Fall 2016 Semiannual Report

Fall 2016 Semiannual Report

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

Linda Puntney, MJE
Interim Executive Director
JEA Headquarters
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500
C: 785-341-6257 | W: 785-532-7822

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,529 up 110 (105 percent) from a comparable time last fall and 53 from Spring 2016. For the fifth consecutive half-year period, we are at the highest level of paid memberships in the organization’s history.

We have seen a double-digit decline in Alabama, Michigan and Oregon, which is more than offset by the double-digit increases in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. California is the largest membership state at 281 but is closely followed by Texas with 264 members. We now have members in every state.


  • April 14-17 – Los Angeles convention
  • July 11-14 – Advisers Institute, Las Vegas
  • July 31 – Executive Director leaves
  • Aug. 14 – Interim Executive Director on board
  • September– Audit
  • Sept. 10 — Dallas convention planning meeting (Goto meeting)
  • Sept. 16 – Indy convention planning meeting
  • Sept. 26-29 – Power outage in Kedzie
  • Oct. 20 – Advisers Institute site visit, Las Vegas

Additional info: The audit conducted in September by Reese and Novelly, P.A. shows the organization is on solid financial ground. For Fiscal Year 2016 we had total revenue of $951,197 and total expenses of $863,888, resulting in $107,762 excess revenue. Total unrestricted net assets at the end of the year were $1,679,302.

For the first four months of Fiscal Year 2017 we have $117,602.01 in total revenue plus $8,554.29 and total expenditures of $168,089.82, leaving the organization with a $54,839.78 shortfall for the year to date. This is not surprising and should not be a concern since we have not received any income for the Indianapolis convention. 

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

As I head into the last months of my six-year presidency, it continues to be an honor to serve as JEA president. The respect I have for our executive director and headquarters staff only grows. Linda Puntney, our interim executive director, 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.

I am indebted to former Executive Director Kelly Furnas and his service to JEA. He was a remarkable leader and served our organization admirably. He made JEA better and left such a positive legacy. I could speak for hours on his tenure — and it would all be positive and appreciative. I am proud of what we accomplished together. I am even more proud to call him my friend. Thank you, Kelly!

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

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

  • The bulk of my time the last five months has been working with Dr. Birgit Wassmuth, director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University, and other KSU officials to find and hire an interim executive director. (Remember, JEA does not hire its executive director, KSU does.)
    • Visited headquarters to meet with Kelly and the headquarters staff prior to his departure to assist and guide the transition.
    • Met with Birgit to recommend she appoint Linda as the interim executive director. I also worked to establish a job description, job announcement, timeline and committee for the national search for a permanent executive director for systems-wide KSU approval.
    • Met with Dr. Amit Chakrabarti, the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to discuss JEA, its contractual relationship with KSU, the appointment of the interim executive director and the national search for the permanent executive director.
    • Aided staff in the transition from Kelly’s official departure date until Linda was officially appointed as JEA interim executive director/JMC instructor.
  • Worked with Linda to get her updated on the current state of JEA, its (new to her) policies and procedures, as well as its programming and partnerships.
    • This continues weekly.
  • Chair the KSU search committee for our next executive director.
    • Please note future communications on this subject. Our hope is to have KSU announce our next director prior to our spring convention in Seattle.
  • Attended the Excellence in Journalism 2016 conference in September, which included a meeting of leaders of other national and international journalism organizations. We shared management issues and strategies, identified areas to support each other and, most importantly, areas to collaborate. I worked to identify viable opportunities to enhance our standing and find even more relevant partnerships. Additionally, I promoted our national search for an executive director.
  • 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 fall board of directors and general membership meetings in Indianapolis. 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 seven months of my presidency. We are not pausing. It is go, go, go! We have overcome significant challenges and accomplished remarkable feats in five-plus years. We have taken something outstanding and made it even more so. And, we have done it with honesty, transparency and responsibility. I am quite proud of this organization and its staff, leaders, volunteers and members. It truly is an honor to serve all of JEA. Thank you for the opportunity.

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

The past six months have been busy and exciting ones for JEA — they always are! — and I continue to be humbled by the hard work and dedication of so many leaders. Thank you for the opportunity to serve on this team and collaborate with our headquarters staff, board members, committee chairs, state directors and countless volunteers working for the good of teachers and their students.

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

  • Attending BPA’s National Leadership Conference in Boston, May 5-9, to judge the broadcast news package competitive events and present a session about JEA programming.
  • Appointing new state directors in Michigan, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. We are lucky to have C.E. Sikkenga, Nina Quintana and Clare Berke as the latest additions to our team.
  • Maintaining JEA’s social media presence on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
  • Posting articles as a contributor to the JEA Digital Media site and JEA SPRC blog.
  • Attending Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, July 11-14, to present sessions and coordinate meetings.
  • Working with 10 curriculum leaders on the JEA Curriculum Initiative.
  • Teaching a summer adviser course at the Flint Hills Publications Workshop, July 17-19, to strengthen the partnership with Kansas State University and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Following the workshop, I spent a day meeting with JEA staff to discuss projects underway at headquarters and to help with the transition in the executive director position.
  • Conducting a two-day training session at Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss. for the JEA/NSPA Adviser Outreach program and hosting a free Saturday workshop (Sept. 3) for attendees from Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. The workshop provided on-site training to advisers and students as part of small professional learning communities designed to reach underserved areas.
  • Attending planning meetings in Dallas (Sept. 9) and Indianapolis (Sept. 16-17) to meet with hotel contacts, local representatives and NSPA partners for upcoming conventions.
  • Serving on the search committee with Kansas State University and JEA representatives to hire a permanent executive director.
  • Conducting a Request for Proposals for Advisers Institute 2018 and making site visits to Las Vegas hotel and convention properties.
  • Working with interim executive director Linda Puntney, MJE, to support her transition in this role and continue various JEA projects underway. I am grateful to Linda for her leadership and continued service to JEA — we are so lucky to have her on our team. While she knows so much about the organization already, she also asks great questions and empowers our board members. I also continue to appreciate and admire the leadership of former director Kelly Furnas, CJE, and am thankful his vision, work ethic and expertise helped put JEA in a great position.

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

Thank you for this opportunity to give a thoughtful look at what contributions I have made recently to JEA. It’s been an interesting and challenging time for JEA with a new board and executive director on the horizon, but we are a team that works hard, and this will be a time to grow and improve.

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

  • Scored CJE and MJE tests from the Los Angeles convention, several regional sites and the Adviser Institute (spring and summer 2016).
  • Presented sessions at Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, including a session with John Bowen and Lori Keekley about the Press Rights Committee’s editorial policy package and a session titled “Grammar can be (almost) painless” (July 2016).
  • Finalized details about this winter’s JEA board election, wrote announcements about that for JEAHELP and the JEA e-newsletter, answered questions from potential candidates and collected names of those interested in running. These will be presented as the slate at the Friday member meeting in Indianapolis, where additional nominations can come from the floor. At this time, we have from one to three candidates for each office. Set up the shell for the separate discussion list that will be for election discussions and questions (summer/fall 2016).
  • Participated in the AEJMC convention of college journalism educators in Minneapolis, including a presentation about JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee’s editorial policy with John Bowen and Lori Keekley at the Teach-in for area high school advisers. I also was part of a panel about self-censorship in high school media (August 2016).
  • I wrote two resolutions, with input from Jonathan Rogers and President Mark Newton, for the NCTE convention, one supporting scholastic media in general and the other encouraging states and schools to work on passing student free speech legislation like the New Voices Acts that have passed in several states. These were submitted in October for the November NCTE convention (fall 2016).
  • Wrote blogs for the JEA Scholastic Press Rights site, including the newest, to be posted before the fall convention about Jose Antonio Vargas’ presentation at Kent State-Poynter Ethics Workshop, including links to the high school lesson plans I wrote to go with it. His speech is archived, too (October 2016).
  • Wrote a lesson plan for Free Speech Week (October 2016).
  • Maintained the SPA-L list for scholastic press association directors and others, sharing JEA news and information plus offering a platform for concerns and problems this group faces, such as electronic PDFs for judging, insurance needs for 501-c3 organizations and remote contests, just three of many topics these past six months. I was also able to spread JEA information from the vice president and others about National Journalism Quiz Bowl, mentoring in states without SPAs and other timely issues. Maintained the Scholastic Press Association Roundtable Facebook group to continue the conversations that begin at the two-hour convention roundtables.
  • Maintained the JEATALK Listserv I set up almost 20 years ago for JEA Board, directors and committee chairs.

This fall, I will continue to work actively as Nominations Committee chair to keep the election on track. I will be gathering candidates’ mug shots, bios and statements for the website and explaining the mechanism for a run-off for any position that has three or more candidates in the event no one gets a majority. I plan to run an election that will allow us to have the best leaders for JEA in the coming three years.

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

Scholastic Press Rights Committee

Since the Los Angeles convention, SPRC members have completed major projects in the Constitution Day teaching materials and creation of a Legislation package usable by those with recently passed free expression bills or those working to pass such legislation. The materials and legislation package spearheaded nearly 3,000 hits in a week around Constitution Day.

Committee members also worked with those in states seeking to pass freedom of expression legislation and assisted students and teachers with First Amendment issues.

Director John Bowen, MJE
In addition to contributing to the above, I presented sessions at this summer’s Advisers Institute and at the AEJMC Teach-In and panel sessions in Minneapolis.

Long-range plans include creating teaching materials on use of public records, depth reporting and solutions journalism in a committee retreat in the winter of 2018. Short-range plans include developing a weekly “shopping list” of materials journalism teachers and advisers can use when they need quick advice, recommendations and resources.

Candace Bowen, MJE
I am again a contributor to the SPRC blog, posting an article in early October about the Jose Antonio Vargas keynote at the Poynter-Kent State Ethics Workshop in late September and linking to the video of his very moving talk about immigration and the lesson plans I wrote for that and for another panel on the Flint water crisis.

I contributed a lesson plan to the Free Speech Week content in October.

I co-presented sessions about the Foundations package with John Bowen and Lori Keekley at JEA/NSPA in Los Angeles and at JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas and another one producing content that is “More than Marshmallow Fluff.”

At the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Teach-in in Minneapolis, I co-presented a similar session on editorial polices and on “More than Marshmallow Fluff.” I also was on a panel there about self-censorship.

I authored the Fall Dow Jones Adviser Update law column titled (no surprise … ) “More than Marshmallow Fluff: Serious Reporting May Help Fight Censorship.”

Lori Keekley, John Bowen and I are reintroducing the Making a Difference campaign. This monthly posting will highlight students who have made a difference through their coverage. When your students create content that has a positive impact on your school or community, please fill out the submission form and we’ll tell you how to send your content. JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee will post one or more packages a month on its website and promote them on social media.

Phillip Caston
We’re in the early stages in South Carolina of pursuing our own New Voices legislation. We’re assembling people for a team and reaching out to former students, admins, lawyers and legislators. I have a lead on a Republican senator whose daughter took my yearbook course at my old school and faced censorship. Our state conference is Oct. 3 and we will be discussing it more then. I will keep everyone updated.

Mary Kay Downes, MJE
I have been concentrating on Fairfax County and Virginia.

  • At our yearbook camp at UVA, I shared with other advisers outside the county information about SPRC and SPLC.
  • I worked with five schools and promoted press rights.
  • I contacted the Adviser at George Mason H.S. – a top school embedded in Fairfax County that is having serious freedom of expression issues. He was going to have the EIC contact me.
  • I am trying to encourage other advisers from strong programs in the county to be brave and push the administrative envelop. I think several promote self-censorship as it is “easier.”

Mitch Eden, MJE
At summer camps I helped many staffs set up an editorial policy. At all Missouri camps, I addressed New Voices and our latest push. At AEJMC, I met with Frank LoMonte and Bob Berglund to develop our New Voices plan of action. I contacted MNEA and administrators groups about New Voices.

Megan Fromm, MJE
I taught a copyright law session in Los Angeles and also conducted mentor training for new mentors in Las Vegas at the Advisers Institute.

Lori Keekley, MJE
During the past few months I have presented on law and ethics, answered Panic Button requests and coordinated Constitution Day. Additionally, I helped judge the law and ethics Write-off contest at the Los Angeles convention. I worked with New Voices legislation in Minnesota and presented sessions at the Los Angeles convention.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
Since the last report, I have been involved with the following SPRC-related efforts:

  • teaching a law/ethics session for advisers at Flint Hills Publications Workshop
  • responding to Panic Button and individual requests for help
  • coordinating/collaborating on JEA responses for issues related to prior review
  • teaching First Amendment lessons at JEA/NSPA workshop in Mississippi
  • promoting Constitution Day and Free Speech Week materials via social media
  • posting Photojournalists and Free Speech on the SPRC site for Free Speech Week

Glenn Morehouse Olson, MJE
This school year is off to a crazy pace.

I’m doing three broadcast sessions this year at MHSPA. Frank Is our keynote speaker, so I won’t be doing my First Amendment session, but I will cover some of the issues broadcasters face.

I’ve given some contacts for the New Voices legislation here as well, but I will find out more where we are with that today at the convention.

I continue to teach media ethics in St. Francis and serve as support for area students who need guidance with free speech issues.

Kathy Schrier, MJE
I secured Senator Joe Fain as keynote speaker for Journalism Day at the University of Washington, Sept. 15. Sen. Fain is primary sponsor of the Washington New Voices legislation, SB6233. His keynote connected with the students, as he explained how his visit to a journalism classroom at Auburn High School a year and a half ago made him realize how important scholastic journalism is in promoting democratic principles in our schools. Following the keynote nearly a hundred students chose to stay behind to ask questions and to learn how they can be involved in helping this bill to become law in 2017.

In my role as executive director of WJEA, I use any opportunity to educate our membership on how a free and responsible scholastic press is something they must push for in their programs. Making them aware of the SPRC initiatives is part of that. Our summer workshop featured Lori Keekley, MJE, as Expert in Residence, who spoke to this message as well, as she inspired both advisers and students with her energy and passion for excellence in student media.

I’ve presented a session on the SPRC Panic Button twice to adviser groups since last spring’s JEA/NSPA convention.

