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2011 board of directors candidate statements

JEA will conduct election for 15 board positions in February. The slate was announced at the JEA members’ meeting at the Kansas City convention. The candidate’s bios and statement of goals are below.

In accordance with the JEA Board of Directors directive, the election will be online. Every JEA member will receive an official link to their online ballot at their e-mail address on file. In addition, all members will receive a postcard with the link. All voting will take place using the online system.

Members will vote on president, vice president, secretary, five commission chairs, and the regional director for the member’s region.

This information is current and complete as of the date noted as updated above. Additional information will be added as it becomes available until the election begins in February. If you have questions about the election, contact Nominating Committee Chair Gloria Eastman, W: 303-556-3233, geastman@mscd.edu.

President

Bob Bair

Bob Bair, MJE, a 38-year veteran journalism and English teacher at Blair (Nebraska) High School, is completing his second term as JEA vice president.  He served two terms as North Central regional director and many years as Nebraska’s State Director. Advising both yearbook and newspaper, he is a 2000 recipient of the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award.  He was awarded JEA’s Medal of Merit in 2005.  He twice was named the Nebraska High School Press Association’s Distinguished Adviser. Bair is a past president of NHSPA, and he currently serves as the association’s communications director.  He has worked part-time as a sports writer for the Blair Enterprise and Pilot-Tribune newspapers and has interned with the Omaha World-Herald and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. He and his wife Lyn have three children (Courtney Archer, a high school journalism teacher; Kiley; and Kevin, a language arts teacher.

Statement of Goals:
JEA has initiated several major programs in the past four years, and the next several years look to be just as exciting. The mentoring program continues to provide new advisers the assistance they need while the professional learning community program provides new and veteran advisers alike an extended learning opportunity and a powerful strategy for improved journalism instruction. I will continue to enthusiastically support these and other bold initiatives such as those revealed in Kansas City to boost membership in the organization. Having served on the JEA board the past eight years I feel qualified to lead the organization the next three years; having served on the executive board the past four years, I feel qualified to help create a workable annual budget that will help JEA move forward with its vision and programs. JEA must continue to provide all members with the best support possible, regardless what size the program. I will listen to all members regarding their concerns for and of scholastic journalism, and I vow to work tirelessly to help champion and strengthen a free and responsible scholastic press. If elected, I promise to be a hard-working, professional advocate for JEA and its members.

 Mark Newton

Mark Newton, MJE, is in his 26th year of teaching and his 25th year of advising student media. This is his third year as a journalism and English teacher at Mountain Vista H.S. in Highlands Ranch, Colo., a south Denver suburb, where he advises the Eagle Eye news magazine, vistanow.org and the Aerie yearbook. Newton also is the school’s webmaster. He is the former journalism teacher at Grand Junction (Colo.) High School (18 years) where he advised the award-winning (NSPA Pacemaker, CSPA Gold and Silver Crown, CHSPA Sweepstakes) Orange & Black. He is the current Certification Commission chair (six years) and former Southwest director and the former JEA Colorado state director. Newton is the founder of the Scholastic Journalism Institute (thinksji.org) and a co-founder and co-leader of the National Journalism Professional Learning Community. He is a member of the Colorado High School Press Association, the Student Press Law Center Advisory Committee and the Ball State University School of Journalism Advisory Committee. Newton speaks at local, state and national conventions, and teaches at summer workshops. His students and their publications have earned local, state and national awards. Most recently, the Eagle Eye earned a NSPA Pacemaker in his second year at MHVS. Newton has been honored as the CHSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year, NSPA’s Pioneer Award and JEA’s Medal of Merit. He is married to Pam, a fourth-grade teacher, and has two children, Chris, a fifth-grade teacher, and Jamie, a junior psychology major at the University of Northern Colorado.

Statement of Goals:
If elected to serve JEA members as their president, I promise to be a positive advocate of the association. Since I have been a member since 1984, the Certification Commission chairperson and a regional and state director, I bring a comprehensive understanding of the organization and its challenges. My track record shows such. I helped to establish the National Journalism Professional Learning Community, a model to create meaningful collegial discussions to improve instruction; NJPLC is now a JEA committee. I also worked to establish the Scholastic Journalism Institute, a think tank to solve problems in our profession; our first initiative is creating collaborative efforts to save student journalism. As Certification chair, I led substantial positive changes in exams, study guides, marketing and communication. I was fortunate to work with outstanding Commission members — many of whom are running for JEA board positions (something I am very proud of) — who, when given the permission, encouragement and support achieved remarkable results. As president, I promise to apply that same can-do attitude, work ethic, leadership and vision. My goals: solidify the budget, increase membership, empower members to enhance scholastic journalism with mini-grants, create synergy among all JEA committees, commissions, liaisons, state directors and scholastic press associations. We can take a wonderful organization and make it better because we have talented, dedicated, visionary members who will settle for nothing less. Finally, I promise to listen, collaborate and encourage active participation in all JEA activities. Thank you for considering me to lead this fine organization.

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