Spring 2017 Semiannual report

Spring 2017 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

Not many folks have the opportunity to write a final report for the Journalism Education Association twice. I’m honored to have the opportunity to do so. When I agreed to serve as the interim executive director, I knew the responsibilities of this year might be even more important and daunting than those of the 21 years I served as executive director. The number one priority was to find a permanent executive director who would preserve the history and tradition of the organization while also preparing us to lead the way in scholastic journalism education for the future. In Kelly Glasscock we found the right person. Check.

The second responsibility was to conduct an election process that would run smoothly and give every voting member a chance to cast their ballot for the future of JEA. Check. Although only 30 percent of our voting members (848 of 2,529) cast ballots, reminders to vote were sent at least four times until a vote was cast. Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, made certain members had information easily available for both the main ballot and the run-off for the Director-at-large (West) vote. Everyone had ample information and opportunity to vote. K-State’s Curtis Matthews made certain Qualtrics worked for everyone.

A third responsibility was to ensure the organization was on a strong financial footing with a proposed budget reflecting the goals of the organization. What a thrill it was to hear the board discussion on the budget — what things we could fund, what things we should fund and ultimately what things we would fund to support the organization’s mission. The members of the board are the most fiscally conscientious group of people I have ever worked with.

Other observations:

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,471 as of March 10. That’s down five from the same time last year. Total membership is at 99 percent of where it was last spring, so we are holding our own although we need to be aware of membership challenges and continue to create programs which answer the needs of our members and make belonging to JEA a must-have item. California has the largest membership at 280 followed by Texas with 255. We continue to have members in every state and 24 members outside the United States.


• Nov. 10-13 – JEA/NSPA Convention in Indianapolis
• Jan. 20-22 – JEA board budget meeting
• Jan. 27-29 – Seattle month out meeting
• Feb. 6 – ballots emailed to all voting members
• Feb. 7-10 Executive Director candidate visits
• March 2 – run-off ballot emailed to all voting members
• March 15-17 CSPA convention
• April 6-9 JEA/NSPA Seattle

Additional info: As of March 8, 2017 our expenses exceed our income by $69,000. We remain on sound financial footing and should recoup the deficit by end of the fiscal year.

Special thank you shoutouts to Mark Newton, MJE, whose compassion and patience is way off the charts. I respect you so much for all you have taught me; to Sarah Nichols, MJE, whose energy, vision and wisdom is inspirational and maybe superhuman; to the rest of the board for caring so much about the organization and taking your roles on the board so seriously; and to the JEA office staff, Connie, Pam, Lisa and Kate, for helping/guiding me during this transition period. You are amazing ladies and my sisters and friends.

Thanks again for this amazing opportunity to serve an organization I feel so passionate about.

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

This is my final report ever for the Journalism Education Association. Wow! It is important for me to note that every single one of my reports has included a statement about how much respect I have for our executive director and headquarters staff. This one is no different. Interim Executive Director Linda Puntney, MJE, and the office staff — Connie Fulkerson, Pam Boller, Lisa Terhaar and Kate Dubiel — absolutely 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. Linda, Connie, Pam, Lisa and Kate: Thank you!

Please take a few moments to review the notes from our Indianapolis meeting last November and the subsequent motions and results.

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

  • Attending a JEA board work session in January at JEA Headquarters to prepare the 2017-18 budget.
  • Participating in interviewing four executive director candidates and recommending to Kansas State University officials that they hire Kelly Glasscock as an instructor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications and as our executive director. I am so pleased they did.
  • Supporting and guiding all the JEA leaders, particularly president-elect Sarah Nichols, MJE, as she transitions our organization to a new board and new director.
  • Continuing to spend a significant amount of time working on all kinds of JEA programs and initiatives, addressing challenges and working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done prior to May 1, 2017.

Most notably, I continue to focus on outreach to professional and sister organizations, networking and trying to enhance current partnerships and find additional viable relationships that will enhance our mission, goals and support our members with valuable experiences. For example, I wrote letters to all of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the 21st Century Skills Caucus advocating for journalism and media in public schools. I also asked all the state directors in each state with a member in the caucus to do the same, as well as lead a state-wide effort to contact their representative.

Please take a moment to review the agenda for our spring board of directors and general membership meetings in Seattle. 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.

So many people make JEA great — and I can’t thank them all enough. But in my last report, I want to single out a few who have been especially important to me as a president and as a person.

Past president Jack Kennedy, MJE, gets my thanks for always listening and providing me guidance and support. Thanks, my brother.

I owe nearly all of our successes during my tenure to Kelly Furnas, CJE. He was an outstanding leader— smart, caring and driven. Most importantly, he is a good man and great friend. Meet you at the coffee shop, my friend.

I certainly owe much thanks to all the JEA leaders I have worked with over my two terms and 20+ years of service. I have channeled all of them many times during my presidency. Thank you to all, particularly past presidents Candace Bowen, MJE; H.L. Hall, MJE; Ann Visser, MJE, and Jack. I never, ever wanted to let down your legacy. I hope that is what happened.

I especially want to thank current Educational Initiatives Director Dr. Megan Fromm, MJE, my former student back in the day at Grand Junction High School and former editor of The Orange & Black. It’s been a true joy to work with Megan as a member of the board of directors. I appreciate her in so many ways, most notably as my good, good, good friend — and confidant. Megan, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Finally, I want to thank each of you, our members. We did some heavy lifting over the past six years. I am proud of where this organization is and where it will be on April 30. Positive outcomes came from every decision. Every step of the way, you, your students and your programs were at the core of those decisions. You demanded a robust organization that delivered a wide range of programming to help you become the best journalism teachers and media advisers possible. So, thank you for being demanding, asking questions, listening, volunteering and working together to create not only the largest scholastic journalism organization, but the best.

And, it’s about to get better — much, much better. I’m excited about the newly elected board and I am 100 percent confident Sarah will move JEA forward — at light speed. No president is as prepared as Sarah is, and few leaders are as engaged, intelligent, driven and caring. Sarah, her team and Kelly Glasscock will be exceptional — and, consequently, our organization will be. I have nothing but confidence in all of them. Best wishes.

It has truly been an honor to serve JEA. Thank you for the opportunity.


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

It is bittersweet for me to write this report, as it marks the end of a term involving service and leadership from several of my biggest mentors as a journalism educator and leader. I have never been part of a JEA meeting, project, initiative or gathering that didn’t involve some combination of Mark, John and/or Candace. They are some of my heroes, and it is sinking in only slowly that April 6 will be our final board meeting together. I know they are lifelong JEA supporters who will not simply disappear, but I wanted to mention specifically how much I appreciate them, how much I have learned from them and how much I look up to them.

At the same time, I am incredibly honored, humbled and excited to know that what awaits is an incredible team of JEA leaders (some continuing great work and a long tenure of service to JEA, others new to our team), plenty of important efforts to continue and a growing list of questions, ideas and possibilities to explore.

I would like to give a special shoutout to our state directors. They are truly the heart of JEA, often working behind the scenes or without much fanfare to support our members on a daily basis. It has been an honor working with them for the past almost-six years, and I am so proud of their efforts. Knowing what a great job Valerie Kibler, CJE, did for the past five years as Virginia’s director is just one of many reasons I know our directors are in good hands for the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on this team and collaborate with such amazing people.

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

  • Serving on the search committee with Kansas State University and JEA representatives to hire a permanent executive director. I mention this first because it was absolutely the most important (challenging, humbling, time-consuming and rewarding) aspect of my JEA involvement during the past six months. The experience culminated in a visit to K-State for final interviews, meetings and deliberation Feb. 6-11. We had four incredibly talented and qualified candidates, and the process confirmed that every level of individual connected to our organization — from staff member to university partner to elected officer to volunteer leader and more — wants what’s best for JEA. I am so pleased with our selection of Kelly Glasscock as the next executive director, and I look forward to working with him. In fact, we’ve already begun! We are so lucky to have his expertise, vision, enthusiasm and dedication to teachers, students and scholastic journalism education.
  • Attending the board budget planning meeting Jan. 19-21 at JEA Headquarters to help craft the 2017-18 budget. The meeting also provided opportunities to visit with Dr. Jean Folkerts, interim dean of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and with our headquarters staff. I am grateful we have their support. The weekend also reinforced how lucky we are to have Linda Puntney, MJE, as our interim director and as our biggest advocate. I have learned much from Linda in a short time and continue to be inspired by her positive energy and can-do attitude.
  • Appointing new state directors in Maryland, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia. We are lucky to have Jessica Nassau, Jeremy Murphy, Susan Smith and Erinn Harris as the latest additions to our team.
  • Maintaining JEA’s social media presence on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
  • Working with 10 curriculum leaders on the JEA Curriculum Initiative. This included personal meetings and conference calls to complete the term (Dec. 31, 2016) and gather feedback for possible restructuring. Each leader offered valuable feedback about the initiative’s structure, production cycle, stipend, promotion and expectations. Afterward, I met with Linda and Mark to gather their feedback as well. The result of those meetings and a great deal of consideration is a Curriculum Initiative update, which I shared with members via JEAHELP and on the website in March. The curriculum leader application is open now, and we are seeking applications until April 15. The next set of curriculum leaders will be announced April 30 for a term to begin May 1. I’m especially appreciative of Megan Fromm, MJE, who helped me think through the process and who will be overseeing curriculum as part of her Educational Initiatives role for the next three years.
  • Continuing outreach and PLC efforts with Marisa Atkinson, CJE, and her students at Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss. as follow-up from the JEA/NSPA Partner Project. In addition to conducting email dialogue, Google Hangouts and critiques of student work, we have been able to hear about successes big and small. Marisa earned her CJE certification, and her students earned a Superior rating from SIPA for The Commodore Cruiser. Additionally, I have passed off my role coordinating this program and have helped the next team revise and launch the 2017 application.
  • Coordinating with newly elected leaders during this time of transition. We are in a period of research and discovery before our term begins May 1 (and, I suspect, that period of “research and discovery” will continue for three years!). I have asked current leaders to complete an end-of-term reflection and incoming leaders to compile lists of questions. We are conducting a thorough evaluation of all we do and collecting as many insights and suggestions as possible. The new board will meet May 19-21 at K-State, and I am thrilled we’ll have the benefit of both Linda as interim director and Kelly as the new director attending and helping facilitate this important training.
  • Meeting with Business Professionals of America officials (both in person in November and virtually in December, January and February) to strengthen our partnership. I served as a judge for Promotional Photography and Broadcast News competitive events, crafted session proposals for the National Leadership Conference May 10-14 in Orlando and assembled a team of Florida advisers to be part of JEA’s involvement at the conference.
  • Learning more about existing JEA partnerships (such as our work with NCTE) and helping to establish new ones (such as Partnership for 21st Century Skills). Through Mark’s leadership and unwavering commitment, I have been part of a variety of conference calls and meetings to pursue and/or expand relationships that will help further our mission.

Thank you for supporting JEA, and also for supporting me. Thank you to all of you who encouraged me to continue my involvement, and in particular, Jack Kennedy, MJE, and Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE — you continue to nurture me from afar, especially when I need it most. To our membership, 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. I will do my best.

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

This will undoubtedly be my last report as a member JEA board member, and it’s been an amazing journey from second vice president (a position that no longer exists … ) to president to past president – twice. During most of that time, I’ve tried to focus on helping all JEA officers, directors and committee and commission members fulfill their goals and make this organization more valuable for its members.

Since my fall report, I have accomplished the following to support JEA’s goals:

  • Served as Nominations chair for the JEA board election, developing a timeline and other details about the process, including the need to release voter counts and percentages; setting up guidelines for length and deadlines for candidate statements, gathering, organizing, formatting and sending those for JEA’s web developer, Kate Dubiel; creating JEA_Election Listserv for those who wanted to ask candidates questions during the periods right before voting; offering suggestions and working with executive director Linda Puntney, MJE, for the digital ballot; promoting voting through Listservs and social media; contacting those who needed a run-off election; announced winners on Listservs and some social media. I must add I am pleased with both the process and the results of the election and wish to thank all those who ran – we would have had a great board no matter the outcome. I hope those who didn’t win will stay engaged with JEA at the national level.
  • Participated in the First Amendment Press Freedom Awards selection process (December and February, 2016-2017).
  • Scored CJE and MJE tests from the Indianapolis convention, plus two regional winter sites with Seattle and two other regionals, including the one at Kent State, coming soon (winter and spring 2017).
  • Attended the board budget planning meeting at JEA Headquarters to develop the 2017-18 budget, as well as meeting with JEA’s headquarters staff and interim director, Linda Puntney, MJE, and meeting the interim school director (January 2017).
  • Celebrated the fact that one of the NCTE resolutions I wrote passed the vote at the convention and since then has gone on to a full membership vote. As presented by NCTE liaison Jonathan Rogers, MJE, it encouraged states and schools to work on passing student free speech legislation like the New Voices Acts that passed in several states (winter 2016).
  • Wrote an article for C:JET’s summer issue about New Voices legislation, including background on how some states have succeeded plus tips for passage in other states (winter 2017).
  • Wrote blogs for the JEA Scholastic Press Rights site (ongoing).
  • 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 sharing bylaws, announcing openings for SPA directors and forwarding valuable information for JEA vice president Sarah Nichols, MJE. Maintained the Scholastic Press Association Roundtable Facebook group to continue the conversations that begin at the two-hour convention roundtables (ongoing).
  • Maintained the JEATALK Listserv I set up almost 20 years ago for JEA board, directors and committee chairs (ongoing).
  • Continued to send weekly current events quizzes to JEAHELP every Tuesday night, as I have been doing since Sept. 9, 2004.

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

In the short time since the Indianapolis convention, SPRC members have continued their work to pass or begin New Voices legislation in their states or assist with other states’ efforts and to intervene, when requested, with Panic Button or other individual requests.

Although not through group efforts as such, SPRC members continue their efforts to enhance student expression across the country and to develop new legal and ethical activities and resources for students and their teachers and advisers.

My efforts have been in these particular areas:

Legislation: Along with other SPRC members, I took part in a legislative conference at Kent State University last November to learn approaches to passing state legislation and to assist others. Since then, the SPRC has contacted states to begin the process of JEA endorsement for state legislation when groups were ready.

Mascot guidelines with Diversity Committee: I have worked with Stan Zoller, MJE, and the Diversity Committee to draft guidelines of a JEA statement for scholastic media use of mascots. The guidelines will be discussed and voted on in Seattle.

Statement supporting First Amendment viability during a time of attacks on the media: I drafted a statement reiterating JEA support for free expression of student journalists and their advisers to be discussed and voted on in Seattle.

FAPFA: Worked with a committee from JEA, NSPA and Quill & Scroll to select 12 schools as First Amendment Press Freedom schools. The recipients will be recognized in Seattle.

Fake news lessons: We are in the planning stages to create a team to develop teaching materials, including lessons and resources, about fake news and alternative facts and the best practices of identifying and avoiding issues surrounding them.

Blog and website: With several others on the SPRC, I maintain and update materials on the SPRC website. We are always looking for new ideas and those who would like to explore them.

Personal assistance: I continue to respond to Listserv and Panic Button questions and requests for assistance on legal and ethical issues no matter the platform.

Closing comments: After x-how-many years, this is my closing report for the SPRC. It has been a time of learning and growth, personal and professional, for me. I want to thank all my friends who have served on the SPRC during that time for their leadership, their caring and their guidance to the cause of facing legal and ethical questions. None of what the SPRC accomplished in the name of JEA would have been possible without them. I count myself lucky and honored to have shared challenges and successes with them.