Matthew Smith, CJE
In Wisconsin, we have met with a Democratic state legislator’s office and convinced them to draft New Voices legislation and find some co-sponsors across the aisle. They drafted some language based on the materials we gave them, and we provided some comments tweaking the draft along with help from Frank LoMonte. Mostly, we wanted to ensure that institutions of higher learning (not just high schools) were covered by the bill.

Although we are now waiting to see some revised wording, we are hopeful a draft will be polished and supported by additional sponsors when the next legislative sessions opens in January. We have also worked to get written statements of support from administrators and school board members from across the state and have been fairly successful at that. We want to ensure we can prove support from all stakeholders and weaken the possibility that the state school board association or other such group could try to lobby against the bill.

Through the Kettle Moraine Press Association, I have reached out to a student journalist (now a senior) who experienced speech restrictions throughout last year at Spooner High School in Wisconsin. She has a new adviser but still seems to be experiencing pressure to avoid particular stories. She will speak about her experiences during a panel discussion on student press rights that I will also join at KEMPA’s Fall Conference in October.

Randy Swikle, MJE
I have been collaborating with Dennis DeRossett, President & CEO of the Illinois Press Foundation (and the IPA), about a sequel to our 2010 conference at Cantigny in Wheaton that created Protocol for Free & Responsible Student News Media. My proposal is to have another conference that would contribute to a new book: Partnership for Free & Responsible Student News Media.

I am writing several articles regarding strategies for successfully implementing the new Illinois legislation. I will update you soon about those articles.

John Tagliareni
I have been very active in promoting our New Voices Legislation in New Jersey, which has now been introduced in both houses with bipartisan support. I have reported much of our progress to the commission, and I have included that information, as well as new developments, in this report.

New Jersey Senator Diane Allen (R) introduced the New Voices bill Aug. 1 with Senator Nia Gill (D) as the co-primary sponsor and Senator Jennifer Beck (R) as co-sponsor. We now have identical bills in both the State Senate (S-2506) and Assembly (A-4912).

The bill was first introduced in December of 2015 by former Assemblywoman Donna Simon (A4912). It was reintroduced in this legislative session June 30 by Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R) and Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D) (A4028).

This bill will re-establish the First Amendment rights of student journalists under the Tinker standard. The bill also protects journalism teachers and advisers, in public high schools and institutions of higher learning, from retribution for supporting their students.

The bill has received the endorsements of the Editorial Board of the Times of Trenton and the Gannett Newspapers. The bill has also received the support of the Society of Professional Journalists, the New Jersey Education Association’s Working Conditions Committee, and of course, JEA.

We are working closely with Frank LoMonte on a regular basis, and we had a conference call with him on Sept. 23. Tom McHale, Darrell Detample and I discussed strategy with him, and we are planning to testify before the respective education committees of each chamber. As always, we are fortunate to get Frank’s expert advice.

In addition to the fight for the legislation, I have supported the goals of the SPRC in other ways, and I will continue to do so.

I was a mentor for the Hugh N. Boyd Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University on July 29, and I helped the students with their various projects for publication. The GSSPA had supported this program with a grant, and I spent the day assisting a number of students with one-on-one coaching.

I will continue to speak at conferences to promote student press rights. I will again speak at the Garden State Scholastic Press Association Conference at Rutgers University Oct. 24, and the GSSPA Spring Conference in May 2017. I will speak at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference on Nov. 7 and at the CSPA Spring Convention in New York in March 2017.  I will also attend the Kent State Symposium Nov. 18 to discuss New Voices legislation.

I helped to initiate a student affiliate organization of the GSSPA two years ago, and I am working with the students to help them to prepare for sessions at our next conference. I have been very involved in making sure the group is growing. We have new officers this year who are very motivated and have experience from last year.

The members have become very active, and they are supporting the legislation. They are conducting a writing campaign to our sponsors and urging other legislators to support the bills as well.

They are working on another video, as the group did last year, and we will post their videos on the GSSPA website and forward them when they are completed.

We have invited our sponsors to our conference, and we are anticipating that a few will attend. We know this will be a great opportunity for them to see the importance of scholastic journalism first hand. They will get to meet the students, advisers and many professionals who will attend.

We always have a strong turnout from schools all over New Jersey. In recent years, we have had approximately 800 students and 75 advisers attending our conference. Many professional journalists are on the program, as well as representatives of various organizations. Last year 35 speakers presented a total of 48 sessions.

I have helped advisers and students, both in New Jersey and nationally, via email and phone conversations, to help them with censorship issues and to give any other advice as needed.

I have given a number of interviews to professional journalists, as well as students, to promote press rights protections for students and advisers.

I will continue to work with the commission to help advance its initiatives, as much as I can.

Audrey Wagstaff, MJE
As far as scholarship, I conducted an adviser self-censorship study last spring and presented the findings at AEJMC. I will also present these findings at JEA and likely at OSMA next spring. Some of the results have been submitted to C:JET for consideration as well, and I hope to write another article for JMC Educator (AEJMC journal).

  • I also continue to present sessions for students at OSMA and JEA conventions on censorship and how to combat it.
  • For service, I’m on the OSMA board as well as this board. I’m also working a bit with our own legislative efforts here in Ohio. I should note that I set up to have Wilmington host the regional OSMA conference, but we did not get it off the ground quickly enough to generate enough interest. Next year!
  • Teaching-wise, I’m doing a lot more research methods and media psychology stuff, but I try to inject my research interests in scholastic journalism and student free expression wherever possible.

Stan Zoller, MJE
Most of my activity related to scholastic press rights centered on Illinois House bill 5902. I was fortunate enough to work closely with JEA Illinois State Director Benda Field, MJE, yearbook adviser at Glenbrook South High School in this effort.

The bill passed both the Illinois House and Senate, hugely because of the dogged efforts and exceptional advice of Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center.

The bill was passed May 27 and cleared its last hurdle May 31 when it was sent to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who signed it on July 29.

Efforts since then have focused on disseminating information to Illinois journalism educators.  Additionally, the Illinois Journalism Education Association has discussed ways to communicate the bill (now Public Act 99-0678) to the state’s public school administrators.

In addition to work on the bill, I continue to be a regular contributor to the SPRC’s blog.

I also participated in a panel on state legislation at spring convention in Los Angeles. Brenda and I presented a session on the law at the IJEA’s Fall Conference at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in September.

I will be a participant in the State Legislation Protecting Student Press Freedom: New Voices on the Move symposium Nov. 18, 2016 at Kent State University.

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

I’m proud to continue working with JEA leaders as we transition to new leadership. Since our last report, here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • I attended the Advisers Institute in July to team-teach two data journalism sessions with Sarah Nichols, MJE. I also worked with the mentor team to train incoming mentors on common copyright and First Amendment law issues.
  • I’ve been working on putting into place a policy and procedure for JEA and NSPA to start soliciting grants for journalism education research. In the last budget cycle, JEA approved grant money to support those who are researching journalism education and student press rights, and we are close to putting that grant opportunity in motion.
  • I’ve spent most of the summer and fall preparing for our transition to new leadership. We have an excellent interim director, Linda, and I’ve been working closely with the other board members to move forward with our timeline and process for a full national executive director search.
  • To help with Linda’s new duties, I’ve taken over the e-newsletter for the foreseeable future.
  • Finally, I’ve been serving as the news gathering curriculum leader and am writing lessons on data journalism to include in that unit.

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

As I enter the last seven months of my term on the Journalism Education Association board, I can’t help but feel blessed to have spent the last six years serving the members of this amazing organization. In my opinion, the passion and dedication of our advisers and friends of journalism is unrivaled in the world of education.

Please consider running for a position on the JEA board. This organization relies on the enthusiasm and expertise of its members to propel it into a successful future. I can guarantee you will receive back tenfold what you put into it.

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

Since my spring report, my efforts have centered on the following:

• Diversity Committee and related initiatives: These include a successful Diversity Committee meeting at the spring convention in Los Angeles that featured students and advisers interested in multicultural concerns in scholastic journalism.

In addition to that, I, along with Adriana Chavira, attended the joint National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference in Washington, D.C.  While we made substantial contacts that will hopefully foster partnerships with JEA, we were also invited to participate in NABJ’s “J Shop,” a weeklong program for African-American high school journalists.

I attended the SPJ’s national conference independent of JEA, but I was able to make contact with representatives of the Native American Journalists Association and UNITY. Like NABJ and NAHJ, they are interested in working with JEA on its diversity initiative.

• Outreach Academy: With Kelly Furnas leaving the organization, I was asked to take on the role of Outreach Academy Coordinator. The Academy will once again be led by Anthony Whitten, Scholastic Journalism Outreach Coordinator at University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. The program will take place from 8:30 to 4:30 Nov. 10. Enrollment for the Indianapolis Academy is low, but there appears to be a lot of interest for the Seattle Academy.

• Press rights efforts: As a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission I submit blogs for the SPRC’s site and have worked closely with the SPRC and the SPLC on state legislation, most notably in Illinois where the bill was signed into law in July. There are now 10 New Voices states.

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

As we head into the third year of a major shift in awards towards digital submission we are preparing for conventions in Indianapolis and Seattle. The JEA Awards Committee continues to define awards and streamline our submission and voting processes. Again I feel fortunate to have the support of the headquarters staff, board members and many bright, talented, experienced members who serve on one of several committees.  

Since the last report, the following has taken place:

  • We completed a second revision of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year applications by Sept. 15 with an Oct. 15 deadline for submission. The goal continues to be to align the questions with the scoring guide and to streamline the process both for the applicants and judges. The applications will be scored between Oct. 17 and Nov. 8 and results compiled in Indianapolis.
  • In keeping with our sponsorship for Broadcast Adviser of the Year by Ithaca College, Peter Johanns, who serves as the Program Director for the Television-Radio degree in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, has joined the team for scoring applications. He has both academic and professional experience. He joins last year’s recipient Michelle Turner in the broadcast category. Chairperson Casey Nichols, Sherri Taylor of Syracuse University and former Carl Towley recipient Mark Murray will rate both adviser categories. Kathy Craghead, a former Yearbook Adviser of the Year, and last year’s recipient Renee Burke also will rank yearbook candidates. 
  • We again announced the fall awards in a timed series (10 a.m. Central) in the last week of August. Again the chair called all recipients and in some categories the nominator a day ahead of the formal announcement of awards. Connie Fulkerson of headquarters continued to coordinate luncheon attendance.
  • We continue to work on refining definitions of awards on the web. Sparked by the nomination and eventual awarding of the Carl Towley Award to the late Nick Ferentinos, the committee has currently defined awards other than Lifetime Achievement as going to those living at the time of the nomination. This must be made in the 12 months preceding the respective deadline. Further questions raised regarding posthumous awards will be discussed in Indianapolis.
  • The board approved and the chair and committee are working on two awards changes. The board has funded travel as well as a participation grant for the Administrator of the Year. The board also budgeted $5,000 for a Future Administrator Scholarship that will be open on the Dec. 15 deadline.

Awards Committee members: Martha Akers, Ellen Austin, Sara-Beth Badalamente, Brian Baron, Linda Barrington, Jane Blystone, Linda Drake, Charla Harris, Monica Hill, Kathy Schrier, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, Karen (Wagner) 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; Kenson Siver, Student Journalist Impact Award.

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

The Certification Committee has been busy since the spring report!

We tested 34 CJE applicants at five sites and six MJE candidates at two sites this summer. All exams have been evaluated and verified. Special thanks to Jane Blystone, Cathy Wall and Liz Walsh, who proctored exams that I couldn’t get to this summer.

We have processed 124 applications since Los Angeles for this summer, for the Illinois Journalism Education Association Fall Conference in September, for the national convention in Indianapolis in November, for KEMPA this winter, for Seattle in April 2017, and for Dallas in November 2017. We expect one or two more sites to sign on yet this fall.

The Certification page at jea.org has been updated to include a test site calendar and updated FAQs.

We are planning a retreat in late April/early May to work on our current digital CJE exams and MJE exams, to update the instructional slideshows we use at national conventions and have posted to our page to align with JEA Curriculum, and to examine ways we can better serve our members through certification.

As of Sept. 7, 651 of our members are Certified Journalism Educators, and 171 are Master Journalism Educators.

While we are constantly striving to maintain the rigor of our certification process, it is always nice to receive feedback from folks who lay it on the line for their professional development. As a committee, we discuss and act on suggestions for improvement, and we love to get positive comments, too.

Committee member Jane Blystone, who has agreed to be our go-to proctor for off-convention sites, shared this comment from a CJE test-taker:

“As a professional journalist as well as an educator, I can say, having taken it, that it’s an excellent, comprehensive exam. I frankly know many fellow professionals who would have trouble passing it. Hope to pursue my MJE in a year or two!”

In May, Brenda Field, MJE, who will present her project as part of the MJE Project Panel session in Indianapolis in November, wrote to a member asking about certification on the JEAHELP Listserv:

… I’m excited you’re thinking about certification!

I recently earned MJE certification; it was honestly one of the most helpful professional development projects I’ve undertaken.

I waited longer than I should have. It seemed too daunting, so I kept putting it off. I became a CJE a few years after I started teaching, but I didn’t become an MJE until close to year 20. If I had it to do over again, I certainly would have done it sooner. I shouldn’t have been so nervous about it.

Preparing for the exam forced me to think more concretely about what I’ve come to understand about good practice, and it challenged me to brush up on aspects of journalism I don’t teach as often. Especially at this stage of my career, it was good to be reminded that there’s still a lot I’d like to learn and improve.

I think the idea of a project intimidated me the most. In the end, I discovered I was able to use something I had already been working on for a regional press association. Using something like this for my MJE project vastly improved the outcome. The feedback I received from the Certification Committee, and especially from Kim Green, helped it become a much more useful tool than it would have been otherwise.

The process itself helped to remind me why I love teaching journalism. I encourage anyone thinking about earning an MJE to go for it. You won’t regret the process …

I am blessed to work with an amazing committee of JEA rock stars: Jane Blystone, Candace Bowen, Brian Hayes, Joe Humphrey, Dr. Joe Mirando, Rod Satterthwaite, Cathy Wall and Liz Walsh! I LOVE these people!

