Semiannual report for spring 2016

Semiannual report for spring 2016

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

Kelly Furnas, CJE
Executive Director
JEA Headquarters
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,476, up 205 members from a comparable time last spring and 57 from last fall. For the fourth consecutive half-year period, we are at the highest level of paid membership in the organization’s history.

While we have seen some small declines in individual states, they are more than outweighed by significant year-over-year gains from Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and others. Texas, at 270 voting members, is once again our largest state, edging out California, at 269 members.

Alaska is the only state with zero members. Additionally, we have seen a significant decline in the number of non-voting members (affiliates, associates, college and institutional members). Our nonvoting membership stands at 262, down 65 members from a comparable time last spring.

Feb. 5-7: JEA Board of Directors Budget Planning Session, Manhattan, Kan.
Feb. 19-21: Convention Planning Meeting, Los Angeles
Feb. 26-28: Convention Planning Meeting, Seattle
March 10-11: Leadership meeting with National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, Ill.
March 25-26: Convention Site Visit, Anaheim, Calif.

For the board: We are about two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year, and our financial position remains solid. We have earned $603,781 in gross profit (about 69 percent of our budget), and spent $515,770 for a net operating revenue of $88,011.

The organization stands with about $1.7 million in total current assets.

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

Nearly two years 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 Orlando meeting last November and the subsequent motions and results.

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

  • Attended a JEA board work session in early February at JEA headquarters to prepare the 2016-17 budget and bylaw changes. I spent the day prior meeting with the office staff and working with Kelly.
  • Attended a meeting in early March with Kelly and leaders at the National Council of Teachers of English to identify viable opportunities to enhance our standing and find relevant partnerships.
  • Supported and guided all JEA leaders.
  • Continue to spend a significant amount of time working on all kinds of JEA programs and initiatives, addressing challenges and working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

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

Please take a moment to review the agenda for our spring board of directors and general membership meetings in Los Angeles. 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 as always 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 of my presidency. It truly is an honor to serve JEA. Thank you for the opportunity.

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

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 appreciate the positive energy and collaboration from our headquarters staff, board members, committee chairs, state directors and others who help make our organization the best it can be, which in turn supports teachers and their students every day.

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

  • Attending JEA’s budget meeting and planning session in Manhattan, Kan., Feb. 5-7.
  • Launching the JEA/NSPA Adviser Outreach program with NSPA board member Valerie Kibler, CJE, bringing on-site training to advisers and students as part of small professional learning communities designed to reach underserved areas.
  • Appointing new state directors in Louisiana and Wisconsin. We are lucky to have Albert Dupont and Rachel Rauch, CJE, as the latest additions to our team.
  • Maintaining JEA’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Posting articles as a contributor to the JEA Digital Media site.
  • Coordinating a special JEA screening of “Frame by Frame,” a documentary about four photojournalists in Afghanistan, for Scholastic Journalism Week.
  • Working with 10 curriculum leaders and Executive Director Kelly Furnas on the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

I also had the opportunity to attend an intensive Storytelling with Data workshop in January on behalf of JEA. Fellow board member Megan Fromm, CJE, and I will be presenting two data journalism sessions in July at Advisers Institute.

Thank you for asking questions, making suggestions and dreaming big for JEA. 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

My thanks, too, go out to all of the JEA “family” — officers, directors, committee members and staff at headquarters — each working to support the free and responsible scholastic journalism our members deserve. Since my last report in October 2015, I have attempted to contribute in the following ways:

  • Scored CJE and MJE tests from the Orlando convention site and several regional locations (December 2015). Have CJE/MJE test-takers at the Ohio Scholastic Media Association convention in early April.
  • Continued to produce a weekly current events quiz, posted to the JEAHELP Listserv, every Tuesday night. Though not directly tied to my job description, I do believe it is a member service many in the classroom appreciate and enjoy.
  • Maintained the SPA-L Listserv for state scholastic press association directors and officers. Among the topics we shared and discussed were SPA website advertising, university affiliation, sharing bylaws, using Facebook to promote your SPA, a comparison of contest judging pay and reminders about upcoming deadlines and requests for topics to share with the board.
  • Maintained the Facebook Scholastic Press Association Roundtable group, re-posting award-winners during Scholastic Journalism Week and other announcements. I also shared with Meredith Cummings of Alabama the pledge the Ohio Scholastic Media Association has principals sign if they want their school media to receive an extra gold seal on their critique certifications for “no prior review.”
  • Worked with the Scholastic Press Rights Committee to select and wrote the letters to notify the First Amendment Press Freedom award-winners and losers, wrote four blog posts for the Scholastic Press Rights blog and worked with John Bowen to co-author the Dow Jones News Fund Adviser Update law and ethics column.
  • Attended JEA’s budget meeting and board planning session at JEA Headquarters in Manhattan, Kan., Feb. 5-7.
  • Worked with JEA executive director Kelly Furnas to plan the timeline and procedures for the next JEA election.

If there’s anything I can do to help members — especially related to scholastic press associations or the upcoming election — please don’t hesitate to ask.

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

General report
Since the last report and board meeting in Orlando, the SPRC found itself involved in two ever-developing projects. One has been to assist, as needed, those in states working to pass free expression legislation. The second, directly related, is to assist advisers and students who face censorship, prior review or the threat of that. Our assistance has been to states with and without existing state legislation.

Specific work

  • Continued work with New Voices groups in various states as they work on legislation, urging them to seek JEA endorsement of such legislation.

    TPT Issue 5 Front Page 2015-2016

    Nine public schools and two private schools received this year’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award (FAPFA). They are Chantilly (Virginia) High School; Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco; Felix Varela High School, Miami; Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri; Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School; Kirkwood (Missouri) High School; Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School; Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado; St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School; The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles; and Whitney High School, Rocklin, California.

  • Proposed funding to encourage FAPFA-recognized administrators to reach out to other administrators or communities with projects stressing the importance of free expression and the First Amendment rights of students.
  • Aggressively tried to expand intervention with those facing censorship issues or who had specific legal questions.
  • Began work on a SPRC retreat in 2017 to develop activities, lessons and process to encourage and recognize increased use of FOIA-based reporting by student media across all platforms.
  • Worked to increase the number of student media programs to apply for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award this year. Twenty-three schools applied and 11 were recognized as FAPFA schools.
  • Worked to increase the number of submission of Making a Difference stories where JEA recognized reporting of issues and events that changed communities or schools.
  • Continued SPRC outreach on our Mission, Editorial Policy, Ethical Guidelines and Staff Manual procedures.

Individual Reports
Jane Blystone, MJE

  • I have posted three and will be post two more Making a Difference blogs before the L.A. convention.
  • I have worked to support the adviser of The Playwickian at Neshaminy High School as censorship is still alive and restricting there. The website was taken down for some time when the adviser was on a short medical leave because the students posted an innocuous article without submitting it for prior review.

Candace Bowen, MJE

In the time since the Fall 2015 report, I have completed the following for the Scholastic Press Rights Committee:

  • Wrote blog posts on the SPRC blog
    • “A class activity  to learn both law AND ethics,” Nov. 2, 2015
    • “No one lives in a Hazelwood state,” Nov. 30, 2015
    • “Developing reporters who are more than notetakers,” Jan. 13, 2016
    • “What you don’t know COULD hurt you,” Feb. 16, 2016
  • Served on the First Amendment Press Freedom selection committee
    • Participated in the discussions to choose both those from the first round to go on to the finals and the 11 ultimate winners
    • Wrote the press release about the 2016 winners
    • Sent congratulations to the winners
    • Sent explanations to the second round losers, explaining what created problems for them and how they could improve next year
  • Co-authored with John Bowen the law and ethics column for Dow Jones Adviser Update, Winter 2016
    • “Exploring ‘What ifs’ Proactively”
    • Helped develop the prompts, monitored and judged the Law and Ethics contest in JEA Write-offs for the Orlando convention

Mitch Eden, MJE

  • I have worked with Robert Berglund, Missouri Western professor, on the Missouri Cronkite New Voices Act, including testifying in front of the Missouri senate. The bill has now moved through two stages successfully.
  • Continue to work with Missouri advisers who email asking for guidance on everything from working with editors and administrators to how best to teach law and ethics and the major court cases in the classroom.
  • Currently penning a column for the Gateway Journalism Review about the New Voices Act.

Jan Ewell

  • My contributions are slim: I wrote the school board in support of beleaguered high school paper that Konnie Krislock was championing.
  • I organized the SPRC session in L.A. this April on passing state legislation in support of student voices.
  • I organized and collected items for the Student Press Law Center jumble sale at the April JEA convention and will run it. I also will contribute peanut brittle packages to the silent auction.
  • Wrote, with Ellen Austin, Randy Hamm and Michelle Balmeo, “Journalism: Publishing Across Media,” which includes a robust chapter on student press law and rights as well as three references to the Student Press Law Center (and additional links on the accompanying website) as well as a profile of Mark Goodman.

Vince DeMiero

Lots to report from the upper left corner …

Some of the highlights:

  • Lots of time and energy on SB6233. Ultimately this bill never made it out of the rules committee in the state senate, but for the first time ever this legislation enjoyed bipartisan support. Way too much detail to go into here, but we certainly have learned a great deal this time around. Glad to share in L.A.
  • Continued struggles and educational opportunities with some local hotspots – including an unfortunate incident in Warden, Wash., where it’s clear that there are political powers in play that will likely mean that the current adviser there will move from the school. Again, details can be shared in L.A.
  • Several interactions with state officials, legislators, etc. surrounding the need for greater understanding about student press rights, responsibilities, laws, etc.
  • Guest editorials, letters to the editor, etc. in support of student press.
  • Continued education of community members, parents, etc. around this topic.

Mary Kay Downes, MJE

  • Most of my work has been to give advice to one of our FCPS advisers who is undergoing a great deal of difficulty with prior review and censorship.
  • Although the SPLC is involved, I have worked with the adviser and other advisers on the ways to promote the education of administrators so they stop acting out of fear.
  • I also coordinated our school’s process to attain the First Amendment Press Freedom Award for the second year. The students are so proud — it was front page news in today’s school newspaper.

Lori Keekley, MJE

  • I’ve presented at national conventions on law and ethics topics at both the high school and collegiate levels and have worked with several Panic Button issues.
  • Additionally, I have worked to support the Minnesota New Voices Act by attending meetings, answering questions at a booth at the Minnesota News Association booth and contacting media sources.

Jeff Kocur

  • We have a legislative sponsor in the house named Cheryl Youakim, and we have filed a New Voices bill. The sponsor is a Democrat, so she is in the minority, and she has not had much luck getting the chair of the education policy committee to consider her bill.
  • She represents both my high school and Lori Keekley’s high school. She is still looking for a senate sponsor, and we hope to have one soon.
  • We have a short session this year, and it begins next week. We are hopeful to get in front of the committee, but time is running out.
  • The Minnesota Newspaper Association has been helping us, and we appeared at their state convention a few weeks ago.
  • We have reached out to major media and are starting to get some attention. The Fargo Forum just published an editorial saying Minnesota should follow North Dakota’s lead. Minnpost (an online only newspaper that is heavy on political coverage) has contacted our sponsor, as has a public affairs program with Almanac, a weekly news program carried on PBS stations throughout the state.
  • Lori and I met with one of my school board members who is a board member for the state association, and she was warm and receptive to the idea. But then the lobbyists and lawyers for the school board association and the principal’s association requested a meeting with Rep. Youakim and brow beat her about the law saying it wasn’t a problem and would lead to many problems in schools including kids printing private data and potentially bullying through the newspapers.
  • She said it made her want to pass this even more.
  • Glenn Morehouse Olson is helping us connect with a former student editor of hers who was an aid for the majority leader in the house in hopes we can get him to press the chair to hear the bill. 

Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE

  • In fall I presented at the Minnesota state convention on censorship and empowering student voices.
  • I helped get a Wisconsin editor in touch with Student Press Law Center (which got her teacher in trouble with admin, just for reaching out …) I’m not sure what happened there yet.
  • I attended the fall convention with students, and I attended sessions on legislation.
  • I offered to get connections with the republican Minnesota speaker of the House, as one of my former editors and a former 45words Student Partners representative worked for him. Also offered to get the Rod Grams family on board for naming.
  • Purchased the rights to show “Frame by Frame” in March. I’m hoping to get other programs in Minnesota to attend and have a discussion and possibly some photojournalists to speak as well.
  • I am working with a former editor with ties to the legislature to gain access to that group.

Sarah Nichols, MJE

  • I have continued to respond to each Panic Button request, helping connect advisers and students with their state director and fielding questions.
  • In addition, I have offered support via email to editors from Virginia, Michigan and California during censorship situations. I also promoted the First Amendment Press Freedom Award at journalism events in California and Nevada.
  • I presented a scholastic press law and ethics session to yearbook printing company representatives in January.

Kathy Schrier, MJE

  • My focus has been on trying to educate the public and past nay-sayers about SB6233, our New Voices student press rights legislation bill in Washington state.
  • Besides PR about the bill, my role in this most current attempt was to recruit for a good showing (on very short notice) at the hearing before the Senate Education Committee, and a strong lineup of folks who testified.
  • The committee voted for the bill to advance; but unfortunately, it then stalled in the Rules Committee. Legislation lives on for two cycles, so we will try again in the 2016-17 legislative session.
  • I have also worked to update the information in the 2012 SPRC document “Promoting Scholastic Press Rights Legislation: A blueprint for success.” The editing on this document is now complete and ready to submit, so it will be available at the 2016 Spring JEA/NSPA Convention.
  • I look forward to presenting a session promoting the offerings of the SPRC in L.A. with Lori Keekley:  The Student Press Panic Button: Where to find it and when to use it.

Matthew Smith

  • I have mostly been involved with the effort to get some New Voices legislation moving in Wisconsin. We just started getting more traction in the media and among some legislators and many community members during past month or so, but that is just in time for the legislative session to come to an end. We’ll be consolidating support and trying to get some legislators in line to introduce a bill early in the next session.
  • In short, my activities involved appearing in a significant amount of state media (newspaper and radio … I’ll be on Wisconsin Public Radio on Thursday and have had a lot of contact with an editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has spoken to my students and is interested in publishing a supportive editorial from that publication).
  • I’ve also worked with a few other advisers to get a form letter out to advisers, students and community members supporting the introduction of a New Voices bill. I know many of these letters went out and that my own state representative and senator have said they’ll be looking at this more closely after the current session ends. We’ll see where that goes. I managed to have a lengthy chat with my local representative (who happens to be a Republican and chair of the education committee), and he seemed interested and friendly.
  • I’m not sure if that means anything, but I’m going to keep pursuing that relationship. I also shared information at a meeting of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, whose members were very interested and agreed to let me write a New Voices editorial that would be syndicated throughout the state. Linda Barrington has also helped speak to other organizations to get official support. We’ll keep the pressure on and see what we can get jump-started next session. At least most people are now generally aware that we’re out there.
  • Other than that, I’ve gone back and forth a bit with an adviser from a middle school newspaper in Texas. She first posted some questions and concerns about a story on the JEAHELP Listserv. Her principal has since decided to implement full review and censor the current issue. She’s been sharing some more specifics with me, and I’ve been trying to offer some advice. She’s not necessarily in my neighborhood, but I wasn’t sure if anyone else was in touch much. It seemed like she could use some reassurance and some resources … and I’ve got plenty of both to share.

Randy Swikle, MJE

  • I have been writing rationale, strategies and a variety of essays in support of student press rights legislation now being launched in the Illinois General Assembly.
  • As a board member of the Illinois Press Foundation, I have been galvanizing support for the legislation from professional journalists and their news media. In the course of my work, I am addressing important issues in scholastic journalism and student news media, such as public forum status of student news media; the deficiencies of prior review; the ability of students to pursue the functions, principles and ethical standards of exemplary American journalism in the school environment; and the value of free and responsible student news media.

