2009 board of directors elections
REGION 7 / NORTHEAST
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont
Mercyhurst College, North East, Penn.
Jane Blystone has advised student publications for 33 years. She served five years as Region 7 director for JEA and as the chair of the Student Journalist of the Year Scholarship Committee. She served JEA as the local chair for the Philadelphia convention and she works with the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission to support students and advisers who encounter censorship of student publications. A past president of PA School Press Association, Blystone serves as a board member of PSPA. For many years she has judged student publications for CSPA, Quill and Scroll, SIPA and various state associations. She has received the JEA Medal of Merit, JEA special recognition yearbook adviser award, and MJE certification, the CSPA Gold Key and the CSPA James Frederick Paschal Award. Blystone earned the NCTE English Leadership Quarterly Best Article of the Year award (2004).
Statement of Goals:
Scholastic journalism is the ultimate 21st Century educational experience for students. It is comprehensive, rigorous and authentic learning that prepares today’s students for leadership roles in media, education and politics as they enter high-pressure careers. As media outlets change the way they deliver information, classroom teachers need to change the way they deliver journalism instruction. JEA helps teachers provide such cutting edge integrated curriculum. With that change we see many publications and student journalists silenced because they write hard-hitting, responsible stories. As a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission, I have been able to help student journalists and their consider how they handle such prior review and censorship I would like to provide leadership in the North East Region 7 to strengthen student publications and inform administrators in these nine states about the importance of including scholastic journalism programs into their curriculum. Journalism provides opportunities for students to hone 21st century skills such as effective written and oral communication, problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, analyzing and assessing information, leadership of peers, and entrepreneurship. As your representative in the North East Region, I will support advisers and students in their endeavors to grow great journalists for the 21st Century.
Altoona Area Junior High School
Wanda Pletcher teaches junior high English and advises publications in Altoona, Penn. She earned her degrees from Penn State University and has advised student publications for 13 years. Pletcher advises the Blue and White newspaper and Mixed Media literary magazine. The staffs of both publications have been recognized locally and nationally. In Pennsylvania, Pletcher served as president of the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) from 2005-2008. She has served as newspaper critique chair, membership chair, and continues as convention co-chair. She is active with PennCORD and has attended The Peter Jennings Institute for Journalists and the Constitution for two years. Pletcher served JEA on the local committee for the Philadelphia convention and is the Pennsylvania state representative. She enjoys attending conventions and presenting, judging, and critiquing publications while in attendance. She annually judges publications for NSPA and CSPA. Pletcher resides in Altoona with her husband and daughter.
Statement of Goals:
When I began teaching, I took the job as publication adviser so that I would be hired. It was supposed to be temporary until the current adviser returned from maternity leave. That was 13 years ago, and I am still the newspaper adviser and have begun a literary magazine. Never could I have imagined the huge part this would play in my life. I am sure many fellow advisers have similar stories. As I struggled to survive as a beginning teacher, I was lucky enough to come in contact with fellow professionals who became my lifeline. Had it not been for my membership with the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) and JEA I don’t know that I would have continued to advise the paper. But I did join those organizations and I did continue. Now I hope to take on a new role as Region 7 representative.
Some of you may know me as a past president of PSPA and the current state representative. In those roles I have tried to reach out to fellow advisers and strengthen student publications and access to resources. My term as president was not always easy, but I know that PSPA is stronger now than it has ever been.
I can also strengthen JEA’s Region 7. I want to reach across state lines to my fellow advisers and to other state representatives. I hope you will give me the chance to represent Region 7. It is time for Region 7 to pool resources. It doesn’t matter which state we represent, we can all work together to create new opportunities for students and to support each other as we grow JEA membership in our states.