More important, I get to see the faces of JEA – the journalism educators who earnestly want to learn more and to teach better through certification. They humble me and make me oh, so glad I get to do what I do!

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

The Contest Committee has been hard at work since the Los Angeles convention. Here are a few of the major highlights of our work:

Personnel changes: Kris Doran will be stepping down as Broadcast Contest Coordinator after Indianapolis. He will be replaced by Erika Quick from Cody High School. In addition, Joel Garver from Junction City High School and will be joining us this fall as the Asst. Broadcast Chair.

National Journalism Quiz Bowl (April Van Buren, coordinator): The online qualifying test made its debut this fall. Teams will now have to take that test and qualify before moving on to the placement exam at the convention. The Top 16 teams will then compete in the live buzzer round. Any teams who qualified to compete from the September online exam may also register for the Seattle event. In addition, another qualifier will be available online Jan. 16-20, 2017.

Jr. High/Middle School Contest (Allie Staub & Laura Zhu, coordinators): There were 240 entries in Spring 2015 and 400 entries in Spring 2016. This year’s contest timeline is as follows:

  • Registration opens March 15
  • Materials due (third Wednesday in April @ 7 p.m. Eastern) April 19
  • Judging finished May 5
  • Winners announced May 8-12

Write-off material and curriculum development: I spent some time gathering Write-off prompts from the past several years and getting them packaged to be added to the JEA Curriculum site. Our goal is to get things posted by Jan. 1, 2017. There will be some contests that will not be available because they involve live speakers. In addition, the art provided for the graphic design contests will not be available due to our usage agreement. Beginning with Indianapolis, the Write-off team will also make copies of the Superior winners in all categories to have as exemplars for JEA members.

Write-off critique sheets: There is a need to revise the critique sheets/contest standards to mirror the curriculum documents. We have one MJE candidate working on these, but it would be a great project for some other people looking for MJE projects in the future.

Summer meeting notes: Over the weekend of July 22-24, Kelly Furnas, Mark Murray, Nancy Smith and Bradley Wilson met to collaborate and make revisions to the various JEA contests and also work with web developer Kate Dubiel on the technology end of the contests and membership.  

  1.  The JEA staff has made many improvements/updates to the membership database and the migration to the new Write-off system. Please note the new website for registration: writeoffs.jea.org. We went through each page to determine what changes, upgrades are needed and then prioritized the work into three phases. Some of the work will be completed in-house and some will be done by an outside developer.
  2. We brought in an advisory panel (Brad Lewis, St. Teresa’s Academy; Mary Pritchard, North Kansas City High School; Christina Geabhart, Oak Park High School) to go through the registration system and make suggestions about how to streamline the process and entry of student material. We also had an overall discussion about the contests themselves and got ideas for some revisions and updates to the contest offerings and some suggestions for judging and critiques.

Contest updates: The committee made some changes to the photography contests and removed the newspaper/yearbook distinctions from categories. The revised contests include:

28:      Sports Action Photography (online submission)
29:      Sports Feature Photography (online submission)
30:      Feature Photography (online submission)
31:      General or Spot News Photography (online submission)

Broadcast contest changes: We set up the writeoffs.jea.org system to accommodate the online submission broadcast contest judging starting with Indianapolis. We will have the judges complete critiques online and then utilize the same format as the photo contest currently use, where any entry with two thumbs up from judges will move on to final judging to Friday from 1-4 p.m. The students in those contests submitted ahead of the conference will attend critique sessions from 3-6 Friday. This means that only those students competing in on-site broadcast contests will miss sessions on Friday morning. We also moved several contests to later in the afternoon so they are competing the same time as the other Write-off students. We also closely looked at the time allotted for the on-site contests and tried to reduce that to get those competitors back into sessions.

Design judging: We established a goal to move design contest judging and graphic design contest judging to the Write-offs system by Fall 2017.

Future ideas: We also bounced around a few ideas for contest changes/upgrades and will look at those more during our Indianapolis wrap-up meeting.

Aaron Manfull, MJE
Digital Media Committee Chair
Francis Howell North High School
2549 Hackman Road
Saint Charles, MO 63303

JEADigitalMedia.org has continued to grow and we have continually worked to reassess the most pressing needs of students and advisers. We have been tracking data so we can get a gauge of how we are doing with this. I will only touch on part of it here; please let me know if you’d like to have any other data, and I will make sure to get it to you.

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

In our seven years of existence, we had 990 posts published (roughly three per week), 449,224 visits, and 819,861 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 60 members of the committee who are on an email list. Eleven different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months (compared to 21 different people the previous six-month period). Six 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 – 28
  • Michelle Harmon – 9
  • Michelle Turner – 4
  • Jonathan Rogers – 3
  • Dennis Leizear – Emailing the Listserv numerous times
  • Kyle Phillips – Maintaining maps

Also contributing to the site during the time period were Michelle Balmeo, Dave Davis, Christina Geabhart, Michael Hernandez, Sarah Nichols, Chris Snider and John Wood.

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-2016-10-15-at-7-09-20-am screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-7-10-03-am

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


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

We have been busy with a few things since Los Angeles.

Michelle Turner was named the 2016 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year. She was recognized in Los Angeles at the JEA/NSPA National Convention. Gil Garcia was named a Distinguished Adviser. The Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College is our BAOY sponsor. Aaron has been working on posts promoting BPA student contests, which started rolling out in October. The site underwent a theme change over summer.

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

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

  • Continue to build a deeper broadcast presence on the site, as it remains one of our biggest draws
  • Continue to post relevant articles for those wanting help with their online journey
  • Work to publicize the site more on the Listserv and other places.

As always, if there is anything anyone would like to see on the site, please email us at info@jeadigitalmedia.org.

Here are the links I said I would make available:

Visitor data for JEADigitalMedia.org: http://bit.ly/9fEoUf
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeadigitalmedia
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jeadigitalmedia
Guide to Moving Online: http://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/guide-to-moving-online/
Guide to Video and Broadcast: http://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/guide-to-broadcast-video/
Guide to Multimedia Tools: http://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/multimedia-tools/
Guide to Live Video Streaming of Sports Events: http://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/livevideo/

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

We had another great year for the Journalist of the Year contest. In April we awarded one national winner and six runners-up for this contest. After receiving 33 state-winning entries, a judging panel of 40 combed over each one and invested in these candidates as if they were their own student journalists. I appreciate each one of them for their dedication and talents to this tedious process. My hope each year is that this contest is given the proper attention to detail and is fair to all candidates. These judges did just that, as each portfolio had multiple rounds of judges looking, reading and evaluating each one.

I listen to member and state director feedback and work those suggestions into our procedures for future contests. Not all feedback can be put into action, but I appreciate those who reach out with suggestions. I review each detail to seriously consider what we can implement. I also surveyed those who participated in the 2016 contest, as well as the judges. From all feedback, I have a list of items I am working on for the 2017 contest. Improvements include:

  • An expanded list of portfolio examples are now available. In addition to the ones on the right navigation bar of our website sub-page, you can find even more on our press release for the 2016 contest.
  • For future contests, state winners will be notified in the application process that we will link their portfolio sites from ours, as future applicants can use them as a tool to help them cultivate their own ideas on how to build their portfolio of work examples.
  • We will also provide nametag judge ribbons to those who serve on the national JOY committee if they are in attendance at the spring convention.
  • For those who agree to judge, a letter will be sent to their local administration as a notification of their commitment to scholastic journalism. We will share with them about how our members are volunteering their time to this national contest.
  • In Seattle, we will host our first meet-and-greet for those who participate in the 2017 national contest. Both previous candidates and judges have expressed interest in getting together as a way to network and talk about the contest.

Moving forward, the requirements and guidelines for the contest are similar to last year. Most of the refining is behind the scenes.

In Los Angeles, the 2015 Journalist of the Year, Julia Poe, and I presented a session to JOY hopefuls about applying for the contest and how to build a portfolio. We gave advice from their experience to help those who attend. I would like to thank Julia for her time and talents to help future candidates.

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

2016 National High School Journalist of the Year

Kellen Browning of Davis Senior High School, Davis, Calif. (Kelly Wilkerson, adviser)


  • Will Clark, St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, Texas (Ray Westbrook, adviser)
  • Katie Pickrell, Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado (Mark Newton, MJE, adviser)
  • Justin Curto, Mill Valley High School, Shawnee, Kansas (Kathy Habiger, MJE, adviser)
  • Matthew Casler, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida (Renee Burke, MJE, adviser)
  • Tyler Arden, Reno (Nevada) High School (Christy Briggs, MJE, adviser)
  • Anna Laffrey, East Grand Rapids (Michigan) High School (Katie Michel, adviser)

2016 Aspiring Young Journalist

Benjamin Raskin Garcia, Westfield Middle School, Westfield, Ind. (Allie Staub, adviser)

Madeline Bogard, St. John Paul II Catholic School, Houston, Tex. (Beverly Kimmet, adviser)

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

JEA Outreach has been working hard in conjunction with NCTE, Flipboard and other scholastic journalism organizations to grow and strengthen JEA. The most exciting partnership has recently been through NCTE. This past month we have drafted resolutions for the fall NCTE convention. These resolutions are still waiting for approval. At the fall convention in Atlanta I will be running the JEA booth, presenting on ways to bring journalism to regular classes and on mentoring. For JEA, I have become a member of the NCTE Censorship Committee and am now a member of SLAM (Studies in Literacy and Media). Both of these organizations will be meeting at the fall NCTE conference. NCTE is also hoping to send representatives to our spring convention in Seattle, as there was a conflict with Indianapolis.

The JEA Flipboard Magazine is beginning its second year, with more than 3,500 followers and over 100 great pieces of high school digital journalism published. This has been a great resource for me at conferences to share the great work students across the country are producing. Flipboard has been a great resource in promoting scholastic journalism and is possibly sending me to SXSWEdu to present. The session is waitlisted, but it could be approved in the “second wave.”

Below is a list of goals and activities for JEA Professional Outreach over the next year:
  • Promote JEA through state and national conferences including NCTE and ISTE, and possibly SXSWEdu.
  • Develop NCTE relationship and presence at their convention.
  • Work with mentors to promote the mentoring program.
  • Work with Sarah Nichols to expand the rural and urban website startup outreach program (Iowa has begun)
  • Continue to develop win-win partnerships like the JEA-Flipboard Digital Magazine
This past summer I blogged on JEADigitalMedia on the ISTE conference and plan to blog this fall from ITEC and NCTE as well as hopefully SXSWEdu if my session gets approved.

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

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

Mentors: Besides the seven committee members, we have 32 other active mentors: Bob Bair, Linda Ballew, Ron Bonadonna, Karen Boone, Vicki Brennan, Wayne Dunn, Carol Eanes, Megan Fitzgerald, Karl Grubaugh, Ray Hopfer, Sandy Jacoby, Ellen Kersey, Konnie Krislock, Joy Lessard, Kay Locey, Joy McCaleb, Casey Nichols, Nancy Olson, Katherine Patrick, Mike Riley, Steve Slagle, Carol Smith, Nora Stephens, Carol Strauss, Katharine Swan, Steve Unruhe, Ann Visser, Steve Wahlfeldt, Dave Wallner, Jo Zimmerman, Stan Zoller and Kathleen Zwiebel.

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

This summer three new mentors were trained at the Advisers Institute: Karl Grubaugh from California, Steve Wahlfeldt from Colorado and Joy McCaleb from Tennessee. We invite other state SPAs to join the program by sponsoring one or more mentors who will receive mentor training next July at the JEA Advisers Institute.

Successes: In the 2015-2016 school year we had 121 mentees. This spring, mentors reported that only 10 of their mentees were not continuing in journalism.  That is a 90.1 percent retention rate, somewhat higher than the 85.4 percent rate from last year. We are also pleased with the success of long-distance mentoring. Sixteen of our mentees — about 13 percent — were mentored by people from other states last year. What we find particularly rewarding is the great relationship these mentors have developed with their mentees. However, our top accomplishment continues to be the increasing confidence and professional growth of the new journalism advisers our mentors work with in this program.

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 part of the fall convention in Indianapolis. Ten to 15 advisers will participate in creating material for the online version of Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Participants will have to opportunity to take photos, write a story, make a video presentation or help with the editing process of all the coverage we submit for publishing. The Day of Doing project will begin Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m. Participants will help the Indy Monthly create their online Holiday Guide.

JEA One Book: The fall One Book is “Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era” by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith. Dr. Wagner will be recording a podcast about the book with JEA on Oct. 26. A link to this podcast will run on JEA’s website.

I will also host a session in Indianapolis where members can continue the discussion. The session will take place at 10 a.m. Nov. 12 in room 103/104 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 evelau@d219.org. The next book will be announced in December.

Scholastic Journalism Week: Scholastic Journalism Week 2017 will take place Feb. 19-25.

Adam Dawkins, CJE, and I co-chair this committee. Here are the details for this year’s events:

  • Follow Scholastic Journalism Week on Twitter, @scholasticjweek. Hashtag: #SJW2017
  • Theme: “The Communities We Cover”
  • Logo design contest: Using the theme “The Communities We Cover,” design a logo to be used for 2017 Scholastic Journalism Week promotional materials and on social media. The winning logo and designer will be revealed on social media in November during the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis. Send entries as high-resolution files to scholasticjournalismweek@gmail.com. Deadline: Nov. 1, 2016.
  • “The Communities We Cover” Staff Spotlight Series: Apply to be one of 15 schools to be featured on the JEA Facebook page leading up to Scholastic Journalism Week. Fifteen staffs will be featured. Submissions will open in November and run through Jan. 27, 2017.
  • Society of Professional Journalists and Journalism Education Association Essay Contest. JEA and the Society of Professional Journalists asks: “Why is it important to the well being of a democracy to have female leadership in the communication and legal fields? 300-500 words. Submissions open Nov. 4, 2016. Deadline: Feb. 28, 2017.

When I’m Not Teaching: The purpose of “When I’m Not Teaching” is to highlight all the wonderful accomplishments JEA members have achieved outside of the classroom. The series has featured 24 different advisers from 19 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), Megan Volpert (Georgia), Nancy Zubiri (California) David Ragsdale (Georgia), Starr Stackson (New York), Heather Nagle (Tennessee) and Cindy Berry (Texas).

