Semiannual report for spring 2015

Semiannual report for spring 2015

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 2,271, up 209 members from a comparable time last spring and 33 from last fall. That’s about a 10 percent gain in voting members, and our highest membership total since fall 2012. We stand at the highest level of paid membership in the organization’s history.

Unfortunately, we have seen pockets of decline. Thirteen states saw drops in membership since last spring, although none of them was a double-digit decline. By comparison, California, our largest state, saw a 10 percent increase from last spring to 277 members. Texas, our second largest state, increased by the largest number of members — 35 — to stand at 257 members.

It’s also worth noting that for the first time since Spring 2013, we have at least one member in every state.

Jan. 4-7: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Scholastic Division Meeting, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Jan. 16-18: Joint JEA/NSPA Board of Directors Meeting, Chicago
Feb. 13-15: Convention Planning Meeting, Denver
Feb. 20-22: JEA Board of Directors Budget Planning Session, Manhattan, Kan.
March 13-15: Convention Planning Meeting, Los Angeles

For the board: We are about two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year, and our financial position remains solid. We have earned $680,189 in gross profit (about 73 percent of our budget), and spent $617,329 for a net operating revenue of $62,859.

The organization stands with about $1.56 million in total current assets.

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

Nearly a year into 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 Washington, D.C. meeting last November and the subsequent motions and results.

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

  • Attending a JEA board work session to prepare the 2015-16 budget.
  • Attending a board-to-board meeting with our convention partner NSPA to discuss the spring convention model and identify viable opportunities for additional partnerships. I offered to serve on the NSPA critique committee.
  • Continuing to work with the Society of Professional Journalists Education Committee supporting its research and reporting efforts on scholastic journalism and the spring release of its new book on scholastic media.
  • Supporting and guiding all the JEA leaders who took office May 1.
  • Continuing 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.
  • Supporting Denver convention chair Jack Kennedy as hosts of this spring’s convention. I am the SPLC auction co-chair.

My main focus has continued to be supporting all the new JEA leaders. A good portion of my time has been supporting and empowering their efforts, particularly two new committees: diversity (Stan Zoller) and principal outreach (Carrie Faust). I have been quite impressed!

I continue to focus 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 spring board of directors and general membership meetings in Denver. 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. So many people make JEA great — and I can’t thank you all enough.

I’m excited about our ideas and plans as we work together to move JEA forward in the remaining few 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

For the past few months I have given careful consideration to each of the five goals JEA board members developed during our retreat in May 2014. Much of my work has been reading, research and outreach toward administrator groups, Career and Technical Education and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. At the same time, it has been rewarding to take part in so many virtual JEA activities such as the One Book Twitter discussion, online curriculum chats and Scholastic Journalism Week festivities via social media. I am really proud of the programming happening in our organization and grateful to the dedicated volunteers who are making it happen.

During the past few months I have been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

• Attending a joint meeting in Chicago with JEA/NSPA board members in January 2015 to review the spring convention model and explore opportunities for additional collaboration. As a result, I am now member of a new committee comprised of members from both boards.

• Attending a budget planning meeting in February 2015 at JEA Headquarters.

• Working with a team of Scholastic Press Rights Committee members to produce sample staff manual materials for an ethics and responsibility package, as well as attending the SPRC retreat at Kent State in March 2015.

• Creating and promoting new audio clips for the Press Rights Minute feature on SoundCloud.

• Working with Kelly Furnas on the JEA Curriculum Initiative to support our 11 curriculum leaders, as well as coordinating with Kim Green and Certification to align the CJE test to the skill areas of the curriculum modules.

• Maintaining JEA’s social media presence through our Facebook page (including a special series to recognize JEA’s 90th birthday) and Instagram account.

• Posting articles as a contributor to the JEA Digital Media site.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on this team as part of the largest — and best — organization for journalism educators in the world.  I am grateful for our headquarters staff, board members, committee chairs, state directors and other volunteers. I look forward to continued collaboration toward our goals.

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

Since our last meeting in November, I’ve been busy bolstering communication between JEA and the scholastic press associations and serving on the Scholastic Press Rights and the Certification committees. Through those venues, I’ve worked to support JEA’s five goals in the following ways:

• Served on the committee of JEA, NSPA and Quill & Scroll representatives who selected first- and then second-round winners for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award for 2015. Sent letters to congratulate winners and ones to those who didn’t win to explain what their problems were with their applications and to encourage them to apply for 2016.

• Participated in a joint JEA/NSPA board member meeting in Chicago in January 2015 to rethink the spring convention model and find additional ways to collaborate.

• Was named to the JEA/NSPA joint task force to brainstorm and move forward on projects that are valuable for both groups’ members.

• Attended the board’s budget planning meeting at JEA Headquarters in February 2015.

• Hosted Scholastic Press Rights Committee members on Kent State’s campus for a retreat in March 2015 to produce an ethics and responsibility package for staff manuals.

• Posted two blogs to the Scholastic Press Rights site: “Contest can help promote students making decisions” (Feb. 2) and “Set a good example: Credit others’ work” (Dec. 3).

• Wrote a Dow Jones News Fund Adviser Upate article (for April publication) to announce FAPFA winners and highlight the program.

• Set up a listserv for the scholastic press association directors and interested officers. To date we have 35 members who have shared concerns and tips on topics ranging from Journalist of the Year contests to posting the Panic Button on state association websites, from critique books to collaborative research projects, from affiliate status to digital contest submission. In addition, I’ve worked with vice president Sarah Nichols to share all state director information with the SPA directors and have promoted other JEA news on the Scholastic Press Association Roundtable Facebook page.

• Scored tests from Washington, D.C. and one other site for the Certification Committee.

• Worked with my curriculum leader counterpart, Lori Keekley, to better align Certification test questions with the curriculum she has developed for law and ethics.

It’s been a busy few months with more planned for the future, including gearing up for the next nominations and elections. Thanks for your support and continued interest in helping all of us grow an even better JEA.

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

The censorship beast continues to raise its ugly head across the country, and across adviser experience. SPRC members continue to assist whenever they receive notification, either by personal contact or by use of the Panic Button. 

The commission spent a significant amount of its time working on what we call Ethics in Student Media and Policies in Student Media projects. These projects are a two-fold effort to combine policy, ethics and staff manual procedure into an integrated approach where strong policy sets the stage for an ethical guideline and staff manual combination.


SPRC members Jane Blystone, Candace Perkins Bowen, Marina Hendricks, Megan Fromm, Sarah Nichols, Lori Keekley and Mark Goodman work to finish the Ethics in Student Media and Policies in Student Media projects the weekend of March 5-8 at Kent State University.

To spur this development, SPRC members working with students and advisers facing censorship found instances where schools tried to enforce ethics statements because police, ethics and staff manual points were all listed in a common document without being distinguished.

Ethical principles should not be used as “will” or “must” expectations and should not be intermixed with editorial policy statements at the board or publication levels. Administrators should not be able to claim they can punish student journalists for ethical lapses. Policy should be seldom changed but when intertwined with staff manual procedure becomes more easily changeable.

Hence, work on these two projects urges a package that clearly separates policy from ethics guidelines and staff manuals.

The idea of the projects also was not to dictate policy, ethics or staff manual models but to provide a menu of items from which schools could select.

For example, we have four model board-level policies and one for publication level. All parts can be woven into a new document, but all stress student media should be “designated public forums for student expression where students make all final content decisions.”

From there, students and advisers can choose from a long menu of ethical principles and staff manual models for each. For many of the ethical and staff manual models there are also resources to help with educational perspectives

The idea is not to prescribe but to provide intertwined proactive models schools can adapt to their situations.  

Individual reports
Jane Blystone, MJE

I have posted two Making a Difference blogs and have written an article for C:JET on how to cover school boards so as to avoid prior restraint and censorship as a result. I am working on SPRC documents for the retreat.

Candace Bowen, MJE
Since the Washington, D.C. convention in November, I have:

• Written a law column for Dow Jones Adviser Update, highlighting the seven winners of the 2015 First Amendment Press Free Awards. I also collected photos (with cutlines and student photographer credits) so we will have a page and a half in the spring edition, promoting the value of the award and encouraging others to apply for next year.

• Served on the First Amendment Press Freedom Awards selection committee for both rounds. After Round 2, I sent congratulations to the seven winners, sent letters to the other applicants, explaining what their problems were an encouraging them to apply again next year, and helped write the press release to announce the outcome.

• Worked with JEA curriculum leader Lori Keekley to begin ensuring alignment between the law and ethics curriculum and the CJE tests. This will be an ongoing project, but we have a good start and don’t need to adjust very many questions.

• Contributed to the SPRC blog, posting Feb. 2 (“Contests help promote students making decisions”) and Dec. 3 (part 2 of a 2-part series about plagiarism and copyright issues – “Set a good example: Credit others’ work”). I received and responded to comments on the contest post.

Mary Kay Downes, MJE
For my report I would like to present today’s Washington Post article on Chantilly High School’s Press Freedom award.

In addition, veteran advisers have been asked by FCPS to meet and prepare materials to support new publication advisers to the county. Our meeting is March 9 and we will ensure there will be a great deal of information about press rights for advisers of all of our 26 high schools.

Mitch Eden, MJE
Mitch shared this statement from a student he helped with legal issues:

“I just wanted to formally thank you for all the advice you sent me about communicating with administration, and letting me know that it’s possible to get certain stories published even if it may not seem that way. In our last issue of the first semester, we were able to publish a story about what students at Lindbergh think of sexual education at the high school. In the past, the consequences of this story would have been too feared for it to even be published. Now, we have broken new barriers. It makes me happy to see this publication advance and gain some real respect from students. Hopefully, this will open doors for us in the future to publish stories containing issues that students really care about. Thank you so much for the advice! — Megan Stringer, Editor-in-Chief of the Pilot Newsmagazine

Karen Flowers
At the SIPA convention in February, we had a symposium for administrators and advisers. We titled it “Why Student Media?”

The administrator-principal session (titled “Why Student Media”) at the SIPA convention was a success.

The timing couldn’t have been better because a staff coming to the SIPA convention had been told they had to begin a review board because of a cartoon. They were able to be in the group and get some wonderful advice, and I was able to talk to the adviser later.

We/they plan to continue the symposium next year.

One of the principals said he loved being able to sit and discuss things rather than just sit in sessions.

Megan Fromm, CJE
Since the last report I’ve:
• Written two blog posts for the website.
• Attended the retreat.
• Prepared for a law/ethics session in Denver.
• Contributed individual feedback on the listserv to members asking law/ethics-related questions.

Lori Keekley, MJE
Since the last report I reworked some of the law and ethics portion of JEA’s curriculum. I also have begun helping with a cafeteria-style staff manual and policies document, which will be finalized at the SPRC retreat. When this work is finalized, I will create a new law and ethics curriculum plan for staff manuals and policies. I have answered several help requests for news print help 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.

I think the commission could work on:
• Finishing the manual/policies.
• Improving the Panic Button.
• Educating administrators (many are idiotic when it comes to prior review and censorship).
• Examining the analytics on what people access and read on the site. This might help us figure out what advisers and students most need. We also could create a quick survey to help us focus our energy in the future.

Jeff Kocur, MJE
Sadly, since the D.C. convention, I have done little outreach.

I am really excited about the policy-ethics-staff manual. I attended the related session in D.C. with my editors, and we developed a new draft document of the editorial policy.

I like the Constitution Day assignment. That is probably the area I have been contributing most to, as I work so closely with Lori.

I was wondering about going in a different direction with that next year, such as a national contest for students (essay or most creative/engaging/impactful way a class recognizes Constitution Day, short videos with professional journalists (national or regional) about how their most important application of their constitutional rights.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
In the time since our last report, I have:
• Supported the committee’s goals and projects by promoting #PictureFreedom and First Amendment Press Freedom Award opportunities.
• Worked on the ethics staff manual project with a team of contributors.
• Attended the SPRC retreat, completing projects and brainstorming on 45words, Panic Button, Press Rights Minute and website work in progress.
• Corresponded with advisers regarding censorship questions as needed.

Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE
Oct. 7 at the Minnesota High School Press Association Convention I presented a session on censorship and working with administration using the JEA Think First handouts. I spent time after the session talking with kids from several schools who had issues of censorship.

At the MHSPA convention I also made contact with several newer journalism teachers and shared my staff manual with them, encouraging them to get set forum policies and also shared some of my grading methods.

I wrote a blog for SPRC, but I know I’m behind in those.

I reached out to Diane Lynch, who is the president of Stephens College. She received a McKnight grant to do a report on the future of journalism. I read the article about her grant in my alumni magazine, so I called her to find out if she was including scholastic journalism (specifically at the high school and middle school levels) in her research. She hadn’t even thought about that, and thanked me for the suggestion. She ended up interviewing me and the results of her research have just been published.

Frankly, I’m disappointed she didn’t do more on the scholastic journalism front, but our interview made it into the appendix of the report. Are there more opportunities for us to get our voices heard at this level? The report is online here. My interview is here.

I’ve been working on an opportunity to get student journalists’ voices heard on the topic of education through another organization I’m working with: VIVA Teachers. They are looking for students to write for their blog. This is an organization that tries to link teacher voice to political action by helping them connect with policy makers. I have some more work to do here, but am looking to send a call out to the listserv to see what types of news and opinion articles/broadcast/Web stories students have been writing about education in their own schools. VIVA is interested in republishing or publishing new work to get student voice involved in the conversation. (This is the group that gave me a sit-down meeting with Governor Dayton and Education Commissioner Casselius — and who connected me with the researcher who got me on Education Nation with Brian Williams — and yes, I’m extremely sad about his recent fall from grace.)

I attended the Minnesota Thespian Conference in February, and while this may seem disconnected, I spent time speaking about the issues of censorship in the arts. I think there is a huge connection here … I know the last time our paper wrote about school censorship in the arts, our paper got censored. I spoke with students from a number of schools who have experienced censorship and are self-censoring because of the chilling effect.

I continue to teach curriculum that encompasses the First Amendment and student press rights and responsibilities. I continue to attend workshops and professional learning opportunities to inform my own practice.

Kathy Schrier, MJE
Buoyed by the passage of the non-partisan John Wall New Voices Act in North Dakota, we are regrouping here in Washington state to make a new concerted effort to reintroduce our own student press rights bill. Our goal is to pull in lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and to avoid the partisan posturing that occurred during the previous attempt to pass a bill.

We are crafting our conference offerings to build a more solid understanding of why legislation is necessary. Our upcoming Spring State Conference will feature a presentation by Mike Hiestand outlining why he took a year out of his life to travel the country to promote the First Amendment. Brian Schraum will present a session on open records laws.

Since D.C. my SPRC-related work included a minor involvement in crafting the introduction for the Model Student Ethics Manual project. 

John Tagliareni
Since my last report, I presented sessions at the following conferences in 2014:  GSSPA Press Day Conference, Rutgers  University,  Oct. 27; CSPA Fall Conference, New York,  Nov. 3. I will present sessions at the following conferences for Spring 2015: CSPA Spring Convention, New York, March 18-20; and the GSSPA Spring Conference at Rutgers on May 3. I have been invited to return to speak at the Roxbury High School Media Conference May 14. As always, when I present sessions, I represent the SPRC and explain the commission’s purpose, and I stress its importance as a resource.

We had an amazing conference at Rutgers University, featuring a panel which included the two students who prevailed in their censorship battles. Frank LoMonte and the professional journalist who supported the Pemberton staff were also on the panel. I served as the moderator. We made a point of giving citations to the students who fought for their rights, as well as to the professionals who supported them. We hope that recognizing those individuals who displayed courage and determination will encourage others to follow their example.

Bonnie Blackman took videos of our conference keynote panel, and Tom McHale posted them on our GSSPA website. Our “On The Spot ” Writing Contest, co-sponsored by The Record, gave students a chance to write an article about the keynote presentation. The students wrote the article in an hour, and their entries were judged by professionals that day. The winning article is also posted on our website. This annual contest, was more important this year because it gave great coverage to our event and to the censorship concerns that were presented by the panel members.

We have started a student chapter of the GSSPA, which has been mostly an online presence at this point. After an introductory session and kickoff at Rutgers, Tom McHale started a Facebook page for those who signed up and agreed to be active. They had an online chat with some of our board members, and then they were left to continue chatting on their own. A few talked about the help they received from us, and they expressed their enthusiasm for the group and the fact that they could network. We are continuing to develop this group for their benefit, as well as a resource for us. They will give input to us and suggest sessions for our future conferences, as well as become advocates as First Amendment Freedom Fighters.

