Semiannual report for fall 2014

Semiannual report for fall 2014

JEA’s semiannual report contains updates from staff, board members, committee chairs, state directors and liaisons.

Kelly Furnas, CJE
Executive Director
JEA Headquarters
Kansas State University
105 Kedzie Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1501

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,238, up 176 members from last spring and 182 from a comparable time last fall. That’s about a 9 percent gain in voting members, and our highest membership total since fall 2012. In fact, because our membership at that time was inflated with free memberships from a promotional drive, we now have our highest level of paid membership since 2006.

Only 13 states saw membership declines since last fall, and all were in the single digits. By comparison, California, our largest state, saw an increase of 36 members.

Anecdotally, the rise in membership seems to be tied to the launch of our Curriculum Initiative. We have received a significant uptick in members (both existing and new) asking about login credentials, signaling a desire to access

Analytics for from May-September 2014
Pageviews Users Sessions Avg. Session Duration Bounce Rate
93,834 5,045 12,573 0:08:13 24.15%

May 2-5: JEA board retreat, Manhattan, Kan.
July 7-10: JEA Advisers Institute, Las Vegas
July 13-17: JCAMP at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
July 20-22: Flint Hills Publications Workshop, Manhattan, Kan.
Aug. 21-24: Connect Marketplace, Orlando, Fla.
Sept. 5-7: Convention planning meeting, Orlando, Fla.
Sept. 18-19: Convention site visit, Chicago
Sept. 23: Kansas Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference, Manhattan, Kan.
Sept. 26: Convention planning meeting, Washington, D.C.
Oct. 25-26: Texas Association of Journalism Educators Fall Fiesta, San Antonio

For the board: Headquarters staff is now fully staffed with the hiring of Kate Dubiel as our Web/database developer and Lisa Terhaar as our bookkeeper.

Financially, we’re about halfway through the second quarter of the fiscal year and JEA has brought in $101,263 in gross profit (11 percent of our budget) and $125,490 in expenditures (14 percent of our budget). The organization stands with about $1.46 million in total current assets.

Mark Newton, MJE
Mountain Vista High School
10585 Mountain Vista Ridge
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

Six months into the first year of my second three-year term, it continues to be an honor to serve as JEA president. The respect I have for our executive director and headquarters staff only grows. Executive Director Kelly Furnas and the office staff — Connie Fulkerson, Pam Boller, Lisa Terhaar and Kate Dubiel — are the heart of our volunteer organization. I am so thankful for all they do for me, the board of directors and, most importantly, our members.

Please take a few moments to review the notes from our San Diego meeting last April and the subsequent motions and results.

The day-to-day tasks continue to keep me busy. The highlights of my last six months include:

  • Facilitated the new board retreat at JEA headquarters in May.
  • Attended our 2014 Advisers Institute.
  • Attended the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists one-day workshop.
  • Attended the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Conference, hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists and the RTDNA.
  • Attended the National News Literacy Conference, funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and coordinated by The Poynter Institute.
  • Attended the Texas Association of Journalism Educators 2014 Fall Fiesta Convention.
  • Worked with the Society of Professional Journalists Education Committee supporting its research and reporting efforts on scholastic journalism.
  • Supported and guided all the JEA leaders who took office May 1.
  • Continue to spend a significant amount of time working on all kinds of JEA programs and initiatives, addressing challenges and working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

My main focus has been getting up to speed all the new JEA leaders. A good portion of my time has been guiding them through job descriptions, introducing them to each other and our staff, helping them identify and navigate personal, program and organizational goals and supporting them, their ideas and their volunteer time.

I also have been focusing on outreach to professional and sister organizations, networking and trying to find viable partnerships that will enhance our mission, goals and support our members with valuable opportunities.

Please take a moment to review the agenda for our fall board of directors and general membership meetings in Washington, D.C. After taking a look, please be sure to share your ideas, thoughts, and opinions with me and/or other JEA leaders. We absolutely value your viewpoints.

I have said this in each of my reports as president and once again there is absolutely no reason to change even one word: Every conversation I have reminds me of how much our staff, board and members want what’s best for our organization. We may not agree 100 percent on the problems or the solutions, but we always do agree to come together for the good of the organization.

I’m excited about our ideas and plans as we work together to move JEA forward in the two-and-a-half years of my presidency. It truly is an honor to serve JEA. Thank you for the opportunity.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
Vice President
Whitney High School
701 Wildcat Blvd.
Rocklin, CA 95765

Each time I write this report I am reminded of what an honor it is to be part of the largest — and best — organization for journalism educators in the world. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. From our headquarters staff to our board members, committee chairs, state directors and other volunteers, we are fortunate to be part of a such a wonderful professional organization.

Since my last report, I have been busy with a variety of activities, which include:

• Attending the board of directors training and retreat at JEA Headquarters in May.

• Working with Kelly Furnas as coordinators of the JEA Curriculum Initiative to select the second round of 11 curriculum leaders and offer feedback during lesson plan development, as well as coordinating with Kim Green and Certification to align the CJE test to the 11 skill areas of the curriculum modules.

• Maintaining JEA’s social media presence through our Facebook page and Instagram account.

• Posting articles as a contributor to the JEA Digital Media and SPRC sites as well as contributing to a PBS MediaShift series on Journalism and the Common Core and a column for Quill & Scroll Magazine.

• Presenting three sessions at Advisers Institute as well as coordinating an adviser quiz bowl and providing a curriculum overview session at the mentor training.

• Supporting the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists by presenting a one-day adviser workshop with Kelly Furnas and Mark Newton in July after Advisers Institute.

• Appointing four new state directors: Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and West Virginia.

• Working with other JEA leaders to update the State Director Guide.

• Attending the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism conference in Nashville, including the journalism education committee meeting.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE
Past President/SPA Liaison/Nominations Chair
Kent State University
School of Journalism & Mass Communications
201B Franklin Hall Kent, OH 44242-0001

The main focus of my job at this point it reinvigorating JEA’s connection with the scholastic press association directors. In my effort to help them stay connected more than twice a year – during a two-hour session at each convention – I have accomplished the following:

  • Attending the first board meeting and retreat at JEA Headquarters in May. Following up with several conference calls to help all of us share information.
  • Gathering and updating names and contact information of 71 state and regional scholastic press association directors, plus five from the national level. These are in a database.
  • Creating a listserv and inviting participation. now has 32 subscribers. I plan to send out another explanation/invitation in the next week. Discussions so far have included SPA directors’ duties/rights as far as voting, paying dues, developing policies, email voting (14 contributed to that conversation) and newspaper evaluations and innovation.
  • Sending the group information about News Engagement Day and about online curriculum chats.
  • Presenting concerns of some SPA directors about JOY judging, changes in the process and timing of getting the rubric.
  • Continuing to update Scholastic Press Association Roundtable Facebook page. That’s been mostly pushing content — JEA announcements and other information that might help SPA directors.
  • Planning to promote FAPFA with info going to the SPA directors on the listserv and their Facebook page.
  • Writing a blog post for PBS’s EducationShift for a series on Common Core and journalism. Post is planned for week of Oct. 20.
  • Attending the August AEJMC meeting in Montreal, presenting the Honors Lecture, which focused on how the Scholastic Journalism Division has grown and changed over the years, emphasizing the connection it has with other groups, notably JEA. Helped plan session ideas for the chip sharing that will lead to next summer’s conference in San Francisco in August as well as ideas for the midwinter meeting at the Poynter Institute in January.

John Bowen, MJE
Director, Scholastic Press Rights
Kent State University
School of Journalism & Mass Communications
201 Franklin Hall
Kent, OH 44242-0001

As a whole, the committee completed its normal array of intervention requests from students and advisers who used the Panic Button. Additional calls for assistance came from the listserv or individual contacts.

Specific materials the committee developed include:
• Recommendations for handling Takedown Demands for published materials.
• Made the Panic Button available to state directors and SPA coordinators.
 Legal thoughts on who owns student content.
• Recommendations for ethical concerns for student staffs to consider before making a final decision to take student media online
• A series of comments to guide yearbook advisers with common ethical dilemmas.
 Constitution Day lessons and activities.
• Rotating weekly blogs spoke to topics including pedagogy, news literacy, public records and FOIA, Making a Difference stories and others aspects of journalism education involving legal and ethical issues.
• A series of articles for Banned Websites Awareness Week to improve awareness of how Internet filters block far more than people know.
• A blog encouraging advisers and staffs on national News Engagement Day to spread the word about censorship and its effects.
• A joint SPLC-press right committee statement condemning the Neshaminy board decision to punish the student paper’s editor and adviser.
• A retreat in March will finalize the commission’s policy package tentatively titled Models for Journalistic Responsibility that will include separate, yet connected, sections for editorial policies, ethical guidelines and staff manuals for each media platform. This is a link to existing policy materials

The committee also invites any student media group to apply for First Amendment Press Freedom Award (FAPFA) recognition, to use our Panic Button for legal or ethical assistance, to tap into our Press Rights Minutes and follow our extensive materials on prior review and restraint and the impact of Hazelwood.

SPRC Committee member reports

Jane Blystone, MJE
This spring and early fall I worked with the adviser and editor of The Playwickian to answer some questions and giving them support regarding the prior review and censorship of the publication by the principal of Neshaminy High School in Pennsylvania. I also have been supporting them during the two-day suspension of the adviser, Tara Huber and the two-month suspension of Editor Gillian McGoldrick.

I have also coordinated the “Making a Difference” project that included receive submissions, prepping material for the judges, securing judges, prepping and posting selected “Making a Difference” projects to the JEA SPRC blog from October 2013 through now.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE
• Presented the Scholastic Journalism Division’s Honors Lecture at AEJMC in Montreal in August.
• Worked with six Ohio advisers who needed legal/ethical advice, three with administrators telling them things they can’t do on their website because, they say, it’s a FERPA violation. (None of them are.)
• Contributed to the SPRC blog, including a post about how much a staff can borrow some other staff’s editorial policies (Sept. 3). Part 2 of that will be going up right after this report is due.
• Represented JEA (along with John Bowen) at the SPLC birthday dinner at the National Press Club (Oct. 16).
• Planned the birthday party for the SPLC at the JEA/NSPA Washington, D.C. convention’s Friday night adviser reception. (“ad” in convention program, food, goody bags, games, invitations in adviser bags, etc.)

Mary Kay Downes, MJE
• First of all, I am thrilled that my principal will be awarded the JEA Administrator of the Year Nov. 8. She is a model for all administrators as everything she does is for the benefit of students — including supporting their First Amendment rights!
• When thinking of that statement, I am wondering how we could get all administrators to put students first, and not their fears or doubts about what students might say in their media.
• SLOGAN comes to mind: The First Amendment puts Students First, not the fears of school leaders!
• Helped or tried to help a second year, career switcher teacher (was a journalist) who came to me with a prior review issue. After discussion found out he had not protested or challenged the practice with a second year principal as he was going through evaluation. All my advice was met with: I’ll think about it!
* Remember what I said at our last meeting: You can’t lead out of fear, only out of courage!

Megan Fromm, CJE

  • I continue to write monthly blog posts for the SPRC website.
  • I judged the law/ethics Write-off contest in San Diego.
  • I served on the Idaho state certification/endorsement committee and made recommendations to include scholastic press law and ethics knowledge requirements for Idaho communications educators.

Cynthia Crothers-Hyatt, CJE
SPRC’s Student Partners began the year working on the Neshaminy situation. Just wanted to update you on 45words.  I have attached the general press release and have also sent out individual releases to all the kids’ school principals, local media and to JEA state directors.  They have worked on a statement regarding Neshaminy and I have attached that as well.

Lori Keekley, MJE
• Since March, I have coordinated curriculum for Constitution Day again, and I have written the Law and Ethics portion of JEA’s curriculum initiative — with John Bowen’s help.
• I am currently reworking several lessons. I also answer help requests for newspaper whether notified officially through the Panic Button or informally through a listserv post.
• At national conventions, I’ve judged the either the Write-off law and ethics or news design categories and participated in the SPRC group sessions.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
In my time since the last report I was involved with the following:
• Tinker Tour host site for 400+ students from Northern California with a livestream of speeches by Mary Beth Tinker and Frank LoMonte
• Blog post for SPRC blog, which also ran as a letter to the editor in School Administrator magazine
• Contributor on yearbook-specific policies/guide led by Mary Kay Downes
• Ongoing coordination with state directors about censorship and how to include the Panic Button tool on state websites
• Constitution Day promotion and participation

Kathy Schrier, MJE
• Last March (2014) WJEA joined with the ACLU to co-sponsor the final Tinker Tour presentation at Mountlake Terrace High School. WJEA has never worked directly with the ACLU on anything before, other than ask for their support during the push for Student Press Rights Legislation in 2009.
• For our Journalism Day event in September, we reached out to them again, and two of their attorneys presented sessions on Student Press Rights and Responsibilities. Some of our WJEA board plans to meet soon with ACLU leadership about strategy for another legislative push, and I think enlisting them more firmly this time could make a big difference.
• Our WJEA Summer Adviser Workshop brought the usual questions about censorship and student control. Mike Hiestand and Brian Schraum both presented sessions on Student Press Law and Access to Public Records.
• There are way too many Washington state student publications submitting to prior review. Student journalists at Ballard High School are currently grappling with the question of when to name student sources and when to allow anonymity.
• I’ll be attending a meeting of Seattle advisers Oct. 10, where this will be discussed. Oct. 4, I’ll be presenting a session at Greenriver Community College at a conference for college media advisers. I’ll be talking about how college press freedom is connected to high school press freedom.
• Long term issue for JEA/NSPA: Greater push to reach administrators with a message about how a free student press improves school culture through greater civic engagement. There are now some good examples of inner city schools that have changed dramatically for the better after reintroducing scholastic media and allowing student free expression.
• Other comments:  The Washington News Council, the non profit where I’ve worked for seven years, closed its offices over the summer and I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of that. It has been a long, slow closure, involving archiving records at the University of Washington Library and providing materials for a display at Seattle’s “History House.” As a result, my involvement with SPRC was impacted for a while. I look forward to being back on board, full throttle, in Washington D.C.

Mitch Eden, MJE
I just shared the 45words roster. I am conducting a conference call with the group this evening to finalize JEA D.C. session plans. The group also wrote an NHS statement (attached) and sent it to the NHS administration, school board and staff (with a note of support). I will let you know of any additional plans the group has as they pop up. This work has been done in partnership with Matt Schott and Cynthia Hyatt, who will be sending press releases to the respective schools and press later this week announcing the group.

Individually, I have counseled Nicole Abel, Sturgeon H.S. in Missouri, about her district’s unwillingness to allow her staffs to be on social media. Put her editors in touch with the SPLC. A little of our exchange is below. The KHS Quill & Scroll chapter also wrote an NHS statement of support and mailed it to admins, school board, media and staff (in support). It can be found here:

John Tagliareni
The bad news is that students have been censored in a number of schools in New Jersey. The good news is that students and advisers are fighting back. They have enlisted the assistance of the Garden State Scholastic Press Association (GSSPA) and contacted me as a member of the SPRC. They moved forward in two cases, and with the help of the SPLC, fought their battles with expert legal representation.

As I have mentioned before,  the GSSPA will present a panel as our featured keynote presentation, at our Press Day at Rutgers in October. The panel is composed of the two student editors who had their articles censored,  Adalina Colaku, of Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J.; Kylie Sposato of Pemberton High School; Phil Gianficaro, the professional journalist who wrote powerful columns in support of Pemberton’s staff and adviser; and Frank LoMonte, as you know, the Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center, who supported both students and their advisers. I will serve as the moderator.  Students and other participants will have the opportunity to Tweet their comments/questions selected for the panel members to answer.

I organized the keynote session to promote student press rights after working this school year on those issues with all of the panel members, their advisers and staffs. The keynote will be presented in two separate sessions, one for newspaper staffs and the second for yearbook staffs. The theme of the conference is “Press Rights, No Fear” to encourage student journalists to know their rights and to take action if their rights are violated, as in the case of the two student editors this past school year. The program will focus on the support available from JEA, GSSPA and other organizations.

We have many exciting projects we are working on with the GSSPA. I promoted the student affiliate of the GSSPA which would include  some former student editors who now will attend college, as well as current staffers. Much of the work will be accomplished online and through social media. We are working out those organizational details, but plan to kick this off at the conference at Rutgers.

In addition, we are working on many ideas to directly take the fight to the schools that censor. The students will have online resources and a mechanism which will put their request for help in motion. We are considering a letter sent directly to the principal, or other administrators, as soon as the student reports the violation to us. We are thinking of a card to  be handed to the administrator, explaining student rights and the possible consequences of his/her  censorship action. This, we hope, will give the students the confidence to stand up to them and have at least a bargaining chip. There was no question that our direct involvement, the bad press, and the legal support, made a huge difference in the outcome in both cases. Unfortunately, both advisers lost their positions, and we need to address that as well.

I worked with Tom McHale, and his former student editor, who now faces another challenge at Hundterdon Central High School in New Jersey. I worked with Sonay Barazesh, the EIC of The Lamp, their student newspaper. The administration is now trying to approve their own pubic relations officer as the students’ new adviser. They had not reassigned the current adviser who had professional journalism experience, and who replaced Tom after he resigned due to the imposition of a prior review policy. I gave an interview to the SPLC,  and told the reporter that it would be like the White House Press Secretary being put in charge of The Washington Post. The students are fighting this new development, and did manage to get the proposal tabled. However, now the administration had proposed a compromise in which their former adviser would be co-adviser with their PR officer. The students seem to have backed off, instead of pressing the issue.

I advised them to keep the pressure on with parent involvement, media converge, letters to the editor in their local paper, use of social media, etc, in order to keep the pressure on the board of education and central administration.

I also recently helped the students of The Highland Fling Of Allendale NJ in the board’s latest attempt to impose a policy that would be restrictive and absurd in some cases. Just yesterday, the board of education there voted to hold off on imposing the policy after a strong reaction from the alumni and now the current staffers, Frank LoMonte wrote a letter, I also was interviewed by the SPLC and The Record, one of the state’s largest papers. I have been working closely with Adalina Colaku, and the adviser who was removed from his position. I am happy to report that the board is reconsidering the policy after strong reactions from the alumni and others. The Record published an excellent editorial today critical of the administration and in support of the students. We have been working hard to enlist professional journalists to support the student press, and it is paying off. NJ.COM published this editorial on the situation Oct. 12. also editorialized on the topic. Two articles, here and here, also focus on the situation.

I have had a very busy year. I spoke at a student organized conference in Roxbury, N.J. on  May 1, 2014 in addition to other speaking sessions. I was invited because the staff saw my Press Rights presentation at the CSPA conference the year before. Kylie Sposato of Pemberton, told me that she decided to write her column because of my presentation at the GSSPA conference last year.

I will continue to work on commission projects, such as MAD, and will participate when I can, but as Frank LoMonte has said, the need in New Jersey is great and the censorship cases are “egregious,” so I think my role on the commission is best served by fighting here first.

I will still write for the blog on these cases, and at this point, I can include the panel and our other initiatives here as a way of looking forward.

I will again speak at the Garden State Scholastic Press Association Conference at Rutgers University Oct. 27, 2014 and the GSSPA Spring Conference in May 2015. I will speak at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association  Fall Conference on Nov. 3, 2014, and at the CSPA Spring Convention in New York in March 2015.

