Fall 2017 semiannual report

Fall 2017 semiannual report

Board of Directors

Executive Director

Kelly Glasscock, CJE
Journalism Education Association
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500
W: 785-532-7822  |  C: 316-619-9403

I knew well before becoming the new executive director this past July that JEA was special, and my first two months have proven that fact time and again. The journey has been spectacular, and quite the blur. From multiple site visits gathering information on potential future conventions, to the everyday rapid-fire pace of keeping up with such an amazing association, the level of engagement from members I cross paths with never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for injecting your passion for scholastic journalism into an organization poised to make a difference for both teachers and students alike. I’ve said it all along, JEA’s membership is its strongest asset.

Speaking of membership, JEA has more active members than at this time a year ago. We currently stand at 2,694 members compared to last fall’s semiannual report of 2,529 – a 6 percent increase. In fact, as we gear up for the National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas, it only seems fitting that Texas has become the first state in JEA history to surpass 300 active memberships. They really do know how to Go BiG!

Financially, the organization remains on strong footing ending the fiscal year with net assets amounting to $1,651,322. Reese and Novelly, P.A. completed the annual financial audit for fiscal year 2017, which saw a net operating loss of $27,980. The reason for the loss is a delayed reconciliation of registration income from the spring convention in Seattle, which arrived after the start of the new fiscal year. As of Sept. 30 2017 – the end of the first quarter – JEA is running a net operating loss of $39,167. An operating loss is typical for this time of year since expenses outpace income prior to our conventions as we haven’t received the registration income for Dallas yet.

Thank you for all the amazing work dedicated to JEA, and for the endless hours sacrificed to further the mission of such an incredible association. It is an honor to serve each and every member.


Sarah Nichols, MJE
Whitney High School
701 Wildcat Blvd.
Rocklin, CA 95765
C: 916-705-3684

Five months into this term, I am filled with gratitude — for our staff, for our tireless volunteer leaders, for the important ideas and questions we get from an engaged membership and for my own opportunity to serve JEA. Thank you! And thank you for digging in to read about the positive efforts underway in alignment with our goals and core values. Every day my understanding of this position grows, as does my admiration and respect for those in this role before me.

The time since our term began May 1 has been packed with efforts to welcome and guide new leaders, support and empower veteran leaders and coordinate with our staff at JEA Headquarters. We have a fantastic team in place.

Please join me again in thanking interim director Linda Puntney, MJE, for stepping in to serve JEA in our time of need. It was a wild roller coaster ride, and Linda’s positivity, enthusiasm and unwavering commitment set an example for us all. I’m grateful we had the opportunity to work together, and I especially appreciate the strong bond between Linda and permanent executive director Kelly Glasscock, CJE. We were in great hands before, and we’re in great hands now.

My efforts during the past five months have included the following:

  • Appointing committee chairs and editors, including creating new roles for social media, higher education and Career and Technical Education
  • Representing JEA at “Student Voices: The Power of Democracy” in Los Angeles, in part to meet with partners from the Campaign for Civic Mission of Schools (May 1)
  • Presenting sessions on photography, graphic design and JEA programming at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Orlando, in addition to judging, presenting awards and meeting with BPA leadership (May 10-13)
  • Helping plan and facilitate a board retreat at Kansas State University, which included leadership training, goal setting and budget review (May 19-21)
  • Coordinating a review of job descriptions, bylaws, programs and initiatives
  • Appointing Mike Malcom-Bjorklund, CJE, as director at large to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Joe Humphrey, MJE, who left his teaching/advising position to pursue another opportunity
  • Attending the National Critique Summit in Denver and working to develop a series of online training modules as a way to train and certify judges for student media evaluations (June 10-11)
  • Attending Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, including presenting sessions and helping lead a new team storytelling workshop (July 10-13)
  • Attending a retreat at NSPA’s office in Minneapolis to review the National High School Journalism Convention model and brainstorm opportunities for collaboration (Sept. 1-2)
  • Attending Excellence in Journalism (hosted by Society of Professional Journalists) in Anaheim to meet with journalism organization leaders, attend the Journalism Education Committee meeting and co-present a session on New Voices legislation with Megan Fromm, MJE, Frank LoMonte and Shine Cho (Sept. 7-9)
  • Contributing articles to Quill and Scroll and JEA Digital Media
  • Working with Rebecca Tallent (University of Idaho) and the SPJ Journalism Education Committee to help with #PressForEducation, their plan to bring 100 professional journalists into K-12 classrooms as volunteer mentors
  • Coordinating JEA’s involvement with StoryCorps as an educational partner in The Great Thanksgiving Listen
  • Attending the Partnership for 21st Century Learning Strategic Council meeting in Washington, D.C. with Kelly Glasscock, CJE, to observe working group meetings and evaluate potential membership options (Oct. 3-4)

Our team has spent considerable time reflecting on JEA programs, studying the budget, asking questions, pitching ideas and connecting with all of our members and partners. While we remain focused on five key areas (scholastic press rights, mentoring, administrator outreach, reaching diverse, underserved populations and advocacy for scholastic media in 21st-century education), please know that each of us is available to hear questions, ideas, suggestions and concerns at any time. As you read the materials online for the upcoming meetings in Dallas, please get in touch; we welcome your viewpoints.

I can’t say enough great things about Kelly’s first few months as our director, the organized and patient approach of our JEA staff and the passion and eagerness of our board members and committee chairs. It truly is an honor to work with a team of people who are so clear about what they stand for and why.

Thank you again for your efforts in making JEA the best it can be.

Vice President

Valerie Kibler, MJE
Harrisonburg High School
1001 Garbers Church Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
W: 540-433-2651  |  C: 540-533-8775

Since joining the board in May, I’ve learned so much. It has been a lot to take in, but I’m incredibly impressed with the number of volunteers we have across this nation who are so giving of their time and energy to help out teachers and ultimately scholastic journalists.

In the time since taking office, I’ve been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

  • Attending the JEA Board Retreat in Manhattan, Kansas.
  • Appointing new state directors in Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and two new directors in Texas. We are lucky to have Karen Collier, Larry Steinmetz, Marcie Young, Bretton Zinger, Adam Theriault, Patrick Bernal, Leah Waters and Kate Plows on our team.
  • Attending Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, July 10-13, to present sessions and serve as a leader in the brand new team storytelling workshop.
  • Attending a collaboration meeting with NSPA leaders in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sept. 1-3.
  • Conducting a two-day training session at Willamina High School in Willamina, Oregon for the JEA/NSPA Adviser Outreach program, Sept. 14-15, and hosting a free Saturday workshop for attendees from other Oregon schools, Sept. 16. The workshop provided on-site training to advisers and students as part of small professional learning communities designed to reach underserved areas.
  • Participating in conference calls with the New Voices committee as a part of the Scholastic Press Rights Committee and the CTE committee.
  • Participating in phone conversations with 45 different JEA state directors.
  • Developing an MJE project centered around organizing virtual workshops, sitting for the MJE exam at the Advisers Institute in Las Vegas and earning MJE certification.

Thank you for your continued involvement with our organization. It is awesome to see the hours committed to our initiatives and meeting our goals by leaders in our organization!

Director, Scholastic Press Rights

Lori Keekley, MJE
St. Louis Park High School
6425 W 33rd St
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
C: 612-636-3103  |  W: 952-928-6251

Lori Keekley, MJE

Since the last report, I have established SPRC teams for the following areas: blogging, social media, administrative outreach, New Voices, Making a Difference, Constitution Day, Panic Button responders, informational outreach, SPRC outreach, FAPFA, website transition, continuation of retreat work and Quick Hits, Write Off test creators and moderators.

It truly is an honor to serve this committee.

