Semiannual report for fall 2015

Semiannual report for fall 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 2,419, up 148 members from last spring and 181 from a comparable time last fall. For the third consecutive reporting period, we have broken records for the number of paid members. California, with 273 members, is our most member-heavy state, with Texas close behind at 259. Over the past year, we have seen significant growth, percentage-wise, in the District of Columbia (up to 12 members from eight a year ago), New York (up to 32 members from 18 a year ago) and Wyoming (up to 11 members from six a year ago). We have also doubled the number of non-U.S. or U.S.-territory members (up to 24 from 12 a year ago).

April 24-25: Journalism/Interactive, Columbia, Missouri
April 30-May 3: Certification Committee meeting, Indianapolis
May 6-10: Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference, Anaheim, California
July 6-9: JEA Advisers Institute, Las Vegas
Aug. 27-30: Connect Marketplace, Pittsburgh
Sept. 11-12: Planning meeting for 2016 Fall National JEA/NSPA Convention, Indianapolis
Sept. 22: Kansas Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference, Manhattan, Kansas
Sept. 25-27: Planning meeting for 2015 Fall National JEA/NSPA Convention, Orlando
Oct. 17-18: Texas Association of Journalism Educators Fall Fiesta, San Antonio
Nov. 12-15: 2015 Fall National JEA/NSPA Convention, Orlando

For the board: It has been a long and bumpy road as we have migrated our membership records to a WordPress-managed database — the first major upgrade to the system since 2008. While replicating all of the pieced-together functionality continues to be arduous, the transition will undoubtedly pay off in terms of security and feature integration.

As of Sept. 18 — about a quarter of the way through the fiscal year — JEA has net operating loss of $33,169.48. That loss is worse when we factor in our investments, which have lost $46,256 so far this fiscal year, giving the organization a total net loss of $79,426. However, none of these figures factor in any revenue from the Orlando convention. JEA’s net assets stand at $1,514,636.

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

Nearly halfway 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 Denver meeting last April and the subsequent motions and results.

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

  • Attended the Excellence in Journalism conference, hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists.
    • Co-presented a session with the SPLC and the SPJ Education Committee.
    • Attended a meeting of journalism association leaders (presidents and executive directors).
    • Networked with professionals, professors and vendors.
  • Supported and guided all JEA leaders.
  • Continued to spend a significant amount of time working on all kinds of JEA programs and initiatives, addressing challenges and working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

My main focus has continued to be supporting all the new JEA leaders. A significant portion of my time has been monitoring, supporting and empowering their efforts.

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 fall board of directors and general membership meetings in Orlando. 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 year and a half of my presidency. I still have a few moves left in me! Sustaining our incredible efforts over the four-and-a-half years will take even more incredible efforts. I hope I will be able to motivate members to share ideas and leaders to accomplish more. Like I said, I still have a few moves left in me!

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

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 am really proud of the programming happening in our organization and grateful to the dedicated volunteers who are making it happen.

In the time since our last report, I have been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

• Attending a Certification Committee retreat in Indianapolis (May 2015) to help committee members build a new, online version of the CJE exam aligned to the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

• Presenting sessions at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas (July 2015) as well as meeting there with curriculum leaders and mentors. (Here’s a recap on Storify, too.)

• Participating in the AEJMC Scholastic Division Teach-in at San Francisco State University (August 2015) as a session presenter and at the AEJMC conference as part of a scholastic press rights panel with Mark Goodman, Frank LoMonte and Genelle Belmas.

• Appointing and/or confirming new state directors in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas.

• Revising the state directors guide to reflect updated programs and procedures.

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

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

• Collecting state director feedback, including concerns and suggestions about convention hotel booking, C:JET, Journalist of the Year and other topics of interest.

• Working with the 11 curriculum leaders and Executive Director Kelly Furnas on the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

In addition, I serve on a committee comprised of members from the JEA and NSPA boards with the focus of possible collaboration and mission overlap. At the November board meeting, I will be proposing a new outreach and training project between the two organizations targeted toward underserved areas.

Thank you for the suggestions you share and the ways you ask, dream, plan, wonder and challenge. My goal is for all members to feel comfortable reaching out to our board members at any time, about any idea, question or concern. We are stronger together, and I appreciate the ways we learn and grow from our collective efforts.

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

Writing these reports is always a mixed blessing – of course it requires thinking (and sometimes researching) exactly what I HAVE accomplished since the last convention. But then it’s also a chance to see what I and so many others have accomplished because of the dedication and devotion we feel to this organization in particular and to scholastic media in general.

Since April, I have worked to support JEA’s goals in the following ways:

• Scored CJE and MJE tests from the Denver convention and several regional sites (May 2015).

• Attended a Certification Committee meeting in Indianapolis where we revisited the CJE test and aligned it to the JEA Curriculum Initiative while also creating multiple versions that can be administered and scored digitally (May 2015).

• Presented sessions at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, including a 2-hour session with John Bowen and Lori Keekley about the Press Right’s Committee’s editorial policy package and a single session entitled “Grammar can be (almost) painless” (July 2015).

• Worked with School Newspapers Online (SNO) and Jason Wallestad to have ongoing legal/ethical information and links to the Scholastic Press Rights Committee blog posts in the email newsletters that go to all SNO members.

• Participated in the AEJMC convention of college journalism educators in San Francisco, including a presentation about JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee’s editorial policy with John Bowen and Marina Hendricks at the Teach-in for area high school advisers. I also presented a research paper entitled “A Look at Student Communication Degree Choices: Influences and Timing.” This is part of foundational research I’m doing to show the impact of scholastic media experience on future journalists, a way to emphasize the value of all we do (August 2015).

• Wrote blogs for the JEA Scholastic Press Rights site, including the newest “Students making content decisions – 1/ Administratvie review – 0” (September 2015).

• Participated with other members of the Press Rights Committee to write a sample student media mission statement and update the JEA Adviser Code of Ethics (Fall 2015).

• Offered suggestions to JEA/NSPA’s joint task force to brainstorm and move forward on projects that are valuable for both groups’ members. Hope to find more ways to support this group.

• Maintained the SPA-L listserv for scholastic press association directors and others, sharing JEA news and information plus offering a platform for concerns and problems this group faces, such as judge pay and membership surveys, two of many topics these past five months. I was also able to spread JEA information from the vice president and the Mentoring Committee chair and promote the bylaws change that should encourage more SPAs to become JEA affiliates.

• Maintained the Facebook Scholastic Press Association Roundtable group to continue the conversations that begin at the two-hour convention roundtables.

This fall, I will work more with executive director Kelly Furnas in my capacity as Nominations Committee chair. In particular we will be reviewing the nomination and election procedures. I welcome and encourage any input and suggestions for members to help us make this a fair and transparent process that works for all our members.

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

Since the Denver convention the committee has continued its focus on its Foundation package of editorial policy, ethical guidelines and staff manual, showing how the elements work together to provide a framework for strong student media.

We continue to add ethics and staff manual statements to the Foundation package as situations and incidents – or requests – determine.

We also added work on a mission statement across platforms to provide the principles on which to develop the Foundation package.

Some of our projects can be found here:

The SPRC will also present proposed additions to and revisions of JEA’s Adviser Code of Ethics to be voted on by the JEA board in Orlando.

Commission members presented the Foundations package to advisers at JEA Adviser’s Institute in Las Vegas and at a panel and Teach-in for scholastic advisers at the San Francisco AEJMC convention.

Under Lori Keekley’s guidance, the SPRC prepared its annual set of Constitution Day lessons.

Throughout the time period, SPRC members worked with students and advisers who sought help through our Panic Button and by private contact.

Individual reports
Jane Blystone, MJE
I have worked on the 2015 SPRC Making a Difference initiative. I have been accepting submissions using JotForm and planning the blog posts for the upcoming year. The first one posted Sept. 12.

I nominated Tara Huber for the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award for her work with the student newspaper she advisers. The Playwickian made national news last year for refusing to print the name of the school mascot that the state believes to be a pejorative term for Native Americans. Although she was not chosen, her application was highly praised by NCTE for her courage to support student voice.

I worked with the SPRC to do some think tank work for the ethics materials and have also participated in SPRC panels and forums at the spring convention to help students who need to talk to school boards about their freedom of expression.

Candace Bowen, MJE
I am again one of five contributors to the blog, having posted an article about the Wilson High School prior review situation in mid-September and will continue to post once every five weeks.

I sometimes serve as a coach/editor for other blog posts.

I contributed to the writing and then the ongoing discussion about the sample mission statement as another piece to the Foundations package.

I co-presented sessions about the Foundations package with John Bowen and Lori Keekley at JEA/NSPA in Denver and at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas and with John Bowen and Marina Hendricks at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Teach-in in San Francisco.

I authored the Fall Dow Jones Adviser Update law column about Wilson High School’s prior review.

I developed the online law and ethics course work for the ASNE-Reynolds Foundation at Kent State for 2015.

Mary Kay Downes, MJE
I have been submitting edits [to the SPRC mission statement and code of ethics revision projects]. I spoke with FCPS advisers at our September inservice about our work and encouraged them to join JEA, get involved and ask questions as needed about prior review.

Mitch Eden, MJE
Most of my time the past months SPRC-related have been making sure all schools have an editorial policy.

All summer, with every student/school I worked with at a camp, the first thing we did was go over the KHS Editorial Policy and then impress upon them the need for their school to have an adaptation which is then properly attributed. Many then chose this as their project or goal that summer.

Jan Ewell, MJE
I published a high school beginning journalism text, Journalism: Publishing Across Media through Goodheart-Willcox (and at their request) which includes contact information for the SPLC and enlightened instruction in FERPA, Tinker (and Hazelwood), student press law and private schools, and other items pertinent to student press rights.

I believe it has a chance of being adopted by pertinent states and of being widely circulated through the work of Goodheart-Willcox. A year or two will tell how widely it is circulated, but if it is, it will be more helpful than most concerning student press rights.

Megan Fromm, MJE

  • I taught copyright law at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas this summer.
  • I did a student press law primer for the mentors during JEA Advisers Institute as well.
  • I am back on the roster for writing monthly SPRC blog posts on news literacy.

Marina Hendricks,  MJE
I co-presented a session on ethics with Candace Bowen and John Bowen in August. The teach-in was sponsored by AEJMC’s Scholastic Journalism Division as part of AEJMC’s 2015 conference in San Francisco. We drew on the JEA SPRC “Foundations of Journalism” for this session and provided information on how to use these materials with student media staffs.

Also at AEJMC, I presented my paper on mainstream media coverage of the Neshaminy (Pa.) High School newspaper’s effort to ban the school mascot’s name. I hope to submit it soon to an academic journal.

And I agree with Audrey on more involvement/coordination with AEJMC SJD and the CSJ. We talked about that some in San Francisco, and I’m interested in exploring it more fully … just as soon as I get past my comprehensive exams in the spring.

Jeff Kocur, MJE
I worked on Constitution Day, and we are building our coalition for the student free expression act in Minnesota. Our legislative sponsor is taking our language to counsel next week, and we are collecting data and allies.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
During the past few months, I have supported the SPRC in a variety of ways, which include:

• Posting Monday tweets linking to Press Rights Minute clips on SoundCloud.

• Attending the SPRC workshop on Foundations package on policy, ethics and staff manual at the AEJMC Teach-in in August at San Francisco State.

• Participating on a press rights panel at AEJMC to represent scholastic media and censorship challenges.

• Responding to Panic Button requests and coordinating among advisers, students and state directors.

• Discussing model policies and offering feedback on committee projects.

Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE
I presented a session at the MHSPA Fall Convention in October. Also, I’ve been excited to have 50 new journalism students of my own this year, and they all memorized those 45 words. It’s amazing how little they know about their freedoms when they get to me, and how empowered they are after only a few weeks.

Just got approval from the school board to bring some kids to Orlando for the first time since the Minneapolis convention. Can’t wait!

Lori Keekley, MJE
Since the last report I have coordinated SPRC’s Constitution Day curriculum, helped write the Foundations package (prior to and while at the retreat), answered several Panic Button requests, presented on the Foundations package and continued to update the law and ethics curriculum.

Even more importantly, my students applied for and won a First Amendment Press Freedom Award — and they were very proud of it!

Kathy Schrier, MJE
I presented to the adviser session participants at our WJEA Summer Workshop, a talk about the SPRC website and the gems of information to be found there (Panic Button, Press Rights Minute, Model Policies/Ethics Codes, etc.)

Several advisers told me they had no idea what a rich resource the SPRC site is, and they plan to spend more time going through it in depth.

I also submitted my first Press Rights Minute.

Along with other committee members, I recently participated in the online discussion and provided input on the creation of a model mission statement.

I’m the coordinator for our annual WJEA Journalism Day at the University of Washington, held Sept. 17 (Constitution Day.) Our featured keynoter was Mike Hiestand, who talked about the inspiration that led to the creation of The Tinker Tour and how their year on the road inspired so many to have a greater appreciation for the First Amendment in our democracy.

Randy Swikle, MJE
Scholastic journalism is one primary focus of the Illinois Press Foundation. As a board member of the Foundation, I help keep members updated on issues, activities, challenges and progress regarding journalism curricula and the welfare of free and responsible student news media that are a desired product of the curricula.

As you know, in 2010, the IPF partnered with the McCormick Foundation Civic Program to hold a national conference in Wheaton, Ill., at the Cantigny Park estate of Robert R. McCormick, the crusading former publisher of the Chicago Tribune. One of the outcomes of that event was the creation of Protocol for Free & Responsible Student News Media, an 80-page book that serves as a guide for creating a fair balance of freedom and structure that can be achieved when stakeholders work in partnership to nurture the competence and ethical development of student journalists in an environment that inspires civic engagement and First Amendment values.  I am working on ideas to create a companion book, such as Rationale for Free & Responsible Student News Media. I think I could get financial backing from the IPF for such a project that could profoundly benefit the welfare of scholastic journalism.

I ask members of the SPRC to offer other ideas for the IPF to consider as options for financial backing.

On another front, I am in a group of six collaborators who are brainstorming projects to improve the status of civic education in secondary schools. Since the Protocol we created five years ago has civic education and engagement as a foundation of its structure and purpose, it could be used as a component of a new project. One member of our group is actor Richard Dreyfuss, a longtime civic education proponent whose marquee value could draw attention and support for a campaign to promote scholastic journalism and student news media as essential vehicles in delivering the school mission of civic education and engagement. Your ideas will be welcomed.

I continue promoting the goals of the SPRC via speaking engagements and contacts with scholastic journalism stakeholders. Last week I spoke at the Illinois Journalism Education Association conference at the University of Illinois. It attracted several hundred students and their advisers. Part of my talk was directed at the importance of nurturing rapport with school officials and other journalism stakeholders while promoting the value of delivering authentic American journalism that reflects the functions and exemplary ethics of the American press.

The IJEA is preparing to launch another effort for state legislation on scholastic press rights. You may remember that Illinois came close to achieving that goal in 1997. Our press rights bill passed the House 109-4 and the Senate 57-0, but the governor (Jim Edgar) vetoed it. I plan to be intimately involved in the lobbying once a Bill is proposed. As a side note, President Obama was a state senator when we were lobbying for the Bill. He strongly supported the legislation. In fact, Susan Tantillo reminded him of his support shortly before he was elected President, and he recalled the legislation and his disappointment that the governor vetoed it.

In the current C:JET, I wrote two articles that dealt directly with Howard Spanogle’s Echo staff reunion and indirectly with the value of free and responsible student news media.

Finally, I am working on a number of other articles aimed at advancing the causes of the SPRC.

John Tagliareni, CJE
I have continued to work to advance the goals of the SPRC.  I have worked to again get press rights and teacher protection legislation introduced in New Jersey, and I am working with Mary Beth Tinker, who will be our keynote speaker at our Fall Press Day Conference. In addition, I helped to initiate a student affiliate organization of the Garden State Scholastic Press Association,  and I am working to prepare them for a joint session with Mary Beth at our conference. I have helped advisers and students, both in New Jersey and nationally, and I will continue to speak at conferences to promote student press rights, as I have in the past.

