2009 board of directors elections

2009 board of directors elections

New board members elected

Of the potential 2,175 potential voters, 616 people actually voted for a voter turnout of 28.3%. In the regional elections, Region 4 (south central), the largest region, also had the largest voter turnout without a voter turnout of about 30 percent. The Board members take office July 1.

President Jack Kennedy (100%)
Vice President Bob Bair (100%)
Secretary Linda Drake (39.4%)
Certification Commission Mark Newton (100%)
Development/Curriculum Commission Lori Oglesbee (57.2%)
Junior High/Middle School Commission Anita Wertz (100%)
Multicultural Commission Norma Kneese (63.5%)
Scholastic Press Rights Commission John Bowen (100%)
Region 1 Steve Matson (100%)
Region 2 Ellen Austin (100%)
Region 3 Gary Lindsey (53.2%)
Region 4 Wayna Polk (100%)
Region 5 Brenda Gorsuch (100%)
Region 6 Tom Gayda (42.9%)
Region 7 Jane Blystone (71.4%)


JEA conducts elections for 15 board positions every other year. The slate was announced at the JEA members’ meeting at the St. Louis 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.

Want to compare this year’s statements with statements from the 2007 election? CLICK HERE

Executive Officers

Jack Kennedy, MJE

Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Jack Kennedy, MJE, has been active in JEA since the mid-’80s, serving on the board in several capacities. He began advising newspaper and yearbook in 1976, and his students at City High in Iowa City won 11 newspaper National Pacemakers and one yearbook Pacemaker. Just last year his students at Rock Canyon in Highlands Ranch, Colo. won their first newspaper National Pacemaker. He was the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1993, is a Carl Towley Award winner, a Pioneer and Gold Key winner, and has been honored as journalism teacher of the year by Iowa (1995) and Colorado (2008). He has spoken or led workshops in 28 states and three foreign countries. He is chair of the English department at Rock Canyon, teaching AP Language as well as advising the newspaper and yearbook.

Statement of Goals:
JEA has several initiatives underway that will benefit our profession over time, including the mentor program, a new focus on digital media education, and the national journalism professional learning community program. These involve extensive investments of time and money, and I would like to continue to support them as president. These are difficult times for the nation and for scholastic media advisers and students particularly, and JEA can provide leadership, expertise and strategies to our membership and to scholastic journalism in general to support all types of student media. We continue to focus on student press rights and are just at the beginning of a national effort to secure more rights for advisers. We also will be facing a transition from a brilliant, experienced executive director of JEA to someone we hope will provide us with leadership for years to come, and I would like to be part of that important decision. For all these reasons, I would appreciate being reelected to the position of president.

Bob Bair, MJE

Blair High School, Blair, Nebr.

Bob Bair, MJE, a 36-year veteran journalism and English teacher at Blair (Nebraska) High School, is completing his first term as JEA vice president.  He served two terms as North Central regional 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 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.

Statement of Goals:
My personal goals are similar to goals most JEA members have:

  • To continue promoting and protecting scholastic press rights and to continue working to attract new members to our organization
  • To communicate with and maintain the membership we have in JEA
  • To help build diversity in JEA
  • 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.
Password Reset
Please enter your email address and press [Return] or [Enter]. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

If you don't receive it within a few minutes, please call (785-532-5532) or email us (staff@jea.org), and we'll be happy to assist you.