Abilene Reporter News
Donnie Lucas, adviser to the Albany High School Lions Roar student newspaper, understands first-hand the challenges of covering small-town news.
He and his wife, Melinda, have owned and operated the weekly The Albany News since spring 1977.
After graduating from Angelo State University in 1976, Lucas joined the Albany High School faculty and started a student newspaper printed on a duplicator. At the end of the school year, Lucas left teaching to concentrate on The Albany News.
In 2000, Lucas returned to the classroom and revived the school newspaper a couple of years later. Two years ago, at the Interscholastic League Press Conference, the paper won a Bronze Star, and last year it captured a Silver Star. Both awards put the newspaper in the top 10 percent of the state's student publications.
"There's not a better journalism teacher in the state," said Albany High School Principal Tommy Terrell.
One of Lucas' responsibilities as adviser is ensuring that the publication avoids libel and other legal issues.
"Keeping them (the students) focused is the biggest thing I do," Lucas said.
-- Laura Gutschke