The next feature, which will run Nov. 1, will profile an adviser from the Indianapolis area. “When I’m Not Teaching” runs on the JEA Facebook page on the first of every month. To nominate a colleague, please email evelau@d219.org.

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

Laura Widmer
National Scholastic Press Association Liaison
2221 University Ave. S.E., Suite 121
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Thank you for this opportunity to share what is going on at our office. We want to reiterate that our partnership with Journalism Education Association is invaluable to us. We love the opportunity to collaborate on education, resources and events relative to student journalists and advisers.

Membership: NSPA membership is at 1,525. That number reflects membership prior to fall convention registration and renewals. We are currently considering a membership fee restructure that would provide a group membership for converged media outlets. Stay tuned for details. This would not go into affect until next fiscal year.

Contests: NSPA Pacemakers breakdown (this contest year/versus previous year):

  • Broadcast 60/54
  • Newspaper 266/299
  • Online 135/172
  • Yearbook 367/289
  • Magazine 36/47

Individual Awards breakdown:

  • Broadcast Story of the Year 222/213
  • Story of the Year 921/766
  • Multimedia Story of the Year 231/209
  • Picture of the Year 1192/1240
  • Design of the Year 674/617
  • Cartooning 210/227

Critiques: 406 yearbook; 184 newspaper; 77 magazine; 21 website = 691.

What’s new? Our consultation services had a pilot program that proved successful. We will introduce this after the Indianapolis convention. The idea is to match professionals/advisers with staffs who seek 30-minute consultation and advice on a variety of subjects.

The broadcast summit in July brought great discussion on additional services and contests we could provide our broadcast membership. One of the opportunities will be to offer an Audio and Video awards instead of the traditional Broadcast category.

The first week of the month we send out a newsletter to our members. Outreach and communication are the association’s goals and key quality indicators to everything we do. I have a “Ask NSPA” session scheduled during the convention. I have also invited advisers who are interested in joining the NSPA Advisory Committee to meet in the suite during the convention. I primarily plan to use this group to solicit ideas and float ideas/changes to them. I am always willing to listen and want to better our organization and we can’t do that without adviser input.

Fall convention Exhibits/Sponsorships of $91,400 + In-Kind Value of $10,300 for printing = $101,700. Sold out convention space and we could have had at least two additional booths. Last year’s fall convention had much larger exhibit area with revenue of $108,100.

We need to note minimum needs for exhibit space for any future hotel contracts.

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 memberships have gone from 26 last year to 32. JEA membership is encouraged in Alabama at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, at Troy University’s J Day, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth.

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences. Information is available on the ASPA website. ASPA is also on Facebook and Twitter. Information about SIPA events can be found here.

Recently, Troy University hosted 560 students for J Day on Sept. 22. The SIPA Convention last spring, March 4-6,  had over 600 students in attendance. ASPA conducted fall workshops in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Mobile on Sept. 26, 28 and 30.

Upcoming events:

  • Dec. 16 ASPA critique deadline
  • Jan. 31 Senior awards deadline
  • Feb. 17-18 ASPA State Convention
  • March 3-5 SIPA Convention
  • April 1 Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline
  • June 9-18 The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to give high school students experience that teaches them more about college life and a career in media.
  • June 9-11 The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.
  • Sept. 26, 27, and 30, 2017 Fall Regional Workshops Mobile, Tuscaloosa (University of Alabama) and Huntsville

Awards and honors: ASPA awards can be found here.

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

The Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) is online here, and the organization is on Facebook and Twitter. AIPA has a blog here.

This report is a compilation of comments from Arizona advisers’ response to a JEA survey.

Events: The state’s Summer Journalism Workshop was in July at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism on the Arizona State University downtown campus.

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

Contests: State contest winners will be posted at www.azaipa.org. Congratulations to the South Mountain High School Jaguar News for its NSPA Pacemaker in Weekly News. In addition they won a number of Emmies for their work. Their advisor is Heather R. Jancoski.

Mentors: The two mentors in Arizona, Peggy Gregory, CJE, and Carmen Wendt, MJE, are each busy with four mentees each, including two out-of-state mentees.

Comments for JEA: Kudos were sent by a number of state members who attended the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas. “The Institute has proven invaluable.”

Additionally, many compliments were given for the curriculum project. “The curriculum and website are awesome. We also attend at least one conference a year, which is huge.”

Several commented on the value of the JEAHELP Listserv. “There is always someone who can advise me on my particular little problem.”

Lastly, “Keep up the good work!”

Suggestions: One adviser asked if JEA could partner with a professional sports team or organization to offer a Journalism Career Day.

Another asked about JEA linking with SkillsUSA to help with the “double duty” she faces getting her students into competitions.

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

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

Membership: JEA has 114 members in Colorado. This is an increase of 17 memberships from one year ago.

For updates, visit Colostudentmedia.com or follow @ColoradoSMA on Twitter, Colorado Student Media Assn. on Pinterest and Colorado Student Media Association on Facebook.

Happenings: Our state convention, J-Day, was Oct. 20 at the Lory Center on the CSU Campus in Ft. Collins. Nearly 1,500 students and advisers (1,365 students and 102 advisers) attended from 78 schools from all over the state; a record number of sessions (over 50) were offered by presenters from top high school and collegiate media programs and members of the professional press. All-Colorado and Best of Show awards followed in the afternoon.

CSMA’s Winter Thaw Conference will continue in January 2017.

The Capitol Hill Conference is set for Feb. 27, 2017.

First Amendment issues:

The Bear Truth edorses presidential candidate: Palmer Ridge High School’s student newspaper, The Bear Truth, has been in the local and national news for their editorial endorsement of a presidential candidate last week. Editors Evan Ochsner and Anna Schnelbach, Adviser Tom Patrick and staff members experienced a good deal of backlash from community members that was, thankfully, soon follwed by community, administrative, school board and professional support.

At the state conference Oct. 20, CSMA Executive Director Jack Kennedy, MJE, presented the editors, staff and adviser (Tom Patrick) of The Bear Truth with a signed armband from Mary Beth Tinker to offer support of their courage in this experience. The Denver Post published an editorial in support of the editors and staff in today’s paper. (A link can be found at colostudentmedia.com). Coverage continues locally and nationally.

Feel free to check out the original editorial and offer support via comments on their site.

CSMA pilots FEARLess contest: In an effort toward encouraging “community service accomplished by student journalists” CSMA is sponsoring a coverage contest addressing the concept of fear and overcoming fear. FEARLess submissions can take almost any shape and can represent any medium – as long as they address the concept of how we deal with fear in our lives and what we see beyond it as well. Entries should be uploaded to the CSMA website by Dec. 5, 2016. Awards for three schools will include a $300 voucher toward attending CSMA events in 2017.

Awards and honors:

CSMA Awards

Anastasia Harrison, CJE, adviser at Legend High School, is the 2016 Adviser of the Year.

Andy Abner, Principal at Rock Canyon High School, is the 2016 Administrator of the Year.

Twenty-seven student publications earned Colorado’s top media award, All-Colorado, at J-Day; nine news publications, one website, four video media programs and 13 yearbooks earned All-Colorado for their work during the 2015-16 school year. A record 115 publications received critiques.

Clare Berke
District of Columbia State Director
800 Euclid St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Membership: Current JEA membership in Washington, D.C., is 13. Clare is working to update a list of current journalism teachers and club sponsors in public, private and charter schools in the District.

Happenings (Capital Student News): Over the summer, students from several high schools in D.C. participated in the Soul of the City Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfire summer youth employment program. Students met current journalists and learned essential journalism skills. They also contributed to the Capital Student News (CSN) website, updating much of the content.

A continuing partnership between local schools and Humanities DC, which oversaw the summer program, is in discussion. In addition, three students at Wilson High School have volunteered to serve as editors for the CSN news website. A meeting between the Wilson students and students at Anacostia and Banneker was planned for mid-October, but had to be postponed due to an emergency at a participating school. We are currently in the process of rescheduling and creating a series of workshops to train and motivate students to post on CSN. Based on positive responses via email and from an in-person informal get-together this fall, we hope for participation from Wilson High School, Banneker High School, Anacostia High School, Bell Multicultural High School, McKinley Technology High School, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and Washington Latin Public Charter School.

Banneker students have posted two new articles to CSN this fall, including the most recent article about President Obama’s second visit to the school Oct. 17.

Planning for Future Events: Clare has scheduled a meeting with Barbara McCormack at the Newseum on Nov. 2 to discuss ideas for a Capital Student News workshop series held at the Newseum. Clare will also be meeting in November with Kyle Murdock of the Howard University School of Communication to discuss a potential partnership.

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

Membership: We currently have 161 members, up from 136 in the spring.  We have promoted membership through email blasts, at our state convention, summer and regional workshops.

FSPA will, again, offer the JEA Certification Exams at our state convention in April 2017.

Events: The state convention is April 27-29, 2017, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando. Last spring’s registration closed early due to meeting space capacity.

Initiatives and vision: We are working to increase membership at the state and national level, as well as national certification. During the fall, all districts host regional workshops to help build excitement and about scholastic journalism.

Awards: Congratulations to the two Florida newspapers who received a CSPA Crown nomination: Hillsborough High School, Tampa; and The Muse Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach.  Click here for full list of nominees. Congratulations as well to two Florida magazines who received a CSPA Crown nomination: Elysium, Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, FL; Literati, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Miami, FL. Click here for a full list of nominees.

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

The Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA) spring awards banquet on April 14 drew 14 schools and 210 attendees. The organization recognized publications and individuals with 58 awards.

The Georgia Journalism Academy involved 64 students from 11 states to the University of Georgia from June 5-10, 2016. Participants produced a 21-minute broadcast, wrote over 50 articles, created a photo gallery or put together an advertising campaign.

The Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism’s Digital Media Camp brought over 40 students to Macon for 10 days of multimedia production in collaboration with the Otis Redding Songwriters Camp.

A planned GSPA adviser’s summer workshop was canceled due to low registration numbers.

GSPA now includes a total of 75 advisers from 56 schools involved in 93 scholastic publications. The GSPA director says this is a 62 percent increase in membership from this time last year.

New for GSPA is the creation of a leadership series for students to debut at the Oct. 27 fall conference. The advisory board of GSPA is initiating a sponsorship program to fundraise to make events and programs affordable for all members. The organization is also looking to create a student advisory board.

Georgia boasts three NSPA magazine Pacemaker finalists: Clarke Central High School’s The Odyssey, Decatur High School’s Carpe Diem, and Woodward Academy’s The Blade. We’re also well represented in the Story of the Year competition with 12 finalists.

I surveyed GSPA advisers to gauge interest in creating a Georgia JEA chapter. Over 85 percent of the 25 respondents said they would be interested. The challenge now is deciding if the annual $100 affiliate organization membership is worth the expense, especially with such low membership numbers in our state. I will share this concern with the JEA officers.

For discussion: The location of the JEA Advisers Institute has been a draw for many and a downer for others. Since traveling to this amazing educational experience is often on an adviser’s own dime, I hope organizers might explore alternative, vacation-worthy locations.

Could the more tech savvy among us explore replacing the Listserv software (a legendary app since its birth in 1986) with something like Discourse, a free, open source app that would provide significant improvements in user experience and functional improvements, like attachments?

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

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


  • Over the summer, journalism advisers met at the University of Hawaii (UH) to discuss creating a statewide advisers association. Through a vote, we decided to call this group the Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association. At the meeting, advisers discussed the goals of the organization; its leading agenda item is garnering support for state legislation for student press rights similar to the New Voices project. While five JEA members are involved in this organization, HSJA will function independently of JEA. This group has been reestablished by fellow member Cindy Reves and myself with the facilitation and guidance of Jay Hartwell as the Hawaii Schools Publication Association disbanded about six years ago. Our website is hosted by SNO, and members may be reached by hawaiisja@gmail.org. The HSJA meets monthly at University of Hawaii-Manoa on Oahu. The next meeting is on Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. There are no dues associated with this group.
  • The HSJA group also discussed possible changes to the upcoming Journalism Day hosted by Hartwell at UH in September. Members met again to generate ideas for hands-on, engaging journalism experiences for students. J-Day was held on Sept. 10 from 8:30-3. Students attended a variety of different press conferences and worked with industry professionals to produce and publish a written news or feature story or a video package by the end of the day. Student work was posted to the HSJA website. Following the event, Common Cause Hawaii chose to share some student work.
  • The Department of Education (DOE) approved the Herff Jones-sponsored Yearbook Academy for three non-credit Professional Development Credits.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 28th Hawai’i High School Journalism Awards Ceremony will take place April 17, 2017. The last day to submit work for this competition is March 17.
  • The University of Hawaii (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.
  • I will discuss the 2017 Hawaii State Journalist of the Year Contest at the next HSJA meeting.
  • The Jostens Spring Yearbook Workshop will take place in May.
  • The Olelo Youth Xchange, the state’s largest video competition, deadline is Feb. 28. The awards banquet will take place April 27.

For the board:

  • We are still working to implement change in journalism-related policy in Hawaii. We are still focusing on the previously-reported questions: “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?”
    • A recent development that is causing much confusion among DOE advisers and schools is the district’s recent modification of their “Student Publication Video/Audio Release” opt-out form. It now specifically lists “Yearbook” as an official school document, so if parents or guardians check the “No” option on the form, their students aren’t supposed to be included in a variety of documents. Every school is handling this list differently, from the extremes of having administration accountability to absolutely no accountability at all. There is consensus among JEA members that this document is not pertinent to student-created media; however, administrators have expressed to members that it indeed includes student-created media like the yearbook. Any advice about how to navigate this issue is welcomed.
  • The issue of course organization within the DOE is another item we’re still focusing on: 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?

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

The Idaho Student Journalism Association (ISJA) state press association treasurer retired and resigned in Spring 2016. I am Interim Treasurer. As treasurer, I have transferred ISJA out of a personal checking account and put it into a business banking account for not-for-profits. We have a credit card, checks, a W-9, and the ability to receive money from sponsors, not just members.

