The Deadline Club Honors Manhattan Teacher with 2022 Robert Greenman Award for Excellence in High School Journalism Teaching and Advising
Contact: Colin DeVries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, NY, May 12, 2022 – The Deadline Club is pleased to announce that David Rohlfing, journalism teacher and newspaper adviser at Pace High School in Manhattan, is the 2022 recipient of The Robert Greenman Award for Excellence in High School Journalism Teaching and Advising.
The award, along with a video honor, was announced at the Deadline Club’s annual journalism awards ceremony, presented at the Harvard Club of New York City on Thursday, May 12.
Rohlfing advises the student newspaper, Pacer NYC, which he originally founded in 2008 as The Pacer. In 2013, the high school lost its Title I funding, resulting in the loss of most electives and extracurricular programs, including journalism. For the next few years, Rohlfing advised students in the Poetry Out Loud program. Despite his advocacy, budget constraints and scheduling demands for core academic subjects prevented a restart of the journalism program.
In 2021, for their final project in English class, Rohlfing’s graduating seniors documented their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial justice protests of the summer of 2020, and the wave of hate and violence directed at Asian Americans. With his students’ first-person narratives, he created the website Covid Class 2021 to present and preserve the students’ experiences.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the website, his school administration reinstituted a journalism elective course and provided budgetary support for Pacer NYC. Once again, students at Pace are using their voices and are empowered to make changes in their school and city.
“My job as a teacher is to give them tools about writing, about interviewing, getting information about writing facts and opinions but I want them to create the narrative,” said Rohlfing. “I want them to be part of the narrative, also. That’s really important at our school right now.” His students say he makes journalism fun and exciting for them.
Originally from Nebraska, Rohlfing first taught in Costa Rica, worked as a bookseller at the Hungry Mind Bookstore in Minneapolis and was an editorial assistant in children’s book publishing in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree from Queens College. He’s taught in the NYC public school system for 20 years, including 13 years at Pace High School.
The award is named in honor of journalism educator, author, wordsmith and long-time friend and board member of the Deadline Club, Robert Greenman, who died in 2018. Greenman’s importance in journalism education cannot be overstated. He wrote “The Adviser’s Companion,” the seminal guide for high school journalism teachers and played a key role in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He served as a bridge between journalism professionals and journalism teachers and inspired thousands of student journalists through his engaging, insightful and witty workshops. Greenman launched the Award for Excellence in High School Journalism Teaching and Advising at the Deadline Club more than 10 years ago.
Renick is the 16th recipient of this annual recognition. Past honorees include Cadence Turner (Curtis High School, Staten Island), Scott Menscher (Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn), Brian Sweeney (Townsend Harris High School, Queens), Jacqueline Linge (Francis Lewis High School, Queens), Georgia Mavromihalis (Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Queens), Casey Levinson (Midwood High School, Brooklyn) and Rachel Renick (Eximius College Preparatory Academy, Bronx).
About the Deadline Club
Deadline Club, which is the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, has been supporting and honoring the best in New York journalism since 1925. It adheres to the mission of the Society, which is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.