Katie Merritt has been the media arts teacher at Darlington since 2017. She holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and multiple certifications and endorsements, including Master Journalism Educator. She advises Darlingtonian.com, the Jabberwokk yearbook, and Inkslinger literary magazine, and is a member of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA), Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), and Journalism Education Association (JEA). Prior to her move to Rome, she taught Intro to Journalism, Speech and Debate, Social Media, and advised six volumes of the award-winning Odyssey yearbook at Steinbrenner High School (Lutz, Fla.), where she was selected as the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. The same year, she was nominated for the District 4 Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) Teacher of the Year. Merritt served on the board for FSPA, the Florida local planning committee for the 2014 Fall National Convention and as a judge for NSPA, CSPA and FSPA. Along with building award-winning publication staffs, Merritt created and implemented an in-house photography studio and curriculum for beginning and intermediate photographers to handle all school portraits and photography. In addition to teaching at local and national workshops, Merritt has taught at the “Tell It” Herff Jones signature workshop for new advisers, and created a professional learning community of new and experienced advisers in Georgia and beyond.