Gahanna Lincoln High School speech and television broadcasting teacher Thomas Gregory recently headed to Chicago to officially accept the National Broadcast Adviser of the Year from the Journalism Education Association.

Correction: The print and earlier online version of this story gave incorrect information about Nate Hengstebeck's title. He is not employed by the History Channel. He works for a production company that is filming a show for the History Channel.

Gahanna Lincoln High School speech and television broadcasting teacher Thomas Gregory recently headed to Chicago to officially accept the National Broadcast Adviser of the Year from the Journalism Education Association.

Kelly Glasscock, JEA executive director, flew to Columbus from Manhattan, Kansas, to present it to Gregory on Oct. 16, during a staff meeting at the high school.

Gregory said the JEA would also fly him to the convention Nov. 1-4, where he would receive the award again in front of teachers and advisers.

"This is the same convention that I went to ... when I was a high school journalism reporter for the 'Lion's Roar' here at Gahanna High School," he said. "I have taken various students there over the years."

The National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year program is designed to honor outstanding high school advisers and their exemplary work from the previous year, as well as throughout their careers.

"It was a total surprise," Gregory said of the recognition. "I have heard from so many of my former students across the nation who are (news) anchors, news directors, producers, reporters, film-makers, public relations and marketing directors who got their start in our high school TV class WGLH-TV."

Gregory said all of them have talked about how much the broadcasting program meant to them and how important it was in helping them in their future careers.

"As a teacher, my goal has not only been to impact students while they were in high school but to help them find their path and find their future beyond high school," he said. "I can't tell you how meaningful all their messages have been."

Gregory, who has been the television and broadcasting adviser for 30 years, has announced this will be the last year he advises the program but he plans to continue teaching full time at the high school.

A 30 for 30 Project is in progress to honor Gregory's 30 years of service by raising $30,000 to replace old equipment.

"Updating the equipment in the TV Studio is important because it helps improve the quality of the video projects the students produce and gives them access to state of the art equipment and software that is used by professionals in the career field," Gregory said.

"I have been amazed at the impact the TV program has had on so many students over the last 30 years and updating the equipment will ensure that the TV program can continue to impact thousands of students over the next 30 years," he said.

In a YouTube message from 2012 Gahanna Lincoln and 2016 Miami University alumni Nate Hengstebeck said he's excited to celebrate Gregory's 30 years of service to Gahanna Lincoln with his 30 for 30 program.

Hengstebeck, who works for a production company that is filming a show for the History Channel, said he moved from Gahanna to Los Angles, where he's pursuing a career in unscripted reality television.

He said he was part of the news program Gregory led.

"Tom is one of those awesome teachers who goes above and beyond to make sure his students are ready for the next stage in life," he said. "He has been a tremendous friend and mentor for me over the years and has really pushed me to tell stories that I otherwise would not have."

Sharon Tomko, president of the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation, said a fall fundraising event will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Olde Gahanna Sanctuary, 82 N. High St.

The event will help raise funds to replace outdated equipment for the studio program.

Tomko said a reverse raffle will be held at the fundraiser.

"The excitement builds as the grand-prize winner is the last number announced vs. the first number," she said. "There are many prizes along the way -- a total of over $2,400 in raffle money and prizes will be won."

Tickets for the reverse raffle can be purchased at www.gjef.org.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla