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Bill Coate honored with Golden Quill award

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera Tribune writer Bill Coate, sitting, was honored recently with the Golden Quill Award.


Bill Coate of The Madera Tribune has been chosen as one of 25 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.

Other area winners of the Golden Quill are news anchor Juanita Stevenson of Fresno-based KSEE 24 — NBC, and news photographer Alex Ruiz of Fresno-based KFSN 30 — ABC.

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.

Coate, who was nominated by Madera Unified School District, will be presented a CSBA Certificate of Excellence in Reporting at a regular MUSD Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 12.

For many years, Coate has diligently highlighted both the present and the past of local public schools in The Madera Tribune, from current reports on teachers, programs, student achievement, and more to glimpses of educational history through his “Coate Tales,” “Snapshots of Madera’s Yesteryears,” and “Schoolhouse Chatter” columns.

“I think he’s very deserving,” said MUSD Board Trustee Joetta Fleak. “He is pretty fair about what he says” in the newspaper. “He’s always at all the board meetings and he goes to a lot of the school functions.

He even goes to the schools… He encourages the kids to continue and to keep writing.”

Fleak noted the new Madera Method Special Collections and Archive housed at Madera South High School that Coate had championed as both a writer and lifelong educator. Primary source documents and historical artifacts stored there will be a resource for research projects of Madera students in the coming years.

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.”

CSBA has published the names of all 2019 Golden Quill Award winners on its website ( ) and will do so in its spring edition of California Schools magazine.

For more on The Madera Tribune, visit the newspaper online at To learn more on the Golden Quill Awards, visit the California School Boards Association’s award webpage at .

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