First, as I explained in a message to the SPRC when I first made the announcement, Assemblywoman Donna Simon, a Republican, agreed to sponsor our student press rights legislation. Fellow Garden State Scholastic Press Association board member Tom McHale and I met with her in August, and she was very receptive to our cause. She had already reviewed the North Dakota and California legislation, which Tom had provided.

In addition, Tom was getting support from the New Jersey Education Association, which was already moving our bill through committees and will present it to the NJEA Legislative Assembly. The committee members have shown support for the teacher protection part of the legislation. We discussed this with Assemblywoman Simon, and we expect that she will include that in her bill. We are working with her staff, and we have put her in contact  with Frank LoMonte. I have worked with Frank since then, to make sure we will have the best legislation, and Tom and I have continued to work together.

The NJEA representatives will get a Democratic sponsor, and since Democrats control both houses, this would have to be a bipartisan bill. We discussed this point, with the assemblywoman, and she said she can work with the Democrats on this. I think the overwhelming support in the bipartisan effort of the North Dakota legislation, made an impression on her.

Assemblywoman Simon will attend our conference, and we are inviting other legislators and groups as well. I spoke with the executive director of the ACLU NJ, and I am working to secure the endorsements from the SPJ, The League of Women Voters and The NJ Press Association, among others. We are confident we have the support of at least three major newspapers. We had been forming a coalition, and now, there is an urgency to get support.

In addition, Mary Beth Tinker was our keynote speaker at our conference at Rutgers University Oct. 26.  The timing is perfect for her visit. Mary Beth had offered her assistance for our legislation previously, and if we have a bill introduced in the assembly by then, our Press Day event will be a great way to publicize it.

We also formed a student affiliate of our organization last year, and the members have become very active, and will support the legislation. I have been very involved in making sure that the group is growing and thriving. Student officers will present a session with Mary Beth Tinker at the conference at Rutgers. I am working directly with both the students and Mary Beth to make their presentation as effective as possible.

The group, which includes some former student editors who now attend college, as well as current staffers, complete much of their work online and through social media. They have become more active in their local school districts. They want to make changes and to become empowered to take the initiative to fight for their rights. They produced a PowerPoint to promote more membership at the conference, and they created videos of student editors who explained their roles and discussed ways to make changes on their publications. They are writing letters to the editors of their local newspapers as well. We will post their videos on the GSSPA website when they are completed.

I spoke at the Garden State Scholastic Press Association Conference at Rutgers University on Oct. 26 and the GSSPA Spring Conference in May 2015. I will speak at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference Nov. 2. and at the CSPA Spring Convention in New York in March 2016.

I have been helping advisers and student from Vashon Island in Washington State, who saw my sessions at  Columbia last year and requested my advice. I was very pleased to help with the Panther Prowler situation in California. I wrote a letter to the board of education members there, as did other SPRC members, and the situation was resolved in favor of the students. As usual, I help advisers and students in New Jersey, via email or phone.

I would like the committee to continue to be active in taking a high profile role each time there is a student censorship case or a teacher who is disciplined or fired for protecting his or her students’ rights. I also would like to discuss the practicality of a student affiliate group on a national level, since we have seen the benefits of forming a student group in New Jersey.

I will continue to support the goals of the SPRC, and I look forward to a successful year.

Audrey Wagstaff, MJE
I have presented sessions at JEA and OSMA on censorship and on student media law. I’m also collaborating on a new censorship study (stay tuned). I’ve remained an officer in the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC, and just earned tenure at Hiram College (if that means anything now that I’m in a new role at Wilmington).

For the future, I would like to see us think about ways to collaborate with the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC as well as what we can do to continue close work with the Center for Scholastic Journalism.

Stan Zoller, MJE

  • I continue to present a session on Freedom of Information and Public Access at several high school journalism workshops and will at the upcoming Orlando Conference.
  • I continue to blog for the SPRC site on scholastic press rights, freedom of information and public access.

I am chairing the Illinois JEA’s Legislation Committee. This committee is beginning pursuing anti-Hazelwood legislation in Illinois. The committee will work closely with SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte.

Megan Fromm, CJE
Director, Educational Initiatives
Colorado Mesa University
1100 North Ave.
Grand Junction, CO 81501

As always, my thanks goes to the membership for allowing me to serve another season. I’m always amazed at how our teachers, advisers, administrators and JEA staff continue to fight the good fight even through the dog days of summer. Since the Denver convention, I’ve been working on a variety of activities:

  • I taught two sessions at the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas — one on copyright law and one on feature writing. I also attended the curriculum workshop to brainstorm the next phase of this project.
  • I taught a student press law primer for mentors, also at Advisers Institute. Working with the mentor program is always one of the highlights of the year for me because I get to see what a lifetime of passion and commitment to journalism education looks like. And, let me tell you, these folks are amazing!
  • The fall semester is the start of blogging season again for the Scholastic Press Rights Committee blog, and I’ve committed to writing at least once a month on issues of law, ethics and news literacy. I also helped to develop model student media policies by offering feedback and ideas on different drafts of the project.
  • I continue to work on the news literacy curriculum as a curriculum leader. This year, I’m testing a new member feature to provide news literacy content and resources through the JEA Listserv.
  • As part of the board’s goal to implement research in the scholastic journalism community, I continue to immerse myself in research regarding college- and career-readiness. In partnership with NSPA and the Center for Scholastic Journalism, I am hoping to finalize this fall a research plan that explores how journalism education develops career-readiness skills.
  • In November, I will lead a panel session at the International Media Education Summit in Boston on how higher and secondary education can work together to improve media education at all levels. Our 2014 Broadcast Teacher of the Year, Don Goble, will join me on that panel.

I look forward to seeing you all in Orlando, and please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can better serve you!

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

November 2015 finds me halfway through my term as one of your directors-at-large. I have learned over the last 18 months that the members of the Journalism Education Association are the most hard-working, creative and committed educators around, and it’s an honor to be part of the board that represents that dedicated body.

My work since the Denver convention has focused on one of our newer initiatives: the Principals Outreach Committee. This committee was formed in response to the following JEA board goal: Increase administrator participation in JEA programming, including increased representation from administrator groups, administrator chaperones and Administrator of the Year award nominations.

Our initial goal was to have a website up and running in time for the spring 2015 convention. While we did not reach that goal, I am happy to report that a comprehensive resource for administrators is now available at This site was designed from the perspective of principals and administrators navigating the world of scholastic journalism. The format of the resources contained within was intended to reflect the questions and concerns of administrators and respond in kind. Some of the site resources are: FAQs About Scholastic Publications, Important Court Cases, Success Stories and Principals’ Corner.

In the next six months, the Principals Outreach Committee plans to continue collecting success stories and showcasing principals and administrators who truly understand scholastic press rights and the importance of a free and responsible student press. In Los Angeles, we plan to present a session welcoming administrators and encouraging them to access the resources JEA has to offer them, their advisers and their journalism programs. We also hope to create training opportunities and and outreach options that cater to principals and administrators.

The members of the Principals Outreach Committee continue to be: Linda Ballew, MJE, Erin Coggins, MJE, Adam Dawkins, CJE, Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, Stephanie Hanlon, Leslie Shipp, MJE, Matthew Smith and Tom Winski, MJE.

If you have a passion for making advocates out of administrators, please contact me about joining our committee.

If you have ideas for our committee or stories to share about principals who get it or success stories for our archives, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Stan Zoller, MJE
1448 Camden Court
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Since my last report, the newly re-created Diversity Committee has met and is developing goals, objectives and strategies related to involvement in scholastic journalism by various subgroups including students of color, LGBT and those with special needs.

The committee will be looking at ways of helping advisers to enhance their programs so their coverage and staff includes all segments of the student population at their school.

In addition to student participation, committee members have expressed concern about ways to build to create programs in under-served and under-funded schools. A key component will be partnerships with allied journalism and academic organizations. A goal here will be not only to increase student involvement, but to provide resources for journalism educators in these schools by assisting them with identifying potential funding sources and, if possible, getting them to JEA where they can build their network and develop new resources.

The committee includes current advisers, retired advisers and collegiate journalism educators.

In addition to my work with the Diversity Committee, I continue to work closely with John Bowen, chair of the Scholastic Press Rights Committee, not only as a member who blogs about various press rights topics, but also as chair of the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s Legislation Commission, which is in the initial phase of developing a plan to overturn Hazelwood in Illinois.  We are working closely with Frank LoMonte from the Student Press Law Center.

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

Preparing for our conventions in Orlando and Los Angeles, the JEA Awards Committee continues to define, evolve and streamline our digital submission and voting processes. Again I feel blessed to have the support of headquarters, the board and many bright, talented, experienced members who serve on the committee or one of our specialty committees.

Since the fall 2014 report we accomplished the following:

  • We completed a revision of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year applications by Sept. 1 with an Oct. 15 deadline for submission. The goal was to align the questions with the scoring guide and to streamline the process both for the applicants and judges. The applications will be scored between Oct. 17 and Nov. 8 and results compiled in Orlando.
  • The Student Journalist Impact Award was announced at the spring convention in Denver. Kenson Siver led the judging subcommittee.
  • We announced the fall awards in a timed series (10 a.m. Central) in the final full week of August. Again the chair called all recipients, and in some categories the nominator, a day ahead of the formal announcement. This year follow-up emails were sent the same night to the winner, and nominator and Connie Fulkerson of headquarters continued to coordinate luncheon attendance.
  • We expanded the primary committee to 15 members to achieve regional balance. Ellen Austin and Mitch Ziegler, both of California, agreed to serve and both participated in fall awards voting.
  • The chair will be working with John Bowen of the Student Press Rights Committee to develop a follow-up letter for Adviser of the Year recipients, which will outline expectations including support of JEA’s mission and core values.
  • We continue to work on refining definitions of awards on the Web. We also plan on continuing to work toward support and definition of awards announced off the primary convention cycle. These include the Future Teacher Scholarship and the Student Impact Award.

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

Awards Committee members: Martha Akers, Ellen Austin, 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, Mitch Ziegler.

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

2015 Student Journalist Impact Award
Kellen Browning and Grace Richey, The HUB, Davis (Calif.) Senior High School (Kelly Wilkerson, adviser)

The $1,000 Future Teacher Scholarships were awarded in September to these current teachers working to attain a master’s degree in journalism education.

2015 Future Teacher Scholarships

Amy Beare, Kent (Ohio) State University
Katie Comeford, Kent (Ohio) State University
Kelsey Jackson, Kent (Ohio) State University
Lindsey Ross, CJE, Kent (Ohio) State University

JEA will recognize the following award winners at the Saturday luncheon at the fall convention in Orlando, Florida:

Administrator of the Year
Michael Havener, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School

Carl Towley Award
Sarah J. Nichols, MJE, Whitney High School, Rocklin, Calif.

Friend of Scholastic Journalism
Angela Filo, Yellow Chair Foundation, Palo Alto, Calif.
Wendy Wallace, CJE, The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Vicky Wolfe, CJE, Herff Jones Inc., Indianapolis

Lifetime Achievement Award
Deb Buttleman Malcolm, MJE, Moline, Ill.
Linda P. Evanchyk, MJE, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Ann Healey, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Barbara B. Hines, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Gary Lindsay, MJE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Michael B. Riley, CJE, Cody, Wyo.
Sandra Strall, South Rockford, Mich.
Steven Jay Thor, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Steven Unruhe, Durham, N.C.
Thomas E. Winski, MJE, Roseville, Ill.

Medal of Merit
Don Bott, A.A. Stagg High School, Stockton, Calif.
Deanne Heinen Brown, Westlake High School, Austin, Texas
Linda P. Evanchyk, MJE, Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach, Calif.
Brenda W. Gorsuch, MJE, West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, N.C.

Kim Green, MJE
Certification Committee Chair
Ball State University
Department of Journalism
AJ 300
Muncie, IN 47306
W: 765-285-8900 | C: 812-525-8502

Certification began the “summer season” with a retreat in Indianapolis April 30-May 3. Attendees included JEA Executive Director Kelly Furnas, Vice President Sarah Nichols and my JEA Headquarters partner Pam Boller along with committee members Candace Bowen, Bryan Hayes, Jane Blystone, Rod Satterthwaite, Cathy Wall, Liz Walsh and me. Joe Mirando and Joe Humphrey were unable to attend but submitted input.

The main goal of the retreat was to take input from the JEA Curriculum Initiative module leaders as well as test questions currently in use to align the CJE exam with the curriculum. In addition, the effort made the test more streamlined and balanced in the types of questions (multiple choice, short answer and demonstration) used to test.

With help from Kelly Furnas, we made the exam completely digital with the intent to beta test it at JEA Advisers Institute in July. We had two curriculum leaders take the digital test in Las Vegas, and they offered suggestions for wording improvement and helped scope out some other glitches, but our most-feared problem — Wi-Fi issues — did not materialize!

And thanks to Kelly, we also digitized the application process for CJE (Options A, B and C) and MJE as well as renewals for each. In addition, Pam and I “cleaned the database closet.” The overall goal was to streamline the application process to make it more efficient.

We phased in the digital applications for the Sept. 1 deadline for Orlando, although some folks already applied last spring before the new applications. We had a couple of paper applications closer to the deadline, but the vast majority of applications were submitted in the new format. We are on our way!

The “summer season” continued with multiple testing sites from Colorado to Las Vegas to Dallas to Kansas City. We tested 20 CJEs and two MJEs. We had two more test sites scheduled in September through IJEA and NoCalJEA at which we tested five CJEs and three MJEs. All sites mentioned used the older version of the test.

In Orlando, we will test 19 CJEs and two MJEs using the new digital format Nov. 13 from 3:30 until 6 p.m.

We will also recognize 45 CJEs, 29 CJE renewals, four MJEs and 11 MJE renewals at Saturday’s adviser luncheon.

I so appreciate my headquarters partner Pam Boller! Without her, this new application process would have been overwhelming. I am also blessed to have such great committee members who worked hard during the spring, over the summer and into the fall to ensure all tests were evaluated in a timely manner. What a wonderful group!

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
Allie Staub, Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest
Mark Murray: Technology

Committee updates: Allie Staub from Westfield Middle School has joined the team to work with Laura Zhu on the Junior High/Middle School contests.

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 received awards before the end of the school year. Laura Zhu will survey middle school/junior high teachers for feedback so that we can make any needed changes or improvements before the 2016 contest. For Write-offs we revised the Social Media Reporting contest and added a Themed Photo contest for Orlando.

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.
  3. Add a summer photo contest (perhaps summer 2016).

Recent Write-offs participation:
Write-offs, Spring 2015 in Denver: 989 in 49 contests
Write-offs, 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

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

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

In our four years of existence, we had more than 900 posts published (roughly three per week), 332,754 visits, and 628,001 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 55 members of the committee who are on an email list. Twelve different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Nine committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:

  • Aaron Manfull – 16 posts
  • Michelle Harmon – 7 posts
  • Michelle Balmeo – 4 posts
  • Michael Hernandez – 3 posts
  • Dave Davis – 3 posts
  • Don Goble – 3 posts
  • Dennis Leizear – Emailing the Listserv weekly in March
  • Rachel Rauch – Emailing the Listserv weekly in May
  • Kyle Phillips – Maintaining maps

Also contributing to the site during the time period were Jill Burns, Brian Heyman, Sarah Nichols, Matt Rasgorshek, Jonathan Rogers and Michelle Turner.

While some of the wording is cut off on the following charts, the graphs move from the least recent six-month period on top to the most recent six-month period on the bottom.

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

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

We have been busy with a few things since Denver.

