2007 board of directors elections
Jack Kennedy, MJE
Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Jack Kennedy, MJE , is the newspaper adviser at Rock Canyon High School, in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where he also teaches AP Language & Composition. The Rock won the Colorado 3A newspaper sweepstakes in its first year and won the 4A sweepstakes for last year’s volume two. In a previous life, Kennedy advised The Little Hawk newspaper and Red & White yearbook at City High in Iowa City, Iowa, and the newspaper won 11 Pacemakers in that time. He has served JEA as Curriculum/Development Commission chair, as North Central Region director and as vice president. He is a Carl Towley Award winner, the 1993 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year, a NSPA Pioneer Award winner, a Gold Key recipient from CSPA, and a member of the Iowa High School Press Association Hall of Fame. He has taught workshops in 25 states and three foreign countries on all areas of scholastic journalism.
Statement of Goals:
It’s difficult to imagine a more perilous time for scholastic journalism. Three of our major journalism organizations either are changing directors now or will be in the next three years. The professional press faces a variety of forces trying to shape, inhibit and otherwise control the news, and the scholastic press has experienced these forces for decades. Journalism programs are being squeezed by everything from NCLB to tight budgets, and understanding and support for the First Amendment among young people seems to be very low. Some people speculate that the era of print is drawing to a close, though there is still a tremendous need for honest, insightful reporting, whatever the delivery method to the public.
So why am I excited to possibly have the chance to lead JEA in these perilous times? The simple answer: JEA is key to the development of great journalism teachers and advisers, and great advisers lead to great publications, broadcasts, podcasts or whatever media comes along. I like to emphasize that JEA’s main focus must always be on teachers, and that would be my focus if elected president. Great teachers will get us through the perilous times. In my nearly 25 years of membership in JEA, I have met the finest teachers and leaders in education, and those people have given me the tools and inspiration to do my very best in a professional I have grown to love. I would appreciate the opportunity to support great teaching and great advising, and to be part of the leadership that takes JEA and scholastic journalism into the future.
Bob Bair, MJE
Blair High School, Blair, Nebr.
Bob Bair, MJE, a 34-year veteran journalism and English teacher at Blair (Nebraska) High School, is currently serving his second term on the JEA Board as Region 3 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. Bair is a past president of the Nebraska High School Press Association, 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.
Statement of Goals:
My personal goals are similar to goals most JEA members have:
- As I have as regional director, I want to continue promoting and protecting scholastic press rights and to continue working to attract new members to our organization.
- We also need to communicate with and maintain the membership we currently have in JEA.
- One of our biggest chores and a major goal is to work to build diversity in JEA.
- The next executive board will work to provide a smooth transition upon Linda Puntney’s retirement. Theoretically, this could be the biggest change for the organization in the past 25 years. Likewise, a change in leadership in NSPA and Quill and Scroll will present our organization with the responsibility to provide advisers steady leadership and stability to reach our goals.