John Tagliareni

  • We have been working to find a new sponsor for our New Voices legislation, since the defeat of New Jersey Assemblywoman Donna Simon, who had introduced bill A 4912. This student press rights bill, with teacher/adviser protection, is a combination of the North Dakota and California legislations, as well as the N.J. Constitution’s First Amendment provisions.
  • We have a number of possibilities for new sponsors, and we are working closely with Frank LoMonte and the SPLC. We have spent a considerable about of time networking and building alliances with various organizations and the media.
  • I went to Trenton, with fellow GSSPA board member Tom McHale, and we met with the New Jersey Education Association’s Working Conditions Committee to discuss the bill. The committee members unanimously endorsed the bill, and it has moved to The Tenure, Evaluation, and Certification Committee for its approval. That should be the final step before we get the endorsement of the NJEA.
  • I helped to coordinate the GSSPA Press Day Conference at Rutgers University, which focused on student press rights and featured Mary Beth Tinker as our keynote speaker. I announced the news of the legislation that morning, and we welcomed Mary Beth’s offer to help with its passage. In addition, our student chapter of the GSSPA has become very active, and the members presented two sessions at the conference, one with Mary Beth. She was very impressed with our student leaders, and they were thrilled to meet her and to have the opportunity to present a session with her.
  • I have been one of the main coordinators of the student group, which has been a very exciting addition to our organization. Our students members continue to make contributions, increase their membership and involve their advisers to a greater degree. They have given us input and have suggested sessions for our future conferences, and they have become advocates as First Amendment Freedom Fighters. The student leaders have worked with our officers, and they have connected with their student members primarily through Facebook discussions, which Tom McHale created. We are continuing to develop this group for their benefit, as well as a resource for us.
  • I spoke at the CSPA Fall Conference in New York, and I will present  sessions at the 2016 CSPA Spring Convention, as well. Lilia Wood, our student affiliate president, will join me to focus on student press rights and ethics, to encourage student involvement and to explain how our chapter works. She has been a strong advocate for the legislation, and we will include a number students when we get to committee hearings.
  • I will also speak at the GSSPA Adviser Conference at Rutgers in May to promote the legislation, give assistance to advisers, and to promote the goals of the SPRC.

Audrey Wagstaff, MJE

I’ve been busy with these efforts:

  • Presented on press law associated with censorship at JEA in Orlando (will present at OSMA state conference in April).
  • Served as press law and ethics Write-off judge in Orlando.
  • Initiated conversations with members of the Ohio legislature regarding a student free expression bill in Ohio.

Stan Zoller, MJE

  • Worked to bring OSMA to my college for a regional fall conference (which involves lots of discussion surrounding scholastic journalism and its benefits).
  • Collaborating on a research study about self-censorship.
  • Most of my time related to SPRC activities has been on the New Voices Illinois initiative.  HB 5902, the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act, was filed Feb. 11 and moved out of the Rules Committee Feb. 25 and assigned to the Judiciary-Civil Committee. I have been in contact with several key media associations that have indicated they will support the bill. There is also interest from the Better Government Association, a watchdog organization that is pushing hard for news consumers to “Get Informed” and “Get Involved.”
  • I communicated with advisers at Downers Grove North and Steinmetz High School regarding press rights issues. Downers Grove North’s was quickly resolved. The Steinmetz situation came to light mainly because alum Hugh Hefner had donated $50,000 to support the paper. With that grant ending, the principal allegedly had plans to discontinue the paper. He changed his mind and the paper continues.
  • I continue to write blog posts on a regular basis for the SPRC with special interest on access to public records, FOI issues and using the FOIA.
  • A point of emphasis for me when I do critiques of scholastic media is a clear and well-written editorial policy. Many student newspapers fail to establish a forum or incorrectly identify the type of forum they are.

Megan Fromm, CJE

  • I have continued to write blog posts for the SPRC website as well as respond to JEAHELP Listserv questions regarding law and ethics.
  • I networked with teachers and students in Maryland to help shore up support for the Maryland New Voices bill, including emailing teachers who might be interested in having their students write letters of support.
  • I served as a law and ethics Write-off judge in Orlando.
  • In early March, I introduced advisers in Western Colorado to the JEASPRC site and Panic Button resources.

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

Thank you to JEA members for the pleasure of working on your behalf for another season. It’s a joy to work with the board, committees, volunteers, passionate students and tireless advisers who give their all to our schools. Here’s what I’ve been up to since our last report:

  • I attended JEA’s annual budget meeting and planning session at headquarters in early February.
  • I continue to blog about ethics, law and news literacy for the SPRC blog.
  • I co-led a panel session with expert broadcast adviser Don Goble at the International Media Education Summit in Boston in late November. Along with professor Julie Smith, we convened a session aimed at building stronger partnerships between secondary and higher education teachers, especially in regards to student media creation.
  • I attended Boston University’s Data Storytelling Bootcamp with Vice President Sarah Nichols. We spent a week learning the ins and outs of teaching data journalism, and we are thrilled to be offering two sessions on the topic at the Adviser’s Institute in July.

As always, if there is a way I can better serve you, your school, your students or our JEA members, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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

As the second year of our term comes to a close, I continue to be proud of the work this JEA board has done to create partnerships and opportunities that will reach the varied expectations of our membership. The volunteers that comprise our committees and board are dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of the student press and the values of the Journalism Education Association. Thank you to all who serve.

The Principals Outreach Committee is proud to unveil its website,, as the latest JEA resource for our members. This site, intended to reflect the perspective of administrators, was created to answer the questions principals and administrators have when supporting the student press. We have spent the last year cultivating resources and aggregating information for you and your administrators to access when questions arise. During the 2016 spring convention in Los Angeles, we will present our latest addition to the site: a certification program for administrators. This self-paced exploration of student press rights will ask administrators to read and answer questions in five modules, each culminating in a conversation with the student press in his/her building and then reflecting on the materials and exchange. It is our sincere hope that this will not only educate administrators, but also encourage the dialogue between student reporters, advisers and administrators that has proven so integral to successful programs.

Thank you to all the members of the Principals Outreach Committee: Erin Coggins, Leslie Shipp, Stephanie Hanlon, Linda Ballew, Tom Winski, Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg and Adam Dawkins. A special shoutout to Matthew Smith for his vision and commitment to the certification program. Your leadership has helped us move forward with direction.

Please spend some time with the site, and feel free to reach out if you have an idea for contribution or would like to see a specific question addressed. I’d love to hear your thoughts at

In addition to my work with the Principals Outreach Committee, I met with other JEA board members to work on the 2016-2017 budget, consulted with the Scholastic Press Rights Committee on its initiatives and communicated with members, assisting on other initiatives as needed.

Thank you again for your commitment to the scholastic press and the Journalism Education Association. It is an honor to serve this organization.

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

It has been an exciting time as a JEA board member as the board continues to identify new and exciting partnerships that benefit JEA, its members and scholastic journalism as a whole.

The Diversity Committee continues to find ways to address multicultural issues in scholastic journalism. The committee is concerned about getting more professional development for teachers at urban high schools and those schools.

In an effort to address these needs, I have contacted members of the National Association of Black Journalists regarding its successful “J-Shop” program that provides journalism education for students in the host city of NABJ’s national conference. This year, NABJ will be holding a joint conference with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Washington, D.C. Seeing the importance of partnering with these two groups, JEA will have representatives of its Diversity Committee attend these conferences. I may also visit with representatives of the Native American Journalists Association when it meets concurrently with the Society of Professional Journalists in September.

A key focus point of our attendance at the conference will be attending the “J-Shop” in an effort to gain ideas how a similar program could be offered by JEA with organizations like NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA and others. One idea is to promote the “need-based” scholarships to minority students in the host city through the resources of local chapters of professional organizations, such as NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA, etc.

Additionally, we will work with these organizations to promote JEA’s Outreach Academy so journalism teachers in the host city can gain professional development.

In addition to the Diversity Committee, I am a regular contributor to the Scholastic Press Rights Committee’s blog and am working closely with the SPLC on the New Voices movement. The Illinois Journalism Education Association is excited that HB 5902 was filed in February. It has advanced out of Rules Committee and is in the Judiciary-Civil Committee awaiting a hearing.

In addition to these initiatives, I worked with applicants for the Journalist of the Year Scholarships from states that do not have a state director. I also participated in the 2016-2017 budget meeting and assisted in other activities as needed.

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

Preparing for the spring national convention in Los Angeles, we can look forward to celebrating our national broadcast and yearbook advisers of the year and our Rising Stars. The Awards Committee continues to refine the all-digital process and define existing awards as we move forward. As chair, I am grateful to all those who serve on committees who bring a collective experience, insight and wisdom to the task. I especially appreciate our newest members Ellen Austin, Leslie Dennis and Mitch Ziegler.

Specifically, since the last report the following as been accomplished:

  • We completed selection of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year through a virtual ranking process against a rubric that went through a second revision. A panel of volunteer judges completed these a week ahead of the Orlando convention. Mark Murray and Sherri Taylor joined the committee chair in scoring both categories. Kathy Craghead continued in her role as the co-chair for the yearbook subcommittee, while former national broadcast winners Michael Hernandez and Don Goble assisted in that category.
  • All spring awards applications were submitted digitally for the second time, with the process undergoing revision and refinement.
  • A new sponsorship for the Broadcast Adviser of the Year was secured with the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.
  • All voting for spring awards was done digitally.
  • Karen Wagner-Slusher of Eaglecrest H.S., Centennial, Colo., was appointed Awards Committee Vice Chair.
  • Spring recipients were notified by phone call whenever possible by the chair with follow-up emails to those named, their nominators, and where applicable, their principal.
  • The Awards Committee worked through a very large set of nominations for Rising Star and 13 passed the hurdle of 50 percent plus one votes on the panel to be named and honored in Los Angeles.
  • The First Amendment Press Freedom Award was announced Feb. 24 in conjunction with Scholastic Journalism Week with 11 schools named.
  • All awards have been scheduled for a timed release on social media and the JEA website. Spring awards are announced in late January to allow recipients time to attend and 10. a.m. Central time zone has been set as standard for news releases.
  • We continued our strong relationship with our sponsor yearbook companies through steady communication. The company which prints the honoree’s book was given significant advanced notice in order to make arrangements. The companies which print the Distinguished and Special Recognition recipients’ yearbooks received 24 hours notice ahead of the announcement to make any arrangements desired.
  • Margaret Sorrows, 2014 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, made the surprise announcement to 2015 honoree Renee Burke of Boone High School.
  • The Broadcast Adviser of the Year, Michelle Turner, Washington H.S. (Mo.) was named in a surprise visit to her school Dec. 2 by previous recipient Don Goble.

A special thanks to Connie Fulkerson and Kelly Furnas at headquarters for their efforts in coordinating all the many aspects of JEA’s awards programs.

Committee members: Martha Akers, Ellen Austin, Sara-Beth Badalamente, Brian Baron, Linda Barrington, Jane Blystone, Leslie Dennis, Linda Drake, Charla Harris, Kathy Schrier, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, Karen Wagner-Slusher, Carmen Wendt, Mitch Ziegler.

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

Spring Award Winners

To be awarded noon Saturday at the adviser luncheon in the Hollywood Ballroom, Third Level.

Michelle Turner, Washington (Mo.) High School

Gil Garcia, Austin (Texas) High School

Renee Burke, MJE, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

• Erinn Harris, MJE, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va.
• Michael Simons, MJE, Corning-Painted Post High School, Corning, N.Y.

• Leslie Shipp, MJE, Johnston (Iowa) High School
• Sarah Verpooten, MJE, Lake Central High School, St. John, Ind.
• Laura Zhu, CJE, Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove, Calif.

• Samantha Berry, Cypress Creek High School, Houston
• Kyle Carter, Richland Jr./Sr. High School, Essex, Mo.
• Ashley Clark, East Bay High School, Gibsonton, Fla.
• Katie Frazier, Seven Lakes Junior High School, Katy, Texas
• Rebekah Goode-Peoples, CJE, Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga.
• Patrick Johnson, CJE, Antioch (Ill.) Community High School
• Kari Koshiol, Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park, Minn.
• Kevin Patterson, Oviedo (Fla.) High School
• Teresa Scribner, CJE, Cleveland STEM High School, Seattle
• Emily Smith, CJE, Pittsburg (Kan.) High School
• Barbara Tholen, CJE, Lawrence (Kan.) High School
• Leslie Thompson, CJE, Conifer (Colo.) High School
• Leah Waters, CJE, Creekview High School, Carrollton, Texas

To be awarded 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the opening ceremony in the California Ballroom:

• The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
• Chantilly (Va.) High School
• Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco
• Felix Varela High School, Miami
• Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.
• Harrisonburg (Va.) High School
• Kirkwood (Mo.) High School
• Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School
• Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colo.
• St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School
• Whitney High School, Rocklin, Calif.

To be announced 2 p.m. at the general session in the Sacramento/San Francisco/San Jose rooms:

Justice Bennett, The Blackfriar Chronicle, Malvern (Pa.) Preparatory School

To be announced 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the closing ceremony in the Sacramento/San Francisco/San Jose rooms:

Journalist of the Year ($3,000 scholarship)
Kellen Browning, Davis (Calif.) High School

Runners-up ($850 scholarships)
Will Clark, St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas
Katie Pickrell, Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Justin Curto, Mill Valley High School, Shawnee, Kan.
Matthew Casler, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
Tyler Arden, Reno (Nev.) High School
Anna Laffrey, East Grand Rapids (Mich.) High School

Benjamin Rascon Gracia, Westfield (Ind.) Middle School
Runner-up: Madeline Bogard, St. John Paul II Catholic High School, Houston

To be awarded July 12 at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas:

Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE, McHenry, Ill.

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

In looking over my previous reports, I noticed references to the “summer certification season” and the “winter certification season.” I chuckled to myself.

Certification season? We certify year-round now, and not just Option C candidates testing through yearbook companies’ annual or semiannual meetings. We are receiving more requests to test at state press association conferences and summer workshops, also. In fact, a list of test sites and application deadlines for those sites will be posted on the JEA site as well as on the JEAHELP Listserv following the Los Angeles convention.

Since the Orlando convention in November, we have used the online test the Certification Committee — in collaboration with curriculum leaders — developed at our retreat in May 2015. Jack Kennedy, MJE, proctored the online test in Colorado in December with me monitoring the test from home. I proctored the Herff Jones test in California in January, and Sarah Nichols, MJE, proctored the Jostens test in Las Vegas in January with me monitoring the test from home. Jane Blystone, MJE, proctored the test at Penn State in early March, and the next day Linda Barrington, MJE, proctored the test at KEMPA with me monitoring each from home. One of the benefits of the online format is the ability to test at multiple sites with off-site monitoring capability.

Overall, including Orlando, 38 CJE applicants and one MJE applicant have tested. In Los Angeles, 18 CJEs are registered to test and four MJEs are registered to test.

Upcoming test sites include Ohio Scholastic Media Association April 1, Florida Scholastic Press Association April 29, Garden State Scholastic Press Association May 6, Walsworth Summer Workshop July 10, JEA Advisers Institute July 12 and Ball State University July 20. We have several potential test sites with coordinators finalizing their plans.

When someone inquires about hosting a test, we now ask if they want it to be “open” for anyone in the area to test or “closed” for their own members. Our goal is to offer testing around the country to reach those folks who cannot get to a national convention.

This is an exciting time for certification. Its designation as confirmation of highly-qualified status for educators is rock solid. The alignment with the curriculum reinforces JEA’s dedication to keeping knowledgeable, highly-prepared educators teaching 21-st century skills on the cutting edge. I am so proud to be part of this.

We will honor 51 new CJEs, seven new MJEs, 13 CJE renewals and three MJE renewals at Saturday’s Advisers Luncheon on April 16.

I tip my hat to my committee — all Master Journalism Educators — who work so hard on behalf of the certification effort: Candace Bowen, Kent State University; Jane Blystone, Mercyhurst University; Brian Hayes, Ball State University; Joe Mirando, Southeastern Louisiana University; Joe Humphrey, Hillsborough (Fla.) High School; Rod Satterthwaite, Gross Pointe (Mich.) South High School; Cathy Wall, Harrisburg (Ill.) High School; Lizabeth Walsh, Reno (Nev.) High School. These folks step up with effort, commitment, creativity and devotion to the certification cause. They are the best!

And I couldn’t do my job without Pam Boller at JEA Headquarters as my right-hand partner! She is amazing! A special thank-you to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her support! What a team!

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

Contest updates: The Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest will kick off in late March with entries due April 20. The categories include Yearbook, Newspaper, Photography and Broadcast. Entries will be judged in the late spring and students will receive awards before the end of the school year.

For Write-offs we added a Themed Photo contest for Orlando, and it was very popular, so we will keep it in our contest offerings.

Committee goals:

  1. Put past prompts and winners on the JEA Curriculum website for advisers to access.
  2. Revise the contest critique sheets to align with the JEA Curriculum Initiative.
  3. Initiate national-qualifier for Quiz Bowl to allow schools to earn the right to compete onsite. Plan is to initiate this for Fall 2016.

Recent Write-offs participation:
Write-offs, Fall 2015 in Orlando: 2,004 in 48 contests
Write-offs, Spring 2015 in Denver: 989 in 48 contests

The 2015 Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest had 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

The JEA Digital Media site 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 a report together in time for each convention.

