Local News

Reporter Karen Billing recognized with Golden Quill award for education reporting

Solana Beach School District Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger; school board members Vicki King and Gaylin Allbaugh, Rancho Santa Fe Review reporter Karen Billing with her award; school board Clerk Debra Schade, Vice President Rich Leib and President Julie Union.
(Jon Clark)

Karen Billing, senior education reporter for the Carmel Valley News, Del Mar Times, Solana Beach Sun, Rancho Santa Fe Review and Encinitas Advocate, 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.

The inaugural Golden Quill Awards are presented by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) 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.

Billing was presented a Certificate of Excellence in Reporting by the Solana Beach School District (SBSD) Board of Education at its Jan. 17 meeting. CSBA will also issue a press release and publish winners on its website ( and in the spring edition of California Schools magazine.

“Not every school district has the privilege of having a local community paper, “ said SBSD President Julie Union. “For well over a decade, through the Solana Beach Sun, Carmel Valley News and Rancho Santa Fe Review you have helped us share important updates, informed the community of upcoming events, and helped highlight the fun and joy of student activities.”

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 accurately and fairly explore the issues that districts and county offices of education face perform an essential public service by providing meaningful insight into public schools, one of our country’s core civic institutions,” said CSBA President Mike Walsh. “The Golden Quill Awards celebrate strong reporting that informs audiences and illuminates the critical issues facing local schools and California’s 6.2 million public school students.”

To learn more about the Golden Quill Awards, visit the California School Boards Association’s awards webpage at Check back in August 2019 for information on next year’s awards program. --News release

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