We have begun working to pass the legislation again, and we are working with Frank LoMonte for advice. I contacted one of my former students who is the director of a political science institute at Kean University in New Jersey. He has many contacts, and we discussed the pros and cons of having certain legislators sponsor our bill. He felt that it could be introduced, and that he could assist in setting up our meetings with a few legislators, but that they may not push for it afterwards due to other priorities.

At the same time, Tom McHale contacted the New Jersey Education Association to see if they would support the bill. We agreed that forming a coalition first, and having momentum, is crucial. However, he has not had return contacts yet. The difference from our first attempt, was that I had the support of my friend, who was a powerful assemblyman, and he made the contacts and could get me in touch with the right people. Now we are more like salesmen “cold calling” on the phone.

We have gotten more support than ever from the press, including three of New Jersey’s leading newspapers. I have given interviews with SPLC reporters about the issues and controversies in New Jersey. As a result, we may have to switch tactics to get the newspapers to throw their support behind the model legislation before it is introduced. We could go with another option and have the legislator who we know will support us introduce our bill first. Then we would push to get editorials from the leading newspapers to support it. That could encourage organizations, such as the NJEA and professional press associations, to get behind it. We could also get the principals and  supervisors association to support it again, as we did the first time around, when we removed the liability component, based on Mark Goodman’s suggestion.

I have been working very hard this past year, especially as a student and teacher rights advocate. I have spent an enormous amount of time helping advisers and students in New Jersey with censorship or prior review issues. I have documented that in previous reports and emails as new developments occurred, and I sent updates to you and the commission during the year. I have urged the students and advisers to promote parental involvement, media converge, letters to the editor in their local papers, and the use of social media, in order to keep the pressure on the board of education and central administration.

As you know, I have worked with Tom McHale to give him ideas and support, and I will continue to assist him with his Kent State masters project. I will continue to work with Candace and Mark as a member of the committee.

I would like the SPRC to continue to be strong in responding to individual censorship cases. Letters, emails, the use of social media and other direct means of supporting advisers and students, seems to be the best way to keep battling with the most impact. The administrators who censor must feel the sting of negative publicity and know that the cost is high. We may get those administrators to reconsider their decisions when pressure is brought to bear. Hopefully, this will prevent other administrators from censoring in the first place. I have used the term, “Anti-American” when referring to censorship. I think it is accurate, but I also think it is one that could be powerful in moving public opinion in our favor.

Stan Zoller, MJE
In addition to contributing to the SPRC blog on a regular basis, I have worked with advisers on press rights issues related to their specific media. Most notably, a yearbook adviser in the Chicago area whose yearbook was facing prior restraint because it wanted to cover club athletic that bore the school’s name, but were not sponsored by the school. The school, one of six in the district, was the only one facing this restriction. It was also limited to the yearbook and not other student media outlets.

After consultation with other members of the SPRC, the teacher met with school administrators who ultimately rescinded their plan.

I have also submitted an article to C:JET on Freedom of Information and using the FOIA.

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

This first year of my service on the JEA board seems to have gone by at warp speed. I’m constantly amazed by what this group continues to do, and I’m honored to be a small part of it. As always, thank you for allowing me to serve, and don’t forget that my door is always open for your suggestions and feedback. Since November, I’ve been focused on the following efforts:

Grants, research and partnerships: In partnership with ASNE, I finished a major curricular grant funded by the McCormick Foundation to integrate news literacy throughout four core subject areas: English, math, science and social studies. With grant partner LeAnne Wiseman, we selected teachers from each subject area and worked with them as they developed — and in some cases even tested — the curriculum. I’ve networked with a handful of grant organizations to continue to develop relationships and funding ideas that would best serve JEA membership.

In January, the board met with NSPA board members to further strengthen our relationship and brainstorm more specific partnerships. This was my first time meeting many of the NSPA board members, and I was excited by the passion and commitment for scholastic journalism that both teams continue to exhibit.

This meeting led to some creative ideas on how JEA and NSPA can partner to conduct more research related to scholastic journalism, and I have submitted a JEA board budget proposal for pilot research as a result.

In late March, I will attend the Partnership for 21st Century Skills convention in Washington, D.C. to seek potential partnerships there. While in D.C., I also have scheduled a meeting with contacts in the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology to discuss how scholastic journalism might be better integrated into DOE policies or approaches, including a recent push for student-centered technology.

Writing: In November, I wrote a piece for PBS’s MediaShift website on how to maintain a focus on citizenship and democracy in the journalism classroom, and I continue to write for the SPRC blog on issues related to law, ethics and news literacy.

I’m also writing new lessons and assessments for the news literacy curriculum unit and am finalizing a paper for submission to an academic journal on teaching news literacy.

Committee and other service: In March, I worked with the amazing Scholastic Press Rights Committee members at our Kent State retreat to develop sample staff manual ethical guidelines. Part of this project also involved creating new audio clips for the Committee’s Press Rights Minute SoundCloud project.

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

As my first year as JEA director-at-large comes to a close, I am amazed by the dedication and drive of this board, and honored to be part of it serving the JEA community.

In the five months since our November meeting, I have attended two JEA meetings. First, we traveled to Chicago to meet with our partners at NSPA where we discussed our spring convention model and brainstormed additional collaboration opportunities between the two organizations. Of special interest to me was a conversation regarding the various credit different journalism courses receive depending on school district and the role of the NCAA in those decisions. I am hopeful that, through our partnership with NSPA, we can draw attention to that issue on a larger scale. Additionally, I attended a meeting at JEA Headquarters to prepare the 2015-2016 JEA budget for approval at the Denver meeting.

At the Washington, D.C. meeting, I was tasked with creating a committee to focus on the following board goal: Increase administrator participation in JEA programming, including increased representation from administrator groups, administrator chaperones and Administrator of the Year award nominations. I am happy to announce that the Principals Outreach Committee has been formed with the following members: Linda Ballew, MJE, Erin Coggins, MJE, Adam Dawkins, CJE, Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, Stephanie Hanlon, Leslie Shipp, MJE, Matthew Smith and Tom Winski, MJE.

Our initial goal is to have a resource-filled website up and running by the Denver convention. At that time, members in attendance will meet to discuss next steps including outreach and making training opportunities available to principals and administrators. An article outlining our efforts will appear in the spring issue of Quill and Scroll. If you have a passion for making advocates out of administrators, please contact me about joining our committee.

Stan Zoller, MJE
Director At Large
1448 Camden Court
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Since the last board meeting, I am pleased that a Diversity Committee has been formed. Its members include: Barbara Bateman, Colleen Bennett, Stan Bindell, Jose Caire, Katie Comeford, Rebekah Goode-Peoples, Laura York Guy, Michael Hernandez, Anna Jacobson, Kari Johnson, Thomas Kaup, Julie Kuo, William Love, Judith Murray, Steve O’Donoghue, Michael Simons, Chris Waugaman, Tom Winski and Joe Dennis.

It is my hope that we will meet in Denver to lay the groundwork for strategies, goals and objectives related to diversity in scholastic journalism.

In an effort to foster our relationship with the Society of Professional Journalists, working with my colleagues on the board, I submitted program proposals for SPJ’s annual conference, “Excellence in Journalism.” The 2015 conference will take place Sept. 18-20 in Orlando.

From a procedural standpoint, working with Mark Newton and Kelly Furnas, I drafted a “whistle blower” policy.  The intent of whistle blower policies, according to the National Whistle Blowers Center, is to allow employees to stop, report or testify about employer actions that are illegal, unhealthy, or violate specific public policies…” The policy is to be on the board’s agenda at its Denver meeting.

Finally, I am pleased to be a member of the JEA/NSPA partner planning committee that consists of board members from both organizations.

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

As we prepare for the spring convention in Denver, I continue to feel fortunate to have the opportunity to serve and to work with such outstanding, dedicated people. The overwhelming support from committee members, the headquarters staff and the board has made the task easier and more rewarding for me.

Specifically, since the last report the following has happened:

  • We completed selection of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year through a virtual ranking process against a revised rubric. A dedicated panel of volunteer judges completed these a week ahead of the Washington, D.C. convention.
  • The Adviser of the Year panel met in Washington, D.C. to review the process and begin a second-stage revision of both the applications and rubrics.
  • All spring award applications were submitted digitally for the first time in support of the JEA initiative. This followed the process established in the fall.
  • All voting for spring awards was done digitally.
  • Spring award recipients were notified by phone call or voice message by the chair.
  • The Awards Committee worked through a very large set of nominations for Rising Star, and 11 passed the hurdle of 50 percent plus one votes on the panel to be named and honored in Denver.
  • The First Amendment Press Freedom Award was announced Feb. 23 in conjunction with Scholastic Journalism Week with seven schools named.
  • All awards have been successfully scheduled for a timed release on social media and
  • In building a collaborative relationship with our sponsor yearbook companies, a steady communication was maintained. All expressed a strong interest in keeping the in-person, surprise announcement. In addition, the company which prints the honoree’s book was given more than two-weeks’ notice to make arrangements, an expectation of who would be invited was set, and companies which print the Distinguished and Special Recognition advisers’ books were given 24 hours’ notice ahead of the announcement to make any arrangements as desired.
  • In a change of tradition, the previous Yearbook Adviser of the Year winner, Brenda Gorsuch, made the announcement in person at Bryant High School for the 2014 recipient, Margaret Sorrows.
  • The Broadcast Adviser of the Year, Don Goble, was named in a surprise format by previous recipient Michael Hernandez, Dec. 2. Hernandez set up and recorded a Google hangout with Goble and his class to make the announcement which was then posted on minutes later.

A special thanks to Connie Fulkerson and Kelly Furnas for their efforts in 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, Carmen Wendt.

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

Honorees for JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver and the Advisers Institute in July are as follows:

2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award
Chantilly (Va.) High School
Francis Howell North High School; St. Charles, Mo.
Kirkwood (Mo.) High School
Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School
Smoky Hill High School; Aurora, Colo.
St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School
Whitney High School; Rocklin, Calif.

H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year
Margaret Sorrows, CJE, Bryant (Ark.) High School

Distinguished Yearbook Advisers
Renee Burke, MJE, William R. Boone High School; Orlando, Fla.
Kristi Rathbun, CJE, Rock Canyon High School; Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Special Recognition Yearbook Advisers
Pamela Bunka, Fenton (Mich.) High School
Justin Daigle, CJE, Brighton (Colo.) High School
Amy Morgan, MJE, Shawnee Mission West High School; Overland Park, Kan.

Broadcast Adviser of the Year
Don Goble, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis, Mo.

Distinguished Broadcast Advisers
Dave Davis, Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Mo.
Matt Rasgorshek, Westside High School, Omaha, Neb.

Diversity Award
The Teen Appeal and Elle Perry, coordinator, Memphis, Tenn.

Rising Star Award
Lindsay Benedict, McLean (Va.) High School
Claire Burke, CJE, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School; Rockville, Md.
Erin Castellano, Clayton (Mo.) High School
William Caulton, Avon (Ind.) High School
Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, Arvada (Colo.) West High School
Stephen Hanf, R.J. Reynolds High School; Winston-Salem, N.C.
Matthew LaPorte, CJE, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas
Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE, Halton High School; Haltom City, Texas
Kristen Scott, Kealing Middle School; Austin, Texas
Allie Staub, Westfield (Ind.) Middle School
Suzi Van Steenbergen, CJE, San Marcos, Calif.

To be announced at the April 19 closing ceremony in Denver:

  • National High School Journalist of the Year/Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships
  • Aspiring Young Journalist
  • Student Journalist Impact Award

To be awarded July 7 at the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas:
2015 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award
Karen Flowers, CJE, South Carolina Scholastic Press Association and Southern Interscholastic Press Association, Columbia, S.C.

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

The time between Washington, D.C. and Denver was filled with personal challenges for me. I am truly blessed with the dedicated and supportive people on my committee, and I am so grateful for the love and support of the Pam and Connie at JEA Headquarters, Kelly Furnas, Mark Newton and Sarah Nichols, as well as JEA friends across the country. Your words of condolence, love and support continue to lift me.

The following Certification Committee work has occurred since the fall convention in Washington, D.C.

• We welcomed Rod Satterthwaite, MJE, as our new committee member.

• Our committee met with curriculum folks during a conference call in early January to discuss aligning the CJE exam to the curriculum modules. During this very productive meeting, both groups came to the conclusion that the exam would and should look completely different from its current format. As a result, we are requesting funding for a retreat in Indianapolis April 30-May 3 to work on several initiatives:

  • the new CJE test (moving its debut to Orlando) with the possibility of digitizing it
  • creating all-digital CJE and MJE applications, as well as updating how we process them
  • other committee business as needed

• More testing:

  • Sarah Nichols proctored CJE testing at the Jostens winter sales meeting.
  • Jane Blystone proctored CJE testing at SIPA at the end of February.
  • Linda Barrington proctored CJE testing at KEMPA the first of March.
  • Kim Green proctored CJE testing at WJEA in late March.
  • Joe Humphrey will proctor a CJE retest at FSPA later this month.
  • We will test at various locations this summer: JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas in July, Walsworth (reps and advisers) in July, Balfour in July

• We will honor 30 new CJEs, 17 CJE renewals, four new MJEs and seven MJE renewals in Denver.

• We will test seven MJEs and 11 CJEs in Denver.

• New MJEs, starting with D.C. honorees, have been asked to create a summary of their projects for publication in a C:JET article/column once a year as part of their projects.

Still in the works:

• Following our retreat, the percentages of those successfully passing the exam in Boston, San Diego, over the summer, Washington, D.C. and Denver 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.

• We plan to implement the following, but again, after we complete realignment this spring: Committee members will contact CJE Renewals from D.C. and Denver, personally inviting them to apply for their MJE, offering to mentor each through the process.

• 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.

• We will create a database of all MJE projects.

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 after this summer.

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

National Write-off team:
Nancy Y. Smith, MJE: Write-off Chair
Priscilla Frost, CJE: Print/Design Coordinator
Bradley Wilson, CJE: Photo Coordinator
Kris Doran: Broadcast Coordinator
April Van Buren, MJE: National Journalism Quiz Bowl Coordinator
Laura Zhu, CJE: Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest
Mark Murray: Technology

Denver local chairs: Justin Daigle, Adam Dawkins, Carrie Hendrix

Committee updates: April Van Buren, LaFollette High School, is the newest member of the Write-off Committee. She will coordinate the National Journalism Quiz Bowl at each convention.

Contest updates: The Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest was re-introduced this year and entries were due in March. The categories include Yearbook, Newspaper, Photography and Broadcast. Entries were judged in the late spring and students will receive awards before the end of the school year. Laura Zhu will survey middle school/junior high teachers early this summer for feedback so that we can make any needed changes or improvements before the 2016 contest.

Committee goals:

  1. Put past prompts and winners on the website for advisers to access.
  2. Revise the contest critique sheets to align with the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

Recent participation:
Spring 2014 in San Diego: 1,112 in 49 contests
Fall 2014 in Washington, D.C.: 2,168 in 47 contests

2015 Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest: 240 entries in its first year

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 six years of existence, we had more than 800 posts published (roughly three per week), 278,000 sessions, and 537,700 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 40 members of the committee who are on an email list. Thirteen 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 – 22 posts
  • Matt Rasgorshek – 17 posts
  • Michael Hernandez – 10 posts
  • Dave Davis – six posts
  • Don Goble – five posts
  • Michelle Harmon – four posts
  • Jonathan Rogers – four posts
  • Sarah Nichols – three posts
  • Michelle Balmeo – Posts and weekly emails (February)
  • Kim McCarthy – Weekly emails (January)
  • Kyle Phillips – Updating map

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 sea foam greenish (on the far right).

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.20.10 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.20.04 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.06.21 PM

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. Having said that, we changed up how our posts from Twitter were going out since September. We removed the “From the Archives” tag on previous posts, and that may have had a positive impact on numbers.

During this time, we also went back to sending out weekly notes on the JEA Listserv. Aaron Manfull took December, Kim McCarthy took January and Michelle Balmeo took February. We have members planning to send weekly emails through May and feel this is a good way to reach much of our target audience weekly as well.

We had the second set of winners announced in the Broadcast Adviser of the Year competition sponsored by Lindenwood University. Don Goble of Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis was named the 2015 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Dave Davis of Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo., and Matt Rasgorshek of Westside High School in Omaha, Neb., were named Distinguished Advisers. The three will be honored at the spring convention in Denver.

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 two summer workshops that have purchased space.