I would like the SPRC to continue to be strong in responding to injustices as we have in a number of cases. I would also like to find more ways to enlist professional journalists to believe in our cause and become active supporters.

Stan Zoller, MJE
Much of my time involved with the SPRC has focused on blogging on various topics. The main focus of my blogs has generally been access to public records and student journalists, like all other journalists, can use them to provide verifiable information for their stories.

Additionally, I have monitored new developments related to Freedom of Information, specifically in Illinois where I live. The most striking change has been the striking down by the Illinois Supreme Court of the requirement that individuals have to get permission to record conversations.

As a member of the SPRC, I have also worked with advisers on a 1:1 basis regarding issues relation to prior review or prior restraint in their schools. Ironically, a situation of note involves my mentee whose principal wants to prior review material until the program “builds credibility.”

Megan Fromm, CJE
Professional Support Director
Boise State University
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725-1920

Since this is my inaugural report as a new board member, let me start by saying how exciting (and challenging!) it has been to serve on the JEA board. This has been a dream of mine since I started becoming more involved with JEA years ago, and to see it come to fruition is nothing short of amazing. Thank you for allowing me to serve! During the last five months, I have been keeping up with a variety of JEA projects that relate to grants, research, writing and teaching.


  • I’m currently working with ASNE on a grant funded by the McCormick Foundation to write news literacy curriculum in four core subject areas: English, math, science and social studies.
  • Since last year, I’ve been working with the Poynter Institute and the McCormick Foundation as part of the planning team for the News Literacy Summit that happened in Chicago Sept. 13.


  • I presented with a team of educators and researchers at the News Literacy Summit in September regarding current scholarship on news literacy. This presentation was the first release of findings from a survey conducted in partnership with ASNE.
  • I’m working on the first draft of a journal article regarding this news literacy survey, with a goal to finalize and send for review in the spring.


  • This summer, I co-wrote a piece with Adam Maksl that was published on the PBS MediaShift website. The piece detailed how the best journalism programs focus on process, critical thinking and engaged learning.
  • I continue to write monthly for the JEA-SPRC blog on issues related to law, ethics and news literacy.
  • I’m currently writing new lessons for the news literacy curriculum unit and have added one new presentation to the unit on best practices for teachers.


  • I traveled extensively this summer to teach on behalf of JEA at the Advisers Institute and three of the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism institutes.
  • As a representative of our amazing curriculum leaders, I demonstrated a “best practice” news literacy lesson at the News Literacy Summit in Chicago.
  • I traveled with Sarah Nichols and Mark Newton to the Society of Professional Journalists conference in Nashville in early September. We attended teaching sessions, networked with SPJ leadership, and were able to brainstorm a new initiative in Florida to network professional journalists with student journalists.

Other service

  • In early October, I served on the Idaho state communication standards review committee. We reviewed the teaching endorsement requirements for teachers seeking a communications endorsement, and I recommended to the committee that expertise in scholastic press law be a necessary knowledge requirement for journalism and communication teachers. The recommendations will go to the state department of education for approval.

Carrie Faust, MJE
Director, West Region
Smoky Hill High School
16100 E. Smoky Hill Road
Aurora, CO 80015

With the restructuring of the board, as voted on in April 2014, the regional director position finds itself with the unique opportunity to define its role and exclusive responsibilities. Many of the duties assigned in the prior structure find better homes with the position of the vice president in the new alignment. A continued priority for me will be to solicit suggestions from our members to detail the assigned duties of this position.

In addition to that pursuit, I continue to participate in projects as dictated by the goals and vision of the board.

Under the direction of Vice President Sarah Nichols, I worked with Regional Director Stan Zoller to help update the State Directors Guide to reflect new JEA initiatives.

As a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Committee, I continue to work as an advocate for scholastic journalists in their pursuit of student free expression. At our state press association conference, CHSPA Journalism Day, I connected with students from schools dealing with prior review and restraint. We talked about their resources and I have offered to be part of administration meetings to remove the adviser from the situation.

My goals for this year include the following:

  • Communicate with middle school members to determine how we can best serve that part of our community.
  • Establish a committee to to migrate the work from the Principals and the Press project to a JEA site and expand project into a JEA initiative.
  • Work to create connections for JEA with education journals for us to publish in and further our outreach.
  • Work with other JEA leaders to identify JEA members across the country who should be involved in new and ongoing JEA initiatives.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions regarding these items or anything JEA can be doing for our members.

Stan Zoller, MJE
Director, East Region
1448 Camden Court
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

With the new alignment of the board come new challenges and exciting developments for the organization.

In order to keep our state directors up to date with new initiatives within JEA, I, along with Regional Director Carrie Faust, have been working with Vice President Sarah Nichols on a revamping and revision of the State Directors Guide, which is now available.

I continue to work closely with the Scholastic Press Rights Committee by posting regular blogs and working with advisers on problems relating to prior review, censorship and access to public information. I have also become a mentor, which in addition to enabling me to help advisers who are new to advising, gives me an invaluable insight into the Mentoring program’s goals, objectives and strategies for recruiting new mentors, training new mentors as well as recruiting new mentees.

In an effort to ensure that we offer diversity in our programming and other initiatives, I have talked with some committee chairs about the importance of multiculturalism within the organization and plan on developing recommendations for the Spring meeting.

I, along with Mark Newton and Megan Fromm, attended the News Literacy Summit in Chicago and came away with a variety of ideas as we continue to promote news literacy and its role in the journalism classroom.  In addition to the News Literacy Summit, on Oct. 13 I testified before the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education and the importance of news literacy is to its program.

As a member of the Chicago Headline, Chicago’s SPJ chapter, Board of Directors, I was invited to a meeting on partnerships in news literacy, which I am hoping to discuss with my colleagues on the Illinois JEA Board so we can work on initiatives in Illinois.

The meeting, sponsored by the News Literacy Project, provided an exchange of ideas as to how an effective news literacy program could be implemented.  Much of the discussion addressed partnerships and introducing news literacy at lower grade levels, specifically grades 6-7-8.

Another activity related to News Literacy is the development of a Civics Education Task Force by the Illinois State Legislature.  I provided testimony on behalf of JEA and Illinois JEA today at a public hearing sponsored by the Task Force. Our representation was the only one which was provided by an education association supporting the task force’s plan to incorporate news literacy into a civics education curriculum.  The task force’s report can be found at:

Casey Nichols, CJE
Awards Committee Chair
2215 Solitude Way
Rocklin, CA 95765

Heading into just my first spring awards “season” since being appointed JEA Awards chair in May, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to serve and to work with such outstanding, dedicated people. From the board to the headquarters staff and including sub-committee chairs and committee members, I feel blessed to be part of a team committed to improving and celebrating journalism education.

Specifically, since May, the following changes have been made:

● All awards deadlines were aligned to be due on the 15th of the month, including moving spring awards to Dec. 15 away from convention time and Thanksgiving. The new deadlines are as follows:
— July 15: Administrator of the Year, Carl Towley Award, Friend of Scholastic Journalism, Lifetime Achievement Award, Medal of Merit (presented at fall convention); Future Teacher Scholarship (awarded in August/September).
— Oct. 15 for Broadcast Adviser of the Year and H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year (presented at spring convention).
— Dec. 15 for Diversity Award, First Amendment Press Freedom Award, Rising Star Award (presented at spring convention); Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award (presented at Advisers Institute).
— March 15 for National High School Journalist of the Year; Student Journalist Impact Award (announced at spring convention); Aspiring Young Journalist (announced in May)
● All 12 returning members were reappointed for one year, and Charla Harris of Texas filled the vacancy created by the awards chair appointment.
● All fall awards applications were submitted digitally in support of that JEA initiative.
● All voting for fall awards was done digitally.
● Fall recipients were notified by phone call or voice message whenever possible by the chair, subcommittee chairs Candace Perkins Bowen and Rebecca Pollard and, in the case of the Carl Towley Award, by President Mark Newton.
● Applications for the Broadcast Adviser of the Year and H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year have been converted to fully digital submissions.
● Scoring for the two adviser of the year awards will be done virtually by a select panel using a newly aligned rubric based on updates to the application. Sherri Taylor and Mark Murray have been appointed to judge both pools along with the awards chair. Kathy Craghead will join the yearbook evaluations, and Jill Falk, the broadcast evaluations. In addition, the two most recent advisers of the year, Michael Hernandez and Brenda Gorsuch, will score the entries.

A special thanks to Connie Fulkerson and Kelly Furnas from headquarters for their efforts during this transition period.

Awards Committee Members: Martha Akers, Sara-Beth Badalamente, Brian Baron, Linda Barrington, Jane Blystone, Linda Drake, Charla Harris, Monica Hill, Kathy Schrier, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, Karen Wagner and Carmen Wendt.

Sub-committee chairs: Candace Perkins Bowen, Future Teacher Scholarship; John Bowen, First Amendment Press Freedom Award; Rebecca Pollard, National High School Journalist of the Year and Aspiring Young Journalist; Kenson Siver, Student Journalist Impact Award.

2014 Fall Award Winners

Aspiring Young Journalist
Breanne Hunter, Sierra Middle School, Parker, Colo.
Runner-up: Alessandra Fama, Altoona (Pa.) Area Junior High School

Future Teacher Scholarships
Taylor Bibler, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
Joel Garver, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
Cody Harrell, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

The following individuals will be honored Nov. 8 at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.

Administrator of the Year
Teresa L. Johnson, principal, Chantilly (Va.) High School

Carl Towley Award
Mark Murray, Arlington (Texas) Independent School District

Friend of Scholastic Journalism
Tom Campbell, The Argus-Press, Owosso, Mich.
Gary Hairlson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Margaret Kaplow, The Washington Post
Barbara McCormack, Newseum, Washington, D.C.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Bob Bair, MJE, Blair, Neb.
Linda Ballew, MJE, Great Falls, Mont.
Michael Doyle, CJE, Belvidere, Ill.
Carol R. Eanes, Morganton, N.C.
Jack Kennedy, MJE, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Kay Locey, CJE, Puyallup, Wash.
David Massy, CJE, Lenexa, Kan.
Jim McGonnell, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Barbara McLachlan, CJE, Durango, Colo.
Jeff Nardone, formerly of Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Carol Neal, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Diane E. Schutt, Fairbury, Neb.
Ann Visser, MJE, Pella, Iowa

Medal of Merit
Mitch Eden, MJE, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School
Joe Humphrey, MJE, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, Fla.
Valerie P. Kibler, CJE, Harrisonburg (Va.) High School

Kim Green, MJE
Certification Committee Chair
9081 W. Country Road 100 S.
Greensburg, IN 47240-9013
W: 812-376-4260 | C: 812-525-8502

This committee has been quite busy! Certification is a year-round process. A special thanks to Pam Boller at JEA Headquarters for being such a great team player and Connie Fulkerson for her efforts. Both are tremendous assets to certification as well as other aspects of JEA.

We implemented the following since the spring convention in San Diego:
• We categorized CJE test questions to align with the curriculum initiative and will work with that committee to update the CJE test. The goal for the new test is Denver.
• Chair Kim Green proctored CJE/MJE testing at JEA Advisers Institute again last summer, marking testing at JEAAI since 2012. We will also offer it in July 2015. Two MJE candidates tested.
• We tested at various locations this summer: Walsworth (10 CJEs, including two advisers attending the summer workshop with Kim Green proctoring), KEMPA (1 CJE) with Linda Barrington, MJE, proctoringCHSPA (2 CJEs) with Jack Kennedy, MJE, proctoring. This fall we tested at JEANC (1 MJE, 1 CJE) with Sarah Nichols, MJE, proctoring.
• We included the revised law and ethics question on the MJE in San Diego, JEAAI and Northern California. We also included a timeframe for each test question: 60 minutes for law/ethics and 30 minutes for the other four questions. Test-takers have 2.5 hours to complete four of five questions with the law/ethics question a requirement. This was well-received by both the testers and the evaluators following San Diego and the Advisers Institute.
• In a conference call with the JEA Board in early October, we discussed completely digitizing the entire CJE/MJE application as well as the CJE and MJE tests themselves. We do very limited paper use between Pam and me with applications, but Pam still processes some paper applications and then scans and puts them in Dropbox for me to approve. We hope to eliminate the scanning with the implementation of a digital-only format. The goal is to have this complete for the spring applications (due Feb. 1) and the spring test in Denver.

The following projects are in various stages of progress:
• We tabled a possible partnership with Poynter in San Diego to align the CJE tests with the JEA Curriculum initiative. As it remains on the JEA Board Meeting Agenda for this fall, we will request tabling or taking it off until we complete the test alignment.
• By January, the percentages of those successfully passing the exam in Boston, San Diego, over the summer and in Washington, D.C. will be posted on the JEA site. In addition, the number of new CJEs through all three options and the number of new MJEs will be available on the JEA site.
• On hold until spring: We plan to implement the following, but again, after we complete realignment this winter: Committee members will contact CJE Renewals from Boston, San Diego and D.C. personally inviting them to apply for their MJE, offering to mentor each through the process.
• On hold: We plan to create three versions of the MJE exam. Dr. Joe Mirando will once again moderate a panel of new MJEs who will present their projects and answer questions about their MJE process/product experiences.
• On hold: We will create database of all MJE projects. In addition, the committee with discuss at our meeting Saturday, Nov. 8, requiring MJEs — upon approval of their projects — to create a summary for publication in a C:JET article/column once a year.

Action items continue to be:
• Aligning Certification initiatives with other JEA commissions, committees, initiatives
• Identifying more coursework/professional development that will help members complete the three required courses for CJE-Option A (news writing/reporting, media law and advising student media). This is especially crucial now that the ASNE Reynolds Institute workshop will no longer be an option.

small Mugshot
Nancy Y. Smith, MJE
Contests Committee Chair
Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011

National Write-off Committee:
Nancy Y. Smith, MJE Write-off Chair
Priscilla Frost, CJE Print/Design Coordinator
Bradley Wilson, CJE Photo Coordinator
Kris Doran, Broadcast Coordinator
Laura Zhu, Junior HIgh/Middle School National Media Contest
Mark Murray, Technology

Special thanks to our Washington, D.C. local chairs: Chris Waugaman, Jay Goldman, Marge Barber

Committee and contest updates:
1) Toby Johnson Middle School adviser Laura Zhu is the newest member of the Write-off committee. She will coordinate the Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest which will be re-introduced this year. The categories include Yearbook, Newspaper, Photography and Broadcast. Entries will be submitted and judged in the late spring and students will receive awards before the end of the school year. We are finalizing details on costs and submission method and will make announcement in early January.

2) There are some changes in the duties of the local Write-off committee to streamline the recruitment and assignment of judges. We continue to tweak the process for critiquing online submission contests and are working to build a permanent cadre of judges for those categories.

3) Due to declining participation the Jr. High/Middle School Newspaper and Yearbook Writing categories, Advertising (on-site)  and Producing Digital News categories have been dropped.

4) Literary Magazine Photography and Social Media Reporting were added in D.C.

5) The contest rules for all the graphic design contests have been revised to try to deal with copyright issues. Contestants may now ONLY use images provided by JEA.

Committee goals:
1) Put past prompts/sample entries on the JEA website for advisers to access.

2) Revise the contest critique sheets to align with the new JEA Curriculum.

Recent numbers:
Fall 2013 Boston 2,053 in 48 contests
Spring 2014 San Diego 1,112 in 49 contests
Fall 2014 Washington, D.C.  TBA

Follow us on Twitter @JEAWOFF

Aaron Manfull, MJE
Digital Media Committee Chair
Francis Howell North High School
2549 Hackman Road
Saint Charles, MO 63303
Contact has continued to grow and we have continually worked to reassess the most pressing needs of students and advisers. We have been tracking data so we can get a gauge of how we are doing with this. I will only touch on part of it here, please let me know if you’d like to have any other data and I will make sure to get it to you.

I have decided to compare six-month periods of the site (from March 13-Sept. 13 and Sept. 14-March 12) each year that I do this. They are even six-month periods and will allow us to get an annual report together in time for each convention.

In our four years of existence, we had more than 760 posts published (roughly 3 per week), 235,000, and 464,000 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 55 members of the committee who are on an email list. Seventeen different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Seven committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:

  • Aaron Manfull – 16 posts
  • Michelle Harmon – seven posts
  • Susan Houseman – six posts
  • Jonathan Rogers – six posts
  • Michael Hernandez – six posts
  • Michelle Balmeo – four posts
  • Kyle Phillips – three posts (and maintaining maps)

While some of the wording is cut off on the following charts, the graphs move from least the least recent six-month period in dark blue to the most recent six-month period, represented in purple (on the far right).


Below are the most clicked posts/pages from the last six months:


We also have a presence on Twitter and Facebook (links below). With the efforts focused on creating posts and content for the site, those social accounts have not been as socially active as we would like.

We have been busy with a few things since San Diego.

We had the first winners in the Broadcast Adviser of the Year competition begin posting to the site with special header images. Honorees Michael Hernandez, Don Goble, Matt Rasgorshek and Michelle Turner have all posted to the site and lent some broadcast advice. We have been busy promoting the 2015 Broadcast Adviser of the Year competition. Applications were due Oct. 15, 2014. Lindenwood University again will be sponsoring the award.

The team is still working to update guides, expand guide offerings and maintain weekly posting schedules.

As a reminder, Aaron Manfull worked to create an advertising structure for Information on advertising on the site can be found at: School Newspapers Online has purchased the main widget area for a second year. We also have a rotating ad area within posts and pages where we will work to push to summer journalism workshops and other advertisers as well. We currently have one summer workshop that has purchased space.

We will discuss our goals at our committee meeting in Washington DC but I have a feeling we will work to continue some of our current areas of focus: 1) Continue to build a deeper broadcast presence on the site as it remains one of our biggest draws 2) Continue to post relevant articles for those wanting help with their online journey 3) Work to publicize the site more on the Listserv and other places.

As always, if there is anything anyone would like to see on the site, please email us at

Here are the links I said I would make available:

Visitor data for
Guide to Moving Online:
Guide to Video and Broadcast:
Guide to Multimedia Tools:

Rebecca Pollard, CJE
National High School Journalist of the Year Committee Chair
Heritage High School
14040 Eldorado Parkway
Frisco, TX 75035
W: 469-633-5900 x25914 | H: 972-523-0384

Before my appointment to being Journalist of the Year Committee Chair in May, my predecessor, Wayna Polk, MJE, oversaw the 2014 contest. Taylor Blatchford of Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo. was selected as the 2014 recipient of Journalist of the Year in April.

When I accepted this chair position in May, I was humbled to have even been considered for this opportunity. In my short five months as a member of the leadership team, I have networked with many already whom I respect as journalism rock stars. I am honored to work alongside some of the best in scholastic publications.

