The frightening, but true saga of the evolution of a scholastic journalism adviser.
By Darla Tresner
There once was a land of enchantment and joy for teenager Darla Jones. This was known as College High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. During the early to mid 1970s, Col-Hi, as it was known, was the crown jewel of education on the Oklahoma Prairie.
During this time, Darla became involved in the journalism department at College High led by a phenomenal adviser by the name of Edith Hicks. Edith Hicks, or “Edith” as she was known to her students privately, was one of the top scholastic media advisers in the nation. Mrs. Hicks seemed the epitome of the wise, coffee-chugging, chain-smoking female reporter of the 1940s and 1950s.
Under her tenure, the College High Nautilus won national championship after national championship among high school student newspapers. It became a source of great pride throughout the community; the students who served on her staffs were forever proud of their paper and their department.
While working for the Oklahoma Daily, Darla served as a reporter, copy editor, news editor, and then, in the spring of 1980, editor in chief of The Oklahoma Daily.
Darla claims it was the happiest time of her life. Under her, worked a staff of 45 students. The newspaper was a broadsheet which came out daily, Monday through Friday. Adviser to the Daily was Chuck House.
Accomplishments of the staff of 1980
- Campaigned to repeal the boycott of the Olympics due to its detriment to career of OU student Bart Connor’s career.
- Interviewed the Oklahoma Grand Wizard of the KKK. NAACP threatened to protest on campus.
- Campaigned to acquire OU Trolley—first free on-campus transportation.
- Daily editor makes national headlines by being pied in the face with a shaving cream pie ala Anita Bryant because editor would not publish list of alleged gay members of the public as purported by leader of recently formed GAA.
1980—Time to leave the safety of Copeland Hall
Time to return home to College High
Thirty-eight years later, this is what I have learned:
The joy is in the relationships….
Darla’s niece receives a new computer at Christmas from her parents and Auntie to encourage her to work toward medical school—not journalism.
And the BEAT goes on…