School multimedia adviser Michelle Coro was recently selected as the 2014 winner for the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association’s Forest R. Martin Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Coro, an Ahwatukee resident, has been teaching at Desert Vista for the past decade, and has been responsible for the school’s different media programs such as the Storm Yearbook, DVTV broadcasting, The View newspaper and the remodeling of the school’s website.

She is also part of the school’s administrative council and received a certificate of merit from the White House for her efforts in orchestrating President Barack Obama visit the school during the beginning of the school year.

Coro began her teaching career at Desert Vista as an English teacher, and when the journalism position opened up at the school, she was hired to teach the courses.

Coro said her first year teaching journalism was an experience because she was responsible for a plethora of journalism and English courses classes such as yearbook, newspaper, mass media, Shakespeare and freshman English.

“It was rough because not only was I learning to be a teacher from coming from newsrooms and having these ideologies of what I should be doing, in terms of being in the classroom,” she said. “It was a real learning experience.”

The learning experience allowed Coro to not only survive her first years as a teacher, but it gave her the chance to seek guidance from “mentors” at the school and gave her a foundation for teaching.

“I did the best to beg, barrow and steal any ideas and any tips from the people around me to get through that early stage,” Coro said.

Coro focuses her classes on making sure her students are being introduced to different areas of journalism, whether it be broadcasting, producing or writing.

“I really try to have a journalism program that crosses the gambit. My broadcasting students may focus on video, but they learn to write; my journalism students focus on writing, but they learn how to shoot picture; and my yearbook students do it all,” she said. “I want them to leave here and have that experience of they can go into any form. I hope to teach them skills that they can use wherever they go and in any field whether they become a lawyer, a doctor or an engineer.”

For Coro, becoming the 2014 winner for the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association’s Forest R. Martin Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism showed the work she has put in over the years was being appreciated by people in and out of her classrooms.

“It’s nice to be recognized for this award, and there’s appreciation for teachers in what we do,” Coro said. “I try to make an impact in the kids’ lives and I want to make sure that they are learning something and they are taking something with them.”

Hannah Thiele, a senior who takes Coro’s TV production and yearbook classes, said the skills she has learned in Coro’s classes would assist further down the road while attending Arizona State University.

“She has taught me so much. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have been as successful as I have been right now,” she said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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