“Hit the ground running” is an accurate idiom for how my job has evolved since my appointment. I have been immersed into an innovative project of updating the Journalist of the Year contest to move online. Many details went into this move:

  • We moved up the national contest deadline to March 15 to align with other spring contest deadlines, and to give adequate time to prepare entries for our judges.
  • We developed a way to receive entries for the national contest exclusively online, while taking into consideration a secure method to obtain personal candidate information (transcripts, self-analytical essay and letters of recommendation). Thank you to Kelly Furnas, CJE, for his expertise to create our online form through Survey Gizmo.
  • With receiving contest entries online, the next concern was moving contestant portfolios (of work examples) online. With the help and support of our webmaster, Kate Dubiel, I was able to create some helpful resources on the website for inquiring applicants, state directors and advisers.
  • With some brainstorming with Kelly Furnas, CJE, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Mark Newton, MJE, and Kim Green, MJE, I was able to create a tutorial page showing step-by-step instructions for contestants to setup an online portfolio using WordPress. We want to provide a uniform way of showcasing work for a variety of mediums, where students can show their versatility through their own media examples. Candidates are not expected to use WordPress as we encourage them to use what is comfortable to them.
  • Another detail that has changed as part of the application process is the Curriculum Initiative’s 11 areas should now be used to organize a candidate’s work examples in their portfolio. This is another way we hope students from a variety of media are encouraged to apply.
  • A team of leaders helped me refresh the contest rubric, to align with the 11 curriculum areas for more comprehensive judging. The rubric is in the finishing stages now. Thank you to the team of Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, Megan Fromm, CJE, Jack Kennedy, MJE, Gary Lindsay, MJE, Mark Newton, MJE, Kelly Furnas, CJE, and Sarah Nichols, MJE.
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention and thank Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for all of her help, feedback and advice during my transition. And although I have mentioned them a few times above, Sarah Nichols, MJE, and Kelly Furnas, CJE, have been invaluable to me. I am grateful to them both for their help, guidance, expertise and advice as I find my place in JEA leadership.
  • As we move forward, I have made myself available to the state directors for their state Journalist of the Year contests. Some have expressed interest in continuing to mirror the national contest. The 2014 Journalist of the Year, Taylor Blatchford, and I will present a session at the fall national convention, and welcome any questions attendees may have.

Jonathan Rogers, MJE
Professional Outreach Committee Chair
Iowa City High School
1900 Morningside Dr.
Iowa City, IA 52245

In the first months of starting to work as the outreach chair it was a pleasure getting in touch with scholastic journalism organizations and people.  Beyond introducing myself, I worked with other board members to create a list of journalism organizations, businesses and people that the JEA could reach out to over the next few years.  We hope to strengthen current relationships and develop new partnerships, especially in the tech education world.  To reach this goal I wrote an outreach letter to send or email to organizations.  Below is a list of the main events that have occurred in professional outreach.

• Brainstormed list of scholastic journalism contacts to reach out to over the next year.

• Crafted letter and mailed or emailed letter to list of JEA connections.

• Developed an agreement with School Newspaper Online to provide demo sites.

• Working on a relationship with High School Cube.

• Branching out to tech community to be part of educational tech conferences and world.

• Shift administration from SPJ to JEA for the SPJ Journalism Essay contest.

The highlight for me is that School Newspaper Online has agreed to provide demo websites for any JEA workshops or conventions.  To setup a demo site contact me and I can help set it up through Tom Hutchinson at SNO. High School Cube is also interested in partnering with the JEA as well as other technology conventions and Google conferences. Nothing concrete has come out of those talks yet. Overall, I think the ed-tech arena has a number of potential benefits for JEA. This past summer, I also talked with school administrators about the benefits of a strong high school journalism program in schools as more districts go 1 to 1, set goals for more individualized education and focus on how to use technology. Kelly Furnas coordinated with SPJ to take over their journalism essay contest, which should be a win-win for JEA.

For the future of JEA professional outreach I hope to strengthen existing relationships JEA has within the scholastic journalism community and to build new partnerships.  Finding more win-win agreements and spreading the word about JEA are the key goals I have for professional outreach over the next year.

Linda Barrington, MJE
Mentoring Committee Chair
Mount Mary University
2900 Menomonee River Pkwy.
Milwaukee, WI 53222

Membership: Mentor Committee: Linda Barrington, MJE (chair);  Bill Flechtner, MJE; Peggy Gregory, CJE;  Gary Lindsay, MJE; Mary Anne McCloud. All committee members are also mentors.

Active Mentors: Besides the five committee members, we have 27 other mentors: Marilyn Chapman, Phyllis Cooper, Georgia and Wayne Dunn, Carol Eanes, Sue Farlow, Cornelia Harris, Janice Hatfield, Sandy Jacoby, Sheila Jones, Ellen Kersey, Konnie Krislock, Joy Lessard, Kay Locey, Nancy Olson, Casey Nichols, Mike Riley, Carol Smith, Steve Slagle, Darryl Stafford, Carol Strauss, Katharine Swan, Patty Turley, Dave Wallner, Carmen Wendt, Jo Zimmerman and Stan Zoller.

Changes: We have learned that the program can continue to do well under the new expectations of the JEA board, even though it may operate somewhat differently. Mentors will not be consistently improving their skills at convention since attendance at forums will not be mandatory. Mentors will be spending more of their own funds to attend conventions or may choose not to attend at all due to the costs involved.

We’ve changed the operation of the Mentor Program in several ways, effective with the start of the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  To give state scholastic press associations some financial leeway, we now allow them flexibility is setting the amount of their mentors stipends — between $1,000-$2,500. (Only three states lowered the stipend below $2,500.) To provide more time for the new mentor training, we are now holding it in July at the JEA Advisers Institute. The setting provides an opportunity for new mentors to benefit from the expertise of JEA leaders, find potential mentees who might be in attendance, and participate in some activities of the Institute. And to centralize all the accounting as the program grows, we have moved our all financial reporting to JEA Headquarters. Kelly has been tremendously helpful in making this transfer.

Another change is our collaboration with the JEA Outreach Program. In San Diego, the Mentor Forum met in the room next to the Outreach Academy and shared a lunch area so members of both groups would have time to meet one another. A couple of mentors connected with Outreach participants and took them on as mentees.  At the Washington, D.C., convention, mentors will work together the Outreach participants for part of the afternoon to coach them on working with administrators.

Honors, awards and successes: Our biggest program success has been the retention rate of our mentees.  Last year 78 percent of the mentees are continuing their work in scholastic journalism. We also are proud of the professional growth of our mentees. Quite a number have stepped into leadership positions in state, regional and national scholastic press associations. They bring their students to national conventions, judge Write-offs, present sessions, and encourage their students to achieve more than they had thought possible. These new advisers have become comfortable teaching their students about their First Amendment rights and supporting them in the face of challenges.

Four of the six NSPA Pioneer Award winners this fall are JEA mentors:  Bill Flechtner, Georgia and Wayne Dunn, and Stan Zoller.

DJNF Special Recognition Adviser:  former mentee Evelyn Lauer

JEA Lifetime Achievement Award:  mentors Carol Eanes and Kay Locey

JEA Awards Chair:  mentor Casey Nichols

Evelyn Lauer, CJE
Publications/Public Relations Committee Chair
Niles West High School
5701 W Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077
C:512-644-5794 | W: 847-626-2592

Since appointed as the Publications/Public Relations chair, I have worked to achieve the success of the following JEA initiatives:

Day of Doing: Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE, report that the inaugural summer for the Day of Doing had more than 20 adviser projects from all over the country. The projects ranged from video segments, photo essays and stories that were published in local newspapers. Advisers that would like to participate in the Day of Doing next summer can look for sign up information this spring.

JEA One Book: In June, JEA members chose “All the President’s Men” as the next JEA One Book via a poll on the website. Since then, I worked with Kelly Furnas and Connie Fulkerson at headquarters to ensure a discount via the JEA bookstore. I promoted the poll and results, and the book, via JEA’s Instagram account and the JEA One Book Twitter (@JEAOneBook). Two chats took place on Twitter: one in August and one in September. The final chat before the fall convention will take place Oct. 28. Also, I will be presenting a session in at the fall convention where members can continue the discussion.

In the future, my recommendation is to select three to five books that are either education-related or nonfiction page-turners that will foster great discussions. My plans is to solicit ideas from our members after D.C. with the next poll available for voting by early December.

Scholastic Journalism Week: I appointed Adam Dawkins, CJE, as a co-chair in May. Since then, Adam and I have worked to ensure that Scholastic Journalism Week 2015 (Feb. 23-27) will be an exciting opportunity for publication staffs. Our main goal is to make SJW more student-centered by increasing staff participation, utilizing social media features, and running contests. Some highlights:

  • Theme: “Our Staffs at Work”
  • JEA/SPJ co-sponsored essay contest
  • Social media hashtag contest #SJW2015
  • Logo contest
  • “My Staff At Work” feature for the JEA Facebook page (Application via Google Form for staffs to apply. Only 15 staffs will be chosen.)

Adam and I will be presenting a session in Washington, D.C. for advisers and editors who want to get a head start on their SJW 2015 plans. Adam also contributed to the updates about SJW in the State Directors’ Guide.

When I’m Not Teaching: The purpose of “When I’m Not Teaching” is to highlight all the wonderful accomplishments JEA members have achieved outside of the classroom. Since launching in August, the series has featured three different advisers: Shannon Sybirski (California), Laurie Hansen (Minnesota) and Natalie Niemeyer (Iowa). The next feature, which will run Nov. 1, will highlight an adviser from the D.C. area. My plan is to work with state directors to profile a new member from each state each month. “When I’m Not Teaching” runs on the JEA Facebook page on the first of every month. To nominate a colleague, please email me at

In addition to overseeing these four JEA initiatives, I continue to seek out publication opportunities for our members and help with public relations for the organization.

Sarah Verpooten, MJE, and Carrie Wadycki, MJE
Day of Doing Coordinators
Lake Central High School
8400 Wicker Ave
Saint John, IL 46373

The inaugural summer for the Day of Doing saw more than 25 entries from 17 different states. Advisers reported that the experience was refreshing and a good reminder of what it is like to be out in the field. Videos, photo essays, posters, stories and even a 16 page newspaper were published by advisers working individually or collaboratively in groups. 

Diana Mitsu Klos
National Scholastic Press Association Liaison
2221 University Ave. S.E., Suite 121
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Brian Wilson, MJE
National Council of Teachers of English Liaison
Waterford Kettering High School
2800 Kettering Dr.
Waterford, MI 48329

The NCTE yearly convention is the major tangible connection between the two organizations. It will be held in about a month in Washington, D.C. from Nov. 20-24. This is two weeks after the JEA convention, which is conveniently also in D.C. Several area-advisers are scheduled to join me for the conference, and we’ll have a booth similar to what we’ve had in the past. As with last year, Carol Lange and a few other advisers have agreed to help out in the booth, so that we are able to do more networking. We have some exciting proposals scheduled. Here they are:


Valerie Kibler, Megan Fromm

Annotation: This session will provide an overview of a new 14-part national curriculum based on 21st-century storytelling and share strategies for implementation that apply in any language arts classroom. The Journalism Education Association’s Curriculum Initiative focuses on writing, editing, news literacy and skills necessary to communicate with authentic audiences.

Description: Storytelling is at the core of every scholastic journalism program. Intended to inform, educate and entertain, the stories high school students report and present to authentic audiences help make the world a little smaller and a lot smarter. A new curriculum from the Journalism Education Association is designed to support all types of storytelling in any journalism classroom.

Based on 14 content areas to encompass everything from law and ethics to multimedia broadcast, the JEA Curriculum Initiative includes learner objectives, lesson plans, instructional materials, and both formative and summative assessments, including rubrics.

This initiative marks the best of what JEA is and does — utilizing the expertise of its members as educational leaders in curriculum and instruction, solving a pressing need for all types of journalism and language arts educators. Developed by experts, the dynamic curriculum is tied to Common Core State Standards and 21st century skills. Beginning teachers can access tried-and-true lessons, activities and assessments to get a solid start in the journalism classroom during that “survival mode” stage, while veteran teachers will benefit from the ability to mix and match parts of each module to meet their own unique needs all as part of a national professional learning community.

This session will introduce each aspect of the curriculum and share strategies for implementation. Teachers with no journalism background can draw from the curriculum for new strategies and activities in writing, editing and media literacy for any type of language arts class with an introduction to journalism. This type of storytelling and the skills surrounding it is the ideal path to help students gain 21st- century skills and demonstrate them to a variety of audiences.

The Real Story: Intensive Journalistic Writing in the English Classroom (Monday Workshop)

Carol Lange, Val Kibler, Rebecca Sipos, Alex Kaplan, Will Higgins, Alan Weintraut

Annotation: Have you wondered how to get your students excited about writing, or how to bring nonfiction into your classes in a meaningful manner — or how to make your journalism program more challenging? Our team of experienced educators will share a journalistic writing approach and lessons filled with concrete methods and materials that you can use to integrate journalism and English.

Description: Have you wondered how to get your students excited about writing, or how to bring nonfiction into your classes in a meaningful manner — or how to make your journalism program more challenging? Our team of experienced educators will share a journalistic writing approach and lessons filled with concrete methods and materials that you can use to integrate journalism and English.

Intensive Journalistic Writing is designed to offer students the best of both worlds: writing programs which teach the clear, concise style of the journalist and English programs which demand higher-level thinking skills and analysis of literature. Use traditional rhetorical modes in nontraditional ways and encourage student reading of journalistic modes, research and vocabulary development. Students write about their world, applying the techniques learned in classic and contemporary models. Attend to experience how to implement a curriculum that meets Common Core standards, the College Board AP English Language and Composition audit and engages students in improving their composition skills.

Advising a student publication and creating powerful student leaders

Frank LoMonte, Brian Wilson

Annotation: Are you just getting started in the amazing world of publications’ advising? Or wondering how to get a newspaper, yearbook, website, or broadcast program off the ground? Or just want to find out more about how to infuse 21st Century Skills into YOUR English classroom? Join us for an informal Q&A on all things writing & publishing. Any and all experience levels welcome!

Description: Journalism represents an opportunity to gain optimum 21st century skills; everything that we hope students will be able to do after exiting high school is wrapped up into publications classes. These skills, too, can be gained by applying journalistic principles to English Language Arts classroom settings. Students should be well-equipped to communicate effectively (through written and spoken word), write for an audience, market themselves, connect in group settings, etc. A journalism classroom gives them the opportunity to do all of these things and more.

This session will give participants an opportunity to find out more about infusing their classroom with these essential skills. Geared toward teachers who are new to advising a publication or are considering advising one, it will also provide a chance for teachers to learn what it might be like to take these vital skills to their non-publications English classrooms. This will include using journalism for positive results in the AP Language and Composition strand, but will also cover how to publish in a more traditional setting.

We’ll also cover legal issues that may arise when looking at publishing student work, both in print and on the web. The Student Press Law Center’s Frank LoMonte, one of the nation’s premiere scholastic press rights legal experts will be on hand to answer questions and direct teachers to valuable resources.

4. Goals

Here is an update on our progress with my stated goals from last March:

1. Expand our sphere of influence within NCTE. As JEA members, we comprise the largest assembly in all of NCTE, called the “Assembly of Advisers of Student Publications”. Working with a larger group of advisers certainly will help with that, as will having a second adviser available during the convention. This has definitely continued to trend in the right direction, as evidenced by the submitted proposals above. I believe that the more JEA members who have an opportunity to experience NCTE, the stronger our organization can become. We will have a strong contingent in DC, for sure.

2. Seek out other convention speakers and officials with whom we might be able to work.

3. Attend sessions where we might be able to network. (Common Core, P21, media literacy groups, censorship awareness, etc.). Both #2 and #3 were made more of a reality because Carol Lange, Jane Blystone, and a few others were at the Boston convention to help run the booth. I spent more time networking than I ever had before. I have also created a data base of NCTE attendees and presenters who could be useful for JEA; this Google Doc has already been shared with Mark Newton and Sarah Nichols. Let me know if you’d like to take a look.

4. Present sessions that will draw in potential members and partners. Our sessions in Boston were our strongest yet, but they don’t compare to those we have slated for DC. Again, this is definitely trending in the right direction. I am ecstatic about the number of amazing JEA members who will be at the DC convention.

5. Meet with as many potential JEA members as possible in the exhibit hall booth. When “working the booth”, it’s important to remember that just about every person who walks by has connections to someone advising a publication. I’ve also noticed that the convention draws many college instructors who are working with student teachers and potential advisers; this is another untapped resource for JEA. If we can connect to advisers right when they’re starting out, they’ll be more apt to recognize JEA’s importance. Having the university instructors hand out our information is a potential gold mine.

6. Work with other organizations (SPLC, ASNE, The Newseum, NSPA, CSPA) to our mutual benefit. I will again send emails to these organizations asking for materials that they might want us to have in the booth at the convention. DC will be a useful location, as the SPLC and the Newseum will both be able to easily connect. Frank LoMonte is planning on being at the convention for a new adviser session with me.

Frank D. LoMonte Esq
Student Press Law Center Liaison
1101 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209-2211
703-807-1904 ext 121

Bradley Wilson, MJE
Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today
Midwestern State University
4919 Trinidad Dr.
Wichita Falls, TX 76310

The first two issues of the year semester went to press early. We have had some difficulty getting contributors although we have never failed to fill a magazine with timely, interesting and informative coverage and have several articles in the queue for upcoming issues.


  • The new way of doing regional meet-eat-and-greets at the national conferences has made it impossible to reach each group for announcements about the magazine. However, we still intend to make a presence in Washington, D.C. and may be asking for some top-notch students to “report” on some sessions.
  • State directors should be involved. Maybe put out a list of potential story ideas and ask state directors if they know someone who could write something or serve as a reporter.
  • MJE projects rarely work. Secondary research projects rarely work and when they do, we need to make efforts to include lesson plans, how-to sidebars, etc. to push our members into the cutting edge. Research can do that.

Future questions:

  • Should we create a website devoted solely to the magazine?
  • Should the magazine have a social media presence?
  • While MJE projects rarely work out of the box, I would still like to get MJE projects published as a requirement for MJE. How can we make this happen?
  • Thanks to Calvin Hall and David Bulla, I’ve received one research submission for the magazine and am working with the author on how to progress with that one. Will this work for our members?
  • Have board members added a publication requirement to their job descriptions? Two of the elected board members have NEVER contributed to C:JET.


A special thanks to Howard Spanogle and Connie Fulkerson. They work hard on every issue. But this fall and winter issues faced some new challenges. Both Howard and Connie stepped up to make the magazines serve our members well.


JEA’s Bylaws state, “Terms of office for all the following commence May 1 of each election year.” However, this year, appointments weren’t made until after that date. While for some officials, this time made little difference, the editorial staff of the magazine works well in advance. Indeed, by May 1, normally, we would have had the fall issue well underway with some stories being rewritten and designed. This year, because there were major changes in the structure and organization of the organization, we couldn’t start on the fall issue until the appointments were made, after school was already out for most colleges and universities. So, the fall and winter issues were very stressful, causing the editors to write a substantial amount of the copy, cutting back on the outside contributors.

As I did during the last election cycle, I strongly recommend that (a) the Bylaws be followed, at least; (b) the appoint for editor lead the pack when it comes to announcing appointments; and (c) the appointment be made by April 1 at the latest.

I can’t stress enough how close we came to skipping the fall issue and how uncomfortable that was. Given how few outside contributors we have in the fall and winter issues, I believe this is apparent not only to you and me, but to all our members.

I have reached out to the other two individuals who applied to be editor of the magazine asking them if they wanted to contribute to the magazine, as I had done repeatedly in the past. I not heard back from either of them.