Don Goble was recognized in Denver as the 2015 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Dave Davis and Matt Rasgorshek were recognized as Distinguished Advisers. We have been busy promoting the 2016 Broadcast Adviser of the Year competition. Applications were due Oct. 15. Lindenwood University was a great sponsor the first two years. They chose not to renew their sponsorship. We are currently in talks with other potential sponsors for the award.

The team is still working to update guides, expand guide offerings and maintain weekly posting schedules. By the time the Fall 2015 Orlando convention arrives, we will have a Live Broadcasting Guide online.

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

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

Here are the links I said I would make available:
Visitor data for
Guide to Moving Online:
Guide to Video and Broadcast:
Guide to Multimedia Tools:

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

What a gratifying experience it has been to oversee this contest during the past year. I was pleased to see the the contest changes to Journalist of the Year finally taking shape.

I have had my ears open to all who have given me feedback from the state and national level. Feedback for improvements was carefully evaluated for the 2016 contest. Judges and contestants of the national contest were surveyed, and the results were helpful in gauging how all the changes ultimately affected the contest.

Moving forward, the requirements and guidelines for the contest are similar to last year. Most of the refining is behind the scenes. We are organizing more publicity for our winners and streamlining that process.

I have reviewed the tutorials published a year ago to ensure that all the details are still accurate. There were a few updates made to ensure we stay current.

In Orlando, the 2015 Journalist of the Year, Julia Poe, and Awards Committee Member Mitch Ziegler will present a session to JOY hopefuls about applying for the contest and how to build a portfolio. They also will give advice from their experience to help those who attend. I would like to thank Julia and Mitch for their time and talents to help future candidates.

The following students were recognized at the Sunday awards ceremony at the spring convention in Denver:

2015 National High School Journalist of the Year
Julia Poe, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kan. (C. Dow Tate, adviser)

Andrea Johnson, Southside High School, Fort Smith, Ark. (Susan Colyer, MJE, adviser)
Jackson Brook, Palo Alto (Calif.) High School, (Paul Kandell, adviser)
Gabe Rodriguez, Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Mark Newton, MJE, adviser)
Daniel Bodden, Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo. (Aaron Manfull, MJE, adviser)
Mia Karr, Harrisonburg (Va.) High School (Valerie Kibler, CJE, adviser)
Nicholas Fiorillo, Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School (Vincent DeMiero, adviser).

2015 Aspiring Young Journalist
Declan Palmer, Sierra Middle School, Parker, Colo. (Jed Palmer, CJE, adviser)

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

For outreach, I have been working with the JEA team on updating our booth with new banners, handouts from journalism organizations, new JEA Digital Media connections and fresh candy for the fall conference season. I represented JEA at the International Society for Technology Educators and the Iowa Technology Education Conference, posted highlights on and will be attending the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention in Minneapolis in November. At the ISTE conference in Philadelphia I met with Flipboard, who proposed a collaboration on a high school journalism magazine. The details for this collaboration are still being worked out with a possible release this fall.

A big thanks to Linda Barrington and Brian Wilson for easing my transition into this position. I look forward to developing this position over the next few years.

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

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

Active mentors: In addition to the six committee members, we have 35 other mentors: Bob Bair, Linda Ballew, Ron Bonadonna, Karen Boone, Vicki Brennan, Marilyn Chapman, Phyllis Cooper, Wayne Dunn, Carol Eanes, Megan Fitzgerald, Dianne Gum, Cornelia Harris, Janice Hatfield, Ray Hopfer, Sandy Jacoby, Sheila Jones, Konnie Krislock, Joy Lessard, Kay Locey, Casey Nichols, Nancy Olson, Katherine Patrick, Mike Riley, Carol Smith, Steve Slagle, Nora Stephens, Carol Strauss, Katharine Swan, Steve Unruhe, Ann Visser, Dave Wallner, Carmen Wendt, Jo Zimmerman, Stan Zoller and Kathy Zweibel.

Changes and what we’ve learned: We continue to receive requests for mentors at conventions, on our website, through email and sometimes via scholastic press association 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. Last year, five mentees were mentored through long-distance pairing. This year, 14 long-distance mentees are already signed up. With 14 percent of mentees receiving long-distance mentoring, we hope this will provide a stimulus to those state scholastic press associations to join the program next year. Because of long-distance mentoring, we now have mentees in nine states that don’t have mentors: Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, as well as Washington, D.C., Colombia and Japan.

This summer we trained eight new mentors at JEA Advisers Institute: Bob Bair (Nebraska), Linda Ballew (Montana), Karen Boone and Ray Hopfer (Oregon), Vicki Brennan and Megan Fitzgerald (Florida), Katherine Patrick (Wyoming) and Steve Unruhe (North Carolina). In addition, three retired/inactive mentors are returning as part-time mentors.

We have learned that partnering with JEA’s Outreach Academy at the national conventions is a good way to find new mentees. Our Mentor Forum room and their meeting room are next to each other; we eat together in the Outreach Academy room. This gives us a chance to talk to them about the program, and they can meet mentors right away. This collaboration is also supportive of the goals of the Outreach Academy, which seeks support for these new teachers throughout the year and not just at the convention.

We need to learn more about broadcast, as many of our mentees are doing this. We have only one mentor who has the experience to help them, but he has a full load of mentees already. More of us need to learn how to help broadcast advisers. The JEA Digital Committee has wonderful resources for broadcast on its website and we can use that for support. Last January we had a discussion with someone from the Society for Professional Journalists. They are starting a mentoring program and wanted our advice and feedback. When we needed broadcast mentors this summer, we turned to this contact at SPJ. He agreed to mentor a new teacher in his area, not as part of our program, but just so she would have the assistance she needed. This may be another solution to this challenge, partnering with broadcast professionals to help new broadcast teachers.

Honors, awards and successes: We are pleased that Angela Filo from the Yellow Chair Foundation will be honored by JEA as a Friend of Scholastic Journalism. She will receive the award at the spring convention.

Our biggest program success continues to be the retention rate of our mentees. Last year we had 88 mentees. Seventy-five are continuing this year, giving the program a retention rate of 85.4 percent in 2014-2015. That is a 7 percent increase over the previous year’s 78 percent retention rate. Both years’ retention rates exceed the national average. We are always interested in the reasons why some of our mentees do not remain in journalism. Some of them were transferred to another school; one will be attending divinity school; another is moving to Mongolia; a couple mentees cited lack of administrative support; two programs were cut from the budget; one mentee cited health reasons.

Each year mentors report that several mentees and former mentees are becoming active in their state associations. Two San Diego mentees were the local chairs for the JEA/NSPA in spring 2014. Many are now in leadership positions around the country. Twelve former mentees have been JEA Rising Stars in the past five years. Currently, two former mentees are JEA state directors, one is a JEA committee chair, one serves on the board of Quill and Scroll, one is in charge of a JEA subcommittee and 20 are on the boards of state scholastic press associations. A growing number are teaching at summer journalism workshops around the country. One is a curriculum leader for the JEA Curriculum Initiative. Certainly, some of these new advisers would have eventually become involved in these organizations. We believe the support and encouragement of their mentors have moved them into leadership positions more quickly.

We are proud of our mentees as well as our mentors who are receiving awards this fall:

  • NSPA Pioneer Award: mentor Marilyn Chapman
  • DJNF Distinguished Adviser: former mentee Rachel Rauch
  • JEA Lifetime Achievement Award: mentors Gary Lindsay, Mike Riley and Steve Unruhe

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

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

Day of Doing: The second annual Day of Doing took place this summer. Participants’ work appears online here. This initiative is lead by Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE.

JEA One Book: The current selection is “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman. This fall, the One Book team (Rachel Rauch, CJE, Debra Klevens, CJE, and I) launched the One Book podcast. In the first episode, which aired Sept. 23, I interviewed Fishman, who discusses the genesis of the project and partnership with Grazer, a Hollywood producer. Fishman also offers tips on how teachers can foster curiosity in their students — and, in turn, how students can become more curious as young journalists.

The second episode, which aired in mid-October, featured Don Goble, National Broadcast Adviser of the Year, and Jim Kales, CEO of Aspire, one of Chicago’s most innovative nonprofits. Goble and Kales discuss curiosity, leadership and changing the world. The team hopes to post one more episode before the fall convention. The JEA One Book podcast is produced by Matt Rasgorshek, CJE.

In addition to the podcast, the team hosted a Twitter chat Sept. 30 and will host an informal book club chat in Orlando Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. The next JEA One Book will be announced in December. To suggest a title, please email

Scholastic Journalism Week: Scholastic Journalism Week 2016 will take place Feb. 21-28. Adam Dawkins, CJE, and I co-chair this committee. Here are the details for this year’s events/contests:

  • Theme: “The Stories We Tell”
  • Follow Scholastic Journalism Week on Twitter. @scholasticjweek / Hashtag #SJW2016
  • Logo design contest: Using the theme “The Stories We Tell,” design a logo to be used for 2016 Scholastic Journalism Week promotional materials and on social media. The winning logo and designer will be revealed in November at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando. Send entries as high-resolution files to Deadline: Oct. 19, 2015.
  • Staff Spotlight Series – Apply to be one of 15 schools to be featured on the JEA Facebook page leading up to Scholastic Journalism Week. Fifteen staffs will be featured based on the theme “The Stories We Tell.” Application: Deadline: Jan. 26, 2016.
  • Society of Professional Journalists and Journalism Education Association Essay Contest. JEA and the Society of Professional Journalists asks: “Why is it important for journalists to seek the news and report it?” 300-500 words. Submissions open Nov. 5, 2015. Deadline: Feb. 24, 2016. Scholarships are funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists.

When I’m Not Teaching: The purpose of “When I’m Not Teaching” is to highlight the wonderful accomplishments JEA members achieve outside of the classroom. Since launching last year, the series has featured 14 different advisers from 13 states: Shannon Sybirski (California), Laurie Hansen (Minnesota), Natalie Niemeyer (Iowa), Glenn Morehouse Olson (Minnesota), Allison Adam (Arizona), Jim Streisel (Indiana), Kristen DiGiorgio (Illinois), Cory Morlock (Colorado), Paul Apfelbeck (Alaska), Jamie Flanagan (Michigan), Christy Briggs (Nevada), Don Goble (Missouri), Susan Martin (Idaho), and Lisa Snider (Oklahoma). The next feature, which will run Nov. 1, will profile an adviser from Florida. My goal is to highlight an adviser from every state. “When I’m Not Teaching” runs on the JEA Facebook page on the first of every month. To nominate a colleague, please email

In addition to overseeing these initiatives, I also hosted a Twitter chat in May with Amy Webb, who researches digital media and wrote “A Blueprint for How to Make J-School Matter (Again).” I look forward to finding more opportunities like these that help spread awareness about JEA.

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

Since we last gathered in Denver, there has been a great deal of focus on rebranding and updating our work products to benefit scholastic journalists.

A new NSPA website, built in WordPress, had a soft launch during the third week of September. A new logo, letterhead and family of fonts that bring discipline and a modern take on design and delivery accompanied it.

In addition, we underwent significant technology upgrades that benefit our partnership. NSPA signed a two-year contract with Cvent for software licensing that has dramatically improved convention registration. Attendees have more control and ease of use that allows them to amend their registrations at their convenience. We developed a FAQ and made staff NSPA contact information more readily available.

The result is a state of the art interface, updates that can be made by our staff, fewer user errors/requests for assistance and less time at the registration desk.

Associate Director Laura Widmer is spearheading an effort to update, upgrade and bring new clarity to NSPA’s guidebooks and judging score sheets. Several JEA board members have been asked to review drafts. Your feedback has been invaluable.

The yearbook critique score sheet was the first publication to be reviewed by Laurie Hansen and Linda Puntney. With feedback from Sarah Nichols and Mary Kay Downes, the revision of the critique is ready to be sent out again.

Ron Johnson reviewed the newspaper critique score sheet. Ron has sent the revisions for feedback. Val Kibler and Mark Newton, among others, suggested developing a blended critique for newspaper and online publications.

We will also pilot Skype critiques and consulting for some member schools. This is an exciting opportunity that we’d like to develop as an option with membership.

The departure of our staff bookkeeper opened an opportunity for me to explore outsourcing. In early October, the NSPA board approved the hiring of Clifton Larson Allen to fulfill basic financial clerical tasks. A clear benefit is having two certified public accountants job-sharing at our office.

As you know, Associated Collegiate Press has a partnership with Poynter NewsU to offer reduced cost online training and certificate courses. They have agreed to extend the same discount to NSPA Level Two members (those who get critiques).

Finally, we look forward to hearing details about the proposal created by Sarah Nichols and Val Kibler on off-site outreach and training. We welcome every opportunity to strengthen our partnership and shared mission.

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

During 2015, the Student Press Law Center experienced significant successes in the legislative arena — on which we plan to build during 2016 and beyond — as well as some significant setbacks in the courts.

In the courts, SPLC volunteer lawyers brought First Amendment lawsuits against administrators at Northern Michigan University (Need v. Neiheisel) and Muscatine (Iowa) Community College (Gomez v. Allbee) after those institutions removed their advisers under circumstances strongly suggesting retaliation. In both instances, federal judges dismissed the cases after finding that the colleges had non-retaliatory reasons justifying their actions. These cases demonstrate just how difficult it is to win a First Amendment challenge on behalf of a government employee, since almost no one will have an unblemished record and motives often will be mixed. Currently, the SPLC is facing another such situation in San Gabriel, Calif., involving a high school adviser who has been placed on indefinite leave while being “investigated” for an argument with her principal at a yearbook camp — an investigation that should have taken one afternoon, yet has dragged on for more than 60 days. We are seeking volunteer counsel to take legal action in the event that the district takes adverse action against the adviser or her journalism program.

One of the common denominators in these situations and others has been the difficulty of finding well-qualified counsel who can take on a case entirely without financial assistance. On occasion, we have been able to obtain small grants through sources such as the Society of Professional Journalists, which provided expense money that enabled an Ohio law firm to take — and win — the case of Schiffbauer v. Otterbein University, which established the public’s right of access to police reports from private colleges. Even a few thousand dollars of expense money can be a difference-maker in enabling a law firm to commit to a case. The SPLC plans to work during 2016 to build up a “war chest” to subsidize litigation expenses so that meritorious cases do not languish for lack of funding.

The legal setbacks in Michigan and Iowa also reemphasize the need for clear state-level statutory protection for the rights of journalists and educators. With that in mind, the SPLC’s front-burner priority currently and into the future will be the “New Voices” campaign to enact press-freedom laws inspired by the one that just became law in North Dakota. As a result of the surprising success of the New Voices campaign in that state, advocates from around the country have been contacting the SPLC seeking to replicate it, and movements are now taking shape at various level of activity in 12 states, including: Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. We feel confident that a minimum of three of these states will see bills filed and considered during 2016. JEA state affiliates and scholastic press associations are the backbone of these campaigns, and we are coordinating closely with them, including Stan Zoller in Illinois, Gary Clites in Maryland and Linda Barrington in Wisconsin. The SPLC’s primary role is in building an online “home” for these campaigns, preparing informational resources for local advocates’ use, and connecting advocates with potentially supportive partner organizations in their states.

As a complement to this effort, the SPLC is seeking funding for an outreach campaign specifically targeting teen girls — Active Voice — built on the growing recognition that the censorship of high school journalism disproportionately afflicts young women. The centerpiece of this project will be regional “Active Voice Fellowships” for college undergraduates who have experienced adversity in trying to make their voices heard, who can serve as peer mentors to current high-schoolers and — with the help of an adult mentor network built by SPLC — develop “service projects” to build grassroots support for press freedom in their own states and communities. This project will require a substantial investment from a grantor and will be ready to launch, at best, by the fall of 2016. In the interim, SPLC is working on other components of the Active Voice initiative, in particular a joint research project with the University of Kansas journalism school surveying high school journalists about their censorship experiences. The results of this research will be presented at the AEJMC national convention in 2016 and, we hope, stimulate discussion and interest in improving the climate for young women to exercise their free-speech rights in schools.