Committee member reports

Jane Blystone, MJE

Since the last convention, I have worked with the Playwickian staff at Neshaminy H.S. (Pa.) because they still face daily censorship and content manipulation. 

Candace Bowen, MJE

Since the fall report, I:

  • Helped coordinate the New Voices symposium at Kent State, which included the JEA panel, emphasizing what advisers and journalism teachers can do to help pass free press state legislation.
  • Wrote “It may take time, but watch out for the New Voices,” a C:JET article and sidebars for the Summer 2017 issue.
  • Participated in the First Amendment Press Freedom Award discussions and selections. I sent the congratulatory letters to the winners and sent the others letters indicating what they could do to stand a better chance of winning in 2018. I also wrote the news release that ran on the website and tweeted and posted the announcement on various related Facebook pages.
  • Wrote two blog posts: “What our tech-savvy kids don’t know” and “A class activity about both law AND ethics.”
  • Helped edit the press rights motion the board will address in Seattle.
  • Wrote “More than marshmallow fluff” for the Dow Jones Adviser Update law and ethics column for Fall 2016.

Vince DeMiero, MJE
I continue to be outspoken on issues of free speech and all First Amendment topics.

Specifically, I was one of a few people who testified before the Washington state senate Early Childhood/K-12 Education Committee in support of SB5064 (our version of the New Voices legislation). I’ve also written and spoken with several legislators and generally have been a pest on this topic.

I was very pleased to be part of the symposium at Kent State in late November where Kathy Schrier, MJE, and I represented Washington in those discussions. That was an amazing couple of days!

I am deeply concerned about a few topics related to what’s going on in our state, specifically the impact the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is having on media-related issues. More on that in Seattle.

Megan Fromm, MJE
I mostly stepped away from SPRC work during the executive director search these last few months, although I did teach about copyright law and ethics in Indianapolis.

Lori Keekley, MJE
During this time I have continued to respond to newspaper and newsmagazine advisers or their students who ask for help either on the Listserv or by hitting the Panic Button.

I have worked to forward the mission of SPRC by facilitating the coordination of materials for Constitution Day and speaking about law and ethics at the state and national levels. Additionally, Cheryl Youakim, who covers St. Louis Park and Hopkins, introduced the New Voices Minnesota bill mid-January. In addition to working with Youakim, Jeff Kocur and I have met with the bill’s senate sponsor as well as other legislators in both the state house and senate. Kocur, Steve Listopad and I spoke at the college ACP Best of the Midwest keynote about the bill’s history and worked to garner support for the current bill, which covers both high school and college journalists.

Last November, I also attended the Center for Scholastic Journalism’s New Voices symposium concerning the bill. During the symposium we learned what has and has not worked as well in the other states that have put forth legislation.

Kathy Schrier, MJE

Since the last convention my First Amendment activities have been focused on the “New Voices” legislation effort here in Washington. My role was to pull together different voices to be heard in the initial hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

The hearing was so impressive, with excellent student testimony and testimony from advisers and others committed to the idea that students do not lose their First Amendment Rights at the schoolhouse gate. This effort has had highs and lows, with the bill currently awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.

Just getting to this point has been hard-fought, but it has been heartening to see how the fight paid off and the language of the bill has remained intact despite proposed changes from outside groups (school directors and administrators.)

In my “spare” time, I’ve been helping to prepare for the Seattle convention, where I will be participating in a session on New Voices legislation efforts organized by Janet Ewell. I look forward to giving a “victory” report on our effort here in Washington.

John Tagliareni, MJE

I have reported to the commission about the progress of our New Voices legislation in New Jersey in previous reports and updates, and I have more news to announce. Both of our senate and assembly sponsors have requested that their respective bills, S-2506 and  A-4912, be heard in committee. We are optimistic, because we have bipartisan support in both houses.

We are working closely with Frank LoMonte, as we are planning to testify before the respective education committees of each chamber. We have been working more closely with the New Jersey SPJ and the New Jersey Press Foundation to support the legislation.

I have continued to be very active in promoting the legislation in a number of ways. I helped to coordinate the GSSPA Press Day Conference at Rutgers University, which focused largely on student press rights, Oct. 24. I invited Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus to attend, and we were proud to have as her an honored guest. We recognized her with a citation for sponsoring bill A 4028, which I presented to her. Our focus on student press rights and this legislation, made the event very relevant to the young journalists.

The assemblywoman also attended the session presented by our student group, which I also helped to coordinate. The session featured a video and a discussion about the need for student press rights in New Jersey. The video was of an interview that our student vice president, Ashley Cooper, conducted with Frank LoMonte, about our New Voices legislation. She also edited this video. The assemblywoman was very impressed with the presentation, with Frank’s pointed comments, and the quality of the session, as well as the overall program that day.

I spoke at the CSPA Fall Conference in New York Nov. 7. I attended the Kent State University Symposium Nov. 18 and 19 to discuss New Voices legislation.

I will present sessions at the 2017 CSPA Spring Convention in New York March, 15-17 and the GSSPA Spring Conference May 5 to promote the legislation, give assistance to advisers and promote the goals of the SPRC.

I will continue to work with the committee to help advance its initiatives, In addition to the fight for the legislation. I have supported the goals of the SPRC in a number of ways.

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 hope to have good news about the legislation before the end of June.

Audrey Wagstaff, MJE

  • Collected data on adviser self-censorship last summer. Presented some of the major findings at AEJMC in Minneapolis and at the fall convention in Indianapolis, and will present at OSMA this spring. Article forthcoming in C:JET.
  • Write-off judge at JEA in Indy in the Law and Ethics competition.
  • Served on OSMA Board and Membership/Special Projects Chair of the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC where scholastic journalism and free expression remain important topics.

Stan Zoller, MJE

In addition to blogging for the SPRC, I have worked cooperatively with Kate Klonowski, MJE, in the development of guidelines for school mascots. I also continue to help with New Voices initiatives whenever possible.

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

This semiannual report is full of so many victories — both large and small — from a tremendous board and great team of hardworking volunteers and impeccable JEA staff. As we transition to a new board, I’m sincerely honored to have the privilege of doing what I can in the name of journalism education for another three years. It’s an honor I don’t take lightly, and I’ve learned so much in the last three years. Here’s what I’ve been up to since our last report:

  • Working with the search committee and JEA Headquarters staff to hire our new executive director. We spent a week in Manhattan interviewing four of the most passionate educators I’ve ever met. It was a privilege to hear their visions for JEA, and they made it a very tough decision. I’m so pleased Kelly Glasscock will be joining the team, and I feel confident in JEA’s future under his tenure.
  • Crafting a budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. We spent another weekend in Manhattan putting our money to work! We have crafted a solid, visionary budget that in my opinion allocates money in all the right places. I also spent many hours working on making the budget spreadsheet documents accessible and usable for the next board and next executive director.
  • Reviewing research grant proposals. A joint JEA/NSPA committee reviewed the applications submitted for our inaugural research grant, and we have awarded funds to three outstanding researchers who are exploring journalism education and censorship. More information to follow on that as we work out all the details.
  • Brainstorming for this summer’s Advisers Institute. I’ve mainly worked as a sounding board for Sarah and Linda as we seek to implement a creative multimedia team storytelling component to this year’s AI.
  • I worked with other board members to submit proposals for the SPJ conference in September.
  • I continue to put together the JEA member newsletter each month.
  • Brainstorming the next phase of the JEA Curriculum Initiative. Sarah has been working to rethink how curriculum leaders can best serve their positions, and I’m excited to oversee this reinvigorated approach.

As Sarah begins her tenure, I know the future of JEA is so bright. The new board will bring new ideas, new passions and a new approach, and I look forward to charting our course together. Our outgoing board, which represents decades of combined experience and knowledge, has my deepest gratitude and friendship. I will miss working with our outgoing members in such a formal capacity, but I know their work in journalism education is never done. I can’t quite express what it has meant to me to work side-by-side with Mark, my former high school adviser and friend for the ages. There just aren’t words. I am indelibly changed, and I have been blessed.

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

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

Since the Indianapolis convention, my efforts have focused on the following:

  • Seattle Outreach Academy: As coordinator I promoted and registered applicants and worked with members of the local committee to keep them informed of the progress. The academy will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 6 at the Sheraton. Lead instructor is Anthony Whitten, CJE.
  • School mascot guidelines: Working with Kate Klonowski, MJE, we developed a draft of guidelines for scholastic journalists and advisers regarding the use of team nicknames that may be offensive to segments of the school and general population. Our draft was submitted to the Scholastic Press Rights Committee and is scheduled to be discussed by the board at its meeting in Seattle.
  • I continued to work with advisers and students in Illinois on issues related to Public Act 99-0678, the Speech Rights of Scholastic Journalists, which was signed into law in July of 2016. I worked, as needed, with members of the Scholastic Press Rights Committee.
  • I continue to blog for the SPRC.
  • Working with Evelyn Lauer, MJE, we are planning an awareness campaign for Seattle that focuses on the criticism of the media by the Trump administration.

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

Preparing for the spring national convention in Seattle and the end of term we can look forward to celebrating our national broadcast and yearbook advisers of the year, our Rising Stars, the Diversity Award and our first Future Administrator Scholarship winner. We will also honor our 2016 Carl Towley Award winner, the late Nick Ferentinos.

The Awards committee continues to refine the all digital process and define existing awards as we move forward. Coming to the end of this term as chair I am grateful to all those who serve and bring a collective experience, insight and wisdom to the task. I am also thankful to President Mark Newton, MJE, for the opportunity to serve in this position, to the board for its support, and especially to the staff at K-State.

Specifically, since the last report the following has occurred:

  • We completed selection of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year through a virtual ranking process against a rubric that went through a third revision. A panel of volunteer judges completed these a week ahead of the Indianapolis convention. Mark Murray and Sheri Taylor joined the committee chair in scoring both categories. Kathy Craghead continued in her role as the co-chair for the yearbook subcommittee. In the Broadcast category we added our sponsorship from Ithaca College and their professor, Peter Johanns, joined our panel.
  • Karen (Wagner) Slusher, CJE, was appointed vice chair of awards and has assisted in revisions and announcements.
  • Subcommittees have undertaken a review of all awards descriptions and applications/nominations to be completed by summer.
  • Spring recipients were notified by phone call or voice message whenever possible by the chair with follow-up emails to those named, their nominators and, where applicable, their principal.
  • Committee members worked through another large set of nominations for Rising Star and 10 passed the hurdle of 50 percent plus one votes on the panel to be named and honored in Seattle.
  • The First Amendment Press Freedom Award was announced Feb. 24 in conjunction with Scholastic Journalism Week with 11 schools named.
  • All awards continue to be scheduled for a timed release on social media and JEA.org successfully building on our previous standards. Spring awards are announced in late January to allow recipients time to attend and 10. a.m. CT has set as a standard for web updates and social media releases.
  • We continued our strong relationship with our sponsor yearbook companies through a steady communication. The company which prints the honoree’s book was given more than two weeks notice to make arrangements. The companies which print the Distinguished and Special Recognition Adviser honorees’ books was given 24 hours notice ahead of the announcement to make any arrangements desired.
  • Renee Burke, MJE, our 2015 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, made the surprise announcement to 2016 honoree Nancy Y. Smith, MJE, Lafayette H.S., Wildwood, Mo.
  • The Broadcast Adviser of the Year, Alyssa Boehringer, McKinney (Texas) H.S., was named in a surprise visit to her school by committee member Mark Murray and in a taped message from previous recipient Michelle Turner.

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

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

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

2017 Broadcast Adviser of the Year
Alyssa Boehringer, McKinney (Texas) H.S.

Distinguished Broadcast Advisers
Christina Geabhart, MJE, Oak Park H.S., Kansas City, Mo.
Thomas Gregory, CJE, Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln H.S.
Brian Kennedy, Prosper (Texas) H.S.

Special Recognition Broadcast Advisers
Jane Bannester, Ritenour H.S., St. Louis
Andrew Chambers, Richland Northeast H.S., Columbia, S.C.
Jonathan Rogers, MJE, Iowa City (Iowa) H.S.

2016 H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year
Nancy Y. Smith, MJE, Lafayette H.S., Wildwood, Mo.

Distinguished Yearbook Adviser
Justin Daigle, CJE, Brighton (Colo.) H.S.

Special Recognition Yearbook Advisers
Adrienne Forgette, MJE, Darlington School, Rome, Ga.
Leland Mallett, CJE, Legacy H.S., Mansfield, Texas

Rising Star Award

Travis Armknecht, CJE, Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis
Katie Comeford, Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago
John Horvath, Hill Country Christian School, Austin, Texas
Jordyn Kiel, CJE, Francis Howell North H.S., St. Charles, Mo.
Dennis Leizear, CJE, Padua Academy, Wilmington, Del.
Susan McNulty, J.W. Mitchell H.S., New Port Ritchey, Fla.
Alicia Merrifield, The Village School, Houston
Time Ryckman, Rocky Heights M.S., Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Veronica Sarmiento, CJE, Seminole H.S., Sanford, Fla.
Andrew Young, Woodland Junior H.S., Fayetteville, Ark.

First Amendment Press Freedom Award
The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
Chantilly (Va.) H.S.
Convent of the Sacred Heart H.S., San Francisco
Grosse Pointe North H.S., Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.
Francis Howell North H.S., St. Charles, Mo.
Harrisonburg (Va.) H.S.
Kirkwood (Mo.) H.S.
Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) H.S.
Smoky Hill H.S., Aurora, Colo.
St. Louis Park (Minn.) H.S.
Whitney H.S., Rocklin, Calif.

Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award
Nancy Hastings, MJE, Highland, Ind.

Diversity Award
Barbara Bateman, CJE, Murphy H.S., Mobile, Ala.

Diversity Award Runners-up
Camille Respess and Erin Castellano, CJE, Clayton (Mo.) H.S.
Thomas Kaup, MJE, Auburn (Wash.) H.S.

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

The Certification Committee continues to work for the betterment of our advisers and journalism education through JEA certification, and it is my pleasure to have served as chair for six years!

The second version of our online CJE test launced in Indianapolis. We will be collecting data and input on it as we did with the first version. Our plan is to take it through the same yearlong cycle that we did with the first version and look at data and feedback for potential improvements and future versions.

Since Indy, we have tested two MJE candidates and 11 CJE candidates at three winter sites: Kansas State, Herff Jones and KEMPA. In addition, we will be testing at OSMA later in March and at FSPA in April. We have 15 CJEs and five MJEs on the list to test in Seattle to complete our spring testing. We already have four test sites scheduled for the summer: JEA Advisers Institute in July and Walsworth Summer Adviser Academy in July as well as two Herff Jones yearbook workshop test sites.

• We will recognize 15 new CJEs, 39 CJE renewals, three new MJEs and 17 MJE renewals in Seattle at Saturday’s luncheon.

I am proud of the work the fine folks on my team do! Thanks to:

Post-secondary education representatives

  • Candace Bowen, MJE
  • Jane Blystone, MJE
  • Brian Hayes, MJE
  • Joe Mirando, MJE

Secondary education representatives

  • Joe Humphrey, MJE
  • Rod Satterthwaite, MJE
  • Cathy Wall, MJE
  • Liz Walsh, MJE

Special thanks to Pam Boller, our JEA Headquarters partner, for taking good care of our committee, our CJEs and MJEs and our candidates!

small MugshotNancy Y. Smith, MJE

Contests Committee Chair
Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011

The Contest Committee has been hard at work.

National Journalism Quiz Bowl: April Van Buren, MJE, coordinator
We started the online qualifying test this year and will now work on increasing our participation numbers. Beginning with Seattle, we will offer the qualifying test a second time before each convention to allow schools who decider later in the semester about coming to the convention.