CJET_cover_f14Fall issue

36 pages | $2,946 ads sold | $1,083 collected to date  $1,863 still due

  • Harness the power of the Internet | To attract an audience in the 21st century, journalists need to be their own entrepreneurs and promote themselves and their work online, where their potential audience is.  Includes  10 steps to generate publicity by Mark Grabowski, Google Analytics overview by Mark Grabowski, Using Google Analytics by Bradley Wilson, MJE,  Teaching methods and tips by Mark Grabowski  and an  Exercise by Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • The Power of One | Magazine and yearbook staffs are using in-depth personality profiles and high-quality portraits to produce show-stopping spreads that are often centered around one individual. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • The Talon | Argyle High School (Texas) This staff integrates SmugMug, Instagram and other social media not only to sell photos but to produce content students want and need to see.
  • Using drones | With the cost of a drone coming below $1,000, photojournalists are finding ways to use this new technology — despite evolving FAA regulations. | By Drew Loker
  • Holding a camera | One of the fundamental things for a beginning photographer to learn is how to hold a camera.
  • Mary Beth Tinker | In February 1969 the Supreme Court ruled that wearing of armbands in public school, as a form of symbolic protest, is within the constitutional rights of students. Mary Beth Tinker was at the heart of the case — Tinker V. Des Moines Independent Community School District. | By Sean Cassidy with James Kenney

CJET_48_2_W14_coverWinter issue

36 pages | $4,031 ads sold | $1,653 collected to date | $1,738 still due

  • Food with style  | When the AP Stylebook came out in 2011, it included an expanded section of food guidelines. Now, that section includes more than 500 entries to help reporters write better and more comprehensive food reviews and feature stories related to restaurants. | By Howard Spanogle and Bradley Wilson, MJE. Includes  Guidelines help refine literary palette,  Writing food reviews, Stylebook updates related to food, Food review rubric, Stylebook updates: food and Advice from the pros
  • Pinterest | Pinterest is a free website that allows users to upload, save, sort and manage images (pins) through collections (pinboards). Staffs are using it to retain everything from design ideas to instructional information. | By Carson Taylor
  • The Roundup | Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix) Veteran staff members at this private school have established a tradition of excellence that is evident in this print and online publication.
  • iPhone stories | A series of one-page handouts highlighting useful apps with tips for making better use of the iPhone. INcludes iPhone storytelling | By Michelle Balmeo, CJE; The iPhone camera | By Michelle Balmeo, CJE; and Taking old-style photos | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • State names | A springtime change in the AP Stylebook regarding when to spell out names generated confusion, discussion and additional changes.
  • Stylebook updates | Every year, the editors update the AP Stylebook. View some of the updates and a student exercise.
  • The jaggies | Knowing how to properly sample and size an image for use in print — and what those error messages mean — can help designers avoid poor reproduction quality of photos. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

Major contributors

  • Michelle Balmeo, CJE, is in her 10th year advising the news organization El Estoque, which produces an award-winning newsmagazine and news website at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California. Balmeo is a 2014 Dow Jones News Fund Distinguished Adviser and a former California Journalism Teacher of the Year. She serves on JEA’s Digital Media Committee, and she contributes to the website
  • Carson Taylor started his own photography business while a sophomore at Mansfield High School (Texas). While in high school, he swam all four years on the varsity swim team, was the editor of the online newspaper during his junior year and was the editor of the yearbook his senior year. He now attends Emerson College in Boston and is majoring in film.
  • Sean Cassidy, a Virginia Press Association award-winning photographer, studies media arts and design and political communication at James Madison University ​ in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the editor of The Breeze, JMU’s award-winning student newspaper. Between ​journalism​ classes and his job, Sean enjoys the outdoors and hiking around the beautiful mountains of the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Mark Grabowski is a journalism professor at Adelphi University (Garden City, New York). He is also founder of, a website that lists journalism opportunities and provides lessons aimed at young journalists. The 37-year-old Philadelphia native previously worked as a news reporter for the Arizona Republic, Providence Journal and other media outlets. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law.
  • Drew Loker has been an avid landscape, sports and event photographer since the mid-’80s and teaching high school photography since 1992. His self-portraits have placed several times in the faculty division of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors competition. He is a career technology teacher at West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas.


  • Kristin Baker, CJE, Derby High School (Kan.)
  • Maren Barnes, Inglemoor High School (Kenmore, Wash.), Kirsten Vesely, adviser
  • Skylar Cook, Francis Howell High School (St. Charles, Mo.), Michele Dunaway, MJE, adviser
  • Susan Gregory, MJE, adviser, Conestoga High School (Berwyn, Penn.)
  • James Kenney, senior, Potomac Falls High School (Sterling, Va.)
  • Johyun Kim, Tuscarora High School (Leesburg, Va.)
  • Cassy Rokusek, West Fargo High School (N.D.),  Jeremy Murphy, adviser
  • Giovanni Sabala, McKinney High School (Texas), Alyssa Boehringer, adviser
  • Christan Santos, James C. Enochs High School (Modesto, Calif.), Tamra McCarthy, CJE, adviser
  • Leah Waters, Creekview High School (Carrollton, Texas)
  • Dong Whee Won, Arrowhead Christian Academy (Redlands, Calif.), Crystal Kazmierski, adviser

Susan Newell, MJE
Alabama State Director
Northridge High School
2901 Northridge Rd.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Membership: There are 20 JEA memberships from Alabama. Membership is promoted at the Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) fall workshop and spring convention.

Happenings: The Alabama Scholastic Press Association Fall Regional Workshops took place in Mobile, Sept. 22 (University of South Alabama library) and Tuscaloosa, Sept. 24 (University of Alabama campus). ASPA visited and spoke at Troy University’s J-day, Sept. 25 and in Huntsville, Sept. 26 (Sparkman High School).

ASPA Deadlines:  All media competitions — Dec. 15

Senior awards portfolio deadline — Jan. 31

Deadline to apply for Multicultural Journalism Workshop — April 1

Upcoming ASPA events:

ASPA’s State Convention will be Feb. 13 and 14.

The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus will be June 12-14.

The University of Alabama’s 32th annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop will be June 12-21. Application deadline is April 1. The purpose of the workshop is to give high school students experience that teaches them more about college life and a career in media.

Alabama Scholastic Press Association is on Facebook and Twitter.

ASPA website:

Awards and honors

Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award:  Susan Newell, Northridge High School

Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year Award: Mike Campbell, Sparkman High School

Several Alabama advisers hold their CJE and MJE certification.

All ASPA awards are listed here:

Mentoring: JoAnn Hagood, Marie Parsons and Nora Stephens have served as mentors. New mentors are welcome.

For board consideration:

1. We need a regional director for the Southeast so the special problems from our region can be addressed.

2. Please leave JEA headquarters in Manhattan, Kan. These people have served us well.

3. The mentoring program is needed, especially in states like Alabama where fledgling journalism programs need to be encouraged and assisted.

4. Registration costs and other costs for conventions need to be lower, so advisers and students from poor areas can attend. Twenty dollars means a lot to our poorer students and advisers, so please consider lowering registration fees from $90 to $70.

5. There is continued interest in AP and Honors Journalism; competition from AP classes is depleting numbers in journalism classes in Alabama.

6. Please consider a regional meet-and-greet in the early morning, so advisers may attend sessions with their students and present sessions but can also meet with educators from their region.

Carmen Wendt, MJE
Arizona State Director
6634 E. 4th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Events: On Oct. 27 the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association’s Fall Conference will be held at Arizona State University. The keynote speaker will be Bruce St. James, local broadcaster from radio station KTAR. In addition to information sessions, the fall publication award winners will be announced. This summer AIPA held a Summer Workshop in July. The Spring Reception was on May 1, and spring award winners were announced. All recognitions can be viewed at, which is also the home of the AIPA blog.

Mentors: One mentor, Joe Pfeiff, resigned. Peggy Gregory has become active in mentoring in the state.

Activities: AIPA has updated the email addresses for all advisers in the state, members and non-members, in order to improve communications. The AIPA board is working to improve the organization’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog.

Stephanie Emerson, MJE
Arkansas State Director
Wynne High School
P.O. Box 69
1300 N. Falls Blvd.
Wynne, AR 72396

Membership: ASPA continues to work to increase membership. We encourage our members to enroll in JEA when they join the state organization. Several JEA members continue to be active at the national level. There are approximately 79 members in our state AJAA organization; 47 of those are in JEA. We have 117 different publication members in ASPA.

The Arkansas Scholastic Press Association is housed on the campus of Pulaski Tech in North Little Rock under the direction of Allen Loibner-Waitkus, MJE, of Pulaski Tech.
Our email address:

Happenings: The 2014 annual state convention took place in Rogers April 14-15 at the John Q. Hammons Center adjacent to the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas that served as the convention hotel.

In attendance were approximately 800 students. On-site contests included 423 entries: eight in newspaper; nine in yearbook; four in literary magazine; seven in photography; 10 in broadcast. We averaged about 30 entries in each category. Twenty workshops were held in different areas for students and advisers to attend. Approximately 1,200 awards were presented.

This past June, our organization’s annual Camp ASPA took place on the campus of Pulaski Tech in North Little Rock.

The State Convention will take place again in Rogers on April 20-21, 2015, at the John Q. Hammons Center adjacent to the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas that serves as the convention hotel.

Beatrice Motamedi, CJE
California State Director
248 Monte Vista Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
C: 510-282-7379 | H: 510-652-2005

Membership: California membership stands at 284, making the state the largest JEA chapter. Membership is holding steady in northern and southern California, while the San Diego chapter (SDJEA), which launched in 2014, reported a 10 percent rise in membership as of fall 2014 compared with fall 2013.

Events: Among the events held in California last summer and this fall were:

  • June 19 and July 2: JEANC’s Kickstart workshops at San Francisco State University drew 40 students and advisers for sessions on crafting the short feature, online reporting, and design.
  • Sept. 27: JEANC Fall J-Day at Palo Alto High School’s new Media Arts Center drew students from Bakersfield to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Stockton, including approximately 250 students and advisers. SCJEA and SDJEA also sponsored journalism days.

Honors and awards:

  • JOY chair chosen: Adriana Chavira, adviser at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Los Angeles, will be lead chair this year for California’s JOY contest. State Director Beatrice Motamedi and JEANC President Rachel West, who ran the contest last year, will co-chair with Adriana this year. California submissions will be due Feb. 9 and judges will announce the winner on March 2 in time for the winner’s name to be submitted to JEA national by March 15.
  • SCJEA is planning a write-off contest in March as well as a mail-in Cal All Stars contest. SDJEA also is planning a write-off contest in January/February.
  • California schools made a strong showing among this fall’s Pacemaker finalists. Notable first-time finalists were Daniel Pearl Magnet High School of Los Angeles (newspaper), The Roar of Whitney High School in Rocklin (news magazine) and La Costa Canyon High School (Story of the Year – Diversity category).
  • Michelle Balmeo of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino was named a Dow Jones News Fund Distinguished Adviser in September.

For the board:

  • Possible convention changes ahead: JEANC is considering possible changes in the regional convention for northern California, with a proposal for a one-day session along the lines of a J-Day. This would allow JEANC to charge less per person and alleviate the need for hotel expenses.
  • Reaction to JEA’s new Curriculum Initiative: Responses to a question about how advisers and students in California are using the JEA’s new 11-area lesson plans and resources were split between “advisers and students don’t really know about this curriculum” and “(a)dvisers and students are still learning about the JEA curriculum and are beginning to engage with it and integrate it into what they learn and do.” A special spotlight section in the monthly state e-blasts is highlighting areas of the new curriculum in an effort to get advisers and students thinking about how to use it.
  • A-G syllabi sought: Members have asked for examples of journalism syllabi that meet the University of California’s A-G requirements. Beatrice will be posting some examples to the California JEA website this fall.

Kristi Rathbun, CJE
Colorado State Director
Rock Canyon High School
5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO 80124

Membership: In Colorado, JEA membership has grown – we are at 104 members.

Happenings: CHSPA members are now able to receive scholarship monies to attend workshops and conventions or other professional development opportunities via the $250 CHSPA Adviser Scholarship. A board committee will review application statements and determine recipients. A primary goal is to increase attendance by Colorado advisers at the Spring 2015 JEA/NSPA convention in Denver.

In a return to Colorado State University’s recently remodeled Lory Student Center, more than 1,500 students and advisers met to attend 58 sessions by 70 presenters at 2014 J-Day Oct. 9.  Speakers included two HL Hall Yearbook adviser of the year winners – Brenda Gorsuch and Cindy Todd – as well a numerous professional and scholastic media representatives. All-Colorado and Best of Show awards were also given at the close of the convention.

Fall also saw the fifth annual Southern Colorado Media Conference Sept. 18 at the Occhiato University Center in Pueblo. Just under 200 students and advisers attended a keynote and mini-sessions followed by lunch.

The local committee is in the midst of planning for the 2015 JEA/NSPA Convention – Stories Elevated. The convention will be at the Sheraton downtown April 16-19.

Concerns: Issues facing media programs have been fairly quiet this fall while the spotlight has been on student protests of board of education attempts to censor curriculum in Jefferson County School District.

In Douglas County Schools, the BOE’s attorney has revised the district’s media policy resulting in inordinate amounts of students not allowed to be included in student publications – yearbooks, newsmagazines, broadcasts. New communication has been issued to families selecting the “No Directory” option for media blackouts in hopes of reducing the number of students who will not be able to appear in the yearbook.

Awards: Colorado is excited to celebrate students and advisers at upcoming conventions. Here are a few highlights:

Adviser Honors

Jack Kennedy, MJE, Highlands Ranch, Colo. — Lifetime Achievement Award

Barabara McLachlan, CJE, Durango, Colo. — Lifetime Achievement Award

Aspiring Young Journalist
Breanne Hunter, Sierra Middle School, Parker, Colo.

Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists

Rocky Mountain Highlighter, Rocky Mountain HS, Fort Collins, Colo.
Emily Anderson, Megan Troutman, editors
Stephen Wahlfeldt, adviser

The Lake, Standley Lake HS, Westminster, Colo.
Chaye Gutierrez, Sabrina Pacha, editors
Ben Reed, adviser

The Howler, Monarch HS, Louisville, Colo.
Katie Berohn, editor
Bonnie Katzive, adviser

Arapahoe Herald, Arapahoe HS, Centennial, Colo.
Maggie Hurlbut, editor
Greg Anderson, adviser

Picture of the Year

Marissa Herrington
Imprints, Mesa MS, Castle Rock, Colo.

Aiden Warner
The Prowl, Powell MS, Littleton, Colo.

Kat Rubano
The Summit, Sierra MS, Parker, Colo.

Sierra Zizzo
The Nighthawk, Rocky Heights MIddle School, Littleton, Colo.

Madeline Malhotra
Golden Images, Chaparral HS, Parker, Colo.

Joshua Bulawa
Golden Images, Chaparral HS, Parker, Colo.

Contact information: JEA Colorado can be found on Facebook and Twitter. CHSPA can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Amie King, CJE
Delaware State Director
Cape Henlopen High School
1250 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
302-645-7711 ext 2115

Membership: JEA membership for Delaware stands at two, which is the same as last fall.

Events: Both of us are looking forward to the national convention in D.C. Both Cape Henlopen High School and Padua Academy are excited to bring students again this year.

I will be presenting for the first time! Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m., come find out how to get money and learn more about business and advertising. How do you pay for your publications? Learn more about fundraising ideas that don’t take a lot of time or energy, advertising designs that customers want to see, and pertinent sales techniques. Located in Madison B, Mezzanine Level.

Honors/Awards: Both schools have been recognized recently. I was fortunate to take six students to yearbook camp over the summer and they celebrated a third place finish for Best Content & Coverage. Cape’s Valhalla Yearbook also received the Silver Medalist in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s (CSPA) Scholastic Yearbook Critique.

Padua won First Place Video Feature from the Delaware Press Association and Honorable Mention Video Feature from the National Federation of Press Women. In addition, Padua journalists interviewed Governor Markell, Senators Coons and Carper and had an interview with Former Ambassador to Pakistan Robin Raphel.

Carol Lange, CJE
District of Columbia State Director
2334 Harleyford Court
Reston, VA 20191

Membership: Washington, D.C. has six JEA members.

Events: Co-sponsored by D.C. JEA, The Washington Post’s YJDP and Newseum, the last Journalism Adviser & Student Editor Seminar had a record attendance of D.C., Maryland and Virginia teachers and students from different schools. Due to the national convention, the next JASEE will not be held until Jan. 17, 2015, at the Newseum.

D.C. JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention
The D.C., Maryland and Virginia JEA welcome and anticipate teacher-advisers and their students to the fall convention. From early spring through its Nov. 4 opening day, the D.C. convention was the focus of 2014 JEA work.

• Carol Lange, Valerie Kibler and Peter Bobkowski, representing NSPA, met with Barbara McCormack, Director/Education at the Newseum in 2013. The Newseum will provide discount tickets to the Newseum, a pre-convention workshop (“Stories for Change”), featured speaker and scholar Charles Haynes, two First Amendment-focus sessions (Jaclyn Jecha, Barbara Pearson), donation to the SPLC benefit auction, and issue seminar moderator Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the First Amendment Center.

• Invitations to work on the local committee were accepted by Michelle Santos, Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts, Student Scholarships; Clare Berke, Banneker Academic H.S., Adviser Luncheon; Chelsea Rink, Cesar Chavez PCS for Public Policy, Friday Student Activity.

• D.C. JEA Director Carol Lange secured featured speakers; speakers for editorial cartooning, literary-art magazine and First Amendment strands and assisted Phil Dignan with the sports journalism strand of sessions; Friday luncheon speaker and venue. For the D.C. JEA contribution to the SPLC auction, she secured original editorial cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winning Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker and awarded cartoonist Steve Artley, items from The Washington Post and the Newseum.

• Both The Washington Post and Newseum hosted meetings of the local committee.

• The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and GWU School of Media and Public Affairs are other D.C.-based organizations actively participating in the convention with media tours, speakers and donations.

• Building a foundation for future journalism and media endeavors can be seen in the 52 D.C. high school students who will be attending the convention on scholarship. The local committee worked diligently to get additional scholarships so a total of 80 students from 12 schools are recipients. Unfortunately, some DMV students did not receive scholarships.

Initiatives and vision: Although D.C. JEA has not held Second Saturday programs this school term, I have promoted programs of the Newseum, The Washington Post and other opportunities for media teachers and their students as well as the November 6-9 convention, the Outreach Academy and Student Scholarships. Second Saturday will resume after the convention.

I hope to get Capital Student News functioning this academic year. This could become an active and important voice for area students.

Teachers who are attending the Outreach Academy from the area will continue to receive or be added to the D.C. JEA director mailings.

I would also like to develop workshops on using the JEA curriculum with new members and with interested journalism and media advisers. This is something that could be organized with Maryland and Virginia directors and JEA members. I do believe the curriculum will be a major incentive to begin and renew JEA membership.

If I had one major wish, it would be for the new D.C. mayor to support journalism and media classes in the curriculum — for all the 21st century skills and personal development reasons we hold to as well as grounding in civics education.

Awards and recognition: The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program (YJDP) 2014 award winners were: Inspire Award — Michelle Santos, Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts; Young Journalist Leadership Award — Claire Parker, Woodrow Wilson High School as well as Mentoring Excellence — Alan Weintraut.