Internally, our most pressing organizational priority is adoption of a new 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, to be voted on by our Board of Directors in January 2016. The plan is being prepared with the assistance of an outside consultant, Kristen Cambell, whose findings are already causing us to reexamine how we “message” about our issues of concern to more effectively reach a wider audience. Several JEA members were interviewed as part of Kristen’s “stakeholder survey” and we appreciate their cooperation and “customer service feedback,” which will make the organization stronger and more responsive.

Bradley Wilson, MJE
Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today

Team: I’m most proud of the section in the winter issue on “Lifestyles of the Not-So-Rich” coordinated by Thomas Kaup. Every JEA leader should read this section. There are thoughts that could impact decision-making in the future, and I personally hope JEA leaders continue to listen to this faction of advisers who represent probably the majority of advisers in the United States. Thomas was part of a good team of contributors, editors and JEA staff members who continue to make the magazine successful. A continued thanks to Howard Spanogle, Pam Boller and Connie Fulkerson for all their work on each issue.

I also appreciated the input from Val Kibler who suggested we find ways to link the JEA curriculum with the magazine. So, in each issue, I now include links to relevant content. Maybe someday, C:JET will have a portion of the website — something we’ve suggested for years now — so JEA members can link directly to relevant sections.

I’ll be attending the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting this winter and hope to present a session and solicit potential authors. We’ve only had one research article submitted in the last few months. Reviewers didn’t recommend it for publication. I’m still working on modifying it to be of interest to our members.

Printer: We had a few bumps when switching printers to ModernLitho in Jefferson City, Missouri. I’m confident we’ve solved the submission and proofing problems, as it went well the second issue. The printing on 70# paper for the first issue felt light compared to last year’s issues and resulted in a few comments from members. My understanding is that we’re trying 80# paper for the second issue.

Fall 2015 Issue:


The reunion of staff members from the Echo, a suburban Chicago student newspaper, was more than simply a time to visit the good ol’ days. From coast to coast, 190 alumni came together to support the Student Press Law Center and to discuss the importance of a vigorous student press.

  • Alumni groups give support by Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Celebration of paper’s history by Randy Swikle, CJE
  • Mystery booklet
  • Teachable moments by Howard Spanogle
  • First Amendment wisdom
  • Finding alumni by Howard Spanogle and Ray Cubberley
  • All voices matter by Bobby Hawthorne and Terry Nelson

JEA Curriculum links: and

White on White

Shooting a light-colored object against a light-colored background can give a dramatic look to a rather ordinary scene. | By Haley Petersen

JEA Curriculum link:

Using Snapchat

Snapchat has quickly become popular with teenagers and with major media outlets from the New York Times to CNN. It clearly has uses in the scholastic media environment. | By Leo Arron Mercer

JEA Digital Media link:

Tiger Times

Texas High School (Texarkana, Texas)

Beginning with timely coverage — even during the summer — and powerful photojournalism, this website can provide other schools with ideas.

JEA Curriculum link:

The Spine

The yearbook spine is not only an essential content area but also a place to show off distinctive typography and design elements. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE


  • RAY CUBBERLEY, broadcast media senior producer for Purdue University Marketing and Media, is the chief researcher for the EchoXtra 2015 Steering Committee. The Northwestern University journalism graduate also produced The Voices of Echo History 1967-1993 and the 2015 YouTube videos: “The Freedom Trilogy.” At Purdue, he has been producing videos since 1980. A 1971 graduate of Glenbard East High School (Lombard, Illinois), he completed his three-year experience on the Echo as editor.
  • LEO ARRON MERCER is a freshman in political science and journalism at Northern Arizona University. He started a student newspaper, The Coconino Press, at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Arizona, and worked on the newspaper and yearbook staffs at Wichita Falls High School and Rider High School in Texas.
  • HALEY PETERSEN was an editor of Pacemaker award-winning literary magazine The ’Riot at Century High School (Bismarck, North Dakota), Mary Van, adviser. She was part of the staff for three years: two as an editor and her final as editor-in-chief. She intends to continue with literary magazine at Macalester College during the fall semester.
  • HOWARD SPANOGLE, retired adviser of the Glenbard East Echo (Lombard, Ill.), was drafted for duty as reporter/lead consultant for a reunion celebration of all Echo staffs from 1967 to 1993 at EchoXtra 2015. The new duties led to a successful celebration of approximately 200 alumni. The assistant editor of Communication: Journalism Education Today found himself advising and being advised by former students who wrote creative essays, designed the memory book, produced a DVD and created videos for YouTube. Spanogle began his newspaper advising career in North Carolina and ended it in Texas. While living in Asheville, North Carolina, he has edited books and worked on curriculum projects.
  • RANDY SWIKLE, CJE, is a member of the Illinois Press Foundation board of directors, past president of the Illinois JEA and former journalism teacher/student publications adviser (34 years) at Johnsburg Community Unit School District 12 in Illinois. He advised the Johnsburg Weekly News student newspaper and was the Dow Jones News Fund’s 1999 National Journalism Teacher of the year. He is author of the McCormick Foundation’s Protocol for Free & Responsible Student News Media and of the NSPA’s Model Code of Ethics for High School Journalists.

Other contributors:

  • Bobby Hawthorne, author, The Radical Write
  • Pam Hutter, Julie Murphy and Julie Kracke Schorfheide, Glenbard East Echo (Lombard, Illinois) alumni, ExchoXtra 2015 committee members
  • Daniel Krolopp, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois), Brenda Field, adviser
  • Evan Malone, Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, Colorado), Stephen Wahlfeldt, adviser
  • Terry Nelson, adviser, Blackford High School (Muncie, Indiana)

Winter 2015 Issue:

Lifestyles of the Not-So-Rich

Statistics show that more than half of students in U.S. public schools qualify for free/reduced price lunch. The number of families in poverty continues to climb. Students in poverty struggle to learn but attend school less frequently.

  • I am rich by Thomas Kaup, MJE
  • My challenge by Jane Bannester
  • Breaking the mold by Rosa Flores
  • I’m lucky by Alexandra Harmon
  • Billions have it worse by Jorge Hoolahan
  • Produce the best journalism by Adriana Chavira, MJE
  • I was determined by Ana Perez
  • An emotional reality by Barbara Bateman, CJE
  • Poverty takes toll by Steve O’Donoghue

JEA Curriculum link:

Deadline Pressures

Whether the job involves working for a newspaper or coordinating social media for a company, deadline pressures are constant. Learning to deal with them is a part of the work environment. | Panel led by Tyler Dukes

JEA Curriculum link:

JEA Curriculum link:

The Best Education

Yearbooks make the past live in the present as they build on a sensitive awareness and on a professional process. Advisers provide wisdom and motivate creativity to help  produce awe-inspiring publications.

  • 22 yearbooks on the shelf by Steve Gardiner, MJE
  • Advice from Margaret Sorrows, CJE
  • Tell everyone’s story by Cindy Todd and Nikki Lyssy
  • Reality tops fiction by Lori Oglesbee, MJE

JEA Curriculum link:

JEA Curriculum link:


Along with the wide, medium and tight shots, the detail shot helps tell a story visually. Detail shots also provide flexibility for designers. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

JEA Curriculum link:

 The Budget

Lawrence High School (Kansas)

One staff works together to tell stories for a variety of platforms, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and a frequently updated website.

JEA Curriculum link:


  • TYLER DUKES (@mtdukes), an investigative reporter at WRAL News in Raleigh, North Carolina, specializes in data and public records. Prior to WRAL, he worked as managing editor for the Duke University Reporters’ Lab, a project aimed at reducing the costs of investigative reporting. He has taught at University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill’s journalism school, freelanced for The News & Observer, trained student reporters as a college newspaper adviser and worked as a Web editor for a local cable news channel.
  • THOMAS KAUP, MJE, completed his 30th year of teaching at Auburn High School in Washington where he advises the Troy InVoice and Invader yearbook. Kaup has advised and taught in Nebraska, Iowa and Washington. Kaup is the co-author of Middle School Journalism, a textbook published by Teaching Point. Kaup founded the magnet journalism program at Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School in Omaha, Nebraska. He was selected as the Washington Journalism adviser of the Year in 2014 and has written articles for Herff Jones and Walsworth yearbook magazines.
  • MARGARET SORROWS, CJE, is the 2014 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year. After advising yearbooks and newspapers for 36 years, she retired in May 2015. She was the adviser of the yearbook, print and online newspaper at Bryant High School in Arkansas for 24 years.
  • CINDY TODD advises the El Paisano yearbook and teaches photojournalism at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. During the past 24 years, her students’ publications have earned top awards from CSPA, NSPA, ILPC and TAJE. Todd, a past president of TAJE, has been recognized as the 2012 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, Max Haddick Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year and TAJE Trailblazer. Todd, who teaches workshops throughout the nation, also has earned CSPA Gold Key, NSPA Pioneer and JEA Medal of Merit awards.

Other contributors:

  • Jane Bannester, adviser, Ritenour High School (St. Louis)
  • Barbara Bateman, CJE, adviser, Murphy High School (Mobile, Alabama)
  • Adriana Chavira, MJE, adviser, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (Van Nuys, California)
  • Brayden Clark, Westlake High School (Austin, Texas); Cindy Todd, adviser
  • Rosa Flores, Camelback High School (Phoenix); Alexandra Harmon, adviser
  • Steve Gardiner, MJE, adviser, Billings Senior High School (Montana)
  • Alexandra Harmon, adviser, Camelback High School (Phoenix)
  • Jorge Hoolahan, Auburn High School (Washington); Thomas Kaup, MJE, adviser
  • Daniel Krolopp, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois); Brenda Field, CJE, adviser
  • Katie Lamar, Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kansas); C. Dow Tate, adviser
  • Nikki Lyssy, Westlake High School (Austin, Texas); Cindy Todd, adviser
  • Steve O’Donoghue, California Scholastic Journalism Initiative (Sacramento, California)
  • Lori Oglesbee, MJE, adviser, McKinney High School (Texas)
  • Ana Perez, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (Van Nuys, California); Adriana Chavira, MJE, adviser
  • Luke Whitbeck, Idaho Falls High School (Idaho); Ryan Hansen, adviser

Advertisers for fall 2015 and winter 2015: ArchiveInABox, BetterBNC, Center for Collaborative Journalism, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Dow Jones News Fund, Iowa Summer Journalism Workshops, Jostens, JS Printing, Kent State University,, Media Now STL, New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Newseum Institute, Newsroom by the Bay, School Newspapers Online, School Paper Express, The Sex Decision, University of Miami School of Communication, Walsworth Publishing Co., Yearbook Designer

Total potential revenue 2015 for fall/winter issues: $7,271

Total revenue 2014 for fall/winter issues: $6,065

Total revenue 2013 for fall/winter issues: $6,664.50

Outstanding advertisers:

  • Jostens, fall 2015, $320
  • Media Now STL, winter 2015, $125
  • Newsroom by the Bay, winter 2015, $125

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

Membership: The JEA membership database lists 26 members from Alabama. I am a Lifetime member of JEA, but am not listed on that list, so there may be other members not on this list. I was told that JEA is working on this discrepancy. JEA membership is encouraged in Alabama at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth.

As director, here are two promotional items I share:

“I began advising over 30 years ago. I owe ASPA, SIPA and JEA almost everything I learned about advising school newspapers and yearbooks came from attending their events. Now I must help educate young advisors and their students. I encourage advisers from Alabama to become active in their state (ASPA), regional (SIPA) and national organizations. 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, newspaper adviser (31  years), yearbook adviser (27 years) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“JEA provides members access to JEA Curriculum, which has Common Core-aligned lesson plans complete with assessments and evaluation guides. Over 200 weeks of flexible lesson plans are available, along with slideshows that can be used with the lesson plans or that can complement a teacher’s own plans. Also, JEA members can be a part of an email Listserv where specific questions can be asked and then answered by other JEA advisers. Twice a year JEA partners with the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) to offer conventions that offer extensive training (often hands-on) to advisers and their students. More information about JEA is available here”

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (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 and/or endowment committee. Capri Frye Day, a new JEA member, serves on the SIPA advisory council. SIPA recently celebrated its 90th anniversary. Information about SIPA events can be found online at The SIPA convention will take place March 4-6, 2016.

ASPA Fall Regional Workshops were Sept. 28 – Oct. 2  2015. Workshops took place in Mobile, Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. ASPA visited Troy’s J-Day Sept. 24.

Upcoming ASPA events:

  • Dec. 18: Deadline for competitions and critiques
  • Jan. 31: Senior awards deadline
  • Feb. 19-20: ASPA state convention, University of Alabama Ferguson Student Center
  • April 1: Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline
  • June 10-19 (tentative): The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop, designed to give high school students experience that teaches them more about college life and a career in media.
  • June 10-19 (tentative) The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.

Alabama Scholastic Press Association is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Awards and honors: ASPA awards are listed on the website.

Mentoring: ASPA offers assistance to new advisers.

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

The website for Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) is, and the organization is on Facebook and Twitter. The AIPA blog is at

Events: The state’s Summer Journalism Workshop was in July at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism on the Arizona State University downtown campus. Both advisers and students attended. The workshop is a three-day commuter camp, which classes in writing, desktop publishing, Web design, multimedia and advising.

The fall convention took place Oct. 27 with approximately 400 in attendance. Classes offered included topics in newspaper, yearbook, photography, broadcast, censorship and blogging. The state contest awards were announced as well. The keynote speaker was Nick Ciletti, ABC15 weekend anchor.

On Nov. 16 the Phoenix Suns will host their second annual Journalism Night at the Suns vs. Lakers game. The event is designed to give high school students an exclusive look into the world of sports journalism featuring Suns broadcasters, members of the digital team, and behind-the-scenes arena access before the game. There were 12 in attendance last year.

The Arizona Republic and Sports honors student-athletes during the school season. Student journalists are to submit photos and videos from sports events to be featured on

Contests: A link to the 2014 state contest winners is here. The 2015 winners were not announced at press time but will be posted at

Projects: The board has developed a comprehensive list of the state’s scholastic journalism programs and publications, which is current – until it changes. They are planning outreach programs to better meet the needs of the membership, encouraging JEA membership and convention attendance at the Los Angeles convention in spring 2016, and developing leadership within the state.

Stephanie Emerson, MJE
Arkansas State Director
PO Box 3
Wynne, AR 72396

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

Kristi Rathbun, CJE
Colorado State Director
Rock Canyon High School
5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO 80124
Membership: Colorado has 97 JEA members.

Our media association has changed from Colorado High School Press Association to Colorado Student Media Association (CSMA). The change was made to incorporate middle schools in addition to high schools and to reflect the varying types of media in which our students work. Deadline for 2016 CSMA membership is Dec. 1; JEA memberships can be rolled into this renewal/sign-up. For updates, visit or follow @ColoradoSMA on Twitter, Colorado Student Media Assn on Pinterest and Colorado Student Media Association on Facebook.

Happenings: Our state convention – J-Day – was Oct. 8 at the Lory Center on the CSU campus in Ft. Collins. About 1,300 students and advisers attended; close to 50 sessions were offered. All-Colorado and Best of Show awards followed in the afternoon.

CJE testing will be available in Denver Dec. 5 for anyone wanting to test for certification.

CSMA’s Winter Thaw Conference is Jan. 29 featuring Tim Harrower.

The Capitol Hill Conference is set for Feb. 29.

Awards and honors:

CSMA awards: Carrie Hendrix, CJE, adviser at Lewis-Palmer High School is the 2015 Adviser of the Year. John Biner, Principal at Brighton High School, is the 2015 Administrator of the Year. Sheila Jones, CJE, retired Englewood High School newspaper adviser, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her advising work and her work as a JEA mentor.