We will discuss our goals at our committee meeting in Denver, but I have a feeling we will work to continue some of our current areas of focus:

  • Continue to build a deeper broadcast presence on the site as it remains one of our biggest draws.
  • Continue to post relevant articles for those wanting help with their online journey.
  • Work to publicize the site more on JEAHELP 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 | C: 972-523-0384

As we inch closer to Denver, business has picked up for the Journalist of the Year contest. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround, as each state director named the state journalist of the year.

The national JOY committee has been set with a panel of 21. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents.

We have received feedback from a few states regarding their contests that are aligned with the national one. They, too, inherited the changes the national contest has made to all digital entries, portfolio organization and the new rubric. The feedback has been positive, and I value the constructive and complimentary input. I will reach out to state directors and national contestants after the spring convention to seek more feedback for improvement.

The 2015 Journalist of the Year will be announced April 19. Also in Denver, the 2014 Journalist of the Year, Taylor Blatchford, and I will present a session to get current juniors thinking about their senior year and working towards building their portfolios. I would like to thank Taylor for her time working with me this year presenting two sessions about the contest, and also for hosting an online chat in January for candidates to ask questions and reach out to her about her experience.

I would also like to thank Sarah Nichols, MJE, for her continual guidance in helping me see this first contest to fruition under my leadership. I also owe gratitude to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her constant attention to detail on processing contest entries and fielding JOY-related questions from all members.

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

This past winter, I accepted the NCTE liaison position to go along with Professional Outreach Chair. Looking forward to the NCTE fall convention in Minneapolis, I have submitted a session on 5 Easy Ways to Bring Nonfiction Writing, Journalism, Blogging, Video and Podcasting into a L.A. Class. JEA will also be presenting a mentoring session by Linda Barrington and Gary Lindsay. Former NCTE Liaison Brian Wilson has been great during this transition, forwarding me the JEA’s existing supplies and helping me understand how JEA and NCTE work together. Brian did recommend an update of our booth, which will get a slight redesign for 2105. Board members have also recommended a photo booth with the JEA logo involved and small JEA giveaways to reach out to language arts teachers.

Other developments include that I will be reporting on the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) in Philadelphia this June for JEA. Making connections with the tech education world is one of my first goals in professional outreach, and I look forward to networking with other educational organizations. Stories from the conference will be posted on

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

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

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.

What we’ve learned: As an established JEA program, more new teachers are becoming aware of the Mentor Program. We receive requests for mentors at conventions, on our website, through email and sometimes via SPA events in various states. More requests for mentors from people in states without mentors means that we are doing more long-distance mentoring in those places. For example, we have mentees in Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada and Minnesota.

Support from the Yellow Chair Foundation has been invaluable. It supports mentor stipends in any state that needs financial assistance. This has been a boon to both new states joining the program and to the already participating states that now have difficulty supporting the stipends over many years in the program.

This summer we are anticipating about seven new mentors will be trained at the Advisers Institute: two from Oregon to replace two retiring mentors, two from Florida (just in time for the Orlando convention in fall), two more mentors from Northern California, and possibly one more from Iowa. In Florida we are trying something new: One of the new mentors teaches college. Her more flexible schedule will allow her to visit mentees during the school day, so we’re making an exception in that the rest of our mentors are retired, or near retirement.

Successes: We want to thank the Yellow Chair Foundation, which provided the funding to keep the Mentor Program going over the past seven years. In particular, we want to thank Angela Filo for her advice and direction about running a major program like this and soliciting other sources of funding. She taught us how to integrate accountability and develop systems of reporting that guide the operation of this program. We will nominate her for JEA’s Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award this summer.

Evelyn Lauer, CJE
Publications/Public Relations Committee Chair
Niles West High School
5701 W Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077

Since my last report, I continue to work on the following JEA initiatives:

Day of Doing: I recently met with co-chairs Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE, to plan this summer’s Day of Doing. Please see their report below for details.

One Book: In December, JEA members chose “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News” by Jeff Jarvis as the next JEA One Book via a poll on the website. In February, Jarvis joined us for a JEA One Book chat on Twitter (@jeaonebook). Between March 16-April 7, members are encouraged to use #JEAOneBook to tweet their favorite tips and lessons from the book. A final Twitter chat will take place April 7 at 7 p.m. CDT. Also, I will be presenting a session in Denver where members can continue the discussion.

Members who have suggestions for the next One Book are encouraged to email me at The next book will be selected in June via a poll on the website.

Scholastic Journalism Week: Scholastic Journalism Week 2015 took place Feb. 22-28. This year’s theme was “Our Staff at Work,” and Emma Zander of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin (adviser Rachel Rauch, CJE) designed the official #SJW2015 logo.

Co-chair Adam Dawkins, CJE, and I wanted to make SJW more student-centered by increasing staff participation, utilizing social media features, and running contests, which we accomplished.

This year’s SJW featured 15 staffs from publications at the following schools: Charles Patterson Middle School, Thompson High School, Summerville High School, Fortmill High School, Carmel High School, Mexico High School, Antioch Community High School, Red Bluff Union High School, Hanford High School, Borah High School, Dobie Junior High School, Carlmont High School, Monarch High School and Hayward High School.

These “Our Staff at Work” profiles included photos and ran on the JEA Facebook page. We also created a @ScholasticJWeek account on Twitter, which currently has 341 followers. Throughout SJW, advisers and students used #SJW2015 to celebrate scholastic journalism.

Another addition to this year’s SJW was the Society of Professional Journalist’s essay contest. We partnered with SPJ to administer this contest and received 265 submissions, which JEA members helped judge. Winners will be announced in April.

Scholastic Journalism Week 2016 is scheduled for Feb. 21-28. Details will be announced in September 2015.

When I’m Not Teaching: The purpose of “When I’m Not Teaching” is to highlight the wonderful accomplishments JEA members achieve outside the classroom. Since launching in August, the series has featured seven different advisers: Shannon Sybirski (California), Laurie Hansen (Minnesota), Natalie Niemeyer (Iowa), Glenn Morehouse Olson (Minnesota), Allison Adam (Arizona), Jim Streisel (Indiana) and Kristen DiGiorgio (Illinois). The next feature, which will run April 1, will highlight Cory Morlock from Colorado. I plan to continue 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 JEA initiatives, I continue to seek publication opportunities for our members and help with public relations for the organization. I have written two articles about scholastic journalism: “Why Scholastic Journalism Matters” (Education Week) and “Teacher, Editor Suspended for Banning Use of ‘Redskin’ in School Newspaper” (Huffington Post).

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

The first year of Day of Doing saw initial success. Participants commented that the experience was fun, refreshing and professionally invigorating. Members wrote stories, shot photos, created videos and a group of six Michigan advisers created a 16-page tabloid. Goals for the Day of Doing include promoting the program through past participants, increasing the number of participants for 2015 and working more closely with mentors to use Day of Doing to build up new advisers.

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

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

As with the last 15 years, the magazine continues to thrive and continues to be an integral part of what JEA offers to its members. For many members, the magazine is all they see. As always, all of us owe a great debt of gratitude to Howard Spanogle and Connie Fulkerson for making the magazine happen four times per year. And our great variety of contributors makes every article possible.

I attended the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting in St. Petersburg in Florida. It was a very productive meeting.

Attendees, Emails

Student journalists as professional contributors: The benefits and drawbacks to unpaid experience opportunities

Kelly Furnas, Kansas State; Marina Hendricks, University of Missouri; Eric Thomas, University of Kansas; Jeff Browne, University of Colorado

  • Student giving away labor? Adviser giving away labor? Exposure?
  • Colorado: (Eric) Scripps grant. Investigative reporting given away for free.  All content distributed by Colorado Press Association. Producing in-depth content for newspapers can no longer afford to do that. Scripps taking money away from newspapers but funds grant. Bring in experts to talk about topic. Gun deaths. Income inequality. Fact-checking of political ads.
  • Teen pages: (Marina) Students she worked with were paid $10/article. Some got $40/$50-month. Students report they would do it for free, but writing is worth something. “It’s pretty cool” to get check. Offered freelance assignments beyond what they did for teen staff. Got paid as stringers. Got paid just like adults did.
  • What are benefits? Students offer a different viewpoint. True mentoring. Eric: That’s the most valuable thing these students can get. That’s not what it is. Copyedit and post. That’s it. We want it from you, but we don’t want to give you the time to help you. May offer partnerships with professional media sometimes in lieu of internships that are declining in number. Advertisers want to be associated with high-quality newspaper.
  • Costs? Are we taking jobs away from professional journalists? At Colorado, students have the chance to analyze data and work for many weeks on a project, maybe the last time they’ll get to do that. Buy-in from management is key. Are these jobs gone anyway? Are there legal implications regarding shield laws?
  • Some students are trying to cover what the professionals cover. Ironically, the professionals want to cover the scholastic (or collegiate) market. Cover what you know really well. Tap into these kids and their knowledge of their lives, a knowledge they take for granted but confound adults.
  • High school sports. USA Today High School Sports.
  • When you take $0 for your work, your work is worth $0.
  • Mark Goodman: We have to be willing to tell people that if they’re not providing some education then this isn’t serving the needs of the students. What’s in it for the students?

Copyediting: Finding truth in fast and changing times

John Schlander, Tampa Bay Times; Craig Silverman, Poynter; Wendy Wallace, Poynter

  • Things we should consider teaching students as they evolve. ScribbleLive. Storify.
  • What imperfections are you willing to put up with? How wrong is wrong if it’s wrong for five minutes? We’ve never been perfect.
  • Gannet newsroom of tomorrow. Instead of editor: coach. Instead of stories: content.
  • In terms of getting information out there, you can get things posted so quickly that would have taken so ever. Video. Color photos. Think how quickly you can get things out there. Speed has always been a part of journalism. There are just ways to go wrong more quickly now.
  • There are fewer safety nets. That’s true. More responsibility on individual journalist. More focus on get it out first and fix it later.
  • Newspapers often plant errors in headline and backtrack in story.
  • Newspapers rarely follow-up in stories that are too good to check.
  • News organizations are jumping on stuff that is in the unverified state and they’re not verifying it.
  • Verify before propagating.
  • Create a generation of journalists that will verify, while it can be difficult and challenging, may make your story unique.
  • Incorporate into existing clases. These skills are fundamental so they belong everywhere.
  • Teaching students to be skeptical detectives

Why is there so much crap online?

    • Official sources of misinformation. North Korea state news agency. Advertising. Marketing ploy.
    • Fake news websites. These sites are just completely polluting people’s information streams.
    • Some people consciously put out fake information. Hoax artists.
    • Unintentional propagators, often media outlets.

How do we create verification-oriented journalists?

    • Help them understand larger context.
    • Get them to embrace their inner deceptive.
    • Use the content they are seeing/sharing as examples. They’re already seeing a lot of questionable content. Get students to bring in examples.
    • Teach them basic tools and tips. Free. Easy to use.
    • Repeat!

Context: Sharing triggers. Why do we share?

    • Sharing conforms with existing beliefs/knowledge. We are more likely to share something that conforms with existing beliefs.
    • Elicits emotional reaction.
    • Presents an image of themselves they want to project.
    • Seems urgent. Have good intentions.
    • Helps people make sense of uncertain situation.

Detective mindset

    • Assume it’s not true.
    • Be skeptical.
    • Gather clues and evidence.
    • Separate emotional and motivation from work.
    • Find and evaluate the source. Follow all links. See to whom information is attributed. Search elsewhere online. Read about pages. Learn about the people. On websites, visit “About” page.

Columbine and other school shootings

Crisis reporting: Students will encounter these kinds of situations. Not sure educators give them the kinds of tools they need to succeed and cope.

High school students: When you have a tragedy in your own school, how do you handle it as a reporter, as a student?

Are these shooters using the media to get their message, manifesto, out?

Media model:

    • Don’t make a hero out of the shooter. Keep images of killer small.
    • Focus on victims.
    • Focus on what the community lost.
    • These stories aren’t as shocking now.

Lessons learned:

  • Images have more impact than text.
    • There’s not a single cause.
    • Don’t create a hero.
    • Listen to audience.

Student Journalists: Covering crisis in their own schools

Challenges:  Two challenges we have yet to resolve:

  • In election years, the appointment of the magazine editor needs to happen in a much more timely fashion than the election permits. The delay in appointment forces a delay in production that stresses the system.
  • The kinks in the advertising sales continue to cause delays. Indeed, the last issue went to press late at least in part because ads were being changed 48 hours after the date to go to press with the ad deadline four weeks past. Goals:
    1. Ad contracts need to meet the deadline or the ad needs to be held.
    2. No advertisement should be included unless a signed contract is on file.
    3. Ads need to be proofed upon receipt and any problems with spelling errors, etc. need to be corrected as desired by the advertiser in a timely fashion.
    4. The spreadsheet needs to be updated regularly with the names of the advertisers listed as they should appear in the ad list in the magazine.
    5. Financial information in the spreadsheet should correspond penny for penny with financial information maintained elsewhere by JEA and should correspond with financial reports given to the board and members.
    6. When ads are submitted to the editor for placement, they should be sent once and with a file name that corresponds to the name of the business.

Advertisers: Alabama Scholastic Press Association, American Society of New Editors, ArchiveInABox, Arizona Interscholastic Press Association, Balfour Florida Yearbooks, Balfour Yearbooks, Ball State University, BetterBNC, Brooks Institute, Center for Collaborative Journalism, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Dow Jones News Fund, Indiana University High School Journalism Institute, James Madison University/VAJTA, Jostens, JS Printing, Kansas Journalism Institute, Kent State University, Kettle Moraine Press Association, Media Now, New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Newseum Institute, Newsroom by the Bay, Rosen Publishing, School Newspapers Online, School Paper Express, Tennessee High School Press Association, University of Iowa Summer Journalism Workshops, University of South Carolina, Walsworth Yearbooks, Washington Journalism Education Association.

Income: $14,583 with $965 outstanding as of March 15, 2015.

Major contributors: Anna Ferdinand, an English and journalism teacher at Sedro-Woolley (Washington) High School; Carson Taylor, freshman, Emerson College in Boston majoring in film; Danielle Ryan, MJE, adviser at Carlsbad High School (California); Drew Loker, career technology teacher at West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas; Jon Reese, CJE, adviser at Decatur (Georgia) High School; Mark Grabowski, journalism professor at Adelphi University (Garden City, New York); Megan Fromm, CJE, an assistant professor at Boise State University; Mia Karr, a senior at Harrisonburg High School (Virginia); Michelle Balmeo, MJE, adviser at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California; Sean Cassidy, editor of The Breeze at James Madison University; Stan Zoller, MJE, lecturer in journalism at Lake Forest College; Terry Nelson, adviser at Blackford High School in Hartford City, Indiana; Will McKay, senior at Davenport (Iowa) Central High School with adviser Ellen Craig.

Other contributors: Alex Curiel and Mark Daraphone, Har-Ber High School (Springdale, Arkansas), Karla Sprague, adviser; Alexa Rhynd, Newton South High School (Newton, Massachusetts), Brian Baron, CJE, adviser; Alexandra Nedelcu, editor, Southwest Shadow, Southwest Career and Technical Academy (Las Vegas); Matthew LaPorte, adviser; Aliza Russell, Park Hill South High School (Riverside, Missouri), Megan Palmer, CJE, adviser; Camden Metheny, Buffalo Island Central High School (Monette, Arkansas); Tracey Yates Thompson, CJE, adviser; Christan Santos, James C. Enochs High School (Modesto, California), Tamra McCarthy, CJE, adviser; Don Rogers, executive director,  Texas Association of Community Schools; former school superintendent, Eanes Independent School District (Austin, Texas); Dong Whee Won, Arrowhead Christian Academy (Redlands, California), Crystal Kazmierski, adviser; Emily Burleson, senior and co-editor of County Line Student Media, Cinco Ranch High School (Katy, Texas); Ed Larsen, CJE, adviser; Emma Lockhart and Emma Zander, Stockbridge High School (Michigan), Elizabeth Cyr, adviser; Evert Nelson, junior, Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas); Giovanni Sabala, McKinney High School (Texas), Alyssa Boehringer, adviser; James Kenney, senior, Potomac Falls High School (Sterling, Virginia); Jane Blystone, MJE, secondary education department chair, Mercyhurst University; school board member, North East School District (Pennsylvania); Jay P. Goldman, editor, School Administrator magazine, American Association of School Administrators; Joe Apen, Mother of Divine Grace School (Ojai, California), Kim McCarthy, MJE, adviser; Johyun Kim, Tuscarora High School (Leesburg, Virginia); Kristin Baker, CJE, Derby High School (Kansas); Lauren Berlinghof, Ward Melville High School (Setauket, New York); Cortney Weisman, CJE, adviser; Leah Waters, Creekview High School (Carrollton, Texas); Lexi Churchill, Harper Lanning and Danielle Mollerus, Notre Dame de Sion High School (Kansas City, Missouri), Alison Long, CJE, adviser; Madina Jenks and Katie Starsky, Homestead High School (Mequon, Wisconsin), Rachel Rauch, CJE, adviser; Maren Barnes, Inglemoor High School (Kenmore, Wash.), Kirsten Vesely, adviser; Mary Stapp, adviser, Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, D.C.); Matt Garnett, Argyle High School (Texas); Stacy Short, adviser; Olivia Seabaugh, Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kansas), Dow Tate, adviser; Cassy Rokusek, West Fargo High School (North Dakota), Jeremy Murphy, adviser; Savanah Howard and Katie Pickrell, Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), Mark Newton, MJE, adviser; Skylar Cook, Francis Howell High School (St. Charles, Missouri), Michele Dunaway, MJE, adviser; Susan Gregory, MJE, adviser, Conestoga High School (Berwyn, Pennsylvania); Tucker Blythe, program specialist, Texas Education Agency; former school board member, Wimberley Independent School District (Texas).


