It’s not often a high school organization advisor gets a national award.

Then again, it’s not often the advisor is Mike Zito.

Mike Zito, in action.

The popular, soft-spoken veteran media teacher was honored recently by Ithaca College.  Zito — whose last name is also his nickname — received a S’Park Media Mentor Award from the Roy H. Park School of Communications.  He and 3 other high school instructors from across the country were lauded for their “commitment to inspiring passion for media in students.”

Zito advises both WWPT-FM, and the Staples Television Network.  He brings decades of experience — nearly 40 years in radio, and 21 as a teacher — to his work.

Zito teaches a full schedule of radio production, TV production and narrative film.

He’s not the only Staples media person to win national honors.  His students have won MSG Awards, and the prestigious John Drury High School Radio Awards.  Zito’s classes have been launching pads for many successful careers.

Zito’s own career is not too shabby.  He’s too modest to mention it, but this is not his 1st national prize.  Like his students, last year he was cited by the John Drury folks.  Zito was named Best Radio Station Advisor in the Nation.

Stay tuned for more.

6 responses to “Zee-to!

  1. Dennis Jackson

    Congratulations to Mike and his student broadcasters! He has inspired a sense of professionalism at WWPT of which its founders can be proud .

  2. Jim Honeycutt

    Mike Zito has brought to Staples High School his vision of how a media program should run and that it should be student-based. That is happening at Staples now and kids are flocking to the radio and the TV programs. His success with the John Drury awards and his recognition by Ithaca College reflects the accuracy of this vision. I believe that the media program under his leadership will add another jewel to the crown that is Staples High School.

  3. WOW! Will we ever know the depth of wonderful minds and spirits that our fortunate students at Staples have access to. They are lucky to have Zito on their side….and, so are we.
    Thanks Dan for a great write-up.

  4. When I speak in public, I often say that one of the things I admire about Westport is that its citizens insist that whatever program we offer to our students has to be at the equivalent of the varsity level….in other words the BEST! Here is a perfect example of a program that is extremely important for a group of students. Many students who wind up in Zito’s or Honeycutt’s classes have no idea what they want to do with their lives after high school. Once in the program, they realize that they like radio and television, they are good at it, and that there is a way to make a living doing it but they will have to go to college to extend their knowledge. That means they have to take all of their classes seriously to be eligible for college.

    Programs like this along with our culinary, technology, computer, child development, art, theater, and music programs are as important to this community as is chemistry, calculus, Mandarin, U.S. history, and Shakespeare. All of them require passionate, knowledgeable, well-educated teachers and that takes money.

    Congratulations to Mike Zito! Students who take his courses often have their lives changed forever. I am so proud of what he does.

  5. Congratulations, Mike. You deserve the recognition for your service to the community as well as for sparking the interest of students in media.

  6. Bob Lasprogato

    Mike – Congratulations on a great achievement. You bring well deserved credit to Westport. Keep up the good work.