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Arizona educator joins Cronkite School to build newsrooms in high schools

February 07, 2008

Dave Cornelius, a longtime educator who built the Arizona’s premier high school broadcast education program, has joined Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as director of the Stardust High School Journalism Program.

Cornelius will oversee a groundbreaking new initiative to create multimedia newsrooms at 10 underserved Arizona high schools under a grant from the Scottsdale-based Stardust Foundation. The grant aims to reinvigorate high school journalism programs as a way to encourage student success and improve graduation rates.

Cornelius has taught media communications at Arcadia High School in the Scottsdale School District for the past six years. He developed programs that have become models for teaching arts, audiovisual technology and communications at the secondary school level. Last year, he and his students won more than 50 state, regional, and national broadcast awards.

“Dave is widely regarded as the major force behind quality broadcast education in Arizona high schools,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “Any time educators want a model for how to run a high school communications program, any time they need training or advice, they turn to Dave.

“I can think of no one better to lead the Stardust program.”

Cornelius said he’s convinced that the Stardust program will be the beginning of a pipeline of excellence and innovation leading from high schools to the university and the industry.

“Given the changing journalistic business models spawned by new technology, it’s exciting to see a university building partnerships that will shape the delivery methods of the 21st century and begin creating the prototype role models for a whole new generation of news gatherers and consumers,” he said.

Cornelius first task is to identify high schools that would be good candidates for the Stardust program. Those selected – five this year and five next year -- will get an infusion of technology and expertise, enabling them to launch multimedia news products in their schools. Cornelius will work directly with the schools to get the newsrooms up and running and provide ongoing training and support.

High schools interested in the program should contact Cornelius at for more information and application materials.

Cornelius has served as vice president of the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association and is a member of the Arizona Technology Council for Workforce Development and the Arizona Department of Education’s Stakeholder Commission that oversees assessment for career and technical education programs in high schools across the state.

He is the recipient of the 2005 Arizona Association of Career and Technical Educators Program of the Year award, the 2006 Arizona Department of Education Spotlight on Success Award for Innovative Partnerships, and the 2007 Cox Communications Technology in Education Finalist Award.