October 25, 2018
Jersey Village High School journalism teacher Margot Comstock (seated) is surrounded by some of her students in celebration of the longtime educator being awarded the Texas Association of Journalism Educators (TAJE) Trailblazer Award on Oct. 21 at the association’s Fall Fiesta Convention in San Antonio. (Photo by Addison Kanke, Jersey Village HS)
By Andrea Zagal, Jersey Village HS
Oct. 25, 2018—Jersey Village High School journalism teacher Margot Comstock was awarded the Texas Association of Journalism Educators (TAJE) Trailblazer Award on Oct. 21 at the association’s Fall Fiesta Convention in San Antonio.
The Trailblazer Award is an honor recognizing educators who have set trends and shaped Texas journalism.
Comstock was nominated by a fellow colleague in CFISD, as Samantha Berry, journalism teacher at Bridgeland High School, extended the notion for Comstock’s tremendous service to scholastic journalism and inspiring her students to reach new heights.
“She is a friend and a mentor to other journalism teachers, and I can attest personally to her impact and legacy,” Berry said of Comstock. “She was very welcoming when I began in the district and has been a constant source of support.”
Comstock has taught in the journalism field, as she says, “since dirt was dirt” and has been the journalism teacher at Jersey Village for 30 years.
“I am very honored that the executive board members have selected me to receive the Trailblazer Award,” she said. “There are a lot of amazing people in that list of previous honorees. I am not sure I belong with them; and, I am very humbled, honored, surprised, left without breath, so many words that go along with ‘wow’ to be selected.”
A number of Comstock’s former students have made their mark as professional journalists, including Adrees Latif, a photojournalist and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner in Breaking News Photography. Comstock’s impact is evident in the work of her former students.
“She’s the reason why I decided to major in journalism and even think to make it my future career,” said Christine Le, a Jersey Village alumna who graduated in 2015. “When I first started out in yearbook my sophomore year, I knew absolutely nothing about anything and she guided me to be the journalist/photographer that I am today and that’s how I found my passion.”
Though she received the Trailblazer Award, Comstock acknowledged the honor is not only for her, but the more than 1,000 scholastic journalists who have walked through her student press doors.
“They are the trend setters and movers and shakers of Texas scholastic journalism,” Comstock said. “They have built the program at Jersey Village High School into the award-winning program it is. These are not just words; they are my true feeling.”