2009 board of directors elections

2009 board of directors elections


Norma Kneese, MJE
Snake River High School, Blackfoot, Idaho

Norma Sumarnap Kneese, MJE, has taught at Snake River High School at Blackfoot, Idaho for 22 years. She advises the yearbook and revived the newspaper after a 10-year silence. She created a Journalistic English class so students could learn journalism and receive English credit. Kneese earned her journalism endorsement, along with her CJE and MJE. She has been an Idaho Journalism Advisers Association member for the past 20 years and a board member for 18. She was chosen Idaho Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1997-98. She also received the Medal of Merit Award from JEA in 2003. She was honored as a Special Recognition Adviser by The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund in 2004. She has taught workshops for IJAA, Jostens, Friesens, Kansas State University, University of Iowa, and South Dakota State University, along with doing workshops for JEA conventions she has attended over the past 18 years. She was one of the original Outreach participants in 1992. Kneese chaired the Outreach program before being elected the Multicultural Commission Chair. She chaired the committee that created the Teacher Inspiration Award. She has also written numerous articles on diversity for the Adviser Update since 2000. She helped establish the Outreach Academy in 2005, which has been very successful in locating and assisting advisers in various areas of journalism. She also helped create the Diversity Award that recognizes individuals and groups in the scholastic arena that demonstrate a commitment to cultural awareness and encourage a multicultural approach with its staff, production, and/or community.

Statement of Goals:
Norma Kneese would like to continue promoting cultural awareness and understanding within each staff, state organization and JEA. She will keep working in the Multicultural Commission and the Outreach Academy to seek more advisers of color to participate in bringing students to conventions, to conduct workshops, and to become actively involved with JEA. Since attending her first JEA convention in 1992, the number of minority students and advisers at conventions has increased slowly. Since the creation of the Outreach Academy, more new advisers have been reached and introduced to JEA and the Multicultural Commission. Minority student scholarships for the conventions, and the Outreach Academy need to be promoted more extensively in each state. Multicultural diversity should become a priority within each staff, and students should be encouraged to openly discuss and write about multicultural issues in their school and community to help change attitudes. JEA and the Multicultural Commission can serve as a resource to students and advisers in fostering respect and acceptance.

Reginald Ragland, CJE
Washington, D.C.

Reginald W. Ragland, CJE, is state director of DCJEA in Washington, D.C. and JEA’s first professional media liaison. A former reporter-photographer and media relations officer who has advised middle school, military and college publications, he’s been involved with the Multicultural Commission since 1992. As DCJEA director, he’s raised membership to its highest numbers ever, developed a stronger profile for scholastic media and student press rights in District schools, and has relentlessly pursued partnerships with professional media organizations. As a diversity-critical thinking facilitator, he is an advocate of inclusiveness, mentoring and collaborative decision making.

A native of St. Louis and lifetime JEA member, Ragland is an avid convention participant as a presenter, sessions planner, panel moderator, write-offs judge, pubs critiquer and been at the forefront of developing the commission’s Outreach Academy since its inception. He also coordinates journalism workshops for metro-D.C. students, teaches at the Iowa University and American University summer media camps, and serves on the fall 2009 national convention planning committee. During D.C.’s 2003 convention, he was instrumental in raising a record 62 additional registration scholarships for local attendees.

As JEA’s professional media liaison, he represents the interests of scholastic media to journalists and national press organizations and is a board member of the Newseum Teachers Advisory Team, Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association, and Young D.C., a youth newspaper.

Statement of Goals:
As candidate for this position in 2007, my goals remain essentially unchanged: making “competency, inclusion, collaboration and responsive activism” synonymous with a relevant, 21st Century Commission vision that addresses the needs of JEA members and students. As chair, I’ll strengthen outreach efforts that increase quality membership numbers; will update and develop fresh, meaningful instructional materials; help provide a welcoming, nurturing organizational experience for new and young advisers, rural and urban teachers, and underrepresented media advisers, befitting a modern, all-inclusive definition of “diversity.” Also, the Commission will take the lead towards building meaningful partnerships with professional media, journalism schools, and other educational organizations with goals compatible to making scholastic media relevant in the future.

To advance this role of the Commission, I pledge to:

  • ensure ALL commission activities are fully accountable–and inclusive–of fair, transparent group decisionmaking, with professionally-aligned benchmarks to monitor progress, thoroughness and effectiveness;
  • update ALL diversity resources and support bookstore offerings that provide real-time relevance and “user-friendly” approaches that develop cultural competencies for teachers and media staffs;
  • expand the commission’s national visibility and its access to JEA members and other professional and scholastic media associations, advocacy groups and HBCUs; and,
  • promote engaged and purposeful discussions with other commission chairs, state directors and our membership at large, by creating task forces and sharing researched information about trends and issues that address common causes.

Essentially, my goal as Multicultural Commission chair is to make it a strengthened, more relevant and responsive resource to JEA during the next decade.


John Bowen, MJE
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Current Positions: Adjunct professor in news sequence and assisting in development of online journalism educators’ Master’s program at Kent State; chair Journalism Education Association (JEA) Scholastic Press Rights Commission; member Student Press Law Center (SPLC) Advisory Council; Webmaster for Center for Scholastic Journalism, Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) and JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission.

National Honors: Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year; National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award; Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Key Award, CSPA’s Charles R. O,Malley for Excellence in Teaching award and the Ohio Educational Language andf Media Association’s Intellectual Freedom Award. Publications: Co-author of law column in Dow Jones Newspaper Fund “Adviser Update”; co-author “Principal’s Guide”; author of numerous magazine and journal articles. Education: bachelor of science in education and master of arts in journalism from Kent State University.

Statement of Goals: Commission goals for the upcoming years;

  • Names and contact info of student media friendly administrators
  • Find and organize friendly administrators for NASSP panels; to have them get on and speak for freedom of press; could also involve booth
  • Lessons and activities to add to existing ones on Web site
  • See that all parts of the country are covered by commissioners. Commissioners have to complete responsibilities to be eligible to remain on commission and to be involved with Poynter retreats.
  • Expansion of materials on a Facebook group page and of a Pages area.
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