In our seven years of existence, we had more than 900 posts published (roughly three per week), 391,377 visits, and 725,202 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 61 members of the committee who are on an email list. Twenty-one different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. That might be the highest number ever. Fourteen 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 – 11
  • Jonathan Rogers – 10
  • Don Goble – 7
  • Matt Rasgorshek – 5
  • Dave Davis – 5
  • Michelle Balmeo – 4
  • Sarah Nichols – 3
  • Albert Dupont – 3
  • Michelle Turner – 3
  • Michelle Harmon – 2* and running committee meeting in April
  • Michael Hernandez – 2* and helped secure the new BAOY sponsor
  • Dennis Leizear – Emailing the Listserv weekly in December, February, March
  • Kim McCarthy – Emailing the Listserv weekly in January
  • Kyle Phillips – Maintaining maps

Also contributing to the site during the time period were Susan Houseman, Kelly Jones, Matthew Schott, Kristy Roschke, Jennifer Higgins, Peter Billman-Golemme and Shelly Petkovsek.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.58.21 PM
Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.59.02 PM

Below are the most clicked posts/pages from the last 6 months:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.59.38 PMWe 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 Orlando.

Michelle Turner was named the 2016 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year. She will be recognized in Los Angeles at the JEA/NSPA National Convention. Gil Garcia was named a Distinguished Adviser. We also secured the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College to be our new BAOY sponsor.

The team is still working to update guides, expand guide offerings and maintain weekly posting schedules. We launched our Guide to Live Video Streaming of Sports and Events and created a High School Journalism Broadcast and Video Programs list. We have made some other changes to the site as well with our menu to make things easier for people to find.

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

We will discuss our goals at our committee meeting in Los Angeles, 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 JEAHELP 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:

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

The 2016 Journalist of the Year contest is underway. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround, as each state director coordinated the state winner.

The national JOY committee has been set with a panel of 40. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents.

I have already received some feedback from state contests and some ideas for next year. I will continue to collect those ideas and questions; please keep them coming. After the 2016 contest is complete, I will reach out to state directors, national contestants and committee members to seek additional feedback.

The 2016 Journalist of the Year will be announced April 17 at the spring convention. Also in Los Angeles, the 2015 Journalist of the Year, Julia Poe, and I will present a session to get current juniors thinking about their senior year and working toward building their portfolios. I would like to thank Julia for her time working with me this year presenting two sessions about the contest. I would also like to thank committee member Mitch Ziegler for co-presenting with Julia in Orlando for the JOY session.

I would also like to thank Sarah Nichols, MJE, for her continual guidance. I also owe gratitude to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her constant attention to detail on processing contest entries and fielding JOY-related questions from all members.

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

Professional Outreach has been going strong since last fall when I attended the NCTE conference in Minneapolis with Linda Barrington, MJE, and Gary Lindsay, MJE. The booth saw great traffic from teachers looking for mentors and resources. At the conference, I also presented “Bringing Blogging to the Classroom,” which was also published in the journal English in Texas. It is great to see so many more language arts teachers interested in bringing journalism into their classes and becoming journalism teachers.

At the NCTE conference I also met with the censorship committee, discussed possible JEA connections with the literary magazine contest and talked at length about how JEA be more of a part of the NCTE board in the future. Recently, Kelly Furnas, CJE, and Mark Newton, MJE, met with NCTE leaders to discuss how several of these items could play out this next year. The meeting was described as a “homerun” and hopefully several win-win opportunities will come to fruition this year.

In another outreach success, the JEA-Flipboard magazine has over 2,000 followers, 99 total stories published and over 20 monthly winners since its creation last fall. Winners are receiving T-shirts, and Flipboard is looking to expand its role in promoting high school journalism at tech and education conferences this year. On many occasions they placed the JEA-Flipboard mag on the front page of their website and app. They also used social media to promote the magazine.

This summer I will be attending the International Society of Technology and Education conference as a journalist for JEA, and next fall the NCTE conference in Atlanta where I have secured a booth. To add to our updated booth this year I am working with Evelyn Lauer, CJE, and the JEA One Book team to try and get an author signing at the JEA booth in the fall. Signing and giving away books is a key part of most booths at the convention.

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

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

Mentors: Besides the six committee members, we have 30 other active mentors: Bob Bair, Linda Ballew, Ron Bonadonna, Karen Boone, Vicki Brennan, Marilyn Chapman, Phyllis Cooper, Carol Eanes, Megan Fitzgerald, Janice Hatfield, Ray Hopfer, Sandy Jacoby, Sheila Jones, Konnie Krislock, Joy Lessard, Kay Locey, Nancy Olson, Casey Nichols, Mike Riley, Carol Smith, Steve Slagle, Nora Stephens, Carol Strauss, Katharine Swan, Steve Unruhe, Ann Visser, Dave Wallner, Jo Zimmerman and Stan Zoller.

What we’ve learned: Support from the Yellow Chair Foundation has been invaluable. It continues to support mentor stipends in any state that needs financial assistance. This has been a boon to both new states joining the program and to the already participating states that now have difficulty supporting the stipends over many years in the program. Additional Yellow Chair funding (approved by JEA in Orlando) makes possible the reimbursement of mentors for convention costs (hotel and travel), rather than just receiving a travel stipend.  As a result, the number of mentors (besides committee members) attending this convention has doubled from seven who attended last spring’s convention in Denver to 15 who are attending in L.A.

This summer we are anticipating only about three new mentors being trained at the Advisers Institute: one each from California, Colorado and Idaho. We have leads on a few others, but nothing to report at this time.

Successes: Even though we are just finishing the first year with a mentor who is a college professor and not retired (as the other mentors are), we are pleased with Megan Fitzgerald’s success with her mentees and her ability to make time to work with them. We will now consider other college teachers who want to become mentors.

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

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

Day of Doing: Co-chairs Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE, report that the Day of Doing project for 2016 will be rolled into the fall convention in Indianapolis. Advisers will be able to sign up in advance for a project to be completed on-site. Advisers will be able to work alone or in collaborative groups. We are looking to partner with local media outlets to have the work published. More information will be available in August.

One Book: The spring One Book is the Pulitzer-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Committee member Rachel Rauch, CJE, has created a Storehouse with quotes and videos to showcase JEA members’ opinions on the book. A Twitter chat about the novel will take place April 5 at 7 p.m. Central. Rachel and I will also host a session in L.A. where members can continue the discussion. The session, “The art of writing: A JEA One Book discussion,” will take place at 9 a.m. April 16 in Emerald Bay, Third Level in the Adviser Hospitality area. Come for coffee. Stay for book club!

Members who have suggestions for the next One Book are encouraged to email me at The next book will be announced in June.

Scholastic Journalism Week: Scholastic Journalism Week 2016 took place Feb. 21-27. This year’s theme was “The Stories We Tell,” and James Faunce of Malvern College Preparatory School in Malvern, Pennsylvania (adviser Kate Plows, CJE) designed the official #SJW2016 logo. Faunce was also featured in the Spring 2016 issue of C:JET.

This year’s SJW featured 15 staffs from publications at the following schools: The Blackfriar Chronicle at Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pennsylvania); Eagle’s Eye at Ruskin High School (Kansas City, Mo.); Pierian Yearbook from Huntsville (Ala.) High School; The Coat of Arms at Menlo School (Atherton, Calif.); Spotlight Yearbook at Lawton C. Johnson Summit (N.J.) Middle School; TJ Media at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va.); The Bearing News at Rock Bridge Senior High School (Columbia, Mo.); Hoofprints Online at Buffalo Island Central High (Monette, Ark.); The Trailblazer at Pascack Hills High School (Montvale, N.J.); The Pearl Post at Daniel Pearl Magnet School (Van Nuys, Calif.); The Stampede at Metea Valley High School (Aurora, Ill.); The Booster Redux at Pittsburg (Kans.) High School; Inscape at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School (Chicago); Royals Media Now at Prince George (Va.) High School; and The Thunderbeat at Bellevue West (Neb.) High School. These “The Stories We Tell” profiles included links/PDFs to student work and ran on the JEA Facebook page. Principals and advisers of the featured schools received a congratulatory email. In addition, several of the stories were published in Flipboard Magazine. Thank you to Professional Outreach Chair Jonathan Rogers, MJE, for coordinating that effort.

SJW co-chair Adam Dawkins, CJE, reports that this year’s SJW included an increase in social media interaction on Twitter and Facebook. Throughout SJW, advisers and students used #SJW2016 to celebrate the scholastic journalism, showing their photos, videos and quotes.

This year’s JEA/Society of Professional Journalists essay contest received 315 entries, up from 275 last year. JEA members are currently judging these essays.

Scholastic Journalism Week 2017 is scheduled for Feb. 19-25. Contest/theme details will be announced in September 2016.

When I’m Not Teaching: The purpose of the monthly “When I’m Not Teaching” Facebook feature is to highlight the wonderful accomplishments JEA members achieve outside the classroom. Since launching last year, the series has featured 19 different advisers from 17 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), Lisa Snider (Oklahoma), Robert Adanto (Florida), Jeanette Neyman (North Carolina), Crystal Kazmierski (California), Todd Vogts (Kansas) and Megan Volpert (Georgia).

The next feature, which will run April 1, will profile Nancy Zubiri, an adviser from the Los Angeles area. 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 JEA initiatives, I continue to seek publication opportunities for our members and help with public relations for the organization. I have published three articles/essays about scholastic journalism since my last report: “Why Scholastic Journalism Matters” (Huffington Post); “Creating logo ‘a tough process’” (C:JET); and “The Art of Asking the Right Questions” (in The Power of Questioning: Opening Up the World of Student Inquiry by Starr Sackstein, MJE).

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

In the spring issue, two features featured some out-of-the-box coverage for Communication: Journalism Education Today. The package on news anchors featured, first, four outstanding broadcast advisers: Dave Davis, Don Goble, Michael Hernandez and Michelle Turner. It also featured 10 professional news anchors who got their start in high school journalism. A special thanks to all the JEA advisers who helped me get in contact with each of these anchors. We should all stay in touch with these folks and invite them to speak at local, regional and national conventions.

In the spring issue, Susan Turner Jones also coordinated a package on poetry. Rarely do we devote much space to literary magazines, and this was an outstanding way to include that faction of our membership.

The final issue of the year also featured a peer-reviewed research article on Competency-Based Education by Rocky Dailey, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at South Dakota State University. I attended the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and made a presentation based on coverage in the winter issue of JEA’s magazine on the impact of poverty on scholastic journalism with Wendy Wallace, Thomas Kaup and Andrea Negri. We explored ways to get more peer-reviewed research material submitted to the magazine. We developed some recruitment material and distributed it to a wide variety of AEJMC member schools.

A continued thanks to Howard Spanogle, Connie Fulkerson and Pam Boller, who continue to make the magazine one of JEA’s best membership benefits.

Next year JEA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Communication: Journalism Education Today and my 20th year as editor. I hope that, as an organization, we find some ways to celebrate.

I’d still like to explore putting individual articles from 20 years of producing the magazine online for members to download. Not the entire issues, just articles. So if a member wants past articles on literary magazines, those all would be in one place for download. This would come at a cost to JEA and a tremendous benefit to JEA members.

Overall income

  • Amount paid: $15,015
  • Amount owed: $15,555
  • Amount still due: $485

Spring 2016 issue

  • History matters — Reporters walk in and out of school every day and repeatedly recite, “There’s nothing to write about.” Those same reporters can look to the past for an almost infinite supply of story ideas. While they may ask why they should care about the past, the past explains the present and generally portends the future (JEA Curriculum link here).
    • Appreciate the present by Bobby Hawthorne
    • Advice for young writers by Bobby Hawthorne
  • Active classroom — Journalism relies on the daily process of questioning. The classroom itself should be equally exciting. | by Heather Nagel, CJE (JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Do it all — Reporters are not simply wordsmiths any longer. They have to take pictures and learn how to use video. They have to do it all. | by Chase Wofford
  • Work flow — A consistent step-by-step guide for photojournalists makes their images easier to find and to use. | by Bradley Wilson, MJE (JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Word of the year | The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph: the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji.
  • The Talon | Rochester High School (Rochester Hills, Mich.) | Advice to any publication considering starting a website — do it (JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Creating a logo | A Q-and-A insight with James Faunce, who designed the logo for Scholastic Journalism Week. | by Evelyn Lauer, CJE
  • AP Stylebook updates | The Associated Press Stylebook updates reflect changes in society (JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Color of the year | A reflection of society, Pantone chose the blending of two colors as the color of the year (JEA Curriculum link here).


  • Bobby Hawthorne is the author of The Radical Write and several other books, blog entries and profiles/articles. He is a JEA Carl Towley Award winner and former championship girls kickball coach.
  • Evelyn Lauer, CJE, is the publications/public relations chair for JEA. She is the adviser of the online-only publication Niles West News in Skokie, Illinois. She writes for the Huffington Post and other publications.
  • Heather Nagel CJE, advises the Lion’s Roar yearbook at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, and is the Tennessee state director for JEA. Her staff has received an NSPA Pacemaker, NSPA Best of Show, CSPA Silver Crown, CSPA Gold Medal and THSPA Best Overall Yearbook along with various other individual awards. In 2012, Nagel was named a JEA Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser and a THSPA Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Media Adviser.
  • Chase Wofford is in his 11th year as adviser of The Sidekick newspaper at Coppell (Texas) High School. In 2008, Wofford’s newspaper staff launched Prior to advising, he covered high school and recreational sports as a sports writer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wofford has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama.
  • Tyler Blair, Cleveland High School (Clayton, N.C.); John V. Wood, adviser
  • Rylee Bolls, Bryant (Ark.) High School; Lisa Stine, adviser
  • Albert Dupont, facilitator of advanced TV broadcasting, St. Charles Parish Public Schools (Luling, Louisiana)
  • Amanda Hair, Mallorie Munoz and Alejandra Ceniceros, Coppell (Texas) High School; Chase Wofford, adviser
  • Smrithi Mani, Lafayette High School (Wildwood, Mo.); Nancy Smith, MJE, adviser
  • Camden Metheny, Buffalo Island Central High School (Monette, Ark.); Tracey Yates Thompson, CJE, adviser
  • Morgan Perez-Garcia, Bryan High School (Omaha, Neb.); Ranae Duncan, adviser
  • Aaron Rodriguez and Christina Velarde, Smithson Valley High School (Spring Branch, Texas); Margaret Edmonson, adviser
  • Matthew Schott, CJE, adviser, Francis Howell Central High School (St. Charles, Mo.)
  • Tracey Yates Thompson, CJE, adviser, Buffalo Island Central High School (Monette, Ark.)
  • Chris Waugaman, MJE, adviser, Prince George (Va.) High School
  • Noah West, Bentonville (Ark.) High School; Ace Horton, adviser
  • Jessica Young, MJE, adviser, Orange Glen High School (Escondido, Calif.)


  • Amount paid: $3,570.75
  • Amount owed: $3,695.75
  • Amount still due: $125

Summer 2016 issue

  • The news anchor — The role of the television news anchor goes well beyond simply being the face, the on-air personality, of the station. The best anchors are also strong reporters who stay on top of the news (JEA Curriculum link here).
    • Anchors bring credibility by Bradley Wilson, MJE.
    • A Q-and-A with top broadcast instructors: Dave Davis, Don Goble, Michael Hernandez and Michelle Turner
    • Essential skills, tips
    • Broadcast terminology with hands-on exercise
    • TV salaries show slight gains
  • Data visualization — Public and private data, when properly visualized and accompanied by solid reporting, can help tell stories, by Will Drabold (JEA Curriculum link here and here).
  • Top tweets — Twitter remains the top media for breaking news. A good tweet, however, contains more than text (JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Write the ordinary — as part of a popular workshop session, students learn how to turn their daily lives into poetry, by Susan Turner Jones. JEA Curriculum link here).
  • Competency-based Education — While CBE may be a movement du jour, there are elements within it that could help develop stronger journalists, by Rocky Dailey. Roundup | Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix) | Pushing a print presence online expands the reader base.
  • The Chant | North Cobb High School (Kennesaw, Ga.) | Students at this school bring audio, social media, words and pictures together on a lively website.
  • The Booster Redux | Pittsburg (Kan.) High School | Students produce a broadsheet newspaper with modern coverage and visual appeal (JEA Curriculum link here).