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

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

Write-off material and curriculum development

We have collected past contest prompts and sample student work and those will be added to the JEA Curriculum site. There will be some contests that will not be available because they involve live speakers. In addition art provided for the graphic design contests will not be available due to our usage agreement.

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.

Upcoming deadlines

Fall 2017 Dallas Nov. 16-19

  • Write-off registration opens (prompts available): Sept. 18, 2017
  • Themed Photo Contest topic announced: Sept. 25, 2017
  • Write-off registration closes (online submissions due): Oct. 25, 2017  7 p.m. ET
  • Critiques due from judges Nov. 8, 2017 midnight

2016-2017 National Qualifier for Journalism Quiz Bowl
Online tests will be open Sept. 18-22 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

Contest updates
We set up the writeoffs.jea.org system to accommodate the online submission broadcast contest judging starting with Indianapolis. We also moved the times of the contests so that only those students competing in on-site broadcast contests miss sessions on Friday morning. We continue to closely look at the time allotted for the on-site contests and tried to reduce that to get those competitors back into sessions. We are looking at replacing a few outdated broadcast contests with some that more accurately reflect what students are doing at their schools and will roll those out in Dallas. We are also working toward our goal of moving the design judging to the writeoffs.org system for the Dallas convention.

Upgrades to online system
The Write-offs website has undergone about a dozen minor bug fixes and improvements since being migrated to JEA’s hosting to resume development in-house, with numerous content updates to make participation more understandable. Several major improvements are scheduled between late April 2017 and mid-August, including improvements to broadcast entry submissions, simplifying the student registration process and simplifying entry submissions overall, which we hope to have completed in time for the Dallas convention. We also have a new Write-offs website instruction page coming to the main website for contest coordinators, critics and judges, which will be available for the Seattle convention.

Entry numbers, registration and uploading
We had 1,379 entries in the Indianapolis Write-off contests. In Seattle, we have 1,384 registered for Write-offs.

We continue to struggle with advisers missing the deadline and asking for an extension. Our policy is to not allow ANY late entries and we stick by that. The deadline for registration and uploading entries is carefully spelled out in many places. It was set to coincide with the times the JEA office is staffed so advisers can get help if they need it. Some advisers want the deadline extended to midnight in all time zones. That is unrealistic as it would mean personnel would need to be available at 2 a.m. Central time to deal with last-minute issues. For Seattle, here is a breakdown of when students/advisers submitted photos/design/broadcast entries:

Uploaded entries:
3/1/17                            1
3/2/17                            6
3/3/17                            1
3/4/17                            9
3/5/17                            3
3/6/17                           31
3/7/17                          177
3/8/17 – final day       606 (99 of those came the last half hour of the window)

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 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 more than 1,050 posts published (roughly three per week), 515,008 visits, and 928,447 pageviews. Including myself, there are more than 61 members of the committee who are on an email list. Sixteen different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Members were notified in the fall of 2016 to remain on the committee, they would need to contribute at least one thing to the site during the 12-month period ending Sept. 13, 2017. Eight committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:


  • Aaron Manfull – 22
  • Michelle Harmon – 9
  • Amanda Bright – 8
  • Jonathan Rogers – 7
  • Matt Rasgorshek – 3
  • Patrick Johnson – 3
  • Dennis Leizear – Emailing the Listserv weekly for a couple of months
  • Kyle Phillips – Maintaining maps

Also contributing to the site during the time period: Albert Dupont, Michelle Turner, Matthew Schott, Jim Streisel, Kristy Roschke, Beatrice Motamedi, Kim McCarthy and Don Goble.

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

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.54.34 PM

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.56.12 PM

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

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.59.25 PM

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

We have been busy with a few things since Indianapolis.

Alyssa Boehringer was named the 2017 National High School Broadcast Adviser of the Year. She will be recognized in Seattle at the JEA/NSPA National Convention. Christina Geabhart, Thomas Gregory and Brian Kennedy were named Distinguished Advisers. Special Recognition Advisers are Jane Bannester, Andrew Chambers and Jonathan Rogers.

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

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

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

As always, if there is anything anyone would like to see on the site, please email us at 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, CJE
National High School Journalist of the Year Committee Chair
Heritage High School
14040 Eldorado Parkway
Frisco, TX 75035
W: 469-633-5900 x25914 | H: 972-523-0384

The 2017 Journalist of the Year contest is underway with 34 state winners. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround to the judges, as each state director coordinated the state winner.

The national JOY committee has been set with a panel of 46. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents.

I have been working through implementing feedback from 2016 judges and candidates listed on our last report. I am looking forward to our first meet-and-greet at the spring convention for 2017 candidates and judges.

After the 2017 contest is complete, I will reach out to national contestants and committee members to seek feedback. I also welcome state director feedback.

The 2017 Journalist of the Year will be announced April 9 at the spring convention. Also in Seattle, the 2016 winner, Kellen Browning, and I will present a session to get current juniors thinking about their senior year and working toward building their portfolios. He is currently writing a speech for the spring convention opening. He will also join me at the JOY meet-and-greet to talk with current candidates and committee members. I would like to thank Kellen for all his efforts, including traveling to Seattle to present during his busy collegiate track season.

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

It has been a great honor to serve as a committee chair these last three years. I have been humbled by the generosity of those with big hearts with a desire to serve. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the board and state directors for the support I have received on my work as JOY contest chair. I’m inspired to keep serving and am grateful I have met so many of you during my term.

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

Over the past six months there have been a few exciting developments with NCTE. First, I am happy to report that the Resolution on the Need to Promote Legislation to Protect the Rights of Student Journalists” has passed a vote of the NCTE membership after being brought in front of the NCTE board at last fall’s convention. In other areas JEA and NCTE have been working to have more partnerships including a joint presentation on student press rights at their next convention, sharing resources through SLAM (Studies in Literacy and Media) and social media interaction (#NCTEchat #jerdchat, #WhyIWrite).

I have also been attending the NCTE censorship meetings virtually. The discussions have ranged from helping to promote the New Voices legislation in Indiana and other states through state affiliates to supporting teachers who face banned books or pressure to not teach controversial material.

Through conversations with Millie Davis, who works for NCTE as a director, senior developer, affiliate and Intellectual Freedom Center representative, the relationship between JEA and NCTE seems to be growing in a positive direction.

The JEA-Flipboard partnership is still going strong with Best of High School Journalism magazine and contest. With almost 4,000 followers and 35,000 page views I believe it has become a valuable resource for members and a good contest. More published high school journalists will be awarded at the spring convention.

Below is a list of goals I have worked toward reaching and have reached as Professional Outreach chair.

  • Promote JEA through state and national conferences, including NCTE and ISTE, and at regional conferences.
  • Develop NCTE relationship and presence at their convention.
  • Work with mentors to promote the mentoring program.
  • Continue to develop win-win partnerships like the JEA-Flipboard Digital Magazine.
  • Blog on JEADigitalmedia resources from conferences I have attended.
  • Redesign the JEA booth for trade shows and exhibit halls at conferences.

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

Mentor Committee members include 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 31 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, 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.

We received support from the Yellow Chair Foundation again this year, which continues to be invaluable. It provides partial funding for mentor stipends in any state that needs financial assistance. This has been beneficial both to new states joining the program and to the already participating states that now have difficulty supporting the stipends over many years in the program.

Our mentor forums for professional development this year are focused on aspects of technology. Jason Wallestad and Tom Hutchinson of SNO spend the morning with mentors, helping them with website support for their mentees. Aaron Manfull continues to present information on digital technology, this year on digital trends, new apps and driving readers to online media.

Progress: We have had an initial phone conference with the College Media Association about supporting the mentor program by publicizing to their membership our need for mentors. We are working to get more states to join the mentor program this summer and more mentees to be trained from existing states. New mentor training will take place in July at the JEA Advisers Institute.

Evelyn Lauer, MJE
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: This year, Day of Doing was moved to the conventions. Co-chairs Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE, organized a Day of Doing during the Indianapolis convention. Five advisers participated, starting with an office tour of Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Megan Fernandez, the Director of Editorial Operations for Indianapolis Monthly, coordinated with the local committee and the Day of Doing committee to create a simple, one-day experience for advisers to do journalism and get their work published online by the magazine. Before leaving the office, the group came up with a game plan and set deadlines that could work for everyone. Advisers worked on the Holiday Gift Guide, walking the city searching for quirky gift ideas for Monthly’s upper-middle class readership. They concentrated on honing their voice as they wrote, making sure to also get usable photos as they went. Each person was able to choose how many stories to submit and all of the work was shared and edited through Google Drive.

The local committee for the JEA/NSPA convention in Seattle is also planning a Day of Doing. According to committee member Anne Hayman, these are the details:

  • Meet in Spruce Thursday at 8 a.m. and/or Friday and Saturday at 7:30 a.m. We will have a meet-and-greet to get things scheduled and answer questions as well as pair up people who might want to work in teams for coverage.
  • Use Spruce throughout the convention to meet and work.
  • Stories will be posted on the WJEA website.
  • To sign up, please submit this form.

JEA One Book: The spring selection is “1984” by George Orwell. In February, I hosted a Twitter chat in which members discussed the relevance of the novel, connected it to today’s politics. I also recorded a Jerdcast podcast with Matt Rasgorshek about why I selected “1984,” and how it could be used in the classroom. I will also host a session in Seattle where members can continue the discussion. The session, called “Using ‘1984’ in journalism,” will take place April 8 in Room 308, CC.

Please follow @JEAOneBook on Twitter as we continue to discuss “1984.”

Scholastic Journalism Week:
 Scholastic Journalism Week 2017 took place Feb. 19-25. Adam Lockett from Conestoga H.S. designed this year’s “The Communities We Cover” SJW logo.

Adam Dawkins, CJE, co-chair, reports: “This year’s SJW was again a great way to showcase and highlight student media covering their communities with great journalism. The hashtag #SJW2017 was very active and, in particular this year, staffs shared their stories of covering the importance of the press in a democracy, protest, marches, op-eds and political and social activism. Our spotlight series also focused on what student journalists are doing to highlight immigrant, refugee, women’s rights, religious and social justice voices in their communities — both inside their schools and beyond.”

When I’m Not Teaching: 
The purpose of this feature is to highlight all the wonderful accomplishments JEA members have achieved outside the classroom. Since launching in August of 2014, the series has featured 28 different advisers from 22 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), Cindy Berry (Texas), Brian Hayes (Indiana), April van Buren (Wisconsin), John Skees (Texas) and Sam Hedenberg (Virginia).

The next feature, which will run April 1, will profile an adviser from the Seattle area.

In addition to overseeing these JEA initiatives, I have an article forthcoming in the Summer issue of C:JET about teaching the current JEA One Book, “1984” by George Orwell. I have also been working with Stan Zoller, MJE, on a awareness campaign for the Seattle convention that supports a free press in light of President Trump’s recent attacks on the media.

It’s been a pleasure serving JEA in this role during the past three years, and I hope to continue serving in the future. I am so thankful for all the opportunities this organization has provided me.

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

Successes: Our biggest success was producing 180 pages on time and on budget, 52 pages more than our goal. A great team of people including Howard Spanogle, Connie Fulkerson and Pam Boller made this unique services to JEA members possible.

  • From Alyce Culpepper: “Last two issues have been wonderful!! So much useful, teaching material. The JEA was so helpful during my career, and I still encourage advisers to join.”
  • From Susan Gregory: “The magazine is beautiful. The concept of including various teacher voices on the subject of school news productions is valuable.”

Dallas Nationals’ Blake Michaels gets hit by a wild pitch on July 17, 2015, in Roanoke, Texas. | Photo by Christopher Piel, Argyle High School (Texas)

Volume 50, Number 1, Fall 2016

BUILDING A STRONG PHOTOJOURNALISM PROGRAM | Success requires more than purchasing new toys for the photographers. It takes time. Also, it involves putting an emphasis on building the person behind the camera in addition to mastering the technical aspects of the craft. | By Stacy Short with Matt Garnett, Caleb Miles and Annabel Thorpe

  • Teachers need to learn skills too by Clint Smith
  • Set high expectations by Deanne Brown
  • Build on success by Eric Thomas, MJE
  • Shoot and learn the basics by Jed Palmer, CJE

ELECTION 2016 | The 2016 presidential election, as well as state and local voting, will provide some unique opportunities for student coverage. Coverage should go beyond the horse race and should include coverage of issues. | By Bonnie Katzive
JEA Curriculum link: Leading coverage during an election cycle

CREATIVE ADVERTISING | Advertising works best when a single, consumer-relevant message is communicated in a highly creative way to targeted audiences. | By Daniel Haygood
JEA Curriculum link: Dollars and sense

BECOME A STARTUP | School publications are mini-businesses run in a low-risk environment that makes them ideal for experimentation, risk taking, mistakes, learning and big successes — like a small-business startup. | By Bill Miles

READER SERVICES | From the spine to the index, the reader services make the yearbook easier to use.

NONPROFIT MEDIA | MinnPost relies on contributions from readers and viewers for the majority of its revenue.

CRAG YEARBOOK | Turner Ashby High School (Bridgewater, Virginia) | This yearbook exemplifies quality coverage, design and captions.

VOL. 1, NO. 1 | JEA’s magazine is entering its 50th year of service to members.


  • Alabama Scholastic Press Association
  • ArchiveInABox
  • BetterBNC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Dow Jones News Fund
  • EchoXtra Alumni
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing
  • Kent State University
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Picaboo Yearbooks 30
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites

Income: $2,934.50


Junior James Wheeler plays his saxophone, something he has been doing since he was 6. | Photo by Sebastian Becerra, Omaha Central High School (Omaha, Nebraska)

Volume 50, Number 2, Winter 2016

THE MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS | For broadcast advisers, the daily morning announcement show is an opportunity for students to work on deadline and to polish skills ranging from reporting to anchoring. Shows, however, also can be a headache when thrown together at the last minute, full of shallow filler and few stories. | By Susan Gregory, MJE

SENIOR ADS | An opportunity for families to honor graduating seniors, tribute ads can become a major source of success, both economically and organizationally. To achieve the advertising success requires mastery of dealing with a lot of details about handling issues of copyright and nudity in baby photos to collecting money. Advisers share ideas for making senior ads as painless and profitable as possible. | By Kelly Juntunen, CJE
JEA Curriculum link: Creating an advertising brochure

SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING | Online technology helps staff members schedule social media posts so they can keep Facebook and Twitter communication alive — even when the staff members are away. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE, with Marcelina Vergara and Kate Muir
JEA Curriculum link: Social media 101

MEDIA MAGNET | While recruitment is an integral part of creating a staff, retention is equally important. Developing a team and giving the staff perks help in retention efforts, which begin with a high-energy recruiting system and continue by drumming up ways to build a positive image in the school. | By Phillip Caston
JEA Curriculum link: Leadership and team building

VESPA YEARBOOK | Kealing Middle School (Austin, Texas) | This yearbook exemplifies innovative design, school involvement, short story forms and the use of visual images.

VOL. 2 AND 3 | JEA’s magazine is entering its 50th year of service to members. Review some of the hot topics from half a century ago.

DROP CAPS | Copy variations at the beginning of stories provide unique ways to pull readers into the stories.


