Principal Steve Ramsey wins 2019 Administrator of the Year award

Sixth period, March 8, the streamers are hung, the cake is decorated and the journalism students are waiting with baited breath for their principal, Steven Ramsey, to walk through the classroom door. They’ve all signed the congratulations banner that hangs on the wall with the words “Congratulations Mr. Ramsey! TAJE Admin of the Year” written in colorful markers. The students are excitedly waiting to tell Ramsey that he’s been awarded the Texas Association of Journalism Educators 2019 Administrator of the Year, a prestigious achievement which recognizes one school administrator in the state as an outstanding supporter of scholastic journalism.

Ramsey has left an impact on his students since the beginning of his career at Westlake as teacher and coach in 2002 and then as principal in the fall of 2016. The students of the journalism program appreciate the support he provides The Featherduster and El Paisano.

“A lot of times, a school’s administration is suspect of the student press and may try to limit its power,” said J.T Sparks, co-editor-in-chief of the Featherduster. “Mr. Ramsey never wanted to have that kind of relationship with us, so the trust we’ve been able to build up with him this year has made it very easy to work with him. He’s hands-on when it comes to The Featherduster, but in a positive way.”

Ramsey has a specific mindset when it comes to dealing with more controversial issues, such as the recently disputed hat dance tradition.

“You guys want to write something that you’ve experienced, whether

it’s good or bad,” Ramsey said. “I don’t get bogged down with ‘this may look bad’ because if it’s happening, then it’s happening, and it’s out there. If that’s the truth of what happened, then you guys should have the ability to report that and not feel like you’re being censored into saying something that didn’t happen or trying to make it look nice.”

The effort that Ramsey puts forth to better the school and the extracurriculars within it don’t go unnoticed.

“It is not uncommon for him to stop by any of the classrooms, and he has an easy relationship with the El Paisano staffers and editors,” Alison Strelitz, adviser to the El Paisano yearbook, said. “His student-first approach to situations applies to student journalism and so much more.”

The school board recognized Ramsey at their March 26 meeting, and TAJE will honor him May 5 at the LBJ Auditorium during the spring state convention.