2011 board of directors candidate statements
Region 3, North Central
With his retirement in June, Gary Lindsay is concluding a 40-year career teaching language arts and journalism at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. He has advised the Torch newspaper since 1986, and has also advised yearbook, literary magazine, journalism website and an online radio station. He has also taught summer journalism workshops for Jostens Publishing and for the University of Iowa student and adviser workshops.
Lindsay encourages his staffs to compete in state and national contests where they have earned numerous awards.
The Iowa State High School Press Association awarded Lindsay its Stratton Award in 2000 and its Rod Vahl Award as Adviser of the Year in 2006. For many years, Lindsay served on the IHSPA Executive Board and he was its president from 2003 – 2007.
Lindsay has earned CJE and MJE certification from JEA. He served several years as the JEA State Director for Iowa and he has been North Central Regional Director for the past two terms. Lindsay is a member of the National Journalism PLC and is in his second year as a JEA Mentor for Iowa.
Statement of goals:
As regional director, Lindsay has attended state affiliate activities in Wisconsin and Iowa, and hopes to attend several more. His goal is to increase adviser outreach in the region, and in pursuit of this goal, he worked with IHSPA to establish the JEA Mentorship program in Iowa.
As a comment on his approaching retirement, Lindsay stated, “As I move into retirement from the journalism classroom, I plan to continue my work with JEA. In fact, I am excited that retirement will offer me the opportunity to more freely travel from my base in Iowa to the surrounding states. I hope to be invited to participate in the state scholastic press conferences, and to speak in defense of scholastic journalism when the opportunity presents itself.”
“I have enjoyed serving as North Central Regional Director,” Lindsay stated. “It’s been wonderful meeting the state directors, and attending great local conferences like KEMPA’s Winter Adviser’s Seminar. As a JEA Board Member I supported the change in the bylaws that limit the terms of office to one three-year term. I am thankful to have had this opportunity to serve JEA in this position and hope to be able to do so for the next three years.”
Karen Barrett, MJE, is in her 10th year of advising Spokesman and 11th year of teaching journalism and English at Wheeling High School. She began her journalism career in 1992 as a student in the journalism program at WHS and then as a Spokesman staff member. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism education from Purdue University in 1998. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in 2008. She was named a JEA Rising Star in 2003. She earned her JEA Master Journalism Educator certification in 2009. Karen is a member of the National Journalism Professional Learning Community through JEA and is also a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission of JEA. Karen is a journalism teacher because there is no better job in the world than working in journalism while getting the chance to teach others about it. Her goal is to teach her students enough that, eventually, they don’t need her anymore. In her free time, she loves honing her photography and writing skills. Someday, she hopes to be as good as her students.
Statement of Goals:
My goals as a journalism teacher and adviser are very similar to my goals if elected to be the JEA Region 3 director. I want to be a support to people who want to do good journalistic work. I want to be a resource for finding the answers to journalistic issues and challenges. I also want to help light the fire for journalistic passion in those around me. If elected to the position of Region 3 director, I would like to increase the membership in the less represented areas of the region. To do this, I will work closely with state directors to understand how scholastic journalism works in their states. I would like to support the journalism conferences and events that are held in Region 3, especially as a way to connect with journalism teachers, advisers and students in order to understand their needs. Finally, I would like to make sure all JEA members in Region 3 are aware of the resources JEA has to offer especially in challenging times such as press rights challenges and program sustainability challenges.
Region 4, South Central
Wayna C. Polk
Involved with scholastic journalism since she was a sophomore at Brownfield High School, Wayna C. Polk, CJE, is the former adviser for the award winning yearbook, The Flashlight, at Abilene High School for 29 years and began teaching beginning journalism and advising the student newspaper, The Battery, seven years ago. The Flashlight has continually won state, regional and national awards and her students have garnered individual honors throughout her career at AHS. A teaching veteran of 32 years, she has been named the Max Haddick Journalism Teacher of the Year in Texas as well as receiving JEA’s Medal of Merit and NSPA’s Pioneer Award. Wayna has been named a Special Recognition Adviser and honored as one of 75 Texas Legends in scholastic journalism in 2002 by ILPC during the 75th anniversary celebration of the state press group. She chairs JEA’s Scholarship Committee and is a member of the Awards Committee. She has served JEA as the SC Region Director for six years and has been active in the organization since her first year in teaching journalism. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Texas Tech University and a M. Ed. in English from Abilene Christian University. Currently a CJE, she is completing her MJE project and will sit for the MJE exam in Anaheim. She retired in 2010, but Wayna continues to teach at state and national publications workshops and travels throughout the country sharing her knowledge with high school students.
Statement of Goals:
I am honored to represent the South Central Region of JEA as regional director. Our region boasts some of the finest scholastic journalism programs in the country and the advisers in our region continue to make outstanding educational contributions on the local, state and national levels.
Representing this region has allowed me to interact with these advisers and to better understand the different concerns we share about journalism education in our region and the positive role JEA can play in regards to our future in the classroom.
We face important future decisions regarding our organization and the survival of our classrooms and programs. With your support, I know our region will continue to strengthen the stature of JEA for all advisers.
As JEA continues to emphasize the important role of educators, I am proud to support great teaching, strong advising and to be a part of the leadership that takes our organization and our scholastic journalism programs into the future.
Thank you for your support.
Michele Dunaway, MJE since 2000, currently advises the national award-winning yearbook, newspaper and website at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, MO, and balances these with four English I classes. For her contributions to scholastic journalism, JEA awarded Michele its Medal of Merit in 2009. Michele is a current member of the curriculum commission, and she has previously served on the board as its Middle/Junior High Commission chair. In that role Michele began the first middle/junior high write off competitions and began dialogue with the National Scholastic Press Association that eventually became middle school best of show. Michele authored the JEA middle/junior high curriculum guide and wrote four articles published in C:JET.
A featured speaker at the JEA/NSPA convention in Phoenix, Michele continues to give time to JEA by doing onsite critiques, presenting convention sessions and judging both photography and yearbook write-off contests. Michele also judges yearbooks and newspapers for Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Florida Scholastic Press Association, serves as the St. Louis Area representative for the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association. She has served on the board of the St. Louis Sponsors of Secondary School Publications in the capacity of vice president. A writer at heart, Michele contributes articles for VisualThesaurus.com’s Teachers at Work section, and her last novel for Harlequin American Romance (her 23rd) debuted in September. Michele has been in the classroom since 1987, and has no plans to retire anytime soon as she has two teenage girls headed to college in a few years.
Statement of goals:
JEA is special. When I started teaching middle school journalism in 1994, I needed help. I knew what a newspaper should look like, but I was a teacher, not a journalist. A good friend suggested JEA. I wouldn’t be here without that advice. When I moved to the high school level, JEA was there.
One of JEA’s strengths is its membership. Often we can feel isolated, like no one we work with understands. As regional director, my goal is to bridge not only the divide from school to school, but from state to state. One state must support another when journalism programs are under attack. I will help coordinate both formal and informal assistance. As a classroom teacher, I understand your daily and long-term concerns. Like you, I am on the front lines—last year budgets cuts forced the combining of my newspaper and yearbook classes. I understand how the smallest problem can seem like a discouraging mountain. I know how important it is to celebrate success.
Regions must be more than meet and greets at conventions. Members need regional information disseminated through a variety of platforms. New members need regional encouragement and personal contact so their needs are met and programs grown. JEA can do for everyone what it did for me, which is to provide a supportive network that enhanced my teaching and provided me with the security that I am never alone. As regional director, I will take a visual and active role to ensure that happens.