The third annual High School Communications Conference Day took place Oct. 25.

  • About 300 – 325 attending this year (down from 450 last year). Why?
    • Planned on short notice, because we confirm a date for the conference until September.
    • The date fell within the same week of an Idaho Skills USA Regional Conference (some schools found it difficult to fit in both events).
    • Charged $10/ticket vs. $50 per adviser (unlimited students under adviser).
    • Official numbers from the event:
      • 280 students
      • 45 speakers/experts
      • 18 teachers/advisers (12 of which are or will become ISJA/JEA members),
      • 13 schools from 8 Idaho cities
      • 10 sponsors
      • 5 types of high school communication programs
        • 6 Yearbook
        • 2 Video/broadcast
        • 3 Photography
        • 8 Newspaper/Journalism
        • 1 Graphic Design
  • Created an online guidebook
  • Promoted JOY state contest and national contest
  • Board Member Will Love developed Best of Show categories (this was a goal of the board’s)
  • Board Member Leslie Cheret arranged an out-of-town bus, which attracted four other teachers and 48 students.
  • ISJA charged $10/ticket in order to bring in Michael Hernandez as the keynote speaker.
  • University of Idaho’s Rebecca Tallent helped sponsor the event and is leading a session on New Voices legislation.
  • Sponsorships included two $1,000 donations and four $250 donations to help pay for facility (which is contemporary and expensive).
  • Karen Crouse of The New York Times connected via Skype to talk sports journalism.
  • Aaron Manfull of JEADigitalMedia.org connected via Skype in to teach live streaming (with two of his students presenting with him).
  • Some fun details:
    • We had three traditional conference rooms plus one non-traditional room with 10 skills stations.
    • Conference Room Inspire – 40 seats
    • Conference Room The Loft – 70 seats
    • Conference Room Pioneer – 400 seats (Keynote speaker’s sessions)
    • Hub 1 Camera Skills
    • Hub 2 Yearbook  Skills
    • Hub 3 InDesign Skills
    • Hub 4 Meet the Novelists
    • Hub 5 Open Mic “Teach What You Learn”
    • Hub 6 Video Camera Skills
    • Hub 7 Writing Skills
    • Hub 8 Skype Sessions
    • Hub 9 Social Media Skills
    • Hub 10 Information Desk, Contest Registration, Student Certifications, JEA Membership

Mentoring: I tried really hard to find someone who could attend Linda Barrington’s mentor training in Las Vegas. I simply went through so many and did not find the right fit. However, several are possible this year, and we will solidify that for an Idaho mentorship in 2017. Mentoring is sorely needed here.

Membership: Membership is stable. About five ISJA/JEA renewals have been requested through registration for the Oct. 25 conference, but no new memberships have come from the conference yet, although I have discussed it with several people.

Journalist of the Year: ISJA had two submissions last year, which was two more than we received the year before that. I already had a student email me from the 2015 conference and ask about the state JOY deadline. I put a link to both the state and national JOY in the 2016 conference online guidebook, and I was at an Information Desk all day at this year’s conference.

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

Membership: Illinois current membership is 167.

Illinois New Voices update: On July 29, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB5902 into law! Illinois is the 10th state to have a law protecting student journalists’ right to responsibly report about issues that matter to them without fear of arbitrary censorship.

More information about the law’s passage and what it means for scholastic journalism in Illinois can be found on the IJEA website.

Happenings: The Illinois Journalism Education Association hosted its annual fall conference at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana Sept. 16.   Over 500 students and advisers attended the conference and attended breakout sessions. Mitch Eden, MJE, 2015 DJNF Journalism Teacher of the Year, was the keynote speaker. JEA certification testing was also offered.

Eastern Illinois University hosted IJEA’s Journalism State Tournament April 29.  IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud coordinated the event.  More than 85 schools had representatives competing in the state finals.

IJEA announced several awards including Teacher of the Year, IJOY and the All-state journalism team. The James A. Tidwell Educator of the Year was Cathy Wall, MJE, adviser of the newspaper at Harrisburg High School.

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

Mentoring: Illinois mentors submitted the following information for first semester of the 2016-2017 school year.

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 has also helped them to understand their students’ rights under the new law.

Stan Zoller, MJE, is working with two new Illinois mentees. He has shared curricular resources as well as information about open records laws, state contests, the First Amendment and Illinois’ new law ensuring speech rights for scholastic journalists.


  • With the assistance of the Student Press Law Center, educating stakeholders about what the Illinois New Voices Law means to them. Supporting advisers and students as challenges arise.
  • Enhancing membership by attracting new members, especially by informing them about the JEA curriculum, and by ensuring that IJEA members are also JEA members.
  • Increasing the number of Illinois advisers with JEA certification.  Encouraging current CJEs to become MJEs.
  • Promoting student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Stan Zoller, MJE, is a 2016 Medal of Merit honoree. Patrick Johnson, MJE, is a DJNF Distinguished Adviser. Robert Kay is a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. These awards will be presented at the fall convention in Indianapolis.

One Illinois yearbook and two Illinois online newspapers won Pacemakers at the spring convention in Los Angeles.

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

Membership: Membership has skyrocketed with 108 members compared to 77 members last spring. You can sure tell Indiana is hosting the national convention this November!

Events: Most attention for nearly a year has focused on getting ready for Journalism 360, Circle City as Indianapolis hosts the JEA/NSPA Fall National Convention Nov. 10-13. The Local Committee, working under Local Chair Tom Gayda, MJE, has been busy finding featured speakers, planning events, organizing the SPLC Auction, and so much more to make the Indianapolis experience one to remember.

Not wanting to compete with the national convention, and realizing that advisers and schools would have difficulty getting time off for two conventions, the Indiana High School Press Association Fall Convention, which usually meets in mid-October at Franklin College in Franklin, was moved to Nov. 10 to coincide the national event. Students and advisers will gather at Franklin College on Thursday to hear Walter Robinson, managing editor of the Spotlight investigative reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize and became the focus of the 2016 Academy Award-winning movie Spotlight. Over 130 out-of-state students coming for the Indianapolis convention will also be attending the Walter Robinson event. Following his discussion, a Q-and-A with students and an interactive activity, IHSPA Student Officers will be elected and the Hoosier Star honors for top publications in the state and Harvey Awards individual awards for top stories, designs, photographs and yearbook theme and section development will be presented.

The annual IHSPA adviser luncheon will take place Nov. 11 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. During the luncheon, IHSPA officers will present traditional awards and recognize a new lifetime member, Dan Diercks, former long-time publications adviser at Hagerstown High School.

Awards and honors:

Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame: Diana Hadley, Executive Director of the Indiana High School Press Association, was one of five journalists with lengthy careers in service to journalism inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in a September ceremony at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis. The inductees, selected by the board of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, included four newspaper journalists and a journalism educator.

Hadley, a faculty member at Franklin College, called her induction “beyond my imagination.” Before joining IHSPA in 2004, Hadley taught journalism at Mooresville High School for more than 30 years. She created the IHSPA First Amendment Symposium that draws together high school journalists and the Indiana legislature in the Capitol rotunda each spring.

“I believe even more strongly that journalism is a hands-on opportunity for teaching students to think critically, write clearly and adapt to new technology as they go,” she said.

JEA Future Teacher Scholarship: Indiana is proud that Roth Lovins of Ball State University is one of this year’s two Future Teacher Scholarship winners. Lovins, a college senior with a journalism education major, will receive one of this year’s $1,000 Future Teacher Scholarships from JEA.

Lovins got his start in journalism on The Triangle newsmagazine and the Log yearbook at Columbus North High School, where he was a writer, photographer and designer, eventually becoming the managing editor of the newsmagazine and photo editor of the yearbook.

One reason Lovins wants to teach journalism: “My high school adviser, Kim Green, made her job as a journalism instructor seem like the best job in the world and that there was never a dull day on the job.” He also wrote in his application that the changing field and practices inspire him to “want to be able to learn these new techniques WITH my students so that we can tell stories the best way possible.”

Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year: Even though Lori Keekley is an English teacher and media adviser from St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School, Indiana is still proud to claim her as she got her roots in her home state.

Lori was the 1990 co-editor of the Hagerstown High School yearbook Epitome. She went on to Indiana University, where she was the editor of the 1994 Arbutus, IU’s yearbook.

In her application for the Dow Jones News Fund award, Lori explained about her time at Hagerstown High School and the influence her experience there had on her as a journalism teacher. She credits her high school adviser, Dan Diercks, with igniting her passion for journalism.

“Mr. Diercks believed student media should be the student voice and should not be controlled by administrators or the adviser,” she explained. “We were able to make our mistakes and learn from them. He empowered us and had faith in us — something I try to do daily with my own students.”

Following graduation from IU, Lori taught and advised at Portage High School before moving to Minnesota.  

Student media honors: Finalists and honorees for NSPA awards are listed here. CSPA Crown finalists are available here.

Last, but not least: Indiana has high hopes of moving forward with a New Voices Act following the November election. Diana Hadley has set this as a goal for her last months as IHSPA Executive Director, as she plans to retire at the end of this school year. She hopes the election will bring some positive support from the legislature.

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: JEA members in Iowa number 49, slightly higher than last year. Emails, contact by phone and get-togethers with newer advisers have been utilized to reach out to newer members.

Happenings: The Iowa High School Press Association’s state conference will be held at the University of Iowa Oct. 27. Sarah Nichols, MJE, is the featured guest.

The state yearbook contest was tweaked after its major overhaul last year. Several categories were added so it had a similar number to the newspaper contest.

Drake University, Iowa State University, Simpson College and the Iowa Newspaper Foundation held the first High School Media Leadership and Innovation Conference at Drake in April. Several years ago professors at the three schools and INA gathered feedback about hosting a student conference in the central part of the state. The IHSPA state convention has been held in the eastern part of the state for five years after ones held in the central part saw little attendance. Sessions were offered throughout the day and two new awards were presented: the Iowa High School Leadership in Journalism award and the Iowa High School Innovation in Journalism award.

Work to attract more applicants to the Journalism of the Year contest continued. In addition to the winner, two runners-up were also named. The runners up were recognized at the High School Media Leadership and Innovation Conference held at Drake University in April. Having someone other than the student’s own adviser encourage the student to apply seems to work. Kyle Phillips of Cedar Rapids Washington plans to hold a session at the state convention about applying for the award. IHSPA increased its sponsorship of the scholarship to $250. The Iowa Newspaper Association has added $250 more so the scholarship for the winner is now $500.

Awards and honors: The state had one online site earn the Pacemaker and another be a finalist, two newspapers have been named finalists and one yearbook was named a finalist. One hybrid newspaper/online school has been named a Crown finalist.

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

The state organization’s website is here, and the Kansas Scholastic Press Association is on Twitter @kspastaff.
Membership: With 120 members and 15 Associate, Affiliate, Institutional Complimentary and Teacher Emeritus members, JEA membership in Kansas is up substantially from the Spring 2016 report.

Events: The Kansas Scholastic Press Association held state contests in early May at the University of Kansas. Students in three classes (by school size) competed in 19 contests. Nine of the contests were on site and 10 were submitted digitally. A big shout out to KSPA executive director Eric Thomas and assistant Kerri Navinskey for all of their work to organize and run this event. We are also indebted to the hundreds of judges from all over the country who read through stacks of entries.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. Blue Valley West (adviser Debbie Glenn) was the sweepstakes winner for the first contest of the year.

In addition, yearbooks were submitted for critique and All-Kansas awards in early October.

Students from across the state had the option to attend fall conferences in Fort Hays, Lawrence and Wichita. The theme of the conferences, “Too Close to Call,” featured campaign-style buttons and a focus on political reporting, but offered sessions in all facets of journalism.

The 30th anniversary of the Kansas Scholastic Publications Act occurs in 2017. In recognition of this, the 2017 KSPA Fall Conference will become a two-day extravaganza of journalism and the statewide celebration of the passage of the publications act. Executive director Eric Thomas announced at the August board meeting that The Capitol Plaza Hotel and Expocentre had been selected as the site and the date has been set for Sept. 25-26, 2017. A survey regarding likelihood to attend was sent to all Kansas journalism teachers at the beginning of the school year. A keynote speaker and other arrangements will be announced later.

In other board action, advisers will be allowed to judge contests providing they do not have a student competing in the contest.

In ongoing efforts to update and improve the user experience for the online submission of the off-site regional and state contests, the board is investing in a new system for digital submissions.

Honors and awards: We are so very proud of …

  • Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest and former KSPA board president, who is one of eight who will receive NSPA’s Pioneer Award. McCrossen has taught in the Blue Valley School District for 26 years and advises the Horizon yearbook, The Express newspaper and BVNWnews.com.
  • Justin Curto, who was named one of the six runners-up in the national Student Journalist of the Year. Justin is the 10th Kansas SJOY nominee in the past 12 years to place in or win this contest.
  • Julie Calabro of Andover Central who was named the Jackie Engel Award (Kansas Journalism Teacher of the Year). The Engel award was named in honor of Jackie Engel from McPherson High School who helped bring national recognition to Kansas high school journalism. Calabro has advised the Spotlight news magazine and the Junglebook yearbook. The judge specifically mentioned Calabro’s work to encourage her students to embrace social media outlets for journalistic use as well as her efforts to reach out to new media advisers. In addition to the placque, Calabro also received a cash prize of $1,000
  • Jill Holder (Bonner Springs High School) was named the Ad Astra Award winner for 2016. The award honors an individual who has displayed a significant effort to 1) continually improve his/her journalism program and 2) make a significant contribution to the profession of advising in Kansas. Holder received a $250 cash prize, a placque and complimentary one-year membership to KSPA.
  • Dr. Linda Wiley, principal of Topeka High School, was named the KSPA Administrator of the Year for her support of the First Amendment in action and of journalism students. Topeka High School publications adviser Kristy Dekat said, “She understood the Act allows my students to function on the same platform as professional journalists. She provides adequate and appropriate financial support. She understands that it is important for the school to cultivate a deep connection with the community, and the publications do this.”
  • Barry MacCallum (Herff Jones Yearbooks) was recognized with the Friend of KSPA Award. MacCallum, as a professional partner, supports KSPA and scholastic journalism on the state level and is involved in local, state, regional and national scholastic journalism organizations. Amy Morgan, Shawnee Mission West adviser, said “… Barry goes out of his way to help advisers, and put them in contact with the right resources if they need help he cannot provide. He takes [new advisers] under his wing and introduces them to the people they need to know and helps them navigate the sometimes tricky world of advising student publications.”
  • Dan Loving, publications adviser at Maize High School, is the winner of the Sunflower Award, which recognizes a new adviser who shows enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program. KSPA established this award with the hope that it would encourage young advisers to remain in the profession. His editor-in-chief wrote, “Loving has advocated that he wants us to learn more from his classes than just academics. He has proven time and time again that he cares about each student as a person.”
  • Mary Anne McCloud, JEA mentor, who has “adopted” seven teacher/mentees this year.