Photo by Skylar Cook

Vol. 48, No. 1: 36 pages

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Talon, Argyle High School (Texas)
  • Using drones
  • Holding a camera
  • Mary Beth Tinker

Photo by Cassy Rokusek

Vol. 48, No. 2: 36 pages

  • 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
  • Pinterest
  • The RoundupBrophy College Preparatory (Phoenix)
  • iPhone stories
  • AP style update: State names
  • The jaggies

Photo by Matt Garnett

Vol. 48, No. 3: 36 pages

The new issue looks really good, and the content is exceptional. Congrats! Bruce L. Plopper, professor emeritus,University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Covering the school board | The actions of the school board impact every student, every staff member and every faculty member. The votes of the elected (or appointed) officials can change the direction of the district. But few student newspapers cover what the board does — or doesn’t do.
  • Trello
  • Southwest Shadow, Southwest Career and Technical Academy (Las Vegas)
  • Word of the year: Vape
  • To Russia with Love

Hi Terry, I just received my latest copy of C:JET, and I’ve been riveted by your story. Amazing! Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Michelle Balmeo, adviser, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino, California)

  • Color of the year: Marsala
Photo by Will McKay

Photo by Will McKay

Vol. 48, Nov. 4: 40 pages

  • Freedom of Information | On the presumption that most government documents belong to the public and a presumption of openness, Freedom of Information laws provide a mechanism for individuals to obtain those records.
  • Painting with light
  • The little things
  • Bearing News, Rock Bridge High School (Columbia, Missouri)
  • Pirate Fishing
  • HONY in the classroom

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

Membership: There are 26 JEA members from Alabama. JEA membership is encouraged in Alabama at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth.

“I began advising over 29 years ago. I owe ASPA, SIPA and JEA. Almost everything I have learned about advising school newspapers and yearbooks comes from attending their events. It is now time for me to help educate younger advisors and their students. I encourage advisers from Alabama to become active in their state (ASPA), regional (SIPA) and national organizations (JEA/NSPA & CSPA). In this way students can best be prepared for college and the world of work and your school can publish quality publications,” Susan G. Newell, adviser The Northridge Reporter at Northridge High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Happenings: ASPA and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences. Susan Newell, Erin Coggins and ASPA director Meredith Cummings are on the SIPA advisory board. Capri Frye Day will serve on their advisory council. SIPA celebrated its 90th anniversary at the spring convention. Information about SIPA events can be found online at

ASPA’s state convention was Feb. 13-14, 2015.

Upcoming ASPA events:

  • April 1: Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline.
  • June 12-21: The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to give high school students experience that teaches them more about college life and a career in media.
  • June 12-14: The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.
  • Sept. 28 – Oct. 2: Fall Regional Workshops.
  • ASPA’s State Convention will be in February, probably near Valentine’s Day. Check the website.

Alabama Scholastic Press Association is also on Facebook and Twitter.!/pages/Alabama-Scholastic-Press-Association/53909763789.

Awards and honors: ASPA awards are listed here.

Mentoring: ASPA is looking for mentors for new journalism teachers.

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

Interests: Arizona members have been very enthusiastic about the JEA Development and Curriculum. Advisers in their first year of teaching through advisers who have taught over 20 years plus the JEA Mentors all report enthusiasm over the classroom support they receive from the Curriculum.

Concerns: The CTE advisers are concerned about the pressure they are starting to get from their districts to participate in the CTE student competitions. As a group, they feel that JEA’s Write-Off competitions and conventions are very valuable to their students. The concern is that unless JEA is able to help them demonstrate that the JEA/NSPA conventions and Write-Offs are adequate for CTE, they may have to give up the conventions as they can only afford to attend one convention a year.

Achievements: The Arizona Interscholastic Press Association had a very successful Fall Convention in October. Over 600 students and advisers attended. Retha Hill, executive director of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the Cronkite School, and radio personality Bruce St. James, KTAR, were keynote speakers.

In February, members participated in a well-received Tinker Tour visit at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Speakers were Mary Beth Tinker and Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center.

Aashini Choski, senior at Corona del Sol High School, was selected Arizona’s Journalist of the Year. Aashini’s adviser is Kris Urban.

AIPA is pleased to finally have a database of the state’s advisers, members and non-members. This has been a task that was three years in the making.

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 continue to 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 84 members in our state AJAA organization; 54 of those are in JEA; 12 CJE, 6 MJE. We have 112 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. The email address is

Happenings: This June, the organization’s annual Camp ASPA will take place on the campus of Pulaski Tech in North Little Rock, June 23-25.

The state convention will take place again in Rogers on April 14-15, 2015, at the John Q. Hammons Center adjacent to the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas that serves as the convention hotel. 

Awards and honors: Publications from Bryant, Buffalo Island Central and Little Rock Central high schools all have earned national recognition.

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

Greetings from California, the largest JEA member state with 275 advisers as of April 3. This semiannual report updates events and efforts since September 2014.

Outreach: Since September, monthly email blasts and periodic alerts have been going out to more than 300 California advisers, mentors and others who work in scholastic journalism statewide, with news on upcoming events, JEA messages and links to curriculum materials. Advisers are automatically added to the list when they join JEA but others are welcome as well. To join the list, email Beatrice at

Thanks to the all-digital rule for JOY submissions that went into effect this year, the California JEA website at will be updated in coming weeks to include selections from the nine portfolios submitted by California students for the annual Journalist of the Year competition.

Events: Plans are underway to host AdviserFest events for SCJEA advisers at California State University, Northridge and at CSU Long Beach this fall. For more information, contact SCJEA President Lacey Hatfield at

Palo Alto High School will once again be the host for JEANC’s Journalism Day on Sept. 26, 2015. More information is available from Paly adviser Paul Kandell at

SDJEA We will be hosting a leadership seminar for advisers and their new student leaders May 9. Any interested San Diego adviser is invited to attend with five of their 2015-2016 editors.

Summer workshops: Several workshops and camps are gearing up for summer 2015, including:

  • JEANC Kickstart days: June 29 at San Francisco State University and July 28 at San Jose State University. These one-day workshops for students and advisers offer instruction, examples and practice all bundled into one intensive experience. Participants learn and practice skills in the same day, creating a project to share with the group over a dinner showcase the same evening. Strands: Leadership, Design, Writing, Web/Multimedia. Early registration by June 1 offers $5 discount. Info:
  • Newsroom by the Bay’s fifth session will be held at Stanford University June 28 to July 5. This digital journalism program features classes in newswriting, news reporting and digital storytelling, along with real-life reporting opportunities in and around the Stanford campus, as well as in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, plus master classes and guest speakers on global reporting, arts reporting and technology. As of this writing, the program is full but students can sign up for the 2016 mailing list or get more information at
  • Newspapers2 at the beach, Aug. 3-6 at California State-Long Beach for advisers, editors, writers, designers, photographers, web and broadcast creators. Register at or email Konnie Krislock at Payment must be received by July 24 in order to assure a spot in a session.
  • The Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication will hold its teach-in Aug. 5 at San Francisco State University, featuring a keynote address by Chris Waugaman, the Dow Jones News Fund’s National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Waugaman is the adviser of The Royal News and at Prince George (Virginia) High School. Click here for more information.

Awards: Judging for California’s Journalist of the Year competition concluded March 15, with Jackson Brook of Palo Alto High School taking the top spot. Brook’s portfolio was forwarded to JEA for the national contest. Judges Jan Ewell, Rachel West, Nick Ferentinos, Don Bott, and Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times were capably led by California JOY lead contest coordinator Adriana Chavira, adviser at Daniel Pearl Magnet School in Los Angeles. They reviewed nine portfolios, including three from southern California, up from zero last year. Brook’s winning Northern California entry was reported by West to JEANC for the $500 Arnetta Garcin Memorial Scholarship.

JEANC is sponsoring its annual contest (deadline: April 15) for excellence in student media. For more information, contact Rachel West, JEANC president, at or click here.

OCJEA (Orange County) received 274 entries for its write-off competition on Feb. 28, including on-the-spot photo, from 17 schools. The competition included a discussion with former state Sen. Gloria Romero of the parent trigger law being implemented for the first time at Palm Lane Elementary School in Santa Ana.

SCJEA hosted its annual state write-off event at Rancho Dominguez Prep in March with more than 200 competitors from 27 schools — the largest write-off in recent history, according to President Lacey Hatfield. Also, SCJEA launched a new website this winter,

First Amendment challenges in SoCal: Student journalists are under fire at Newbury Park High School (Thousand Oaks) and Mayfair High School in Long Beach.

In the Newbury Park case, administrators and a group of parents are protesting the publication of a cover story on teen sex by the Panther Prowler online newspaper. At a March 23 school board meeting, parents demanded that the Prowler’s adviser be dismissed, that students be required to publish a “rebuttal” letter by a local lawyer outlining parents’ objections to the story, and that students be required to publish a letter of apology to the community. The school board voted 3-2 not to require these measures, but parents are continuing to call for the district’s publication policy to be revised to require prior review.

In the Mayfair High School case, a principal refused to let editors publish the March edition after deeming that two stories — one on campus bathrooms and the other on a recent purchase of computer equipment — were “too negative.” As a result, the student newspaper has not been published since December. 

Both of these cases have been referred to JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee. Chair John Bowen posted an article on the Newbury Park case here. 

For the board: An item of concern is the need for more clarity on the JOY rules and rubric. This first year of the digital submission process was understandably a rocky one, with all of us learning and using the new rules and rubric. On the upside, we had nine submissions, including three from Southern California, up from zero last year. 

On the downside, there was significant confusion over the submission process among schools working with outside coaches and mentors. The rubric also caused some consternation among California judges, with one complaining that using it required 42 assessments per student and that this was “excessive.” I received several reports from students who were confused about whether they needed to submit work in all 11 content areas (the answer from JEA JOY Chair Rebecca Pollard was “no,” but there was a persistent perception that a portfolio that touched on fewer than 11 areas was inferior to one that touched on them all).

My goals for next year’s California JOY competition will be to nurture the increase in Southern California submissions, to clarify the submission process to California JEA members including in-school advisers and outside mentors, and to work with California JEA leaders and former JOY judges to review the rubric and streamline how it is applied to California portfolios without jeopardizing national submissions.

Other: California Press Foundation provides annual equipment grants for California campus journalism programs. Apply before April 17.

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

Use the CHSPA website to find all the details about Colorado High School Press Association events, awards and updates.

Membership: The Best of Colorado Awards deadline is April 8, so membership will increase as publications choose to participate in the contest. Current membership includes 177 publications from 91 schools (newspaper, yearbook, video, online, broadcast).


  • The JEA/NSPA Spring 2015 convention is right around the corner and the local committee is ready for a great weekend at the Denver Sheraton Downtown April 16-19. CHSPA Executive Director Jack Kennedy is the local committee chair.
  • A host of opportunities for advisers and students to improve their skills this spring include:
    • Capitol Hill Press Conference (Feb. 27).
    • CHSPA contest windows are open – Best of CO is due April 8, Photographer of the year is due April 15, All-Colorado submissions will be due early this summer.
    • Rethink and Summer Advisers Workshop will be June 8-11. The two workshops are combined in an effort to provide easier access for advisers to training and time with students.

First Amendment issues:

  • Within recent weeks, a number of newspapers have been at risk of being removed from their schools due to low numbers of enrollment. No one has pushed the panic button yet, but it’s on the radar.
  • In Douglas County, advisers are meeting to establish evaluation guidelines for advisers that align with the district’s pay-for-performance system.

Awards and honors:

  • Colorado’s Journalist of the Year is Gabe Rodriguez from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch. Rodriguez was awarded the Dorothy Greer Scholarship as the top journalist in the state and will be competing in the national JOY contest. Runner-up is Chaye Gutierrez from The Lake newspaper at Standley Lake High School in Arvada. The Eric Benson Memorial Scholarship winner is from George Washington High School in Denver.
  • Jack Kennedy, MJE, will receive his Lifetime Achievement Award at the spring convention in Denver.
  • Colorado is also celebrating Rock Canyon High School adviser Kristi Rathbun, CJE, as a 2015 Distinguished Yearbook Adviser as well as Special Recognition Adviser Justin Daigle from Brighton High School and Rising Star Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, from Arvada West High School.
  • Smoky Hill High School has been named a First Amendment Press Freedom Award winner.
  • Multiple Colorado publications have been named to NSPA Pacemaker Finalist and/or CSPA Crown lists.

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

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

Membership: 12

Events: Held Jan. 17, 2015, the Journalism Adviser & Student Editor Seminar filled the Newseum meeting room to capacity. Co-sponsored by D.C. JEA, The Washington Post’s YJDP and Newseum, the program began with The Post’s Maryland reporter Jenna Johnson and Rockville High School journalism teacher-adviser and JEA member Jessica Nassau teaming to present “Writing 201: Reporting, Interviewing, Research.” Video journalist Brad Horn presented “Multimedia 201: Visual Journalism Techniques and Tools” and after lunch, The Post’s Phoebe Connelly, senior production, video, lead the session on “The Web as a Platform.”

Several of the students and teachers were Outreach Academy participants and their student leaders. Two of the students have contacted me since the program with questions. After 35 registered we were forced to deny others the opportunity to attend.

D.C. JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention
The November 2014 convention saw the attendance of teachers and students of more D.C. public, private and charter school than at previous conventions. 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 as well as Carol Lange were members of the local committee.

Likewise, D.C. was well represented in the Outreach Academy. I will continue to make contact with those who attended from our area.

Happenings: After learning that Eastern High School journalism teacher Kevin Bjerregaard was ill and would not be returning to school in December, I met with Principal Rachel Skerritt, Lauren Johnson and Saudia Staten to see how I could assist. They are all committed to continuing the journalism program. I reviewed the new JEA curriculum and urged membership, offered sequencing suggestions, contacted others to speak to his students, and with the help of Barbara Hines at Howard University sought a qualified long-term substitute.

Kevin Bjerregaard became the instructor of media classes at Eastern High School after he had worked for 20 years as a journalist and attorney; he began his career as a teacher first at H.D. Woodson High School, then at Eastern. His passion for the law was expressed in teaching Street Law and creating an annual award for excellence in mock trial. In 2013 he resurrected a newspaper that had not been published for 10 years. He wrote, “Our first issue on bullying won a major award from the D.C. Human Rights Council and Georgetown Law Center!” He continued, “Time will prove that we will have the strongest high school journalism program in D.C. area in the coming years.” With sadness I received word that on February 20, 2015, Kevin succumbed to cancer.

Renee Burke, MJE
Florida State Director
William R. Boone High School
1000 E. Kaley St.
Orlando, FL 32806

Membership: We currently have 108 members, up from 83 last spring. We have been promoting membership through email blasts by FSPA President Colleen Bennett, at our state convention, summer 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 stated by JEA.

Events: The state convention is April 23-25, 2015, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando. Registration had to close early due to meeting space capacity.

We also have committees working to plan the fall JEA/NSPA national convention occurring in Orlando for the first time. We are incredibly excited about this opportunity and hope to draw record numbers.  Contact Convention Chair Joe Humphrey if you have an questions, suggestions or to volunteer.

Initiatives and vision: We are working to increase membership at the state and national level, as well as working to boost 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. We are still awaiting more details from them regarding this new opportunity.

Awards: Congratulations to our four Journalist of the Year finalists this year, listed here in alphabetical order:

▪ Kristi Cook, American Heritage School

▪ Erika Orstad, Cypress Bay High School

▪ Elina Rodriguez, Hillsborough High School, Tampa

▪ Aaron Michael Sortal, American Heritage School

The winner will be announced at the state convention awards dinner April 24 and will represent FSPA at the national level.