Thirty-seven student publications earned Colorado’s top media award, All-Colorado, at J-Day; nine news publications, two video media programs and 26 yearbooks earned All-Colorado for their work during the 2014-15 school year.

JEA awards: Ann Healey, former newspaper adviser at Castle View High School in Castle Rock, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

NSPA awards: Eleven students from Colorado are finalists for individual awards at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando. The Arapahoe Herald from Arapahoe High School (Greg Anderson, adviser) is a Pacemaker Finalist.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership in Washington, D.C. is 15.


Capital Student News Website: Our main project of the academic year is to get teachers and students trained to write for and to post D.C. scholastic news and features on Clare Berke, the after-school journalism club leader, agreed to be chair of the project and faculty editor of the website. She has made remarkable progress, arranging meetings, contacting teachers and informing and getting students to the training meetings.

  • July 7 Teacher interest and training meeting at The Washington Post – Present: Clare Berke, Chelsea Rink, Kaitlyn Rounds, Carol Lange. After discussing the project and becoming familiar with the website, Matt Cwalinski from TWP online gave us a hands-on demonstration of plugins and setting up a photo gallery.
  • Aug. 6 Planning meeting at The Washington Post – Eight adults were present, including a representative from DCPS who is very interested in supporting the project.
  • Sept. 19  Capital Student News Training Day – Fourteen students from Chavez, Benneker and Phelps attended. Doughnuts were provided by Clare. Pizza and beverage were provided by D.C. JEA. Sam P.K. Collins, Banneker grad and a journalist with multidisciplinary experience as a writer, editor, producer, researcher and filmmaker, presented a session on news writing. He currently serves as health reporter for progressive online news site ThinkProgress and general assignment reporter at The Washington Informer. Amanda Ottaway, from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; Elizabeth, Chelsea, Clare, and Carol worked with students as they worked on captions and posting photographs.
  • Oct. 30 Second Capital Student News Training Day – Twelve students from Banneker and Bell Multicultural high schools. It was a half-day of school so we were pleased to have so many students attend and be engaged. Carol Lange presented the news brief. Students wrote news briefs on current events at their schools, learned to post them, decided on the specifications — and were very pleased to see their first bylines. Amanda, Elizabeth, Clare and Carol assisted students. It was great fun to hear students excited to see their first bylines; a couple even took pictures of the screens.

To some who read this report, this doesn’t seem like much. However, it is tremendous progress for after-school clubs and students and teachers giving so freely of their time to students. It is hard to communicate what joy I have gotten from Clare, Chelsea, Elizabeth, Amanda and others who have contributed to making this website a reality.

Planning for future events: Carol made contact with Jaye Linnen and Barbara McCormack to begin organization of the Journalism Adviser and Student Editor Seminar. With everyone at The Post packing for the big move in December, JASE Seminar will not be held until 2016. The event is co-sponsored by The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program, Newseum and D.C. JEA.

Second Saturday: Once the month for JASE Seminar is in place, we will schedule the three Second Saturdays in 2016. Teachers and students have indicated topics of interest.

Collaboration with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Carol has met with Mark Schulte and Amanda Ottaway at the Pulitzer Center. We discussed the upcoming Pulizer Campfires and what we might do in D.C. (with Maryland and Virginia invited to join in), a student-project tied to the environmental film festival and getting Pulitzer speakers in D.C. schools.

Forming a D.C. JEA advisory board: To move toward a stronger JEA presence and support for D.C. public, private and charter school journalism and media teachers and advisers, Carol has made initial steps to form an advisory board.

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

Membership: We currently have 117 voting members (up from 87 in fall 2014 and 90 in the spring) and 11 non-voting members. We have been promoting membership through email blasts by FSPA Director Wayne Garcia and at our state convention, summer and regional workshops.

FSPA will, again, offer the JEA Certification exams at our state convention in April 2016. We’ve offered free FSPA memberships to new publications, similar to the initiative started by JEA.

Events: We are incredibly excited to be hosting the first ever JEA/NSPA fall convention in Orlando, Nov. 12-15. To-date there are 3,000+ registrants with less than a month to the event. Contact convention local chair Joe Humphrey if you have any questions, suggestions or to volunteer.

Even with the national convention in November, regions are hosting their own one-day fall conferences throughout the month of October.

The state convention is April 28-30, 2016 at the Wyndham Resort Orlando.

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

Awards: Congratulations to the Florida publications who received recognition from NSPA. NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists are listed here. Broadcast Pacemaker Finalists are listed here. Individual finalists (winners announced at the awards ceremony Nov. 14) are listed 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: JEA membership is up to 43 members. A record number of Georgia schools are attending the national convention in Orlando.

Happenings: Over 250 participants attended April’s Georgia Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony. More than 70 individual and staff awards were presented.

GSPA’s summer journalism academy attracted 74 students to UGA’s Athens campus for instruction in all areas of media production. Mercer University’s Summer Digital Media Camp brought over 40 students to Macon to explore the theme “What does it mean to be southern?” through multimedia stories.

Approximately 600 students and advisers attended the Oct. 30 GSPA fall conference at UGA’s Tate Student Center. The event included almost three dozen sessions, onsite contests, critiques and a best of show competition.

Joe Dennis has announced his resignation as the director of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association at UGA. He will begin teaching at Piedmont College in January. The dean of the Grady College of Journalism has reached out to advisers and higher ed contacts to fill the position. Joe has been an effective, long-serving director, and the organization has grown and expanded its influence thanks to his strong leadership.

For the board:  Schools who bring large groups often rely on public transportation (especially trains) for travel to/from the airport and around the host city. Prospective convention cities should be evaluated on the availability of safe, comprehensive public transit to facilitate student travel at the convention. Although this may limit the cities considered, it promises a more affordable and enjoyable experience for many larger school groups.

Organizers could better serve repeat student attendees, especially those who now excel beyond many of the “basics” sessions, by soliciting “advanced” sessions and listing them as such in the program. When repeaters sit through sessions that assume little prior knowledge, they often grow bored and frustrated. The variety of offerings continues to impress, but the choices of truly “advanced” content are hard to filter for returning students and advisers.

Jenny Young
Hawaii State Director
Theodore Roosevelt High School
1120 Nehoa St.
Honolulu, HI 96822
W: 808-307-0515 | C: 808-489-4425


  • Hawaii has eight members. At least one other member residing in Hawaii is listed for another state. A total of at least nine members reside in Hawaii.
  • I will continue to conduct outreach to advisers to increase membership.

News, events and awards:

  • Hawaii State Journalist of the Year 2015 recipient Maile Sur and Adviser Kye Haina of Kamehameha Schools Maui attended the Spring 2015 JEA/NSPA Convention. Sur was recognized for her photography.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 26th Hawai’i High School Journalism Awards: Print and Online Divisions took place April 22, 2015. For state recognition, Haina’s staff won First Place in the following categories: News Writing, Feature Writing, Sports Writing and Multimedia Story Presentation. They won Second Place in the Photo Essay and Single Issue categories. Haina’s staff placed third for Best in State. For the public schools division, Cindy Reeves’ McKinley High School’s staff won First Place for Website; Second Place for Feature Writing and Multimedia Story Presentation; and Third Place for Action Photography, Portrait Photography, Layout and Design, Online Video, and News Writing. In the private school division, Haina’s staff won First Place in Feature Writing, Sports Writing, Photo Essay, Single Issue, Multimedia Story Presentation; Second Place in News Writing, Digital Illustration, Infographic and Blog; and Third Place in Editorial Writing, Commentary Writing, Action Photography, Portrait Photography, Layout and Design, Editorial Cartoon, and Website. Lin Song was named Most Valuable Staffer from McKinley High School and Maile Sur received the same recognition for her work at Kamehameha Maui as well.
  • The University of Hawaii held Journalism Day Sept. 12. Four JEA members’ staffs attended this small professional community where they practiced journalism skills and learned from professionals from around the state.
  • Two members attended the 2015 JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • To date, no members have announced travel plans for Orlando.
  • The deadline for the Hawaii State Journalist of the Year 2016 Contest is Feb. 16, 2016.

For the board:

  • Members are interested in effecting change in journalism policy for schools. What successful plans of actions have taken place around the country? How can Hawaii become a Tinker state, and what do we need to do to make it happen?
  • Members are interested in learning how to change how their journalism classes’ organization and promotion in school course catalogs. What best practice(s) have other schools implemented to promote journalism classes in the correct elective pathways?

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

Idaho JEA member Becky McGuyer hosted her second annual Tech Time Oct. 16 for Southeastern journalism schools. Eighty-five students attended this “real journalism skills” one-day workshop. Sessions included design, photography, Photoshop, InDesign, leadership and writing. The Tech Time announcement and schedule are available upon request.
The Idaho state press association, Idaho Student Journalism Association, is back on the map! In its second annual Boise State University Journalism Day Oct. 29, ISJA hosted a one-day state conference for 442 students, 33 presenters, 25 advisers and 15 schools.
Idaho attracted new JEA/ISJA membership (numbers not available yet) as well as planted awareness for the popularity and need for scholastic journalism in Idaho schools. Based on informal feedback and a better relationship with Boise State (ISJA is now a known entity with Boise State Conference Services and an official student organization under Boise State Media Services), a third annual state conference is likely.
More than 30 students attended the session about the Journalist of the Year contest.
Two years into my service as state director, the goal of rebuilding the organization is solid and underway. The board’s future goals are to integrate online writing contests. Meanwhile, ISJA has an executive board, a new organizational website (, an active Twitter feed, an annual state-wide conference, an online state JOY application form and a more vibrant presence among industry teachers and professionals.

Brenda Field, CJE
Illinois State Director
Glenbrook South High School
4000 W. Lake Ave.
Glenview, IL 60026

Membership: Illinois current membership is 151.

Happenings: The Illinois Journalism Education Association hosted its annual fall conference at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana Sept.18. Nearly 500 students and advisers attended the day-long conference and participated in a write-off competition and attended breakout sessions. In addition, for the first time, JEA Certification testing was offered at the fall conference.

Eastern Illinois University hosted IJEA’s Journalism State Tournament May 1. IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud coordinated the event. More than 85 schools had representatives competing in the state finals.

IJEA announced several awards including Teacher of the Year, IJOY and the All-State journalism team. The James A. Tidwell Educator of the Year was Janet Levin, MJE, adviser of the newspaper at John Hersey High School.

IJEA has updated its website. It can be found at IJEA also has an active social media presence on Facebook (Illinois Journalism Education Association) and Twitter (@IllinoisJEA).

Mentoring: Carol Smith is working with one new Illinois mentee for the coming year. As the school year started, she assisted her mentee with curriculum and software, and she sat in on the adviser and staff’s first meeting with their yearbook representative. In addition to the Illinois adviser, Smith is working with two new mentees from out of state. In her role as a mentor and member of the IJEA Board of Directors, Smith also helped obtain funds from the Illinois Press Foundation for the Illinois mentoring program.

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

Awards: Deb Buttleman Malcolm, MJE, and Tom Winski, MJE, are 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. JEA will present these awards at the fall convention.

One Illinois yearbook won an NSPA Pacemaker at the JEA/NSPA spring convention in Denver. One Illinois newspaper is a Pacemaker Finalist for 2015. Pacemakers will be presented Nov. 14 at the fall convention in Orlando.

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

Membership: Membership continues to grow with 77 current members, including 21 CJEs and 14 MJEs.

Events: Students and advisers gathered for the 2015 IHSPA Fall Convention, “Truth Be Told,” Oct. 22-23 at Franklin College in Franklin, Ind. Keynote speakers Marguerite Moritz, UNESCO Chair, Fulbright Senior Specialist and Professor Emerita from University of Colorado Boulder, and Jeff Browne, director of CU News Corps, an investigative news venture housed in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado, shared insight on how professional and scholastic journalists cover crises. Starting with the Columbine shootings, a national debate has developed on how such difficult stories should be handled by professional journalists.

Following the opening Thursday night session, students participated in on-site competitions, organized by Denise Roberts, MJE, from Greenwood Community High School and Sam Hanley, Southport High School.

Co-chairs Robin Bilinski of NorthWood High School and Kris Brown, CJE, of Fishers High School, planned the “Truth Be Told” program, which included a Friday keynote and more than 40 sessions focusing on journalistic writing, designing, and reporting skills, which also provide the backbone to social media and digital storytelling.

Highlighting the Friday activities, Melissa Deavers-Lowie, CJE, was named the 2015 Ella Sengenberger Journalism Teacher of the Year, representing the adviser who has made outstanding contributions to her school’s journalism/publications program and/or state/national scholastic journalism. Now in her ninth year as an English and journalism teacher and adviser, Deavers-Lowie has overseen the launch of the Pow Wow’s website, a radio program, the morning closed circuit television show and a sports magazine, while working to improve the quality of the Pow Wow newspaper and Legend yearbook.

Breaking from tradition, two individuals received The Ingelhart (Friend Of Journalism) Award for significant support of scholastic journalism in Indiana. Glenda Ritz, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Jill Lyday, Literacy Specialist and Department of Education consultant, have worked to protect journalism programs across the state.

Lyday continues to listen to journalism teachers’ concerns and find information to help schools defend their programs in the latest round of required diploma credits.

Happenings: Plans are already underway for the IHSPA First Amendment Symposium, March 15 in Indianapolis at the Statehouse.

Journalism 360, The Circle City 2016 

Excitement is building as Indianapolis will host the Fall 2016 JEA/NSPA Convention Nov. 10-13. Tom Gayda, MJE, from North Central High School, is already busy making early plans as the local chair. The convention will take place at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. The local committee has met and committee chairs have been appointed.

Working with the theme Journalism 360, The Circle City 2016, the committee is planning to welcome a diverse group of journalists of all ages and skill sets as they gather together in the Circle City, Indianapolis, to exchange ideas about a fast-paced, ever-changing journalism field in a city known for its sports culture. A logo is being finalized that will represent the sports theme, combined with Circle City journalism.

Awards and honors: 2015 NSPA Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker Finalists are listed hereA list of NSPA Individual Awards finalists appears here.

2015 Hoosier Stars, representing the best publication in Indiana

Yearbook Division

Division I (less than 1,000 students)

Reflections, Blackford High School; Terry Nelson, adviser

Logue, NorthWood High School; Robin Bilinski, adviser

Division II (1,001 to 2,000 students)

Bartizan, Floyd Central High School; Jim Lang, adviser

Paragon, Munster High School; Sarah-Anne Lanman, adviser

Silhouettes, Plainfield High School; Michelle Burress, adviser

Division III (more than 2,000 students)

Log, Columbus North High School; Kim Green, MJE, adviser

Excalibur, Crown Point High School; Lisa Keene, adviser

Pinnacle, Carmel High School; Nicole Wilson Laughrey, MJE, adviser

Newspaper Division

Division I (less than 1,000 students)

Booster, Scottsburg High School; Susan Jerrell, adviser

Trojan Matters, Bishop Chatard High School; Tracy Luke, CJE, adviser

Division II (1,001 to 2,000 students)

Crier, Munster High School; Sarah-Anne Lanman adviser

Bagpiper, Floyd Central High School; Jim Lang, adviser

Megaphone, Cathedral High School; Tony Willis, adviser

Division III (more than 2,000 students)

HiLite, Carmel High School; Jim Streisel, MJE, adviser

Cub Reporter, Lawrence Central High School; Elizabeth Granger, adviser

The Journal, Southport High School; Mike Klopfenstein, adviser

Inklings, Crown Point High School; Julie Elston, adviser

Concerns: As Gilda Radner says, “It’s always something.” Across the overall state, most advisers continue to struggle with everything from scheduling to funding to class size to compensation.

