Marty Cheek from Morgan Hill Life Awarded "Golden Quill"

Martin (Marty) Cheek from Morgan Hill Life has been chosen as one of twenty-five recipients of the Golden Quill Award, presented in recognition of fair, insightful and accurate reporting on public school news by print, broadcast and online news media representatives. The Golden Quill Awards are presented by the California School Boards Association to recognize outstanding education journalism and highlight the essential role journalists play in increasing understanding of the objectives, operations, accomplishments, challenges and opportunities related to public schools. 

Marty serves as a reporter, editor, and publisher of MHL with a mission to use the biweekly newspaper as a vessel to also educate students directly about the art of writing. He often tutors young writers on story composition skills and provides space in MHL to publish student perspectives and their accounts of activities, events, or their personal experiences. 

“Marty Cheek champions the value of public education to our community. With consistency, Morgan Hill Life (MHL) articles reveal stories of unique human interest and often with a focus on celebrating the value of youth in our world.. Marty Cheek and the Morgan Hill Life newspaper have profoundly influenced our lives, young and old,” says Superintendent Steve Betando.

Marty will be presented a Certificate of Excellence in Reporting by The Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Education. CSBA will also issue a press release and publish winners on its website ( and in the spring edition of California Schools magazine.

"Education is a passion for me and I enjoy working with students and teachers on stories that we publish in Morgan Hill Life. The kids get such a thrill when I come into the classroom with the printed version of the paper and they see how their school is presented to the public in the story. I'm deeply honored that Superintendent Steve Betando selected me as his nomination for the Golden Quill Award."

School district and county boards of education nominate journalists for the Golden Quill Award
by highlighting work that was reported in an accurate and insightful manner and identifying stories where the nominee demonstrated a holistic understanding of the local educational agency and its stakeholders. Nominees must also have developed relationships with the school board and relevant district and site-level staff, in addition to understanding the district or county office of education’s missions, goals and/or strategic vision during the reporting process.

“Journalists who produce fair and accurate reporting about California’s public schools perform a great service by providing a lens through which the community gains greater knowledge of the critical and intricate work of educating students,” said CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner. “The Golden Quill Awards celebrate the best journalism that both informs audiences and illuminates the important issues facing their local schools.

To learn more about the Golden Quill Awards, visit the California School Boards Association’s awards webpage at Check back in August 2020 for information on next year’s awards program.