Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire has won recognition from the Journalism Education Association for his advocacy for student journalists and for his years of teaching reporting and writing.
The Friend of Scholastic Journalism award will be presented Nov. 17 in Boston, Mass.
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"He is a true friend of journalism. In this case it's student journalism, but he's a true friend of journalism," said Gire's friend and colleague Stan Zoller, a former journalism teacher at Rolling Meadows High School who nominated Gire.
In addition to Gire's award-winning work at the Daily Herald, he taught journalism at Harper College in Palatine and at Aurora University for more than two decades. A popular public speaker, he leads frequent workshops and presentations for journalism students and, with author Raymond Benson, hosts a free film discussion program named Dann & Raymond's Movie Club that meets around the suburbs.
"Dann has more energy than many people a third his age. His commitment to both his craft and ensuring the next generation of journalists gets a good start has always been inspiring to me," said Daily Herald Managing Editor Jim Baumann. "This award is tremendous recognition of his passion."
Zoller praised Gire's ability to connect with young journalists and his efforts volunteering to judge contests, speak to classes, mentor students and go to bat for journalism educators.
"His energy is contagious. You need a speaker, Dann's going to come in and talk, not just about reviewing films, but about the importance of quality journalism," said Zoller, director of the Illinois chapter of the Journalism Education Association.
"He understands the importance of a free and responsible student press," Zoller added.
Gire, of Hoffman Estates, also serves as the president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association and is a board member for the Chicago Headline Club, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
He has won the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism eight times, as well as awards from the Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Associated Press, and other journalism organizations. In 2011, he was named Journalism Department Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.