The latest battle is the new 2022 Career Readiness Diploma that creates another challenge for electives. The new diploma standards could severely limit students’ elective choices in journalism, arts, and other elective areas by adding more required classes and limits the credits for electives. Diana Hadley, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association, is hoping to head off conflicts with journalism programs. She hopes to compare the journalism standards with career readiness courses and declare journalism as another way to meet that requirement. One Indiana school’s guidance department has already approved it. Glenda Ritz, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, tried to reassure advisers attending the state convention, that this should not create problems for journalism programs, but advisers still feel skeptical at this point.

 See you all in Indianapolis Nov. 10-13, 2016 for a Journalism 360, Circle City experience!

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

Membership: JEA members in Iowa number 39, a little down from the past several years. Contact was made with newer members both by email and phone this fall.

Happenings: The Iowa High School Press Association’s state conference will take place at the University of Iowa Oct. 29. Lori Oglesbee is the featured guest.

The yearbook contest was rewritten to better reflect contemporary yearbooks (ex: chronological books had trouble entering outdated categories) and to balance categories for writing, design and photography. The winner of the overall contest will now be called Yearbook of the Year. Making the newspaper and yearbook contests more similar was a major consideration.

The point system for the spring newspaper contest was updated to coincide with the fall yearbook contest.

The Emerging Journalists awards program for underclassmen will continue for a second year. Improvements include making it less time-consuming for advisers to enter multiple students.

Work with the Iowa Newspaper Foundation continues to bring a conference for students to the Central Iowa area. A possibility is to have a spring conferences where newspaper awards would be announced.

Awards and honors: We congratulate Gary Lindsay, MJE, retired from Cedar Rapids Washington High School, and Deb Buttleman-Malcomb, MJE, retired from Davenport Central High School, on the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award. They will receive the honor at the national convention in Orlando.

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

Membership: With 104 members, JEA membership in Kansas is down. Although advisers renewing their KSPA membership have the opportunity to renew their JEA membership at the same time, the continuing decrease in the funding of Kansas schools is forcing advisers to make difficult choices.

Events: The Kansas Scholastic Press Association kicked off  the 2015-16 school year with three fall conferences in Hays, Manhattan and Wichita. Kent State’s Mark Goodman was the keynote speaker. More than 1,500 journalism students attended the three conferences and were treated to sessions by area advisers and university faculty.

The monthly contests are up and running and have already named the winners for the first month. The contest offers competition in 15 categories including feature photography, feature writing, infographics, multimedia news, news writing, news design, opinion writing,  photo illustration, portrait/personality photo, sports photo, sports writing, student life photo, video news, yearbook design and yearbook copy.

In addition, yearbooks have been submitted for critique and All-Kansas awards. Clearly executive director Eric Thomas has been busy already this year.

Last spring, more than 1,000 state qualifiers convened at the University of Kansas for the state journalism contest. The contest allows the best student journalists from across the state to compete in carry-in and on-site contests. The state sweepstakes champions include:

  • 1A: St. Francis Community High School
  • 2A: Chase County Jr.-Sr. High School
  • 3A: Humboldt High School
  • 4A: Hays High School
  • 5A: Salina Central High School
  • 6A: Shawnee Mission East High School

KSPA director Eric Thomas and president Kathy Habiger of Mill Valley H.S. will serve on a Kansas Department of Education committee that will begin a 2-year process to create an assessment for students when they complete the AV/Communications pathway. The primary purpose of these assessments will be to determine if a student who has completed a Career/Technical Education Pathway program of study has the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to enter into further training, post-secondary education or an entry-level position related to this pathway.

The 30th anniversary of the Kansas Scholastic Publications Act occurs in 2017. KSPA is looking at ways to honor that important legacy in the fall of 2017.

Honors and awards: We are so proud of the following Kansas journalism teachers and students:

  • Julia Poe, Shawnee Mission East, was named the JEA Student Journalist of the Year. Poe was first named the 5A/6A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and then overall Kansas Student Journalist of the Year after competing with 16 other student journalists from around the state of Kansas and, for the first time in several years, from all six KSHSAA enrollment classifications. She received a total of $1,250 from KSPA.  Her adviser is Dow Tate.
  • Kylie Rahe of Linn High School who was named the 1A/2A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and received a check for $750. Her adviser is Merlana Kern.
  • Kasady Smith from Sterling High School who was named the 3A/4A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and received a check for $750. Todd Vogts is the adviser.
  • Emily Smith, adviser at Pittsburg High School, was named the Jackie Engel Award Winner. The award is given annually to the top Kansas high school teacher in recognition of demonstrated excellence in publications advising.
  • Laurie Folsom, Lawrence Free State High School, was named the 2015 Ad Astra Award winner.  This award honors an individual who worked to continually improve her journalism program and make a significant contribution to the profession of advising in Kansas. Laurie has worked tirelessly to gain

NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists are listed here NSPA Individual award finalists are listed here.

Concerns: Funding for education is foremost in the minds of Kansas teachers as state revenues continue to fall.

Kansas Scholastic Press Association:, Twitter: @kspastaff.

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

Julie Kuo, CJE
Massachusetts State Director
Lexington High School
251 Waltham St.
Lexington, MA 02421

Membership: Massachusetts has 36 JEA members.

Happenings: I am the new state director for Massachusetts, replacing Colleen Simpson, from whom I have learned so much about scholastic journalism and advising. Since the last report, the annual New England Scholastic Press Association Conference has happened, and the fall workshop with NESPA also took place. Coming up for NESPA is the contest on localizing.

Initiatives: The Massachusetts JEA affiliate, Massachusetts Scholastic Press Association, led by Brian Baron at Newton South High School, held a meeting of its board in June to discuss further plans and purpose of the organization. The board discussed plans for a fall conference of publications’ student leaders. Part of the discussion during the June meeting was MASPA’s role in culling candidates for Massachusetts Journalist of the Year.

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

Membership: We are currently at 76 members in Michigan, which is down seven members from the spring 2015 report.


New Voices: MIPA’s Executive Director Jeremy Steele and Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte have developed the New Voices Coalition to build on the positive momentum Sue Skalicky and her team were able to achieve in North Dakota. At this time, the New Voices movement is endorsed by MIPA, the Society of Professional Journalists, College Media Association, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, JEA and the SPLC. The talks with the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals have begun and we’ll look to individual principals, such as former adviser and current assistant principal Ben Harwood, for their support as we move forward. Out of the 143 publications who participated in the MIPA Spartan Contest, 80 had signed Seal of Distinction forms that stated the principals don’t prior review or censor the publication.

EdCamps: Julia Satterthwaite organized and facilitated three adviser EdCamps around the state over the summer for advisers to gather and ask questions or share ideas. Joy Visconti (MSU/Detroit Free Press/Detroit High School Journalism) and Erika Jones (Cass Tech High School) hosted at YouthVille Detroit on June 25, Marilyn Hess hosted at Plainwell High School on July 22 and Kaitlin Edgerton hosted at Madison High School on Aug. 11.

Summer workshop: Under the guidance of workshop director Chad Sanders, nearly 400 students came to Michigan State University for the MIPA summer journalism workshop, “Based On A True Story.” Sessions included a community discussion about prescription drug abuse, and a panel of documentarians who spoke with students about visual storytelling. The week ended with a chance for students to cover and enjoy a concert from rock band Lights and Caves.

Detroit Free Press Marathon run in honor of Jeff Nardone: Sara-Beth Badalamente helped coordinate a Crowdrise fundraiser for the Detroit Free Press Marathon that is taking place Oct. 17 and 18 to contribute to the Jeff Nardone scholarship. This fundraiser is at $2,950 and is for students to attend Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s summer workshop at Michigan State University. Nardone was a long-time journalism adviser, MIPA leader and instructor at the MIPA summer workshop. Nardone taught English and journalism at Grosse Pointe South High School, where he advised the award-winning weekly newspaper, The Tower. Nardone’s students won more than 800 individual awards from state and national organizations. The Tower was inducted into MIPA’s Hall of Fame in 2002 as a charter member. To be inducted into the MIPA Hall of Fame, a student media outlet must accumulate nine Spartans in a 10-year span. California advisers Pete LeBlanc and Casey Nichols are coming to Detroit to run in honor of Jeff.

Fall conference: The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Fall Conference will take place Oct. 21, 2015. MIPA is excited to host 2,000+ student journalists as they attend some great sessions in yearbook, newspaper, broadcast and social media. Nationally recognized broadcast and online journalism adviser Matt Rasgorshek will be the featured speaker this year. In addition, MIPA moved to the Guidebook app instead of printing thousands of programs.

Awards and honors:

JEA Lifetime Achievement Award, Sandra Strall
Sandra Strall of South Rockwood, Michigan, advised 43 publications at Carlson High School, Gibraltar, Michigan, before retiring in June 2015. During her career, she became a cheerleader for student publications not only in Michigan but across the nation as she taught at numerous workshops and conventions. Her staffs consistently won Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s Spartan Award, the highest honor in the state, as well as garnering several national Crown awards from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Pacemaker awards from National Scholastic Press Association. She was honored as a JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser in 2003 and received a Gold Key from Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2009.

Dow Jones News Fund 2014 Distinguished Newspaper Adviser, Amanda Thorpe
Amanda Thorpe is a teacher at both Portage Community and Portage Northern high schools in Portage, Mich., and is the founding adviser of the Portage Community Spitfire newspaper and website Thorpe is entering her eighth year teaching English and history and running the journalism program she founded.

Because of her efforts Portage Community H.S. is the only alternative high school to become a member of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. Her students won the MIPA Spartan Award. Thorpe was awarded the MIPA Golden Pen Award, and received the Cornerstone University Distinguished Alumni Award and the Portage Public Schools “Above and Beyond” Award.

National Scholastic Press Association: Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists are listed here. Individual award finalists are listed here.

Columbia Scholastic Press Association: Crown recipients are listed here. Michigan journalists received 14 Gold Circle Awards this year. Results appear here.

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

Membership: Membership is at 29, an increase of three from last fall. Two new teacher members joined over the summer. We continue to struggle to get membership outside the metro area. Reminders were sent to those who have had past memberships that have lapsed.

Minnesota New Voices Act: Our greatest news this fall is that Jeff Kocur from Hopkins High School has a connection with Minnesota State Representative Cheryl Youakim, who is willing to sponsor an Anti-Hazelwood bill for Minnesota. Youakim has some support from other colleagues in the Minnesota Legislature. Huzzah!

We decided for starters we needed to gather anecdotal testimony and start a letter and editorial writing campaign. We made an action plan for getting this process started. Jeff has written the initial documents for Youakim to present to her colleagues. Members on the committee so far are Jeff, Lori Keekley, Laurie Hansen and Kathryn Campbell. At the state convention, we appealed to the rest of the Minnesota adviser community to offer help in writing letters and helping us gather testimonials of situations where student free speech was impeded.

On Oct. 20, the committee had a conference call with Frank LoMonte (SPLC), Steven Lipostad (North Dakota New Voices Act), and Michael Koretzky (SPJ). We received great advice and direction from these experts on ways to move forward in this pursuit. We were, or course, overwhelmed, but we are all extremely excited about this process and hopeful for an eventual victorious outcome as in North Dakota.

We are waiting to hear back from Youakim with revisions to the initial documents.

Minnesota state convention: The Minnesota High School Press Association hosted 438 attendees at the fall convention on Tuesday, October 6. Awards given out at the convention were the Gold Medallions (individual awards in several categories), the Best of Show and the JEM All-State contest. The All-State contest includes a one-page critique. The keynote speaker was Ben Garvin, award-winning multimedia photojournalist from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The MHSPA also honored St. Paul Academy teacher Kathryn Campbell as the Minnesota Journalism Teacher of the Year.

Events: JEM will host the Journalism Day at the Guthrie Theater in the spring, and we talked at our adviser’s roundtable at the fall convention about bringing back the Minnesota Wild event and possibly an event at the state capitol with a focus on news writing.

For the board: The advisers in Minnesota would appreciate the board’s endorsement of our New Voices Act. A copy of the endorsement has been sent to Mark Newton for consideration at the upcoming Orlando board meeting.

R.J. Morgan
Mississippi State Director
The University of Mississippi
102 Farley Hall
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Membership: There are 14 JEA members in Mississippi. Membership is encouraged at all Mississippi Scholastic Press Association (MSPA) events and a link to future JEA conventions is posted on the MSPA website. JEA Membership is one of the first planks we talk about with new advisers at our Adviser Institute each June.

Events: MSPA just finished hosting its annual fall workshops and both were very successful, including a record crowd of over 200 at the South Mississippi workshop in Hattiesburg. Overall, combined attendance at these workshops was up by more than 50 students from the previous three-year average. The next events in Mississippi will be the MSPA spring convention on April 1 and the Advisers Institute next summer.

Awards and honors: Terry Cassreino, adviser at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Madison, was recently named a Dow Jones Special Recognition Adviser. Oxford High School won the SIPA Quiz Bowl last spring for the second year in a row. Last year’s MSPA Best of Mississippi award winners can be found here.

First Amendment-related concerns: Though no major issues are pressing, Mississippi continues to struggle, as many states do, with heavy-handed administrators, prior review and de facto censorship. Shifting the mindset of principals is an ongoing struggle, as is educating students and advisers on the necessity of standing up for publication autonomy.

For the board: We continue to struggle with getting students to submit portfolios for the JOY contest. The digital submission and rubric are good things, but are difficult for students in rural areas to implement. Further confusing the matter is that students have to get rubrics and parameters from the JEA site and scroll past an application form submission that doesn’t apply to them yet. It’s hard to explain to advisers and students alike that they need to go to one site at the beginning for the rules, ignore the submission instructions, follow state submission instructions sent separately, then go back to the original site to submit their way when you win. It’s a lot of back and forth.

Erin Castellano
Missouri State Director
Clayton High School
1 Mark Twain Cr.
Clayton, MO 63105

Membership: As of Sept. 15, there are 129 voting members from Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member). Missouri has 141 members total.


  • MJEA had a total of 81 members last year.
  • MJEA hosted two events the week of Sept. 21 with Leadership Day at the University of Missouri Journalism School and finished the week with MJEA Day at Southeast Missouri State University.
  • MIPA has 44 member schools, including seven new schools. These schools make up 69 advisers and 130 publications that MIPA serves.
  • MIPA will host J-Day at the University of Missouri Journalism School April 6, 2016 and recently received sponsorships to help provide monetary awards for its State Journalist of the Year and State Teacher of the Year recipients.
  • JEMKC will host its annual awards night in April at Johnson County Community College.
  • This year the Sponsors of School Publications (SSP) has officially become journalismSTL. The new name now matches the already existing Twitter handle and website address. The group added a Facebook page.
  • As of Oct. 9, journalismSTL has 26 members.
  • Journalism STL will hold its annual spring conference March 9 at Webster University.

Awards and honors:

  • 17 Missouri schools are represented in NSPA Individual and Pacemaker contests this fall.
  • Three Missouri schools earned Pacemakers at the JEA/NSPA Spring 2015 convention in Denver.
  • Four Missouri schools are represented in the Spring 2015 CSPA Gold Circle Contest.
  • Six Missouri schools are represented in the Fall 2015 CSPA Gold Circle Contest.
  • In April, Erin Castellano from Clayton High School was honored with a JEA Rising Star Award.
  • In April, Don Goble of Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis was honored as the JEA 2015 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year.
  • In April, Dave Davis of Hillcrest High School in Springfield was honored as Distinguished Broadcast Adviser.
  • In September, Mitch Eden of Kirkwood High School is the Dow Jones News Fund’s 2015 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. He advises the award-winning Kirkwood Call.

JEA Honored Former Missouri Journalism Student with Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award

Wendy Wallace directs the high school journalism program at The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Florida. Wallace, once a scholastic journalist at Kirkwood (Missouri) High School, primarily serves at Poynter’s grant manager, but also has spent the past decade ensuring the institute keeps its high school outreach alive and well.