Congratulations to the three Florida publications who received a CSPA Gold Crown award and nine publications who earned a Silver Crown. Click here for full list of award winners. Six publications (two online newspapers and four yearbooks) will learn if they win an NSPA Pacemaker April 18.

There were 2,226 entries in the annual FSPA Spring Digital Contests. The All Florida winners are posted here.

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’s membership is standing strong at 50 members.

Awards and honors:

• Multiple 2015 SIPA writing awards went to Clark Central High School (lit mag and newsmag), Decatur High School (newsmag) and Grady High School (newspaper).

• Clarke Central High School’s David Ragsdale was honored with a 2015 SIPA Distinguished Service Award at its February convention.

• 2014 Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker Awards are listed here.

• 2014 CSPA Crown Awards are listed here.

• 11 students entered the statewide Journalist of the Year competition; Mary Claire Morris, a senior at Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, was selected as the 2015 Georgia Champion Journalist.

Contests: Almost 100 students entered a statewide First Amendment essay contest sponsored by the Cox Institute. A winner will be announced later in April.

Upcoming events: The Georgia Scholastic Press Association spring awards banquet is scheduled for April 3, 2015, at UGA. CNN’s Samira Jafari will keynote.

Member notes: New JEA institutional member Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism exhibited and had faculty present sessions for the first time at the fall convention. The program, based in Macon, is offering its third annual Digital Media Camp this summer with most participants able to attend at no charge thanks to the support of the Knight Foundation.

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


  • 11 members total (to my knowledge). Nine members are visible in the JEA Membership Directory. I personally know of two members who are not publicly listed in the directory.
  • Three members attended the D.C. convention. One adviser brought students.
  • To date, no members have confirmed that they will attend the Denver convention.


  • Maile Sur of Kamehameha Schools Maui, under the direction of advisers Naomi Ashman and Kye Haina, was the only Hawaii JOY applicant this year. Because a true judging process did not need to take place, I decided to invite the confirmed judges to review her portfolio and provide constructive feedback before the national deadline. Many mahalos to Jay Hartwell of the Hawaii Publishers Association and UH-Manoa, Stephanie Kendrick of The Star Advertiser and Richard Wiens of Civil Beat for providing supportive and helpful feedback. I am hoping to gather more publicity about Sur’s title through communications with schools and public media this month.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 26th Hawai’i High School Journalism Awards: Print and Online Divisions is coming up. The deadline for submissions was March 20. Schools can compete for statewide recognition in one or more of 20 categories in the public and private school groups. Group winners will have the opportunity to vie for Best in State Overall Awards. They provided examples of judging criteria to those on their mailing list. Their journalism awards banquet will take place in late April 2015.
  • Paulette Suwa, the Hawaii representative for Herff Jones, will hold the Herff Jones Yearbook Awards Banquet on May 15 from 9:30-1 at Dave & Buster’s.

For the board: I’m wondering if more members are not publicly listed, and whether the state directors are allowed to retrieve their information to communicate with them.

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

Happenings: Our state organization named its executive board:

  • President: State JEA Rep: Michelle Harmon, Boise
  • Treasurer: Courtney Morgan, Idaho Falls
  • University Liaison: William Love, Sandpoint
  • Secretary: Leslie Cheret, Rigby
  • Member-at-Large: Megan Fromm, Boise

Goals: The group aims to:

  • Conduct regular meetings
  • Support new advisers (mentoring)
  • Repeat BSU Learning Day
  • Increase membership*
  • Transfer ISJA website to SNO website
  • Maintain a healthy budget

*Programs that qualify for Career and Technical Education status affect JEA membership and/or participation in Idaho. I know this from personal experience, as my journalism/newspaper program is an Idaho CTE program.

Summary: I thought I could influence a merge between ISJA and SkillsUSA from the ground up in hopes of syncing the goals of each, and thereby making JEA membership relevant again. What I learned is JEA can become a viable PSTO for CTE program qualification only through a top-down process. JEA’s national leaders need to talk to the ACTE national organization for anything to happen at all. (Read further for details.)

Among other requirements of a CTE program, CTE program advisers must register students in one of a handful of professional student organizations (PSTO): HOSA, BPA, TSA, DECA, FFA and SkillsUSA, for example.

JEA does not qualify as a PSTO under the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) guidelines, so many advisers in Idaho have had to concentrate efforts in contests and conference participation in an approved PSTO. Participation or membership in JEA becomes onerous because:

  • Many Idaho students do not have money to register for both;
  • School programs often don’t have money to register for both;
  • Some national conference dates conflict with each other (especially April, which is the conference most Idaho chapters are likely to attend);
  • Gearing up for contests and conferences for both JEA and a PSTO can be time consuming, which can be a distraction from the regular curriculum; and
  • Any distraction from the CTE program requirements risks substantial funding of the journalism program.

Of course, journalism programs can opt out of CTE qualification, but state and district education has little funding to offer programs for textbooks, technology, travel, and so on.

The most likely increase in JEA membership in Idaho will come from approval by ACTE of JEA/ISJA as a bona fide professional student organization. I sought advice from my district’s technical education center principal — who also served as a Skills and Technical Sciences Program Manager for the state of Idaho. Following are some notes from our recent conversation.

  1. All PSTOs have
    1. Advocates at the national level who have a strong relationship with ACTE (the organization that defines and approves PSTOs); and
    2. Student components across the board include

i. elected state and chapter officers;

ii. regularly scheduled meetings;

iii. community Service;

iv. fundraising; and

v. state and national events.

  1. The potential to merge ISJA into SkillsUSA (like TSA does) met resistance because
    1. The fit of Journalism in CTE pathways nationwide is complex.

i. For example, three years ago, I created a photojournalism contest for Idaho SkillsUSA in hopes I could generate support for ISJA/JEA under the umbrella of SkillsUSA.

ii. The photojournalism contest was successful on the state level, and the state CTE coordinators supported it 100 percent.

iii. However, the contest would likely not gain traction at the national level because 10 other states would have to be willing to take it on, too.

          1. Journalism in other states is not only organized in various pathways, but also perceived as wholly different undertakings. In many states, it’s not journalism per se that qualifies for CTE funding. For example, Graphic Design in Idaho under the Skills & Technical Sciences pathway is usually a computer class that teaches Desktop Publishing skills, but Graphic Design in other states is strictly a technical skill that falls under domains of the printing press for products such as T-shirt production and design.
          2. Such disparity among state definitions of “journalism,” much less national CTE configurations, makes it difficult for journalism to coordinate an effort to become an umbrella of SkillsUSA.

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

Membership: Illinois current membership is 126.

Happenings: JEA announced that the fall JEA/NSPA convention will be held in Chicago in 2018.

Eastern Illinois University will host the IHSA Journalism State Tournament May 1.

IJEA is working to build and improve relationship with professional media organizations. The Illinois Press Foundation is celebrating its 150th anniversary and IJEA will have a presence at the annual convention in June. In addition, IJEA is increasing efforts to reach out media partners and other friends of scholastic journalism to thank them for their support.

IJEA has updated its website. It can be found at

Mentor reports: The following Illinois mentor submitted the following information for first semester of the 2014-2015 school year. They offer a detailed account of their work with Illinois journalism teachers.

Carol Smith
Carol Smith continues to mentor 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 also mentors the newspaper adviser at Chicago Vocational Career Academy in Chicago.

Stan Zoller, MJE
Stan continues to work with the broadcast and newspaper adviser at Bradley Bourbonnais High School. They have been working on recruiting and getting the most out of her one class. Stan continues to work on issues related to prior review by the school’s principal. He has been encouraging her to practice protocol with the principal, and he recently met with his mentee and the principal to this end.


  • Enhancing membership by attracting new members, especially by informing them about the new curriculum, and by ensuring that IJEA members are also JEA members.
  • Increasing the number of Illinois advisers that have JEA certification. Encouraging current CJEs to become MJEs.
  • Promoting student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Ashley Yong, of Hinsdale South High School, is the Illinois Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Jim Kelly. The runner-up is Michael Glick of the University of Chicago Lab School. His adviser is Logan Aimone.

Four Illinois newspapers won Pacemakers and another was recognized as a finalist at the JEA/NSPA fall convention in Washington, D.C.

One Illinois yearbook and two online newspapers are Pacemaker finalists for 2015. Pacemakers will be presented at the spring convention in Denver.

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

Membership: Indiana membership is 74, up two since last fall. That includes 15 CJEs and 14 MJEs, an increase of one CJE since the fall.

Happenings: Finally, after years of meetings and work writing journalism and mass media standards under direction from Diana Hadley, Executive Director of the Indiana High School Press Association, Indiana advisers received good news from the Department of Education. Information is on the DOE website about Core 40 or Core 40 with Honors credit for student publications, counting for fine arts credit or elective credit. Beginning with 2015-16 school year, Student Publications will now count as an Elective for the General, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors and Core 40 with Technical Honors diplomas. This course may also count for Fine Arts credit as a Directed Elective for the Core 40 Indiana Academic Honors and Core 40 with Technical Honors diplomas. The actual reading from the DOE website states:



Student Publications, a course based on the High School Journalism Standards and the Student Publications Standards, is the continuation of the study of journalism. Students demonstrate their ability to do journalistic writing and design for high school publications, including school newspapers and yearbooks, and a variety of media formats. Students follow the ethical principles and legal boundaries that guide scholastic journalism. Students express themselves publicly with meaning and clarity for the purpose of informing, entertaining, or persuading. Students work on high school publications or media staffs so that they may prepare themselves for career paths in journalism, communications, writing, or related fields.

*Recommended Grade Level: Grades 9, 10, 11 or 12

*Recommended Prerequisites: Journalism, Mass Media, or teacher recommendation

*Credits: 1-8 credits. The nature of this course allows for successive semesters of instruction at advanced levels.

May be offered over three or four years by subtitling the course Beginning,

Intermediate, or Advanced.

*Counts as an Elective for the General, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors and Core 40 with Technical Honors diplomas or two (2) credits accrued as an English/Language Arts Requirement for the Arts.

*Fulfills the Fine Arts requirement for the Core 40 with Academic Honors.

Events: March has been a busy month for Indiana student journalists. The Indiana High School Press Association’s First Amendment Symposium March 13 at the Indiana Statehouse, featured keynote speaker Rocky Killion, superintendent of West Lafayette schools and producer of “Rise Above the Mark,” a documentary focusing on Indiana’s struggles with public school reforms from privatization to high-stakes standardized tests on public education. The state Superintendent of the Year told the group “there’s no evidence anywhere” that standardized tests, vouchers or charters lead to the best schools.

IHSPA student officers shared the stage as each spoke about one of the IHSPA core values of Truth, Freedom, Integrity and Courage.

Following Killion’s speech, the press association named Alaa Abdeldaiem of Crown Point High School as the Indiana Journalist of the Year. Six finalists were also recognized.

Other students shared the spotlight and were commended for their winning First Amendment Essay and First Amendment Graphic Design. Winners in the IHSPA midyear sports writing and photography contests were also honored.

Sports Media Night welcomed 115 students and advisers representing 13 Indiana high schools to the Indiana Pacers March 4. In addition to attending a workshop about sports writing led by Curt Cavin, Indianapolis Star, and a panel of sports professionals, the students attended a Pacers game later that evening. Winners of the sports writing and photography contests got to use their skills at the game. Brad Davis, Southport High School; Kiley Jones, Portage High School; and Jessica Marques, Portage High School, had the opportunity to tour the broadcast trucks at the game, while First Place winner Alaa Abdeldaiem, Crown Point, shadowed a radio play-by-play broadcaster.

Awards and honors: Alaa Abdeldaiem, editor-in-chief of the Crown Point Inklings newspaper at Crown Point High School (adviser Julie Elston), won praise as Indiana’s top student journalist at the First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana State House in Indianapolis.

Six finalists for that honor include Darian Benson of Lawrence Central High School (adviser Elizabeth Granger), Johann Bittner of North Central High School (adviser Tom Gayda, MJE), Breanna Cooper of Ben Davis High School (adviser Tom Hayes), Nicholas Fuchs of Jeffersonville High School (adviser Wes Scott), Maureen Langley of Bloomington North High School (adviser Ryan Gunterman, MJE) and Christina Winfrey of Crown Point High School (adviser Julie Elston). Abdeldaiem also won a $1,500 scholarship from the Hoosier State Press Association in the large school category. Langley won a $1,500 scholarship in the small school division.

Bill Caulton, from Avon High School, will be recognized as one of JEA’s Rising Stars at the spring convention in Denver. Caulton advises the school’s Echo newspaper and Treasure Chest yearbook. Active beyond Avon High School, Bill serves as Recreation Director at the Ball State Summer Journalism Workshops. He also serves on the Indiana High School Press Association adviser board as an At Large Member.

Numerous Indiana publications earned recognition from NSPA as Pacemaker Finalists and winners as well as CSPA Crown recipients, NSPA Best of Show, and the Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contest.

Final note: Indiana 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.

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: Iowa has 51 JEA members, including 10 new members.

Communication has included emails and conversations at IHSPA events about increasing JOY numbers, solving the unique issues faced by advisers and sharing ideas that work. All new members received personal contact.

Happenings: Thirty-eight schools brought roughly 600 students to the State Convention in Iowa City in October, about seven more schools and 95 more students than last year.

The “Des Moines Register’s” new home at Capitol Square in downtown Des Moines was the site of the annual Winter Thaw Feb. 20. Twenty people attended. Nathan Groeper, Consumer Experience Director, led a tour of the “Register’s” work space including the newsroom. Teachers experienced one of the twice-a-day meetings editors have to discuss day-to-day operations like what should go on the front page and what online items are being viewed the most. Register journalist Andrea Melendez gave a lesson about shooting video with iPhones. A panel of former high school journalists ­ – one who works in the state attorney general’s office, one at a PR firm, one for a magazine and one in hiring at a newspaper – discussed career opportunities. This session originated from the belief of some high school advisers that few options exist for journalism majors. During the afternoon advisers submitted topics about which they wanted feedback with the topics being discussed round table style.

After revising the state newspaper contest last year, more rewriting occurred to align the newspaper and newly rewritten yearbook contests. Changes include fewer categories and a new format of honoring the top 10 students in each category much like the National Scholastic Press Association’s “Best of” contests. Also, in addition to the Photographer of the Year contest, writer, designer and videographer contests were added because why should photographers get all the glory.

Four students entered the state Journalist of the Year contest, three more than last year. IHSPA’s idea to honor 10 Emerging Journalists, students who are non-seniors, seems to have encouraged more to enter JOY. For the Emerging Journalists contest, students submit a portfolio. Thus, they already have a portfolio started that they can expound on for the more extensive JOY requirements. Amen.

Awards and honors: Anne Rogers of Johnston High School is the Iowa representative for the national JOY contest.

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

Membership: Scholastic journalism is strong in Kansas with 109 members from across the state.

Happenings: One of the most exciting things to happen this year was KSPA director Eric Thomas’ announcement that his new business cards had arrived. We were thrilled when Eric was named the new director following in the footsteps of KSPA giants like Jackie Engel and John Hudnall.

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association hosted the regional competition at five sites in the state: Fort Hays, Lawrence, Manhattan, Pittsburg and Wichita. Carry-in contests were submitted online for the first time. More than 2,700 students competed in the 24 categories (both on- and off-site) with 1,322 qualifying for the state competition at Lawrence in May.

With the announcement of the changes in the JEA Student Journalist of the Year competition, KSPA board members at every Fall Conference site volunteered to host a session about the changes. KSPA has aligned the State Student Journalist of the Year rubric with that of the national scholarship competition sponsored by JEA and moved the application process online. Despite initial concerns that the move away from a more low-tech application process might prevent some students from applying, the largest number of students in recent history, representing all parts of the state and every classification, applied by the February deadline.

The Middle School Re-Design Workshop was hosted by Mary Patrick and Linda Drake who also served as the speakers. The workshop, held in Wichita in March, was provided free of charge and also offered tips on photography.

Awards and honors: We are so very proud of our recent honorees.