At the D.C. convention, two professionals will be honored as a Friend of Scholastic Journalism. Margaret Kaplow who is the manager, Educational Services/e-Replica and The Wasington Post’s Newspaper In Education program and Newseum Director/Education Barbara McCormack. Both have consistently supported scholastic journalism programs in the metropolitan area and D.C. JEA, in particular.

For the board: I was surprised to learn of JEA’s policy that the “two complimentary fee waivers” per school at the two yearly conventions included the administrator. Likewise, Outreach Academy participant is also included in the “two complimentary fee waivers” per school.

Knowing that an adviser who gave two sessions or presented a session and judged would be foregoing a waiver if the principal were invited doesn’t give incentive to invite the principal and/or if a new media teacher at the school attended the Outreach Academy doesn’t encourage the hardworking teacher-adviser in a low-income school who is meeting the criteria for registration waiver.

Renee Burke, MJE
Florida State Director
William R. Boone High School
1000 E. Kaley St.

Membership: We currently have 105 JEA members in Florida.  We’ve grown from 83 last spring.  We have been promoting membership through email blasts by FSPA President Colleen Bennett, at our state convention, summer workshops, and regional workshops.

FSPA will, again, offer the JEA Certification exams at our state convention in April 2015.  We’ve begun offering free FSPA memberships to new publications, similar to the initiative started by JEA.

Events: Each district is hosting a fall conference (October to November) to select an Adviser of the Year nominee as well as student convention representatives.

The state convention is planned for April 23-25, 2015 at the Wyndham Resort Orlando.

Initiatives and vision: We are working to increase membership at the state and national level, as well as national certification.

Florida is working with SPJ  on a yearlong mentoring program with a school in Broward County.  This will be a test endeavor to see how/if SPJ and JEA could do this on a national level.

Awards: Ashley-Nicole Chin-Ferdinand, a TERRA Environmental Research Institute High School graduate, received one of eight Edward J. Nell scholarships from the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists.

Congratulations to the publications and students earning recognition recently:

FSPA judged 14 literary magazines and 77 yearbooks this summer

• For literary magazines there were: 4 All Florida; 4 Gold; 4 Silver and 2 Bronze

• For yearbooks there were: 24 All Florida; 11 Gold; 22 Silver, 13 Bronze and 7 Merit

• 26 CSPA Newspaper and Magazine Gold Circle Recipients (See CSPA website for specific details.)

NSPA Finalists:

Picture of the Year Finalist:  Justin Edwardo, The Masterpiece, Bak MS of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Design of the Year Finalist: Amy Weiss, The Prowl, Coral Glades HS, Coral Springs, Fla.

Story of the Year Finalist: Sam Holleman, Kaley Gilbert, Hi-Lights, William R. Boone HS, Orlando, Fla.

Jon Reese, CJE
Georgia State Director
Decatur High School
310 N. McDonough St.
Decatur, GA 30030
W: 404.370.4420, ext. 161 | H: 404.786.9646

Membership: Georgia has almost doubled its JEA membership over the past year to 50 members.

Awards and honors:

2014 multiple SIPA writing awards went to Clark Central H.S. (lit mag and newsmag), Decatur H.S. (newsmag) and Grady H.S. (newspaper)

• 2014 pending NSPA awards to Woodward Academy (photo of the year), Clark Central H.S. (photo of the year, cartooning award), Northview H.S. (design of the year, feature story of the year), Decatur H.S. (design of the year, news story of the year, diversity story of the year, newsmagazine Pacemaker), Grady H.S. (newspaper Pacemaker, online Pacemaker)

• Georgia First Amendment essay contest (presented by the Cox Institute) winner: Mollie Simon, Chamblee Charter H. S.

Events: Advisers workshop was held at UGA June 4-5, 2014; 18 advisers attended.

Grady Journalism Academy was held June 8-14, 2014; 48 students attended.

Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism Digital Media Camp was held June 15-21, 2014; over 40 students attended and developed content for a National Park Service app interpreting the Ocmulgee National Monument.

GSPA fall conference Oct. 2-3 at Classic Center:  567 students and advisers attended from 37 schools. Total number of sessions offered: 64 contests: 3 Highlights included “Freedom Sings” from the First Amendment Center and a keynote by Selwyn Crawford, news editor for the Dallas Morning News.

The Media Education Foundation of Georgia in partnership with NATAS Southeast sponsored a training and networking event for high school broadcast students on Oct. 11, 2014, at Georgia Tech and Georgia Public Broadcasting. The event featured vendors, presentations by industry professionals, GPB studio tours, mentoring sessions and networking opportunities.

Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism has joined JEA, has presented sessions at the Georgia conference, and will be both an exhibitor and offer sessions at the D.C. convention. This is a new partnership with a program that has received national acclaim for its “teaching hospital” approach.

First Amendment-related concerns: From GSPA director Joe Dennis: Shaw High School ran a story about the dangers of meth use and has since undergone prior review. Starr’s Mill High School, an award-winning program lead by a former journalist, eliminated the class period for the newspaper.

Jenny Young
Theodore Roosevelt High School
1120 Nehoa St
Honolulu HI 96822
W: 808-531-9500 x19580 | C: 808-489-4425

Membership: Hawaii has 12 members. One member is located in China. Some members and non-members have expressed interest in the JEA Mentoring Program.  I will forward their information to Bill Flechtner. At least two JEA members are planning to attend the D.C. convention.


  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa hosted Journalism Day Sept. 13.

  • Herff Jones hosted its Hawaii Yearbook Academy at Kapolei High School Sept. 13-14.

  • The Hawaii Publishers Association is currently planning the next Hawaii High School Journalism Awards.  They have provided previous examples of judging criteria, but may revise it for the upcoming contest.  Their Journalism Awards Banquet will be held in late April 2015.

  • Marie Pagkalinawan from Roosevelt High School received acceptance into ASNE’s Student Advisory Board.

For the board: While some advisers are already preparing portfolios for the state JOY competition, I do not have a timeline for this event yet.  I am not sure how to go about this process – suggestions are welcome!

Michelle Harmon, MJE
Idaho State Director
Borah High School
6001 Cassia
1100 Fremont
Boise, ID 83709
W: 208-854-4427 | C: 208-371-4431

This is a rebuilding year for the Idaho State Journalism Association.

The entire state board has been revamped:

  • New Treasurer: Courtney Morgan ($5,400 in funds)
  • New State Director: Michelle Harmon

Briefly, last year the annual February conference at Idaho State University in Pocatello was delayed, then cancelled.  In the meantime, the newly appointed JEA State Director, Juli Stricklan, moved out of state. With that, many past board members also resigned. It was agreed by remaining board members to keep everything open (the bank account) and begin to rebuild/remain in a holding pattern.

Then, two J-Day programs emerged this fall.

  • Jostens sponsored a workshop in Pocatello Oct. 17 called “Technology Time.”
    • The purpose of this workshop was to provide students and advisers with information on photography, design, InDesign, PhotoShop, marketing, design and leadership. It is a one-day workshop that took place at University Place in Idaho Falls on Oct. 17, from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The cost was $25 per student and included lunch. Advisers who brought students could attend for free.
  • Boise State University opened its student union doors for free for a Journalism Learning Day, Oct. 25.
    • The purpose of this workshop was to provide an affordable opportunity for students and journalism programs throughout the state to meet and learn from industry professionals, just as they might at a JEA national high school journalism conference. Cost: $50 per journalism program.
    • We received low pre-registration numbers as of Oct. 18, but four new advisers attending.
    • We learned of two scheduling conflicts after the date was set with BSU (a big “Emotion Bowl” in Eastern Idaho, and the ACT in the Treasure Valley area)
    • It took a year to get the Oct. 25 date organized, so we proceeded, and we plan to have a board meeting at the event and focus on the future of ISJA.

Brenda Field, CJE
Illinois State Director
4000 W. Lake Ave
Glenview, IL 60026

Membership: Illinois current membership in JEA is 129.

Happenings: The Illinois Journalism Education Association hosted its annual fall conference at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana Sept.12. Nearly 500 students and advisers attended the day-long conference and participated in a write-off competition and attended breakout sessions.

Eastern Illinois University hosted IJEA’s Journalism State Tournament May 2.  IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud coordinated the event. More than 85 schools had representatives competing in the state finals.

IJEA announced several awards including Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Hall of Fame and its All-state journalism team. The teacher of the year was Mike Doyle, CJE, longtime adviser of the both the newspaper and yearbook at Belvidere North. The Administrators of the Year were Michele Sinclair of Mattoon HS and Marc Ercmann of Belvidere North. Wayne Brasler of University HS in Chicago, Linda Kane, CJE, retired from Naperville Central and Cathy Wall, CJE, of Harrisburg HS were named to the IJEA Hall of Fame. IJEA’s Teacher of the Year award has been renamed the James A. Tidwell Educator of the Year award in memory of the former IJEA Executive Director who was also a tireless advocate of scholastic journalism.

IJEA has an updated website:

Mentor reports: The following Illinois mentors submitted the following information for second semester of the 2013-2014 school year. They offer a detailed account of their work with Illinois journalism teachers.

Carol Smith

Carol Smith is mentoring both the new newspaper adviser and the new yearbook adviser at Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School, a new school formed by the annexation of Atwood-Hammond to the two-year-old Arthur-Lovington. They both look forward to using the new JEA curriculum in their classes. Carol worked with the four inexperienced yearbook staff members on conducting a fall ad  sales campaign. She also sat in on the yearbook representative’s presentation to the class on using the publisher’s computer program and then on his contract discussions and general hints for  with the adviser. She is making arrangements to meet with her other mentee from Chicago. She also sends helpful hints to another adviser in Southern Illinois. Carol looks forward to a busy year of mentoring her three diverse mentees and other advisers who might need help.

Stan Zoller, MJE

Having completed mentor training in July, Stan is delighted to be working with Kristin DiGiorgio, CJE, at Bradley Bourbonnais High School, Bradford, Illinois.  They have been working on getting the most out of her one class, but more importantly, on issues related to prior review by the school’s principal. It has been trial under fire for Kristen, but she has been diplomatic and practicing protocol, while using the resources of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee.

Initiatives: Current initiatives include enhancing membership by attracting new members and ensuring that IJEA members are also JEA members, increasing the number of Illinois advisers that have JEA certification and encouraging current CJEs to become MJEs. Another initiative is promoting student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Mike Doyle, CJE, is a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. JEA will present this award at the fall convention in Washington, D.C.

Stan Zoller, MJE, will receive a Pioneer Award from NSPA at the JEA/NSPA fall convention.

One Illinois yearbook won a Pacemaker and another was recognized as a finalist at the JEA/NSPA spring convention in San Diego.

Five Illinois newspapers are Pacemaker finalists for 2014. Pacemakers will be presented at the fall convention in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Hastings, MJE
Indiana State Director
9234 Prairie Ave.
Highland, IN 46322-2339

Membership: Indiana membership stands at 75, up two since last spring. Included in those numbers are 12 CJEs and 14 MJEs, the same as last year.

Events: More than 400 students and advisers from all parts of the state gathered in Franklin, Ind. for the Indiana High School Press Association annual state convention Oct. 16 and 17. Students and advisers got to “Tell me a story” with sessions focused on core journalism writing, designing, and reporting skills, that provide the backbone to social media and digital storytelling. Robin Bilinski, of NorthWood High School and Melissa Deavers-Lowie, CJE of Portage HS planned the Tell Me a Story program. Keynoting the convention, Soren Wheeler from the Peabody Award-winning show “Radiolab,” focused on keeping the audience engaged throughout the storytelling process.

Those who chose to attend the Thursday evening part of the convention listen to motivational speaker Chris Bowers. Following his presentation, registered students participated in the On-Site contests. Robin Bilinski took charge of organizing the competitions and judging panels.

Highlighting the convention, Robin Bilinski, of NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Ind., won the Ella Sengenberger Journalism Teacher of the Year honors. Advising the yearbook and teaching journalism and English for 29 years, Robin has advised numerous award-winning yearbooks, including Indiana High School Press Association Hoosier Stars, CSPA Crowns and NSPA Pacemaker winners. Robin has also been an active IHSPA board member, recently elected as President for 2014-2015 and as chair of the Thursday On Site competitions.

Also honored at the convention Mr. Robin Tobias, principal at Lake Central H.S. in St. John, Ind, was recognized with The Louis Ingelhart Friend Of Journalism for his support of scholastic journalism in at his high school. He was nominated by a recent Lake Central graduate and advisers Sarah-Verpooten, MJE, and Carrie Wadyicki, MJE.

Lifetime memberships were awarded to recently two retired advisers: Kathy Fasel-McKinney from Kankakee Valley High School; and Brenda Schindler from Martinsville High School.

Awards and honors: Indiana is especially proud of Tom Gayda, MJE, media adviser at North Central High School in Indianapolis, who will receive NSPA’s Pioneer at the Washington, D.C. fall convention.

Indiana is also proud of Indiana’s Student Journalist of the Year Carley Lanich, from Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis (adviser, Elizabeth Granger). She was named one of five national runners-up at last spring’s national convention in San Diego.

Indiana has two of the eight new Student Partners in JEA’s 45words initiative to promote First Amendment awareness, support free expression and offer resources to students facing censorship challenges. Luke Haag of North Central High School in Indianapolis, and Sriya Ravi of Carmel High School will actively support First Amendment issues in Indiana and across the nation.

Student Media Honors 2013 NSPA Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker Finalists
The Spartana, Homestead High School, Fort Wayne, Ind., Justin Peeper, MJE, and Amanda Eid advisers

The HiLite, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind., Jim Streisel, adviser

Northern Lights, North Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind., Tom Gayda, adviser

2013 NSPA Design of the Year Finalists
Page One
Maggie Gelon
, Inklings, Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Ind
Newsmagazine cover Design
Dennis Yang, 
The HiLite, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind.

Comic Panel/Strip:
Jiva Capulong,
The HiLite, Carmel (Ind.) High School,
Aster Samuel,
The HiLite, Carmel (Ind.) High School

2014 NSPA Story of the Year Finalists
Feature Story: Kayla Williamson, Owl, Warren Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.

Sports Story: Alaa Abdeldaiem,
Inklings, Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Ind.

Feature Photo of the Year Finalist: Noelle McBride, 
Lake Central Scout, Lake Central High School, St. John, Ind.

Honors from last spring:
NSPA Yearbook Pacemakers:
The Log, Columbus North High School, Kim Green adviser

NSPA Online Pacemaker:
NCHS Live!, North Central High School, Indianapolis, Tom Gayda

CSPA Hybrid (print and online) Gold Crown
HiLite, Carmel High School, Jim Streisel adviser

CSPA Newspaper Gold Crown
The Triangle, Columbus North High School, Kim Green adviser

CSPA Newspaper Silver Crown
Crier, Munster High School, Munster, Sarah-Anne Lanman and Mandy Holloway, advisers

News and notes: Despite bad morale across the state as journalism advisers continue to struggle for program recognition and student numbers, advisers are excited to get started on the 2016 JEA NSPA Fall convention in Indianapolis. Advisers are already signing up to volunteer to help with the Nov. 10-13 convention.

Indiana high schools are still struggling with credits for journalism classes counting towards the Indiana Honors Diploma, despite words of optimism from the State Department of Education last spring. Once the state legislature threw out the Common Core Standards last June and choose to write their own Indiana Academic Standards, journalism once again got lost in the shuffle. Starting over again, a proposal is about to make it’s way up the chain of command to secure Honors Diploma recognition. The proposal reads that students in grades 11 or 12 taking Student Publications, course #1086, could count that course as either an English Language Arts or Fine Arts elective credit towards the Academic Honors Diploma. If this proposal wins approval, more students will have room to take publications instead of the current need to take jewelry or ceramics for the necessary Fine Arts credit. We are hopeful that this proposal can move forward quickly.

Leslie Shipp, MJE
Iowa State Director
Johnston High School
(PO Box 10 if using U.S. Post Office)
6501 N.W. 62nd Ave.
Johnston, IA 50131

Membership: JEA members in Iowa number 48, a mark that has been consistent the past several years. Contact with new members from last year and the three new members this year was made this fall.

Happenings: The Iowa High School Press Association’s state conference will be held at the University of Iowa Oct. 23. Tim Harrower and Logan Aimone are two of the featured guests. Last April the organization chose 25 of the state’s top journalists. The top 10 Emerging Journalists will be announced at the conference. One of the purposes of the new award for last year’s sophomores and juniors is to be able to recognize students who have not graduated at the annual conference.

Awards and honors: We congratulate Ann Visser, recently retired from Pella High School, on the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award. She will receive the honor at the national convention in Washington, D.C. In addition, we congratulate Kyle Phillips from Cedar Rapids Washington and Natalie Niemeyer of Des Moines East on their Rising Star awards.

For the board: We are still talking with several organizations about helping IHSPA in the choosing, naming and publicizing an All-State journalism team much like sports do. One obstacle we have encountered is that yearbook does not seem to garner as much credibility as newspaper. Thus, we seem to be at a standstill on this venture. We also continue to struggle with attracting students to enter the national JOY contest.

Susan Massy
Kansas State Director
Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
12701 W. 67th St.
Shawnee, KS 66216

Bobbi Templet, CJE
Kentucky State Director
Oldham County High School
1150 N. Highway 393
P.O. Box 187
Buckner, KY 40010
W: 502-222-9461 ext. 167 | C: 502-905-8666

Gina Parker
Louisiana State Director
C.E. Byrd High School
3201 Line Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71104

Events and happenings: LSPA Fall Conference scheduled for Nov. 13, 2014 at the Manship School of Journalism – Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.

Awards: Louisiana Tech University:

Louisiana Press Association, Summer 2014
Chad Merritt: Sam Hanna Award for Best Regular Column
Raney Johnson, John Sadler, Devin Dronnett: First Place, Best Multimedia Element

Southeast Journalism Conference, Spring 2014
Best of the South Competition
Kaleb Causey: First, Best Sports Writer
The Tech Talk staff : Second, Best Magazine
Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay: Third, Best Press Photographer
Hannah Schilling: Third, Best Page Designer
Reina Kempt: Fifth, Best Special Event Reporter

Society of Professional Journalists, Spring 2014
Mark of Excellence Awards, Winner Category
Derek J. Amaya, Sports Column Writing
Kaleb Causey, Sports Writing
Devin Dronett, Feature Photography
Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay, Photo Illustration
Hannah Schilling, General Column Writing
Mark of Excellence Awards, Finalist Category
Allison East, General Column Writing
Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay, General News Photography
Hannah Schilling, General Column Writing

Southeastern State University: Society of Professional Journalists, Spring 2014
Mark of Excellence second place for Best Overall Television Newscast for the student news show “Northshore News.”
Kaitlyn Morales: Second for her story on Causeway Safety
Kristen Durand and Joseph Legrange: Second in Television News/Feature Photography with their videography for the Mandeville Road Construction story.
Allison Crady – Second in General News Reporting

Claire Burke, CJE
Maryland State Director
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852

Membership and happenings: Currently, we have 30 members, up from 21 last spring. I don’t have proof, but my suspicion is that most of these new members are because of the Curriculum Initiative. Of these members, five are CJEs and two are MJEs.

Contact with members continues on at least a monthly basis, and more frequently if warranted. I have worked with yearbook representatives and other teachers in my local area to build my email contact list, and I have almost doubled my reach in the state/in our county. I feel this is a positive, as even if these educators are not members of JEA, at the very least we have an informal network in the state.