Kirkwood High Principal Named JEA Administrator of the Year

Michael Havener, principal at Kirkwood (Missouri) High School, has been named the Journalism Education Association’s 2015 Administrator of the Year. Havener has been a consistent supporter of students’ First Amendment rights and especially those of student journalists, according to nominator and the school’s media adviser Mitch Eden.

His support of scholastic journalism and the KHS media program was evident this year. “Dr. Havener spearheaded the construction of a $2.5 million journalism facility featuring spaces for all media programs including a 40-person computer lab, broadcast studio, portrait studio, 110-person lecture hall, conference room and a full kitchen,” Eden wrote. “He believes journalism is the great equalizer among students, knowing advisers can find a home for anyone.”

Missouri state organization websites:

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

Membership: Montana once had a small but relatively stable membership; however, interest in joining, attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has significantly declined. The number of returning members has diminished. To gain a better understanding of this issue, the MJEA executive board sponsored a luncheon at the University of Montana’s High School Journalism Day April 9. Students and advisers from the western part of the state attended. They attended the university’s workshops. Advisers also attended the MJEA luncheon and meeting.

    • At that time, we discussed and asked for input on how to reorganize our association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively.
    • Jennifer Keintz tendered her resignation as the MJEA president because of health concerns.
    • We asked for nominations to create a more invigorated executive board. The gap left in MJEA’s leadership continues to be unfilled. We had hoped 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.
    • Kim Lucostic will continue as the MJEA Treasurer. MJEA monies have been moved from Glacier Bank in Poulson to the U.S. Bank in Great Falls. This now allows the president and the treasurer both to have banking access in Great Falls and in Missoula.
    •  Jennifer Keintz will stay on the board as in the role of past president.
    • Beth Britton accepted the nomination as MJEA President. We will work to develop updated bylaws and job descriptions.
    • Maintaining and expanding MJEA and JEA membership is a priority.
      • Britton and Ballew have emailed advisers encouraging them to communicate with us and to join MJEA and JEA.
      • Britton and Ballew have sent resource materials and membership forms in the mail encouraging communication and membership in MJEA and JEA.
  • Britton and Ballew have developed a website, to explore ways to develop communication and engagement. We are looking for a board member who would become the web master.
  • Ballew has developed an outreach to new advisers through JEA’s Mentor Program. She currently has three Montana mentees in Big Timber, Livingston and Helena as well as an additional mentee in Utah. These advisers have become MJEA and JEA members.
  • Britton and Ballew continue to strengthen ties to the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. They, too, are seeing the need to recruit as their students majoring in journalism has also decreased.
  • Dean Larry Abramson has been visiting and conducting workshops in high school journalism classrooms. He taught interviewing in Britton’s classroom on Friday, Oct. 23. It was a superb two hours with amazing story-telling from former NPR journalist, Abramson.
  • 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.
  • Past president Jennifer Keintz continues to work on developing a curriculum through the University of Montana’s School of Education giving both future teachers and current journalism advisers an opportunity to take courses that will allow them to earn a CTE degree when they take on curricular roles and positions such as journalism adviser or videography instructor where their curriculum aligns them with other CTE courses such as BPA. She continues to work with the Office of Public Instruction to revise the language for these courses so that they can coordinate with the established CTE program guidelines for certification.
  • JEA’s collaboration with BPA also has given her additional resources for her work to obtain CTE certification for journalism advisers.


  • 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 dramatically 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.
  • The Montana Journalist of the Year competition has been adjusted so that entrants are required to build a portfolio for the state level that aligns with the JEA Journalist of the Year Scholarship guidelines for submission.
  • 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.


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

State convention:

    • The MJEA president and board decided not to dovetail with the MEA-MFT state teacher convention in Billings on Oct. 16-17, 2015, because of the lack of response from former MJEA members. A Survey Monkey link was sent to all current and former members requesting their input about their attendance at the state meeting, and also, about what they would like MJEA/JEA to provide in the way of resources and workshops for them. Only three members responded. The JEA staff has been wonderful in sending support materials to help Beth and me enlist new members. Thank you so much!

For the board:

  • The response to the hotel conundrum for the current fall convention did not elicit a large response from Montana advisers. In general, when convention brochures and materials were sent to them, and they were asked if they would be attending the convention, the response was simply that they would not be going because it was too expensive to travel from Montana to Florida. A few of Linda Ballew’s mentees are looking forward to attending the convention in Los Angeles, but this is based on their ability to fundraise during this school year.
  • As a state director, I would like the board to consider giving state directors and mentors a heads up about when hotel registration will open. Perhaps even setting rooms aside, so that we could then be more prepared to reserve rooms. In July and August, for instance, I was not available to make room reservations, so when I went to reserve one single room, it was gone. I ended up being outside of the hotel block entirely, renting a vacation home, which is very nice for me; however, the convenience of being in the hotel will be sorely missed.

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

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

Membership: Currently, there are 21 JEA members in Nevada. This number continues to remain consistent. Due to the high transiency rate of both teachers and students, it is difficult to ensure consistent membership in a particular school. Many of the 21 JEA Members have been members for several years, while several memberships have lapsed after the adviser who understood the value and importance of membership left the position. Communication via email and 1:1 in-person discussions continue to happen with advisers whenever possible.

Events: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists conducted its fourth annual Journalism Awards Night and second annual J-Day in September and October, respectively. Over 350 awards were distributed at the awards night; this event continues to grow each year. Also, J-Day was attended by over 40 students with six publication staffs in attendance. Still in its early development, the SNSJ hopes to continue with J-Day and increase numbers each year.

Awards and honors: 

  • Mariya Amato of the Liberty Tribune (Liberty High School) is a finalist for the NSPA Newspaper Page/Spread Design of the Year.
  • Jorge Carrera of The Howl (Southwest CTA) is a finalist for the NSPA News Picture of the Year.
  • The Investigator newspaper of Green Valley High School was the First Place print newspaper for the Las Vegas Review Journal Awards for the 17th time in 22 years.

For the board: Enrollment for journalism courses has decreased for certain schools, due to new class schedules, AP and CTE courses, or diminished interest in the program. Advisers are concerned that their classes/programs could be cancelled if enrollment does not increase.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE
New Jersey State Director
Cherry Hill High School East
1750 Kresson Rd
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Membership: New Jersey currently has 54 members, which includes nine with CJE status. At our monthly Garden State Scholastic Press Association meeting, we discussed arranging an opportunity for New Jersey advisers to take the CJE exam at our spring conference. Of our 54 JEA members, 43 are active teachers.

Happenings: On Oct. 26, advisers and students from across New Jersey will come together at the Busch Campus Center of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey for the GSSPA Fall Conference, our biggest event of the year. We will know the totals soon, but all signs indicate that we will equal or surpass approximately 1,000 students and teachers. Newspaper and yearbook awards will be announced at this event and will be posted shortly thereafter at and our Facebook page.

Our keynote speaker for this event is Mary Beth Tinker, who will lead two large sessions and also be available throughout the day to work with our newly formed student chapter. Created less than a year ago, the student chapter has a president and vice president, both from different high schools, as well as students representing eight different schools. The president and vice president have attended GSSPA meetings and also hold their own monthly meetings via Facebook. The students will be presenting two sessions at the fall conference.

Four New Jersey students are finalists for NSPA awards in four different categories.

Mentoring: Ron Bonadona, CJE, has just begun a mentorship in South Jersey. This is our first mentorship in several years.

Initiatives: Tom McHale and John Tagliareni have been actively working to pass a bill in New Jersey that would protect students and advisors from unlawful prior review and censorship.  Multiple NJ advisers have been removed from their newspapers in the past three years due to content deemed inappropriate by their schools simply because they show their schools in a negative light.

The Student GSSPA is also working on this initiative; they have been working on videos and have been brainstorming ways that they can help students to stand up for their journalistic rights.

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 is up this year because several folks were fortunate enough to attend the Reynold’s Institute this past summer. We are now at 35 members which is up from the spring after many of the free memberships lapsed or some of the advisers are no longer working the journalism programs at their schools.

I’ve been working to maintain our state Facebook page to connect members from all over and provide resources whenever I can.

Happenings: Columbia Scholastic Press Association has its fall conference Nov. 2. Baruch College has its High School Journalism Collaborative in December run by Katina Peron.

Awards and honors:

  • Cortney Weisman of Ward Melville’s yearbook staff is currently up for five NSPA awards in a variety of categories.
  • Mary Heveron-Smith attended the Reynolds Institute at the University of Missouri this summer.
  • Georgia Mavromihalis will be looking to achieve CJE certification at the fall convention.

Challenges: Keeping members connected and involved once their programs get cut because of budget issues seems to be a major challenge in NYC in particular, but we have been working to build support in the city with NYCSPA.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership total for North Carolina is 65. Advisers currently may join/renew JEA through a joint membership opportunity with North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association.

Events: NCSMA’s annual workshops offer instruction to more than 1,700 students and teachers. The fall regional workshops are currently underway. These workshops are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout October. We began at The Charlotte Observer, with instructional sessions actually in The Observer’s building. These six workshops are co-hosted with newspapers and universities across our state. They offer low-cost workshops for students who may not otherwise attend a scholastic journalism event. Registration fee of $15 includes lunch.

The 2014 summer N.C. Scholastic Media Institute provided four days of intense instruction in yearbook, newspaper, TV news, online news, literary magazine, design, advising and photography for students and teachers from across the state.  The 2016 dates are June 13-16.

NCSMA continues to offer graduate-level courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication specifically for high school journalism teachers. Funding for tuition and lodging is available to North Carolina high school journalism teachers through NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program. The summer 2015 course, Teaching Photojournalism in the Secondary School, was taught by UNC’s Stephen King.

The Carolina Sports Journalism Camp continues to support the outreach efforts of the N.C. Scholastic Media Association. This four-day workshop provided an exciting new summer camp opportunity on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Forty students from across the country take a behind-the-scenes sports media tour, interview a Tar Heel athlete, attend a UNC-CH sports writing class and learn sports play-by-play. The 2016 residential camp, held in June, will again allow students to experience campus life and explore sports journalism.

Our state JOY Scholarships Increase in amount and number. North Carolina’s High School Journalist of the Year will now receive a $3,000 scholarship, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Scholarship, funded by the N.C. Press Foundation. When the foundation received additional funds from the Coffey family, the foundation board voted to increase scholarship amounts through the state’s High School Journalist of the Year competition. The tradition of providing funds to each winner’s journalism program continues. The statewide winner’s journalism program will receive $500. The scholarship program will now award three scholarships to three alternates. Each will receive $1,000. Each student’s journalism program will receive $250.

As NCSMI approaches its 75th anniversary next year, we’re preparing to celebrate our long history. A website and book will help us take a look back at the past, while “Where are they know?” and “75 legends,” to be unveiled throughout the year, will focus in on the individuals who were instrumental to NCSMI’s success through the decades. We’ve also taken a look back at the origins of the Institute and some of its interesting history. A few things that we’ve uncovered: As a UNC junior, Stuart Rabb first came up with the concept of a summer institute for high school students in North Carolina. With help from Mac Smith, editor in chief of The Daily Tar Heel, as well as sponsorship from the paper, the North Carolina Scholastic Press Institute was founded in 1936. Although there are many students, directors and professors who were, and continue to be extremely important to the ongoing success of NCSMI, one interesting individual we’ve discovered in our research is Lucy Jane Hunter. Hunter was one of the first women on The Daily Tar Heel’s all-male staff, and she served as the assistant director of the program in 1939, and her involvement proved instrumental in NCSPI’s third year.


Brenda Gorsuch, the adviser for the Wingspan newspaper and the Westwind yearbook at West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, North Carolina, will be honored with the Medal of Merit Nov. 14 at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, Florida. The award is for exceptional service to JEA, state and regional associations and to the profession at large.

Steven Unruhue, recently retired from Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, will be honored with the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award Nov. 14 at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, Florida.

CSPA named three North Carolina publications Crown Finalists in the magazine category. The list is online here. CSPA also announced Gold Circle Awards last month. Results are available online here.

For the board: 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 and 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.

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. 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 11 areas.

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.

Sue Skalicky, MJE
North Dakota State Director
Legacy High School
3400 Calgary Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58503

Membership: North Dakota has 13 JEA members:

  1. Sue Skalicky, Legacy High School
  2. Angie Babcock, Jostens
  3. Jackie Bullinger, Bottineau High School
  4. Stephanie Cwikla, West Fargo Sheyenne High School
  5. Keith Henderson, Bismarck High School
  6. Stephanie Livingston, Fargo North High School
  7. Annie McKenzie, Bismarck High School
  8. Jeremy Murphy, West Fargo High School
  9. Lara Prozinski, Devils Lake High School
  10. Hannah Sagaser, Mandan High School
  11. Mary Van, Century High School
  12. Shawnta Wilson, Williston High School
  13. Ashlee Cournia, Shanley High School

Events: Northern Interscholastic Press Association (NIPA) hosted its fall workshop Oct. 5, at UND in Grand Forks.

Initiatives and vision: I am now advising the newspaper, yearbook, website and social media at Legacy High School. We have implemented a flex/mod schedule, and so far it has been going well.

I have been mentoring two new advisers – Lori Furaus at Simle Middle School in Bismarck and Bryan Johnson at Wilton High School. Both are new teachers and new to teaching/advising journalism. Simle Middle School agreed to support Lori by paying for her JEA membership, so that should be reflected in the JEA membership directory soon. Bryan is approaching his administration about doing that as well. They were both very impressed with the JEA curriculum.

The New Voices Act: Frank LoMonte, Mark Goodman, Steve Listopad and I will be presenting a panel presentation and Q-and-A about the recent New Voices Act legislation passing in North Dakota at the fall convention in Orlando. We are also working with several other states who are hoping to pass similar legislation in the near future in their states. One or more of us are contacted a couple of times a month to offer advice and encouragement.

Steve Listopad won the Hugh Hefner Award for First Amendment Freedom, and he was honored at both the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and Valley City State University in North Dakota.

The New Voices Act has already been tested at the new high school where I teach. My students recently published the first ever newsmagazine at this school and decided that their story about a transgender student would be the cover story. Our principal and assistant principal heard about it, and both approached me about changing it. Ironically, the representative who carried our bill through the legislative session is my assistant principal’s cousin. She said that if “that student” is on the cover she is going to send him a copy with a note that says, “Look what you’ve done!” Well, this student was indeed on the cover when the paper came out Oct. 20. I also plan to send our supportive representative a copy with a note that says, “Look what you’ve done! Thank you!”

I’ve also visited with another adviser in Bismarck who said her principal told her that her students cannot be on any kind of social media. We met with the other advisers here in town and encouraged her to approach her principal and respectfully inform him about the new legislation.

It is clear that censorship is not gone in North Dakota. Therefore, several of us are working to educate and empower advisers to understand the law and encourage them to educate their administrators.

Maggie Cogar, CJE
Ohio State Director
6421 Lafayette Rd.
Medina, OH 44256

Membership: Currently, Ohio has 66 active JEA members. We’ve been trying to recruit JEA members through our OSMA connections and we hope to see an increase in JEA memberships next year.


OSMA Regional Workshops: The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) recently hosted three regional workshops Oct. 6, 12 and 13, where almost 800 high school students and their advisers attended more than 90 hands-on learning sessions at Kent State University, Otterbein University and Bowling Green State University. OSMA speakers included members of the OSMA executive board, faculty members from each host university and members of the professional media. The sessions covered a wide range of topics, including a special session on how to handle trauma as a journalist.

OSMA State Contest & Conference: Upcoming events for the state include gathering contest materials for the OSMA spring competition/conference. OSMA will hold its ninth annual state conference at Kent State University April 1-2, 2016. This is where the state honors Journalist of the Year, as well as overall publication award winners and over 1,000 individual award winners for the year (in newspaper, broadcast and yearbook).

