2024 Robert Greenman Award

Katina Paron presents Noreen-Fitzgerald-Makar with the 2024 Robert Greenman Award.

Deadline Club Honors Queens Teacher, Noreen Fitzgerald-Makar, with Award for Excellence in Journalism Teaching and Advising

The Deadline Club is pleased to announce that Noreen Fitzgerald-Makar, a journalism teacher and student newspaper adviser at Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Education High School in Jamaica, Queens, is the 2024 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 dinner at the Harvard Club of New York City on Thursday, May 16.

Fitzgerald-Makar advises The Edison Light, an award-winning student paper launched in 2006. After taking over the class that produces the publication, she expanded The Edison Light from a quarterly print publication to a monthly/semi-monthly digital platform.

She expanded the curriculum beyond news gathering and writing basics to include news literacy, history, law, ethics and photojournalism. Her students’ work impacts the school community, with articles on AI and ChatGPT, teens’ mental healthEdison’s hydroponics lab, the on-site outdoor physical education programthe JV Basketball team’s displacement and complaints about cafeteria food.

Headshot of Noreen-Fitzgerald-Makar.

Under her leadership, The Edison Post has won awards from Adelphi University, C.W. Post, and The New York Post.

“One of my favorite moments from this past school year with my class has to be watching the training wheel come off,” Fitzgerald-Makar said. “The goal of teaching is to get them to do it on their own and I feel like we’re there.” 

She takes her role in education seriously. In addition to the Reynolds Institute, Fitzgerald-Makar served as the Vice President of the New York City Scholastic Press Association from 2017 to 2021 and participated in the inaugural class of the CUNY K16 Pedagogy Fellowship, focusing on promoting independent learning for students in college settings.

Before she became a teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellowship, Fitzgerald-Makar  worked in radio advertising. She has been teaching in the New York City public school system for 18 years, all at Thomas Edison CTE High School.

She credits her growth in journalism education to the 2013 Reynolds Institute at Kent State University. Before advising The Edison Light, she had never written for a news publication. The experience was transformative.

“I needed that more than I can ever express,” Fitzgerald-Makar said. “It helped me learn more about what I needed to do to help my students.”

Born in Co. Kerry, Ireland, and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, she married her college sweetheart, Stephen Makar. Together they have three children, Cillian, 8; Brendan, 5; and Sean, 2; and a 15-year-old dachshund, Stella.

The award is named in honor of the late Robert Greenman, a journalism educator, author, and long-time board member of the Deadline Club, 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 inspired thousands of student journalists through his engaging, insightful and witty workshops.

Fitzgerald-Makar is the 18th recipient of this annual recognition, which Greenman launched more than 15 years ago. See the full list of honorees.