  • ArchiveInABox
  • BetterBNC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Dow Jones News Fund
  • Jostens
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing
  • Kent State University
  • Media Now STL
  • New England Center
  • for Investigative Reporting
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • Picaboo Yearbooks
  • School Paper Express
  • School Publications Company
  • SNO Sites

Income: $3,848.25


Sophomore Hunter Walker turns his head and closes his eyes while dispensing his shotgun shell during the Poplar Bluff Clay Team Tournament. Walker, who shot in the Rebels’ Group B, helped the team score a collective 245 as a squad throughout the day. “Being on the clay team was a lot of fun, and it was a great experience,” Walker said. | Photo by Katie Pinkley, Richland Jr./Sr. High School (Essex, Missouri)

Volume 50, Number 3, Spring 2017

TRUMP WINS | Despite what the polls indicated and the media predicted up to the national election Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the Electoral College though not the popular vote. Look at how scholastic media throughout the nation covered the campaign, the election and the aftermath. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
JEA Curriculum link: News gathering

OPENING AND CLOSING | The first spreads in a yearbook and the final few spreads serve to educate, to inform and to entertain. Detailed content — photos and words — drives production of the spreads.
JEA Curriculum link: Design

MORE MOVIES FOR CLASSROOM USE | Not all movies are suitable for classroom use. But three — “Through the Lens Darkly,” “Spotlight” and “Page One” — have specific lessons that are appropriate for use in a media classroom with guided instruction. | By Dan Loving, Thomas McHale, Tripp Robbins and Bradley Wilson, MJE

WORD OF THE YEAR | Post-truth — the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year — reflects international discussions.
JEA Curriculum link: Revising and editing news stories

CROPPING | Photo by Matt Busch | Even the best image can benefit from a little cropping. But cropping out pixels also results in a smaller file.
JEA Curriculum link: Cropping for impact

NEWSMAGAZINE | St. Mark’s School of Texas | At a private school, reporting controversy offers challenges.
JEA Curriculum link: Comparing print and online journalism

PHOTO STORY | One photography entry — a photo story by Emma Lueck of Millard West High School (Omaha, Nebraska) — stood out in the Indianapolis Write-off competition.

COLOR OF THE YEAR | A reflection of the values of society, Greenery is the Pantone Color of the Year.
JEA Curriculum link: Colors make the world go round

50. | JEA’s magazine is entering its 50th year of service to members. Look back at how the organization and the profession evolved.


  • ArchiveInABox
  • Balfour Yearbooks
  • Ball State University
  • BetterBNC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Dow Jones News Fund
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing
  • Kansas Scholastic Press Association
  • Kent State University
  • New England Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Newseum Institute/Freedom Forum
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • Picaboo Yearbooks
  • School Paper Express
  • School Publications Co
  • SNO Sites

Income: $3,640.75


Sophomore Kyra Ketcham is a member of the Pittsburg High School dance team and the YMCA Academy of Dance. “Dance has helped me express thoughts that cannot simply be put into words,” Ketcham said. “I feel free and independent when I dance.” Photo by Madeline Emerson, Pittsburg High School (Kansas)

Volume 50, Number 4, Summer 2017

FAKE NEWS | Fake news websites deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda and disinformation purporting to be real news — often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify the effect of the content. Learning to differentiate fake news from real news offers challenges even in a scholastic environment. | By Mark Grabowski

Reporting fake news also may have legal implications although often the targets are legally protected. | By Frank LoMonte
JEA Curriculum link: Understanding fake news

BIG STORIES | Nine tips for writing original sentences, especially helpful when reporting on sports. Plus, nine young journalists to follow on Twitter and an excerpt from a 100,000-word story. | By Scott Winter

DIAGRAMMING SENTENCES | A Q&A article featuring four veteran advisers about the pros and cons of teaching sentence diagramming. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE, with Marilyn Chapman, CJE, Steven Chappell, Denise Nichols and Nancy E. Smith, CJE

NEW VOICES | Student media advocates throughout the nation move forward with legislation to protect student voices. | By Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH: TO PUBLISH OR PERISH | Study discusses what factors may lead to self-censorship and recognition of types of stories that most concern administrators. | By Audrey Wagstaff, MJE, and Theresa Knopf

WORKING WITH THE PROS: A COMEDY SHOW | Students from Prosper High School in Texas spent a day visiting Stephen Colbert. | By Brian Kennedy

CCNN LIVE | Christopher Columbus High School (Miami)

TWITTER POLLS by Bradley Wilson

THE TOM TOM | Antioch Community High School (Illinois)

1984 — JEA ONE BOOK | Integrating use of George Orwell’s book into the curriculum. | By Evelyn Lauer, MJE


50 | A look back at 50 years of serving JEA members.


  • Alabama Scholastic Press Association
  • American Advertising Federation
  • ArchiveInABox
  • Balfour Yearbooks
  • Ball State University
  • BetterBNC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Dow Jones News Fund
  • Flint Hills Publications Workshop
  • Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Indiana University High School
  • Journalism Institute
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing
  • Kansas Scholastic Press Association
  • Kent State University
  • Media Now STL
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • School Publications Company
  • SNO Sites
  • University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communication
  • WJEA

Income: $4,511.50


  • Total advertising income billed: $13,710
  • Total income realized to date: $14,935
  • Total outstanding: $1,225
  • Goal: $16,000
  • Short of goal: $1,065

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.

Our biggest news since Indianapolis is Gary Lundgren joined the team Feb. 1 as associate director. Gary will be focused on contests/critiques, as well as help me with NSPA projects and the advisory committee.

NSPA Advisory Committee is a group of volunteers willing to help us prioritize needs in our contests, critiques and service areas. Our primary message is that we are here to listen to improve NSPA.

After listening to advisers in Indianapolis, we changed the yearbook and online Pacemaker judging process. We had a mix of current and retired advisers for yearbook judging – divided into two categories and in two separate rooms so current advisers were not in the same room as their own book. Current advisers judged the online and again did not judge their own category and judged in separate rooms. The big difference, besides the judges, was discussion among the judges and agreement with the finalists and with the winners. This new judging philosophy is something we plan to continue.

We are still working on membership restructure and we are unsure whether or not that will be completed by next fiscal year.

Our office is moving, perhaps this summer, in our new digs on the other side of the hall. We have completed blueprints and our wish list for the office. Stay tuned.

As for the board, we will have a new board president June 30. Elisia Cohen is currently Gifford Blyton Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Her research area focuses on the intersection of persuasion and public health. She succeeds Albert Tims, who served as director of SJMC since 1997.

She is an award-winning administrator and researcher. At Kentucky she tackled financial issues, increased alumni engagement and made diversity and student success priorities of her leadership. In 2016 Cohen won the Mayhew Derryberry award from the American Public Health Association. She also was the recipient of the 2014 Sarah Bennett Holmes Leadership Award at the University of Kentucky.

Cohen earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, an MA from Wake Forest and her BA in political science from the University of Louisville.

Our interim board president is Jane Kirtley, First Amendment expert who serves as interim director after Dr. Tims stepped down.

Besides a new board president, three new members are already serving, NSPA would like to extend a friendly welcome to Michelle Coro, Gayle Golden and Meghan Percival.

Michelle Coro, a graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, obtained her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in technology from the University of Phoenix in 2000. Prior to her work as an educator, she worked in broadcast as a news reporter for the Tribune Newspapers. Simultaneously, she worked in front of and behind the camera for KYMA-TV, KSAZ-TV and WDAF-TV.

Gayle Golden is a senior lecturer at the University of Minnesota where she teaches professional skills courses in journalism and advanced practicum courses. She also teaches literary journalism. Gayle has a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and has worked as an award-winning freelance writer for numerous magazines and news organizations.

Meghan Percival teaches photojournalism and AP Psychology at McLean High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she is also the adviser of The Clan yearbook. She earned a Gold Key from CSPA in 2013 and was a 2014 JEA Distinguished Adviser.

Seattle: Exhibit revenue for Seattle is $78,205 to date. We are still waiting for a couple of colleges, Washington and Washington State, to see if they’re interested in joining us.

Partnership Projects with JEA: Already scheduled for the second year of the Partner Project. Anxious to brainstorm with JEA on any other collaboration we can do.

As always, please do not hesitate to call me if you have questions or concerns. Anything is possible with a little communication and bringing ideas together.

Frank D. LoMonte, Esq
Student Press Law Center Liaison
1608 Rhode Island Ave NW
Suite 211
Washington, DC 20036

Susan Newell, MJE
Alabama State Director
1150 Valley Forge Rd.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

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

JEA membership has tremendous benefits.

“I began advising over 30 years ago. I owe ASPA, SIPA and JEA. Almost everything I learned about advising school newspapers and yearbooks came from attending their events. Now I must help educate young advisors and their students. I encourage advisers from Alabama to become active in their state (ASPA), regional (SIPA) and national organizations (JEA/NSPA & CSPA). In this way students can best be prepared for college and the world of work and your school can publish quality publications,” Susan G. Newell, newspaper adviser (31 years), yearbook adviser (27 years) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  

Promo: JEA provides advisers who are JEA members access to JEA Curriculum which has Common Core aligned lesson plans complete with assessments and evaluation guides. More than 200 weeks of flexible lesson plans are available, along with slideshows that can be used with the lesson plans or that can complement a teacher’s own plans. Also JEA members can be a part of an email list serve where specific questions can be asked and then answered by other JEA advisers. Twice a year JEA partners with National Scholastic Press Association to offer conventions that offer extensive training to advisers and their students. Advisers can attend Advisers Institute in July. More can be learned here.

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

Information about SIPA events can be found here.

Upcoming SIPA events:

  • SIPA summer workshop CJE is June 14-17, 2017
  • SIPA convention is in early March each year.

The ASPA website is under renovation for a month or so. Members are encouraged to follow ASPA on Facebook and Twitter.

Upcoming ASPA events:

  • April 1 Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline.
  • June 2-11 The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop.
  • June 9-11 The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.
  • Fall Regional Workshops will occur in September.
  • Critique deadlines are in December.
  • The ASPA state convention at University of Alabama Ferguson Student Center will be next February.

Awards and honorsAlabama’s Journalist of the Year award went to Brady Tolbert (Thompson H.S.). Barbara Bateman, CJE, of Murphy H.S. in Mobile, Ala. was named JEA’s 2017 Diversity Award recipient.

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

Events: Arizona will be having an advisers only Spring Reception on April 28 to celebrate the work advisers do for scholastic journalism both in and out of the classroom. The state’s summer Workshop will be July 21-22 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. It will be an intensive workshop in design, writing or multimedia.

Legislation: New Voices legislation, spearheaded by AIPA President Melanie Allen, is currently going to the House floor, having passed the Senate and passed out of the House committee. The introducing state senator, Kimberly Yee, is a former member of the Greenway H.S. newspaper staff, advised by Peggy Gregory. A number of advisers and journalism students have been involved in testifying for the bill.

Social media: The Arizona Interscholastic Press Association is online here; on Twitter; on Facebook; and by email at azstudentpress@gmail.com.

Stephanie Emerson, MJE
Arkansas State Director
Wynne High School
P.O. Box 3
Wynne, AR 72396

Membership: ASPA continues to work to increase membership. We continue to encourage our members to enroll in JEA when they join the state organization. Several JEA members continue to be active at the national level. There are approximately 84 members advising 113 publications in our state AJAA organization; 71 of those are in JEA. Nine members are still active but are retired, working for publishing companies, or working in other areas of journalism. We have 17 CJEs and five MJEs.

The Arkansas Scholastic Press Association is housed on the campus of Pulaski Tech in North Little Rock under the direction of Allen Loibner-Waitkus, MJE, of Pulaski Tech. Here is our email address: arkansasscholasticpress@gmail.com and website.

The ASPA app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, so no matter what type of smartphone you have, you can stay up-to-date on all things ASPA. In fact, you may want to have your students download it now. It will be an important tool for everyone attending convention and even those who aren’t. Search “Arkansas Scholastic Press” in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

For the first time in ASPA history, we will be offering ASPA graduation stoles to seniors who meet the four specific requirements that include membership, years of membership, GPA and attendance at spring convention. Information has been sent to all advisers.

Happenings: Last year at our state convention in April in Hot Springs, in attendance were approximately 850 students. On-site contests were held with 425 entries: eight in newspaper; nine in yearbook; six in literary magazine; five in photography; eight in broadcast. We averaged 30 entries in each category. Twenty workshops were held in different areas for students and advisers to attend. Approximately 1,200 awards were presented.

The 2017 State Convention will take placeApril 20 -21, at the Hot Springs Convention Center adjacent to the Embassy Suites that serves as the convention hotel.

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: Colorado has 118 current members of JEA – up four from last fall. There are currently 202 paid media memberships in Colorado Student Media Association. Membership often increases in the spring as our individual contest deadlines are coming up in April and publication critiques deadlines are in June.

Events and happenings: CSMA has had some fantastic opportunities for students and advisers so far this spring, beginning with student media advisers treated to the Winter Thaw conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder Jan. 25. The day’s focus centered on ethics in media and featured the following speakers: CU Media Law & Ethics Professor Paul Voakes, CU Advertising Ethics professor Erin Schauster, Greg Moore, former editor of the Denver Post and Hearst Visiting Professor of Professional Practice at CU and retired Poynter Institute media ethics expert Bob Steele.

Another opportunity for advisers and student journalists continued with a panel discussion hosted by the Colorado Press Women at the University of Denver Feb. 4. Moderated by media studies professor Lee Anne Peck, Ph.D, the panel included JEA president Mark Newton, MJE, Elizabeth Skewes, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado, Lynn Scofield Clark, Ph.D., of the University of Denver, Chuck Plunkett, editorial page editor of The Denver Post. Association and addressed the topic of “Restoring Trust in the Media.”

Also in February, students participated in the 35th Colorado Student Media Association’s Capitol Hill Press Conference. Speakers included Nic Garcia from Chalkbeat Colorado, Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne and Colorado Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes. Journalists were able to ask questions of each speaker and then participate in various writing, video and photojournalism contests. With the legislature in session, students had access to lobbyists and representatives. Reporting opportunities continued on the front steps of the capitol during a pro-Trump rally.

Initiatives: Our primary initiative continues to be addressing membership by inner-city and rural area school throughout the state.

Press Law and Ethics (PLE) certification continues for advisers and will culminate with an exam during the summer Rethink/SAW workshop in June. The certification course includes graduate credit from Adams State University upon completion. CSMA President Adam Dawkins is leading the certification training.

CSMA will host the second JEA national critique summit June 10-11.

Six positions on the CSMA board are coming available this spring and will be voted on within the year.

Awards: Rocky Heights M.S. media adviser Timothy Ryckman will be recognized as a JEA Rising Star at the JEA/NSPA convention in Seattle.

Smoky Hill H.S. will be recognized with the First Amendment Press Freedom Award in Seattle as well.

Winners from CSMA’s fall Fearless contest were announced in February. Three student media programs – Eagle Valley H.S. (adviser Hannah Shapiro), Palmer Ridge H.S. (adviser Tom Patrick) and Rangeview H.S. (adviser Zeb Carabello) – were awarded $300 vouchers to attend any CSMA event this spring/summer. Judges were Jeff Browne and Mary Beth Tinker.

Colorado’s student journalist of the year (Dorothy Greer Scholarship) is Esteban Arellano from Standley Lake H.S. in Westminster (adviser Lynn Strauss). Arellano will receive $2,000 toward tuition and expenses to attend a Colorado university.

Individual student media contests – the CSMA Best of Colorado awards – are due April 10. Featuring $250 cash prizes for both the individual winners and their school student media programs, Designer, Photographer, Middle School/Junior High Journalist, Broadcast Journalist and Reporter of the year contest deadlines are April 15.

Three yearbooks are up for national recognition in Seattle in April as NSPA Pacemaker Finalists.