Since the last report, I’ve been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

  • Writing blogs and helping organize SPRC member voices.
  • Attending the JEA Board Retreat in May.
  • Teaching at Adviser’s Institute.
  • Creating Constitution Day lesson plans and assisting Matt Smith and Jeff Kocur, who coordinated the effort.
  • Developing a Twitter maintenance plan which includes a listserv post highlighting SPRC content for the week — including Quick Tips, blog posts and Constitution Day.
  • Creating a Google form survey asking state directors for New Voices information.
  • Determining some areas where this committee can assist based on survey results from those who answered.
  • Developing additional Quick Tips, and coordinating a team for doing this.
  • Talking to Diana Mitsu Klos at SPLC concerning SPRC and SPLC working together as well as contacting the new SPLC Executive Director Hadar Harris.
  • Recruiting three new members for SPRC.
  • Talking at length with college journalism faculty (while representing Dow Jones at AEJMC) concerning how they can help with scholastic journalism and New Voices.
  • Engaging Steve Listopad to lead the SPRC New Voices group and recording the current status of New Voices bills in states as well as reaching out to several states that have shown interest in starting the New Voices legislation.
  • Developing “Tools for Truth” with John Bowen, MJE, Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, Maggie Cogar, CJE, Jeff Kocur, CJE, and Kristin Taylor, CJE. This curriculum includes how to help stem the tide of fake news and help those with New Voices legislation understand the bills passed.

John Bowen, MJE

My focus on free expression rights for students and advisers continues, although with different responsibilities. I am very happy to be able to offer my services to JEA for furthering free expression through legal and ethical education. Since the last report I have been busy with:

  • Helping organize and complete the fake news project of activities and lesson plans, Tools of Truth, created by six SPRC team members. It was posted in August.
  • Contributing materials and design to the SPRC’s Constitution Day lessons, published in August.
  • Contributing regular blogs and tweets and postings to the SPRC site.
  • Assuming JEA’s law and ethics Curriculum Initiative leader role and contributing six new lessons in law and ethics.
  • Continuing my involvement with helping those who seek advice or have questions through our Panic Button, by email or social media.
  • Assisting advisers and others in their quest for free expression legislation on the state level, including being part of a team taking its first planning steps for such legislation in Ohio.

Kathy Schrier, MJE

With our student press rights legislation in limbo until the next session–it’s in year two of a two-year shelf life– my efforts have been very focussed within our state.

  • I presented a session on New Voices at our WJEA Summer Workshop at Western Washington University, where we also featured a session with Mike Hiestand, consulting attorney with SPLC, who has put in a great deal of time working with us to pass our bill over the last several years.
  • I participated in the New Voices online meeting convened by Steve Listopad, CJE, earlier this month.
  • On Sept. 21, our annual Journalism Day at the University of Washington included a planning meeting with students and advisers who are interested in participating in the hearing before the House Education Committee after the first of the year. We are beginning our outreach to our members in key districts represented by legislators on that committee, encouraging face-to-face meetings, calls, and emails explaining why this bill is so crucial.
  • I volunteered to work with Michael Bjorklund on the Making a Difference campaign to feature student work on our SPRC site that promotes/explains the legislation and furthers the call for students to control content in their school media. 

Sarah Nichols, MJE

Most of my SPRC efforts have shifted to areas of offering feedback and support, although I am grateful to be included on the committee and proud of what this team continues to accomplish.

  • In May I attended a summit on civics education sponsored by the Los Angeles County Office of Education and presented a roundtable session about the Scholastic Press Rights Committee, including items like Panic Button, SPRC website and law and ethics curriculum from the JEA Curriculum Initiative.
  • In August I created three new First Amendment T-shirts for the JEA Bookstore to help get folks excited about the SPRC Constitution Day materials/activities and shared Snapchat filters for student media program use via social media.
  • In September I presented with Megan Fromm, Frank LoMonte and Shine Cho on New Voices legislation at the Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim (sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists). I also attended the first online meeting for Steve Listopad’s New Voices Committee and look forward to supporting the group’s efforts.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

I’m pleased that projects and focus on the SPRC can still be one of my major contributions to JEA. Since the last report, I have:

  • Organized logistics for the the fake news retreat at Kent State in June; contributed lesson plans and Quick Tips of my own, and coached and proofread for others.
  • Contributed regular blogs to the SPRC site, with more coming shortly.
  • Wrote an article for the Summer 2017 C:JET about the legislative symposium last fall at Kent State, emphasizing JEA/SPRC members’ roles in panels and JEA’s partial sponsorship of Part 6.
  • Joined the first online meeting for the New Voices subcommittee of the SPRC, headed by Steve Listopad, CJE.
  • Began first steps for legislation in Ohio, working with Mark Goodman, John Bowen, MJE, and OSMA president/JEA Higher Education Liaison Kate Klonowski, MJE. We are gathering information about possible legislative sponsors and collecting student stories.

Audrey Wagstaff, Ph.D., MJE

Most of my SPRC work since last year has been via research efforts on censorship:

  • Wrote an article about my survey of adviser self-censorship in C:JET, and am beginning initial work on another study with regard to New Voices legislation.
  • Attended and presented research on censorship at JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in Indianapolis as well as at AEJMC in Chicago (the Scholastic Journalism Division’s Teach-In helps reach local journalism advisers).
  • Began preliminary work on commitment to administrative outreach as a special project.

John Tagliareni

I am honored to continue to work with the committee to help advance its goals and initiatives.

I have been very active in promoting our New Voices legislation in New Jersey, which has been introduced in both houses with bipartisan support.  Our sponsors have requested that their bills, (S-2506) and (A-4912), be heard in committee. The legislation has numerous endorsements, which I have previously reported to the committee.

I was happy to join the committee’s New Voices Team. I participated in the video conference with the committee members, hosted by Steve Listopad, CJE.

I have offered my assistance to Mike Simons, MJE, for New York’s attempt to pass legislation with their active bill in the assembly. I am hopeful that I can help, with my proximity to New York City and Columbia University, as well as some upstate areas, and my past networking with the SPJ Deadline Club.  

I will continue to speak at conferences, as I have in the past,  to promote student press rights, such as the GSSPA Press Day at Rutgers University Oct. 30, 2017 and Spring Conference in May, 2018. I will speak at the CSPA Fall Conference Nov. 6, 2017 and Spring Convention in New York in March, 2018.  

I helped to initiate a student affiliate organization of the GSSPA  three years ago,  and I am working with the students to continue to actively support our legislation in a variety of ways.

As a board member of the GSSPA, I am involved in planning and hosting our statewide conference at Rutgers, which over 800 students and their advisers attend each year.

I have connected with advisers and students, both in NJ and nationally, via email and phone conversations, to help them with censorship issues.

I have given a number of interviews to professional journalists, as well as student journalists, to promote press rights and New Voices legislation.

Matthew Smith, CJE

We haven’t been able to move much on New Voices legislation in Wisconsin. Following a promising conference call with our state’s professional newspaper association, several options for helpful legislators and/or lobbyists seemed possible, but gridlock in our state legislature, particularly concerning the budget, seems to have stalled pretty much anything else for now. I have also focused on helping organize and provide materials for Constitution Day this year as well as continue to plan and give presentations on student press rights/responsibilities at student press conferences in my area.

Jane Blystone, MJE

I have worked with students at Neshaminy HS who still experience prior review and censorship of their work. One of them will be speaking in Dallas. I work on the SPRC social media team to promote current issues in free press rights, and I just became a JEA mentor so I can assist new advisers in my state as some of their publications are facing prior review from administration.

Marina Hendricks, CJE

I am supporting the SPRC’s outreach as a member of the social media team. In addition, I am assisting with high school journalism outreach in South Dakota. We are hosting a one-day training workshop for nine advisers on Oct. 9 here at South Dakota State University. I plan to talk with them about strategies to push back against administrative oversight, and I am providing copies of the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism. The executive director of the South Dakota Newspaper Association is joining us to talk about New Voices. Plans also are underway for the High School Press Convention in March on the SDSU campus. In August, I participated in the teach-in sponsored by the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC. As other SPRC members have noted, this event featured robust discussion of New Voices and student press rights. Finally, a colleague and I are awaiting the imminent publication of our journal article about the Pennsylvania student journalists who fought to ban the name of their school’s sports mascot from their newspaper. The article will appear in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

Stan Zoller, MJE

  • Continue to write for the SPRC blog.
  • Presented at the teach-in at AEJMC addressing issues related to scholastic press rights.
  • Worked with advisers on a series of issues, most notable (and annoying) is the confiscation of newspapers at Evanston (Illinois) Township High School by the department chair, even though the issue was approved by the principal.  Student editors were given information to contact the SPRC, SPLC and the Chicago-based Citizens Advocacy Center, whose attorneys have been working with the students.  

