley, returning there often throughout her career. She is the Mother Theresa of Oregon high school journalism.

Nancy has been a JEA member since 1972 and has attended every NSPA/JEA convention since 1972. She has been a speaker at conventions since the San Jose convention in 1978. At these conventions Nancy has always been a Write-Off judge, and over the years she judged news writing, editorial, sports writing, advertising design, yearbook cover design, theme development, layout and design, and copywriting. She also served on a number of the JEA High School Journalist of the Year judging panels, and Best of Show judging. She has been Oregon’s JEA State Director since 1985. She also helped start Oregon’s Publication Olympics in 1982.

She remembers lugging 15 pounds of fresh-caught cracked crab and 15 pounds of shrimp on ice to the Seattle convention in 1985 from her fishing village. Many of Oregon’s journalism teachers formed lifetime relationships with each other on the local planning committee for the 1987 JEA Convention in Portland, Oregon. (Spring conventions were not co-sponsored by NSPA at that time.) Nancy was one of those people.

She attended University of Idaho before transferring to Oregon State University, graduating in 1968. In the fall of 1968, she started her first job teaching journalism at Pacific High School near Port Orford, which was produced on a mimeograph machine. Her claim to fame was beating the local newspaper on a fire story.

In 1971 she joined the Corvallis Gazette Times, where she ran the wire room, started the weekend magazine, and created the morgue.

From 1972–79 she taught newspaper and yearbook journalism at Parkrose High School.  The yearbook under her guidance won NSPA All-Americans and was one of the leading yearbooks in the Northwest.

From 1979–1981 she worked at MasterGraphics, which published the Sherwood newspaper. She was a jill-of-all-trades, deftly handling newspaper reporting, photography, advertising and layout. (You kids don’t remember how hard it was to find work in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s because of a bad recession.) She taught for a year from 1981–1982 then moved to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, working both the front-end and back-end of the business. She was known as the “hot-type hottie” at the Gazette, and was responsible for copyediting and proofreading. Through that job she became friends with OSU journalism professor and AEJMC member Fred Zwalen and was then the convention coordinator for the AEJMC convention held in Corvallis in 1983.

From 1984–2007 she worked for the Lincoln County School district on Oregon’s beautiful central coast, and just a short drive from her family, until her retirement last year. She taught at Toledo (Ore.) H.S., Eddyville (Ore.) H.S., and Newport (Ore.) High School, advising both newspaper and yearbook. Because the schools on the coast are small, she sometimes had as many as six different preps — freshman English, sophomore English, junior English, senior English, journalism, and yearbook. In addition to driving the hot cars that leave teenage boys drooling, she moved into the Embarcadero Vacation Resort condo complex in Newport. The view from her apartment overlooks Newport Bay and the signature Newport Bridge.

Behind the quiet, shy exterior, Nancy is a dynamo in Oregon not just as a journalism guru, but as a behind-the-scenes power broker in Oregon Education Association. Nancy is an Oregon treasure, a journalism great, a teacher of teachers, a respected elder.

June 17, 2008