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.

Kudos to Chris McDonald at A Room with a View for his masterful handling of the reservations for the Indianapolis convention.

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: There are currently 20 Louisiana members listed on the JEA website, which is up seven from the spring report.

Happenings: I was able to meet in the summer with the student media director for the LSU Manship School of Journalism, who is also the director for the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association. I thought it was a very productive meeting, but we still have a long way to go to building this relationship between JEA and LSPA.

The LSPA is “operationally” run by a doctoral student and there was a new one put in place this fall. Unfortunately they apparently did not know about JEA and scheduled their one-day fall conference the same week as the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis. I am working on rebuilding the relationship I had with the previous doctoral student. I will be attending the conference in Indy, so I will not be attending or bringing students to the LSPA Fall Conference.

I will be contacting other state directors at the fall convention to get their advice on how to proceed in growing the JEA’s presence in Louisiana.

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

C.E. Sikkenga, CJE
Michigan State Director
1010 Franklin Ave.
Grand Haven, Michigan 49417

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

Membership: Minnesota has 34 JEA members.

Key projects: Minnesota is going to make another attempt this year to pass our New Voices Act. Lori Keekley, Jeff Kocur and I have attended a fundraiser for our sponsoring State Representative Cheryl Youakim.

In addition to my work on JEA membership, my work on the NSPA board has also been focused on increasing membership in the Minnesota High School Press Association. At the recent October board meeting, I proposed a plan for an outreach workshop to be piloted in Minnesota for underserved schools, modeled on the JEA/NSPA proposal that was successful for Valerie Kibler and Sarah Nichols, with help from Lori Keekley. We will be doing a pilot workshop before the spring.

I have also continued my work on the board of judges and we will continue to revise the critique services to resolve any issues. The changes in scoring have been problematic. Also, I was part of a group of advisers who volunteered to test the new online consultation service offered as a part of NSPA’s critique services.

Events: The Minnesota State High School Press Convention took place Oct. 4 with keynote speaker Frank LoMonte. We had an attendance of 494. Thirty-four advisers were present. Awards announced at the state convention include Gold Medallions (individual awards sponsored by MHSPA), Best of Show (in yearbook, newspaper, online newspaper and literary magazine, also sponsored by MHSPA) and All-State (a JEM-sponsored competition that awards gold, silver or bronze recognition and provides a mini-critique).

Minnesota’s annual Arts Journalism Day at the Guthrie is in the planning stages. Students will tour the theater, discuss review writing with an arts critic from the Star Tribune and then view a matinee of a play (TBA). Winning reviews will be posted on the MHSPA and JEM websites.

Honors: The Minnesota journalism community is proud of Lori Keekley, MJE, who was named the Dow Jones News Fund Journalism Teacher of the year.

Anna Reid, of the Blake School in Minneapolis, was named the 2016 Journalism Adviser of the Year. She was honored at her school by NSPA Executive Director Laura Widmer and again at the high school convention on Oct. 4.

Some Minnesota students are finalists in NSPA’s national contests. I’m also proud to announce The Rubicon Online from St. Paul Academy as an Online Pacemaker winner this past year. Their adviser is Kathryn Campbell. The Echo is also a finalist for the upcoming Newspaper Pacemaker Award in Indianapolis. Lori Keekley is their adviser.

Our website is www.minnjournalism.org

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

Membership: There are 14 JEA members in Mississippi, which is up from previous years. 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 round of fall workshops. This year we added a Central MS workshop at Jackson State university, forging a new partnership in our state capital. We had 535 students between the three workshops, with plenty of room now for stable growth. In addition, we were the beneficiaries of the pilot JEA program that brought three nationally-recognized advisers to Lafayette County for three days of intensive training. The program culminated in a regional workshop with students from three states. The next event in Mississippi will be the MSPA State Convention on March 31.

Awards and honors: St. Joseph Catholic School adviser Terry Cassreino was named a Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser in September. This is a national honor, and all Mississippi advisers share in the joy of having one from our state. The bulk of our awards cycle happens in the spring, with presentations at the state convention.

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: The state of our union is strong.

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

State organization websites:





Membership: As of Oct. 22, there are 150 voting members from Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member).


Missouri Journalism Education Association

  • Sixty students from seven different high schools attended the High School Summit on Social Media and Politics at UMSL. Keynote Gabe Fleisher, John Burroughs freshman and editor of Wake Up to Politics, joined panelists to discuss the impact of social media on the current election. Panelists included Paul DeGregorio and students from Mizzou, Francis Howell North and Kirkwood High School.
  • MJEA wants to congratulate Travis Armknecht (Grand Center Arts Academy) and Michelle Kennedy (Grain Valley High School) who will be sponsored by MJEA to attend the JEA/NSPA National Journalism Convention Nov. 10-12 in Indianapolis.
  • MJEA Day @ SEMO sets an attendance record today with more than 500 students and advisers. Journalism is alive and well in Missouri.
  • MJEA member Kyle Carter hosted his third annual free journalism workshop yesterday at Richland High School. He taught visual storytelling to more than 40 Missouri high school students.
  • MJEA is excited to be partnering with St. Louis University for a Social Justice and Journalism summit at SLU Dec. 6.
  • MJEA is gearing up for the contest and award nominations including the Missouri All-State Journalism team and Missouri Journalism Honor Roll.

Missouri Interscholastic Press Assocation

  • Creating regional workshops with the first in September at ECC. The Journalism Summit shared speakers on a variety of journalistic topics with students from the eastern part of the state. The board is working on other regional workshops to come soon.
  • Launching a monthly photo contest.
  • Adding more rounds to the popular Challenges contests.
  • Produces a weekly email for members with classroom resources for journalism teachers.
  • Adding content and managing the www.SchoolJournalism.org website by teachers for teachers. More than two dozen lesson plans were recently added. Teachers can subscribe to a free newsletter and students can join a private Facebook group to share their ideas and meet journalism students from across the country.
  • MIPA will host J-Day at the University of Missouri Journalism School in April and recently received sponsorships to help provide monetary awards for our State Journalist of the Year and State Teacher of the Year recipients.

Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City

  • Held a fall social at Boulevard Brewery with over 25 advisers from across KC. Our first Adviser PLC night earlier this month brought 13 advisers together to share ideas on broadcast and other roundtable discussion.
  • The executive board provides adviser tips each week on the organization website.
  • Hosted a Critique Night: Week of Oct. 3 at St. Teresa’s Academy.
  • Will sponsor contests and a subsequent Awards Night: April 25 5:30-7 p.m. at KU Edwards Campus BEST Conference Center.


  • Journalism STL will hold its annual spring conference in March at Webster University.
  • Journalism STL held its first trivia night this fall.

Awards and honors:

  • Nancy Y. Smith, MJE,  is one of five journalism educators who will be honored Nov. 12 as Medal of Merit recipients at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis. Smith began teaching in 1986 at Belleville Township West High School, Belleville, Illinois. Now, at Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Missouri, she has spent her 30-year career contributing to scholastic journalism and working with high school journalism students and advisers. In addition to speaking at regional, state and national conventions and workshops, she has been the chairperson for JEA’s National Write-off Contest held twice a year at national conventions. Smith has guided the program during a transition to digital submission and judging.
  • Nancy is also being recognized by NSPA as one of  the eight 2016 Pioneer Award recipients. Nancy Y. Smith is in her 31st year of teaching journalism and advising student publications. For the past 24 years she has been at Lafayette High School, where she currently advises the award-winning lancerfeed.press website, Image newspaper and Legend yearbook. She has been the JEA National Contest Chair since 2010 and oversees the Write-off contests, the Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest and the National Journalism Quiz Bowl. She also serves as the Vice President for the Missouri Journalism Education Association. She was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Special Recognition Adviser in 2006 and Distinguished Adviser in 2014. In 2009 she was awarded a Special Recognition Adviser in the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year. In 2007, she was the Lafayette High School Teacher of the Year, Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Missouri Teacher of the Year.
  • Marci Piper, of Clayton High School, is also being recognized as one of the right 2016 Pioneer Award recipients. Marci Pieper has had a variety of educational leadership positions in her 30-year career as a teacher, technology director, assistant principal, creative consultant and publications adviser. Over the years, she has advised newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines, and even took a quick shot at video production. She currently advises the Clamo yearbook at Clayton High School in St. Louis after a brief hiatus as an administrator. She retired from administration in 2014. After three weeks of retirement her school called and asked if she would be interested in returning to advise the yearbook and co-teach a photojournalism course, and she jumped at the chance to go back to her passion. Her students’ publications have been awarded NSPA Pacemakers andCSPA Crowns, and her students have been frequent recipients of top honors in national photography competitions as well as NSPA Design of the Year, Jostens Photo of the Year and Design of the Year. She has been a frequent workshop speaker at national, state and local conferences in 32 states and Canada. She has been recognized with the following awards for her work in education: the CSPA Gold Key and Special Recognition adviser in the National Yearbook Teacher of the Year competition, Missouri Journalism Teacher of the Year, Missouri EDDY Award for Excellence in Education, Most Influential Teacher from UM Columbia, and Teacher of the Year at Francis Howell North High School.
  • Two Missouri educators who will be recognized as Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Adviser of the Year Competition Special Recognition Advisers. They are Cherié Burgett, Staley High School, Kansas City, Missouri and Jami Williams, Mexico (Missouri) High School.

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


  • 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.
  • MJEA has gained a highly motivated and action-orientated president. Beth Britton, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls.
  • Both Beth and JEA’s state director, Linda Ballew, continue to ask 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 continued to reach out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails, letters and requests to submit and participate in our fall meeting in Helena on Oct. 20. We have asked for input such as lessons and requests to be posted on mjeajournalism.com
  • We have also asked and continue to request 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.


  • 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. 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. This still needs to be refined for future state contests.


  • The Montana Journalism High School Day, coordinated by U of M journalism professors, has established a strong relationship and connection between public school advisers and the university. It also provided an opportunity to attend amazing workshops: Intermediate Video , The Best Investigative Reporting, Cell Phone Photojournalism, Writing for Print vs. Writing for Radio, Naming Names (Sexual Assault Victims and Gun Ownership Controversies), Emotion and Interaction in Photojournalism, Shield Laws and Whistleblowers, The Basics of Radio Reporting, Social Media and Sports, Television Breaking News, Student Press Law, Diversify Your Content, Taking your Design to the Next Level, Documentary Filmmaking, Investigations-Using Data and Documents to Hold Public Officials Accountable, Student Radio Tours.
  • The majority of contest entries and Journalism Day participants are still primarily from the larger AA school districts. MJEA president 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 the U of M’s campus. Because the U of M’s Journalism Action Committee had concentrated on this fall’s bicentennial celebration, their focus has not been on their collaboration with MJEA. We missed their interaction at our state convention in Missoula, but we look forward to another successful day at the University this spring as well as a larger contest participation.
  • Linda Ballew and Beth Britton have continued to send mailings to all Montana high schools attempting to locate journalism advisers through letters and information packets directed to administrators. She anticipates that JEA and MJEA membership information will be passed into the hands of current journalism advisers, so that they too can see the many benefits for both advisers and students by belonging to JEA and being involved in its activities.
  • MJEA has continued to develop a website to create better communication for Montana advisers. It has been slow getting the message out about the website, but we will continue to emphasize our multimedia focus to communicate with advisers.
  • We will continue to work closely with the University of Montana’s School of Journalism in establishing dual credit for high school journalists as well as establishing relationships and connections to the school for journalism students.
  • We will continue to explore the possible options for journalism advisers to obtain technology credit for their journalism students. The Office of Public Instructions is willing to look at alternative ways to give journalism advisers CTE endorsement. Jennifer Keintz will report on her success in working with OPI to obtain certification. This is especially slow moving because OPI does not seem to really want to open this up to any possible costs. Also, the Superintendent of Instruction is in transition as Denise Juneau has term-limited out of this position. We will have a much less experienced replacement.
  • U of M will again have a journalism professor attending and presenting workshops at the JEA Convention in Seattle in 2017.
  • Because of low attendance, MJEA will not dovetail with the MEA-MFT state teacher convention in Helena on Oct. 20-21, 2016.

However, a contingency of active and retired journalism advisers will present workshops.

  • Linda Ballew is working on presenting New Voices legislation in January 2017. Lee Banville, media professor from the University of Montana, has agreed to help write the legislation. Senator Mary Moe will propose the legislation. Three other representatives, both Democrat and Republican, have agreed to co-sponsor. Much more work and organization needs to occur. Ballew will discuss this at the MEA-MFT conference.
  • MJEA’s budget has diminished drastically.
  • Linda Ballew continues to work as JEA’s Montana Mentor with three mentees. However, MJEA was unable to afford to pay her $1,000 stipend to JEA. Fortunately, The Montana Newspaper Association board granted a $1,000 stipend for MJEA to continue this program.

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

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

Membership: JEA Membership in Nebraska is steady. Most advisers renew their membership with membership in the Nebraska High School Press Association (NHSPA) during fall registration. Numbers are not yet confirmed as registration is still being collected.