Jeff Kocur

I worked with Matt Smith, CJE, and Lori Keekley, MJE, to get Constitution Day materials ready. We had three new lessons and a video highlighting the resources on the site from this year and past years. I have completed the Press Law Write-off test for the fall convention in Dallas. I will also be helping to inform and build awareness for the New Voices law in Minnesota. The bill is written and alive for this year, but it needs a push. It has several sponsors in both the house and the senate, but has not had a hearing.

Director, Educational Initiatives

Megan Fromm, MJE
Colorado Mesa University
Mass Communication
1100 North Ave.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
C: 970-640-0609  |  W: 970-248-1287

The last few months of this new term have been both professionally and personally fulfilling—working with innovative and passionate teachers who bring amazing ideas to the table is the best part of serving on the board. We began our time together with a retreat at our headquarters in Manhattan, Kan. We engaged in goal-setting and team-building to ensure our three years on the board are focused and enjoyable. Since then, my work has included:

  • Teaching sessions at Advisers Institute and running curriculum leader training in Las Vegas with our curriculum coordinators.
  • Working with curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers and Abri Nelson to lead our curriculum team in developing and publishing more than 60 new lessons to the curriculum website prior to Sept. 1.
  • Presenting a workshop on fake news at the Media and Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut in August.
  • Engaging in conversations with representatives from the Partnership for 21st Century Learning organization as we continue to explore JEA membership options.
  • Working with our amazing higher education liaison Kate Klonowski, MJE, to continue finding ways to connect secondary journalism education with higher education.
  • Attending the Society of Professional Journalists conference in Anaheim in September and presenting a session on New Voices with Sarah Nichols, MJE, Frank LoMonte and Shine Cho.
  • Working with NSPA leadership on our public research grants partnership.
  • Presenting a keynote session at Continental Journalism League J-Day in Parker, Colorado in September.

As always, I look forward to continuing to serve and support our members as they tackle the most important (and rewarding!) job in education!


Tom Gayda, MJE
North Central High School
1801 E. 86th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46240
W: 317-259-5301 ext 45635

Though we’ve only been board members for several months, it has been a busy, fun ride.

One of the goals the directors-at-large tasked ourselves with was reaching out to new members. I was surprised to see, on average, two to three new members join the organization each day. I’ve made dozens of phone calls and emails to these folks. It has been a pleasure to talk to those who’ve had questions or ideas. With the upcoming Dallas convention, it is no surprise that Texas is leading the nation in new members added. Even membership is bigger in Texas!

I’ve just started a discussion with our social media editor, Erin Coggins, MJE, to begin something new and exciting as soon as the new year. I will be on the look out for some help from our membership once this idea takes off.

I look forward to our first official board meeting and getting to work on the things our members need and want.


Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, CJE
River City Science Academy-Innovation
8313 Baycenter Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256
C: 904-382-3876  |  W: 904-647-5110

As can be imagined, this has been an extremely exhilarating and nerve-wracking past few months for me both personally and professionally here in Florida.

Over the past few months, I’ve made it a goal to reach out to new JEA members through phone calls and email. As a 15-year veteran of the journalism industry, I credit my passion for the industry to my high school journalism adviser and I believe we as advisers play a vital role in teaching the next wave of communicators. Since July, I’ve sent over 40 emails and personally contacted 15 new members over the phone.

Part of why I wanted to join the JEA board was my belief that middle/junior high advisers play a vital role in the development of scholastic journalists. We frame the foundation and build a bridge to secondary school programs. This fall, I’ve written a story on whether the odds are stacked against middle school journalism for Adviser Update, and will roll out mini-lessons designed to supplement the JEA curriculum for grades 6-8. My first presentation introduces middle school advisers to the art of feature stories through a hybrid of pre-established JEA curriculum and personal methods.

I am committed as ever to continue my involvement during the fall/spring conferences. In Dallas, I am a lead judge for the graphic design Write-off , I will observe the Law & Ethics exam and head that same test in San Francisco. I speak in three sessions, co-host the new adviser convention orientation, assist April Van Buren, MJE, with the Quiz Bowl, and critique newspapers/literary magazines.

Last, but not least, I serve on the Scholastic Press Rights Committee (Making a Difference), NSPA Advisory Committee, and assist on the Facebook side of JEA Digital Media.


Julia Satterthwaite, CJE
Monta Vista High School
21840 McClellan Road
Cupertino, CA 95014
C: 248-302-4289  |  W: 408-366-7649

I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of learning about what it means to be on JEA’s board, from studying each individual program and budget line item to managing my time with a personal deadline schedule of sorts for JEA-related work. It’s a lot. And while some of the things I do feel like actual work, being a part of such a positive, hard-working team and building relationships with those I’m lucky to serve certainly helps make the experience every bit worthwhile.

As I mentioned in my election process, I’m passionate about developing collaborative opportunities, sharing resources and advocating for journalism advisers in the same way so many have done for me.

To that end, I’ve been busy with the following:

  • Attending the board retreat in Manhattan, Kansas and helping to develop our goals, including supporting scholastic press rights legislation, reaching underserved and diverse populations, positioning journalism as the ideal 21st Century learning environment, mentoring and supporting new teachers and administrator outreach (May 19-21).
  • Calling and sending follow-up emails to all new JEA members in the West region (70+ calls and counting), which leads to action items such as writing letters of support, helping explain the JEA Curriculum, meeting up with local advisers, sending names of those who request mentors to JEA’s mentoring program chair and more (ongoing).
  • Teaching Digital Storytelling at Newsroom by the Bay at Stanford University (July 2-7).
  • Attending Advisers Institute in Las Vegas, presenting about multimedia tools and developing multimedia packages and engaging in the team storytelling process (July 10-13).
  • Teaching Feature Coverage for 21st Century Publications at Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s summer workshop at Michigan State University (July 30-Aug.3).
  • Brainstorming ways to increase both the number of trained mentors and the number of mentees we reach Mentoring Program chair Bill Flechtner, MJE, and Val Kibler, MJE (ongoing).
  • Hosting the first of many EdCamp-style journalism adviser hangouts with new and veteran advisers at a Peet’s Coffee & Tea in San Francisco (Sept. 16).
  • Presenting at Journalism Education Association Northern California’s Media Day at Palo Alto High School (Oct. 7).

The most rewarding part of being on the board is working one-on-one with advisers, building relationships and providing support. 

Committee Chairs


Karen Slusher, CJE
Eaglecrest High School
5100 S. Picadilly St
Centennial, CO 80015
W: 720-886-1149  |  H: 303-817-9221

As we head into the fourth year of a major shift in awards towards digital submission, we are preparing for conventions in Dallas and San Francisco. Last year, the JEA Awards Committee worked on redefining the awards to streamline the process, but the work needs to continue as we find loopholes in some of the language. I am feeling very fortunate to have the support and guidance of Connie Fulkerson at headquarters and Casey Nichols (the previous committee chair). The awards committee is great about having a lens on things we need to revisit, and there will be several of those conversations this fall in Dallas.

