Honoring the STN advisor who epitomizes our mission.

2019-2020 Teresa Pfister* STN TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Congratulations to John Allen III

Video Adviser, Searider Productions
Wai'anae High School
Waianae, HI


John Allen III teaches with a purpose, making a significant difference in the lives of the young people of his community and throughout Hawaii. John was born and raised in Waianae, and while still in high school, was the creative force behind the earliest Searider Production show in 1997 that aired on public access television. John turned down a six-figure salary in local TV to come back to his alma mater to teach and lead Searider Productions. He sees the potential in all his students and provides them with many opportunities including travel to the mainland each year for the STN convention. Many of his students have gone on to Ivy League schools and successful careers in TV, journalism and video production. Searider Productions is long-time advocate of STN, supporting its learning components and conventions since 2004. John selflessly invests his time, expertise and teaching skills to raise the bar for all STN and school media programs.

John’s vision is to develop a pipeline of media students from elementary school to college to a thriving industry. To work on this vision, John, along with other teachers across the state, started Hawai'i Creative Media that conducts teacher workshops, collaborates on projects, and assists any media program in the state. One of its major achievements is the launch of the HIKI NO program on PBS Hawaii. This statewide weekly news program features student hosts and their stories from their schools. Without the model that John helped to create, and without his expertise in training media students to produce PBS-quality work, the ninety-school HIKI NO network would not exist. Teachers in Hawaii also have access to a website John created that is filled with curriculum, lesson plans and resources.

Searider Productions’ students create hands-on projects with John as a mentor in a classroom filled with students’ energy and enthusiasm. Through this real-world process, John gives shy students confidence; encourages his students to find their purpose, even if it is not media related; and inspires students to graduate high school in a school where students struggle with the effects of poverty. John was once a highly respected videographer/storyteller at the top network affiliate news operation in Hawaii. He gave up this promising career in order to follow his passion for teaching the young people of Hawaii how to effectively tell their stories. The news business' loss was the Hawaii school system's gain, as John has become an integral force in building the schools' media programs into nationally renowned powerhouses.

John’s dedication to teaching and high level of achievement not only in his classroom, but throughout the state of Hawaii, is directly in line with STN's mission to “support, promote, and recognize excellence in scholastic broadcast journalism, creative video, filmmaking and media convergence.” Congratulations to the STN Teacher of the Year, John Allen III.


The STN Teacher of the Year will be recognized for their dedication to their profession and high level of achievement in all areas of teaching broadcast journalism, film or media.  This teacher must also display creative and media skills, classroom effectiveness and strong leadership.  Judges will look for sincerity of effort, creativity, technical proficiency, professionalism and integrity.  Accomplishments inside and outside the classroom will be taken into consideration as well support for STN and the mission of the organization.  Produced pieces, internet links, written support documents and letters of recommendation will all be considered.

*This award is made possible through the generosity and support of Teresa Pfister, who helped organize the first STN Convention and who played a key role in the development of the organization.  In 2012, Ms. Pfister joined the STN Board of Directors, Midwest Region.  The award honors teachers, Student Television Network and the STN Convention which is unique in bringing together industry professionals, teachers and students to encourage media excellence.  In October 2017, Ms. Pfister passed away from complications of cancer.  The STN Board elected to continue this honor in her name as a lasting tribute to the outstanding contribution she made.



Past Honorees

Christopher Schwalm
Cedar Crest High School
Lebanon, PA

Jason Santo

Geneva High School
Geneva, IL


Karin McKemey
Fort Mill High School
Fort Mill, SC

Tracy Misner
Alpharaetta High School
Alpharetta, GA

Tina Murphy
Northwood High School
Irvine, CA


Jennifer Overdevest
West Ranch High School
Valencia, CA


Eva Coleman
Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center
Frisco, TX


Teachers of the Year at the 2018 Convention

Teachers of the Year 
at the 2018 Convention