  • Rocky Dailey, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at South Dakota State University, has worked as a journalist in broadcast, print and online media during his 17-year professional career. He received his master’s in journalism from the University of Memphis and his doctorate in education from Montana State University. His professional career began at KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as a videographer. He also worked as chief photojournalist at WDSI-TV in Tennessee, and WXMI-TV in Michigan, before working as the online reporter for the Billings Gazette (Montana). Dailey teaches and advises in the online Master of Mass Communication program, the first and only AEJMC-accredited online graduate program in mass communication.
  • Will Drabold, a senior in the Honors Tutorial College studying at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, is director of editorial initiatives at The Post, the independent student newspaper. He has spent more than 2,000 hours interning in professional newsrooms.
  • Susan Turner Jones, in her 36th year of teaching English and journalism, teaches at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif., where she resumed her journalism teaching two years ago. She advises The Rambler literary magazine and poetry club as well as The Standard newspaper and The Canyon yearbook. Additionally teaching Honors 12th English, she also dedicates herself to human rights work with Friends of Rights, Equality and Emancipation, a student chapter of Human Rights Watch. Her publications at previous Los Angeles schools (Crossroads, Brentwood, Harvard-Westlake, and Westlake School) were the recipients of multiple CSPA Gold Crowns, NSPA Pacemakers and Quill and Scroll Gallup leadership awards.
  • Erin Adwell, Martin High School (Arlington, Texas)
  • Arianna Bennett, anchor, KTVN (Reno, Nev.)
  • Ryan Bennett, Oak Park High School (Kansas City, Mo.); Christina Geabhart, MJE, adviser
  • Veronica Bilek, Munster (Ind.) High School; Sarah-Anne Lanman, adviser
  • Jon Doss, sports anchor, KBAK (Bakersfield, Calif.)
  • Travis Eldridge, news anchor, Lax Sports Network (Boston)
  • Don Goble, Ladue Horton Watkins High School (St. Louis)
  • Ryan Greene, sports anchor, KBZK (Bozeman, Mont.)
  • Emily Watson, Clarke Central High School (Athens, Ga.); David Ragsdale, CJE, adviser
  • Michael Hernandez, Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
  • Matthew Jenkins, Smoky Hill High School (Aurora, Colo.); Carrie Faust, MJE, adviser
  • Kristen Loney, Basehor-Linwood High School (Basehor, Kan.)
  • Ann Neary, DeWitt Clinton High School (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Naomi Pescovitz, anchor, WTHR (Indianapolis)
  • Wes Rapaport, anchor, KAMC (Lubbock, Texas)
  • Rebecca Q. Retana, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy (Miami)
  • Martin Savidge, anchor, CNN
  • Laura Simon, anchor, KFSM (Fort Smith, Ark.)
  • Carly Smith, weather anchor, KKCO (Grand Junction, Colo.)
  • Michelle Turner, Washington (Mo.) High School
  • Natalie Wilson, anchor, WGHP (High Point, N.C.)


  • Alabama Scholastic Press Association
  • ArchiveInABox
  • Association of Texas Photography Instructors
  • Balfour Yearbooks
  • Ball State University
  • BetterBNC
  • Center for Collaborative Journalism
  • Colorado Student Media Association
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Dow Jones News Fund
  • Flint Hills Publications Workshop
  • Indiana University High School Journalism Institute
  • James Madison University/VAJTA
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing
  • Kent State University
  • Kettle Moraine Press Association
  • Media Now STL
  • Newseum Institute
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • University of Iowa Summer Journalism Workshops
  • Walsworth Publishing Co.
  • Washington Journalism Education Association
  • Weber State University/
  • Utah High School Journalism
  • Yearbook Designer


  • Amount paid: $4,304.50
  • Amount owed: $4,594.50
  • Amount still due: $360.00

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

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

Susan Newell, MJE
Alabama State Director
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

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

JEA membership has tremendous benefits.

“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 advisers and their students. I encourage advisers from Alabama to become active in their state (ASPA), regional (SIPA) and national organizations (JEA/NSPA & CSPA). In this way students can best be prepared for college and the world of work and your school can publish quality publications,” Susan G. Newell, newspaper adviser (31 years), yearbook adviser (27 years)­­­­­­­­ in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The JEA website has 27 members from Alabama listed. I am a Lifetime member of JEA but am not listed, so there may be other members not on this list.

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences. Sparkman High School adviser Erin Coggins and ASPA director Meredith Cummings are on the SIPA board, and Susan Newell is on their endowment committee. Hillcrest High School adviser Capri Frye Day serves on the SIPA advisory council.

SIPA information is available here. The SIPA summer workshop CJE will take place June 15-18, 2016. SIPA’s convention is scheduled for March 3-5, 2017.

ASPA information is available here.

Upcoming ASPA events:

  • April 1: Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline
  • June 10-19: The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop.
  • June 10-12: The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.
  • Sept. 26, 28, 30: Fall Regional Workshops 2016 Mobile Sept. 26, Tuscaloosa Sept. 28 at University of Alabama Ferguson Center and Huntsville Sept. 30.
  • Dec. 16: Critique deadline. Contests can be found here.
  • Jan. 31, 2017: Senior awards deadline.
  • Feb. 17-18, 2017 ASPA state convention, University of Alabama Ferguson Student Center

Alabama Scholastic Press Association is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Awards and honors: Alabama’s Journalist of the Year award went to Rebecca Griesbach from Northridge High School. Susie Dement Adviser of the Year Award went to Erin Coggins and Barbara Bateman. The ASPA convention wrap-up, which lists other award winners, is here.

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

Membership: The state’s membership in both JEA and AIPA has had a slow increase. Having the mentor program seems to be providing an increased stability in the advising community. The membership structure is being revised.

The Spring Reception will be in April to recognize the contest winners and state winners of the Student Journalist of the Year, Forest Martin Award (Outstanding Adviser) and the Freeman Hover Award (Outstanding New Adviser). It is an appetizer/dessert event for advisers.

The Summer Workshop will be in July at the Walter Cronkite School of Communications (ASU). This is a commuter camp, which includes strands for Advisers, Photoshop, InDesign, Web Design and Writing.

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

Beatrice Motamedi, CJE
California State Director
Global Student Square
248 Monte Vista Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611

Membership: California is the largest JEA member state, with 270 advisers as of March 15 and regional chapters in northern California (JEANC) and southern California (SCJEA). Led by Lacey Hatfield, SCJEA added 18 members last fall, while JEANC transitioned to new co-presidents Kristy Blackburn and Paul Kandell in February.


  • JEANC hosted the NorCal Media Conference Sept. 26 at Palo Alto High School, drawing 350 students and advisers.
  • More than 250 students attended the Journalism Day/Adviserfest at CSU Northridge Oct. 5, with attendance “twice the number in years past,” including 13 new schools.
  • In Davis, the first-ever Student Media Day Oct. 17 drew 85 students and advisers from six schools for workshops on multimedia storytelling. Kelly Wilkerson, adviser at Davis Senior High School, organized the event.


  • Kellen Browning, a senior at Davis Senior High School and website editor-in-chief, was named California Journalist of the Year. California received four JOY submissions. Digital portfolios are available at the California JEA website.
  • JEANC’s annual contest kicked off Feb. 15 with a deadline of April 15.
  • SCJEA organized a state write-off on March 12 with new categories in news and yearbook.
  • The California Scholastic Journalism Initiative, led by Steve O’Donoghue, is running programs partnering local newspapers with student journalists in three counties. The papers are the Contra Costa Times, the Sacramento Bee and the Chico Enterprise-Record (Butte County). Each program has a competition and awards program and a Journalist of the Year competition for a scholarship.

Upcoming events:

  • The JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention will take place in Los Angeles April 14-17, chaired by Adriana Chavira, adviser at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. A California advisers meet-up will take place at 11 a.m. on April 16.
  • Newsroom by the Bay will hold a multimedia journalism camp for high school students on the Stanford University campus June 26-July 3.
  • The California Scholastic Press Association will hold its summer workshop at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, July 10-22.
  • Newspapers2 will hold its 2016 summer session at Long Beach City College Aug. 1-4.
  • JEANC is planning Kickstart Days — one-day intensives for advisers and students on topics such as design, feature writing and editorial leadership — this summer. Look for the upcoming schedule here.
  • JEANC will hold a J-day tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24 at Palo Alto High School. There will also be a J-Day at Davis Senior High School.

Awards and honors:

  • At the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, 13 California schools earned 2015 newspaper/news magazine Pacemakers.
  • Eleven California schools are finalists for the 2016 online Pacemakers to be announced at the JEA/NSPA convention in April.
  • In March, 42 California schools earned Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
  • Three California schools were among the 11 recipients of First Amendment Press Freedom Awards from JEA, NSPA and Quill and Scroll.
  • Sarah Nichols, JEA vice president and student media adviser at Whitney High School in Rocklin, received JEA’s highest honor, the Carl Towley award, in November.
  • Don Bott, adviser at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Stockton, received JEA’s Medal of Merit in November.
  • Winners of the California Journalism & Media Affiliates annual adviser awards were announced in March:
    • High School: Nick Ferentinos Award for Advising Excellence, Lacey Hatfield, Public Service Community School, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • Community College: Adviser of the Year, Charles “Bud” Little, Santa Ana College
    • University: Adviser of the Year, Barbara Kingsley-Wilson, CSU Long Beach

Finally, in memoriam:
Nick Ferentinos, a longtime journalism educator, mentor and adviser at Homestead High School in Cupertino, died Jan. 25 after a long battle with cancer. Ferentinos was respected for his acumen and beloved for a gentle spirit and fierce commitment to scholastic journalism. A scholarship set up by former students in Nick’s memory collected over $38,500 as of March 2. Donations can be made here.

California state organization websites:

California JEA page



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

Membership: Best of Colorado Awards deadline is April 8, so both CSMA and JEA memberships will be gained as publications choose to participate in the contest. Current Colorado JEA membership is at 91.

Happenings: Advisers attended the CSMA Winter Thaw featuring Tim Harrower Jan. 29 at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Capitol Hill Press Conference took place Feb. 29 and had 61 students from 14 schools participate in the event, featuring Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, Colorado Department of Education’s new director Richard Crandall and Bureau Chief of Chalkbeat Colorado Nic Garcia.

CSMA will also be hosting SoCo Media Day April 14 on the CSU-Pueblo campus.

Individual contest entries are due April 8.

The board also developed four new contests in the following categories: Designer of the Year, Middle School Journalist of the Year, Broadcast Journalist of the Year and Reporter of the Year. The deadline is April 15.

School publications will also compete for All-Colorado status by submitting their publications for critique over the summer. The deadline is June 6. Winners will be announced at fall J-Day in October. Rubrics for these ratings were updated this year.

Rethink and Summer Advisers Workshop will take place June 6-9. The two workshops are combining this year in an effort to provide easier access for advisers to training and time with students. CJE testing will also take place during that time.

First Amendment issues: We’ve had a fairly quiet year so far in terms of threats to Colorado student freedom of expression.

Good news to report is Smoky Hill High School won the First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

Awards and honors:

  • Colorado’s Journalist of the Year is Katie Pickrell from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch. Runner-up is Nicole Heetland from Standley Lake High School. The Eric Benson Memorial Scholarship winner is Forrest Czarnecki from Conifer High School.
  • Colorado is also celebrating Leslie Thompson, CJE, Conifer (Colo.) High School as a JEA Rising Star.

Six Colorado yearbooks have been recognized as NSPA Pacemaker Finalists and/or CSPA Crown Awards.

More information about Colorado Student Media Association is available here.

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

Membership: 15


Capital Student News Website
Providing a voice for D.C.-area student journalists
Our main project of the academic year continued to get teachers and students trained to write for and to post D.C. scholastic news and features on Clare Berke, the Banneker Academic H.S. after-school journalism club leader, continued to be chair of the project and faculty editor of the website.

Screening of “Frame by Frame”
A JEA Scholastic Journalism Week project
I arranged for a screening of “Frame by Frame” at the Newseum Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. The documentary’s associate producer and translator, Baktash Ahadi was present to introduce the film and to answer viewers’ questions after the viewing. Lange promoted the event twice to more than 58 teachers in the D.C. area. There were 56 students and their chaperones present from D.C. and Virginia schools.

Journalism Adviser and Student Editor Seminar
Co-sponsored by The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program, Newseum and D.C. JEA
The Washington Post’s new coordinator of YJDP, Azhar Alfadi, worked closely with me to organize the program that took place at the Newseum March 12 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Post provided doughnuts and refreshments and excellent, younger speakers. D.C. JEA took care of promotion and Barbara McCormack and her staff welcomed us to the Education Center. Six adults, 21 students, five presenters, Azhar Alfadi and I attended. Ten area schools were represented: two D.C., four Maryland and four Virginia high schools.

The Art of the Interview
Emily Yahr, pop culture and entertainment reporter
Based on her experience interviewing some of the most interesting people in the music business, Emily teaches you how to become a better interviewer.

How to Be a Better Writer
Taylor Shapiro, education reporter
Learn some essentials tips that will make you a better news writer.

Social Media in Journalism
Julia Carpenter and Alexandra Laughlin, social media producers
Social media can be a powerful tool for reporting. Learn how journalists use popular social media platforms. You’ll also learn about the ethical considerations journalists have to consider when using these tools.

Virtual Reality in Journalism
Cameron Blake
Get a look at journalism’s next frontier — virtual reality. You’ll get to see an example of how newsrooms will be using virtual reality technology. One of the projects Cameron will share has never been seen by the public.

As an aside, Azhar is a graduate of George Washington University. She was a Prime Movers D.C. program student intern who worked with Ballou High School broadcast teacher and students and Channel 7 professionals. Although Prime Movers no longer exists, its impact is manifested.

Collaboration with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Seeking more interaction and project for D.C. students
Although Carol met with Mark Schulte and Amanda Ottaway at the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting about the upcoming Pulitzer Campfires, what activities we might do in D.C. (with Maryland and Virginia invited to join in), sponsoring a student-project tied to the environmental film festival and getting Pulitzer speakers in D.C. schools, only Amanda helping with training students for Capital Student News has taken place.

HumanitiesDC | 2016 Soul of the City | Pulitzer Prize Centennial Project
Six-week journalism training for D.C. students
HumanitiesDC was awarded one of the 100-year celebration Campfire grants to hold a six-week journalism workshop for D.C. students. The workshop will include instruction, field trips, guest speakers, portfolio creation and a public program to showcase student work. It will be hosted at Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts, June 27-August 5. Teachers who have attended past D.C. JEA-sponsored Second Saturday workshops will be involved in leadership and instructional roles. Carol Lange will serve as the project facilitator. JEA members are urged to visit frequently to look at the new stories Mike Pride and others are posting or to follow on Twitter and Instagram.

Forming a D.C. JEA Advisory Board
Support for scholastic journalism/media endeavors
To move towards 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. Carol will be meeting with Mary Beth Tinker on March 29 to discuss her participation on this board.

I would like to take this time to thank Kelly, Sarah and JEA for trusting me to be the D.C. JEA Director these past years. During my tenure I have made contacts and visited D.C. schools, promoted JEA and other journalism opportunities for teachers and students, organized Second Saturday workshops and Journalism Adviser and Student Editor Seminars, strengthening our collaboration with The Washington Post YJDP and the Newseum. I also held a MoJo series of workshops co-sponsored by The Washington Post Newspaper In Education program and D.C. JEA. Student Press Law Center and The Post NIE co-sponsored with us an after-school special, Meet Mary Beth Tinker. This does not begin to acknowledge the many media professionals who spoke at these events and at D.C. JEA/NSPA conventions. I mention these organizations as a way to express my appreciation to each one and its leaders for supporting the endeavors that were made to bring journalism and media literacy into D.C. schools (in classes and after-school clubs) and to strengthen D.C. area journalism programs.

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

Membership: We currently have 136 members, up from 108 last spring, and 43 are new members since August. We have promoted membership through email blasts, at our state convention and at summer and regional workshops.

FSPA will, again, offer the JEA Certification exams at our state convention in April.

Events: The state convention will take place April 28-30, 2016, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando. Registration closed early due to meeting space capacity.

We are pleased with all of our committees who worked to orchestrate the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando for the first time ever. We were thrilled at the opportunity to host and excited about the outcome. It was one of the top five largest conventions on record, and we heard lots of positive feedback. Local Chair Joe Humphrey, MJE, did a fantastic job organizing all the loose ends (Write-off contests, media tours, on-site critiques, T-shirts, etc.).

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

Florida is working with SPJ on a yearlong mentoring program with a school in Broward County.  This will be a test endeavor to see how/if SPJ and JEA could do this on a national level. As reported in the fall, we are still awaiting more details from them regarding this new opportunity.

Awards: Kudos to Joe Humphrey, MJE, (JEA/NSPA Florida National Convention Chair, FSPA Contest and Critiques Coordinator, and Hillsborough High School yearbook and newspaper adviser) for earning the CSPA James F. Paschal Award for his distinguished efforts to Florida’s scholastic journalism.