Since the last report, the following has taken place:

  • The Awards Committee made the move for Broadcast Adviser of the Year to be a fall award, with submissions due July 15. This shift came following the move of Dow Jones News Fund Teacher of the year to CSPA, allowing us to have more time dedicated for recognition during the ceremonies. This is the final sponsoring under the current contract with Ithaca College.
  • This summer, Aaron Manfull, former Awards Chair Casey Nichols, former Broadcast Adviser of the Year Alyssa Boehringer, Robby Gabrielli (a professional in the broadcast world), and Karen Slusher were the judges for the Broadcast Adviser of the year.
  • We again announced the fall awards in a timed series (10 a.m. Central) in the last week of August, but we postponed the announcement of BAOY due to complications with the school. BAOY was announced on Oct. 10 in the afternoon following a live broadcast at the school. Again the chair called all recipients a day ahead of the formal announcement of awards. Connie Fulkerson of headquarters continued to coordinate luncheon attendance and Erin Coggins coordinated the release of winners on social media.
  • We continue to work on refining definitions of awards on the web. During the past few months, several questions have been raised regarding the language of award descriptions on the website, and we will work to make language clear and consistent for all awards.
  • This will be the second year of the Future Administrator Scholarship, which will be heavily marketed over the next month leading into the Dec. 15 deadline. Again, as part of this award, a $5,000 award will be shared among recipients or awarded in full to one recipient.

Awards Committee members: Martha Akers, Sara-Beth Badalamente, Brian Baron, MJE, Leslie Dennis, Linda Drake, MJE, Charla Harris, CJE, Thomas Kaup, MJE, Leslie Thompson, CJE, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, MJE, Carmen Wendt, MJE, Andrew Young, Mitch Ziegler, CJE.

Career and Technical Education

Nina Quintana, CJE
Bernalillo High School
148 Spartan Aly
Bernalillo, NM 87004
C: 505-450-7246  |  W: 505-404-5196

I am really excited about taking on the chair position of the CTE Committee and to work with members on CTE initiatives for JEA. After initial introductions, the wealth of knowledge and skill set each individual brings to the table will be invaluable as we continue to work on making a positive impact for the communications pathway for JEA members. The CTE Committee hosted our first conference call on Sept. 16. Two subcommittees were formed: Certification and web page.

The Certification subcommittee will focus on how JEA can bring certification opportunities to the JEA/NSPA national conferences by the fall of 2018. The lead for this subcommittee is Kris Doran kpdoran@gmail.com who will host a Google hangout on Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time). Items on the agenda include:

  • Cost considerations
  • Certification providers (i.e. Certiport, Precision Exams, NOCTI)
  • Potential cost to students
  • How can our partnership with BPA assist JEA in this endeavor?
  • Hosting pre-convention workshops to prepare students taking certification exams.

Additional areas of conversation include how to market the benefits of students receiving certification. For example discussing job opportunities, resume building, marketability that certifications can provide students to best market themselves and often times put them in a better position for job opportunities.

The web page committee will begin with information gathering for the members of the represented states (Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico). This subcommittee is lead by Kristy Nyp kristynyp@gmail.com who will host a Google hangout on Nov. 1  at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time). Information that will be gathered will include:

  • Step-by-step process on how to get a program recognized as CTE
  • Outlines and a breakdown of the CTE language
  • Visuals
  • CTSO’s that are honored in each state that work with communications pathways
  • What credentials are needed by instructors to become CTE certified
  • Lists of resources for CTE programs by state.

The information will be collected in Google docs with the next phase to plan the design of the CTE tab for the JEA web site such as developing visuals like maps to relay national information as well as to separate information out by each state. The goal is to have this tab ready for the JEA site by the spring of 2018. Additional discussion includes surveying JEA members to identify resources and needs.

Future plans for the CTE Committee include how to assist advisers in identifying grants and funding sources for their pathway of study. Moving forward, I would also like to identify what types of workshops advisers or students would like CTE to host during national conventions or at the Advisers Institute. These could potentially be grant writing workshops, updated pathways to meet CTE standards, students working with industry partners, etc.


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

My amazement of and appreciation for JEA members who constantly work to empower their young charges with new ideas, skills and leadership increases each time I write this report. Interacting with and helping our CJE and MJE candidates meet their goals of attaining certification and working with CJEs and MJEs to maintain the rigor of the process is rewarding work.

  • We are in the final cycle of version two of the Certified Journalism Educator exam.  We will be testing 22 CJE candidates and five MJE candidates Friday afternoon in Dallas.
  • Since Seattle, we have tested five MJE candidates and 21 CJE candidates at six summer sites: JEA Advisers Institute, Ball State, Walsworth’s Camp Orlando, Herff Jones in Northern Illinois, Walsworth’s Advisers Workshop and KEMPA. We have 22 CJEs and four MJEs on the list to test in Dallas. We already have three test sites scheduled for winter: Colorado, Jostens and Herff Jones.
  • We will recognize 51 new CJEs, 34 CJE renewals, six new MJEs and nine MJE renewals in Dallas at Saturday’s luncheon.
  • We are planning a Certification Committee retreat in Indianapolis in the summer of 2018 with an agenda including (but not limited to) going over data from both versions of the CJE exam and looking at areas for improvement, updating our “Get Certified!” PowerPoints to better align with the JEA Curriculum and examining possible MJE exam updates.

As always, I am grateful to my team for their hard work and support. Thanks to Candace Bowen, MJE, Jane Blystone, MJE, Brian Hayes, MJE, and Joe Mirando, MJE, our post-secondary education representatives, and to Joe Humphrey, MJE, Rod Satterthwaite, MJE, Cathy Wall, MJE, and Liz Walsh, MJE, our secondary education representatives.

  • And we are so appreciative of Pam Boller, our JEA Headquarters Certification partner. She supports us, our CJEs and MJEs and our candidates.

Contests (Write-offs)

Nancy Y. Smith, MJE
Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011
W: 636-733-4118  |  C: 314-704-1242

Nancy Y. Smith (MJE) Chair
Priscilla Frost Asst. Chair
April van Buren (CJE)  National Quiz Bowl Coordinator
Erika Quick (CJE) Broadcast Contest Coordinator
Joel Garver (CJE) Broadcast Contest Coordinator
Bradley Wilson (MJE) Photo Contest Coordinator
Mark Murray Technology
Laura Zhu (CJE) Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest Coordinator
Allie Staub Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest Coordinator

1) National Journalism Quiz Bowl – April Van Buren, coordinator
We had 17 teams compete in Indianapolis Fall 2016 and 16 teams in Seattle Spring 2017. The committee has decided to eliminate the pre-qualifier for the contest as the numbers of schools participating has dropped significantly since it was started. Beginning with Spring 2018 in San Francisco, we will no longer require a pre-qualification. April will be working with ways to promote the contest and bring numbers up.

2) Jr. High/Middle School Contest – Allie Staub & Laura Zhu, coordinators

There were 400 entries in Spring 2016 and 330 entries in Spring 2017. We expected the drop as we reduced the number of entries each school was allowed to ensure that we were getting the best work submitted.

This year’s contest timeline is as follows:
Registration opens (Wednesday after WO Close) March 21
Materials due (third Wednesday in April @ 7 p.m. ET) April 18
Judging finished/winners announced early May

3) Upcoming Deadlines

Spring 2018 San Francisco (April 12-15)
Write-off registration opens / Prompts available: Jan. 29, 2018
Write-off registration closes/Online submissions due: March 14, 2018 7 p.m. ET
Critiques due from judges March 30, 2018

Fall 2018 Chicago Nov. 1-4*
Write-off registration opens / Prompts available: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018
Write-off registration closes/Online submissions due: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018  7 p.m. ET
Critiques due from judges Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 midnight

*Schools that do not begin until late August or after need to plan ahead as the WO window will be much earlier to accommodate this early convention date.

4) Contest Updates
The broadcast contests have gone through a major revision for Dallas. Erika Quick and Joel Garver have been instrumental in moving these contests forward. We added some new contests and eliminated those that failed to reflect what students are actually doing in their schools. We also adjusted the timeline on these contests so most of the broadcast contestants are meeting at the same time as the other Write-offs, leaving them time during the day to attend sessions and also allowing our judges to be free during the day on Friday. It is helpful to advisers to have their students competing at the same time.