I have decided that I’d really like to push JOY this year and award a Maryland JOY so that person can compete in the national contest. I will start pushing JOY to members and contacts more than I have been, and hope to get an entry or two this year. I do not think the new online submission will hinder entries; it’s my belief that students who are functioning at that level will not be intimidated by the new process and will embrace it.

There is still an effort afoot to revitalize the Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association, which, as always, I feel could be a positive thing for everyone in the state. However, I think most action on that front will happen after the D.C. convention is finished, so updates will be provided as they are relevant.

Workshops and other events: Most energy this fall has been focused on planning and participating in the D.C. convention, and we are all very excited about the sure-to-be-awesome convention in our backyard.

This fall, most of my energy and focus has been on finishing up planning of the D.C. convention. Because of this, there has not been much discussion of events in the state thus far, which I fully intend to change after the convention has ended. In conjunction with the Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association, I helped to plan two events early in the school year that unfortunately did not see enough enrollment or participation to actually happen. We plan to try again after the D.C. convention has ended. In the interim, I have tried to promote D.C.-JEA events or events at the Newseum and/or Washington Post.

Awards and commendations: We have one new CJE in our state, who will be recognized at the D.C. convention – congratulations to Jessica Nassau, CJE, of Rockville High School.

2014 Magazine Pacemaker Winner: Spectator (Walter Johnson HS)

2014 Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists: Silver Chips (Montgomery Blair HS); The Lion’s Tale (Charles E Smith Jewish Day School)

2014 NSPA Cartooning Award Finalist: Kelsey Morrison, Sherwood HS – Editorial Cartoon and Comic Panel/Strip

Colleen Simpson, CJE
Massachusetts State Director
Gates Intermediate School
327 First Parish Road
Scituate, MA 02066

Membership: 30 members

Events and initiatives: The NESPA fall workshop is Oct. 24 from 10 a.m.-noon at Boston University’s College of Communication. The workshop will focus on providing excellent sports coverage in the scholastic press and will include a panel on pursuing careers in professional sports journalism.

The Journalism Night at the Celtics will take place Feb. 6. The Celtics offered a great event last year during the JEA/NSPA convention in Boston that local advisers and students couldn’t attend since it was during the write-off competition, but it was very popular and still pulled in hundreds of high school journalists from across the country. With that in mind they wanted to offer it again this year to local scholastic journalism staffs.  Chrissy Cronin with the Celtics will be the contact person ( to register for the event. It should be a great night.

We plan to meet soon and start talking about how we will turn the money we made from the Boston conference. Brian Baron has set up a bank account for a JEA Massachusetts group we hope to turn into a 501-c3 and decide how we can best support the needs of scholastic journalism in the state.

For the board: In recent years Massachusetts has had only one submission for the Journalist of the Year, which has been forwarded to the JEA Journalist of the Year competition. We would like to see more students participating this year. We would love suggestions for getting more students involved.

Julia Satterthwaite, CJE
Michigan State Director
1304 Woodlawn Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073

Membership: We are currently at 83 members in Michigan, which is up 25 members from the Spring 2014 report. I would attribute the significant increase mostly to the JEA Curriculum, which has been extremely helpful to veteran and newbie advisers alike. We also hosted four EdCamp-style adviser gatherings around Michigan this summer, and the JEA Curriculum Initiative was discussed at each event. I’m leading a follow-up Mini EdCamp at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Fall Conference on Oct. 20 and will again mention the benefits of JEA membership.


MIPA Honor Cords:
After a suggestion from MIPA secretary Sara-Beth Badalamente, the MIPA board voted to implement an honor cord system for outstanding seniors who met a set criteria. The program was a smashing success and a money-maker to boot.

Panic Button:
After getting the idea from JEA’s Student Press Rights Committee, the legislative committee, chaired by Rod Satterthwaite, implemented the panic button on the MIPA website where advisers can report prior review and/or censorship issues as they arise and trigger a response from the legislative team.

Spartan Award with Distinction:
Borrowing a philosophy from JEA’s website, MIPA advisers believe “prior review by administrators undermines critical thinking, encourages students to dismiss the role of a free press in society and provides no greater likelihood of increased quality of student media.” In addition, MIPA firmly supports the tenants in the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism. Therefore, the MIPA board wanted to make a way for administrators to publicly state that they don’t prior review or censor student media. If no prior review is in place, the publication is eligible for a Spartan Award with Distinction, which is an embossed seal placed on the Spartan Award. Again, the legislative committee developed the idea and modeled it after what OSMA is doing. The goal is to open the dialogue with administration and increase the number of “with Distinction” honors each year.

Julia Satterthwaite organized and facilitated four adviser EdCamps around the state over the summer for advisers to gather and ask questions or share ideas. Serge Danielson-Francois hosted at Divine Child HS in Dearborn on June 19, Marnie Hade hosted at Northwest Education Center in Jackson on June 26, Sarah Ashman hosted at Mason HS on July 16 and at Shari Adwers hosted at Grosse Pointe North HS on July 28. As folks arrived, they answered five questions on whiteboards or chart paper around the room:
1. What went well for you this year?
2. What were your struggles this year?
3. What questions do you have?
4. What do you want to share about?
5. What do you want to do/discuss/accomplish today?
Next, we launched into discussion prompted by the initial questions or as other ideas surfaced. Each EdCamp lasted four hours, which went by in the blink of an eye, and participants received a Professional Development certificate and returned an Exit Ticket with four questions that the MIPA board is now using to inform choices about how to better serve our membership:
1. What did you accomplish today?
2. What are your thoughts about today (strengths/weaknesses, suggestions for improvement)?
3. What are your next steps?
4. What can MIPA do to support you in those next steps?

Day of Doing:
Rod and Julia Satterthwaite invited any MIPA and JEA members to join us for a Day of Doing on Aug. 23 from noon-9 p.m. as we covered the Fifth Annual Harsens Island Bluegrass Festival. Shari Adwers from Grosse Pointe North HS, Tracy Anderson from Ann Arbor Community HS, Kathi Burkholder of Pinckney HS, Julia Satterthwaite of Rochester HS, Rod Satterthwaite of Grosse Pointe South HS and C.E. Sikkenga of Grand Haven HS  covered the festival in a variety of ways and our work was compiled by C.E. Sikkenga as a 16-page tabloid newspaper that’s almost ready for printing and distribution. All participants enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal about what we ask our students to do on a regular basis.

Student Advisory Board:
Stacy Smale, an adviser at Utica HS, developed the idea to create a Student Advisory Committee comprised of one student or “voice” from each MIPA school. The MIPA board thought this was an excellent idea and president Jeremy Whiting added a Student Advisory Committee board position. Smale and MIPA membership chair Alexis Campion of Henry Ford II HS are leading the first Student Advisory meeting at the Fall Conference on Oct. 20.

Fall Conference:
The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Fall Conference is coming up on Oct. 20, 2014. Executive director Jeremy Steele has been working tirelessly to make sure everything’s set up and ready for 1,800-2,000 student journalists to learn. There are some great sessions in yearbook, newspaper, broadcast, and social media lined up. We are also thrilled to have JEA’s Vice President Sarah Nichols as our featured speaker.

Think Tank:
On Oct. 18, Julia and Rod Satterthwaite hosted MIPA members who are involved with the summer workshop in Grosse Pointe Park to discuss plans for the 2015 Summer Workshop, led by workshop director Chad Sanders. This summer’s Mipapalooza theme was well-received by students who were exposed to a variety of musicians throughout the workshop experience.

Video Best Practices:
A small group of MIPA video advisers (Diane Herder, Kate Salvadore, Jesse Sutherland and Jeremy Whiting) began the process of developing a video broadcast best practices guide last year. Newly-appointed video chair Roger Smith hopes to help the group of video advisers at the Fall Conference finalize the document and distribute it to video members so they have a consistent message and can use the guide to improve their programs.

Awards and honors:

JEA Friend of Scholastic Journalism, Tom Campbell

JEA’s Future Teacher Scholarship, Cody Harrell

JEA Lifetime Achievement Award, Jeff Nardone

Dow Jones News Fund 2014 Distinguished Newspaper Adviser, Brian Wilson


Broadcast Pacemaker Finalist: DTV News Live, Davison HS, adviser: Randy Scott

Newspaper Pacemaker (Tabloid 16 or fewer pages) Finalist: The Source, Stoney Creek HS, adviser: Gayle Martin

Newsmagazine Cover Design of the Year Finalist:Alexander Wood, Community HS, adviser: Tracy Anderson

Broadcast Story of the Year Finalist: The Flash staff, Fraser HS, adviser: Jamie Flanagan

Feature Story of the Year Finalist: Madeline Halpert, Community HS, adviser: Tracy Anderson

Editorial/Opinion Story of the Year Finalist: Aina Kelsaw-Fletcher, Community HS, adviser: Tracy Anderson

Multimedia News Story of the Year Finalist: Josh Hejka, DC Faith in Action, Divine Child HS, adviser: Serge Danielson-Francois

Multimedia Feature Story of the Year Finalist: Cameron LaFontaine, The Squall, Dexter HS, adviser: Rod Satterthwaite


High School Hybrid Publication Silver Crown:
The Tower |, Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, advisers: Nick Provenzano, Kelli Fimbinger

Middle School Magazine Silver Crown:
Inklings, Pierce Middle School, Grosse Pointe Park, MI, adviser: Geneva Scully

High School Magazine Silver Crown:
Gallimaufry, Cranbrook Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills, MI

High School Newspaper Silver Crowns:
InPrint, Fenton High School, Fenton, MI, adviser: Pam Bunka
North Pointe, Grosse Pointe North High School, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, adviser: Shari Adwers

Gold Circle Individual Awards were also awarded to 10 students from Michigan.

Laurie Hansen, CJE
Minnesota State Director
Stillwater Area High School
5701 Stillwater Blvd. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082

Membership: Minnesota membership is 26.

I have sent out my fall reminders to people who have let their membership lapse but have not yet renewed. Last spring our membership was 29. We had three new members over the summer, but some let their membership lapse, so the total was down to 25 at the start of the school year. The week of Oct. 6, I was notified of a new member, bringing our total to 26.

I have received an updated and extensive database of advisers from Minnesota, thanks to the office staff at the National Scholastic Press Association, and I intend to begin outreach work using this list. As part of our outreach efforts, these advisers are not necessarily members of JEA, NSPA or MHSPA. We wanted to reach out and make sure any adviser could have access to the information and hopefully want to join one or all three of these organizations.

Progress on JEM website: JEM members continue their work on a website, which is a project started by Jeff Kocur of Hopkins High School. This website has made solid progress over the past year. Jeff has added the contacts of  94 advisers and has them organized by region of the state.

Last spring I proposed adding a section in the website that showcases student work. Jeff called this segment “The Story Behind the Story,” in which one story is featured, and the student Q & A interview is included about the creation of that story. Right now, one of my journalism students from 2014 has a feature story on the site. The plan is to rotate this to other advisers. One of Lori Keekley’s students will be next. The stories will then be archived. In the future, we should have a collection of various styles of writing—features, hard news, sports, editorial, reviews, and so forth.

We have discussed sharing the responsibilities of the website so that Jeff is not overburdened with website materials.

We also discussed the progress of the video lessons done by professionals. This project was being coordinated by Reid Westrem of Minnehaha Academy. The video currently on the site is an interview with local Minneapolis artist Nate Stromberg discussing design. Reid’s concern last spring was that the free version of Vimeo only allowed for 10-minute maximum videos. Any longer than that and we would be paying a subscription. As of last spring, we decided not to allocate any money towards a Vimeo subscription. Because of this, Reid is not willing to put the time into the videos if they are not going to have a more prominent presence on the site. His school, however, does have a Vimeo subscription, and we are discussing whether or not we can just link our site to his school site. Ultimately, I would still like to see at least 3-4 10 min. videos on the site that cover broad topics such as design, writing, reporting and photography. We are still working through this issue.

We had discussed in the past how to add curriculum resources, but in light of the extensive work done by JEA in this area, we decided not to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we plan on adding a section called “Tips from the Pros.” Using our professionals list from when the national convention was held in Minneapolis, we will tap into these resources and have a rotating tip each month, accompanied by a one-page lesson or tip sheet as designed by the professional contributor. Martha Rush was asked to help with this part of the website, as she was in charge of Break with a Pro at the 2011 convention. These tips could be the replacement for the longer video resources.

Our plans to move forward on this website project include sending out a survey to Minnesota advisers asking for feedback on the website and what they would like to see included.

Our challenge continues to be making advisers in Minnesota aware of the resource.

Our site is

Awards and events: The Minnesota State High School Press Convention was Oct. 7, with Keynote speaker Mary Stucky, journalist and founder of Round Earth Media, which specializes in partnering American journalists with counterparts in different countries in order to report on issues that receive little media attention.

From her Bio: Stucky is a long-time contributor of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media (Marketplace, The World, All Things Considered), CBS Radio, Frontline/World, NBC-TV and ABC-TV affiliates, Telemundo and Univision.

We had increased attendance from last fall with a total of 544 students attending.

Awards announced at the state convention include Gold Medallions (individual awards sponsored by MHSPA), Best of Show (in yearbook, newspaper, online newspaper and literary magazine, also sponsored by MHSPA) and All-State (a JEM-sponsored competition that awards gold, silver or bronze recognition and provides a mini-critique).

An improvement to our awards ceremony was added with the inclusion of student work being projected on the screen for the visual categories such as front page design, yearbook spread design, etc. Several advisers told me it was interesting to see the choices the judges made.

Upcoming events: Lori Keekley of St. Louis Park High School and Kathryn Campbell of St. Paul Academy are working to bring back the MNtor program in Minnesota. At the state convention they presented their plans and had advisers sign up to either be mentors or mentees. More progress on this hopefully in the coming weeks.

Minnesota’s annual student events are in the planning process. The Minnesota Wild sports writing/broadcast event at the Xcel Energy Center will take place in early 2015 with exact date to be determined. The Arts Journalism Day at the Guthrie is scheduled for February. Students will tour the theater, discuss review writing with an arts critic from the Star Tribune and then view a matinee of a play (TBA). Winning reviews will be posted on the MHSPA and JEM (Minnjournalism) websites.

Shoutouts: Martha Rush from Mounds View High School is the Minnesota State Adviser of the Year. Martha advises the Viewer newspaper. Her past achievements include a Pacemaker nomination last fall and distinguished adviser recognition from Dow Jones in 2005.

Rush, a journalism, AP economics and AP psychology teacher, has advised Viewer for 14 years. “This is your paper!” she always tells us,” 2012-13 Viewer Editor Max Wang wrote in his letter nominating Rush.

St. Louis Park Teacher Lori Keekley, the 2010 Minnesota Journalism Educator of the Year, wrote, “Martha’s passion shows through her work and relationships with students. She’s a dedicated adviser who doesn’t seek the spotlight. She’s just happy to do the work if it helps someone.”

I’m proud to report the following Minnesota students are finalists in the NSPA Design of the Year Contest: Carolyn Guddal and Carter Green from The Echo, St. Louis Park. Lori Keekley, adviser.

I’m also proud to announce the Minnesota schools making an appearance in NSPA’s Best of the Student Press: 

The Viewer, Mounds View High School, Martha Rush, adviser; The Royal Page, Hopkins High School. Jeff Kocur, adviser; The Knight Errant and The Knight Errant Online, Benilde St. Margaret’s High School, Jason Wallestad and Kari Koshiel advisers; Art and Literature Magazine, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Linda Brooks, Adviser; The Rubicon, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Kathryn Campbell, adviser, The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School, Rachel Steil, adviser, The Echo, St. Louis Park High School, Lori Keekley, adviser.

For the board: The anti-censorship statement as per the JEA directive, is posted on the Minnesota website under “About us.”

Cynthia Ferguson
Mississippi State Director
Oxford High School
222 Bramlett Blvd
Oxford, MS 38655
W: 662-234-1562 | C: 662-607-1260

Robin Stover, MJE
Missouri State Director
Rock Bridge High School
4304 S Providence Rd.
Columbia MO 65203

Missouri has two state JEA affiliate organizations now. Additionally, there are two regional groups, Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City and Sponsors of School Publications of Greater St. Louis, that serve the state. All of these associations work to provide support for the Missouri’s journalism teachers. Veteran advisers reach out to mentor young teachers, offering curricular support and community.

Membership: Missouri has 116 JEA members.

Honors and awards:

Journalism Education Association: Missouri adviser Mitch Eden earned a Medal of Merit.

JEA/National Scholastic Press Association 2014 spring convention: 31 students received awards. A Missouri team was runner-up at the National Journalism Quiz Bowl.

NSPA Pacemakers: Three Missouri newspapers were named Pacemaker finalists.

Columbia Scholastic Press Association: 14 Missouri students earned Gold Circle awards. One school was named a digital publication Gold Crown winner. Two schools were named newspaper Gold Crown winners. One school earned a hybrid publication Silver Crown; one earned a magazine Silver Crown, and one earned a yearbook Silver Crown.

Missouri Interscholastic Press Association & Missouri Journalism Education Association

Announcements: MIPA is stable and staying strong. The organization is retooling and rebranding to help serve the middle school, junior high school and high school journalism advisers of the state. MIPA has initiated outreach by creating a new website as well as using social media outlets to contact and receive communication with Missouri advisers.  Additionally, MIPA is using a University of Missouri School of Journalism group called AdZou to contact Missouri advisers to find out what teachers need and how the organization can best serve them.

MJEA is a new organization that already has 52 members, and all are excited to promote scholastic journalism within the state. The goal of MJEA is to offer outreach and support for Missouri advisers and programs. MJEA uses its website and social media for Missouri advisers.

Events: MIPA continues to have a strong relationship with the University of Missouri School of Journalism and have utilized a marketing plan with the help of AdZou. The organization remains committed to helping advisers and their students through its annual contest and critique services and Journalism Day. MIPA will host a Summer Media Workshop in conjunction with MU in the summer of 2015.

MJEA offers exclusive contests and awards for advisers and students, including Missouri’s first All-State Scholastic Journalism team.

Linda Ballew, MJE
Montana State Director
2212 4th St. S.
Great Falls, MT 59405

Membership: Montana continues to have a small but relatively stable interest in membership. Because of a successful spring Montana Journalism High School Day at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, Montana membership has increased slightly, especially in Eastern Montana. We have also had a change in membership with many new advisers taking over the programs in many high schools.

Linda Ballew retired from secondary education at Great Falls High School after advising the journalism department from 1985-2014 to teach English courses at the university. She also remains active in public education by working for MEA-MFT and presenting workshops and judging for a number of state journalism organizations as well as CSPA and NSPA. She will continue to work as JEA’s Montana State Director.

Maintaining MJEA and JEA membership is a priority. Interest in belonging to JEA continues for several reasons:

The value of the new journalism curriculum has definitely built interest in JEA. Advisers express their appreciation for the thorough and in-depth lessons, rubrics, Common Core Standards alignment and assessments that they are able to use both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability.

Also, because of the spring MJEA newspaper, online and photography critiques and contests, members continue to show interest in MJEA. Important changes in coordinating the Montana Journalist of the Year contest among MJEA, JEA and U of M needs to be discussed.

