Mary Kay Downes Receives JEA Teacher Inspiration Award

Awards & Recognition
January 28, 2019

Mary Kay Downes, who teaches English and Journalism at Chantilly High School and serves as the sponsor of the school’s award-winning yearbook, Odyssey, has been named the recipient of the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award by the Journalism Education Association (JEA).  Chantilly High School is a Fairfax County public school.

Downes shares her 40-plus years of knowledge and experience with journalism educators and advisers around the country, teaching at workshops and conventions, and encouraging advisors to actively participate in local, state, and national press associations.

  “Mary Kay makes sure that her colleagues are informed and involved,” says Meghan Percival, The Clan yearbook adviser at McLean High School, and Erinn Harris, tjToday adviser at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. “The difference she makes in the teaching community is unparalleled, due in part to the fact that she embraces every teaching community she has ever encountered.”

Downes, who is known in the scholastic journalism world as a yearbook pioneer and voice for student press rights, will be recognized at the JEA-NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) convention in April in Anaheim. 

For more information, contact Mary Kay Downes at