Dennis Leizear, CJE
Delaware State Director
Padua Academy
905 N. Broom St.
Wilmington DE 19806

Membership: Delaware’s JEA membership currently stands at two members.  I accepted the role of state director in January and am hoping to increase membership in the by this time next year.

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

The District of Columbia JEA membership remains steady. We held a successful four-week workshop in partnership with the Newseum during the month of February. Thirty students from eight different D.C. public, charter and private schools attended weekly Thursday afternoon workshop sessions focused on interviewing, budgeting, photography and publishing to www.capitalstudentnews.com. Before each workshop began, students had the opportunity to explore an area of the Newseum. Student participants developed an interest in the CSN website and made new connections with peers across the city. Journalism advisers also had a chance to connect virtually and in person.

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

Membership: We currently have 135 members.  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. Registration closed early as the banquet sold out and the room block did too. FSPA will announce the Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year, Gold Medallion recipients and Emerging Young Journalist awards.

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

In conjunction with JEA’s newest Business Professionals of America partnership, local JEA members will serve as judges at their National Leadership Conference in May.

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

Congratulations to all of these outstanding high school journalists.

Tyler will be recognized at the state convention awards dinner on Friday, April 28, and will represent FSPA at the national level.

Congratulations to Emerging Young Journalist finalists Katie Delk (Hillsborough), Macy McClintock (Robinson) and Hilly Yehoshua (Dr. Krop).

Congratulations to the FSPA Teacher of the Year finalists as well:

  • Britt Taylor, Hagerty H.S.
  • Cynthia Reeves, Gulf Breeze H.S.
  • Devin Marsh, AP Mays COTA
  • Michael Malcolm-Bjorkland, River City Science Academy-Innovation
  • Tom Kovack, Fivay H.S.
  • Chuck Rivera, West Broward H.S.

Congratulations to the Florida publications that received CSPA Crown awards. We tallied one Gold and two Silver Yearbook Crowns; two Silver Magazine Crowns; and one Gold and two Silver Newspaper Crowns. Click here for full list of award winners.

NSPA Finalists: Four yearbook staffs and one newspaper staff will learn if they win the Pacemaker April 8.

FSPA Spring Digital Contests: There were 2,166 entries in the annual spring contests. Check out the All Florida winners here. The names in bold are the Best of the Best finalists. Winners will be announced at the state convention, April 28.

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 JEA member directory shows more than 60 Georgia members, and I hope to continue the membership growth trend. I volunteered with Jonathan Rogers, MJE, at JEA’s booth at the NCTE convention in November and hope we drummed up some interest from our English teacher allies.

The 2017 Georgia Champion Journalist (our JOY) is Sophie Fernandes of Clarke Central H.S. David Ragsdale is her adviser.

Nationally, Georgia scored honors with NSPA Pacemakers in November and Pacemaker Finalists this spring. We’re hoping Seattle will be good to the peach state entries!

Membership in the Georgia Scholastic Press Association increased to 101 from 97 in the fall. At the state level, 773 individual spring contest entries have been submitted, a 9 percent increase from last year’s contest, and schools submitted 38 general excellence entries.

The GSPA spring awards banquet on April 24 will incorporate a workshop with three tracks that are platform agnostic: general track, from staff to leadership, and transitioning out, now what. Each track will have sessions to focus on skill development and/or prepare students for future roles.

A fall survey of Georgia advisers showed support for exploring a Georgia JEA affiliate group to focus on the specific needs of advisers. The additional cost to officially become a JEA affiliate is a deterrent since the number of advisers who expressed interest (only two dozen) is relatively small. I’ll be exploring options and would welcome advice from other state directors who have launched a state JEA separate from their state’s scholastic press association.

Unofficial talk of relocating Advisers Institute for future summers excites advisers I spoke with at this month’s SIPA convention in Columbia, S.C. The need to offer both an affordable conference setting and a pleasant destination city is getting me thinking …

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

Membership: Hawaii has 11 members. I continue to network with advisers to increase membership. I will represent JEA at the upcoming Hawaii High School Journalism Awards Banquet with an announcement about the benefits and importance of our organization and its initiatives.


  • The Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association continues to meet monthly to discuss the benefits of scholastic journalism, how to improve statewide events for our students, state documents that affect our students’ work and New Voices legislation in Hawaii. We appreciate all communications and support that JEA has lent our group through emails or Listserv requests, especially to Lori Keekley, MJE, Matthew LaPorte, CJE, Rebecca Tallent and John Bowen, MJE. The information and resources shared by those aforementioned as well as the successful New Voices legislation enacted around the nation guides our talks and actions. HSJA is an all-inclusive group that invites all interested stakeholders to join. Cindy Reves, a JEA member who represents this group, will also present at the upcoming HHSJA Banquet to increase membership. The next meeting is April 29 at 10 a.m. at the Ka Leo office at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Earlier this year, the HSJA group met with the HHSJA organizer to modify categories and expectations of its journalism contest. HSJA also requested a way for students to view all award-winning work to promote student reflection and growth.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 2017 HHSJA Awards Ceremony will take place April 19.
  • The Jostens Hawaii Spring Yearbook Workshop will take place May 13.
  • The Olelo Youth Xchange, the state’s largest video competition, will take place April 27. Students of JEA advisers have been selected as finalists in this competition.
  • The Hawaii STEM – Women in Technology Conference takes place May 1 and 2. Students will compete in pre-conference and on-site video and digital storytelling competitions.
  • While we do not have a Hawaii State Journalist of the Year entrant this year, Hawaii advisers and students will attend the spring convention in Seattle.

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

Membership: Idaho membership is steady at 20-25 members. It had dipped to under 20 members a few years ago.

Journalist of the Year: Sandpoint H.S. Student Amanda Wikoff the Idaho Student Journalist of the Year (adviser: William Love). ISJA sent her a $100 state prize award. Applications for the state JOY increased from one in 2015 and two in 2016 to three in 2017.

National Journalism Quiz Bowl: At last one Idaho team is registered for the National Journalism Quiz Bowl. Participation in regional events was posted to the website. Emails were sent to ISJA/JEA members encouraging participation

 JEA Mentor Program: Idaho continues to search for mentors. The summer timing of the Advisers Institute requirement has been an obstacle. Requests to recent Idaho retirees have been circulated for consideration.

Summer Workshop: Rebecca Tallent of University of Idaho is traveling to three areas of Idaho to conduct summer journalism workshops. ISJA is helping her spread the word; the flyer is online here. For more information, visit this page.

New Voices Legislation: Rebecca Tallent of University of Idaho is spearheading the efforts in Idaho. She conducted a survey of Idaho teachers and will move forward from there. I think she has a Democratic legislator on board and is seeking a Republican to represent the issue. Hawaii advisers recently asked for feedback, and Idaho leaders responded.

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

Membership: Illinois current membership in JEA is 175.

Happenings: Eastern Illinois University will host the IHSA Journalism State Tournament April 29. IJEA’s website can be found here. IJEA also has an active social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Mentors: The following Illinois mentors submitted reports for the second semester of the 2016-17 school year. They offer a detailed account of their work with Illinois journalism teachers.

Carol Smith

Carol Smith is working with two Illinois mentees. She assisted one adviser in getting a print newspaper started in addition to the current online publication; the other mentee struggles with training and retention, so Carol helped provide curricular resources as well as suggestions for dealing with interference from the school’s guidance department.

Stan Zoller, MJE

Stan Zoller is working with four mentees. Three are newspaper advisers; one is a yearbook adviser. They come from a range of schools: inner city, suburban and rural. He has shared curricular resources as well as information about open records laws, state contests and Illinois New Voices.

Initiatives: With the assistance of the Student Press Law Center, we have been educating stakeholders about what the Illinois New Voices Law means to them. Supporting advisers and students as challenges arise.

We continue to enhance membership by attracting new members, especially by informing them about the JEA curriculum, and by ensuring that IJEA members are also JEA members.

We are working to form a local committee for the Chicago 2018 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

We continue to work on increasing the number of Illinois advisers with JEA certification by encouraging current CJEs to become MJEs and  by continuing to offer certification testing at the IJEA fall conference.

In addition, we promote student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Abigail Murphy of Downers Grove North H.S. is the Illinois Journalist of the year. Her adviser is Elizabeth Levin, MJE. The runner-up is Marissa Martinez of University of Chicago Laboratory School (adviser Logan Aimone, MJE).

One Illinois yearbook and two Illinois online newspapers are Pacemaker Finalists. Pacemakers will be presented at the spring convention in Seattle.

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

Membership: Membership remains about the same as last fall, with 107 current members.

Happenings: Optimism remains high as the New Voices of Indiana legislation, HB1130, heads for a Senate education committee vote March 22, another step toward a goal we set 26 years ago when legislation got shut down after passing the House. Pressure is on to stop an amendment that would gut the current bill. The amendment would provide for a local option that allows school districts to decide for themselves what to censor. If this bill passes the Senate committee vote, it heads to the full Senate later this spring. The Indiana House passed the New Voices student journalism bill 88-4 Feb. 23.

Events: More than 250 students, advisers and parents gathered at the Statehouse for the 11th annual Indiana High School Press Association First Amendment Symposium March 14, which served an added bonus as a precursor to HB 1130 New Voices Senate hearings the following day. Students in attendance received free #BeHeard t-shirts, the rallying cry for the New Voices legislation.

Symposium Guest speaker Evans Branigan, principal at North Central H.S. in Indianapolis, championed the importance of a free, responsible student media in his keynote address. Branigan has been honored as an IHSPA Louis Ingelhart recipient and Journalism Education Association Administrator of the Year. Co-authors of the HB1130 New Voices legislation Rep. Edward Clere and Rep. Edward DeLaney also spoke to the group about their support.

Capping off the gathering, Adam McGoff from North Central H.S. in Indianapolis was named the 2017 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year. Adam broke the story about a school board candidate who had not been a part of the community but “purchased” by outside interests planning to privatize North Central’s school corporation. Local professional media would have missed it–picked it up from Adam’s reporting. The candidate was not elected. His adviser is Tom Gayda, MJE.

Joining Adam in the spotlight are Phillip Steinmeitz, Jeffersonville H.S., adviser Wes Scott, recipient of large school IHSPA $1,500 scholarship; and Lily Thompson, Paoli H.S., adviser Heather Nichols, recipient of small school IHSPA $1,500 scholarship. The other finalists include Maria Leotaras, from Crown Point H.S., adviser Julie Elston; and Ryan Eggers, Nicole Thomas and Jackie Ham, all from Ben Davis H.S., Tom Hayes adviser.

Excitement hit Indianapolis in November as we welcomed more than 3,600 for Journalism 360, The Circle City 2016, the fall national convention. As an added highlight, the Indiana High School Press Association hosted its fall convention, which usually meets in mid-October, to coincide the national convention. Nearly 400 students from Indiana and 133 from other states attended the opening JEA/NSPA 2016 Convention session at Franklin College, which featured Walter “Robby” Robinson of the Boston Globe Spotlight team. Other highlights included honoring the 2016 Hoosier Stars, representing the best publications in Indiana, and the Harvey Awards, for outstanding individual efforts. Topping the Friday luncheon, April Moss, publications adviser at Pike H.S., received the Ella Sengenberger Indiana Adviser of the Year Award.

Honors: Special shoutout to Tom Gayda, MJE, newly elected director-at-large.

Nancy Hastings, MJE, has been named the 2017 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award recipient by the Journalism Education Association. The award recognizes a journalism teacher who inspired others to pursue scholastic journalism teaching and/or advising. Hastings, who advised Munster’s Paragon yearbook and Crier newspaper for 38 years, becomes the 14th adviser honored since 2003. The award will be presented and Hastings will speak at the JEA Adviser’s Institute July 10-13 in Las Vegas.

Finalists and honorees for NSPA Pacemaker awards are listed here. CSPA Crown finalists are available here.

Last, but not least: On a sad note, we need to commend Diana Hadley, IHSPA executive director, as she plans to wrap up her IHSPA leadership at the end of June. Planning to serve only five years after retiring from Mooresville HS, Diana is wrapping up 13 years of direction to the state organization. Along with pushing through state journalism standards, she has championed Indiana Honors Diploma credit for journalism classes and she leads the current battle for the New Voices of Indiana legislation. She will be sorely missed and hard to replace.

Fortunately, Franklin College has expanded the IHSPA position to full-time with benefits to encourage qualified people to consider it.

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: Fifty-one Iowa people are currently JEA members. Much work has centered on cultivating one-on-one relationships with newer members.


IHSPA State Convention: Over 800 students attended the fall state convention, so many that some had to stand on a balcony surrounding the University of Iowa Ballroom because all seats were full. This caused the custodial staff to move the students because of safety reasons. As a result, the conference has become so well attended that it will be moved to a larger area within Memorial Union next fall. IHSPA director Paul Jensen continues to secure excellent speakers from the professional media, other related fields and education who interest students.

Adviser Professional Development: Two Rivers Marketing in Des Moines hosted the annual adviser professional development day. The East Village firm holds accounts with the likes of Bobcat and John Deere. They develop marketing directed at businesses who might use another business’s products. Much trade show product is created with employees learning the jargon of different trades and how a variety of item operate. Ten advisers toured Two Rivers cool, old building and talked with employees about how much journalism is used in their jobs. The takeaway of the day was 40% of the employees had worked a journalism job before being hired. Journalism is not dead. Amen.

Journalist of the Year contest: We continued efforts to improve the Iowa JOY contest. IHSPA Director Paul Jensen worked with Geof Fischer of the Iowa Newspaper Association to increase the cash incentive from $100 two years ago to $200 last year to $500 this year. Four students entered the state contest, which was two fewer than last year. Interesting with the cash increase.

Awards and honors: Isabelle Robles of Iowa City West H.S. is the Iowa representative for the national JOY contest. The runner-up was Cheyann Neads from Des Moines North H.S.

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

Membership: In the last report, JEA membership in Kansas was strong with 135 members and we have added seven new members since then. That brings our total membership to 142.

Events: We are getting ready for a party! KSPA, Kansas journalism students and educators will be celebrating the 25thanniversary of the passage of the Kansas Student Publications Act. KSPA will be hosting a two-day conference at the ExpoCentre and Capitol Plaza in Topeka on Sept. 25 and 26 for the entire state rather than the traditional one-day conferences in three locations across the state. The working theme is “Our story is freedom: Celebrating 25 years of a free student press in Kansas.” We’d love to see journalism students and teachers from the surrounding states join us for the celebration! Visit the KSPA website for more information as we get closer to the date. And there will most definitely be cake.

At our December board meeting, KSPA executive director Eric Thomas, MJE, reported that attendance at the Fall Conferences were up significantly, which increases income for the organization in addition to allowing us to have an impact on more Kansas students.

The 2016 All-Kansas yearbook awards have been judged and posted. The All-Kansas newspaper contest deadline was in early March. Entries are down a bit this year.

KSPA had a strong showing at the Manhattan (Kansas) CTE conference. Jim McCrossen (Blue Valley Northwest H.S.), Kristy Nyp (Manhattan H.S.), Eric Thomas (KSPA) and Barb Tholen (Lawrence H.S.) all presented sessions and Kathy Habiger (Mill Valley H.S.) led the round table discussion for our pathway. Since most of us had never attended this conference before, it was very interesting two days. KSPA is talking with the organization about providing a full slate of sessions next year.

KSPA will award the Mary Patrick Aspiring Young Journalist Award to an outstanding middle school journalist this spring. The organization is working to provide more opportunities and awards for our youngest journalists and hosted a workshop for middle school journalism students on April 1, at Derby North M.S. The workshop included presentations on many facets of journalism.