Congratulations to this year’s Student Journalist of the Year Competition. The winners are:

  • First Place: Matthew Casler, Boone High School in Orlando
  • Second Place: Sawyer Carlton, King High School in Tampa
  • Third Place: Dana Dinh, Hillsborough High School in Tampa

Congratulations to all of these outstanding high school journalists.

Matt will be recognized at the state convention awards dinner April 29, and will represent FSPA at the national level.

The following are FSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year finalists. These, too, will be announced April 29.

  • Asha Kennedy, Choctawhatchee High School
  • JR Smith, Dunnellon High School
  • Denise Honey, East Ridge High School
  • Judy Cannaday, Palm Harbor University High School
  • Omar Delgado, Christopher Columbus High School
  • Steve Salo, Coral Springs High School

Two Florida yearbooks received a CSPA Gold Crown award and six publications earned a Silver Crown. Click here for full list of award winners.

NSPA Finalists: Six publications (two online newspapers and eight yearbooks) will learn if they win the Pacemaker April 16 in Los Angeles.

FSPA Spring Digital Contests: There were 2,285 entries in the annual spring contests. Check out the All Florida winners here. The names in bold are the Best of the Best finalists. Winners will be announced at the state convention April 29.

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: 51 members show on the JEA rolls, including two yearbook reps and two different university reps.

Leadership change: Former SPA director Joe Dennis has left to teach at Piedmont College and is succeeded by Roxanna Gandia Laforet.

Georgia’s Journalist of the Year: Tiernan O’Neil from Clark Central High School in Athens, Ga.


• Almost 700 individual award entries have been submitted for the spring GSPA contests, and six students submitted portfolios for the Journalist of the Year contest.

• More than 600 students attended the fall conference, representing over 40 schools.

• The SPLC has reached out to Georgia advisers to build support for a new social media presence to bring Georgia into the New Voices campaign.

• An adviser workshop is tentatively scheduled for a central geographic location this summer. The last adviser workshop took place two summers ago.

The Georgia Journalism Academy is currently recruiting students for its summer program at UGA, and Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism is also promoting its digital media camp.

• I reached out to offer JEA’s support to Clori Rose-Geiger, adviser at Lambert High School, whose staff ran into controversy covering the suspension of the school’s principal. She shared this link to their initial reporting using Storify.

• We recruited for the JEA/NSPA Adviser Outreach initiative, and I will be participating as an “outreacher.” Several Georgia advisers accepted the invitation to participate in the social media initiative “When I’m Not Teaching” series, and Decatur High School students were moved by the special SJW week screening of the documentary “Frame by Frame” arranged by JEA VP Sarah Nichols. I presented at the SIPA convention in Columbia, S.C., in early March and promoted JEA to broadcast advisers at the national Student Television Network convention in Atlanta.

For the board: In the fall report, I shared this concern: “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.” I would like to see convention organizers alter the session proposal process to make the addition of advanced content a priority. Everyone benefits when students WANT to return to the conventions year after year because they feel well-served each year they participate.

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

Membership: Hawaii has 11 members. I will continue to network with advisers to increase membership.


  • Two members and their students attended a journalism workshop with New Yorker journalist William Finnegan March 10 at Punahou School. Professional Programs at Punahou sponsored this event.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 27th Hawai’i High School Journalism Awards Ceremony will take place on April 20, 2016. Public and private schools will compete in 22 categories including those for Best in State. Lee Cataluna, a metro columnist from the Star Advertiser, will be the keynote speaker. This event is sponsored by MidWeek and the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
  • The University of Hawai’i (UH) Journalism Department; Jay Hartwell, Adviser of UH’s Kaleo O Hawaii, and I are still determining the date for next school year’s Journalism Day with input from advisers.
  • There were no applicants for the Hawaii State Journalist of the Year Contest this year.
  • To date, no members have announced travel plans for Los Angeles though some non-member advisers and students are attending.
  • The Jostens Spring Yearbook Workshop will take place May 7.

For the board:

  • Thank you, John Bowen, for sending some excellent resources about how to change journalism-related policy in Hawaii. In the past report, we said the following: “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?” On March 17 two advisers met with Hartwell to begin articulating the next moves for us. Though still informal, member Cindy Reves has agreed to be the Hawaii “Legislative Chair” to help us influence our state.
  • Still on the board from the last report: Members are interested in learning how to change 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?
  • It has come to my attention that some non-member advisers are being reprimanded or censored for the student work in their publications. I am reaching out to them personally with resources to support them.

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

Idaho Student Journalism Association

Treasury: $4,800 (Solid, but not flush)

The board is discussing the next BSU Journalism Day (speakers, contests, tour logistics, and so on) in October 2016.

Idaho is in communication with Linda Barrington, MJE, about the JEA Mentor Program. The state is definitely in need of it. One first-year adviser, Nichole Stanford, has benefitted without ISJA’s involvement, and another Idaho adviser, Leslie Cheret, has been featured in its newsletter and is speaking about her experience on a panel session in Los Angeles. However supportive the ISJA executive board is, there is hesitation to commit financially. Barrington and I have arranged to meet in L.A. to discuss funding sources.

Idaho received two Journalist of the Year applications and sent the winner on to the national pool. The Sandpoint High school student was also awarded $100 from ISJA. We received no applications last year, so this was an improvement.

Analytics are low on the new state website, Board member Will Love did a great job of constructing it last year, but we have been less successful sustaining it. It’s there, though, and it has been a source of membership instructions and information.

The move for JEA to partner with Business Professionals of America (BPA) on the Career and Technical Education (CTE) issue has met positive responses in Idaho. Many of the CTE programs already had students who were members of BPA, so it’s pretty seamless. I recommended to Sarah Nichols that advisers request membership to JEA under professional development in their CTE budgets now that JEA partners with BPA, but my district principal denied both the JEA and BPA adviser membership line-items on the basis that the budget targets students, not advisers. I was confused, but I think we should all try anyway, as I’m not totally satisfied with the explanation and decision. I worded the budget request with a note that JEA membership is required to access curriculum. If anyone has experience that will help with this, please advise.

Becky Tallent, University of Idaho Journalism professor, and Will Love, ISJA board member and high school newspaper adviser, have been in contact with Frank LoMonte from the Student Press Law Center about a campaign to promote New Voices legislation in Idaho. The push will probably start this summer with the hope of something happening during next year’s legislature. ISJA will likely be involved as well.

Students in journalism classes were privy to the screening of “Frame by Frame,” the Scholastic Journalism Week pick. It drove meaningful classroom discussion.

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

Membership: Illinois current membership is 124.

Happenings: Eastern Illinois University will host the IHSA Journalism State Tournament April 29.

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

Mentoring: The following Illinois mentor submitted the following information for second semester of the 2015-2016 school year. They offer a detailed account of their work with Illinois journalism teachers.

Carol Smith

Carol Smith is working with two Illinois mentees. She has assisted with curriculum and software as well as helping advisers apply for Illinois Press Foundation grants. She hopes both mentees will attend the IJEA conference and perhaps the JEA/NSPA convention in Indianapolis next fall.

Stan Zoller, MJE

Stan Zoller is working with one new Illinois mentee. He has shared curricular resources as well as information about open records laws and state contests. Stan has advised his mentee’s students about how to handle potentially controversial coverage. He said he has also found the school to be generally supportive of a free and responsible student press.

Initiatives: We continue to pursue New Voices legislation. With the assistance of the Student Press Law Center, a committee of IJEA members has been working to improve conditions for student journalists in our state. The Illinois version of the bill, HB5902, has been assigned to committee and is awaiting a hearing.

Another initiative is enhancing membership by attracting new members, especially by informing them about the JEA curriculum. We work to ensure that IJEA members are also JEA members.

Another initiative is increasing the number of Illinois advisers with JEA certification and continue to encourage CJEs to become MJEs. Offering certification testing at the 2015 IJEA fall conference was a success. We hope to offer testing again next fall.

We promote student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Hannah Boufford, of Libertyville High School, is the Illinois Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Michael Gluskin. The runners-up are Danielle Tuchman of Glenbrook South High School (adviser Marshall Harris) and Hope Johnson of Taylorville High School (adviser Stephen Steele).

One Illinois newspaper won a Pacemaker at the JEA/NSPA fall convention in Orlando.

One Illinois yearbook and seven Illinois online newspapers are NSPA Pacemaker Finalists for 2016. Pacemakers will be presented at the spring convention in Los Angeles.

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

Membership: Indiana’s membership remains the same as last fall, with 77 current members, including 14 MJEs and 21 CJEs.

Happenings: Come November, Indianapolis is the place to be! Excitement is giving way to lots of work and planning as committee chair Tom Gayda, MJE, from North Central High School, and the rest of the local committee gear up for Journalism 360, The Circle City 2016. The JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention will take place Nov. 10-13 in Indianapolis at the JW Marriott at 10 S. West St., Indianapolis.

Indy is the Circle City, so the local committee hopes attendees will take advantage of all that the Journalism 360 convention brings.

Just steps from the state capitol, major and minor league athletic venues, museums, stores, restaurants and the beautiful Canal Walk, Indy offers a little something for everyone, in addition to the great sessions, speakers and opportunities the national convention brings. Attendees can witness the annual Veterans Day parade downtown and check out monuments throughout the area. Indy is second only to Washington, D.C. when it comes to monuments.

Indianapolis isn’t just a world-class city, but the Amateur Sports Capital of the World, the Racing Capital of the World and the Crossroads of America. We’re big on sports, but even bigger on news. Each day there are more than 40 hours of local television news broadcast in addition to local newspapers and radio stations all housed steps from the convention hotel.

To help advisers get a heads up to the convention, a Reporter’s Notebook Adviser Planning Guide will be included in adviser bags at the Los Angeles convention, including a list of 360 options to try when you visit the Circle City.

Ready for Indy? We’re getting ready for you! Visit the convention website for more information.

First Amendment Symposium: The Indiana High School Press Association hosted its annual First Amendment Symposium at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, along with Pacers Media Night March 15. More than 200 in attendance listened in the rotunda as Sue Skalicky, MJE, enthusiastically discussed the New Voices Act for student free speech. Her positive energy was well received, according to IHSPA Executive Director Diana Hadley, who hopes that New Voices legislation might find some positive support.

Prior to Sue’s speech, the IHSPA student officers took turns to speak of the five freedoms guaranteed as part of the First Amendment and IHSPA’s core values.

Highlighting the symposium, Lydia Gerike, Portage High School senior, won accolades as Indiana’s top student journalist. Along with serving as editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper Pow Wow, Lydia is also student body president, choreographed the spring musical, is a four-year member of orchestra and works for an online news outlet. Last fall Lydia led the challenge of a First Amendment rights violation on behalf of her school’s thespians group. Through opinion articles, television cameos and a direct address to the school board, Lydia won the challenge, and the decision to censor a play performance was reversed. Her adviser is Melissa Deavers-Lowie, CJE. Lydia was awarded one of two Hoosier State Press Association $1,500 scholarships.

Joining her in the spotlight Emily Rasmussen from Ben Davis High School earned the other $1,500 scholarship. Emily serves as editor-in-chief of the Ben Davis Spotlight newspaper. Her adviser is Tom Hayes.

Other finalists included: Sam Barloga, Crown Point, Julie Elston, adviser; Natalie Brigham, Crown Point, Matthew Brown, Ben Davis; Quinn Fitzgerald, Floyd Central, Jim Lang, adviser; Luke Haag, North Central High School, Tom Gayda, MJE, adviser; Lillyanne Pham, Columbus North High School, Rachel McCarver, MJE, and Ryan Gunterman, MJE, advisers; Emily Rasmussen, Ben Davis High School; Matt Rasnic, Portage High School; and Brittannie Travis Lawrence Central High School, Claire Burke, CJE, adviser.

Ten Journalist of the Year portfolios were submitted, representing different parts of the state — but not smaller schools.

Pairing with the Symposium, the Pacers Media Day with the Indiana Pacers, followed. This event included a pregame speaker panel on the sports media and communications industry, followed by an NBA game against the Boston Celtics. Students learned from seasoned professionals about their careers and experiences covering sports, both in Indianapolis and nationally, as well as advice on how to break into the industry straight from the sources.

The fall 2016 JEA/NSPA convention local committee hopes to incorporate a similar event at the November convention.

Ball State University High School J-Day: Later in April, students and advisers will travel to Ball State University for its High School J-Day. With the theme “Greatest Journalism Day on Earth,” the full day of classes and contests will focus on getting students excited about journalism and showing them all the possibilities the field has to offer.

Awards and honors: It’s been an exciting 2016 so far in Indiana as Sarah Verpooten, MJE, media adviser at Lake Central High School, will be honored as a 2015 JEA Special Recognition adviser.

Indiana programs have been recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association as Pacemaker finalists; results are listed here. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown winners are listed here.

Quill and Scroll 2015 Yearbook Excellence Gold Key Winners:

North High School — Academic Photo: Savanah Scarlett

Munster High School — Student Life: Therese Capriglione; Student Life: Lexie Lyons; Clubs or Organizations Photo: Rachel Bishop; Graphic Design: Zahra Bhoy; Graphic Design: Gillian Urbaniak

Last, but not least: 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
(P.O. Box 10 if using U.S. Post Office)
6501 N.W. 62nd Ave.
Johnston, IA 50131

Membership: Currently, 42 individuals are JEA members. Much work has centered on cultivating one-on-one relationships with new members.


IHSPA state convention: Almost 800 students attended the fall state convention, an increase of over 100 students from last year and 200 from two years ago. IHSPA director Paul Jensen continues to secure excellent speakers who interest students from the professional media, other related fields and education.

Adviser professional development: Meredith Publishing in Des Moines hosted the annual adviser professional development day. Sixteen advisers toured Meredith’s cooking kitchens, photo and video studios and heard from several different employees that journalism careers encompass more than just newspapers and that journalism is not dead. Amen.

Journalist of the Year: People of IHSPA worked to increase communication about the Iowa JOY award. Much work centered around attracting more JOY applicants. Six students entered the state contest — a good number considering some years only had one. Jonathan Rogers’ idea to honor 10 Emerging Journalists each fall continues to pinpoint students who then can be encouraged to apply. Paul Jensen worked to double the cash incentive to $200. He also forged a relationship with the Iowa Newspaper Association, which will recognize the winner and two runners up at its Leadership and Innovation in Media Day at Drake University in April.

Awards and honors: Molly Hunter of Cedar Rapids Washington High School is the Iowa representative for the national Journalist of the Year scholarship contest. Runners-up are Shirah Burton from Des Moines East and Tanna Jones from Des Moines North.

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

Membership: With 106 members, JEA membership in Kansas is up slightly from the Fall 2015 report. Hooray!

Events: The Kansas Scholastic Press Association hosted its Regional Contests in late February at six sites across the state, including the University of Kansas, Pittsburg State University, Kansas State University, Fort Hays State University, Wichita State University and Emporia State University. Students competed in 19 different contests. Three winners and three runners-up were named in each contest and are eligible to compete in the state contest May 7 at the University of Kansas. Nine of the contests are on site and 10 are via digital submission.

Special thanks to the following people for their work coordinating and running the various regional contests:
• Latisha Haag at Fort Hays State University
• Amy Devault at Wichita State University
• Gerard Attoun at Pittsburg State University
• Kelly Glasscock and Kim Baltrip at Kansas State University
• Ron Feemster at Emporia State University

We are also indebted to the hundreds of judges from all over the country who read through stacks of entries.

The KSPA board announced recently that Wichita State has agreed to host one of the fall conferences for the first time next September. A big shoutout to Amy Devault for stepping up to support KSPA in yet another way.

The monthly contests sponsored by KSPA offer 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. The April and May contests will be the final ones of this school year.

In addition, newspapers, broadcast and online publications were submitted for critique and All-Kansas awards in early March. Results will be announced at the state contest.

Several KSPA members have volunteered to be on the cPass (Career Pathways Assessment System) assessment committee, which is a two-year commitment. There are still lots of unanswered questions about what will be on the test and who will be tested. A general CTE Assessment already exists.

The 30th anniversary of the Kansas Scholastic Publications Act occurs in 2017. KSPA continues to look at ways to honor that important legacy in the fall of 2017 as well as ways to fund these plans. Currently under discussion is a video that would highlight the history of the bill and the efforts that went into getting it passed. We are also looking at changing the 2017 Fall Conferences to a single conference in a central location in the state (possibly Topeka), so we can have a statewide celebration.

Discussion at the last board meeting included consideration for providing professional development time for teachers and the possibility of a “Work Night Cookbook” for advisers which would include recipes for feeding staff members.

