Benjamin White Allnutt


Benjamin White Allnutt

Dawsonville, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Death 2 Jun 1976 (aged 56)
District of Columbia, USA
Burial Beallsville, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Plot Row D, Lot 6, Site 12
Memorial ID 10712731 View Source

- Henry White Allnutt [1875-1956]
- Prudence Jane Williams Allnutt [1887-1978]

Graduate of Poolesville High School, Class of 1937.

Teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

The Washington Post - June 4, 1976

Benjamin W. Allnutt, 56, a journalism and English teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School who was a nationally recognized authority on secondary school publications, died Wednesday at Sibley Hospital following surgery. He had suffered from Hodgkin's disease for more than a year.

During nearly three decades as a B-CC teacher, Mr. Allnutt helped build the school's biweekly paper, The Tattler, into an award-winning publication. many of whose staff later made careers in journalism. His own reputation grew along with the paper's and he was active for many years in scholastic press organizations and as a college lecturer.

On the 50th anniversary of the National Scholastic Press Association, he was cited as one of 13 teachers across the country who had contributed the most the scholastic journalism.

A native of Dawsonville, Md., and a longtime resident of Germantown, Mr. Allnutt was the editor of the Springboard to Journalism, a text book first published in 1960 by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. In 1959, he served as president of the Columbia University-affiliated organization, made up of several thousand high school and college publications advisers.

Although hospitalized for several months this year, Mr. Allnutt oversaw preparation of a 112-page, 50th anniversary issue of the Tattler, an undertaking he described as the first comprehensive history of the school and the Bethesda community ever written.

Typically, he originated many of the story ideas, but most of the production work was left to senior students who received training in their junior year. It was a learn-by-doing style of instruction that had worked well at the Tattler for Years.

As an advisor, "he gave people a taste of responsibility very early," said Kay Mills, a Newhouse National News Service writer and a former student at B-CC.

Parents might have worried about their teen-agers having to read page proofs alone at the downtown Greyhound bus station late at night--the Tattler used to be printed out of town--but Mr. Allnutt "knew we'd be all right," she said. "Funny enough, we always were."

Tattler staffers were "drilled on the virtues of clarity, brevity, and never starting a story with the word "the"....and the lectures on accuracy never ceased," said former Tattler Editor Rita Braver, now co producer in Washington of the CBS Morning News.

The newspaper advisor was "surrogate father, friend, disciplinarian, and story teller extraordinaire," she said. "He made journalism so interesting that we never minded working so hard. We knew we had to make our deadlines with no stalling."

A large, congenial and robust man who had served as an Army Air Corps captain in Asia and India during World War II. Mr. Allnutt had little journalism experience when he joined the Montgomery County school system in 1946. A Poolesville High School graduate, he had studied History and English at Western Maryland college and later received a master's degree at George Washington University.

For a number of years, he had lectured on yearbook production during the summer session at Catholic University and had recently been an instructor there at the Journalism Institute for High School Students. He also was a visiting lecturer at the University of Minnesota and conducted a series of publications workshops around the country between 1966 and 1974.

As the Tattler garnered state and national journalism prizes over the years, Mr. Allnutt received the national distinguished adviser awards of both the Newspaper Fund Inc. and the National Council of Publication Advisers.

He was also honored by the Secondary Educators of America as an outstanding teacher and was named Maryland journalism teacher-adviser by the Baltimore Sun Papers. Last year he was admitted to the Hall of Fame of the university of Oklahoma's School of Journalism.

Oklahoma Gov. David Boren, news editor of the Tattler in 1959 and one of Mr. Allnutt's favorite students, has said that he acquired a lasting interest in journalism during his high school years.

He is survived by his mother, Jane Williams Allnutt of the home, 18810 Germantown Rd,, Germantown.

A Benjamin W. Allnutt Memorial Fund for Journalism scholarships has been set up by Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and the Tattler Staff. Donations may be sent to the school.
By Claudia Levy, Washington Post Staff Writer

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