New summer workshop for Ohio students: John Bowen, Scholastic Press Rights director, and Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, are beginning to organize a new four-day summer workshop for students. It is sponsored by OSMA and the Center for Scholastic Journalism and will be held at Kent State in mid-July (2016). The focus will be on in-depth, investigative reporting, the use of public records, school collaboration in storytelling and an introduction to multimedia digital tools. The OSMA board has already approved $1,500 in scholarship money to help Ohio students attend.

Initiatives: State initiatives continue to be focused on membership growth – both at the state and national level. The OSMA board is especially focused on growing Region 4, or the Northwest Ohio region. Kelly Taylor, OSMA board member and faculty member at Bowling Green State University, spearheaded an initiative through her department to offer free registration to students who attended the regional workshop there, and Otterbein University followed suit. OSMA was able to offer free student registration to those workshops for 150 students.

Even though there wasn’t a recognizable difference in workshop attendance for those regions, there was an increase in attendance at the Kent State regional workshop (up over 100 students from last year). The OSMA board has noticed an increase of schools either coming back to OSMA after a hiatus, or joining for the first time. Many, many new advisers have approached OSMA board members with questions about both OSMA and JEA at the workshop adviser luncheons. The biggest initial incentive for new advisers to join JEA seems to be the lure of the JEA curriculum, which board members focus on in discussion and outreach.

OSMA board members continue to brainstorm ideas to reach advisers in Region 4 and across the state. The biggest challenge continues to be coming up with an efficient way of “finding” schools and advisers who have not been a part of OSMA in the past. Outreach last year included emailing more than 800 principals found in the OHSSA (sports association) database. While we have evidence that many principals clicked on the emails sent, we cannot yet tell if it transferred directly into new memberships, and we continue to look for ways to reach advisers in the corners of the state that still seem underrepresented.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: We are not currently aware of any high-profile censorship cases in Ohio, though research through the Center for Scholastic Journalism indicates it’s happening. The OSMA board continues to push for both student and adviser education on First Amendment rights and censorship issues through sessions offered at OSMA events and through board discussion.

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

J.D. McIntire
Oregon State Director
Sandy High School
17100 Bluff Road
Sandy, OR 97055
503-668-8011 ext. 267

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

Membership: Pennsylvania boasts 61 JEA members on our membership list, but I know there are others not listed online. I’m estimating we have about 65 JEA members in Pennsylvania, which is up from the last few years. Several members let their membership lapse, and when contacted, told me that they did not receive their renewal notice. Those members have since rejoined.

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association is hosting its second annual Student Journalism Competitions. We added another site this year, bringing our number of regional sites to six: Temple University, Point Park University and four Penn State campuses are hosting the write-offs. This event features write-offs for yearbook, newspaper, literary magazine and broadcast. Running concurrently are sessions presented by professional journalists. In October we held three of the competitions, which included 19 schools and 284 students and advisers. In November we will hold two more competitions, and another is scheduled for December. The winner in each category advances to the state competition on March 4, 2016 at Penn State University Park.

Awards and honors: Nathan Thompson, newspaper adviser at Tussey Mountain Junior High School, is this year’s PSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year.

For the board: SJOY entries have been slim in the past couple of years. Pennsylvania typically gets two to three entries and most are from the same school. I send out email blasts to the advisers several times a year, reminding them about the SJOY. It is possible that students of our JEA advisers do not feel they can meet all the categories listed on the form. Pennsylvania publications are not as strong as those produced by schools outside of the Northeast (and much of the mid-Atlantic) region. We see a lack of interest in PSPA (we have 48 members), and we attribute the low numbers to lack of available funding and time.

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

Events: Students and advisers of JEA representing North Kingstown and Lincoln met with Frank LoMonte from the SPLC, Prof. Renee Hobbs and other educators and journalists at the University of Rhode Island’s Media Lab last May for a productive assessment of the state of scholastic journalism in Rhode Island.  The group discussed the possible establishment of a lobbying campaign for anti-Hazelwood legislation in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The group committed to reconvening during this school year to further explore the idea of protecting future high school journalism students from censorship.

Lincoln High School has been working with URI’s Journalism Department for a couple of years to help re-establish High School Journalism Day on campus.  The event, which will take place in spring 2016, will offer morning and afternoon sessions on URI’s beautiful Kingston campus.

Advisor Elizabeth Kenworthy of North Kingstown has reported that numbers of students enrolled in NK’s journalism courses have grown significantly this year. NK has a celebrated and very successful program.

Awards and honors: Lincoln High School’s Journalism & Broadcasting Academy learned last month that it has earned state CTE accreditation.  Though LHS’s celebrated journalism program has secured Perkins/CTE funding for more than 10 years, this is the first time that a Rhode Island scholastic journalism program has earned accreditation as a CTE program. The academy, which offers four journalism courses and two film courses,  produces a monthly newspaper, daily live broadcasts, sports streaming, an online newspaper and an annual film festival. Instructors are Lisa Cardarelli, Alicia Kroszner, Andrew Hallam and Doreen Picozzi, Academy Coordinator. Picozzi also earned her MJE following the spring conference in Denver.

Leslie Dennis
South Carolina State Director
S.C. Scholastic Press Association & Southern Interscholastic Press Association
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of South Carolina
800 Sumter Street, Room 118F
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Columbia, SC 29208

Membership: The JEA directory shows 23 members in JEA. SCSPA did not join JEA last year but will join as an affiliate member this year.


Office changes: During the summer, the SIPA and SCSPA offices underwent a few changes. After years of service to scholastic journalism as an adviser and press association director, Karen Flowers retired as director of SIPA and SCSPA. Even though she is not an “official” employee anymore, she comes in twice a week to teach a class at the university and is the office liaison to the SIPA Endowment Committee. I took over as director of scholastic media in July.

Also, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications moved from the Carolina Coliseum to a new building behind the historic Horseshoe at 800 Sumter Street. The scholastic media offices moved with the J-School and are located in two offices in the Student Services suite. Unlike our previous nuclear bunker, we have windows and loads of natural light. For all who have visited for SCSPA, SIPA or CJI in the past 50 years, you will understand the extreme excitement and pleasure we felt with this little architectural detail. We hope to utilize the new building and all the new technology it comes with in future conferences, conventions and workshops.

One-day workshop: 
After a few SCSPA members expressed interest in having an InDesign tutorial, we offered a one-day design workshop at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. We had hoped to hold two to three workshops at different regional high schools but had to revise plans due to time and personnel constraints. We had 18 students and an adviser attend the workshop.

Fall conference: Originally, the SCSPA fall conference was scheduled for Oct. 5. However, due to historic flooding throughout South Carolina, we had to postpone the conference. The fall conference was rescheduled for Oct. 22, during the University of South Carolina’s fall break with 628 advisers and students attending. The conference featured CNN producer Matt Hoye as the keynote speaker.

Flood coverage: After the rain and flooding began in South Carolina Oct. 2, we were inundated with images, videos and stories about the flood, its aftermath and what was ahead for state. Professional and freelance journalists were not the only ones capturing those moments. High school students are journalists and were doing their jobs during that time. To spotlight some of the work student journalists did and how they covered the flood, we are working to create an online platform for all media with links to videos and social media platforms, photos, stories and designs. If your students covered the flooding and want to share their work, please send it to me so we can add it to our compilation.

Fall 2015 – All awards can be found online.

  • Bruce E. Konkle Rising Star: A.J. Chambers, Summerville High School broadcast adviser (Summerville, S.C.)
  • Most Improved Magazine: Revelations, Dutch Fork High School (Irmo, S.C.)
  • Most Improved Yearbook: The Equestrian, South Pointe High School (Rock Hill, S.C.)
  • Best Magazine: Impulse, South Pointe High School (Rock Hill, S.C.)
  • Best Yearbook: The Archive
  • Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, S.C.)

Spring 2015

  • Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year: Beth Ward, Mauldin High School yearbook adviser (Mauldin, S.C.)
  • Journalist of the Year: Michaela Baker, Dutch Fork High School (Irmo, S.C.)
  • Albert T. Scroggins Award: Devon Swale, Herff Jones yearbook representative
  • SCSPA Scholarship: John Romanski, Fort Mill High School, (Fort Mill, S.C.)
  • SCSPA/Jostens Yearbook Scholarship: Briahnna Ismail, Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, S.C.)
  • Most Improved Newspaper: The Cock’s Quill, Sumter High School (Sumter, S.C.)
  • Best Broadcast: Wave TV, Summerville High School (Summerville, S.C.)
  • Best Newspaper: The Talon, Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, S.C.)
  • Best Online Media: SPINwired
  •  South Pointe High School (Rock Hill, S.C.)

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

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

Teri Finneman, Ph.D., is the new coordinator of the South Dakota High School Press Association. Finneman just received her doctorate from the University of Missouri and has an extensive newspaper background. She also worked with the high school press in North Dakota and Missouri as well.

The annual high school press convention was April 1, 2015.  The convention keynote speaker was Larry Rohrer from South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Rohrer, the content director at SDPB, talked to the students and advisers about social media, TV, radio, website and print.

Rather than hold an on-site summer journalism camp, the faculty members from South Dakota State University traveled to schools to work with students on design, writing and photography.

At the press convention Brandon Valley adviser Debra Rothenberger, MJE, received the South Dakota High School Activity Association’s Outstanding Service Award for her 36 years of advising publications and teaching journalism. She retired from teaching in May.

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

Membership: Tennessee membership is up! We have 41 members. We have several advisers in Tennessee who are in their first or second year of advising, and they have found JEA a great resource.

Events: Tennessee High School Press Association’s Fall Workshop took place Oct. 16. Mary Beth Tinker was the keynote speaker. Tinker spoke to the 200+ Tennessee students in attendance about her First Amendment case that went to the Supreme Court, where the Court ruled that students in public schools do have First Amendment rights.

Tennessee’s third annual Write-Off competition was hosted by Donna Emmons of DeKalb County Schools and Kelly Huddleston of Franklin Road Academy Oct. 16 at the THSPA Workshop. There were two categories: Feature Writing and
Sports Writing. A first, second and third place was named for each. Winners will be posted in next report.

Two advisers from Tennessee were among the 140 teachers trained by this year’s Reynolds High School Institute. Emmy McClain of St. George’s Independent School (Collierville, Tenn.) and  TJ VanDyke of Dyersburg High School attended the Institute in July.

Awards: Tennessee High School Press Association will hold an Awards Day on March 7. All Tennessee media are welcome to compete. An official entry form will be available on the website at

Michael Reeves
Texas State Director
James Bowie High School
4103 W. Slaughter Ln.
Austin, TX 78749

We are fresh off our state convention held in San Antonio, Texas Oct. 17-19. Nearly 80 schools were represented, and more than 750 students attended the convention with their advisers.

The Texas Association of Journalism Educators held its annual awards banquet at the convention and gave out three sets of awards.

Pathfinders are advisers who have less than five years experience and help students achieve excellence and continually work to improve scholastic journalism as it is now and in the future. This year’s winners were Andrea Negri of Alief Hastings High School in Houston and Samantha Berry from Cypress Creek High School, also in Houston.

Trailblazers are advisers are awarded in appreciation of his/her efforts to expand the scope and capability of Texas scholastic journalism. The winners of this prestigious Texas award were Morgan Goldbarth from Fulmore Middle School in Austin and Sandy Hall-Chiles, who is from Episcopal School of Dallas.

This year TAJE also gave out a pair of Friends of Journalism awards. They went to Louis DeLuca, photographer from the Dallas Morning News, and School Newspapers Online based in Burnsville, Minnesota, for dedication and advocacy towards the betterment of scholastic journalism in Texas.

We also want to give a big shoutout to Deanne Brown from Westlake High School in Austin for her JEA Medal of Merit, which she is set to receive in Orlando at the fall national convention. She is a big winner in our eyes, and this award is another “feather” in her cap as one of the best of the best in Texas scholastic journalism.

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

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

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


Membership is up a tad with 90 members in JEA at the time of this report.


jDay in Virginia will be held April 22-23 at Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA and will feature Kelly Furnas and Carrie Faust 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 entered its second year as our premiere event for advisers only. This was held January 15 and 16 in Petersburg, VA and featured adviser-in-residence Mark Murray. Fifteen 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 Sarah Nichols as the adviser-in-residence. Participants will be doing hands on activities to advance their design skills and teaching.

jCamp will be held again this year at James Madison University June 26-30, 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

Erinn Harris, newspaper adviser at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County will receive the JEA Distinguished Adviser Award in L.A. at the spring JEA/NSPA convention. She also received a Gold Key Award at CSPA in New York City in March.

Faith Runnells, a senior at Harrisonburg High School, won Virginia’s Student Journalist of the Year competition and her electronic portfolio will advance to compete for the JEA Student Journalist of the Year scholarship.

Sandra Coyer, MJE
Washington State Director
Puyallup High School
105 7th St. S.W.
Puyallup, WA 98371
253-841-8711 ext. 6608

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association currently has 116 members. National JEA membership in Washington State is down from 78 to 69. 

Events: The organization held its summer workshop at Western Washington University this past August with Logan Aimone, MJE, as the expert-in-residence. Students and advisers spent four days on the campus of Western learning about everything from photojournalism, beginning and advanced reporting, media data collection and management to graphic design and page layout. The students in the graphic design, advanced InDesign and advanced writing also worked together on maestro projects.

This September, the organization also hosted Western Washington J-Day on the University of Washington campus in Seattle Sept. 17. Around 400 students and advisers attended, a number half of what previous years have attracted because of the Seattle Schools strike, which ended in time that Sept. 17 was the first day of schools for Seattle, thus impacting the overall number of attendees.

Finally, the organization is currently sponsoring a one-day workshop featuring Tim Harrower at Cleveland High School in Seattle Oct. 24.

Initiatives and vision: The Washington Journalism Education Association established several initiatives at its annual retreat this past June. The goals of the organization for 2015-2016 are to provide resources, broaden offerings, include principles of balanced storytelling and help members utilize multimedia as well as increase importance of our organization outside the current sphere of influence, connect to educational leaders, create a new logo, PAC for legislation and build membership, as well as conduct outreach to current membership. Committees were established to work on all three parts (rebranding, outreach, as well as multimedia resources).

The organization has also decided to support the Seattle Times in its Student Voices initiative by promoting it with members in the state.

Awards: Tom Kaup, Auburn High School, was recently recognized by the Dow Jones News Fund as a Special Recognition Adviser for 2015.

Sandra Coyer, Puyallup High School, was also recently recognized by the Dow Jones News fund as a Distinguished Adviser for 2015. Both will be honored at the awards luncheon in Orlando.

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 express interest. Locey has taken on the replacement adviser at Gov. John R. Rogers High School in Puyallup, Bonnie Hager. Yearbook adviser Patricia Graveser Dunn wants to start a newspaper at South Bend High School.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: A 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. It was first reported on the spring JEA report and continues to be an issue and on the radar.

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

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

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

Membership: The Wyoming Journalism Education Association currently has 10 members.

Events: Wyoming High School Student Press Association held its annual convention on Oct. 5 in Casper. Over 200 students and advisers attended the event as they took the opportunity to attend workshops geared towards expanding their experience in journalism. The workshops covered topics from photography, reporting, trends in graphic design and page layout and broadcast. Keynote Jed Palmer spoke to students about their power and how to use it.

Initiatives: WHSSPA is working to move toward an online entry format for the state competition. A group has been assigned to begin the process of developing the format and forms for online submission.

Awards: Connie Woehl was awarded the WHSSPA Hall of Fame Award honoring past advisers from around the state.

Mentors: Mike Riley and Katherine Patrick have taken on the role of state mentors, with Riley covering the western side of the state and Patrick aiding new advisers on the east side.

Password Reset
Please enter your email address and press [Return] or [Enter]. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

If you don't receive it within a few minutes, please call (785-532-5532) or email us (, and we'll be happy to assist you.