Happenings and recognition:  

  • The NHSPA Fall Convention was Oct. 17, 2016 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  Almost 700 students attended. The keynote speaker was Erin Grace of the Omaha World Herald. Cornhusker Awards from the 2016 school year publications were given to the highest critique ranking yearbooks, newspapers and broadcast and online programs.
  • Adviser Commendations: Diane Schieffer of Elkhorn High School was named the Nebraska Distinguished Adviser for 2016.  Mark Hilburn of Millard West High School was the 2015 Distinguished Adviser.  Christine Kaldahl of Millard South is stepping down after serving diligently as president of the NHSPA Board.  
  • The NHSPA Summer Journalism Workshop took place July 18-20, 2016 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln campus. Almost 100 students attended.  Session leaders were Scott Winter in Editorial Leadership, Jim Streisel in Newspaper Production, Laurie Hansen and Liz Keeling in Yearbook Production, Bruce Thorson and Brian Lehman in Photography, Duane Roberson in Journalistic Writing and Taylor Siebert of STRIVE TV in Broadcasting. We invite students from across the nation to join us next July in the Heartland. Camp directors were Diane Schieffer and Erin Cico-Konecky. For more information on scholarship opportunities, please contact nshpaworkshop@gmail.com
  • Mentoring: Retired adviser Bob Bair, MJE, mentored three new advisers during the 2015-16 school year: Dayle Trout Wisnieski (YB) and David Stevens (NP) from Scribner-Snyder and Samantha Koll from David City. He will continue with those three and start two more new advisers this month from Hastings: Belle Williams and Elizabeth Sorgenfrei.
  • Upcoming events: Nebraska Student Freedom of Expression is again coming before the unicameral. Efforts have been spearheaded by Michael D. Kennedy Executive Director of Nebraska Collegiate Media Association. The NHSPA voted unanimously to support the New Voices Legislation 2017.
  • JEA Nebraska will be sponsoring a Winter Contest over the winter break. Thanks in advance to all JEA friends who help judge entries. Proceeds go to the SPLC.
  • Nebraska will be represented at Indianapolis with at least five schools. We are excited to see that the keynote speaker has some ties to Nebraska. Grateful for the local team making everything possible.

For the board: Thanks for all you do for all of us!

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

Membership: Membership has increased by four to a total of 28 members. Positive communication from members to other schools/advisers in their area about the benefits of being a member and the addition of the curriculum maps to the JEA Curriculum have assisted in the increase. By this time next year, it is a goal for Nevada to have 35 members.

New Voices Nevada: JEA members Christy Briggs and Casandra Workman have been corresponding with Assistant Professor of Media Law Patrick File to start the groundwork for a New Voices law in Nevada. Workman has been recruiting journalism students who have been censored in their publications to provide the student voice and perspective, as well as identifying opportunities for supporters for scholastic press freedom to speak at schools and journalism-related events. File is also assisting in outreach for potential sponsors of a bill.

Happenings: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists is looking to implement a new model for their annual J-Day. Attendance has been low, due to the lack of funding to offset the costs of substitutes and conference space. An attempt is being made to plan for an event on a school day and use conference fees to cover the cost of the substitutes. The SNSJ is also hoping that a partnership with the UNLV Rebel Yell will yield a discounted rate for conference space. Moving the event to a school day will hopefully increase participation and interest in the event.

For the board: If it has not already been created, a letter from the Journalist of the Year committee that could be provided to our regional judges that outline the national judging process would be great, including how they analyze yearbooks as scholastic journalism. We want to continue using the national contest rubrics, but would also like the regional judges to know how the publications will be assessed further into the process.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE

New Jersey State Director
Cherry Hill High School East
1750 Kresson Rd.
Cherry Hill NJ 08003

Membership: Membership has increased by three. Thanks to offering a CJE certification test at our spring advisers’ conference, we now have seven new CJEs in New Jersey, which ultimately doubles the number of CJEs in our state.

Events: The Garden State Scholastic Press Association held its annual Fall Conference Oct. 24 at the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers New Brunswick. Nearly 1,000 students attended to take part in a Twitter contest, on-site writing contest, roundtable discussions and many sessions. Our yearbook keynote, Michael Simons, stayed all day to work with yearbook students. Our newspaper keynote, Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael Vitez, delivered an uplifting message about how to develop stories from the heart. Newspaper contest winners – for all published and online work in the previous school year – were announced this day as well. The Student Chapter of GSSPA, now in its second year, also ran sessions to increase membership and awareness. Working with Frank LoMonte, the group created a video to discuss student press rights and show the dangers of censorship.

Nina Quintana
New Mexico State Director
Bernalillo High School
148 Spartan Alley
Bernalillo, NM 87004

Membership: The current New Mexico membership 12. I have been contacted by Rebecca Zimmerman, who is the president for the NMSPA, who informed me that she had paid her dues for a lifetime membership; however, I did not receive her name on the contact list, so I will be looking into that.

At the Jostens local yearbook conference on Aug.30 I was given an opportunity to speak to advisers about the benefits of JEA and made contact with 11 advisers who were highly interested in JEA. I will continue to reach out to New Mexico journalism advisers to increase New Mexico membership.

Happenings: I have been meeting with the NMSPA to assist with planning the state conference that will be hosted on Jan. 28, 2017. Efforts are being made to update current contests and develop an on-site broadcast competition.

Concerns have been expressed about the lack of schools competing which may negatively affect our current NMAA standing. As I have been meeting with journalism advisers to increase JEA membership, I have also been encouraging advisers to participate in this year’s on-site competitions.

Awards and honors: Nina Quintana received National Board Certification in CTE/Early Adolescence through Young Adult.

First Amendment issues: As I have been meeting with advisers, two major concerns have come up. First, there has been a trend in schools cutting programs, moving them to a club activity and/or after school program. The number of students enrolling in student newspaper has decreased since the state took away the communications credit and changed to an elective credit. Additionally, programs are not receiving funding to support printing and/or to revamp their programs to meet a more modern newsroom.

The second area of concern is the lack of publications policies in school districts and the challenges of trying to get publications policies adopted by school districts. For example, I tried to submit a policy from the NSPA to be read by our school board for adoption. I was not put on the agenda and received an email from the superintendent with a document from the school’s lawyer stating that what I proposed was not necessary and sent a policy that spoke more about student council than student publications. After speaking with individuals from other school districts we noticed the same trend with journalism advisers appealing to school districts to adopt publications policies and receiving similar policies that do not truly address student publications.

Conversation is in the works to add our state to the New Voices movement to change the mindset about student journalism and the positive impact these programs have on developing students into active, free thinking and well informed members of society that should have a voice.

For the board: To offset funding issues, I am opening dialogue with advisers to move them in the direction of certifying for CTE. This will provide them with Carl Perkins funding for professional development and funding to purchase technology to develop their programs. This will also assist those schools that are currently cutting journalism programs to revitalize these programs to enhance student learning.

Some issues that I am facing with this career pathway are how to get school districts to agree on what constitutes a certified journalism educator in order to be considered a CTE teacher. What I am focusing on is the CJE and MJE certifications that JEA offers as a qualifying credential to meet this criteria. Those individuals that came to education from the field of journalism also need certification in the eyes of school districts in order to be labeled as a CTE teacher. My plan is to establish and unify what this should look like no matter which school district you are working in; if PED (Public Education Department) can allocate federal dollars through Carl Perkins based on set criteria, it should hold true across the state.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership total for North Carolina is 76, up 11 from last fall. Advisers currently may join/renew JEA through a joint membership opportunity with North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association.

Events: As the N.C. Scholastic Media Association concludes a calendar year of celebrating its 75th anniversary, we encourage everyone to visit ncsma75.unc.edu to learn more about the history and future of our state’s high school press association. As part of the celebration, we recorded the history of the organization in a beautifully designed booklet produced by current and former NCSMA students, student officers and student assistants. We curated and produced a four-case display in the UNC-Chapel Hill Special Collections Library. We launched a fundraising campaign, and we celebrated the people who continue to make the organization possible with a board dinner and adviser luncheon. The dedication page of our anniversary booklet declared our intent and mission for our next 75 years: “For, from and by students. May we always hear, heed and allow their voices.”

Our Mountains to Coast fall regional workshops concluded Oct. 25 with a terrific event at East Carolina University featuring keynote speaker Bob Gorrell, editorial cartoonist who taught one of the breakout sessions on political cartoons and the election season. Our four workshops are co-hosted with news outlets and universities across our state. They offer low-cost workshops for students who may not otherwise attend a scholastic journalism event. Registration fee of $15 includes lunch.

Queen of Katwe author Tim Crothers continues to offer top-notch sports journalism instruction to students who participate in the Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, which just marked its fifth camp. Forty students from across the country take a behind-the-scenes sports media tour, interview a Tar Heel athlete, attend a UNC-CH sports writing class and learn sports play-by-play. The 2017 dates are June 28-July 1.

The 2016 summer N.C. Scholastic Media Institute provided four days of intense instruction in yearbook, news, broadcast news, online news, literary magazine, design, advising and photojournalism for students and teachers from across the state.  The 2017 dates are June 19-22. We will launch a Creativity Camp as part of the Institute in summer 2017.

Each summer NCSMA offers graduate-level courses in the School of Media and Journalism specifically for high school journalism teachers. Funding for tuition and lodging is available to N.C. high school journalism teachers through NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program. The summer 2016 course, “Teaching Interactive Media in the Secondary School,” was offered July 10-16. The summer 2017 course will be “Teaching Design in the Secondary School.”

North Carolina’s High School Journalist of the Year now receives a $3,000 scholarship, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Scholarship, funded by the N.C. Press Foundation. The tradition of providing funds to each winner’s journalism program continues. The statewide winner’s journalism program receives $500. The scholarship program now awards three scholarships to three alternates. Each will receive $1,000. Each student’s journalism program will receive $250.

Awards: Congratulations to North Carolina’s three winners of the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award: Adrienne Hollifield, recently retired from Charles D. Owen High School; Beth Lail, recently retired from Statesville High School; and Robin Sawyer, recently retired from First Flight High School.

Congratulations to Mark Harrison of TC Roberson high for being named a Special Recognition Adviser by the Dow Jones News Fund.

For the board: We remain concerned about the redistribution of regions into three districts with one having a disproportionate number of states. Doing so might hamper the outreach efforts of a national organization. Please reconsider this lack of representation for those of us in the Northeast and Southeast.

Regarding diversity and outreach efforts, we ask that JEA/NSPA consider focused outreach and diversity efforts on states without state scholastic organizations or work in concert with state scholastic association directors in states that do have such organizations and outreach efforts. In North Carolina, we would like to have the opportunity to talk with JEA/NSPA leaders regarding the possibility of welcoming to one of our regional workshops a JEA/NSPA speaker whose travel and lodging might be funded by the two organizations, for example.

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 increased as a result. We were very pleased with this approach and will use it for the 2017 scholarship competition.

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

Membership: JEA has 15 memberw as of Oct. 20.

  1. Sue Skalicky, Legacy High School
  2. Annie McKenzie, Bismarck High School
  3. Jeremy Murphy, West Fargo High School
  4. Keith Henderson, Bismarck High School
  5. Angie Babcock, Jostens
  6. Hannah Sagasar, Mandan High School
  7. Mary Van, Century High School
  8. Stephanie Cwikla, West Fargo Sheyenne High School
  9. Jackie Bullinger,  Bottineau High School
  10. Lara Prozinski, Devil’s Lake High School
  11. Shawnta Wilson, Williston High School
  12. Stephanie Livingston, Fargo North High School
  13. Ashley Cournia, Shanley High School
  14. Steven Listopad, Valley City State University
  15. Timothy Keckler, Northern Cass School

Our membership continues to grow as new and veteran advisers across the state seek more information about the John Wall New Voices Act and what it means for them and their students. The JEA Curriculum Initiative still stands as the favorite JEA benefit for new members.

Happenings: Advisers and students from Bismarck High School and Legacy High School attended the North Dakota Newspaper Association Witham Symposium at University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, Oct. 13-15. UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics professor Penelope Abernathy, author of “Saving Community Journalism,” was the keynote speaker for the event.

During this event, stakeholders in scholastic journalism in North Dakota held a separate meeting to discuss the formation of a joint college/high school state press association. This meeting was the culmination of over a year of discussions and brainstorming. In a three-hour period, after nominating and electing the majority of an executive board, we discussed, edited, revised and approved the North Dakota Student Media Association’s constitution and bylaws. The constitution calls for a plan for electing a general assembly, an executive board and officers. Cori Aukland from Valley City State University will serve as interim president and Carter Scott from Legacy High School will serve as interim vice president. Sarah Cavanah, Assistant Professor of Journalism at UND, will serve as interim treasurer and Sue Skalicky from Legacy High School will serve as interim secretary. Daniel Ahrens the Hazen Star editor in Hazen, ND, and Brian Swanberg from Legacy High School will serve as interim board members. High school and college advisers/teachers are also eligible to run for the executive board and offices. Nine positions are available on the board.

The plan is to seek a collaborative relationship with NDNA as well as pursue relationships with other professional organizations. Should the potential collaboration with NDNA come to fruition, NDMSA membership could hold conference events in conjunction with college and professional media. If this happens, we will all be able to more effectively and efficiently obtain speakers and facilities. High school members will be able to interact with college media students, teachers and professors from colleges and universities, as well as professional media staff. NDSMA is currently creating a proposal to take to NDNA with these arrangements included. This is an exciting opportunity for our current high school Northern Interscholastic Press Association to expand in a healthy way, and also may provide solutions to some of the administration and logistics issues NIPA is currently experiencing.

Sue Skalicky and Steve Listopad will be attending the State Legislation Protecting Student Press Freedom: New Voices on the Move symposium at Kent State University, Nov. 18.

Awards and honors: Steve Listopad from Valley City State University was named 2016 JEA Friend of Scholastic Journalism. Sue Skalicky from Legacy High School was awarded 2016 JEA Medal of Merit.

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 68 members.

Awards and honors: Susan Gregory was named a JEA Medal of Merit recipient. Cynthia Crothers-Hyatt was named Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year.

Happenings: The Pennsylvania School Press Association is hosting its third annual Student Journalism Competitions at regional venues around the state this fall. The finals will be held in State College in the spring.

Avonworth High School’s student news organization, The Avonews, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The staff is borrowing layout and print ideas ranging back to the 1940s, thanks to former adviser Tom Steiner creating physical archives of issues dating back to 1925.  