KSPA rolled out its new contest management program (we contracted with Better Newspaper Contests) for the regional contest. It provided a very elegant solution to most of the problems members had been experiencing.

Another big change for our contests was that advisers judged some of the regional on-site contests for divisions larger or smaller than their own. The process seemed to work very well, reduced the number of outside judges needed and gave advisers some insight into the judging process.

The monthly contests continue to be popular and offer recognition for Kansas journalism students throughout the year. Take a look at the February winners here.

Awards and honors:

  • Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest H.S., will receive the Pioneer Award from NSPA in Seattle.
  • Celia Hack, Shawnee Mission East H.S. was named the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and will represent Kansas in the national Student Journalist of the Year competition. Her adviser is Dow Tate.
  • Anniston Weber, Hays H.S., was named the 3A/4A Student Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Bill Gasper.
  • Amanda Schmalzried, Canton-Galva H.S., was named the 1A/2A Student Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Jessica Bowman.
  • Kansas publications were recognized by NSPA as Pacemaker Finalists and winners for yearbook and newspaper.

KSPA is online here and on Twitter here.

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

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

Jessica Nassau, CJE
Maryland State Director
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Membership: Maryland currently has 23 members.

State Events: The Maryland DC Scholastic Press Association will host a fall Journalism Day for students at the University of Maryland. Date for 2017 TBA.

Scholastic Journalism News: The New Voices Act passed in Maryland and went into effect in October 2016.

Future Plans: Restart the JEA state journalist of the year competition and create an annual workshop for state journalism advisers.

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

Membership: Massachusetts has 39 members.

Journalist of the Year: The Massachusetts JOY is Mona Baloch of The Lion’s Roar at Newton South H.S. Check out her portfolio!

MASPA: I am continuing to work with MASPA to connect advisers in Massachusetts and helped judge the MASPA All-State contest this year.

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

Membership: We have 58 members in Michigan.

Journalist of the Year: Leah Graham of Troy H.S. was chosen as Michigan’s Journallist of the Year. This year in Michigan we had a grand total of 32 portfolios submitted in our contest. We are a little different in Michigan in that our portfolios serve a dual purpose. We not only select JOY but also our ALL MIPA recognizes the top portfolio submission in the following specializations:

  • News Writing and Reporting (8 portfolios submitted)
  • Yearbook (4)
  • Photojournalism (6)
  • Video (4)
  • News Design (5)
  • Multi-Platform (5)

Portfolios were judged by a panel of MIPA advisers. Each specialization area had a committee of advisers assigned to judge. Each judging committee put forth it’s best portfolio for JOY and the MIPA board selected the winner at its March 3 meeting.

MIPA Judging Day: MIPA hosted its annual judging day March 4. Dozens of judges included advisers, collegiate journalists, professional journalists and college professors. They judged over 4,000 student entries in the MIPA Individual Category Contests.

MIPA One Day Workshop: On March 17, MIPA hosted 80 students from around the state at its annual One Day Workshop. Students chose one of the following courses:

  • Cell Phone Journalism (taught by MSU professor Mike Castellucci, a 20-time Emmy winner and Murrow award recipient who has produced numerous award-winning pieces using an iPhone)
  • InDesign for Publications (taught by Cody Harrell of East Lansing H.S.)
  • Newspaper (re)Design clinic (taught by C.E. Sikkenga of Grand Haven H.S.
  • Photoshop (taught by Ike Lea of Lansing Community College)

New award: In an attempt to help encourage and retain newer advisers, MIPA is in the process of creating  a “high five” award. In short, in an adviser’s first five years advising, MIPA will send a letter to the adviser’s department chair and principal detailing their efforts and commitments as a journalism educator.

The nominee should meet the following criteria:

  • Be in their first five years of teaching
  • Teach a scholastic journalism course
  • Participate in one or more the various resources MIPA provides each year

As part of MIPA’s support to new advisers, it is encouraged that an adviser participates in one of the following resources to help develop their program and teaching:

  • Become a member of MIPA
  • Be a part of the MIPA mentor program
  • Plan MIPA field trips
  • Send kids to Summer Workshop
  • Attend Fall Conference
  • Take classes to get certified
  • Join JEA
  • Receive JEA certification
  • Help at Judging Day
  • Be a floor councilor at Summer Workshop
  • Present at MIPA’s Fall Conference
  • Attend Adviser Day at Summer Workshop
  • Attend and/or bring students to the One Day Workshop
  • Join the MIPA board

Ongoing initiatives: This will be our third year of MIPA Graduation Honor Cords for seniors meeting criteria. The program expanded in year two. The panic button continues to be an option for students facing censorship. The annual summer workshop will take place July 30-Aug. 3 at Michigan State University. This year’s theme is “True Colors.”

Awards and honors: Grosse Pointe North H.S. will be recognized in Seattle with the First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

In addition, Michigan schools earned NSPA recognition in Indianapolis at the fall convention.

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

Membership: Minnesota has 36 JEA members, up two from the fall report.

Initiatives: Minnesota is in its second attempt this year to pass our New Voices Act. Lori Keekley, MJE, Jeff Kocur, CJE, and I attended another fundraiser last fall for our sponsoring State Representative Cheryl Youakim. We were able to introduce Keekley as DJNF Teacher of the Year to our Governor Mark Dayton.

Then, this February, Kocur  and Keekley met with the Senate sponsor, and they spent Presidents Day meeting with politicians to promote the act. Keekley’s co-editor Ethan Brown also attended as a voice of student journalists to help garner support for the act.

Currently, the act is in both the House and Senate, but we do not anticipate much going on until next session — it’s a two-year cycle.

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 last October’s board meeting, I proposed a plan for an outreach workshop to be piloted in Minnesota for underserved schools. So far, we have a host school of Mayo H.S. in Rochester with a tentative date of May 13.

Additional work on the board has included looking at different membership options for NSPA and the MHSPA. 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 and need some revision.

Awards: We are extremely proud of our colleague Lori Keekley, MJE, receiving honors as the 2016 Dow Jones News Fund Teacher of the Year. She also was honored as one of four Gold Key recipients at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention in March.

Ethan Brown, Keekley’s editor-in-chief, was named the 2017 Journalist of the Year for Minnesota.

In addition, the Echo, advised by Keekley, received the First Amendment Freedom Award.

Three Minnesota schools were named as NSPA Pacemaker Finalists and CSPA Crown Award recipients.

I say with a full heart how happy I am to have Gary Lundgren as associate director and at the helm of contests and critiques for NSPA.

Upcoming events: Minnesota’s annual Arts Journalism Day at the Guthrie is back April 26 after a year’s hiatus. Students will tour the theater, discuss review writing with an arts critic from the Star Tribune and then view a matinee of the play, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Winning reviews will be posted online.

Our website is here.

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. 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 will host its annual statewide convention at Ole Miss on March 31. We have right at 600 students registered to attend and about 40 different breakout sessions scheduled! A great success. Our keynote address will be best-selling essayist, author and activist Kiese Laymon. The next event in Mississippi will be the Overby Advisers Institute June 6-8.

Awards and honors: At our spring convention, we award excellence in over 100 different categories, including Best Newspaper/Yearbook/Broadcast/LitMag and Broadcast/Yearbook/Newspaper Adviser of the Year. Digital submission via Google Drive and Dropbox has really simplified this process. Lots of happy advisers (and a few frustrated ones, just to be fair).

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: MSPA coordinated travel for Mississippi schools to attend SIPA (about a 10-hour  bus ride) back in early March. For small groups, affording a charter bus is cost prohibitive and a non-starter. Our solution was to purchase the bus through MSPA, then sell individual seats to advisers/students. This worked well, and we even picked up a group from Georgia on the way. I plan to offer this as an option for JEA Dallas in the fall, hopefully the bus will make. If you’re looking for a place to allocate resources in the future, offering financial support to state orgs who facilitate something like this might be a worthwhile investment.

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

Membership: Missouri has 155 members. As of March 21 there are 149 voting members in Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member). There are six non-voting members, which include associate, institutional and college students.


Cronkite New Voices Act: On March 13 the Cronkite New Voices Act passed the House 148-6. Rep. Kevin Corlew sponsored the bill. The Act now moves on to the Senate.

MJEA (Missouri Journalism Education Association) Partner Events

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Speaker Series returns with “Aisha and Debbie Dish” as Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan and KMOX host Debbie Monterrey share stories from the newsroom.
  • Prior to the Speaker Series event, there was a “Critique with the Pros” session held at Kirkwood H.S., sponsored by Media Now summer camp. Students had the opportunity to sit down and speak with a pro about their work. Critiques are done by professional journalists as well as college and high school instructors in a variety of areas.
  • Hosted a Social Justice and Journalism conference at St. Louis University on Dec. 6.
  • 41 Action News to offered MJEA members a free workshop at 41 Action News in Kansas City on Feb. 27
  • Hosting STL SNO DAY on April 20 —  the second SNO Workshop this school year. STL SNO DAY is an intense workshop packed with training and designed to help students learn and immediately put into practice methods to improve their website. A SNO Trainer will be on hand to meet students where they are and take them to the next level. The day’s group instruction will concentrate on showing methods to keep sites fresh, manage the content on the home page, improve the look and utility of story pages and how to pluck relevant information from analytics to make decisions about coverage and promotion.
  • MJEA Contests; Awards roll out beginning May 1.
  • Media Now in Columbia, Mo. (June)

Journalism STL

  • Hosted its annual spring conference on March 15 at Saint Louis University. Maira Garcia was the keynote speaker. She is the digital news editor for the culture department at The New York Times. She serves as a planning editor for daily web coverage and major news events, and oversees the department’s digital workflow and its social media. She joined The Times in 2012. The conference also featured breakout sessions from professional journalists from the greater St. Louis Region.

MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association)

  • Hosting its annual Journalism Day March 29 at MU in Columbia. The event draws over 1,000 high school journalism students and their advisers. Students attend sessions taught by MU Journalism faculty and MIPA high school journalism teachers and professional journalists. MIPA’s Student Journalist of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year will be honored as well as hundreds of students who entered MIPA’s annual journalism contest.
  • Honoring for the first time an MIPA Emerging Journalism Educator.
  • Features weekly Thursday Tips for members with links to relevant articles and teaching tools for advisers.
  • Features a monthly photo contest.

JEMKC (Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City)

    • Awards Night: April 25 5:30-7 p.m. at KU Edwards Campus BEST Conference Center  
    • Features keynote speaker, individual awards and scholarship awards

Awards and honors:

Missouri Student Journalist of the Year: Jacob Lintner of Francis Howell North H.S. Jacob was selected based on his extensive and diverse body of work. Jacob developed and branded FHNgameday.com, the sports sister site to FHNtoday.com, and brought live streaming of events into to the FHN newsroom with FHNtodayLive. Jacob is advised by Aaron Manfull who wrote, “They are the ones who set the schedule. They are the ones who train their team. They are the ones who hold themselves accountable for making these broadcasts happen. From my standpoint, those facts alone put what they have done into a completely different category. I’m one of their biggest fans and I’m not the only one. Since its inception, the live broadcasting page has consistently ranked in the top 3 most viewed parts of the site … [Jacob is] in the top 1 percentof all students I’ve been lucky enough to advise and I can’t think of any former staffers whose portfolio matches his depth and variety.” See more of Jacob’s work here.

Awards for Missouri in Indy: Missouri had a great showing in the National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker and Individual Award nominations with 11 schools recognized for their outstanding work. The Brasler Prize also went to a Missouri school this year. The 2016 Brasler Prize went to Camille Respess, Ellie Tomasson, Alex Bernard and the Globe of Clayton H.S. for their impressively researched, reported, written and presented examination of mental illness among young people, “State of Mind.”

Other recognition: Congratulations to Missouri staffs recognized with CSPA Crown Awards in March. Multiple Missouri publications are Pacemaker Finalists, which will be presented at the spring convention in Seattle.

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 decline. The number of returning members has also diminished. This is due in part to retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs. Currently, MJEA has 20 members, an increase from last spring, and although we have recently had an addition of four new JEA members, our membership stands at only 16 members.
  • MJEA gained a highly motivated and action-orientated president. Beth Britton, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls. She continues to work to assist the state’s journalism advisers through the dissemination of information and resources, working closely with the University of Montana School of Journalism and JEA’s state director Linda Ballew, MJE. She is beginning her third year as MJEA president.
  • Both Beth and Linda continue to request input on how to reorganize the association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively.
  • To gain a better understanding of this issue, we have reached out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails, letters and requests to submit and participate in the site.
  • The gap left in MJEA’s leadership continues to not be filled. We hope 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 of the small, rural as well as larger high schools. It is obvious that younger advisers need to find reasons to be professionally involved with our organization 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 State Standards alignment and assessments they use both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability.
  • We will work to develop updated bylaws and job descriptions.
  • Ballew has developed an outreach to new advisers through JEA’s Mentor Program. She currently has five Montana mentees in Big Timber, Livingston, Lewistown, Billings as well as an additional mentee in Utah. These advisers have become MJEA and JEA members.
  • Britton and Ballew have seen the ties to the University of Montana’s School of Journalism change. They, too, are continuing to see the need to recruit as their students majoring in journalism has also decreased. Severe cuts to curriculum and faculty have occurred at the University of Montana. The focus of the Journalism School has been adapting to ensure its viability.
  • Britton and Ballew will take on more responsibility for the state journalism contest to ensure that yearbook programs will continue to have critique and contest services as well as newspaper and online publications.


  • Because of the spring MJEA newspaper, online, yearbook and photography critiques and contests, members continue to show interest in joining MJEA. The contest appears to be maintaining numbers.
  • The changes made in coordinating the Montana Journalist of the Year contest introduced last year seem to be less daunting this spring. There still needs to be a reminder of the contest rules.
  • The JOY awards a senior student with a $1,000 scholarship from the Montana Newspaper Association.
  • This year’s JOY recipient is Terryn Premo, editor-in-chief of the C.M. Russell “Russellog”  (full story here)

Comments by Richard Ecke, competition judge:

Journalism is not only represented by a reporter asking pointed questions of a politician trying to deflect a scandal, a writer describing a disastrous fire, or the courage of an editor fighting a subpoena from a hostile judge.

Terryn Premo of C.M. Russell High School demonstrates strengths in another side of journalism, the visual side.

Terryn is a bright, talented and driven young woman. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, holds a 3.38 grade-point average, works part-time after school at Old Navy, and she’s been accepted to Montana State University in Bozeman to study graphic design. She’s even a member of her high school’s marching band.

Her skills in the field of journalism are apparent. Terryn’s work on the yearbook shows she is not afraid to experiment with layout. I liked the drama pages she laid out with the cut-out photos. She also used the tried-and-true design approach of using a large photograph to anchor a page in order to attract a reader’s initial attention.

Terryn is editor in chief of the yearbook and has written for the student newspaper. She began taking journalism classes at the high school beginning in her freshman year, and Terryn has benefited from the enthusiasm and wisdom of her veteran journalism teacher, Beth Britton.

“Her peers listen to her feedback and opinions, and they respect her for her work and dedication,” Britton noted. “It is a pleasure working with her on a daily basis…”

It’s all credit to Terryn, who doesn’t plan to slow down in her quest to explore layout, graphic design, photography and other aspects of journalism that boost readership and viewership. It’s a worthy course of study to follow, and Terryn Premo is an excellent candidate for national recognition for her hard work and dedication, her mentoring of fellow students and her desire to excel.