Journalist of the Year: Julia Poe, a senior and two-year editor-in-chief of Shawnee Mission East High School’s news website, who received the award as Kansas Student Journalist of the Year 2015 during a ceremony Feb. 23. In reviewing Poe’s portfolio and application materials, judges commented, “This is a strong package from cover to cover,” “A beautiful application,” and “This is a young journalist that understands the field and the tools needed in order to be successful.  She has everything you could ask for.  Bravo.” Dow Tate is the adviser of

KSPA also named Kylie Rahe of Linn High School (adviser Merlana Kern) as the 1A/2A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year. Kasady Smith from Sterling High School (adviser Todd Vogts) was named 3A/4A Student Journalist of the Year. Poe earned the 5A/6A designation before being named the overall winner by the panel of four judges.

Each winner received a check for $750. In addition, Poe received an extra $500 (for a total of $1,250). This year was the first time for both JEA and KSPA to require electronic submission of application materials.

Special Recognition Adviser: Shawnee Mission West yearbook adviser Amy Morgan was named a Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser by the Journalism Education Association in the H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year contest. Morgan advises the Saga staff at Shawnee Mission West in Overland Park. Morgan also serves as KSPA’s secretary and has been a long-time instructor at the Kansas Journalism Institute.

We also celebrate each of the Kansas yearbooks and newspapers who have received Crown or Pacemaker finalist designation.

Kansas will recognize several more advisers in May at the annual KSPA membership meeting.

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

Claire Burke, CJE
Maryland State Director
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
W: 301-692-4971 | C: 812-320-1744

Membership: Currently, we have 34 members, up from 30 last fall. As I’ve said before, I think this is in great thanks to the Curriculum Initiative. I’m sure having the convention in D.C. this past fall helped as well! Of these members, four are CJEs and three 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.

Happenings: I am happy to say that Maryland is represented in the nation Journalist of the Year competition after a few years of not being represented. Congratulations to Greta Anderson of Rockville High School (and her adviser Jessica Nassau, CJE), and I wish her the best of luck in the national competition.

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. Work has been stalled and the organization will meet in the coming weeks and months to revitalize the organization further and build its reach once again in the Maryland-D.C. area.

On a personal note, this is my last report as the Maryland State Director, as I’ve taken a position in my home state of Indiana. I have loved serving JEA as state director for the past 18 months, and am very proud of what has been accomplished. I look forward to continuing to promote scholastic journalism and student work in the Midwest.

Events: There have been a few workshops throughout the winter at the Newseum or through VAJTA, but it has been a slow season for workshops after the D.C. convention. There was discussion to revitalize the MDCSPA summer workshops this summer, but I don’t see that happening as of now. Hopefully that will materialize in the next year or so.

Awards and commendations: We have one new MJE in our state. Congratulations to Kelly Knarr of Winston Churchill High School, who earned her MJE certification at the Washington, D.C. convention.

Multiple Maryland publications were honored in the NSPA Pacemaker contest and CSPA Crown Awards.

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

Membership: Massachusetts has nine JEA members.

Happenings: I recently reached out to the state membership about interest in serving as the next JEA state director for Massachusetts. After five years and lots of life changes I will be stepping down from the position. Letters of interest are due to myself and vice president Sarah Nichols by April 5.

The Journalism Night at the Celtics took place Feb. 6. For the second year the Celtics offered local advisers and students a chance at not only seeing the game together, but also a Q-and-A with Celtics beat writers from local media.  We are hoping this becomes an annual event.

The New England Scholastic Press Association Conference will take place May 1 at Boston University.

Initiatives: Establishing a Massachusetts JEA affiliate is in the works. Taking the lead, Newton South Adviser Brian Baron has set up a bank account for a JEA Massachusetts group and several of us met this past fall to lay the groundwork for a state organization to serve as a JEA affiliate. Besides contact the national organization, several state groups have been contacted for insight into their experiences taking on this task. We created a working mission and we are hoping for a June meeting with a board in place with members that include people affiliated with both the scholastic and professional press.

Awards: The Massachusetts Journalist of the Year is Alexandra Schley of Hudson High School, under the direction of adviser Amy Vessels. While she was the only applicant, Schley’s portfolio was worthy of the national JOY competition’s high standards and was forwarded on for judging in the competition.

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 last summer, and the JEA Curriculum Initiative was discussed at each event. I’m offering additional EdCamp experiences this summer and will again mention the benefits of JEA membership.


Portfolio Judging (Feb. 27 – March 6): There were four submissions for multiplatform, eight submissions for news design, 14 submissions for news writing and reporting, five submissions for photojournalism, two submissions for video and five submissions for yearbook. The board was divvied into smaller groups to judge the portfolios, with at least two judges scoring each submission. Then, the submissions were narrowed down to two multiplatform, three news design, five news writing and reporting, two photography, one video and two yearbook for Staff Journalist Staff honors. Of those, one person was selected from each category to be the All-MIPA winner for their speciality area. Once we had identified the All-MIPA winners and looked at any other portfolios that may have aligned closely with JEA’s rubric, two clear candidates rose to the top. Because one of those students was mine, MIPA president Jeremy Whiting scored both portfolios with JEA’s rubric and selected our state winner to continue in the Journalist of the Year competition, Danielle Kullmann from Rochester High School. He talked through his rationale with the group of seven advisers who had gathered at our portfolio judging party on Feb. 28 (others joined remotely from home) and they were in agreement with his selection. The board has already begun talking about ways to improve this process for next year. The Student Journalist Staff and All-MIPA winners will be announced at the MIPA Spring Conference on April 20.

MIPA One-Day Workshop (March 20): The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association One Day Workshop took place March 20, 2015 on Michigan State University’s Campus. There were seven courses offered which included InDesign for Publications taught by Sara-Beth Badalamente, Smartphone Journalism taught by Chad Sanders, Jumpstart your Yearbook taught by Shari Adwers, Newspaper Design Clinic taught by C.E. Sikkenga, Photoshop taught by Ike Lea, Building Next Year’s Staff taught by Julia Satterthwaite and Video Storytelling taught by Jesse Sutherland.

MIPA Spring Conference: The MIPA Spring Conference will take place April 20, 2015 at the Lansing Center in Lansing. This is where individual MIPA Awards, as well as the MIPA Student Journalism Staff and JOY will be announced.

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 Scholastic Press Rights Committee, the legislative committee now has a panic button on its website where advisers can report prior review and/or censorship issues as they arise and trigger a response from the legislative team. The MIPA panic button was pushed three times this year from students and/or advisers from Rochester High School, Gull Lake High School and Utica Eisenhower High School, and MIPA’s executive director, Jeremy Steele, and legislative committee chair, Rod Satterthwaite, were able to assist students through those issues.

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, and, if that’s the case, the school 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 the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) is doing. The goal is to open the dialogue with administration and increase the number of “with Distinction” honors each year.

Awards and honors: Pam Bunka from Fenton High School is being honored as a Special Recognition adviser in the H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year program.

NSPA Pacemaker information is available here.

NSPA individual student awards are listed here.

NSPA Best of Show winners from the Washington, D.C. convention are listed here.

Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown winners are listed here.

QUILL AND SCROLL Scholarship Winners

  • Starria Coppins, Richard P. Johns Scholarship, Fraser High School (Jamie Flanagan, adviser)
  • Lauren Kostiuk, Edward J. Nell Scholarship, Eisenhower High School (Erica Kincannon, adviser)

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

Minnesota is excited to have Ms. Laura Widmer as the new associate directors of the NSPA and Sarah Cavanah as a special assignment associate director, joining Executive Director Diana Mitzu Klos and the great crew at NSPA/MHSPA in Minneapolis.

Initiatives: On March 23 a small group of advisers and NSPA staff met with Diana, Laura and Sarah to brainstorm ideas to move Minnesota journalism forward. Discussion centered around outreach to the northern and southern areas of the state where adviser participation in both NSPA/MHSPA and JEA is low. This increased outreach is also a goal of the NSPA board. A fall regional workshop/convention will be piloted this fall, and if successful, a similar workshop/convention will be planned in the southern part of the state. Cities considered for a fall regional workshop were Duluth, St. Cloud, Moorhead. These regional workshops would not replace the existing fall convention held at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Discussion also focused on ways to make the NSPA summer workshop more appealing and ways to increase participation. All were in agreement to bring an adviser track back to the NSPA summer workshop, but we also agreed the session needed to offer adviser college credit, which Sarah Cavanah is working on. An expanded agenda for broadcast programs is also needed. Other programming options were discussed. Long-term advisers felt Web, social media and promotion sessions were needed, and newer advisers stressed the continued need for basic journalism and survival techniques.

Advisers present were also asked to give input on the NSPA critique system. A possibility of critiques via Skype was discussed. This is a definite possibility for the future. Skype critiques would replace the traditional critiques, but would provide another layer of service. The need to tweak the current critique booklet/PDF was also discussed. Some repetition is evident in the booklet, and some streamlining could make the judging process more efficient. The NSPA judging backlog is caught up, and there was confidence by all at the meeting that this type of backlog will not happen again.

Finally, possible enhancements to the NSPA/MHSPA website were discussed. Suggestions focused on how to get advisers to use the site as a daily/weekly resource. Ideas were discussed that would make the site more appealing to users. Prominently posting the benefits of membership in NSPA/MHSPA is needed.

The Journalism Day at the Guthrie is scheduled for April 29. Students are being invited to partake in a tour of the theater, followed by a question-answer session with Minneapolis Star Tribune Arts Critic, Graydon Royce. Then students will view the matinee of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and write a review of the performance. Students are given a reasonable deadline to submit the review and winning reviews will be posed on the MHSPA and JEM websites.

Awards: The Minnesota Journalist of the Year is Maddie Binning of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. Binning is the editor-in-chief of the Talon newspaper and is a regular photography contributor to the Redhawks Online, the multimedia site for Minnehaha Academy. She has started her own freelance photography business, and she works as a photographer at Lifetouch Portrait Studio in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Adviser of the Year is Martha Rush from Mounds View High School. Rush is a journalism, AP economics and AP psychology teacher. She was honored for her consistently outstanding work with The Viewer, the newspaper she has advised for 14 years. “‘This is your paper,’” she always tells us,” 2012-2013 editor Max Vang wrote in his letter nominating Rush. 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 worker who doesn’t seek the spotlight.”

Shoutouts to those named on the Pacemaker lists from NSPA and Crown winners from CSPA.

Membership: Membership is steady at 26 members. Outreach is slow but sure with a visit to Chanhassen High School planned for April. A task force of Minnesota advisers has also been formed by NSPA board member Laurie Hansen to help promote more membership in Minnesota: Jeff Kocur, Lori Keekley, Elizabeth Keeling, Martha Rush, Riley Worth, Kathryn Campbell and Laurie Hansen. Sara Quinn and Ann Visser from the NSPA board have also offered to help Minnesota expand its membership and opportunities.

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

Membership: Missouri scholastic journalism is alive and well with 125 members from across the state; 80 have joined MJEA, and 45 have joined MIPA. Advisers have been busy these last few months improving the lives of their students. The Missouri organizations have aligned the Student Journalist of the Year rubric with that of the national scholarship competition sponsored by JEA. MIPA and MJEA announced senior Daniel Bodden of Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles as the Missouri Student Journalist of the Year on Feb. 24 (adviser Aaron Manfull, MJE).

Happenings: The MJEA state award nominations and submissions were due March 15 with winners to be rolled out beginning in May. The organization is proud to have official partnerships with more than 10 organizations, including several state universities and media outlets that have agreed to serve as judges and award sponsors. More information about the organization is on its website.

The MIPA state contest has been moved online and includes the Journalism Challenge so students and advisers will get tons of feedback on their work. More information about the organization is on its website.

Events: Missouri Interscholastic Press Association will host the 46th annual J-Day at the University of Missouri April 8. Students will hear from a variety of speakers and participate in Write-Off and Shoot-Off competitions.

Greg Miller, who graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2005, will be the keynote for J-Day.

The following are some of the topics and guest presenters that will be available to students during the J-Day breakout sessions:

  • Interviewing — Marissa Hollowed, KMIZ ABC 17 news anchor.
  • Documentary journalism — Stacey Woelfel, associate professor at Missouri School of Journalism, and Jonathan B. Murray, director at the Center for Documentary Journalism.
  • Yearbook Organization — Ronna Sparks-Woodward, Liberty North High School, and Karen Johnson, Liberty High School.
  • Convergent Journalism Mobilizing Documentary Capstone Project — Marissanne Lewis-Thomas, Joe McLean and Tyler Castner, MU journalism seniors.
  • Online Editing — Laura Johnston, Missourian news editor and assistant professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Instagram and Twitter Images — Melinda Wolverson, MU expert IT trainer.
  • Facebook professionalism — David Stone & Kyle Blomenkamp, MU IT Training.
  • Augmented Reality — John Kelley, Walsworth yearbook sales representative.
  • What to Expect at MU Journalism School — Professor Ryan Thomas, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Broadcast Reporting — Tyler Greever and Hanna Battah, MU broadcast students.
  • iPhoneography and Mobile Creativity — Tracy Tuley, Walsworth yearbook sales representative.
  • Photojournalism: Beyond News Photography — Mark Kauzlarich, MU photojournalism graduate student.
  • Establishing a Social Media Voice — Ryan Gavin, Mizzou social media manager.

To make all of this possible MIPA, the Missouri School of Journalism and the University of Missouri had donations and support from the following:

  • American Society of News Editors (ASNE)
  • Center on Religion & the Professions
  • Investigative Reporters & Editors
  • MoJo Advertising and AdZou program
  • National Association of Black Journalists
  • Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI)
  • Strategic Communications
  • Conference Office
  • Visitor Relations

A fall MJEA Day at Mizzou will be announced prior to summer.

Awards: Missouri schools that received Crowns Awards from CSPA are listed here.

Missouri schools honored in the NSPA Pacemaker contests are listed here.

The Missouri Interscholastic Press Association announced the results of its top awards for high school journalism. Winners will be recognized at the J-Day awards ceremony in the afternoon of April 8, 2015, at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St., Columbia and on the MIPA website.

The 2015 Taft Award will go to two teachers, Christina Geabhart, journalism/photography/broadcast teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, and Michelle Turner, photo/art/TV production teacher at Washington High School in Washington. Despite being on opposite sides of the state, these two teachers transformed the MIPA contest system by moving the 2015 contests online, making the process as smooth as possible. The Taft Award is given to a person or group giving outstanding service to scholastic journalism; it is named after the first winner of the special award, Associate Dean William H. Taft of the Missouri School of Journalism.

The 2015 Knight Award winner is Stephanie Green, who teaches at Boonville High School in Boonville. Knight Award winners are people who have provided outstanding service to scholastic or minority journalism and/or who have furthered student freedom of expression in Missouri. Stephanie’s leadership includes a variety of MIPA roles, including MIPA president and administrative assistant, in addition to mentoring diverse students at the annual MUJW (Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop). This award is named after Dr. Robert Knight, a former professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, who was a leader in fostering high school journalism and was a former MIPA leader.

MIPA’s 2015 Journalism Teacher of the Year is Michelle Turner, photo/art/TV production teacher at Washington High School in Washington. She has advised broadcast students for 17 years and has taught journalism for 19 years. For 12 of those years, she has co-advised the Washington High School yearbook staff while simultaneously advising the Blue Jay Journal TV staff of 18 students. Enrollment in her photography courses has nearly quadrupled in the past four years, and she is also an active blogger and member of JEA, MIPA (vice president) and other journalism organizations.

Todd E. White, superintendent at North Kansas City Schools, a four-high-school system, has been named the 2015 MIPA Administrator of the Year, which is given to an administrator who has provided outstanding service to journalism.

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

Membership: Although Montana has always had a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has declined. The number of returning members has also diminished. To gain a better understanding of this issue, the MJEA executive board will sponsor a luncheon at the University of Montana’s High School Journalism Day April 9. At that time, we will discuss and ask for input on how to reorganize our association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively.

Jennifer Keintz will tender her resignation as the MJEA president because of health concerns. We will also ask for nominations to create a more invigorated executive board. The gap left in MJEA’s leadership continues to not be filled. We are hoping to encourage younger members to become engaged in MJEA. Montana journalism programs have undergone dramatic turnover with new advisers taking over the journalism programs in many high schools. 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. We will work to develop updated bylaws and job descriptions.

Maintaining MJEA and JEA membership is a priority. Developing interest in JEA membership has also been encouraged by pointing to the value of the new journalism curriculum. This continues to perk 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.


  • Because of the spring MJEA newspaper, online, yearbook and photography critiques and contests, members have continued to show interest in joining MJEA. However, the number is lower than in past years. This may be because of the important changes made in coordinating the Montana Journalist of the Year contest, which have been introduced this year.
  • There is now a sole state winner who represents Montana at the spring JEA convention. This person will receive a generous scholarship of $1-2,000 from the University School of Journalism. This senior student will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Montana Newspaper Association. The issue of two dates for the Montana Journalism Contest created some confusion. A deadline for SJOY deviated from the other contest entries in order to coordinate the SJOY with national JEA deadlines. This should be refined for next year’s state contest. It will be on the agenda.