On Nov. 3, the Panther Press at Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School will host paralympic gold medalist Shawn Morelli for a celebration day at the school that will include a press conference during journalism class. Morelli is a 1994 graduate of Saegertown. Bailey Kozalla, who is a junior and sports editor of The Panther Press, reached out to Shawn and is organizing the events for the day. She will also be inviting other media outlets.

The Twitter feed @PantherPressSHS continues to gain followers. The social media feed is now at 689, and the local newspaper, The Meadville Tribune, retweets for live updates during sports events.

Souderton TV teacher Richard Curtis was selected to co-host Live! With Kelly on Oct.  21.

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

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 24 members, up one member from this time last year.

Happenings: The SCSPA fall conference took place Oct. 3 at the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Student Union with 571 advisers and students in attendance.

This summer, the Scholastic Media Organizations added a full-time assistant to the office. Justin Brouckaert, a recent MFA graduate from the University of South Carolina, joined the SCSPA and SIPA as scholastic media assistant and coordinates office duties, helps plan conventions and conferences and communicates with the organizations’ members.

Awards: The 2016 Bruce E. Konkle Rising Star is Shawntell Pace, a broadcast adviser at Wando H.S. in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

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

The 2016 South Dakota high school press convention in April doubled attendance from the prior year to over 200 students. A particularly popular session was an on-the-spot contest for student teams to come up with a social media game plan for their homecoming coverage in the fall. Other sessions focused on photography and brainstorming story ideas.

Students attending the high school summer camp hosted at South Dakota State University honed their interviewing, broadcast, photography, social media and multimedia skills.

This fall, schools across South Dakota are competing in a homecoming contest with certificates for best homecoming story, best homecoming video and best homecoming photo.

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

This is an exciting time for Tennessee Journalism. Our JEA membership has increased by 13 percent, and we have a state mentor!

Membership: We have 47 members.

Mentoring: Joy McCaleb, formerly a teacher at Upperman High School in Tennessee, is a mentor to Beth Bivins from Centennial High School and Renee Craig from Upperman High School. For more information on Joy please see an article here.

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association’s Fall Workshop took place Sept. 14, and about 450 students from across the state attended. WKRN-TV’s Bob Mueller was the keynote speaker. More information about Mueller is available here, and his keynote speech is online here.

At this workshop two new sessions were offered. First, we introduced a “Shoot-Off” to parallel our “Write-Offs” that were introduced a few years ago. Students competed by taking pictures of the keynote speaker and then submitted those photos to be judged. We also introduced a panel for best practices and tips for three different categories: Yearbook, Newspaper and Literary Magazine/Broadcasting. The panel consisted of former recipients of THSPA’s Bonnie Hufford Adviser of the Year award.

Videos of these panels can be found here:

Awards: At the THSPA Fall Workshop, the following students received recognition for either Write-Off or Shoot-Off competitions.

  • Feature Write-Off: 1st place, Elaina Joy Sanders, Christ Presbyterian Academy; 2nd place, Lily Thomas, Christ Presbyterian Acaemy; 3rd place, Greta Linsley, Jefferson County High School
  • Sports Write-Off: 1st place, Katherine Adams, Christ Presbyterian Academy; Camille Klausner, Christ Presbyterian Academy; 3rd place, Charlie Collier, Centennial High School
  • Shoot-Off: 1st place, Tres Lawless, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School

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

We are fresh off our state convention held in San Antonio, Oct. 15-17. Nearly 100 schools were represented, and almost 1,000 registered students and teachers students attended the convention, making it one of the biggest since these conventions began in 1980. We are happy to see so many students involved in journalism in our great state.

Speaking of GREAT, the next fall JEA/NSPA convention will be held in Dallas, where we plan to “GO BIG” for four days, Nov. 16-19, 2017. Look for our “BIG” announcement at the closing ceremonies of the Indianapolis convention. We hope you will join us next fall for the convention.

The Texas Association of Journalism Educators held its annual awards luncheon at the TAJE Fall Fiesta Fall Convention and gave out three sets of annual awards and one special award.

Trailblazers are advisers who are awarded in appreciation of their efforts to expand the scope and capability of Texas scholastic journalism. The winners of this prestigious Texas award were Laura Smith from Canyon High School in Canyon, and 
Stacy Short, who teaches at Argyle High School in Argyle.

Pathfinders are advisers who have less than eight years experience and help students achieve excellence and continually work to improve scholastic journalism as it is now and in the future. This year’s winners were Katie Frazier from Seven Lakes Junior High in Katy 
and Allison Boerger, who teaches at Roosevelt High School, San Antonio.

TAJE also gave out a pair of Friend of Journalism awards. They went to Mary and Del Pulliam, hosts of the Gloria Shields summer and fall workshops, and 
Selwyn Crawford from the Dallas Morning News.

Finally, the TAJE board voted to create a new award called the Texas Treasure, which will recognize individuals for outstanding service and dedication to the teachers and students of scholastic journalism in Texas. The first recipient of this award was longtime TAJE convention director Pat Gathright, who retired from the position in October. See below for more information on Gathright.

We also want to give a big shout-out to the following awards winners from various competitions held since our last report:

Student awards at the TAJE Fall Fiesta convention are posted here.

The 13 Texas schools named as Crown Finalists by Columbia Scholastic Press Association:

The 10 CSPA Crown winners in the Magazine category:

Texas had 69 students win Gold Circles from CSPA for individual work in the Newspaper category, and another 22 Gold Circle winners in the Magazine category.

In addition the NSPA Newspaper and Broadcast Pacemaker nominees were announced since my last report. Texas had six schools named finalists in the Newspaper category, and three in Broadcast. Winners will be announced in Indianapolis.

We want to give a big congratulations to one young lady from St. John Paul II Catholic School in Houston for winning runner-up for the JEA Aspiring Young Journalist award. Madeline Bogard received this award earlier this year.

In other state news, TAJE announced changes in two important positions. Both the Executive Director and Convention Director slots were filled since the summer break.

Former Westlake High School yearbook adviser Cindy Todd will replace the retiring Rhonda Moore, who most recently advised student media at McCallum High School in Austin for 15 years. Moore has been the Executive Director for TAJE for the past 21 years and will retire in May.

The Executive Director serves as the face of TAJE and is typically the person advisers go to with questions about TAJE and their activities, so this person should have knowledge of the journalism programs in Texas and the current issues facing them and be a voice to support Texas educators and help promote scholastic journalism education.

“I’ve never known TAJE without Rhonda, and she has been such an integral part of the organization, that I can’t imagine TAJE without her, either,” TAJE board president Charla Harris said. “She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help TAJE grow and develop into what it is today. I know everyone in the scholastic journalism community in Texas appreciates and values what she’s done for all of us.”

The full story can be found here.

TAJE also replaced another retiree, Gathright, who taught last at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, as she steps down as TAJE Fall Fiesta Convention Director. Gathright has been the convention director for 22 years and was TAJE president in the early 1980s. Susan Duncan, MJE, will move into that position. Duncan brings a wealth of experience to the position, which includes 29 years as a publication adviser in Texas.

The convention director scouts for hotels for the convention and takes care of all matters relating to the hotel — signing the contract, negotiating room rates, making sure there is enough space for our needs, working with the hotel people to make sure rooms are set up the way we need them at various times, making sure we have AV where needed, etc. In addition, she/he creates the program, which includes making sure we have speakers for every spot.

“To me, Pat is TAJE. She is the link to our past, but she is always looking for ways to improve the organization for the future,” Moore said. “I’m convinced there isn’t a problem Pat can’t solve.”

The full story can be found here.

Finally, we want to recognize Moore for being named one of the 10 winners of the Lifetime Achievement award from JEA this year. She will be honored at the convention in Indianapolis. This award is given to retirees for their lifetime dedication to journalism education. Here is the press release about this year’s recipients.

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

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

Membership: Vermont has four JEA members.

Update on New Voices legislation: At the Los Angeles convention in 2016, I attended a New Voices workshop presented by Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center. New Voices is a project of the SPLC to help students attain legal protection for student journalists’ First Amendment rights. Speaking with him after the workshop, I learned of a nascent effort underway in Burlington, Vermont, to build student support for introducing a bill in the next Vermont legislative session, January 2017. I have contacted the people leading this effort and have volunteered to help.

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

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

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association currently has 78 paid members. National JEA membership in Washington State is 82, which is up since the last report.

Events: The organization held its summer workshop at Western Washington University this past July with Lori Keekley as the expert-in-residence. Students and advisers spent four days on the campus of Western learning about everything from photojournalism, beginning and advanced reporting, media data collection and management, not to mention graphic design and page layout. The students in the graphic design, advanced InDesign and advanced writing also worked together on maestro projects.

This September, the organization also hosted Western Washington J-Day on the University of Washington campus in Seattle Sept. 15. Around 515 students and advisers attended.

Eastern Washington J-Day is scheduled for Oct. 31 at Whitworth University with keynote speaker Stephen Thompson.

Finally, the organization hosted a three-day Adobe training this past August at Cleveland High School in Seattle with two days of instruction around Adobe Illustrator and one day of InDesign/Photoshop training.

New Voices Washington: The New Voices legislation is currently seeking endorsements from various groups, such as the Washington Education Association and the Washington News Publishers Association. Unlike past efforts, legislative support for the bill is bipartisan this time. More than 100 students remained after Sen. Fain’s Journalism Day keynote to learn more about the legislative effort. Washington’s legislature convenes in January 2017.

Initiatives and vision: The Washington Journalism Education Association established several initiatives and visions at its annual retreat this past June. The goals of the organization for 2016-2017 are to increase membership and involvement, increasing communication offerings to include all media, establishing a Student Leadership Board and potentially a college component, increasing outreach to other journalism organizations (in particular colleges), increasing the recognition programs for members and students as well as passing New Voices legislation.

In that same vein, the organization is unveiling a new logo design and tagline: Where Media Connects.

Dave Riggs (Wenatchee High School) continues to work with his Outreach committee to identify advisers around the state who are not involved in both the state organization as well as the national organization. Part of this summer was spent researching districts in the state and identifying who advises their publications (yearbook, newspaper, literary magazine, broadcast).

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 continues to ramp up their work with the identification of potential keynoters as well as a long list of featured speakers and other opportunities.

Awards: The Dow Jones News Fund recognized two Washington advisers this past fall. Dave Riggs (Wenatchee High School) was recognized as a Distinguished Adviser designation and Teresa Scribner (Cleveland High School) was recognized as a Special Recognition Adviser.

Mentors: Kay Locey and Joy Lessard continue to be involved in the mentor program, each of them 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: While there were no reports of First Amendment issues, several schools are noticing that districts are becoming warier of the information that goes out online. This could potentially impact the journalism programs in those districts through the online components.

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

Postcards were mailed to every high school and middle school in the state in an effort to build the community. Twitter and Facebook accounts were created (@JEAinWV) to help foster communication among advisers. A group based in the state-wide Office365 system also was created. Two new members have joined, and the hope is with multiple improved communication channels growth will continue.

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

I continue to serve on the KEMPA board as secretary.

I taught advisers for NEWSPA on Aug. 10, presenting three sessions on multimedia, print to web transition and social media.

I will be attending the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis in November.

Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA) News: The KEMPA Fall Scholastic Journalism Conference hosted more than 1,100 students and advisers at more than 80 sessions, including a Skype interview with Catherine Kuhlmeier Frey about the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court case. View contest results and more KEMPA-related information here.

KEMPA’s annual Winter Advisers Seminar will take place in Lake Geneva with Sarah Nichols, MJE, keynoting. The theme will be “Much Ado About Advising,” with Sarah presenting sessions on skills for all advisers. The seminar will take place March 3-4, 2017 at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin, with meals included.

We are so proud to have three JEA mentors working with 14 new advisers this year, primarily in the southern part of the state. The program is financially supported by KEMPA and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation.

NEWSPA news: Reduced rates for NEWSPA membership, which includes high school yearbooks, newspapers/magazines and websites, is $55 through Nov. 30. Download the membership form here. After Nov. 30, the price increases to $65.

The NEWSPA annual conference will take place April 26, 2017 at Gruenhagen Conference Center and the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center at UW Oshkosh. To register or learn more, visit the website.

The deadline for our annual newspaper and website contest is March 6, 2017. More information is available here.

For this year only, thanks to a collaboration with the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Pulitzer Prizes Board, NEWSPA is offering a special “In the Pulitzer Tradition” writing contest and offering $1,000 in cash prizes. Articles must be published in student newspapers, magazines or websites between May 1, 2016 and Feb. 28, 2017. The deadline for entries is March 6, 2017. For more information, including a curriculum guide to support the competition, visit this page. These contests are open to NEWSPA members only.

Lastly, a one-day adviser workshop will again be offered, likely in August. Information on that will be posted on the NEWSPA website as it becomes available.

Update on New Voices legislation: In anticipation of the next session of the Wisconsin legislature, advisers are working with Rep. Chris Taylor, who is gathering support from other legislators while the state legislative office drafts the Wisconsin New Voices legislation. Our proposal includes protection for public school and charter school students as well as students at all institutions of higher education, including private, technical and two-year colleges. We also want protection for school districts and for advisers. The bill will go to committee in January. 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

Events: The organization held its annual conference on Oct. 3.  Around 150 students and advisers attended. The keynote speaker for the event was Ron Franscell, an award-winning journalist and true crime writer. University of Wyoming, Northwest Community, Central Wyoming College, Laramie County Community College, The Wyoming Press Association and Herff-Jones Publishing provided a variety of presenters for the event.

Initiatives and vision: LCCC offered its campus for the 2017 conference. Advisers in attendance voted to make the move from Casper to Cheyenne, as an opportunity to expand the opportunities for Wyoming students to participate in a hands-on environment. Jake Sherlock from LCCC will work with the board to plan and promote next year’s event.

With a new venue, the board is also working on improving its new website and providing an all-digital format for journalism programs to submit most materials.

Mentors: Katherine Patrick and Mike Riley continue to be involved in the mentor program, each of them working with mentees across the state, as well as in neighboring states and other countries.

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