  • The Montana Journalism High School Day, coordinated by U of M journalism professors, will take place on Mar. 31, 2017, and it has established a connection between public school advisers and the university.
  • It also has provided an opportunity for students and advisers to attend U of M faculty workshops: “Words + Pictures + Your Creativity = Fun with Design,” “Reporting the World: Why Stay Home?,” “Photo-J and Your Phone,” “So You Want to be a TV Star?” “Can This Hashtag Get Me Suspended” “The Value of the Moment,” “Tell the Whole Story,” and “How to Say More with Fewer Words,” “What is Investigative Reporting & How Can I Do It?,” “Say It Out Loud: An Intro to Audio Storytelling” Workshop with Pollner Professor Anne Bailey.
  • Student editors will also have time for publication reviews, project roundtable discussions and a press conference with breaking news.
  • Entry contestants as well as Journalism Day participants are still primarily from the larger AA school districts. President Beth Britton has reiterated her concern about diminishing membership and contest entries from advisers in smaller, more rural school districts.
  • U of M will again have a journalism professor, Jason Begay, attending and presenting workshops at the JEA Convention in Seattle. The Mentoring Program is doing well. Linda Ballew, MJE, is mentoring four Montana advisers and one adviser in Utah. Two of the advisers from eastern Montana will meet with Linda at the JEA/NSPA convention in Seattle
  • Linda Ballew, MJE, has been working on New Voices legislation. Lee Banville, media professor from the University of Montana, had agreed to help write the legislation. Senator Mary Moe and Legislator Dr. Fred Anderson had agreed to propose the legislation. Three other representatives, both Democrat and Republican, have agreed to co-sponsor. This did not happen this legislative session as Senator Moe resigned her position for family concerns. Also, much more work and organization needs to occur. Ballew will share her concerns and continue to organize this effort in Seattle.
  • The JEA office has been wonderful in sending support materials to help Beth and Linda as they try to enlist new members. The staff has also been essential in helping with materials that reinforce classroom issues and support Linda’s mentees. Thank you so much!

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

Membership: Membership is steady; 27 active advisers renewed their JEA membership with their NHSPA Membership this fall. Thanks to JEA Headquarters for continuing to provide incentive to do this. We were excited to have a Nebraska adviser on the national board slate for elections. Thanks to Matt Rasgorshek for offering his time, expertise and abilities.


  • JEA Nebraska sponsored a winter contest. Thanks to those who assisted with judging. Results can be found here.
  • The State Activities Association continues to sponsor a spring state contest. Those preliminary results and State qualifiers will be posted soon here.
  • The NSAA Board of Control will be voting this spring to increase the Classifications for Journalism schools from two to three. Advisers are hoping for this legislation to move forward. In 2015, there were five classifications. The Board of Control will also be considering the addition of broadcasting categories to the state contest.
  • NHSPA will sponsor its Summer Journalism Workshop July 17-19 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Speakers include Scott Winter in Editorial Leadership, Emily Pyeatt Arnold in Yearbook Production, Jim Streisel in Newspaper Design, Bruce Thorson in Digital Photography, Rod Satterthwaite in Journalistic Writing and Taylor Siebert in Video Production. Students and advisers fro other states are welcome. Scholarships and group discounts are available. For more information, contact Diane Schieffer at dschieffer@epsne.org.

Awards and honors: Congratulations to the 2017 Nebraska Journalist of the Year: Priya P. Kukreja of Millard North H.S. Her adviser is Sarah Crotzer. You can view her portfolio here. Priya’s portfolio has been received at the JEA Headquarters for judging with the other state winners. We wish her and all other state winners the best in their journalistic futures. Congratulations to the 2017 Nebraska Journalist of the Year Runner-up: Claire M. Lavender of Omaha Central H.S. (adviser Hillary Blayney) and two other finalists: Dylan N. Miettinen of Elkhorn H.S. (adviser Diane Schieffer) and Corey A. Hadfield of Millard West H.S. (adviser Lisa Lukecart).  It was an incredibly close contest this year, sparking intense debate and serious dialogue among the judges from UNL’s School of Journalism.

New Voices Legislation: Nebraska was gearing up for this legislative session with the spearheading being done by Michael D. Kennedy of NCMA. In January, he informed the high school advisers that NCMA has decided to wait yet another year to pursue Nebraska New Voices. There were many factors leading to their decision, but as noted in Kennedy’s email to Chris Triebsch, chief of staff for Sen. Pansing-Brooks, keeping public schools in the legislation and the time necessary to achieve that goal were the two primary reasons for their decision.

For the board:
Just a quick but heartfelt thank you to those national JEA board members for their work in the last term. We are eternally grateful!

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

Membership: Membership has increased by two to a total of 30 members. A goal was set in the Fall 2016 Semiannual report to reach 35 members in Nevada, so this is a positive start to meeting that number.

New Voices Nevada: More progress to report! Patrick File has been working diligently to keep the ball rolling and has found a sponsor for our bill, Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro. The bill is based on the language used in the Maryland bill. Lizbeth Walsh, MJE, and Christy Briggs, MJE, of Reno H.S. will be providing their testimonies to the committee. We are so excited for this bill to be introduced and discussed as part of the next legislative session.

Nevada State Journalist of the Year: Alexis Drevetzki of Southwest Career and Technical Academy was named the Nevada State Journalist of the Year. She will be attending the Seattle convention to be recognized.

Happenings: Several Nevada publications have been honored as NSPA Pacemaker Finalists and CSPA Crown recipients.

For the board: Materials and support for end-of-course exams in the realm of video production might be a great way to continue expanding the Curriculum Initiative. Members have been looking for ways to best prepare their students for these state exams.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE

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

Membership: Membership has remained at the same number, 22, since the fall.  However, attendance at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention showed that New Jersey members are becoming more active through attendance and on-site competitions as well as in number of members who presented. The number of CJEs has more than doubled in the past year.

New Voices of New Jersey: Please read John Tagliarieni’s report above for more information about New Jersey’s legislation. Along with Tom McHale, John has made consistent progress with the legislation. The two of them continue to keep members informed at conferences and meetings and through email.

Scholarships: Ella Brockway of Red Bank Regional H.S. won the Bernard Kilgore Scholarship, making her N.J.’s Student Journalist of the Year. Isabel Turi of Columbia H.S. won the Bob Stevens Scholarship.

Happenings: The Garden State Scholastic Press Association will be holding its spring conference for all New Jersey newspaper and yearbook advisers May 5 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Following last year’s successful format, the event will consist of an opening meeting, a series of roundtables (“speed dating style”) and a lunch that will honor the scholarship recipients. The roundtables are small sessions of 5-10 participants that will focus on specific topics. In addition, the GSSPA is adding an online component to its list of contests. The forms will be available soon and will be explained at the conference: schools will now be able to enter Overall Excellence for Online Journalism as well as individual categories that cover podcasting, broadcasting and multimedia.

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

Membership: Current membership is 13 (one more from my fall report). I have three more individuals who are highly interested in JEA and what the organization offers and I am continually remaining active with NMSPA and networking throughout the state to increase this number.

I believe that the work I am doing with establishing the CJE and MJE as recognized credentials for Career and Technical Education (CTE) status will increase these numbers.

Happenings: The NMSPA state conference was a success. We saw an increase in numbers:

  • 2016 – 8 schools participated, approximately 110 kids
  • 2017 – 10 schools participated, approximately150 kids
  • Plus additional participation from the mail-in competitions from schools that can not travel.

The concerns expressed about the lack of schools competing which may negatively affect our current NMAA standing, has been put on the back burner since this year’s event showed an increase in participation. 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.

With collaboration and team effort we added a new competition, Anchor Presentation, and modified other competitions to add electronic components to design competitions. All changes and updates seemed to be met with positive remarks and experiences for students and advisers.

I have met with Eastern New Mexico University’s communications department to work on hosting a summer workshop focusing on a multimedia journalism/communications emphasis. The ideas are flowing and the excitement is there; however, the timing may have to occur next summer based on funding. My hope is that I can at least work out a small summer workshop that we can build upon for the following summer.

With NMSPA, there is a revitalization of energy and it is very exciting to see. We are planning an advisers workshop to promote professional development within our state for those who cannot travel out of state. Current timeline is late August. Also in the works is a one day intensive workshop for students and advisers in September focusing around creating journalism portfolios to develop well rounded student journalists.

First Amendment issues: The issues have not varied since my fall report and I have remained areas of conversation and brainstorming sessions. I have copied information from last report to note ongoing work:

As I have been meeting with advisers two major concerns have come up. First, there has been a trend in schools cutting yearbook programs and journalism 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 e-mail from the superintendent with a document from the schools 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: As mentioned in my fall report to off-set 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.

I attended the Perkins workshop hosted by the NM Public Education Department (NMPED) and it was mentioned that they would like to see more Arts & Communications pathways funded since this is a growing industry in our state. This really opens the door for the work I am doing in promoting, at least, broadcast journalism programs into CTE. This is where the innovative and creative ideas come in with revamping journalism programs to meet the criteria as outlined in the Perkins grant. I will be speaking at the convention in Seattle on this very idea.

Since (NMPED) is open to the arts & communications pathway my efforts with the recognition of CJE and MJE certifications as credentials to recognize an individual as a certified journalism educator should be a bit smoother in qualifying journalism teachers as CTE teacher as well as recognizing those individuals that came into education from the field of journalism as highly qualified in the eyes of school districts should then be considered 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.

Beth Shull
New York State Director
1105 Cortelyou Rd. #2
Brooklyn, NY 11218-5303

Outreach efforts are underway to promote JEA membership and programs in New York.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership for North Carolina as of March is 78, up 23 from last spring. N.C. Scholastic Media Association membership materials continue to offer a JEA membership option, as NCSMA is an affiliate member of JEA.

Happenings: The N.C. Scholastic Media Institute will again provide four days of instruction in the yearbook, news, broadcast, literary magazine, design, online news, advising and photography for students and teachers from across the state. Sessions are taught in the school of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill; instructors include faculty from across the state and several from out of state as well. Dates for summer 2017 are June 19-22. The registration fee remains $200 per person for earlybird registration and $225 for participants who register after May 1. That fee covers overnight lodging, instruction, pizza party and awards brunch. Results from the statewide media contests are announced during the closing awards brunch. This year we are launching a Creativity Boot camp as part of our N.C. Scholastic Media Institute.

NCSMA is also in discussions with National Issues, exploring ways to bring together deliberative discussion forums and journalism education. The fall meeting featured a screening of Queen of Katwe, sponsored by the School of Media and Journalism, celebrating the release of the film based on the book by Carolina Sports Journalism Camp instructor Tim Crothers.

NCSMA is celebrating ten years with the N.C. College Media Association. The recent conference at Elon University was the largest to date. N.C. State will host next year. NCSMA houses the N.C. College Media Association, serving college media advisers and staffs. The NCSMA office coordinates an annual one-day conference in February on a different college campus each year. The association also offers an annual statewide media contest with a Dec. 1 deadline each year. Student media advisers from across the state judge the contest and serve as conference workshop instructors.

NCSMA continues to offer summer graduate-level options in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. The 2017 course will be “Teaching Design in the Secondary School.” This short-term course will be offered July 9-15, allowing teachers to complete three hours of graduate coursework in a week. Class will meet all day each day. North Carolina scholastic journalism teachers and student media advisers are invited to apply for this Journalism Teaching Fellowship course. All expenses are covered by the fellowship program. These fellowships, covering tuition, lodging and books, are valued at $1,230 each.

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

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

Awards and honors: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association has announced First Flight H.S. journalist Mary Pat Thompson as the 2017 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year.

Thompson is the editor-in-chief of the First Flight (Kill Devil Hills) school newspaper, Nighthawk News, where she’s written stories on topics including the LGBTQ+ community, junior firefighters and a fellow student’s death.

Alternates for Journalist of the Year are Luke Buxton of Enloe H.S. in Raleigh, Maya Gacina of Riverside H.S. in Durham and Xenna Smith of TC Roberson H.S. in Asheville.

Buxton serves as Enloe’s first director of sports communications and also serves as the sports anchor for the school’s daily news program, the ‘Loe Down. Gacina serves as head editor of Riverside’s newspaper, The Pirate’s Hook. Smith is the executive producer of TC Roberson’s news-broadcast, the GF Current.

Since 2001, the North Carolina Press Foundation (NCPF) has funded the annual scholarship award in memory of Rachel Rivers-Coffey, former N.C. Press Association president. NCPF will award a $3,000 scholarship to Thompson. The three alternates will each receive $1,000.

The foundation will also award the winners’ journalism programs. The Journalist of the Year’s program will receive $500. The three alternates’ programs will each receive $250.

Thompson will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition. Winners will be announced April 9 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 22 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute, a summer journalism workshop open to students and teachers across the state.

Congratulations to North Carolina publications honored with CSPA Crown Awards and NSPA Pacemaker Finalist recognition.

For the board: We again ask the board to consider a review of the Journalist of the Year contest and its requirements to ensure that we are not requiring a burdensome amount of work in a competition structure that might attract students from programs with greater resources.

We also need to encourage as many entries as possible on the state level. That means accepting entries from students in rural, suburban and urban schools. That means accepting entries from students whose advisers may be new to the field. That means realizing that we may have a student who is an incredibly talented writer, but whose school has limited resources in scholastic journalism. Please help develop a contest infrastructure that encourages participation and does not scare away students.

The 2017 North Carolina JOY contest was focused on removing barriers from student participation, so we allowed various types of entries (online, paper, PDF) and reduced the number of areas for content. We asked students to enter material in at least five of the JEA curriculum areas and not all of them. Our goal was to invite all to enter, not just those at schools with more resources. Judging did not use a points-based rubric, as we, again, did not want to discourage students from entering. The number of entries we received did increase as a result.

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

Membership: North Dakota has 15 JEA members as of March 15.

Happenings: I will be resigning from teaching at the end of the school year; therefore I will be stepping down from my role as North Dakota state director. I leave my teaching position with Bismarck Public Schools to more actively love on my ever-growing family, to pursue a long-time dream and to broaden my impact as a teacher, mentor and friend.

But, I do not plan to completely leave JEA. I will be looking into becoming a mentor in North Dakota. Currently we do not have an official mentor in our state. Since I will be self-employed I plan to make it a point to visit with advisers across the state in person several times a year as well as be an on-going support via phone, email and Facebook.

West Fargo H.S. journalism adviser Jeremy Murphy has been appointed to serve as North Dakota state director after the Seattle convention. Jeremy has taught journalism and advised several publications since 2005. He was instrumental in the pursuit of student free speech protection in North Dakota through his testimony for the John Wall New Voices Act signed into law April 2015.

Steve Listopad took the John Wall New Voices Act back to the legislators this session to attempt to add free speech protection for private high schools and colleges and to make sure that adviser protection was explicit, not just implied. The Senate voted yes unanimously, but only after private schools were dropped. The House Judiciary Committee hasn’t voted yet, but the team testified March 1.

Awards and honorsThis year’s North Dakota High School Journalist of the Year is Faith Harron from Century H.S.

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

Membership: The OJEA membership grew to approximately 45 members, thanks in large part to a handshake agreement with our sister organization Northwest Scholastic Press allowing for membership registration at the NWSP-sponsored Fall Press Day.

Awards: Brian Eriksen from South Salem High School was our 2016 Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Teacher of the Year.

Mentoring: Oregon continues to be one of the leading states for the mentor program. Our four mentors: Bill Flechtner, Ray Hopfer, Karen Boone and Ellen Kersey are mentoring 13 teachers in Oregon and surrounding western states.

Happenings: The Northwest Scholastic Press sponsored Fall Press Day drew over 750 students and advisers from all over the state to the University of Oregon campus on Nov. 2. NWSP also sponsored Portland Press Day March 9 at the U of O Turnbull Center that was well attended.