Senior editor-in-chief of the Charles M. Russell “Stampede” Peyton Fulbright has been selected to represent Montana as The Montana Student Journalist of the Year.

Peyton submitted a portfolio of his work containing a reflection of his high school journey in journalism that was evaluated by this year’s judge, Dean Larry Abramson. Abramson said, “Peyton’s commitment to quality journalism is noteworthy in someone so young. He has shown he can take on big challenges, such as running his school’s newspaper. He has also done something many of us strive for: he has found something he loves. We in the journalism profession will be proud to welcome him into our ranks. He is an outstanding candidate for journalist of the year.”

The University of Montana’s School of Journalism will honor Peyton with a $1,000 scholarship to help him continue his education as he attends college at the School of Journalism this fall. His award will be given during the final ceremony of the High School J Day at the University of Montana on April 9.

The Montana Newspaper Association’s continued support of future journalists with their annual scholarship is most noteworthy. Peyton and his adviser, Beth Britton, will be invited to MNA’s spring meeting where Peyton will be recognized and awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship.

Peyton will represent Montana scholastic journalists in the Journalism Education Association’s National High School Journalist of the Year competition.

See the full videos here, courtesy of Cody Proctor from KRTV.


  • The Montana Journalism High School Day, coordinated by University of Montana 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 continue to discuss their hope for a future conference that can be planned to include more adviser and student friendly workshops on the U of M’s campus. Because the U of M’s Journalism Action Committee had concentrated on this fall’s bicentennial celebration, their focus has not been on their collaboration with MJEA. We missed 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.
  • MJEA has created a website to create better communication for Montana advisers. It has been slow getting the message out about the website but we will continue to emphasize our multi-media focus to communicate with advisers.
  • 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.
  • We will also explore the possible options for journalism advisers to obtain technology credit for their journalism students. The Office of Public Instructions is willing to look at alternative ways to give journalism advisers CTE endorsement. Jennifer Keintz will report on her success in working with OPI to obtain certification. Linda Ballew will report on her work with technology for rural schools.
  • U of M will again have a journalism professor attending and presenting workshops at the JEA Convention in Denver.

State Convention:

  • The MJEA will discuss the possibility of dove-tailing with the MEA-MFT state teacher convention in Billings on Oct. 16-17, 2015. 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 been wonderful in sending support materials to enlist new members. More convention details will be available after our board meeting April 9.

For the board: Once again, we are requesting that the deadline for these 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 April. We will once again 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: The JEA Membership Directory currently lists 49 members from Nebraska. That number has been steady. Five have earned CJE status and four have earned MJE status. We continue to offer JEA membership at the same time as NHSPA membership hoping to capitalize on those registration/membership moneys at the start of the school year.

Awards: We are pleased to share the results of the 2015 Nebraska’s Journalist of the Year Competition. 

Congratulations to Nebraska’s winner, Joseph D. John of Omaha North High School. Joe is the editor-in-chief of The North Star. You can take a peak at his winning portfolio at josephdjohn96.wordpress.comJoe’s adviser is Hillary Aerts. The portfolio has been received at JEA Headquarters for consideration in the national contest.

Congratulations to Nebraska’s runner-up in the 2015 State Journalist of the Year Contest, Aubrey S. Sydow of McCook Senior High School. Aubrey is the chief editor of The Stampede (adviser Kristen Harris). Her portfolio is available online at
Special thanks to UNL’s Michelle Hassler, Lecturer and Admissions Coordinator at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication, for assisting with the judging.

Nebraska had a good showing in D.C. for the fall convention. Nineteen students from four schools earned Write-off recognition. In other NSPA awards announced in D.C., I am excited to share that Nebraska continues to earn national accolades. Results are listed here.

At the adviser awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., the Dow Jones News Fund recognized Westside’s Matt Rasgorshek as a Special Recognition Adviser for 2014. Bob Bair, retired adviser from Blair High School, was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Diane Schutt, retired adviser from Fairbury High School, deferred her Lifetime Achievement Award recognition to the Denver ceremony in April. And, Brandi Benson from Lincoln Southwest received her Certified Journalism Educator award.

• The Nebraska High School Press Association continues to sponsor a fall workshop at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. They also continue to sponsor a summer journalism workshop. This year’s workshop will be July 19-22. The adviser workshop is on the 19th and the student portion runs from July 20-22. Cost is $300 but if you register by May 22, you get a $25 earlybird discount. Contact Diane Schieffer at or Erin Konecky at for more information.

• The Nebraska JEA Winter Contest continued.  2015 Results are online here. We continue to be grateful to our JEA friend volunteer judges. This little contest could not happen without you.

• Spring 2015 marks the first time that NHSPA has not been involved formally with the State Journalism Contest. The NSAA (State Activities Association) has re-classified schools, revamped some onsite contests and changed the venue. Members are anxious to see this work on April 27, 2015.

For the board: Thanks for a great D.C. convention and thanks in advance for an awesome Denver convention. We all appreciate the big and little things you do for us and for our students.

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

Membership: Nevada currently has 22 JEA members. Our goal is to increase to 30 with registration for JEA Advisers Institute. 

Happenings: General communications regarding important events and updates continue to be sent to state members.

Awards and honors: 

  • Best of Show winners from NSPA from the Washington, D.C. convention are listed here.
  • CSPA Crown winners are listed here.
  • 2015 JEA Rising Star: Matthew LaPorte, CJE, of Southwest Career and Technical Academy
  • 2015 State Journalist of the Year: Katie Rosso of Green Valley High School, Las Vegas

Upcoming events: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists will open its third annual yearbook contest on April 6. The newspaper contest has been moved from the fall to coincide with the yearbook contest, in order to conduct a dual judging process and ceremony. Each publication has the option to enter 30 different categories, including Best in Show. The 2014 contest had over 500 entries for just the yearbook, so the SNSJ is expecting to at minimum double the amount of entries with the inclusion of newspaper.

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

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 in New York has been steadily increasing over the last few months after falling off steeply when the free memberships didn’t get renewed. Reaching out to new members and older ones on Facebook, I’ve tried to build a community and develop resources to help other advisers.

Happenings: CSPA is had its Spring Convention March 18-20. The Baruch High School Collaborative under Katina Peron continues to give NYC journalism students authentic experiences and offers occasional day-long workshops for teachers and student editors.

Awards and honors: Cortney Weisman’s students from Ward Melville High School won an honorable mention for Design of the Year at the Fall JEA convention. They also took home many Write-off awards.

Unfortunately there were no submissions to Journalist of the Year from New York.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership for North Carolina as of March is 57, down three from last spring. NC Scholastic Media Association membership materials continue to offer a JEA membership option, as NCSMA is an affiliate member of JEA.

Happenings: This summer, the NC Scholastic Media Institute will again provide four days of instruction in the yearbook, news, broadcast, literary magazine, design, online news, advising and photography for students and teachers from across the state. Sessions are taught in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill; instructors include faculty from across the state and several from out of state as well. Dates for summer 2015 are June 15-18. The registration fee remains $200 per person for earlybird registration and $225 for participants who register after May 1. That fee covers overnight lodging, instruction, pizza party and awards brunch. Results from the statewide media contests are announced during the closing awards brunch.

NCSMA houses the NC College Media Association, serving college media advisers and staffs. The NCSMA office coordinates an annual one-day conference in February on a different college campus each year. The association also offers an annual statewide media contest with a Dec. 1 deadline each year. Student media advisers from across the state judge the contest and serve as conference workshop instructors.

NCSMA continues to offer summer graduate-level options in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. The 2015 course will be “Teaching Photojournalism in the Secondary School.” This short-term course will be offered July 5-11, allowing teachers to complete three hours of graduate coursework in a week. Class will meet all day each day. North Carolina scholastic journalism teachers and student media advisers are invited to apply for this Journalism Teaching Fellowship course. All expenses are covered by the fellowship program. These fellowships, covering tuition, lodging and books, are valued at $1,230 each.

The Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, now in its fourth year, continues to accept 40 students from across the country each summer for four days of sports media instruction. The workshop is housed in NCSMA offices, and all proceeds fund the NCSMA teaching fellowship program.

Mentoring: North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Cornelia Harris, Phyllis Cooper, Sue Farlow and Carol Eanes serve as mentors. All attended the national convention and participated in training and judging activities.

Awards and honors: R.J. Reynolds High School (Winston-Salem) Journalist Sam Doughton has been named the 2015 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year.

Alternates are Karringtan Harris of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte and Emiko (Emi) Myers of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh.

Since 2001 the North Carolina Press Foundation has funded the annual scholarship award in honor of Rivers-Coffey, journalist and former NC Press Association president. NCPF will award a $2,000 scholarship to Doughton. The two alternates will each receive $500. The foundation will also award the winners’ journalism programs. The Journalist of the Year’s program will receive $500. The two alternates’ programs will each receive $250.

We are excited to announce that the N.C. Press Foundation will increase the amount of these scholarships in 2016. The state winner will then receive $3,000. Three alternates will each receive $1,000 scholarships. The foundation will continue to provide matching funds to each of the winners’ high school journalism programs.

Doughton will now represent the state in the national scholarship competition.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 18 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the NC Scholastic Media Institute.

Congratulations to Stephen Hanf of R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. Hanf received the Rising Star Award from JEA and will be honored at the awards luncheon April 18 in Denver.

Congratulations to North Carolina programs earning recognition in NSPA Pacemaker and CSPA Crown contests.

For the board:

1. Please consider a review of the Journalist of the Year contest and its requirements to ensure that we are not requiring a burdensome amount of work for a national scholarship that has been cut to an amount near or below state scholarship amounts.

In North Carolina we remain concerned with revisions that might lead students to think they are completing a marketing campaign that allows adviser participation, in place of a purely student journalism scholarship competition. The foundation that funds our student journalist of the year school competition provides scholarship funding for top student journalists. The state competition, which had always previously followed the JEA national rubric, has always focused on a body of work, not bells and whistles. We must stay true to that intent to maintain the integrity of our collaboration with our press foundation. We also need to encourage as many entries as possible on the state level. That means accepting entries from students in rural, suburban, urban schools. That means accepting entries from students whose advisers may be new to the field. That means realizing that we may have a student who is an incredibly talented writer, but whose school has limited resources in scholastic journalism. Please help develop a contest infrastructure that encourages participation and does not scare away students.

Some logistical issues at the state level also concern us. Some schools have strict policies that will not allow teachers to release letters of recommendation to students. Unless we provide our own secure site infrastructure, state application materials will remain offline anyway. And we wonder why students cannot choose an electronic option that is more private (say, for example, a weebly page that is password-protected). This would be a simple addition to the online application page, and further protect students who are told not to put personal information on their websites anyway.

The JOY competition has always been a wonderful, collaborative effort among JEA, state directors and state press associations. Please give states the opportunity to review and comment on revisions next year before they are posted. Please also consider an option for recognizing, for the sake of archiving winners, a student who wins at the state level, but decides not to enter the national competition.

Finally, we request a review of the JOY rubric so that points are reallocated in a consistent, fair distribution that will not be deemed arbitrary or punitive. One option may be to ask students to submit material in at least five of the curriculum areas, instead of overwhelming them with all of them.

2. We ask that the JEA board consider including, within the $100 affiliate membership fee, full membership for the representative/director of the affiliate organizations. If JEA does not want state press directors to be full members, then perhaps include associate membership status for state scholastic press directors in the $100 affiliate fee.

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

Membership: North Dakota has 14 members.

Events: Northern Interscholastic Press Association (NIPA) spring competition will take place March 29, 2015 at West Fargo High School.

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 and large group instruction.

As part of my MJE project, I am continuing to present adviser classes/workshops at three state journalism workshops during the school year. However, I am not able to make it to our state competition this spring due to a family conflict. My students will be traveling with Bismarck High School advisers.

With the increase of advisers joining JEA in our state, I finally created 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 (JEA North Dakota). 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.

The New Voices Act: A growing group of active journalists, journalism professors, advisers and students in North Dakota have been working to restore the Tinker standard of student expression in high schools and colleges through passing House Bill 1471 – The John Wall New Voices Act. 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 student journalists.

February 17, 2015, our group testified to the House Education Committee. For two hours we shared our heart for student free expression. Participants who testified included:

  • Alex Looysen – North Dakota House Republican Representative – D12
  • Steve Listopad – Assistant Professor/Student Media Director, Valley City State University
  • Frank LoMonte – Executive Director, Student Press Law Center
  • Mary Beth Tinker – Student free speech activist
  • Steve Andrist – Executive Director, North Dakota Newspaper Association
  • Jeremy Murphy – Journalism Adviser, West Fargo High School
  • Emily Chadwick – West Fargo High School journalism student
  • Logan Ahern – West Fargo High School journalism student
  • Sue Skalicky – Century High School and Legacy High School journalism adviser
  • Kacey Peterson – Century High School journalism student
  • Carrie Sandstrom – University of North Dakota journalism student

We also had written endorsements from JEA, The Center for Scholastic Journalism, and Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey.

After many questions, many of them legal questions directed at Frank LoMonte, the Committee made several amendments – the most significant being taking private colleges off the bill. This was disheartening for many reasons, but especially since private college students originally wrote the bill as a class project. We agreed to all of the amendments, most being semantics and putting what is already law into the bill (e.g. “The policy may also include limitations to language that may be defined as profane, harassing, threatening, or intimidating.”).

By the end of that day, the House Education Committee voted 11-2 in favor of the bill. February 20, 2015, the full House voted 92-0-2 in favor of the bill.

In between the House hearing and the Senate hearing bill endorsements have been received from the Jamestown School Board, Bismarck Public Schools School Board, the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders, the Bismarck Tribune and the Fargo Forum.

March 18, 2015, we testified to the Senate Education Committee. Participants included:

  • Alex Looysen – North Dakota House Republican Representative – D12
  • Steve Listopad – Assistant Professor/Student Media Director, Valley City State University
  • Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey – Student free speech activist (plaintiff in the Supreme Court case regarding student speech (Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier, 1988).
  • Frank LoMonte – Executive Director, Student Press Law Center
  • Steve Andrist – Executive Director, North Dakota Newspaper Association
  • Katie Winbauer – Bismarck State College journalism student
  • Baelee Zayde  Butts – Valley City State University journalism student
  • Jeremy Murphy – Journalism Adviser, West Fargo High School
  • Brittany Rheault – West Fargo High School journalism student
  • Sue Skalicky – Century High School and Legacy High School journalism adviser
  • Faith Harron – Century High School journalism student

The bill is now in committee. During our testimony to the SEC, Senator Erin Oban expressed a desire to see private colleges put back in the bill. She is a University of Mary graduate and wants to see all North Dakota student journalists represented and protected. As a committee we are hesitant at this point to stir the waters. We have had an overwhelming positive reaction in both the House and the Senate with private colleges removed. The last thing we want is a conference committee battle that could result in someone saying that they should just defeat the bill.

Our hope is that this bill is signed into law before the JEA/NSPA spring convention in Denver April 16-19, 2015. I am hoping to share our victory soon!

Awards: NIPA awards will be awarded at the spring NIPA competition March 29, 2015.

Service to School and Community Award

NIPA Photographer of the Year

JIA/NIPA Journalist of the Year: Logan Ahern, 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 69 members. Last year at this time, we had 65. This is the time of year that many of our members renew their membership through the state organization, so those numbers should increase at the end of April.

Happenings: The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) will hold its seventh state conference at Kent April 9-10, 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 certificates at the banquet on Friday evening. We are excited to have Mandy Jenkins as our keynote speaker.

Mandy heads up the newsroom at Storyful, a 24/7 social news agency that specializes in surfacing, verifying and sharing eyewitness journalism from around the world. Mandy was previously the managing editor for Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, overseeing daily operations for the national newsroom, which published to more than 200 local outlets across the U.S. prior to its closure in the spring of 2014.

Mentors: We have begun the eighth year of the JEA mentoring project, underwritten by the Ohio Scholastic Media Association. The mentors are Wayne and Georgia Dunn.

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.

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

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 52 members. We have been holding steady the past few years, losing some but gaining others.

Happenings: Robert Hankes resigned as the PSPA president; Jane Blystone is the acting president until spring 2016 when a president needs to be identified/elected.


  • Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year: Suproteem Sarkar, Conestoga High School
  • PSPA Keystone Award: Bonnie Blackman, Jostens
  • PSPA Keystone Award: Suproteem Sarkar, Conestoga High School

The following students placed first in the PSPA Student Journalism Competition (SJC) Championship at Penn State University March 6:

  • Yearbook
    Caption: Lindsey Caldewell, Kiski Area High School
    Copy: Emily Weaver, ELCO High School
    Sports: Landon DeHart, Tussey Mountain High School
    Design: Hope Oishi, Central Mountain High School
  • Newspaper
    News: Cathryn Seibert, Emmaus High School
    Feature: Naomi Singer, Hamburg Area High School
    Sports: Matthew Feldman, Bellefonte High School
  • Editorial
    Writing: Ryan Johnston, Avonworth High School
    Cartoon: David Clark, Avonworth High School
  • Lit Mag
    Poetry: Charlie Brickner, North Allegheny
    Cover: Hannah Gauntner, North Allegheny
  • Broadcast
    Writing: Nicole Umstead, Quakertown Community High School
    Package: Maria DeBone, Franklin Regional High School
  • Photo: Nikole Kost, Kiski Area High School
  • Best of Show: Maria DeBone, Franklin Regional High School

The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) Foundation will host the 2015 Student Keystone Press Awards luncheon April 1 to honor the following:

  • General News: Conestoga High School
  • Ongoing Coverage: Saegertown High School
  • Public Service: Southern Lehigh High School
  • Feature: Mount Lebanon High School
  • Personality Profile: Conestoga High School
  • Sports: Emmaus High School
  • Editorial: North Penn High School
  • Column: Emmaus High School
  • Review: Hershey High School
  • Cartoon: Conestoga High School
  • Sports Photo: Forest Hills High School
  • Feature Photo: North Penn High School
  • News Photo: Franklin Regional High School
  • Photo Story: Forest Hills High School
  • Layout/Design: Franklin Regional High School
  • Website: North Penn High School

Contests: The Pennsylvania School Press Association held its first Student Journalism Competition Championship at Penn State University March 6. Participating students placed first in the five regional contests offered in the fall. Sixty-three students from 21 schools qualified. Three schools could not attend the competition because of inclement weather.

The write-off prompt was a press conference organized by Penn State, featuring two football players, both starters: quarterback Christian Hackenberg and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton. The day began with a light breakfast and the press conference and was followed by the write-off. After lunch, students heard two speakers: editors from O magazine and the Altoona Mirror. Awards were announced at the end of the day.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-Atlantic chapter will host its student TV awards ceremony April 28 at Neumann University. Awards are presented for broadcast categories, including talent, writing, news and feature packages, sports package, broadcast, PSA.

Upcoming events: PSPA will offer summer evaluations for yearbook, newspaper and literary magazine.

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: According to the JEA directory as of April 2015, South Carolina’s membership is at 25 – an increase of six since the fall report. This includes 18 teacher/adviser, two lifetime, three associate, one retired, one institution/library.

Although we encourage SCSPA and SIPA members to join JEA, we have not offered JEA as an option on our SCSPA membership forms this year. We had to drop our affiliate membership when the cost was raised to $100 with no rights to “vote nor hold office nor nominate candidates for office nor propose actions or programs.” Although we would have gotten $5 per membership by joining through SCSPA, we didn’t project we would get 20 memberships to cover the cost, and we needed to at least break even because our SCSPA budget could only include the director’s membership.

If the affiliate membership were changed to have one member with full privileges to “vote and hold office and nominate candidates for office and propose actions or programs,” SCSPA would join as an affiliate member and encourage both SCSPA and SIPA members to join JEA by putting JEA membership as an option on a composite membership form.

Our membership in both SCSPA and SIPA seems to be holding steady. We continue to struggle with communication with advisers because (1) we often don’t know who the new advisers are at a school – high rate of adviser turnover – and (2) advisers are overloaded and don’t reply to emails reminding them about renewing membership.

Happenings: SIPA celebrated its 90th anniversary at the annual convention Feb. 27-March 1. Our numbers – 440 – were down slightly as they always are when the national JEA/NSPA convention is in Washington, D.C.  We were delighted that a winter storm the week of our convention kept only one school from attending – although a number had to make alternate plans to get here. But we were sad that three dynamic speakers could not get here (from Ohio, New York and Virginia), and one from Texas didn’t get here until mid-day Saturday. However, weather problems did not affect the high level of learning, bonding, networking and camaraderie that has been the hallmark of SIPA for 90 years and caused some to say it’s the “best little convention in the country.”

Our SCSPA spring conference will be April 27 at the Russell House on the University of South Carolina’s campus. We expect much lower attendance than in the fall as schools are tightening the reins on field trips at this time of year and because of AP and end-of-the year testing.

Award winners can be found online for SCSPA and SIPA.

Summer changes: Since numbers for the Carolina Journalism Institute have dropped significantly for three years, and since the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in which we are housed will be moving to another part of campus this summer, we have cancelled the 2015 CJI.

However, we will be working with one of the J-school professors to promote a leadership workshop for rising juniors and seniors, the Baldwin Pre-collegiate Leadership Workshop in Business and Investigative Journalism at the University of South Carolina June 26-27, 2015.

Also we will offer some one-day and two-day workshops in areas like design and Photoshop around the state. Member staffs will host these.

Mentors: SIPA and SCSPA continue to support mentors in South Carolina and North Carolina. These organizations financially helped South Carolina’s one mentor, Marilyn Chapman.

We offered free membership in SCSPA and SIPA to both mentors and mentees and free registration to the SIPA convention.

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 a one-year JEA membership; a start-up packet including a journalism textbook and several pamphlets; participation in an online adviser training workshop, which was in October; funds to attend a high school journalism convention; or funds dedicated to a journalism project requested by a publications adviser. The journalism grants are one facet of the #JournalismIs program, which was designed to help redefine high school journalism for the digital age.

Happenings: The South Dakota High School Press Convention will take place April 1, 2015, at the South Dakota State University in Brookings. The keynote speaker is Larry Rohrer, who is the content director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB).  He has a long history with journalism and reporting through the statewide organization.  He oversees television, radio, website, print and social media content for SDPB.

Publication advisers who have recommendations to improve the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s journalism program or who have concerns about the program should contact their area’s representative on the Journalism Advisory Committee. The committee will meet after the convention.

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 36. Outreach measures include collecting email addresses for Tennessee advisers and sending them an informational email about what JEA has to offer. At workshops, information pamphlets were passed out to non-members regarding JEA and what it has to offer.

Awards and honors:

  • Tennessee High School Press Association’s Administrator of the Year: Sara Hayes, Father Ryan High School
  • Tennessee High School Press Association’s Bonnie Hufford Media Adviser of the Year: David Flanary, John Sevier Middle School
  • Tennessee High School Press Association’s H. L. Hall Student Journalist of the Year: Morgan Ridenour, Jefferson County High School
  • Individuals and groups won many awards at the Tennessee High School Press Association Awards Day in March. A complete list of the awards can be found here:


  • Last October, Lipscomb University hosted its annual Student Media Workshop where schools (high school and middle schools) from all across Tennessee attended sessions. There were two Write-off competitions, one on feature writing and one on sports writing. There was a first, second and third place awarded for each competition. The winners can be found here:
  • The Lipscomb/THSPA Journalism Camp, featuring instruction in writing, photography, design, video and social media, will be June 7-10 on Lipscomb’s campus.
  • The Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University is holding five-day multi-platform workshop July 13-17, 2015. Innovation J-Camp is open to any high school student who has completed his or her freshman year. Students will learn digital reporting skills, photojournalism, video storytelling and basic Web building and management skills.
  • THSPA’s Fall Workshop on Oct. 16 will feature Mary Beth Tinker. Mary Beth was a 13-year-old Iowa student who wore a black armband to school in 1968 to protest the Vietnam War. Most of the students who joined her in that act were suspended, and the First Amendment case went to the Supreme Court. In a landmark 1969 decision, the Court ruled that students in public schools do have First Amendment rights, that students and teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights … at the schoolhouse gate.”

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

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

Membership: Utah membership stands at a total of 12, with 10 teachers and two professional associations or universities.

Happenings: Utah Valley University held the ninth annual UVU Journalism Conference in February that hosted 18-20 schools and more than 340 students from across the state. The students received awards for various writing categories and attended breakout sessions taught by local reporters and university professors.

A PLC meeting with all advisors in attendance took place during one of the breakout sessions, and advisers seemed energized and excited about working together and developing a stronger PLC.

Initiatives and vision: Work has begun with the new adviser of the Weber State University newspaper (The Signpost) on the first annual Summer Journalism Institute.  The three-day event will take place on WSUs campus and will be sometime in August.

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.

Awards: There were multiple awards given at the Utah Valley University conference. 

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

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

Membership: Currently, membership stands at one. I am in the process of putting together a mailing list of all the high schools in Vermont in order to send out a mailing in August 2015. I also emailed the head of the Vermont Press Association to introduce myself.
Happenings: The New England Scholastic Press Association Conference will take place May 1 at Boston University.
Mentoring: After receiving mentor training at the 2014 Advisers Institute, I have been communicating with two possible long-distance mentees and one possible local mentee. One of the long-distance advisers has recently completed the necessary paperwork and is now an official mentee.

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

Membership: Membership is holding steady.


  • Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. was incredibly successful and garnered the highest attendance in convention history.
  • jDay in Virginia will take place April 10-11 at Westfield High School in Chantilly 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.
  • jRetreat in Virginia was a new event for us this year and was for advisers only. This took place Jan. 16-17 in Petersburg and featured adviser-in-residence Aaron Manfull. Close to 30 advisers participated in the learning-packed weekend. Next year’s jRetreat will again be held in Petersburg on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend and will feature Mark Murray as the adviser-in-residence, and participants will be doing hands on activities to advance their photography skills.
  • 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.

Awards and honors: Lindsay Benedict, newspaper adviser at McLean High School  will receive the JEA Rising Star Award in Denver at the spring JEA/NSPA convention.

Cynthia Prieto, principal of Harrisonburg High School, has been named the SIPA Administrator of the Year and received her award at the annual SIPA convention in Columbia, South Carolina Feb. 28.

Mia Karr, a senior at Harrisonburg High School, won Virginia’s Student Journalist of the Year competition and her portfolio will advance to compete for the national contest.

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

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association currently has 114 members with membership in the state organization expected to increase after the State conference March 21. National JEA membership in Washington is 78.

Events: Puyallup High School hosted the 2015 WJEA Spring Conference and Competition with approximately 400 students and advisers in attendance, March 21. Speakers ranged from journalism advisers to working journalists, including alumni from a variety of state programs. At the state conference, we were also able to have Kim Green join us to proctor the CJE exam for five advisers.

The state organization is also ramping up for its annual summer workshop held at the beginning of August at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Initiatives: The Washington Journalism Education Association has begun two new recognition programs for its membership. The first is a Best of Washington recognition program where member schools send in pdf documents of work produced during the current school year. These pdfs are compiled and shown during the awards ceremony at State as well as other WJEA events. The pdfs also are scheduled to become part of an online document housed on

The second new recognition program is the All-Washington Critique service. This new critique service replaces the previous “Best of Show” award at the state competition.  Staffs will send in multiple issues of their respective publications in June for a summer critique where publications can earn honorable mention, excellent or superior. All superior award winners are eligible for then an additional round of evaluation for the All-Washington designation. Winners will be announced at Journalism Day-West in September at the University of Washington.

Awards: Kirsten Vesseley from Inglemoor High School was awarded the Washington Journalism Adviser of the Year at the state conference March 21.

Mentors: Kay Locey and Joy Lessard continue to be involved in the mentor program, each of them working with several mentees. Lessard is actively working with Sedro Woolley, and she had someone from Stanwood that expressed interest. Locey is completing the second year with Nikki Shannon at Rogers High School, who is giving up the publication. Her principal has already picked a replacement: Bonnie Hager. Locey will mentor her. Patricia Graveser Dunn, yearbook adviser wants to start newspaper at South Bend H.S. Met in Tumwater.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: A recent concern has been brought up by some broadcasting programs in the state about filming state and regional sporting events and being denied access to do so by the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association). This is being investigated for further discussion.

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

West Virginia JEA has partnered with the WVU Reed College of Media to update and build the database of journalism teachers throughout the state. The goal for this database is to create a network of teachers that know they can depend on each other for support, advice and encouragement.

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

Membership: Advisers Winter Seminar held at Lake Lawn Resort March 6-7 recruited the 29 attending advisers to join both JEA and Kettle Moraine Press Association through direct appeals, member forms, JEA Calendar of Events, Certification pamphlets and JEA convention information. Wisconsin membership is at 44 currently, while KEMPA membership stands at 98 for both Wisconsin and Illinois. KEMPA Winter Advisers Seminar and Fall Scholastic Journalism Conference offered time with 29 and 75 advisers respectively to talk about advantages of dual membership.

Happenings: KEMPA Advisers Winter Seminar at Lake Lawn Resort March 6-7 featured 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Jim Streisel. He focused on engaging readers through quality new writing, alternative story forms and online development. Other sessions expanded on publication brands, grants for JEA conventions and apps for multimedia. The silent auction raised money for scholarships and the Student Press Law Center. Quick-fire sessions and Friday dinner encouraged adviser questions and connections.

The Fall Scholastic Journalism Conference Oct. 17 at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater attracted 939. Students and 75 adviser attendees attended 90 sessions from 43 professional presenters representing newspapers, broadcast media, photography, communications and advertising as well as journalism educators. Five sessions featured Fond du Lac & the First with the high school’s Cardinal Columns editorial staff and Adviser Matt Smith as well as Dr. Vince Filak of UW-Oshkosh. They offered insights into the prior review and censorship they experienced the prior school year, and the progress toward a staff/administrative dialogue made through JEA, SPLC and KEMPA support that will cooperatively lead to a free and responsible student press.

In the journalism evaluation/competition for 59 publications, seven newspapers, seven yearbooks, one news magazine and one online newspaper achieved All-KEMPA rank. At the advisers’ annual meeting/ luncheon, JEA Director Stan Zoller promoted JEA membership, certification and national conventions. KEMPA Fall Scholastic Journalism Conference remains a primary resource for high school publication staffs and advisers.

For summer programming July 19-22, KEMPA has chosen Marquette University to host the Golden Opportunities workshop. Summer again will offer Adviser Day free to advisers of workshop students.

Wisconsin JEA Mentor program has eight mentees this year, the second highest number in the country, according to Mentor Chair Linda Barrington. Amy Beestra is in her final year of working with her mentor, Babs Erickson, who retired last year but continues her work with Amy. Kay Lee is from central Wisconsin and works with her long-distance mentor, Mary Anne McCloud, who is from Kansas.  Dani Olejniczak works with mentor Sandy Jacoby; Jon Netzler is in his final year of working with mentor Dave Wallner, and will be leaving in the coming months to teach in Saudi Arabia.  Kathleen Evans, Julie Felser, Sarah Moore and Jack Wepfer work with their mentor, Linda Barrington.  As mentees, Kay, Dani and Jon attended the KEMPA Winter Advisers’ Seminar for a reduced fee. KEMPA mentees also receive free membership.

Awards and honors:

  • JEA Lifetime Achievement: Mike Doyle, CJE, Belvidere North High School (retired)
  • NSPA Pioneer Award: Stan Zoller, MJE, JEA Director at Large
  • DJNF Teacher of the Year, Special Recognition Adviser: Evelyn Lauer, CJE,  Niles West High School
  • KEMPA Administrator of the Year: James Huggins, Appleton North High School
  • KEMPA Media Award: Jed Carlson, Photojournalist-Superior Telegram
  • KEMPA Newspaper Adviser of the Year: Evelyn Lauer, CJE, Niles West High School and Carolyn Wagner, Lake Zurich High School
  • KEMPA Yearbook Adviser of the Year: Cathy Newton, Wausau West High School
  • Friend of KEMPA: Jayme Bogner, Jostens
  • KEMPA Gebhardt Writing Award & SPLC Courage in Student Journalism Award: Tanvi Kumar, Fond du Lac High School editor

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 11 members.

Happenings: Board members have been meeting regularly to plan for next year’s fall conference. We have found that using Skype has greatly improved our ability to meet as a board on a more regular basis. The board is currently looking at possible presenters. The keynote speaker and judges have been secured for the conference in October. Our keynote for the conference is Jed Palmer.

We have reopened the online newspaper category for schools initiating and/or returning to the online format. 

President Katherine Patrick of Torrington has initiated board meetings via Skype.

Secretary Polly Burkett has been contacting advisers over email about current issues and the conference information. The WHSSPA is a non-profit organization.

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