Loudoun County, VA (May 18, 2015) – Martha Akers, who teaches journalism and photojournalism at Loudoun Valley High School, recently received the National Federation of State High School Associations’ State Award for Outstanding Service through the Virginia High School League (VHSL).
She is only the third person in the VHSL’s 103-year history to receive this honor, which recognizes a person for significant contributions to, or impact on, high school activity programs.
Akers has been Loudoun Valley’s yearbook advisor for 35 years. She is renowned for the incredible bond she develops with her students. Loudoun Valley’s yearbooks invariably receive the highest awards at the state, region and national levels. “The Saga” has received VHSL’s Trophy Class award, the highest honor bestowed to a school publication (and one which many equate to a state championship in a sport or academic activity), for 30 consecutive years. It has also received top awards from the National Scholastic Press Association (the NSPA Pacemaker) and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA’s Gold Crown) dozens of times.
Akers is among the most highly sought speakers at scholastic publications conferences and workshops nationwide. She directed the VHSL State Publications Workshop from 1991 to 1998 and has served as director of the VHSL/Jostens Regional Media Championships since 2005. She was a member of, and later an adviser to, the VHSL Scholastic Publications Advisory Committee. She received a Distinguished Service Award from Southern Interscholastic Press Association, the VHSL Lifetime Achievement Award, CSPA’s Gold Key, NSPA’s Pioneer Award and the Journalism Education Association (JEA) Yearbook Adviser of the Year.