5) Contest Numbers
We had 1,382 entries in the Seattle Spring 2017 Write-offs. Our numbers are staying right in the area of between 33-36 percent of the overall convention attendance.

For The Board:
Upgrades to writeoffs.org system
For the Dallas convention, the JEA web developer, Kate Dubiel, replaced the old (very problematic) PDF broadcast entry submission form with a new web-based entry form that provides a much simpler and more trouble-free way to submit entry information.  After Dallas, we intend to retire this system and replace it with a brand new system that is currently under development.  The new system includes numerous updates, improvements, and new features that the Write-offs Committee has requested.

Partnering with SJW
Adam Dawkins and the Contest committee are talking about incorporating the SJW logo/ad contest and Write-offs. We would probably run the contest at the JEA/NSPA fall conference and put the logo/ad kids together in one contest to develop materials for that year’s SJW campaign. He could also still open it up to other folks who are not at the convention, but it would give him many more possible logos.

Impact of New Convention Format
Since all of the Write-off awards will be given out on Saturday afternoon starting with the Spring 2018 committee, we will have to work longer on Friday night to get the certificates entered and printed after judging ends. Then, we will use Saturday morning to prepare the visual portion of the awards. This will mean the committee members will not be able to serve as presenters on Saturday or attend the JEA luncheon. In addition, the JEA office will need to be prepared to post winners on Saturday evening.

Digital Media

Aaron Manfull, MJE
Francis Howell North High School
2549 Hackman Rd
Saint Charles, MO 63303
W: 636-851-5107

JEA Digital Media Committee Report – Fall 2017

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

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

In our seven years of existence, we had more than 1,150 posts published (roughly 3 per week), 576,011 visits, and 1,025,748 pageviews. Seventeen 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. Six committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past 6 months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:


  • Aaron Manfull – 21
  • Michelle Harmon – 6
  • Matt Rasgorshek – 4
  • Jonathan Rogers – 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 were Michelle Balmeo, Kevin Berns, Alyssa Boehringer, Amanda Bright, Isaiah Bryant, Christina Geabhart, Patrick Johnson, Matthew LaPorte, Chase Meyer, Jennifer Parsons, and Sarah Semmel.

While some of the wording is cut off on the following charts, the graphs move from the least recent 6-month period on top to the most recent 6-month period, on the bottom.

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 4.28.50 AM

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 4.29.31 AM

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 4.32.16 AM

Aaron Manfull’s committee report (near bottom of report):

We also have a presence on Twitter and Facebook (other important 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.

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 JEADigitalMedia.org. Information on advertising is available on the site. 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 Dallas but I have a feeling we will work to continue some of our current areas of focus: 1) Continue to build a deeper broadcast presence on the site as it remains one of our biggest draws 2) Continue to post relevant articles for those wanting help with their online journey 3) Work to publicize the site more on the Listserv and other places.

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

Here are some other useful links:

Journalist of the Year

Rebecca Pollard, MJE
Lovejoy High School
2350 Estates Parkway
Lucas, TX 75002
W: 469-742-8700 x28633

I am honored to serve another term as the Journalist of the Year chair. Three years in leadership can be quantified by the amount I learned during this time. I continue to be inspired by our membership, including other leaders within this organization. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish over the next term!

In April we awarded one national winner and six runners-up for this contest. After receiving 34 state-winning entries, a judging panel of 46 combed over each one and invested in these candidates as if they were their own student journalists. The 2017 contest presented a unique challenge as we had a tighter timeline to determine who our recipients were. I want to thank the judges for their dedication and talents to this tedious process. Despite our time constraint, each portfolio had multiple rounds of judges looking, reading and evaluating with thorough feedback.

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

2017 National High School Journalist of the Year

Meghan Bobrowsky of Davis (California) Senior High School (Kelly Wilkerson, adviser)


  • Emma Stiefel, Century High School, Liberty Township, Ohio (Dean Hume, adviser)
  • Celia Hack, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas (C. Dow Tate, adviser)
  • Jacob Lintner, Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri (Aaron Manfull, MJE, adviser)
  • Isabelle Robles, Iowa City (Iowa) West High School (Sara Whittaker, CJE, adviser)
  • Alexandre Silberman, Burlington (Vermont) High School (David Lamberti, adviser)
  • Tommy Pero, Malvern (Pennsylvania) Preparatory School (Kate Plows, CJE, adviser)

2017 Aspiring Young Journalist

Joseph Lister, Malvern (Pennsylvania) Preparatory School (Kate Plows, CJE, adviser)

Bryn Valdez, Sierra Middle School, Parker, Colo. (Jed Palmer, CJE, adviser)

In Seattle, we hosted our first meet-and-greet for those who participate in the 2017 national contest. Candidates, judges, the 2016 national winner and Former JEA President Mark Newton attended. This was a chance for the candidates to network and talk about the contest. Most of the feedback received from our survey dealt with how to make the meet-and-greet better. Feedback from participants included:

  • “The meet and greet was really cool, but it would have been better if the chairs in the room were arranged in a format that enabled interaction rather than inhibited it. Also, making the session two hours long would allow for more substantial conversation between the winners.”
  • “The meet and greet was fun! I think that if we did a circle format along with an introduction of each person to everyone, that would be nice.”
  • “The Seattle Meet and Greet was great! I would’ve liked to see more judges, though.”
  • “The meet and greet in Seattle was great. I really appreciated being able to connect with all of the other state winners, and the extra Twitter followers certainly didn’t hurt. I highly recommend keeping that on the docket for future years.”
  • “The Seattle meet and greet was fantastic! I enjoyed getting to meet the judges and the other state winners. We kept talking in the hallway even after the session had ended. I’m still in contact with many of the students I met and it was a great networking opportunity.”

In Seattle, the 2016 Journalist of the Year, Kellen Browning, and I presented a session to JOY hopefuls about applying for the contest and how to build a portfolio. We gave advice from their experience to help those who attend. As mentioned above, Kellen also attended the meet-and-greet with me and I think he enjoyed networking and talking with this year’s slate of candidates. Kellen also spoke to the convention at the opening ceremony. I would like to thank Kellen for his time and talents to help future candidates.

Moving forward, the requirements and guidelines for the contest are similar to last year. More refining behind the scenes will take place. Shortly after the 2017 contest concluded, Nebraska State Director Marsha Kalkowski, MJE reached out to me as she was interested in gathering data about the state level contest logistics. I eagerly accepted her offer to survey other state directors. I am thankful for Marsha’s efforts collecting this information and the following report, as she compiled the results to share with members:

In late April 2017, I sent an email request and Google survey form to the JEA State Directors. This survey had the approval and support of the 2017 national JOY contest chair, Rebecca Pollard, MJE. By May 15, 27 different state directors had responded. The query was sparked by my own state press association (SPA) executive board discussion about what was appropriate to offer to pay our judges and what was appropriate to give as prizes to our student winners. Responses from other states were varied and interesting, as there seems to be no overarching similarities.


The number of student portfolio submissions to a state contest ranged from 0 to 32. Within the 27 states responding, the average was 5.8 portfolios. For eight states, this was slightly or considerably more than in recent years. For 10 states, this was slightly or considerably less than in recent years.  Eight states received exactly the same number of entries. One state wasn’t sure because it was the state director’s first year. In the national contest this year, 34 entries were received. Seven states who participated in the contest did not respond to the email survey. According to the March 17 email from JEA Administrative Assistant, Connie Fulkerson, CJE, the 2017 submitting states to the National Journalist of the Year competition were: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.



I was particularly interested in the state judging situation.  All use (but three also modify) the national portfolio standards and rubric, although it doesn’t seem that many judges are required to fill out the rubric or give detailed feedback to the student entries. I didn’t ask that specific question on the survey, but with the comments given, this is a safe assumption. The number of judges ranged from 0 (when there were no entries) to 24 (when the entire SPA board and other volunteers judged the entries).  The judges themselves ranged from the JEA state director, retired advisers and college journalism students, to local media professionals and deans of schools of journalism.