The Montana Journalism High School Day, coordinated by U of M journalism professors, has established a strong relationship and connection between public school advisers and the university. It also provided an opportunity to attend amazing workshops:  Intermediate Video, The Best Investigative Reporting, Cell Phone Photojournalism, Writing for Print vs. Writing for Radio, Naming Names (Sexual Assault Victims and Gun Ownership Controversies), Emotion and Interaction in Photojournalism, Shield Laws and Whistleblowers, The Basics of Radio Reporting, Social Media and Sports, Television Breaking News, Student Press Law, Diversify Your Content, Taking your Design to the Next Level, Documentary Filmmaking, Investigations-Using Data and Documents to Hold Public Officials Accountable, Student Radio Tours.

The majority of contest entries and Journalism Day participants are still primarily from the larger AA school districts. MJEA president Jennifer Keintz reiterated her concern about diminishing membership and contest entries from advisers in smaller, more rural school districts.

MJEA and U of M hope that a conference can be planned in the future that will include more adviser and student friendly workshops on the U of M’s campus. Because the U of M’s Journalism Action Committee has concentrated on this fall’s bicentennial celebration, their focus has not been on their collaboration with MJEA. We will miss their interaction at our state convention in Missoula, but look forward to another successful day at the University this spring as well as a larger contest participation.

Linda Ballew has continued to send a mailing to all Montana high schools attempting to locate journalism advisers through letters and information packets directed to administrators. She anticipates that JEA and MJEA membership information will be passed into the hands of current journalism advisers, so that they too can see the many benefits for both advisers and students by belonging to JEA and being involved in its activities.

The gap left in MJEA’s leadership continues to not be filled. It is obvious that younger advisers need to find reasons to be professionally involved with our organization in order to revitalize what MJEA can offer to a diverse state membership.

Happenings: The annual publication critique and awards were judged by professors from the University of Montana along with local Missoula newspaper professionals in April. These were awarded at the Montana Journalism High School Day.

Awards: The Montana Newspaper Association once again generously provided a $1,000 scholarship at a luncheon during their annual spring meeting. There, they announced the award to this year’s Montana Journalist of the Year, Meri DeMarois, the 2014 editor of the Sentinel High School newspaper in Missoula, Mont. This event provided DeMarois an opportunity to present a speech about the relevance of high school journalism and her scholastic journalism journey that led her to her decision to attend the University of Montana’s journalism school.

Interim Journalism Dean, Denise Dowling said, “The committee had a very difficult time selecting the Journalist of the Year. That was because every entrant was incredible. They were all strong writers, photographers and designers. Their advisers think the world of them, calling them dedicated, organized and passionate.

“This year’s Montana high school journalist of the year had demonstrated remarkable growth. She shared examples of writing from early in her career and noted how painful it is now to read those articles. She showed how her design skills had grown and she led an all-out redesign of her school paper. She branched into television and photography and her anchoring, images and reporting videos have already won her national awards. She understands the world of journalism is a multimedia world and she has produced excellent work across the media spectrum.

“Perhaps her most striking accomplishment: taking on the administration. As editor of her paper, she was under prior review from her principal and would trudge down the hall to present the articles for every issue. She would take the notes from her administrator in stride and make changes and learn. Not surprisingly, those notes dwindled with every issue and every visit to the principal’s office.

“When the superintendent of schools in her district got a hefty raise, she followed students as they protested and testified in a public forum, telling the story from the students’ point of view. She followed students when they sat down with the superintendent and captured on camera when the superintendent said, ‘This is an adult issue and not an issue for students.’ She created a video report on the protest and submitted it to the principal, fully expecting he would NOT allow her to broadcast it. He surprised her and the report was sent to ‘PBS News Hour’ which not only ran it, but gave it an award for excellence in high school reporting.

“The consistency and quality of her work meant the prior review has been relaxed, somewhat, at her school because she built a culture of fairness and accuracy in her reporting and instilled that in everyone on her staff. She demonstrated in her entry that she is passionate about journalism, that she works hard to improve her skills and that she’s a leader in the true sense of the world.”

The University of Montana added an additional $1,000 scholarship to the award.

We will continue to work closely with the University of Montana’s School of Journalism in establishing dual credit for high school journalists as well as establishing relationships and connections to the school for journalism students.

The University of Montana has named former National Public Radio correspondent Larry Abramson as the dean of the School of Journalism, marking the first time in school history the dean will not have a newspaper background. He began his duties on July 1.

U of M professor Joe Eaton will attend the fall JEA Convention in Washington, D.C.

State convention: MJEA president, Jennifer Keintz and MJEA treasurer Kim LaCostic have again dovetailed MJEA with the MEA-MFT state teacher convention in Missoula on Oct. 16-17, 2014. Specific workshops in broadcast, yearbook and newspaper techniques, methods and lessons will be offered with teachers able to obtain certificate renewal units.

The JEA office has sent materials to enlist new members. More convention details will be available after this week.

For the board: Once again, we are requesting that the deadline for these bi-annual state reports be adjusted. The value of updating two times per year has been noted, but Oct. 15 and March 15 are awkward timeframes as few events occur until after the state convention which happens in late October, and then again, with state competitions in mid to late April.

We will discuss during our state meeting the possibility of moving these state events to better coordinate with JEA time frames.

Marsha Kalkowski, MJE
Nebraska State Director
Marian High School
7400 Military Ave.
Omaha, NE 68134-3398

Membership: Nebraska is 47 current members strong. JEA Membership options were included in the NHSPA Fall Convention materials, so that number may increase.

Happenings, honors and awards:

  • The summer NHSPA workshop went well, July 21-23 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, with more than 100 student participants. Our speakers were outstanding and the directors were superb.  Thanks to our JEA connections who were session leaders: Jim Streisel, Scott Winter, Laurie Hansen, Duane Robertson and Taylor Siebert of StrivTV.
  • The 2015 Summer workshop at Nebraska will be July 20-22. It is a bargain at $300. Contact directors: Diane M. Schieffer and Erin Konecky, at for information. We welcome students and advisers from other states.
  • The NHSPA Fall Convention is happening Oct. 20.  Our keynote speaker is Jim Streisel. We are excited to welcome more than 500 Nebraska student journalists and advisers. Expect a full report in the spring on awards and announcements.
  • We are excited that JEA will be recognizing Bob Bair (former adviser at Blair High School) and Diane Schutt (former adviser at Fairbury High School) as Lifetime Achievement Award Winners in Washington, D.C. in November.
  • We are also excited that some Nebraska Rising Star advisers are getting their applications ready.
  • Omaha Westside High School is proud to report that Lia Hagen is one of the newest partners in 45words, a national student-run journalism organization dedicated to protecting student speech. She is editor-in-chief of Craze, the school’s online magazine, and copy editor of the school newspaper,The Lance. After high school, she plans to pursue a career in journalism.  Her adviser is Jerred Zegelis.
  • Congratulations to the Nebraska students and programs who have finalists in the NSPA Story of the Year Competition for Fall 2014:
    Photo of the Year: Shannon Smith, Crusader, Marian HS, Omaha, Neb.
    Design of the Year: Anna Krettek, Jill Salerno, Meghan Schumacher, Crusader, Marian HS, Omaha, Neb.
    Design of the Year: Ally Zimmer, Paw Print, Millard West HS, Omaha, Neb.
  • JEA Nebraska will be hosting another winter contest with a Dec. 5 postmark deadline. Thanks in advance to the JEA friends who will be volunteer judges. We are continually grateful.

For the board: Thanks for everything you do!

Matthew LaPorte, CJE
Nevada State Director
Southwest Career and Technical Academy
7050 W. Shelbourne Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89113

Membership: We currently have 22 members in Nevada. This is an increase from 16 members in March. This increase should be directly attributed to the rollout of the JEA Curriculum.

Happenings: Sarah Nichols, Kelly Furnas and Mark Newton extended their stay after the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas to meet with 12 local advisers at Southwest Career and Technical Academy as part of the continued relationship to support the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists. Each of these content experts presented sessions on topics important to this regional area, such as press law and ethics and the current direction of 21st century scholastic journalism, as well as sharing their general wealth of knowledge with advisers who vary in experience. This was an amazing experience and hundreds of thanks to them for donating their time to support this regional organization.

The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists hosted its Inaugural J-Day Oct. 18 at Rancho High School. At the time of this report, 18 schools had registered with 100+ participants expected to attend. The event will culminate with the results of the Third Annual SNSJ Yearbook Awards. In its third year, the contest yielded 630 entries and 280 will be recognized.

Honors and achievements:

Southwest Shadow of Southwest Career and Technical Academy was awarded an Online News Pacemaker at NSPA/JEA San Diego Convention. They also were recognized as the overall Best-in-Show winner for Publication Website – Small School.

Legacy High School was awarded a Ninth Place honor in the NSPA Best-in-Show for Yearbook – 224 pages or less.

Shannon Sneade of Las Vegas Academy was awarded 2014 Nevada Journalist of the Year.

Las Vegas High School, Legacy High School, Liberty High School, and SWCTA were all recognized in the 19th edition of the NSPA Best of the High School Press.

NSPA Cartoon of the Year Finalist:  Andrea GalvanSouthwest Shadow, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, NV

For the board: Currently in discussion with Liz Walsh of Reno High School about the implementation of a statewide journalism contest and the implementation of a northern Nevada regional journalism group.

Susan V. Everett, MJE
New Jersey State Director
78 Lincoln St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307-3633

Membership: Current JEA Membership in New Jersey is 54, of which 41 are individuals and 13 are institutions and organizations. Most individual members join in conjunction with their Garden State Scholastic Press Association membership.

JEA information and materials will be included in the packets given to advisers at the GSSPA fall conference Oct. 27.

New Jersey has endured a number of censorship issues in the last year, leading to changes in adviser at three high schools. Advisers defending their students’ press rights have included Bill Gurden at Pemberton H.S., Tom McHale at Hunterdon Central H.S. and John Wodnick at Northern Highlands H.S.

Partially as a result of these situations, GSSPA’s fall keynote will be a panel comprising Frank LoMonte of SPLC, reporter Phil Gianficaro of Calkins Media, who wrote about the Pemberton situation in the Burlington County Times, and two college freshman students who were editors of censored papers last school year.

Agustin Kintanar
New Mexico State Director
Albuquerque Academy
6400 Wyoming Blvd. N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Starr Sackstein, MJE
New York State Director
World Journalism Prep School
34-65 192nd St. Third Floor
Flushing, NY 11358

Membership: Membership has fluctuated, but right now it seems to be down. There are major budget issues in New York and after all of the promotional memberships lapsing, I’m having a hard time getting people to renew. We have 22 members.

There is ongoing communication through the group Facebook page.

Happenings: Baruch will have its high school collaborative Dec. 11. This one-day journalism conference is free to NYC journalism programs. They also have the presentation of Newsies Awards for city schools.

Columbia Scholastic Press Association has its fall conference Nov. 3.

The ESSPA Conference will be held at Syracuse University Oct. 24.

Awards and honors: Cortney Weisman’s yearbook students from Ward Melville High School are up for Design of the  Year from JEA/NSPA.

Michael Simons has news of a yearbook merger: “Skjöld (West H.S.) and Logos (East H.S.) ended their 51-year history and merged to the new Tesserae Yearbook (@tesseraeyearbook on Instagram) at the new Corning-Painted Post H.S.”

Marva Hutchinson
North Carolina State Director
Providence Senior High School
1800 Pineville-Matthews Rd
Charlotte, NC 28270

Membership: Current JEA membership total for North Carolina is 57. Advisers currently may join/renew JEA through a joint membership opportunity with North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association.

Events: NCSMA’s annual workshops offer instruction to more than 1,700 students and teachers.

The fall regional workshops are currently underway. These workshops are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout October. We began at The Charlotte Observer, with instructional sessions actually in The Observer’s building. We will conclude the workshops in Eastern North Carolina on Oct. 30 with the Northeast/Southeast regional workshop at East Carolina University. These six workshops are co-hosted with newspapers and universities across our state. They offer low-cost workshops for students who may not otherwise attend a scholastic journalism event. Registration fee of $15 includes lunch.

The 2014 summer N.C. Scholastic Media Institute provided four days of intense instruction in yearbook, newspaper, TV news, online news, literary magazine, design, advising and photography for students and teachers from across the state.  The 2015 dates are June 15-18.

NCSMA continues to offer graduate-level courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication specifically for high school journalism teachers. Funding for tuition and lodging is available to N.C. high school journalism teachers through NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program. The summer 2014 course was JOMC 491, “Teaching Online News in the Secondary School.” The summer 2015 course, to be taught by UNC’s Steven King, will be “Teaching Photojournalism in the Secondary School.

Initiatives and vision: The Carolina Sports Journalism Camp continues to support the outreach efforts of the N.C. Scholastic Media Association. This four-day workshop provided an exciting new summer camp opportunity on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Forty students from across the country take a behind-the-scenes sports media tour, interview a Tar Heel athlete, attend a UNC-CH sports writing class and learn sports play-by-play. The 2015 residential camp, June 24-27, will again allow students to experience campus life and explore sports journalism.

Awards: One former North Carolina adviser will receive JEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Boston. Congratulations to Carol Eanes.

North Carolina’s High School Journalist of the Year, Lauren Stepp of West Henderson High, was named alternate in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition.

Roars and Whispers Literary Magazine of Providence Senior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a finalist in the Design of the Year competition. There are only three finalists in the literary magazine category.

CSPA announced the following Gold Circle Awards last month:

Literary Magazine

  • CM Traditional Fiction, Roars and Whispers, Providence Senior High School, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Second Place Humor, Roars and Whispers, Providence Senior High School, Charlotte, N.C.
  • First Place Designed or Art Headline, Blutopia, Gaston Day School, Gastonia, N.C.
  • Third Place Single Spread Page Design, Roars and Whispers, Providence Senior High School, Charlotte, N.C.


  • Second Place Personality Profile, Albrokan, AL Brown High School, Kannapolis, N.C.
  • First Place Headline Writing, Albrokan, AL Brown High School, Kannapolis, N.C.
  • First Place Opening & Closing Spread Design, Albrokan, AL Brown High School, Kannapolis, N.C.
  • First Place Sports Page Multi-page Presentation, Albrokan, AL Brown High School, Kannapolis, N.C.

Mentors: Four mentors currently serve North Carolina. Many thanks to Cornelia Harris, Phyllis Cooper, Carol Eanes and Sue Farlow.

Sue Skalicky, MJE
North Dakota State Director
Legacy High School
806 N. Washington
Bismarck, ND 58501

Membership: North Dakota has 13 JEA members.

Events: Northern Interscholastic Press Association (NIPA) spring competition March 30, 2014, West Fargo High School, West Fargo, N.D.

Northern Interscholastic Press Association (NIPA) fall workshop Oct. 2, 2014, Bismarck State College, Bismarck, N.D.

Initiatives and vision: I am advising the newspaper and yearbook at our new school, Legacy High School, as well as advising the newspaper at Century High School. I will be full time at Legacy next fall when the new building opens. It is an exciting time for the staff at Legacy as we explore implementing a flex/mod schedule in 2015-2016 as well as the possibility of a mandatory capstone project required for graduation. I have been visiting extensively with our principal about what this could look like for journalism. Some ideas we are tossing around are on-location teaching at news facilities, internships that take place during school hours, professionals in the classroom, large group instruction, etc.

As part of my MJE project, I am presenting adviser classes/workshops at three state journalism workshops during the school year. In the spring I had three advisers and two students attend my classes, but at our fall workshop in Bismarck, Oct. 2, I had over 50 advisers and editors attend. Of the advisers who attended the classes, only three are JEA members. I gave all the other advisers information on JEA and showed them the journalism curriculum. I also gave the JEA members a chance to share their testimony of how JEA has benefited them.

With the increase of advisers joining JEA in our state, it is my vision/goal to start a Facebook page to help offer a PLC-like environment online where we can share best practices and offer advice in troubleshooting issues in the high school newsroom. I have had three new advisers approach me to ask if I would mentor them. Because they live outside of Bismarck, the Facebook page would help bridge the distance. In addition, I have met with all of them when they have been in Bismarck and we correspond frequently by email.

I am expecting JEA membership in North Dakota to reach an all-time high this year. I attribute this growth to the new JEA journalism curriculum and the addition of adviser classes being offered at state journalism events.

The New Voices Act: From my spring report – “In light of the 25th anniversary of the Hazelwood decision, a growing group of active journalists, journalism professors, advisers and students in North Dakota are working to restore the Tinker standard of student expression in high schools and colleges through passing The New Voices Act legislation. This bill, when passed, will protect high school and college journalists in North Dakota from court interpretations from Hazelwood and restore full expression rights to these journalists.

Currently, advisers, professors and students are continuing to research and garner the support of legislators and national scholastic press organizations as they continue to write the bill and plan out the campaign.”

As January approaches and legislators are preparing for the legislative session which begins in January, the New Voices Act board continues its efforts to prepare the New Voices Act bill for consideration during that session.


NIPA awards – awarded at the spring NIPA competition March 30, 2014

Service to School and Community Award:

Devils Lake Staff – Devils Lake High School

NIPA Photographer of the Year – 2013-2014:

Cassy Birrenkott

West Fargo High School

JIA/NIPA Journalist of the Year – 2013-2014:

Elsa Bollinger

West Fargo High School

Georgia Dunn, MJE
Ohio State Director
1001 Blossom Heath Road
Lebanon, OH 45036
H: 513-836-3150 | C: 513-304-9932

Membership: Currently, we officially have 67 members. Last year at this time, we had 59. This is the time of year that many of our members renew their membership through the state organization. Also, many people whose membership has lapsed have told me they will be renewing soon.

We launched an initiative to increase Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) and JEA membership. The staff of the Talisman of Delaware Hayes High School spent many hours gathering names and email addresses for the over 800 high school principals in the state. OSMA then sent emails to each of these principals. We had positive results with several new schools attending fall workshops through the interaction between advisors and their administrators.

Happenings: Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) will hold its fifth state conference at Kent on April 10-11, 2015. We will be honoring our state Journalist of the Year as well as the many overall and individual award winners for the year in newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook and broadcast. We will also be conducting day-of contests and awarding those prizes at the banquet on Friday evening. New this year the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State will present a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior who has been admitted to Kent State for the fall semester 2015.
Awards: Students across the state received many national awards as well as numerous individual and staff awards. Congratulations to the many winners.

Top award winners at the state level:
All-Ohio newsmagazine – Lakota East Spark
All-Ohio newspaper – Centerburg H.S. TheTrojan Crier
Bexley H.S. Torch

National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) has selected OSMA president Wayne Dunn and State Director Georgia Dunn as recipients of the Pioneer Award, NSPA’s high award.

Mentors: We have begun the eighth year of the JEA mentoring project, underwritten by several state funders. The mentors are Wayne and Georgia Dunn.

2007 – four mentees
2008 – five mentees
2009 – seven mentees
2010 – seven mentees
2011 – six mentees
2012 – six mentees
2013 – six mentees
2014 – five mentees
2015 – six mentees

At the most recent regional workshop of OSMA, we had six former mentees in attendance, three of whom led workshops and six of whom are OSMA board members. In addition, two new mentees brought students. The mentoring program, along with the ASNE programs, has given new life to our organization, bringing in young advisers who will continue as active leaders in the profession.