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

• Justin Curto, Mill Valley High School, was named the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and received a check for $1,250. His portfolio advanced to the national Journalist of the Year competition. The national winner will be announced in Los Angeles. Curto is the editor-in-chief of the Mill Valley News. His adviser is Kathy Habiger, MJE.
• Hannah Bott of Linn High School was named the 1A/2A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and received a check for $750. Her adviser is  Merlana Kern.
• Victoria Norez from Sterling High School was named the 3A/4A Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and received a check for $750. Todd Vogts is the adviser.
• Susan Massy, the adviser at Shawnee Mission Northwest, received a Gold Key from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at the spring conference in March.

Six Kansas publications were named NSPA Pacemaker Finalists. Eight publications were recognized by CSPA with Crown Awards.

Quill and Scroll Sweepstakes Winners
• Theme Development: Joe Roubinek, Shawnee Mission North, Overland Park, Kan.; adviser Becky Tate
• Student Life: Audrey Dickens, Shawnee Mission East, Prairie Village, Kan.; adviser C. Dow Tate
• Sports: Camryn McDonald, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee, Kan.; adviser Susan Massy
• Advertising: Kara Bamberger, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee, Kan.; adviser Susan Massy
• Student Life Photo: Kayla Dailey, Shawnee Mission North, Overland Park, Kan.; adviser Becky Tate
• Feature Photo: Bridget Wray, Shawnee Mission North, Overland Park, Kan.; adviser Becky Tate
• Photo Illustration: Carleigh Whitman, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee, Kan.; adviser Susan Massy
• Headline Writing and Design: Joe Roubinek, Shawnee Mission North, Overland Park, Kan.; adviser Becky Tate
• Caption Writing: Joe Roubinek, Shawnee Mission North, Overland Park, Kan.; adviser Becky Tate

Concerns: Funding for education as well as teacher rights continue to be foremost in the minds of Kansas teachers as state revenues continue to decline and the current funding mechanism has been called into question.

The BPA partnership with JEA remains largely unclear. Kansas advisers still have a lot of questions about how this will work and what it will mean for members.

The threat of prior review arose earlier this year, but that situation seems to have died down after KSPA executive director Eric Thomas and KSPA president Kathy Habiger sent a letter to the superintendent explaining the law and the responsibilities involved.

The state organization, KSPA, is online here and on Twitter here.

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

Albert Dupont
Louisiana State Director
Satellite Center
St. Charles Parish Public Schools
285 Judge Edward Dufresne Pkwy.
Luling, LA 70070

Membership: The JEA Member Directory lists 13 members in the State of Louisiana, with a couple of those being universities and one professional membership. One of my immediate goals as the new Louisiana State Director is to grow the membership in my state and help spread the word about the benefits to JEA membership such as the curriculum and conventions.

Happenings: I was appointed state director in January, so sorry, there aren’t a whole lot of “happenings” yet in Louisiana. But I hope to solve that problem very soon!  

I have reached out to the directors of the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association, which is run by the Manship School of Journalism at Louisiana State University. They hold an annual fall one-day conference which I attended along with my students.  There were about 250 students present representing most areas of the State.  

During the conference there was an adviser meeting with about 20 yearbook, newspaper and broadcast teachers in attendance. I was able to talk about JEA and my experiences at the Orlando, Denver and San Diego conferences. There seemed to be some interest from the advisers on exploring some type of relationship with JEA.

I am in the process of setting up a meeting with the LSPA directors and plan on getting this done before the Los Angeles convention. They have been very receptive so far about creating some kind of working relationship between the LSPA and JEA.

The LSPA also also sponsors a Summer Institute for high school journalists in June.  

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

Membership: Massachusetts is holding at 36 JEA members.

Happenings: Congratulations to Nathaniel Bolter of The Lion’s Roar at Newton South High School for being named the Massachusetts Journalist of the Year.

Brian Baron, the director of the new Massachusetts Scholastic Press Association, and I met informally with Sarah Nichols and Megan Fromm to discuss scholastic journalism in the state. I learned a lot about initiatives in other states to bolster scholastic journalism programs and got ideas on how to reach out to advisers around Massachusetts.

Massachusetts JEA is now on Twitter! Give us a follow @JEAinMA.

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

Membership: We are currently at 78 members in Michigan, up two from the fall report. We hosted four EdCamp-style adviser gatherings around Michigan last summer, and the JEA curriculum initiative was discussed at most of the events. The curriculum has been extremely helpful to veteran and newbie advisers alike.

Happenings: New Voices of Michigan: SPLC director Frank LoMonte, MIPA Executive Director Jeremy Steele and Plymouth-Canton High School journalist Chris Robbins testified in a Senate Judiciary Committee on March 22 meeting in favor of SB 848. The bill passed 5-0 and will be taken to the House. This is the third attempt to get a bill like this out of committee and the first time we’ve been successful. As Republican Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) said at the close of the hearing, “victory for freedom of speech.”

Video of the testimony is online here

An SPLC article about the 5-0 vote is online here. 

Radio coverage of SB848 is available here. 

Student Journalist Staff Portfolio Judging (Feb. 27-March 6): There were 29 submissions for multiplatform, news design, news writing and reporting, photojournalism, video and yearbook portfolios for Michigan’s Student Journalist Staff. A total of 15 students were selected for the Staff and an All-MIPA winner for each category was selected. In addition, the judges narrowed down the JOY candidates to winner Anna Laffrey of East Grand Rapids High School. The Student Journalist Staff and All-MIPA winners will be announced at the MIPA Spring Conference on April 21.

MIPA Judging Day (March 5): About 75 advisers, college professors, journalism professionals and college students judged over 4,000 individual contest entries in the areas of news writing, news photography, art and illustration, news design and infographics, yearbook verbal, yearbook visual, yearbook visual/verbal, video journalism, video talent/airchecks, video production, digital and multimedia and special coverage.

MIPA One-Day Workshop (March 18): The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association One Day Workshop took place March 18 on Michigan State University’s Campus. There were seven courses offered which included InDesign for Publications taught by Sara-Beth Badalamente, Writing for Publications taught by Shari Adwers, Newspaper Design Clinic taught by C.E. Sikkenga, Photoshop taught by Ike Lea and Building Next Year’s Staff taught by Julia Satterthwaite. There were 89 students and advisers in attendance.

MIPA Spring Conference (April 21): The MIPA Spring Conference will take place April 21 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich. This is when individual MIPA Awards, the MIPA Student Journalism Staff and Journalist of the Year will be announced.

Panic Button: After getting the idea from JEA’s Student Press Rights Committee, the legislative committee now has a panic button on its website where advisers can report prior review and/or censorship issues as they arise and trigger a response from the legislative team. The MIPA panic button was pushed one time this year from students from Rochester High School, and MIPA’s executive director Jeremy Steele and legislative committee chair Rod Satterthwaite were able to assist students through those issues.

Awards and honors: Five Michigan publications were recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association with Pacemaker or Pacemaker Finalist honors.

Marilyn Hess and Jeremy Whiting earned Certified Journalism Educator status from JEA. 

Three schools earned NSPA Best of Show recognition at the Orlando convention. Three schools were recognized by Columbia Scholastic Press Association in March with Crown Awards.

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

Jeff Kocur, Lori Keekley, Kathryn Campbell and I have done work this year on the Minnesota New Voices Act. We had a meeting last fall with our state representative, Cheryl Yoakim, who is spearheading this effort. Jeff has met with superintendent, principal and school board groups, and both Jeff and Lori have helped to create support documents and gather student testimonies.

I rented a booth at the Minnesota Newspaper Association to help spread the word about our cause. Lori, Jeff and I all took shifts at the booth to help spread awareness of our goal to pass the Minnesota New Voices Act. In early February, I met with Republican Senator Karin Housley to try and get some support on the other side of the aisle. I have had two of her three childen in class, her oldest daughter taking my journalism class years ago. Housley has also had columns in the past in the Stillwater Gazette, so she is a big supporter of journalism. She is willing to help get the New Voices Act passed.

Although the Minnesota New Voices Act made some headway this year, ultimately, the Education Policy Committee would not hear the bill, so we are back to square one next year. Reprsentative Yoakim will continue her work with the goal of getting the New Voices Act to pass in Minnesota.

Thanks to Jeff Kocur and Lori Keekley for all their dedication and work in this endeavor.

Minnesota’s Journalist of the Year winner is Maxine Whiting, editor-in-chief of the Spectrum newspaper at The Blake School in Minneapolis (Anna Reid, adviser). This is the first winner from Reid’s program, so we offer a big shoutout to both of them. The second place winner was Hannah Bernstein from St. Louis Park Echo (Lori Keekley, adviser). Honorable mention went to Justin Hannasch from Stillwater Area High School (Rachel Steil, adviser).

Shoutout to Online Pacemaker nominee The Rubicon Online from St. Paul Academy, Kathryn Campbell, adviser.

I have been spending time since the fall report by assisting Laura Widmer and Linda Puntney with the revisions of the yearbook critique booklet for the National Scholastic Press Association. I have also assisted fellow NSPA board member Val Kibler with finding volunteer judges for the addition of Skype judging sessions. These sessions are soon to be piloted by the NSPA with a smaller group of schools to see how the concept will work out before implementing the Skype sessions on a larger scale.

R.J. Morgan
Mississippi State Director
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 statewide convention at Ole Miss. We had right at 500 students attend and had about 40 different sessions. A great success. This was our first year with an endowed keynote speaker, and Rose Flenorl from FedEx did a wonderful job. The next event in Mississippi will be the Overby Advisers Institute on June 7-9.

Awards and honors: At our spring convention, we award excellence in over 100 different categories, including Best Newspaper/Yearbook/Broadcast/LitMag and Broadcast/Yearbook/Newspaper Adviser of the Year. Digital submission continues to be a mixed bag, but this year we used Google Drive and it seemed to work much better.

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 are excited about the on-site training program JEA recently launched. Mississippi is (notoriously) the poorest state in the union, and getting our schools to fundraise for travel has been a serious struggle. Some of them can’t even come to our state convention. Thankful for a program that seeks to help these types of schools. I’ve encouraged several to apply.

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

State organization websites:





Membership: As of March 15, there are 135 voting members from Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member).

There are 12 non-voting members, which include associate, institutional and college students.


  • MJEA (Missouri Journalism Education Association) Partner Events
    • KC Star day: More than 50 students and advisers attended the event hosted at the Star’s printing facility in downtown Kansas City. Attendees heard from speakers, toured the printing facility, participated in a Break with a Pro in small groups and ended the day with a Q and A with a couple of the paper’s top editors.
    • Cape Central day (March 31)
    • MediaNow STL and MediaNow Drake this summer
  • MJEA Contests
    • Had 425 individual entries in contests and 92 students
    • Inaugural MJEA Honor Roll
    • Awards roll out beginning May 1
  • Journalism STL held its annual spring conference March 9 at Webster University.
  • MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association) is having its annual Journalism Day April 6 at MU in Columbia. The event draws over 1,000 high school journalism students and their advisers. Students attend sessions taught by MU Journalism faculty and MIPA high school journalism teachers and professional journalists. This year features speakers from the Pulitzer Project, including St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Cartoonist Dan Martin. The keynote speakers features a panel of photojournalists that will discuss the recent protests on the campus. Panelists include 2016 First Amendment Defender Award recipient Tim Tai. MIPA’s Student Journalist of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year will be honored as well as hundreds of students who entered MIPA’s annual journalism contest.
  • MO Rep. Elijah Haahr, a Republican, introduced the Walter Cronkite New Voices Act. The bill would protect student journalists’ right to exercise freedom of the speech and of the press in school-sponsored media — regardless of whether the school district financially supports the media or if the publication is produced as part of a class. The bill would prohibit school officials from exercising prior restraints over student media unless the reporters were about to publish libelous or slanderous material, invade privacy, violate the law or incite a disruption at school. Read more here.

Awards and honors:

Missouri Student Journalist of the Year

  • Lindsay Alfermann from Washington High School was named the state’s Journalist of the Year. Congratulations to Lindsay, who serves on her school paper, The Advocate, as well as the broadcast program, The Blue Jay Journal. Lindsay plans to major in photojournalism next year at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. She was one of 18 student journalists in the nation selected for the 2015 Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop and has worked for her local community radio station, Sports KRAP, and newspaper, The Washington Missourian. Lindsay is advised by Michelle Turner.

NSPA Awards for Missouri in Orlando

Missouri had a great showing in the National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker and Individual Award nominations with 18 schools recognized for their outstanding work.

Missouri high schools represented in the contests include:

• Jefferson City High School
• Webster Groves High School
• Marquette High School
• Kirkwood High School
• Francis Howell North High School
• Francis Howell Central High School
• Clayton High School
• Lafayette High School
• Rock Bridge Sr. High School
• Rockhurst High School
• St. Teresa’s Academy
• Central High, Springfield
• Ladue High School
• Washington High School
• Park Hill South High School, Riverside
• Oak Park High School, Kansas City
• Liberty High School

Student media recognition: Four Missouri schools are nominated for the Online Pacemaker award, and two are nominated for Yearbook Pacemakers. Finalists are listed here. Six Missouri programs were recognized in March by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association with Crown Awards; winners are listed here.

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

Membership: Although Montana has always had a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has continued to substantially decline. The number of returning members has also diminished.

Leadership: MJEA has gained a highly motivated and action-orientated president. Beth Britton, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls, Mont. Both Beth and JEA’s state director have discussed and asked for input on how to reorganize the association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively.

To gain a better understanding of this issue, we have reached out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails, letters and requests to submit and participate in the site.

We will also ask for nominations to create a more invigorated executive board. The gap left in MJEA’s leadership continues to not be filled. We are hoping to encourage younger members to become engaged in MJEA. Montana journalism programs have undergone dramatic turnover with new advisers taking over the journalism programs in many high schools. It is obvious that younger advisers need to find reasons to be professionally involved with our organization in order to revitalize what MJEA can offer to a diverse state membership.

We will work to develop updated bylaws and job descriptions.

Maintaining MJEA and JEA membership is a priority. Developing interest in JEA membership has also been encouraged by pointing to the value of the online 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.

Kim Lucostic will continue as the MJEA Treasurer. MJEA monies have been moved from Glacier Bank in Poulson, Mont, to the U.S. Bank in Great Falls. This now allows the president and the treasurer to both have banking access in Great Falls and in Missoula.

Jennifer Keintz has remained on the board as Past President.

Initiatives: Britton and Ballew have continued to email advisers encouraging them to communicate with us, participate in discussion and retain 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 webmaster.

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 continuing to see the need to recruit as their students majoring in journalism has also decreased. Severe cuts to curriculum and faculty have occurred at the University of Montana. The focus of the Journalism School has been adapting to ensure its viability.

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. This is extremely slow-going because of the upcoming changes in the role of State Superintendent of Education and the department heads working for her.

JEA’s collaboration with BPA also has given her additional resources for her work to obtain CTE certification for journalism advisers. Encouraging local school districts to add broadcast elements to existing journalism programs remains integral to obtaining CTE Certification.

Awards and honors:

  • Because of the spring MJEA newspaper, online, yearbook and photography critiques and contests, members continue to show interest in joining MJEA. The contest numbers appear to be showing an increase. For instance, the yearbook contest which only had one entry last year has five entries this year. Also, the number of entries in the Journalist of the Year contest increased to three this spring. The changes made in coordinating the Montana Journalist of the Year contest, introduced last year, seem to be less daunting this spring. There still needs to be a reminder of the contest rules.
  • The winner will continue to 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 has still created some confusion. A deadline for SJOY has deviated from the other contest entries in order to coordinate the SJOY with national JEA deadlines. The coordination between MJEA and the U of Montana which has been integral in hosting and coordinating the High School J Day, continues to be further refined for future state contests.
  • Senior editor in chief of the Big Sky High School’s Sun Journal, Taylor “Tato” Featherman has been selected to represent Montana as The Montana Student Journalist of the Year. Taylor has worked for Big Sky High School’s student newspaper, the “Sun Journal,” all four years of high school. However, that was not enough. In his sophomore year, he and two other student journalists, took the initiative to start a sports podcast, “The TBT Sports Show.” Eventually, the podcast turned into a radio show on KGRZ, and it is currently broadcast on KBGA. Taylor’s senior project became a perfect fit with his journalism interest. He now does live radio coverage of Big Sky’s home football games as well as doing video and audio of the basketball games on the NFHS network. He learned to work side-by-side with his partner Tyrel Rodarte, who provided color commentary.
    • Taylor said, “There’s a different rush between broadcasting a game and doing radio. When I’m doing sports talk radio, I’m just talking about whatever, but broadcasting a game is so live and fast. The feedback is way different. It’s like grandparents coming up and saying, ‘Hey, I wasn’t able to make that last game, but I saw it and heard it.’ It’s such a gratifying experience.” His submitted portfolio of his work containing a reflection of his high school journey in journalism that was evaluated by this year’s judge, Dean Larry Abramson.
    • The University of Montana’s School of Journalism will honor Taylor with a $1,000 scholarship to help him continue his education as he attends college at the School of Journalism this fall. His award will be given during the final ceremony of the High School J Day at the U of Montana on April 14.
    • Taylor will represent Montana scholastic journalists in the Journalism Education Association’s National High School Journalist of the Year competition. He will be in the running for an additional $3,000 scholarship. The national high school journalist and runners-up will be announced April 17, at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles. See the full story here, courtesy of Chelsea Davis.


