Patrick Johnson, MJE, will serve the Journalism Education Association as its new Mentoring chair. Johnson teaches journalism and English and advises Tom Tom and SequoitMedia.com at Antioch (Illinois) Community High School.
President Sarah Nichols, MJE, made the appointment after an open call to committee members and mentors following the resignation last month of Bill Flechtner, MJE. Johnson will begin immediately and will serve the remainder of the three-year term, which runs through April 30, 2020.
Johnson said he is eager to begin and honored to lead such a highly regarded program.
“I find mentoring to be one of the most critical components to our JEA programming, and teaching in general. So many teachers are thrown into journalism and find it difficult to figure out who they are, what they need, how to balance, when to grow and change, how to budget, when to ask for legal help, and so on. This job isn’t easy by any means, and what comes up is often so unexpected. Our mentors provide an extension of teaching and leadership that is both unique and necessary: a teacher who has been through it and can offer thoughtful advice and encouragement,” Johnson said.
Among his first tasks will be working with fellow committee members Linda Barrington, MJE, Peggy Gregory, MJE and Carmen Wendt, MJE, who will meet online with Nichols to share ideas and help with the transition, which falls during the organization’s budget planning cycle.
Johnson’s goals align with similar ideas from the JEA board of directors to expand mentoring efforts.
“I’m impressed with Patrick’s vision for how to utilize the current mentor structure to help involve more trained mentors, both current advisers and retired legacy advisers, to reach more mentees. Patrick also has many fresh ideas about how mentors can create a bridge for mentees to both utilize JEA’s resources and develop their own sense of self to establish sustaining programs,” said Director-at-Large Julia Satterthwaite, CJE.
Satterthwaite and Johnson will undergo mentor training together this summer at JEA Advisers Institute, July 9-12, 2018 in Las Vegas.