In light of the uncertainty of JEA’s continued support for the mentoring program, the OSMA board made a commitment to proceed with the mentoring program regardless of JEA’s involvement. Testimonials from previous mentees as well as the presence of so many of these same former mentees in leadership positions show the initiative’s success in Ohio.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: As in all states it seems (even those with laws protecting student speech!), we deal with censorship issues in Ohio. Currently, we are not aware of any high-profile cases, but we continue to monitor situations as they are brought to our attention. The Scholastic Media group at the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication keeps an interactive map of all reported censorship issues not only in Ohio but also throughout the country.

For the board: At the state level we would like to see renewed efforts to receive input from all areas of the membership: experienced, inexperienced, middle/junior high school, high school and others. Our membership wants to know how appointments for various liaisons, committee chairs and other positions are made. Is there an application process? If so, how do members find out about these opportunities?

Darla Tresner, MJE
Oklahoma State Director
Bartlesville High School
3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006

Membership: Excitement is growing in Oklahoma as we begin a new drive to expand membership and services to the advisers of our state. Interest in membership is up. Since the last report I have spoken to many advisers across the state during numerous spring state conferences and summer workshops. Also, a new state Facebook page is broadening our reach as well as participation in the popular #jerdchat project, led by Oklahoma adviser Lisa Snider as well as Starr Sackstein from New York.

Events: An advisory board was formed last year comprised of dedicated advisers from across the state. During meetings with Oklahoma advisers it was determined that there is interest in reviving a state summer workshop, geographically diverse adviser meetings and leadership training for editors, as well as pursuing the identification in Oklahoma of journalism courses as college-bound electives. Some advisers are also interested in a movement to pass legislation to protect student journalists’ First Amendment rights.

For the board: It would be especially helpful for us to have board members attend one of our spring state conferences.

J.D. McIntire
Oregon State Director
Sandy High School
37400 Bell Street
Sandy, OR 97055
503-668-8011 ext. 7227

Susan Gregory, MJE
Pennsylvania State Director
Conestoga High School
200 Irish Road
Berwyn, PA 19312

Membership: Pennsylvania has 58 members. We picked up a handful over the summer and fall.

Events: The PSPA Student Journalism Competitions (SJC) begin Oct. 14 at PSU Harrisburg. Four more follow at PSU Lehigh Valley, PSU Main Campus, Temple University and Point Park University through the beginning of December. The one-day event includes a keynote speaker, sessions, and 20 write-off contests. Winners advance to the state competition in State College in March 2015.

I am working with Juliana Gover of the 76ers on a 76ers Journalism Day. The tentative date is Feb. 3, 2015.

Doreen Picozzi, CJE
Rhode Island State Director
Lincoln High School
135 Old River Road
Lincoln, RI 02865

Karen Flowers, CJE
South Carolina State Director
South Carolina Scholastic Press Assn.

Southern Interscholastic Press Association
School of Journalism and Mass Communications University of South Carolina

Membership: The JEA directory shows 22 members in JEA.

  • 11 active advisers (non mentees)
  • one retired adviser (mentor)
  • three advisers (mentees)
  • two lifetime members (1 adviser/1 former adviser)
  • two yearbook reps
  • two scholastic journalism organization staff (1 retired adviser/1 former student)
  • one university

I have contacted headquarters to get a list of dates for membership renewals and will follow up with those who need to renew.

I have talked with a number of advisers who say that they are struggling just to keep membership in our state organization (only $40). I remind them that JEA is an organization just for advisers, not the publications.

We had to give up our SCSPA membership when it expired because of the increase in cost – from $60 to $100. We had been able to put JEA as an option on our membership forms and used the $5 rebate to pay SCSPA’s membership. However, with the $40 increase in fees, we knew we would lose money because we would not have enough members joining through SCSPA to pay the membership, and our budget (and our board) would not allow that. Some members have still sent in their JEA membership fee to SCSPA and we have paid it.

Events: We had our fall conference Oct. 6 with almost 700 attendees – the largest number we have had since 2002 with one exception – 2009 when we had 691.

Initiatives and vision: We were unable to carry through with our plans to have an Adviser-Administrator Symposium during the 2014 SIPA convention. The task of planning was too large for the space of time we gave ourselves, and in thinking through our plan, we decided to take another approach.

SCSPA and SIPA are partnering and together the boards of each organization have revamped the plan. We have a new name – Why Student Media? Symposium.

Among the speakers will be:

  • National and regional administrators of the year Dr. Al Leonard, South Pointe High School (S.C.) principal, and Beverley Bowman, Nation Ford High School (S.C.) principal
  • National yearbook adviser of the year Mary Kay Downes (Va.)
  • National yearbook adviser and journalism teacher of the year Brenda Gorsuch (N.C.)
  • Mississippi Scholastic Press Association director R.J. Morgan
  • Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte

Symposium sessions will be 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A certificate for recertification credit will be in the principal’s packet. We are inviting principals to the Advisers Awards Luncheon at noon, the Scholarship and Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. and the Advisers Auction at 9 p.m. We will encourage them to attend any other convention sessions.

Our marketing began at the SCSPA fall conference. We put an envelope addressed to “the administrator who works with student media” in each registered adviser’s packet. The envelope contained a brochure and a letter of invitation. Now we are sending out that information to SIPA members.

The symposium will be Feb. 28, 2015 at the Downtown Marriott in Columbia.

BG TIME scholarship continues under a new name: Joining Generations Multimedia Contest. The funding was cut, so students are the only ones receiving money – $750 for First; $500 for Second, and $250 for Third. Advisers of winning students had received $250 each.

SCSPA’s partnership with the Central Carolina Community Foundation (funding for the scholarships) and the S.C. Lieutenant Governor’s office (support and publishing the winners on their website) has helped our public relations outreach.

Awards: The 2014 Bruce E. Konkle Rising Star is Jennifer Erxleban, a yearbook adviser (and former mentee) at South Florence H.S. in Florence, S.C.


Most Improved Magazine:

I, Impulse, South Pointe HS, Rock Hill, S.C.

Best SCSPA Magazine:

Voices, Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.

Most Improved Yearbook :

Legend, Wando HS, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Best S.C. Scholastic Yearbook:

Reflections, Mauldin HS, Greenville, S.C.

Spring (2014) awards:

At our April 22 SCSPA conference we awarded individuals:

  • Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year to Chuck Walker, newspaper, online, broadcast and yearbook adviser at Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.
  • 2014 Journalist of the Year is Jamie Mason, newspaper and broadcast student at Dutch Fork HS, Irmo, S.C.
  • Albert T. Scroggins Award was presented to Beverley Bowman, principal at Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.
  • SCSPA/Jostens Yearbook Scholarship winner was Morgan Gobbi, yearbook staff at Lexington HS in Lexington, S.C.


Most Improved Broadcast Program:
Wave TV, Summerville HS, Summerville, S.C.

Best in Broadcast:
Wave TV, Summerville HS, Summerville, S.C.

Most Improved Newspaper :
The Talon, Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.

Best S.C. Scholastic Newspaper:
Tribal Tribune, Wando HS, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

South Carolina has one mentor, Marilyn Chapman. Both SCSPA and SIPA give mentors and mentees free memberships and we give a free registration to a first-time mentee to the SIPA convention.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: We are hoping to address our First Amendment challenges – so many staffs under prior review – with the “Why Student Media” symposium.

Communication continues to be our No. 1 challenge AND concern. Since we have so many ways to contact our members – snail mail, email, Facebook and Twitter – communication should be fast, but is a lot slower and more difficult today than ever before.

Getting money in from schools/districts has become a challenge. District policies continue to change and staffs have to jump through so many hoops to get from the invoice to the payment. Frustrated advisers give up rather than deal with these difficult procedures and decide not to join or come to events.

We have also noticed a rise in the number of late registrations for conferences because of the difficulty of getting field trips approved.

So many obstacles are in the way of helping today’s scholastic journalism advisers. They have so much on their plates and not enough time to think of much other than core curriculum, standards, large classes, new technology – and the worst is, “What am I going to do to keep my j-program going???”

So many hours of my day are spent in trying to reach out to them just to let them know there is someone who understands and cares. But they often don’t have the time to listen.

I’m frustrated. And they are too. But I still have the passion for scholastic journalism I developed over 40 years ago and with it I will plunge ahead trying to be here for them, so they, too, can have the joy I had in scholastic journalism.

Deb Rothenberger, MJE
South Dakota State Director
Brandon Valley High School
301 S. Splitrock Blvd.
Brandon, SD 57005

Membership: South Dakota JEA membership increased in part because of the South Dakota Newspaper Association and the North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation’s grant program established to revive high school journalism in South Dakota and North Dakota. The grant provided the recipients either one-year JEA membership, participation in an online adviser training workshop, funds to attend a high school journalism convention, or funds dedicated to a journalism project requested by a publications adviser.

Happenings: The South Dakota High School Press Convention will be April 1, 2015 at the South Dakota State University in Brookings. The publication deadlines for the First Edition Newspaper Contest, the Newspaper Contest, the Yearbook Contest and the Writing Contest entries are due Jan. 20, 2015. Entries should be submitted to the South Dakota High School Activities Association (instead of the South Dakota High School Press Association), 804 N. Euclid, Suite 102, PO Box 1217, Pierre, SD 57501.

Publication advisers who have recommendations to improve the SDHSAA Journalism Program or who have concerns with the program should contact their area’s representative on the Advisory Committee.

Honors and awards: The publication contest results will be announced at the afternoon general session of the press convention. SDHSPA coordinator Jessica Jensen will also present the Founders Award.

Heather Nagel
Tennessee State Director
Christ Presbyterian Academy
2323 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215

Membership: The current JEA membership in Tennessee is 37. Outreach measures include collecting email addresses for Tennessee advisers and sending them an informational email about what JEA has to offer. Also, at the Oct. 17 workshop, information pamphlets were passed out to JEA members and non-members regarding JEA and what it has to offer.

Events: On Oct. 17, the Tennessee High School Press Association hosted its annual workshop at Lipscomb University. More than 300 students registered to attend. There will be over 40 presenters at this workshop with various sessions over such topics as writing, editing, First Amendment, social media, radio, broadcasting, design, staff management and photography.

Alyssa Boehringer
Texas State Director
McKinney High School
1400 Wilson Creek Pkwy.
McKinney, TX 75071
C: 214-385-7078 | W: 469-302-5700

Membership: Texas JEA membership is at 252, reflecting a slight increase from this time last year. TAJE executive director Rhonda Moore contacts members annually to renew JEA membership.

Events and happenings: The state convention ILPC will fall on the same weekend as the spring JEA convention in Denver.

Regional reps for TAJE have numerous summer workshops planned. TAJE secretary Margie Raper partnered with School Newspapers Online to develop an all-online journalism workshop at the Frisco ISD CTE Center in August. This workshop was met with great success.

The TAJE board will meet at the TAJE convention Oct. 24 to discuss further plans.

TAJE operates its own website and listserv at In addition, the board maintains a Facebook page and Twitter account to disseminate information from JEA and TAJE.

Awards and honors: Our main man Mark Murray will receive the Carl Towley Award in Washington, D.C. This state director speaks for all Texas advisers in saying we couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to have someone like Mark with us in the Lone Star State. We’re so proud. Congratulations to Mark on this incredible honor.

Terri Hall, CJE
Utah State Director
Davis High School
325 S. Davis Blvd.
Kaysville, UT 84037

Membership: In Utah, membership stands at a total of 12, with nine teachers and three professional associations or universities.

Initiatives and vision: Need to work toward identifying state conventions (usually there is one in February at Utah Valley University) and increasing participation in these workshops.

Concerns: Although the climate seems to support prior review more than a free scholastic press, the culture of the state does seem to be changing. Through education and assistance to advisers and students, the voices can be heard and change, although slow at first, is a possibility.

If you would like to join the Utah high school journalism PLC, please contact me at or

Nancy A. Olson, CJE
Vermont State Director
45 Pratt Road
Putney, VT 05346

Membership: Currently, Vermont has two JEA members, the same as last year.
Because I retired in June 2013 from teaching English and journalism at Brattleboro Union High School, I took the mentor training in July 2014 at the Advisers Institute in Las Vegas. The training was excellent preparation although I have yet to find mentees.

Happenings: With Community College of Vermont relocating in fall 2014 to the newly renovated Brooks House in downtown Brattleboro, opportunities exist to offer journalism courses with internship possibilities at The Commons, a weekly whose offices are across the street.

The newly revised JEA State Directors Guide describes ways to build a vital state organization. I would like to start a Facebook page as a way to link the state’s geographically disparate areas. It’s a way of letting potential members know about the amazing curriculum available to them once they join JEA.

Valerie Kibler, CJE
Virginia State Director
Harrisonburg High School
1001 Garber’s Church Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Membership: JEA membership has fluctuated a tad, with JEA membership at approximately 80 and VAJTA membership at 52. The new JEA curriculum has been cited as a reason for some former members coming back on board this year.


Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. has been the focus for 34 local committee members from Virginia for the past year. Advisers have worked diligently to plan the best convention experience ever for what we hope will be a record-setting attendance in D.C. Nov. 6-9.

jDay in Virginia will be held April 10-11 at Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA and will feature Kris Doran and Jim Streisel as keynote presenters. There will also be multiple workshop sessions in a variety of strands for students to attend as well as write-off competitions on site. Students and advisers from other states are welcome to attend.

jRetreat in Virginia is a new event for us this year and is for advisers only. This will be held January 16 and 17 in Petersburg, Va. and will feature adviser-in-residence Aaron Manfull. Cost is $25 for VAJTA members and $35 for non-members. Out-of-state advisers are welcome to join us! Programming will include cutting-edge teaching methodologies for journalism teachers and collaboration among attendees.

jCamp will be held again this year at James Madison University July 12-16, sponsored by VAJTA and JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design department. Brad Jenkins, adviser for JMU’s The Breeze newspaper will serve as co-director of the camp along with Valerie Kibler. Students and advisers from other states are welcome to attend.

Awards and honors: Chris Waugaman, VAJTA Director, was named as the 2014 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and will be recognized at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.

Teresa Johnson, principal of Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Va. has been named the JEA Administrator of the Year and will receive her award at the D.C. convention.

Valerie Kibler, VAJTA Treasurer and JEA State Director, will receive the JEA Medal of Merit and the NSPA Pioneer Award at the D.C. convention.

Sandra Coyer, MJE
Washington State Director
Puyallup High School
105 Seventh St. SW
Puyallup, WA  98371
253-841-8711, Ext. 6608

Membership: Current state membership in the national organization is 73, which does not include affiliate members. The state organization WJEA has 110 members, so some state members are not national members and vice versa.

Last spring, as an added incentive to belong to both organizations, only members with dual membership were eligible for a free recognition plaque for a graduating senior. Members who only belong to the WJEA had to pay $35.00.

Awards and honors: This spring, Kay Locey will be recognized by the JEA with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Locey retired May 2013 from Gov. John R. Rogers High School in Puyallup, Wash. where she taught English and advised the Commoner newsmagazine. Locey has been involved as a state mentor and continues to be involved in the WJEA Board.

The JEA SPRC Making a Difference Project is featuring for the month of October The Bagpiper staff at Freeman High School in Rockford, Wash. as the first school in a 10-part series for work they did interviewing local veterans for their Veteran’s Day publication.

Several publications have also been honored as NSPA Pacemaker finalists. They include Renton High School’s Arrow newsmagazine; Puyallup High School’s The Viking Vanguard, Broadsheet 9-16 pages; University Prep High School’s Puma Press, Tabloid 16 or fewer pages; Ballard High School’s Talisman, Tabloid 17 or more pages and The Apple Leaf from Wenatchee High School, Tabloid 17 or more pages.

Events: Western Washington University was the site of our WJEA Summer Workshop with expert-in-residence Sarah Nichols, Aug. 1-4. The students this year got to participate in a variety of activities that allowed them to produce publishable works from the actual workshop. Students enrolled in the Advanced Journalistic Writing major session worked with photographers in the Photojournalism session as well as the Graphic Design Major Session to produce magazine spreads featuring musicians from one of the concurrently running orchestra camps. Students in the Feature Writing minor sessions did a spin on the “Humans of J-Camp” idea to produce short pieces. All products are available for viewing at the WJEA website (

WJEA held the first of two journalism days this fall Sept. 18 at the University of Washington in Seattle. Paris Jackson, a weekday traffic anchor and reporter for KOMO 4 News Team, was the keynoter.

The second journalism day is scheduled for Oct. 27 at Whitworth University in Spokane. The keynote speaker is Stephanie Vigil, a morning anchor for KHQ news team.

Several Seattle area advisers got together Oct. 10 to hold their own professional development during a state-inservice day.

Jessica Bramer
West Virginia State Director
John Marshall High School
1300 Wheeling Ave
Glen Dale, WV 26038

Happenings: A statewide meet-and-greet is currently being planned to be held in the Morgantown area this spring. Focuses for the event will be recruiting and resources available to members. A Facebook group has been set up to allow members statewide the opportunity to network. Search Facebook for “JEA in WV” and submit a request to join.

Awards and honors: Two West Virginia JEA members were selected as fellows for the ASNE/Reynolds High School Journalism Institute held at the University of Texas – Austin this July. Shana Karnes from Morgantown High School in Morgantown and myself, Jessica Bramer from John Marshall High School in Glen Dale.

Sandy Jacoby
Wisconsin State Director
3511 288th Ave.
Salem, WI 53168

Dawn Knudsvig
Wyoming State Director
Arvada-Clearmont High School
1601 Meade Ave.
P.O. Box 125
Clearmont, WY 82835

Membership: Wyoming’s JEA membership consists of six advisers.

Happenings: On Oct. 6, 215 students and advisers attended the Annual State Journalism Convention in Casper, Wy. The keynote speaker, Aaron Ontiveroz from the Denver Post, spoke about the processes behind his award-winning photography. Ontiveroz’s coverage of the Denver Broncos included traveling to New York for Super Bowl XLVII. He also traveled to Russia to cover the Winter Olympics.

Professors from Wyoming colleges and the university were on hand to present workshops for students and advisers. Presenters from the University of Wyoming included Cindy Price-Schultz, Ken Smith, Conrad Smith, and Eric Wiltse. Other presenters included Dennis Davis and Christine Garceau from Northwest Community College, Amanda Nicholoff and Gabbie Cappiello from Central Wyoming Community College, and Peter VanHoughten from Casper College.

Several workshops were presented by representatives from Wyoming Magazine, the online newsgroup Wyopreps, and the Wyoming Boys/Girls Club.

Judges met with students at the convention to critique their entries. Yearbook judges were Kathy Daly and Kristi Rathbun from Colorado, and the newspaper judge was Stan Zoller from Illinois.

Board Members elected at the adviser meeting are as follows: President, Katherine Patrick president; Vice-President, Liz Masterson; Secretary, Polly Burkett; Secretary-Elect Heather Goodwine; Public Relations Facilitator, Nicole Sherwood; Treasurer, Greg Rohrer; At-Large Members, Kelly Fulmer, Lynn Forcella; Webmaster, Erika Quick; WHSAA Representative, Diane Rodriguez; and Executive Director, Dawn Knudsvig.

Mike Riley is the State JEA Mentor and addressed the advisers at the meeting. Riley will work with new advisers as mentees and encouraged new advisers to sign up.

Awards and honors: See the website.

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