Hiestand departing after 20 years of service

If you’ve ever cracked open a copy of the SPLC’s reference book, Law of the Student Press, or referred to one of the educational publications housed on the splc.org website, then you’ve heard Mike Hiestand’s voice.

Mike’s wisdom and compassion animate everything that we do at the Student Press Law Center, and for 20 years, he has been our conscience, keeping us focused on the ultimate goal: Helping young people develop the critical-thinking skills they need to become educated owners of their democracy.

It is inconceivable to think of a Student Press Law Center without Mike Hiestand’s upbeat voice on the hotline – where he has given individualized help to some 15,000 students and educators in his time with us. But starting June 30, we will have to try.

Mike is leaving the SPLC at the end of the 2011-12 school year to devote full-time to some exciting ventures that he and his brother, Dan, have been developing. (To check out what they are working on, visit www.homehistorybook.com.)

In recent years, Mike’s contributions to the field have earned him the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award, and the Louis B. Ingelhart First Amendment Award, given by College Media Advisers. These honors assure Mike a place on the “Mount Rushmore” of student press freedom.

Mike’s legacy will not be measured in plaques and trophies, but in lives improved and lessons taught. We will miss his kindness, his fortitude, and his wise counsel.

reports, Winter 2011-12