As far as paying the judges, 14 states responded that there was no pay, it was a volunteer activity.  Similarly, 10 state directors noted, “They get a nice thank you note and that’s it.” Three state directors responded that they gave a meal or a token gift card ($10) to their judges.


Awards given to student winners were quite varied, too.  Some states recognize more than one winner with a cash or scholarship prize.  The monetary amount ranged from $100 to $5000 for first place and eight states indicated they also give prizes to a runner-up or second place winner. These prizes ranged from $50 to $1000. The national prize is $3000 to the winner and $500 to each of six runners-up.  The state prize money comes from a variety of sources, but mostly from SPAs and endowment funds.  A few states noted that dues, state contest proceeds and convention proceeds also help fund the scholarships. Almost all states showcase the student winner on social media and acknowledge them with a letter or email.

Recommendations and Suggestions:

  • At minimum, the state director should promote the contest via social media and through a listserv or email to state advisers.  
  • If possible, speak directly to students at a fall state convention or at a summer workshop as it is a good idea.
  • Assemble a team of judges before entries are received with the expectations clearly shared. Decide if a rubric must be filled out on all entries, when the results must be shared, etc. At minimum, judges should provide entrants a note of strengths and weaknesses and a congratulatory message for entering.
  • If the number and amount of prizes depends on the number of entries, decide and share that information with advisers.  It should not be an expectation or assumption that every year is the same.
  • After judging, at minimum, thank your judges.
  • After decision, at minimum, submit state winner to the national contest, and publicize the winner at the state level.

Mentoring Program

Bill Flechtner, MJE
4935 SE Arden St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
H: 503-652-2082  |  C: 503-407-0505


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

Mentors: We have 40 other active mentors: Bob Bair, Linda Ballew, Jane Blystone, Ron Bonadonna, Karen Boone, Candace Brandt, Vicki Brennan, Wayne Dunn, Carol Eanes, Megan Fitzgerald, Karl Grubaugh, Ray Hopfer, Sandy Jacoby, Ellen Kersey, Joy Lessard, Kay Locey, Julie Mancini, Joy McCaleb, Kim Messadieh, Susan Newell, Casey Nichols, Nancy Olson, Katherine Patrick, Mary Patrick, Carol Smith, Carol Strauss, Steve Unruhe, Ann Visser, Steve Wahlfeldt, Dave Wallner, Jo Zimmerman, Stan Zoller, Kathleen Zweibel.

Events: This summer we trained six new mentors during the Advisers Institute: Jane Blystone, MJE,  from Pennsylvania, Candace Brandt from North Carolina, Julie Mancini, CJE, from Florida, Kim Messadieh, CJE, from Southern California, Susan Newell, MJE, from Alabama and Mary Patrick, CJE, from Kansas. We invite other state SPAs to join the program by sponsoring one or more mentors who will receive mentor training.

We applied for a renewal of the Yellow Chair grant that has funded full or partial stipends for mentors in many states that need additional funds to support mentor stipends as well as given financial assistance to bring mentors to Mentor Forums held at conventions and to the new mentor training.

Awards and honorsThe mentor program is meeting the needs of new media advisers. As of mid-October, we are mentoring 97 advisers in 21 states and one foreign country (Japan). For 2016-2017, the retention rate of mentees in the program was 86.8 percent, which is better than the national rate for all teachers of 80 percent according to a study by the National Center for Educational Statistics. A survey released in April 2014 by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the American Institutes for Research found that mentors provided the most value to new teachers of any form of assistance.”

Our top accomplishment continues to be the professional growth and confidence our mentees have as a result of working with the mentors. Here are a few examples from exit surveys of mentees who are leaving the program after two years.

“Without (my mentor’s help), I would have been pretty lost. She helped me get started, made me feel supported, and provided ideas to keep me on track.” Lyle from Wyoming

“I was feeling kind of beat down and uninspired one day when (my mentor) came to visit. And I said to her something to the effect of ‘I just wish I could teach photography only and not have to mess with publications.’ And she held up a copy of my newspaper and said ‘You may have your areas where you wish to specialize, but when I look at this publication; it doesn’t look like the work of somebody who’d rather be somewhere else.’ It was a great thing to say and it will always stick with me.” Cary from Kansas

“Without (my mentor), I would have been lost as a new adviser. I wouldn’t have known where to go to find curriculum, where to go to get answers to problems, or deal with the difficult situations that arose within the class.” Heather from Oregon

 “(My mentor) has been a great resource to talk to about issues of journalism. He has helped me feel less isolated in my job, and the resources of JEA have helped me gain confidence in my teaching and philosophy about journalism in general. In the past I might have caved into the wishes of the administration, but now I feel confident about expressing my perspective as a journalism teacher.” Hillary from Oregon

“(My mentor) provided resources and materials when they were needed. It was great to have someone to turn to who could provide quick feedback and advice when needed. (He) schooled me on many basics of journalism with which I was not at all familiar with as an English teacher.” Delores of New Jersey

Scholastic Journalism Week

Adam Dawkins, CJE
Regis Jesuit High School
6400 S Lewiston Way
Aurora, CO 80016
W: 303-269-8000

Scholastic Journalism Week 2018 will be held Feb. 18-24.

Here are the details for this year’s events/contests:

  • Follow Scholastic Journalism Week on Twitter. @scholasticjweek / Hashtag #SJW2018
  • Theme: “Student Voice, Student Choice”
  • Scholastic Journalism Week Poster Contest – Using the theme “Student Voice, Student Choice,” create a visual identity for us to use for JEA’s 2018 Scholastic Journalism Week promotional materials and on social media. The winning design will be revealed Nov. 16, 2017, at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas. The winner need not be present to win. Click here for more details. Deadline: Oct. 30, 2017
  • Staff Spotlight Series – Apply to be one of 15 schools to be featured on the JEA Facebook page leading up to Scholastic Journalism Week. Submissions will open in November and run through Jan. 27, 2018.
  • Society of Professional Journalists and JEA partner to sponsor an Essay Contest. The question this year is “Why do we — as consumers of media — need to obtain news from multiple feeds and not just one or two outlets?” Essays should be 300-500 words. Submissions open Nov.  3, 2017. Deadline: Feb. 23, 2017.

Professional Outreach

Jonathan Rogers, MJE
Iowa City High School
1900 Morningside Dr.
Iowa City, IA 52245
W: 319-855-2559

Outreach for JEA has been gearing up for NCTE, where will be presenting three sessions on Media Literacy, Blogging in an Class, and First Amendment rights.  I have also been working with the Censorship Committee on press rights issues and the New Voices legislation.  At the conference in St. Louis, which is sadly the same weekend as JEA Dallas, Julie Smith will be signing books at the JEA Booth.  This is our first book signing and I think a great addition to our outreach at the conference that includes sharing everything JEA has to offer.  This year we also hope to highlight the JEA Curriculum efforts and mentoring.  A big thanks to Don Goble and Evelyn Lauer, MJE, who will also be running the booth with me in St. Louis.

This past summer, Professional Outreach started down at International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio where I promoted the JEA-Flipboard Magazine and shared the amazing work high school journalists are doing.  If you haven’t been to ISTE, it is huge with over 20,000 attendees.  At the conference, I heard over and over again, “Did high school students really create these stories and this multimedia content?”  The magazine is doing great with a following of over 4,000.  At the conference I talked with Emily, Flipboard’s new education liaison and she agreed to try and setup a bloggers cafe in San Francisco where student digital work can be showcased and students can connect.  My other main takeaway is that media literacy is going to be trending in 2017.  Teachers in all classes want to know how to get news, online, and from a variety of sources.  Beyond the tech basics, the other main points were that they want to know what questions students should be asking when they read the news, which ties into my next project.

