2007 board of directors elections
REGION 5 / SOUTHEAST
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee
Brenda Gorsuch, MJE
West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, North Carolina
Brenda W. Gorsuch, MJE , is the current Southeast Region Director on the Journalism Education Association board. She has been the Wingspan newspaper adviser and journalism teacher at West Henderson High School in Hendersonville, N.C., since 1983, and the Westwind yearbook adviser since 1989. Gorsuch is active in scholastic journalism as a summer workshop presenter and convention speaker. She served four years as the chairperson of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association executive committee and two terms as president of the North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association. In 2004, she was named the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Statement of Goals:
After serving three years on the JEA board, I am even more convinced of the importance of our organization. Through its publications, bookstore, commissions and conventions, JEA is doing an excellent job, but there is much more that we could be doing. We need to provide more support for journalism teachers and publication advisers while we continue to be a strong voice for the First Amendment rights of students. We have many challenges from the No Child Left Behind legislation to increasing threats of censorship to the constant pressure for ever deeper budget cuts. Through my work with state and regional scholastic press associations, I have become convinced that JEA must take the lead role in making sure the needs of journalism teachers and publication advisers are being met. Scholastic press associations need the support of JEA from its national perspective. We need to make every effort to reach out to new advisers and convince them to join us. We must take a lead role in retaining quality journalism teachers so that they have time to build quality journalism programs. Finally, we must continue our efforts to convince the professional media and colleges of journalism that their support for scholastic journalism and student press rights is essential. They benefit from all our efforts as we promote interest in journalism careers and produce informed citizens and consumers of media.
REGION 6 / MID-ATLANTIC AND GREAT LAKES
Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Tom Gayda, MJE
North Central High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Tom Gayda has directed the six student publications at North Central High School in Indianapolis for seven years. He is a former president of the Indiana High School Press Association and current Region 6 (Great Lakes/Mid-Atlantic) Director of the Journalism Education Association. A 2005 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Distinguished Adviser, Gayda has taught a visual communications course at Ball State University and presented at several summer workshops and conventions. He is the 2005 Ball State University Department of Journalism Young Alumnus of the Year.
Statement of Goals:
I look forward to continuing my role as Region 6 Director for another term, continuing to prepare for the impending transition from Linda Puntney to the next executive director in 2009. It won’t be an easy task to find a replacement. Earlier this year I chaired the Scholastic Journalism Week festivities, an area I would very much like to continue working with.
I would also like to continue getting Region 6 advisers active in the organization. I think JEA and NSPA should look to have a future convention in our region again soon. Region 6 journalism is hot and we are ready to once again show the rest of the organization what we’ve got!
As director I will continue to support advisers in our region and bring forward items of concern to the full JEA board. I would like to visit more states in the region and get to know as many advisers as I can. I will continue to encourage advisers to have their friends join the organization and share in all of the great benefits JEA has to offer.
Dow High School in Midland, Michigan
Betsy Pollard Rau is the adviser of the Update newspaper at Dow High School in Midland, Mich. She has been advising publications for more than 30 years and recalls not so fondly the days of using a waxer and layout mats to paste up yearbook and newspaper pages. Rau has directed the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer journalism workshop for 14 years and has helped it grow from 200 students to more than 500. She was the 2004 Michigan Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year and has been teacher of the year in both the Midland and the Vestaburg School districts. She was a Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser and is a Pioneer Award winner. Her students’ publications have won Gold Crowns, Spartans and Pacemakers as well as Best of Show at national conventions.
Statement of Goals:
It’s time for me to give back to an organization that has helped me give my students an opportunity to have their voices heard. I can think of no better way to give back than to offer my services as a Regional Director. I am a communicator who loves to help bring others together to learn from one another. I believe I would bring enthusiasm and humor to the sometimes-lonely worlds of advisers in my region, and I would do my best to help foster an atmosphere of excellence and unity. Because of my experiences teaching at workshops in the region, I am already acquainted with many advisers. This position would give me more opportunities to spread the good news about JEA and how it can help advisers. JEA will soon be looking for a new executive director, and I believe that I would be an important, sensible voice of reason in helping to select just the right person to continue the fine programs already in place.