  • The Montana High School Journalism Day, coordinated by U. of M. journalism professors, has established a strong relationship and connection between public school advisers and the university. It also has provided an opportunity to attend amazing workshops: “Words+Pictures+Your Creativity=Fun with Design,” “You Can Say That: Better Opinion Writing,” “Photo-J and Your Phone,” “Catch the Bad Guys and Save the World!” “The Reporting Gear in Your Pocket,” Write Tight!” “The Value of the Moment,” “Tell the Whole Story,” and “Media Law.” Student editors will also have time for publication reviews, project roundtables and a press conference.
  • The majority of participants are still primarily from the larger AA school districts. President Beth Britton has 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 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.
  • U. of M. will again have a journalism professor attending and presenting workshops at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in L.A.
  • The Mentoring Program is doing well. Linda Ballew is mentoring two Montana advisers and one adviser in Utah. The advisers from eastern Montana will meet with Linda at the High School Journalism Day.
  • The JEA office staff has been wonderful in sending support materials to help Beth and Linda as they try to enlist new members. The staff has also been essential in helping with materials that reinforce classroom issues and support Linda’s mentees.

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

Membership: JEA membership in Nebraska is holding steady at 51. Most members renew their JEA status when they register for NHSPA membership in the fall.

Events and happenings: The NHSPA Fall Conference was a success and so was the Winter JEA-Nebraska Contest. To see results:  We thank our generous volunteer judges from within the JEA circle.  Our Summer Workshop at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is in the recruitment phase. Please consider us when your students are looking for a great workshop at a great price. The workshop will take place July 18-20, 2016.

Mentoring: Nebraska became an official JEA mentoring state this past fall with Bob Bair, MJE. We had an overwhelming response of interested mentees, and some of them have been served by members of the NHSPA board to help Bob.

Recognition: Nebraska had the largest number of entries in the 2016 JOY Contest we’ve ever had. Congratulations to Natalie J. Nepper of Omaha Central for being our state winner. The Runner Up Award in Nebraska goes to Kamrin P. Baker of Millard West. We say an extra special thank you to the University of Nebraska College of JMC for helping us judge the contest.

The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) is organizing the state journalism contest, which will take place April 25. The University of Nebraska at Omaha also holds a metro area contest in which winners will be recognized April 7.

Omaha North newspaper editor, Madi Pohlman, was invited by the SPLC to be a blogger for Active Voice, their new initiative to combat censorship based on that new research that it adversely affects young women more than young men. If they like what she writes, it will be shared with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls campaign!  She also went down to the LB885 hearing at the Nebraska State Capitol to speak on behalf of high school students. The story is available online here.

Los Angeles convention note:
 Some new Nebraska schools and advisers will be in attendance. We hope to keep the momentum going strong. Nebraska only had one spring Pacemaker Finalist, so please welcome Omaha Skutt Catholic High School and their website, the Flightline, to the national scene. The adviser is Joe Elliott.

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

Membership: Nevada currently has 25 JEA members. This is an increase of three members. Recruitment and communication of membership benefits continues regularly.

Happenings: An attempt at a New Voices Act for Nevada is in the works, but progress has halted due to a lack of resources at the collegiate level to assist in this endeavor. Christy Briggs from Reno High School and Matthew LaPorte from Southwest CTA continue to communicate on this subject, as they seek additional resources from Sue Skalicky, Frank LoMonte and Steve Listopad. This is a hope for the future, but time is a major factor.

Journalist of the Year: The state saw a 50 percent increase in participants for this year’s contest. We are very grateful that judges from the Society of Professional Journalists continue to volunteer their time to critique the entries and provide authentic feedback.

Awards and honors: 

  • 2016 State Journalist of the Year: Tyler Arden of Reno High School
  • 2016 NSPA Yearbook Pacemaker Finalists: Greenspun Junior High School Na’ia and Green Valley High School Legacy
  • 2016 NSPA Digital Pacemaker Finalists: Southwest Career and Technical Academy
  • Eric Johnston of Green Valley High School, Noelle Chaban of Cheyenne High School and Matthew LaPorte of Southwest Career and Technical Academy have been named as finalists for the Heart of Education Award, sponsored by the Rogers Foundation at the Smith Center. More details can be found here.

Upcoming events: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists will open its fourth annual journalism contest April 8. The newspaper contest has been moved from the fall to coincide with the yearbook contest, in order to conduct a dual judging process and ceremony. Each publication has the option to enter 30 different categories, including Best in Show. The 2015 contest had over 500 entries for just the yearbook, so SNSJ expects to at minimum double the amount of entries with the inclusion of newspaper. This year will also include a ceremony recognizing members who participate in the critique process, which will add to the overall number of commendations at the ceremony.

For the board: Southern Nevada members are hoping to meet with Northern Nevada members at the L.A. convention to discuss possible opportunities for whole-state participation. Also, a form letter would be fantastic for the Journalist of the Year scholarship contest that would explain the applicability of yearbook as a form of journalism. This continues to be an area that is not always seen as “journalism” by individuals not familiar with the current journalistic emphasis in yearbook.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE
Cherry Hill High School East
1750 Kresson Rd
Cherry Hill NJ 08003

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

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

Membership: Current JEA membership for North Carolina as of March is 55, down two from last spring. N.C. Scholastic Media Association membership materials continue to offer a JEA membership option, as NCSMA is an affiliate member of JEA.

Happenings: N.C. Scholastic Media Association is celebrating 75 years of continuous service to scholastic journalism. The anniversary celebration began with a board dinner in February. The Carolina Inn dinner featured all Advisers Association board members, along with former directors and board presidents. The establishment of the 75th anniversary fundraising effort was announced at the dinner. The association is currently accepting donations to a nonrestrictive account to be used for such things as offsetting substitute teacher and school bus travel expenses, so that staffs can attend NCSMA events. The anniversary fundraising option is available here. The larger celebration will take place this summer during the Summer Institute, June 13-16. UNC’s Special Collection Library will feature an archive display of the organization’s 75 years. A history booklet and website will be revealed.

That N.C. Scholastic Media Institute will again provide four days of instruction in the yearbook, news, broadcast, literary magazine, design, online news, advising and photography for students and teachers from across the state. Sessions are taught in the school of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill; instructors include faculty from across the state and several from out of state as well. Dates for summer 2016 are June 13-16. The registration fee remains $200 per person for earlybird registration and $225 for participants who register after May 1. That fee covers overnight lodging, instruction, pizza party and awards brunch. Results from the statewide media contests are announced during the closing awards brunch.

NCSMA houses the N.C. College Media Association, serving college media advisers and staffs. The NCSMA office coordinates an annual one-day conference in February on a different college campus each year. The association also offers an annual statewide media contest with a Dec. 1 deadline each year. Student media advisers from across the state judge the contest and serve as conference workshop instructors. The Feb. 27 conference at Greensboro College featured a panel discussion on covering race and one on covering religion.

NCSMA continues to offer summer graduate-level options in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. The 2016 course will be “Teaching Interactive Media in the Secondary School.” This short-term course will be offered July 10-16, allowing teachers to complete three hours of graduate coursework in a week. Class will meet all day each day. North Carolina scholastic journalism teachers and student media advisers are invited to apply for this Journalism Teaching Fellowship course. All expenses are covered by the fellowship program. These fellowships, covering tuition, lodging and books, are valued at $1,230 each.

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

Mentoring: North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Phyllis Cooper, Steve Unruhue and Carol Eanes now serve as mentors. All three attended the national convention and participated in training and judging activities.

Awards and honors: Ari Sen from West Henderson High School (Hendersonville) has been named the 2016 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year.

The three alternates are Becca Heilman of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, Anna Schecterson Of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte and Morgan Whithaus of Riverside High School in Durham.

Since 2001 the North Carolina Press Foundation has funded the annual scholarship award in honor of Rivers-Coffey, journalist and former N.C. Press Association president. NCPF will award a $3,000 scholarship to Sen. The alternates will each receive $1,000. The foundation will also award the winners’ high school journalism programs with matching funds.

Sen will now represent the state in JEA’s national Journalist of the Year scholarship competition.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 16 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute.

Congratulations to Blutopia literary magazine at Gaston Day School in Gastonia and Westwind yearbook at West Henderson High in Hendersonville for winning Gold Crowns from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Winners were announced March 18 at Columbia University.

Congratulations to Roars and Whispers literary magazine at Providence High in Charlotte, Nighthawk News hybrid magazine at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills and Wingspan Online at West Henderson High in Hendersonville for winning Silver Crowns from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Winners were announced March 18 at Columbia University.

Congratulations to Westwind yearbook and Wingspan Online at West Henderson High in Hendersonville for being named Pacemaker finalists by NSPA. Winners will be announced at the national convention in Los Angeles April 16.

For the board: We again ask the board to  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 in a competition structure that might attract students from programs with greater resources.

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 2016 North Carolina JOY contest was focused on removing barriers from student participation, so we allowed various types of entries (online, paper, PDF) and reduced the number of areas for content. We asked students to enter material in at least five of the JEA curriculum areas and not all of them. Our goal was to invite all to enter, not just those at schools with more resources. Judging did not use a points-based rubric, as we, again, did not want to discourage students from entering. The number of entries we received did increase as a result.

We are concerned about the redistribution of regions into three districts with one having a disproportionate number of states. Please reconsider this lack of representation for those in the Northeast and Southeast.

Thank you to the JEA board for including, within the $100 affiliate membership fee, full membership for the representative/director of the affiliate organizations.

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

Membership: 14 members

Northern Interscholastic Press Association (NIPA) spring competition April 3, 2016, West Fargo High School, West Fargo, N.D.

Initiatives and vision: I am advising the newspaper, yearbook, website and social media at Legacy High School.

New Voices: Our New Voices Act team in North Dakota continues to work with other states to support their efforts in pursuing similar legislation. It is exciting to see the New Voices movement spread like wildfire across the country.

I spoke about the New Voices Act at the Indiana High School Press Association First Amendment Symposium in Indianapolis, March 15.

College/high school press association: Several of us are pursuing a combined college/high school press association in North Dakota that would offer contests, scholarships and internships.

Those on the brainstorming team:

  • Karen Bauer – BSC media adviser
  • Kay Beckerman – NDSU Spectrum adviser
  • Jackie Bullinger – Bottineau High School newspaper adviser
  • Steve Listopad – VCSU media director
  • Rich Lodewyk – Bison Information Network adviser
  • Jeremy Murphy – West Fargo High School journalism adviser/current NIPA director
  • Karla Patch-Anderson – UJ newspaper adviser
  • Sue Skalicky – Legacy High School journalism adviser
  • Jim Kambeitz – Dakota Media Access
  • Mary Van Sickle – Dakota Media Access

North Dakota’s high school association, NIPA, is changing hands and its future is uncertain.

There has never been a college media association in North Dakota, though the North Dakota Newspaper Association has tried to start one on several occasions (most recently in 2013). However, there are only a handful of active college student media organizations in the state: NDSU, UND, VCSU, UJ, BSC, Mary and Minot.

The Communication, Speech and Theater Association of North Dakota exists, but it does very little with journalism/media studies and nothing for student media.

North Dakota High School Journalist of the Year: Alexandria Stroh from West Fargo Sheyenne High School is this year‘s Journalist of the Year.

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

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

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

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

Membership: Pennsylvania has 66 JEA members, which is up from the fall. However, I have not been receiving updates via email when Pennsylvania has a new member.


  • James Faunce from Malvern Prep (adviser Kate Plows, CJE) created the winning logo for Scholastic Journalism Week.
  • Justice Bennett is the Jane Blystone PSPA Student Journalist of the Year. He receives a $500 scholarship.
  • Three students applied for the state’s Journalist of the Year scholarship contest this year.
  • Fifteen Pennsylvania schools placed in the Pennsylvania News Media Association Keystone Press Awards. Four of the schools are advised by JEA members. Here’s a link to the winners.
  • Six Pennsylvania school publications are finalists for CSPA Gold Crowns. Two are JEA-member schools.
  • One school is a NSPA Pacemaker Finalist: Conestoga for online site.

Happenings: PSPA held its second annual Student Journalism Competition state championship at Penn State March 4. Students from 28 Pennsylvania schools attended to compete in on-site contests. More than 100 students and advisers attended the event. I was the chairperson of the event.

Certification: A Pennsylvania adviser took his CJE exam at the PSPA SJC at State College thanks to exam administer Jane Blystone, MJE.

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

Membership: Rhode Island currently has two members.

Happenings: Lincoln High School’s Journalism and Broadcasting Academy (JBA) is the only state accredited CTE program in journalism in Rhode Island at this time. Accreditation was received this year from the Rhode Island Department of Education after an audit and evaluation. The program has been operating for 10 years and is supported in large part by federal funding secured through annual grant proposals.

Members of the Lincoln High’s JBA visited GIllette Stadium in September where, after a  tour, they settled into the Patriots’ press box. Using authentic press kits, the students filed reports for radio, television broadcast and print.

In February, as part of the program’s observance of Scholastic Journalism week, the JBA’s 10th Annual “My Story” Forum brought one dozen media professionals to the school to meet with upwards of 60 journalism students. The focus of this year’s event was on ethics in sports reporting. Local and regional media, as well as print, radio and television, were all represented.

On March 15, 2016, the Lincoln High’s JBA also hosted a mock Presidential Primary. Working with the RI Secretary of State’s Office, organizers brought in voting machines and ballots. The school’s administration allowed JBA journalists to open voting to every student in the high school while journalism students conducted a live broadcast, exit polling, television packages and print stories about the event. Intro to Journalism students worked the polls, assisted voters and ran the operation of our single polling place.

The JBA Film Festival will be held in spring for the second consecutive year. Film and broadcast students in the academy will be submitting works in several categories through the end of April. Last year, People’s Choice Awards were given in five categories: Documentary, PSA, Television News Coverage, Drama and Comedy.

Awards and honors:

  • Mrs. Doreen Picozzi was granted her MJE certification this year.

  • The Lion’s Roar has been recognized as a First Place Award winner by the American Scholastic Press Association for 11 consecutive years.

  • Students of the Lincoln High School JBA recently have been honored by the Lincoln School Committee for excellence and community service.

  • Lincoln High Journalism advisers Doreen Picozzi and Lisa Cardarelli have been invited to join the judging panel of the New England Scholastic Press Association. NESPA’s annual conference will take place May 2 at Boston University. Members of Lincoln High’s JBA are competing in many special achievement categories.

Leslie Dennis
South Carolina State Director
S.C. Scholastic Press Association & Southern Interscholastic Press Association
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Columbi,a SC 29208

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


Carolina Journalism Institute – After taking a summer break last year, the Carolina Journalism Institute will return June 15-18. This summer’s institute is limited to 75 students and will be a completely different experience from previous years. Students will be placed in a group, assigned a beat and produce a story for various platforms using skills taught throughout the Institute. Faculty members – Zac Baker, Dean Hume, David Knight, Amy Medlock-Greene and Rachel Rauch will teach sessions and act as mentors to students. Tuition is only $225 and on-campus housing is $100. Find out more information online here.

SCSPA Spring Conference – SCSPA will hold its spring conference April 25. Newspaper, online and broadcast evaluation and individual awards, as well as the Journalist of the Year, the SCSPA and Yearbook scholarships, the Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year and the Scroggins Award are presented during the spring conference. Student and adviser officers for the SCSPA board will be elected at the conference as well.

SIPA convention – SIPA’s 2016 convention had the highest attendance in more than 15 years with over 550 students and advisers from eight states traveling to Columbia, South Carolina, March 4-6. Bradley Wilson was recognized as the SIPA Endowment speaker and gave the Friday night keynote speech along with Mark Murray. Former high school journalist and WACH-FOX reporter Destiny Chance was the Saturday keynote speaker.

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.