My main goals for outreach are to continue to work with NCTE and on the NCTE censorship committee, work with Flipboard on the bloggers cafe for San Francisco, and work with JEA One Book and tech communities to spread the great work of high school journalists to show how all teachers can bring media literacy to their classrooms.

In the spring my session on Media Lit and Spotting Fake news has also been accepted to SXSWEdu.

As always let me know if you have any Professional Outreach ideas for JEA.

Publications/Public Relations

Evelyn Lauer, MJE
Niles West High School
5701 W Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077
W: 847-626-2592

I am thrilled to serve another term as the Publications/Public Relations chair. In this role, I oversee the following JEA initiatives:


This fall, I recruited the following members to write articles about scholastic journalism for JEA: Rebekah Goode, CJE, Patrick Johnson, MJE, and John Walter, CJE. These writers are currently working on pitches/ideas. The goal will be publication in various outlets such as Education Week, Edutopia and Huffington Post.

Last spring, I published a piece about scholastic journalism’s role in 21st century learning, and this fall I published an article on media literary called “My Week Without Instagram.” Both articles ran on The Huffington Post.

Members who are interested in joining this team of writers are encouraged to email me at evelau@d219.org.


The fall JEA One Book is “Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-In World” by Julie Smith. Smith joined JEA for a Twitter chat Sept. 13 and hosted a Facebook Live video  Oct. 11 via our JEA One Book Facebook Group. Make sure to follow @JEAOneBook on Twitter and use #JEAOneBook on all related posts. And join the Facebook Group here.

This year, Professional Outreach chair, Jonathan Rogers, MJE, and I will be attending NCTE instead of the JEA/NSPA convention in Dallas. Smith will join us for a book signing at the NCTE convention at 1 p.m. Nov. 18.

Members who have suggestions for the next One Book are encouraged to email me at evelau@d219.org. The next book will be announced in December.

Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today

Bradley Wilson, MJE
Midwestern State University
3410 Taft Blvd.
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099
H: 919-264-6768  |  W: 940-397-4797

As always in between terms of elected officials, we got off to a bumpy start. However, JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE, was so efficient and timely with appointments, it didn’t put us much behind for our 51st year of continual publication.

The fall issue featured three stories from attendees at the JEA Advisers Institute. This was a great way to involve new people and to tell stories of folks who contribute to the education of other educators.

The winter issue is a good testimony to teamwork and to data journalism. The team really made good use of data to tell a piece of JEA’s history. This may lead to a longer, more in-depth project — a history of JEA, the first 50 years. JEA members, especially those active in JEA, will enjoy this information compiled by Howard Spanogle, John Wheeler and Susan Tantillo, MJE, with Linda Puntney, MJE, Kelly Glasscock, CJE, Connie Fulkerson, CJE, Judy Babb, MJE, Pam Boller, Kate Dubiel and Lisa Terhaar. Our special thanks to the national office staff for all their help.

Given changes in JEA, I have asked two new people to serve on the C:JET advisory group. Mark Grabowski, an associate professor at Adelphi University, will join the team. Grabowski writes a regular column on current events for the Washington Examiner that’s nationally syndicated. He worked for six years for large newspapers and websites. Kyle Ellis will also join the team. Ellis works as a senior product manager for American City Business Journals in Charlotte. He’s very active with the Society for News Design and has worked as a designer for CNN and the Las Vegas Sun. I will continue this fall to identify additional members of this group and will meet at least once per semester virtually.

coverf17Fall 2017, Vol. 51, No. 1

Photos with a theme | Giving photographers a theme for a photo assignment can lead to some interesting and different interpretations of the same idea. Themed photo assignments can take at least three forms: the group assignment, an assignment given to a group of individuals or allowing an individual to shoot a group of images around a specific idea, event, person, thing or concept. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE JEA curriculum link

Video collaborationFrame.io is one example of a web-based software that allows video producers to collaborate online. | A Q&A with Lauren Vied Allen JEA curriculum link

Newsmagazine nameplates | The nameplate of a newsmagazine is, like the publication itself, a cross between a newspaper and a magazine. JEA curriculum link

Building a programThe Lariat at West Mesquite High School provides an example of how students, when empowered, even when lacking financial resources, can thrive and produce quality publications. | By Judy Babb, MJE JEA curriculum link

Branding packet | Often part of the more comprehensive and policy-based staff manual, the branding packet helps a staff maintain consistency in the look and feel of all aspects of a publication’s design. | By Rebecca Pollard, MJE JEA curriculum link

Advisers Institute.

  • Taming the monster | Rebecca Pollard, MJE, gives tips on leadership development. | By Patrick Johnson, MJE
  • Business Plan | Linda Barrington, MJE, offers advice on creating a business plan. | By Candace Brandt
  • Alternative Story forms | Brian Hayes, MJE, discusses storytelling devices. | By Glenn Krake, CJE


Candace Brandt, now a JEA mentor, advised the award-winning student newspaper, The Prowl, for 14 years at Providence Senior High School (Charlotte, North Carolina). The staff earned writing and editorial leadership awards from the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association. Brandt served as president of the NCSMA Advisers Association. She worked in public relations at the college level and in public service at KTBC-TV in Austin, Texas.

Patrick R. Johnson, MJE, advises the award-winning Tom Tom media program at Antioch (Illinois) Community High School. He is also an adjunct instructor in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, where he teaches digital journalism, visual communication and media writing. Johnson is the director of the Kettle Moraine Press Association’s Summer Journalism Workshop. He is a DJNF Distinguished Adviser and a JEA Rising Star.

Glenn Krake, CJE, a self-proclaimed overachiever, is the adviser at West Linn High School (Oregon) and leads tangential classroom discussions about how the album “Pet Sounds” is better than anything the Beatles created or about how the Dodgers are America’s team. @gkrake.

Rebecca Pollard, MJE, advises student media at Lovejoy High School in Lucas, Texas. During her 17-year career in scholastic journalism, she has advised yearbook, broadcast, newspaper, online and literary magazine. Her programs have won state and national awards, and she teaches at workshops throughout the nation. Pollard serves JEA as Journalist of the Year Committee chair and as the Leadership and Team Building curriculum leader.

Other contributors

  • Israel Arias, Zachary Baker, Kelsi Brinkmeyer, Carlie Clem, Lauren Gibbert, Rachel Lewis, Savannah Pritchard, Elizabeth Tullis, Bailey Vaughn and Savannah York, Texas High School (Texarkana, Texas), Clint Smith, adviser
  • Michael Fuhrman, Bryant High School (Arkansas), Lisa Stine, CJE, adviser
  • Adriana Gil and Taylor White, Centerville High School (Ohio), Colleen Sanders, adviser
  • Arno Goetz, Adam Merchant, Harper Sahm, Kyle Smith, Mason Smith and Frank Thomas, St. Mark’s School of Texas (Dallas), Scott Hunt, adviser
  • Austin Haag, Cypress Lakes High School (Katy, Texas), Michaela Bakondy, adviser
  • Tera Hawes, Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kansas), Dow Tate, adviser
  • Natasha Hopp, Inglemoor High School (Kenmore, Washington), Zane Mills, adviser
  • Bailee Hutcheson, Sheridan High School (Arkansas), Justin Turner, adviser
  • Yoon Kim, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois), Marshall Harris, adviser
  • Dana McCurdy, Haltom High School (Haltom City, Texas), Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE, adviser
  • Thomas Meade, Ballard High School (Seattle), Michael Smith, CJE, adviser
  • Kenia Rivas, Kickapoo High School (Springfield, Missouri), Leslie Orman, CJE, adviser
  • Morgan Schreiber, Torrey Pines High School (San Diego), Mia Boardman Smith, adviser
  • Brittany Stone and Maxwell Wardlow, Allen High School (Texas), Krista Luter, adviser
  • Myla Turner, Pittsburg High School (Kansas), Emily Smith, CJE, adviser
  • Emily Wise, Smoky Hill High School (Aurora, Colorado), Carrie Faust, MJE, adviser

coverw17Winter 2017, Vol. 51, No. 2

New Perspective | Exemplifying the power of using data in journalism, on the 30th anniversary of the release of the Report by the JEA Commission on the Role of Journalism in Secondary Education, JEA celebrates past major accomplishments and expresses its visionary future. | By Howard Spanogle, John Wheeler and Susan Tantillo, MJE, with Linda Puntney, MJE, Kelly Glasscock, CJE, Connie Fulkerson, CJE, Judy Babb, MJE, Pam Boller, Kate Dubiel and Lisa Terhaar. JEA curriculum link

Eclipse | The eclipse was not exactly a once-in-a-lifetime event. However, it was an opportunity for science to make its way into the mass media. This summer about 300 million people in the United States were able to experience at least a partial solar eclipse. JEA curriculum link

Water Balloons | Mastering how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together for a proper exposure is fundamental to all photography. The exercise focuses specifically on shutter speed and capturing moments. JEA curriculum link

Advisers Institute.

