The 2012 FSPA Morty Schaap Teacher of the Year award was presented on Friday night (May 4) to Steven Jay Thor of Deerfield Beach High School, a longtime publications adviser and, for 29 years, a member of the FSPA board of directors as the District 7 director.
Thor, District 7’s Teacher of the Year, has been in journalism and teaching since 1968, and FSPA has been lucky enough to have him as an active member for 32 of these years.
He has served as District Director, President and contest coordinator. He instituted such traditions as state Journalism Week and improved the way FSPA awards the Journalism Student of the Year award, he was very involved in other state programs such as teacher journalism certification, curriculum and honors credit for students in higher level journalism.
A champion of students’ press rights, Thor doesn’t hesitate to encourage students to cover all news, not just what the administration considers acceptable. He has earned the respect of all with whom he works – administrators, supervisors, col- leagues and students.
His principal says that Thor is someone who makes the world a better place. In the words of his student, Thor is a “mentor, a role model but most importantly a friend.” All this is because Thor says that his greatest enjoyment is seeing the smiles on the faces of his students when the newspaper and yearbook come out.
Thor was also surprised during Saturday’s closing session of the convention when it was unveiled that the annual Mixed Company Contest will from now on be called the Steven Jay Thor Mixed Company Contest.