Concerns: At the upcoming board meeting, there is a proposal to amend the bylaw concerning directors-at-large and the areas those directors represent. In looking at the redistribution of those regions (and the original distribution of those regions, in fact), it seems to be by membership number, which seems sensible from one standpoint. However, I worry states/members grouped together do not reflect similar or equivalent interests and concerns within scholastic journalism, education standards and economic situations. While I understand it is difficult to find a happy medium in any large organization, more information than just membership numbers should be taken into consideration when forming director districts.

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

Membership: Again this year, advisers joined JEA in part because of the South Dakota Newspaper Association and the North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation’s grant program established to revive high school journalism in South Dakota and North Dakota. The grant provided the recipients either a one-year JEA membership; a start-up packet including a journalism textbook and several pamphlets; participation in an online adviser training workshop, which was in October; funds to attend a high school journalism convention; or funds dedicated to a journalism project requested by a publications adviser. The journalism grants are one facet of the #JournalismIs program, which was designed to help redefine high school journalism for the digital age.

Happenings: The South Dakota High School Press Convention will be Wednesday, April 13, at South Dakota State University in Brookings. The keynote speaker is J.J. Perry, executive editor of the Aberdeen American News. Morning breakout sessions will cover story brainstorming, photography and social media. The annual awards ceremony will be in the afternoon.

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

The South Dakota State University Journalism Department and South Dakota High School Press Association will also host a high school journalism camp this summer, the weekend of June 11-12. The camp will cover social media, interviewing, photography, television anchoring and multimedia. Featured instructors include news staff from The Argus Leader and KELOLAND.

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

Membership: We have 34 members.

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association’s Fall Workshop took place Oct. 16 where Mary Beth Tinker was the keynote speaker. At this Workshop, Tennessee’s third annual Write-Off competition was hosted by Donna Emmons of DeKalb County Schools and Kelly Huddleston of Franklin Road Academy. There were two categories: Feature Writing and Sports Writing. Since the winners had not been announced when the last report went out, I wanted to post the winners now.

Feature Writing winners: First Place: Anna Todd Ervin, CPA; Second Place: Tasfra Chowdhury, Hume-Fogg; Third Place: Kendall McEvoy, CPA. Sports Writing winners: First Place: Wesley Smith, Hume-Fogg; Second Place: Olivia Brittle, CPA; Third Place: Gabe Wooten, Hume-Fogg.

J-Camp: Tennessee High School Press Association partners with Lipscomb University to host J-Camp, a four-day intensive program to help young journalists hone their journalism skills in writing and other media, meet with professionals in the field, and give students the opportunity to bring their high school publications to a whole new level. For more information go here

Peter Gross, the director of University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media, recently was in New York to serve as a ratings reviewer on Freedom House’s worldwide annual Freedom of the Press report. To read the full article, click here

Awards: Tennessee High School Press Association held an Awards Day on March 7. All Tennessee media were welcomed to compete.

Here is a list of  Tennessee awards.

Here is a list of all the major winners:

  • Administrator of the Year: Dr. Holly Flora, John Sevier Middle School
  • Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Student Media Adviser: Nola Henderson, Jefferson County High School
  • H.L. Hall Outstanding Student Journalists: Madelyn Bomar, Christ Presbyterian Academy; Keely Hendricks, Harpeth Hall School
  • Best Overall
    • Newspaper: The Gryphon Gazette, St. George’s Independent School
    • Yearbook: Lion’s Roar, Christ Presbyterian Academy
    • Literary Magazine: Hallmarks, The Harpeth Hall School
    • Best Overall Broadcast Station: CPA Media Arts Studio, Christ Presbyterian Academy
    • Website:, Centennial High School

Columbia Scholastic Press Association: Tennessee journalists received two Crowns this year: one Gold Crown for Yearbook and one Silver Crown for Yearbook. Gold Crown: Jr. Appalachian, Maryville Junior High School, Maryville, Tenn.; Silver Crown: Lion’s Roar, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville, Tenn. Click here for the listings.

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

Membership: Texas remains one of the top JEA states with just over 250 members.

Events: Texas is host to a number of journalism entities, including both the Texas Association of Journalism Educators (TAJE) and the Interscholastic League Press Association/University Interscholastic League (ILPC). In the spring and summer, ILPC has two big events, the ILPC Spring Convention, which takes place at the same time as the JEA/NSPA Los Angeles convention (April 16-17) and the ILPC Summer Workshop, which will take place June 24-26. Both are on the campus of The University of Texas.

TAJE will hold its annual board retreat in Waco, Texas in early June.

Awards and honors:

1. We are proud to announce Will Clark from The St. Mark’s School of Texas as the Texas Journalist of the Year. This is the fourth straight year a student from St. Mark’s has won this award under the leadership of adviser Ray Westbrook. We are proud of both Ray and Will and wish Will good luck in the national competition.

2. TAJE holds an annual student Clip Contest and winners were handed out in early March. The winners can be found here.

3. This year 18 Texas schools were nominated for a Pacemaker from the National Scholastic Press Association. Honorees are listed here.

Our congratulations go out to those schools, staffs and advisers.

4. In addition, Columbia Scholastic Press Association handed out its annual Crown Awards in New York over spring break and we want to celebrate the Texas winners there as well. Winners are listed here.

5. TAJE will be honoring its Admin of the Year at the ILPC Spring Convention in April. An announcement will be made in the state directors report in the fall of next year. TAJE will also be awarding a number of scholarships for both students and advisers at the same time.

6. Finally, we want to recognize the three Rising Star advisers announced by JEA earlier this year.

• Katie Frazier from Seven Lakes Junior High in Katy, Texas
• Samantha Jo Berry from Cypress Creek High School of Houston
• Leah Waters of Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas

They will receive their awards in Los Angeles. Each has completed five or fewer years in the profession and the award is given to those advisers who have shown a commitment to involvement and improvement for themselves and their students.

For the board: We are eagerly awaiting our next chance to host the national convention in November of 2017 in Dallas. We hosted in 2012 in San Antonio and had a wonderful time hosting all the great journalism programs from across the United States, and we are excited to see you all again in just over a year and a half. Please let us know if there is anything we can do between now and when planning starts. We know that JEA looks three conventions out, so we expect to get started very soon.

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

Membership: In Utah, membership stands at a total of 16, with 14 teachers and two professional associations or universities.

Happenings: During the summer of 2015 the 1st Annual High School Journalism Boot Camp took place at Weber State University. The three-day event was attended by five schools and 14-16 students.  The students had great classes taught by local journalism professors as well as local professionals. The boot camp was a collaborative effort of Weber State University, Utah State University and the University of Utah. Plans are underway for the second camp in the summer of 2016. The dates are August 10-12 and information and registration can be found here.

Utah Valley University hosted the 10th annual UVU Journalism Conference on Feb. 23, with 18-20 schools and more than 340 students from across the state. Students received awards for various writing categories and attended breakout sessions throughout the day taught by local reporters and university professors.

Students also had the opportunity to compete in various writing, layout, photography and design contests.

Best Front-Page Newspaper Design
• First Place – The Speaking Eagle, Juan Diego
• HM – The Highland Rambler, Highland
• HM – The Forkaster, American Fork

Best Overall Design
• First Place – The Highland Rambler, Highland
• HM – The Speaking Eagle, Juan Diego
• HM – The Thunderbolt, Timpview

Best Website
• First Place –, Timpview
• HM –, American Fork
• HM – thespeakingeagle, Juan Diego

Best Opinion/column
• First Place – Gretchen McConkie, Highland
• HM – Alex Sutton, Highland
• HM – Grace Altman, Highland 

Best Feature
• First Place – Annie Connolly, Highland
• HM – Cami Buckley, Timpview
• HM – Jenna Masic, Highland

Best Photo
• First Place – Olivia Burkley, Highland
• HM – Sarah Cascaller, Highland
• HM – Nash Elder, Juan Diego

Best Photo Essay
• First Place – Meira Clifford, Highland
• HM – Anamika Blomgren, Highland
• HM – Gabe Miller, Timpview

Best News Story
• First Place – Samantha Willott, Roy
• HM – Nash Elder, Juan Diego
• HM – Annie Connolly, Highland

Best Sports Story
• First Place – Sarah Cascaller, Highland
• HM – Colter Roseborough, Timpview
• HM – Tanner White, Lone Peak 

Best Illustration/Artwork
• First Place – Anamika Blomgren, Highland
• HM – Sam Kocsis, Lone Peak
• HM – Kyle Adams, Highland

And finally, advisers gathered in a conference room throughout the day and discussed many issues journalism advisers face in the state of Utah.

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

If you would like to join the Utah high school journalism professional learning community, please contact Terri Hall at

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

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

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

Happenings: jDay in Virginia will take place April 22-23 at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va. and will feature Kelly Furnas, CJE, and Carrie Faust, MJE, 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 took place Jan. 15-16 in Petersburg, Va. and featured adviser-in-residence Mark Murray. Fifteen advisers participated in the learning-packed weekend. Next year’s jRetreat will again take place in Petersburg on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend and will feature Sarah Nichols, MJE, as the adviser-in-residence. Participants will be doing hands-on activities to advance their design skills and teaching.

jCamp will take place 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, CJE.

Awards and honors: Erinn Harris, MJE, 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 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. She also received a Gold Key Award at CSPA in March.

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

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

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association has approximately 110 members with membership in the state organization expected to increase after the state conference March 19. National JEA membership in Washington is 73.

Events: Auburn High School hosted the 2016 WJEA Spring Conference and Competition with approximately 400 students and advisers in attendance, March 19. Speakers ranged from journalism advisers to working journalists, including alumni from a variety of state programs.

The state organization is also ramping up for its annual summer workshop held at the middle of July at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.

New Voices Washington: The Washington New Voices bill (SB 6233) stalled in the Senate Rules Committee and did not make it out before the deadline.

The bill has a two-year life, which means it won’t have to start from scratch in the next cycle. WJEA now has more time to build on the base of support and to keep the bill on the front burner. The timing will be interesting, as a year from now, when the bill will be going though another legislative cycle, we will be preparing for the national convention in Seattle.

Tom Kaup and his students were pivotal in getting the concept to move forward through a relationship established with Sen. Joe Fain (R) who sponsored the bill. Mountlake Terrace adviser Vince DeMiero wrote op-eds and made countless contacts with legislators and members of the press to garner support. Many others attended the hearing in Olympia and testified on behalf of the bill before the Senate Education Committee. WJEA is grateful for all of the support and will continue to work towards passing its own legislation.

In the meantime, WJEA will continue to root for all the other states that are still in the process of passing legislation this spring, hoping we can add some more states to our growing list.

Initiatives and vision: The Washington Journalism Education Association continues to work on other initiatives.

First, the organization continues to work on rebranding. Students from Cleveland High School in Seattle, through their teacher Teresa Scribner, worked on a logo project providing the organization with some ideas as we continue to work on a new logo and other branding opportunities.

Next, Dave Riggs (Wenatchee High School) became the head of the Outreach Committee and is working on identifying journalism programs in all high schools in the state.

Finally, the organization is well on its way in the planning of #SEAjournalism, the 2017 JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Convention. The local committee, chaired by Sandra Coyer, MJE, met with JEA and NSPA officials in late February to begin the planning process. Some members of the committee have already begun work on featured speakers as well as T-shirts and promotional materials, with the intent to move full-steam ahead once the state conference has concluded.

Awards: Teresa Scribner from Cleveland High School was awarded the Washington Journalism Adviser of the Year at the state conference March 19. Dave Riggs from Wenatchee High School was awarded the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award. Anna Ferdinand from Sedro-Woolley High School and Katie Badger from Redmond High School were awarded adviser scholarships for professional development.

Mentors: Kay Locey and Joy Lessard continue to be involved in the mentor program, each working with several mentees. Dave Riggs has indicated that he would like to get involved with the mentoring program when he retires in a few years.

First Amendment challenges and related concerns: The concern 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) continues to be an issue. This is being investigated for further discussion.

Warden High School, near Moses Lake, initiated the Panic Button earlier this fall through the SPRC website. According to the report as well as the adviser, a student wrote a news article about the dangers of GMOs and the principal called the adviser into her office saying that a) the superintendent was upset (he accepts a HUGE donation from a local GMO company), b) their board president was upset (he’s a local farmer) and c) the adviser would now be required to submit every article going into the paper to the principal for prior review. The principal stated that the newspaper should have presented the positive effects of GMOs, too, so that both sides could have been addressed. The adviser stressed that this is not a community newspaper, that this is a student newspaper and that the only way the administration could censor was if the newspaper were to disrupt the learning environment or if they printed something vulgar/offensive, etc. The adviser also stressed that it is the students’ right to report the news. The school district, however, is subject to school board policy 3220, so the paper is subject to prior review. Fern Valentine, Vince DeMiero, Sandra Coyer and Kathy Schrier all made contact and provided support. No new news available and no further incidents of censorship have been reported.

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

Rachel Rauch, CJE
Wisconsin State Director
Homestead High School
5000 W. Mequon Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092

Membership: I am so honored to have been chosen as the new state director for Wisconsin. I look forward to keeping the advisers in Wisconsin informed through our new JEA Wisconsin Facebook page and @jeaWisconsin Twitter.

Since jumping on board in February, I am happy to announce that Wisconsin has named its Journalist of the Year: Emma Kumer from Brookfield Central High School. Her adviser is Tom Juran. Mr. Juran will accompany Emma and other members of the staff to their first national convention in April.

I am continuing to serve on the KEMPA board as secretary. KEMPA’s annual Winter Advisers Seminar took place March 4-5 in Lake Geneva with Michael Hernandez from Mira Costa High School (California) keynoting on the theme “Break Away – to broadcast.” This is the first time since joining KEMPA that I was unable to attend, but from the surveys of participants, it appears it was one of the best received KEMPA Winter Seminars yet. KEMPA’s Summer Journalism Workshop for students and advisers is titled “Beautiful Endeavors” and will take place at Marquette University July 17-20.

I have also been assisting Evelyn Lauer, CJE, with the JEA One Book. I compiled a Storehouse multimedia presentation for promoting the book “All the Light We Cannot See” on social media and have been helping with the One Book Twitter chats and adviser meetings at national conventions. We will be hosting an informal book chat in Adviser Hospitality at the L.A. convention on April 16 at 9 a.m.

While I was a member of NEWSPA last year as an ASNE fellow, I am no longer a member but continue to stay in touch with their events as an adjunct professor through UW-Oshkosh. I will be teaching advisers for NEWSPA on Aug. 10, presenting three sessions on multimedia, print to Web transition and social media. NEWSPA’s spring convention is April 20. More information is available here.

We are so proud to have JEA mentors assisting 14 journalism advisers in our state. Thank you to these wise and helpful guides advocating for our advisers. Mentees: Kathleen Evans, Justina Plemon, Lindsay Skatrud, Meaghan Moran, Chris Wiegman, Sarah Rowse-Borrelli, Sara Stieve, Danielle Olejniczak, Kay Lee, Elizabeth Miller, Erik Farrar, Breja Fink, Laura Streyle, Allison Gerls.

Update on New Voices legislation: New Voices is a student-powered project of the Student Press Law Center, a nonprofit advocate for the rights of student journalists. Organizations across Wisconsin are pushing for new laws that protect the rights of student journalists from censorship by school administration. This past August, KEMPA, NEWSPA and the Wisconsin College Media Association formed a coalition to write drafts of anti-censorship legislation and gather support. As of today, the campaign is still persisting in raising awareness and pushing for protection from censorship. As of now, there are campaigns in 20 of 50 states for protection from administration censorship, including Wisconsin; three states have guaranteed protection for high school and college students from censorship (North Dakota, Oregon, California); and six states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, and Arkansas) and the District of Columbia have added protection for high school students only. In the remaining 21 states, no laws or campaigns exist. Follow New Voices of Wisconsin on Facebook for more information and updates on the campaign.

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

Membership: Wyoming’s JEA membership consists of 11 members.

Happenings: Board members have been meeting regularly to plan for next years fall conference. The board is currently looking at possible presenters. The keynote speaker and judges have been secured for the conference in October. Our keynote speaker for the conference is Ron Franscell.

Ron grew up in Wyoming. A lifelong journalist, he worked for newspapers in Wyoming, New Mexico and California’s Bay Area before hitting the road in one of American journalism’s best beats, covering the evolution of the American West as a senior writer for the Denver Post. Shortly after 9/11, he was dispatched by the Post to cover the Middle East during the first few months of the Afghan war. In 2004, he became the managing editor for the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise, where he covered the devastation of Hurricane Rita from inside the storm. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas. (Bio taken from

The organization has developed a new website and a new domain name was chosen: The site was developed by Erika Quick.

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

Awards and honors: Wyoming‘s Journalist of the Year is Hunter Hicks from Cody.

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