The OJEA is currently planning to revive the dormant Summer Adviser Workshop at Southern Oregon University for the summer of 2018. We hope to bring back this wonderful tradition of attending the workshop by day and the nationally respected Shakespearean Festival at night.

Due to a lack of candidates for our elections in the spring of 2016, the OJEA has moved to a “position-less” board of directors. All paid OJEA members are welcome to attend board meetings as voting members.

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

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

Membership: Rhode Island currently has two members.

Happenings: We have been working alongside the University of Rhode Island to restore R.I. Journalism Day for high school students. Assisting the chair of URI’s Journalism Department at the Harrington School of Journalism, I have helped to identify schools and clubs most likely to participate in the hopes of encouraging growth and unity among journalism and communications teachers. Professor John Pantaloe will set a fall 2017 date for the one-day conference.

Thanks to professional partnerships, Lincoln H.S. journalism students have entered the professional workplace as interns and job shadows. Among this year’s amazing results are: Senior Brian Viera has filed dozens of radio news reports for WOON in Woonsocket. Brian reports on school events, news and issues as well as local town news in the form of a paid internship. Senior Victoria Lane has secured a mentor in HOT106FM radio host Bekah Burger and is shadowing her this spring. Seniors Kathryn Packard and Delaney Cavanaugh have shadowed assignment editor Artie Tefft of NBC10 for an exciting day in local television news.

In February, as part of the programs observance of Scholastic Journalism Week, the JBA’s 11th annual “My Story” forum brought 17 media professionals to the school to meet with upwards of 80 journalism students. The focus of this year’s event was on political coverage, ethics and law, social media and “fake news.” Local and regional media, high education as well as print, radio and television all were represented.

Kathryn Packard was named Journalist of the Year for Rhode Island. Her application was evaluated locally by representatives of the professional and educational communities. Judges included John Pantaloe, Chair of URI’s journalism program; Sandra Lenore of Smithfield Public Schools; Frank Carpano of NBC10; Michael Montecalvo of WPRI TV12; Tom Carroll of ESPN Radio and Lisa Cardarelli, a teacher at Lincoln H.S.. Kathryn also has been inducted into Quill & Scroll International Honorary Society for high school journalists.

Sarah Brouillard and Rida Jawed were recognized by the New England Scholastic Press Association for excellence in the organization’s Localizing Contest, which considers student reporting for national and international news that impacts the local community and school population. Sarah and Rida focused on the experience of students moving to the United States from the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Lincoln H.S. advisers Doreen Picozzi, MJE, and Lisa Cardarelli have been invited to join the judging panel of the New England Scholastic Press Association. NESPA’s annual conference will take place May 5 at Boston University.

Lincoln’s Journalism and Broadcasting Academy (JBA) is the only state-accredited CTE program in journalism in Rhode Island at this time. Accreditation was received last year from the Rhode Island Department of Education after an audit and evaluation. The program has been operating for 11 years and is supported in large part by federal funding secured through annual grant proposals.

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


Carolina Journalism Institute: The Carolina Journalism Institute will take place June 14-17 at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Columbia, S.C. This summer’s institute is limited to 75 students and will combine written, visual and social media elements. Students will be placed in a group, assigned a beat and produce a story for various platforms using skills taught throughout the Institute. Faculty members – Zac Baker, Kelly Furnas, Dean Hume and Lindsay Theaker – will teach sessions and act as mentors to students. Tuition is $225 and on-campus housing is $100. Find out more information online.

SCSPA Spring Conference: SCSPA will hold its spring conference April 24. Newspaper, online and broadcast evaluation and individual awards, as well as the Journalist of the Year, the SCSPA and Yearbook scholarships, the Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year and the Scroggins Award are presented during the spring conference. Student and adviser officers for the SCSPA board will be elected at the conference as well.

SIPA convention: SIPA’s 2017 convention exceeded last year’s 15-year high attendance number and had a diverse group of over 600 students and advisers from seven states traveling to Columbia, S.C., March 3-5. Mary Inglis was recognized as the SIPA Endowment speaker.

Sean Rayford, a freelance photographer for Getty Images and the Associated Press, was the Friday night keynote speaker and shared his experiences covering natural disasters and national protests. Former high school journalist and current political reporter Cassie Cope and videographer and photographer Matt Walsh, both with The State newspaper, paired up as keynote speakers for the Saturday morning session.

Online profiles: We have started to feature profiles on the SCSPA website of current and former SCSPA participants. These profiles range from student officers currently on the SCSPA board to the 1977 SC Journalist of the Year, who is now an adjunct professor at the J-School. It is a fun way to connect with those who have come through the program and a great spotlight for achievements.

Awards: Sophie Winnick, a senior at Wando H.S., has been named the South Carolina Journalist of the Year by SCSPA. Winnick, the editor-in-chief of Wando’s Legend yearbook and a lowcountry representative on the SCSPA executive board, will receive $500 and recognition at the 2017 SCSPA Spring Conference.

AJ Chambers, “RNE-TV,” Richland Northeast H.S. was named a JEA Special Recognition Broadcast Adviser of the Year.

Wando H.S. was honored with a CSPA Crown Award in the hybrid category for The Tribal Tribune.

Susan Smith
South Dakota State Director
USU 069 Box 2815
Brookings, SD 57007

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

Membership: We have 47 members.

Mentoring: Joy McCaleb, formerly a teacher at Upperman H.S., is Tennessee’s state mentor. This is the first year McCaleb has served as a mentor, and she has already gone from mentoring two schools to mentoring four. Here is what she has to report:

“I am now mentoring four Middle Tennessee schools – Cookeville, Upperman, Mt. Juliet and Hume Fogg. I have helped Cookeville, Upperman, and Hume-Fogg with updating design for their newspapers and worked one-on-one with students and instructors teaching InDesign (and learning a trick or two myself!). I have been able to help with photography and some elements of writing. I also tried my best to advocate honesty and fairness in journalism, which I feel is a great need in this world today. It is one of my priorities for sure.

Three of the schools received awards at THSPA which was a goal they all set. I suppose the biggest accomplishment was with Mt. Juilet because they were online news only,  but they found a way to publish a literary magazine. To top that off, they won third in the online category at THSPA.

At one point, the Mt. Juliet adviser told me she was told by her principal that she would not have a journalism class next year. She went to the middle school and recruited students and now has two journalism classes, one each semester!

I have developed a great working relationship with these schools and the advisers and students. I am hoping to add a school in Knoxville.”

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association hosted a state-wide awards ceremony March 6 in Collins-Alumni Auditorium at Lipscomb University, in Nashville. There were 965 online submissions this year. All of the winners can be found here.

At the awards ceremony, the keynote speaker was Joe Rexrode, a sports columnist with The Tennessean. Students had an opportunity to ask Mr. Rexrode numerous questions about his career as a columnist.

Awards: A senior at Jefferson County H.S., Tori Mullins, was named the H.L. Hall Outstanding Student Journalist of the Year by Tennessee High School Press Association. She has submitted a portfolio for JEA’s Journalist of the Year award. It was a big year for Jefferson Country H.S. because Mr. Randy Rogers won the Administrator of the Year award from THSPA as well.

Mr. Jon Souders from Cleveland H.S. was named the Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Student Media Adviser by Tennessee High School Press Association. A fellow teacher said this about Souders, “I have watched this program grow exponentially with Souders’ knowledge and guidance,” and an administrator at Cleveland H.S. said, “Once you have been around him, you will immediately see the heart-driven desire he has to make a positive influence on his students and to direct them in a path that will make them productive citizens.”

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

Membership: Texas JEA membership is at 264, reflecting an increase from last year. We expect that number to go up as we get closer to the JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in Dallas (Nov. 16-19).

Events and happenings: The Interscholastic League Press Conference State Convention will take place April 22-23 at the University of Texas in Austin. In addition, ILPC will host its annual Summer Workshop June 16-18, also at the University of Texas.

Regional reps for Texas Association of Journalism Educators have numerous summer workshops planned. In addition to these workshops, TAJE is in conversation to partner with School Newspapers Online for the third straight year to develop an all-online journalism workshop again during the summer.

The TAJE board will meet at ILPC and will introduce newly elected officers. Executive Director Rhonda Moore will retire at the end of May, and Cindy Todd will assume that position.   

TAJE operates its own website and Listserv. In addition, webmaster Leland Mallett, CJE, maintains both a Facebook and a Twitter account to disseminate information from JEA and TAJE. Members of the TAJE board contribute to all social media accounts.

Awards and honors: Alyssa Boehringer of McKinney (Texas) H.S. is the 2017 National Broadcast Adviser of the Year. The award is designed to honor outstanding high school advisers and their exemplary work from the previous year, as well as throughout their careers.

Brian Kennedy, Prosper (Texas) H.S. is a Distinguished Broadcast Adviser.

Leland Mallett, CJE, Legacy H.S., Mansfield, Texas, is Yearbook Special Recognition Adviser.

JEA Rising Stars: John Horvath is a fifth-year adviser at Hill Country Christian School of Austin, Texas, with 600 students in grades pre-K to 12. In his short tenure, the yearbook has won state awards and has been an National Scholastic Press Association All American and recently won a Silver Crown from CSPA.

Alicia Merrifield has advised five years in building the program at The Village School in Houston. She taught 22 years before being asked to take on the yearbook at the pre-K through 12 school.

Congratulations to publications from Texas for their Crown Awards announced March 18 at the 93rd annual CSPA Convention in New York City.

Texas Journalist of the Year: Rishav “Rish” Basu has been named the Texas Journalist of the Year by the TAJE. A student at St. Mark’s School of Texas located in Dallas, Basu is the managing editor of The Remarker student newspaper and is the fifth consecutive student from the program to be named as the Texas JOY.

Texas Administrator of the Year: Principal Greg Wright from Prosper H.S.

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

Erinn Harris, MJE
Virginia State Director
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria VA 22312

Membership: We have 88 current/active members.

Happenings: We’ve had a lot of changes taking place in the Commonwealth in the start of 2017. Val Kibler, CJE, our former state director and treasurer of the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers (VAJTA), was elected JEA Vice President. I shifted my position from associate director to treasurer after being appointed the new state director. May will also bring about the end of Chris Waugaman’s term as director, so we will present a slate of officers during our May board meeting and put it to the membership for a vote.

Meghan Percival, MJE, has been appointed to the NSPA Board of Directors.

Our third annual jRetreat event in Petersburg, Va. was once again a success. Thanks to Sarah Nichols, MJE, who came all the way from California to be our adviser-in-residence and work with a group of 14 advisers from around the state on teaching design. Held annually on the Friday and Saturday of MLK weekend, we’d love to have advisers from across the country join us next year.

After six years, we have decided to suspend our spring jDay event. The purpose of the event was to give students across the state the opportunity to learn not only from our talented Virginia advisers, but also from the incredible national pool of advisers. Originally, our plan had been to shift the event to different regions across the state, serving different populations on a three-year rotation. Our first three years were at Harrisonburg H.S., serving the Shenandoah Valley region. Our next three years were at Westfield H.S., serving the Northern Virginia region. The plan had been to spend the next three years at the Norfolk Collegiate School, serving the Tidewater region. However, in looking at the event itself, we realized that even getting our local students to attend the event was an extremely hard sell due to the date and timing of the event. After much discussion, we decided to cancel the event for 2017 and focus on a new model that would better serve underrepresented regions and/or the state as a whole.

Awards: We announced our Journalist of the Year award winners March 1. To read about our winners, click here.

  • First Place, Melanie Pincus, McLean H.S. Adviser: Lindsay Benedict
  • Second Place, Teagan Foti, Annandale H.S. Adviser: Alan Weintraut
  • Third Place, Nina Raneses, West Potomac H.S. Adviser: Whitney Huntington

We had very few applicants this year; my hope is to organize a workshop or series of workshops in the fall where students can dedicate a concentrated amount of time to learning about the process and beginning work on their portfolios under the guidance of advisers familiar with the process. Ideally, we’d have workshops of this nature running concurrently in different regions of the state so that we could increase participation in this contest.

Sandra Coyer, MJE
Washington State Director
Puyallup High School
105 7th St. SW
Puyallup, WA  98371
253-841-8711, Ext. 3814

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association currently has approximately 80 members. JEA membership is 88.

Events: The biggest event we are currently planning for is the national convention this April. The committee has worked hard to put together a strong spring convention. The One Story involves the “Under Our Skin” series from the Seattle Times. Student entertainment includes a live band as well as an overall trivia contest. Tim Harrower is the keynote speaker.

The other main event we are currently working on is our summer workshop at Western Washington University. We are trying out a new program option for advisers that mirrors what the Reynolds Institute provided with advisers going out and practicing journalism. The camp is July 27-30.

New Voices Washington: The Washington “New Voices” bill is currently in the state House of Representatives after passing the Senate. The Education Committee held its hearing on the case Thursday, March 16 and several student editors testified as well as advisers and Mike Hiestand. We are hopeful and will know by the end of the month whether we join the ranks of those states who currently have such protections.

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

First, the organization continues to work on rebranding. The organization has adopted a new logo and tag line — Where Media Connects — in an effort to reach more than newspapers in our state.

Next, outreach continues to be an area of focus for our organization. Our membership numbers are down from where we were at this time last year for a number of reasons, including the fact that we are not holding a state conference (which is one of our biggest membership draws).

Finally, we are continuing to work on providing advisers in the state with professional development opportunities for themselves as well as for their students. We held an Adobe workshop at Cleveland H.S. last August with success over the course of three days and are looking to continue this as well as other options.

Awards: Jacob Crouch from Bothell H.S. was named Washington Journalism Adviser of the Year in a surprise ceremony at his school March 10. Additional awards will be announced soon.

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.

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

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

Membership: I continue to serve on the KEMPA board. KEMPA’s annual Winter Advisers Seminar took place March 3-4 in Delavan with Sarah Nichols, MJE, keynoting on our theme “Much Ado about Advising.” Winter Advisers Seminar was wonderful because of Sarah and her great presentations and vast expertise.

KEMPA supports two mentors in Illinois and two in Wisconsin, all of whom are working with 18 mentees in our states and one long-distance in Louisiana. We would like to find a third mentor who could work with new advisers in northern Wisconsin.

KEMPA’s Summer Journalism Workshop for students and advisers is titled “Identifying the Things that Make Us _____” and will take place at Marquette University July 16-19.

NEWSPA’s Spring Journalism Conference will take place on April 26 at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. More info here.

I will attend and present a session on social media April 24.

Update on New Voices legislation: New Voices is a student-powered project of the Student Press Law Center, a nonprofit advocate for the rights of student journalists. Organizations across Wisconsin are pushing for new laws that protect the rights of student journalists from censorship by school administration. We have Rep. Chris Taylor as our primary sponsor for New Voices legislation, and she is holding off our proposed bill because the current proposed budget from Gov. Scott Walker includes a couple pages about student free expression at the college level. She wants that legislation completed, so we can see how to then revise the New Voices legislation before it goes to the Education Committee. Follow New Voices of Wisconsin on Facebook for more information and updates on the campaign.

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

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

Happenings: Board members have been meeting regularly to plan for the fall conference. The board is currently looking at possible presenters, a few judges and a keynote. Our fall conference will take place at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne this fall. This is a new venue for us and we are excited to have access to a journalism program and facilities for the students. This should provide some great hands-on learning opportunities and better exposure to journalism at the college level

The organization has developed a new website; the site was developed by Erika Quick.

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

Awards and honors: The Wyoming Journalist of the Year is Jessica Morales from Cody.

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