  • Using Podcasts | Jane Bannester uses short and engaging podcasts to engage students as they learn reporting. Podcasting gives students opportunities to see how they can excel. | By Amy Robb, CJE
  • JEA curriculum link: curriculum.jea.org/lesson-audio-for-multimedia-broadcast/
  • Video Production | Justin Raisner encourages advisers to jump into video production — but start small. | By Jolie Lindley
  • Advanced Placement strategies | Elizabeth Levin argues that students in journalism classes benefit from Advanced Placement Language-style skill introduction. | By Heather Treanor

Short stories.

Pawesehi | Parkway West High School (Ballwin, Missouri) | Staffs can learn the importance of being open-minded when creating a yearbook. JEA curriculum link


Jolie Lindley teaches journalism and novel studies at The Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas where she advises the yearbook and PawPress TV staff. Lindley taught journalism, English, theater, speech and dance for 17 years in four different public high schools in Indiana, where she served as adviser to national and regional award-winning student newspapers and yearbooks. She was nominated for a Disney Teacher Award. The Louisville Courier-Journal nominated her as a “hero for the new millennium” and former students nominated her to Who’s Who Among American Teachers. Additionally, Lindley has served on the board of the Southeastern Indiana Student Press Association.

Amy Robb, CJE, advises the Oak Leaf at Norfolk Collegiate School in Norfolk, Virginia. She has advised newspapers and yearbooks in schools in California and Virginia for 13 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and 2006 American Society of News Editors High School Journalism Institute fellow who is passionate about instilling a love for words, reporting and design to her students.

Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE, served on the JEA board from 1978 to 2009 as Newswire editor, regional director, Certification Commission chair, secretary and Awards Committee chair. A founding member of Illinois JEA in 1988, she served on its board of directors until 2016. From 1971 to 2001 she taught English and journalism and advised the Spokesman print newspaper at Wheeling High School in Illinois. Since 2008 she has taught in the online master’s program for scholastic media educators at Kent State University. She received the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award, Carl Towley Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from JEA, the Pioneer Award from NSPA and the Gold Key from CSPA.

Heather Treanor is entering her fourth year as an adviser to the two student publications at Estacada High School (Oregon). Treanor is working on expanding her program to include multimedia journalism and broadcast journalism while also interning and occasionally writing sports articles for the local paper. Her goal as an adviser is to empower her students to fully embrace their First Amendment rights while also developing their critical thinking skills.

John Wheeler specialized in program planning on host committees for Chicago JEA/NSPA conventions in 1982, 1986 and 1991. Wheeler chaired the JEA commission for the 1987 Report on the Role of Journalism in Secondary Education. Previously he was an officer for the Illinois Association of Teachers of Journalism during the 1970s and 1980s. From 1971 to 1999 he taught English and journalism and advised the Lion print newspaper at Lyons Township High School (LaGrange, Illinois). He received the Carl Towley Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from JEA, the Pioneer Award from NSPA and the Gold Key from CSPA.

Other contributors

  • Judy Babb, MJE, adviser, West Mesquite High School (Texas)
  • Morgan Browning, Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kansas), C. Dow Tate, adviser
  • Theresa Carriveau, West Chicago Community High School (Illinois), Laura Kuehn, adviser
  • Kaitlyn Chandler, Allison Crowe, Janniek Mors, Sarah Wilson, Prosper High School (Texas), Lori Oglesbee, adviser
  • Jack Fiorillo, Mountlake Terrace High School (Washington), Vince DeMiero, adviser
  • Scotty Gathright, owner, GathFoto Imaging (San Antonio)
  • H.L. Hall, retired (Hendersonville, Tennessee)
  • David Jackson, teacher, William A. Hough High School (Cornelius, North Carolina)
  • Jack Kennedy, MJE, Colorado Student Media Association
  • Yoon Kim, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois), Marshall Harris, adviser
  • Sherilyn Kuo, Carlmont High School (Belmont, California), Justin Raisner, adviser
  • Frank Lopez, teacher, Greenhill School (Addison, Texas)
  • Libby Mullican, MJE, adviser, Mill Valley High School (Shawnee, Kansas), Kathy Hill Habiger, adviser
  • Mark Newton, MJE, adviser, Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch, Colorado)
  • Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, Kent State University (Ohio)
  • Linda Puntney, MJE, retired, Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas)
  • Charilys Silva, Robert G. Cole High School (San Antonio), Brenda Marafioto, adviser
  • Jacob Simma, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (Shawnee, Kansas), Susan Massy, adviser
  • Kenson Siver, retired, Southfield Public Schools; mayor (Southfield, Michigan)
  • Matt Stamey, multimedia specialist, Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Florida)
  • Caroline Stiefbold, John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, Illinois)
  • Leah Thye, Trinity High School (Euless, Texas), Michael Peña, adviser
  • Ann Visser, MJE, retired, Pella Community Schools, (Iowa)

Editor, Social Media

Erin Coggins, MJE
Sparkman High School
2616 Jeff Road
Harvest, AL 35749
W: 256-837-0331  |  H: 256-895-6490

My first official role in JEA has been an exciting one. I have learned tons about the organization that I did not know prior to taking on the social media editor position in May. Sarah Nichols, MJE, has been a great mentor and I feel that I am getting into the swing of things every time I post on one of JEA’s social media sites.

  • I successfully made it through my first Advisers Institute as social media editor. I created promotional graphics and covered some of the events that happened in Las Vegas.
  • I presented a session at the Advisers Institute on how to use World War II journalist Ernie Pyle to teach feature writing.
  • I announced fall JEA award winners on Facebook and Twitter.
  • I continue to post new curriculum lessons provided by Megan Fromm, MJE. These are going out on Twitter and Facebook.
  • I promoted Constitution Day by highlighting JEA’s new First Amendment t-shirts and the lesson plans created by JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee.
  • I continued the “When I’m Not Teaching” Facebook series. I contacted every state director for nominations for this series.
  • I started the “If you are not, then you should” Instagram series. I am currently in the beginning phase of this project and plan to make it a regular weekly series within the next month.
  • I promoted the fall conference, Write-offs, etc. and other deadlines.
  • I am creating a social media calendar to help me stay on track with postings and graphic content.
  • I am currently in conversation with Tom Gayda, MJE, on a “JEA Daily” series for our social media.
  • I am learning something new every day to strengthen my skills.

I will continue to grow in my position as social media editor. I want to find a good balance for our social media outlets, especially Instagram. I look forward to working with everyone and appreciate all the advice I have been given thus far.


National Scholastic Press Association

Laura Widmer
National Scholastic Press Association
2829 University Ave. S.E., Suite 720
Minneapolis, MN 55414
W: 612-200-9254

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

Membership: NSPA membership has increased since our last report. We are up 222 members to 1,747. That number reflects membership prior to fall convention registration and renewals. We are considering a membership fee restructure that would provide a group membership for converged media outlets. Stay tuned for details.

What’s new? We had an excellent year with a lot of changes. The first one was adding Gary Lundgren to the NSPA team. Gary joined NSPA Feb. 1 as associate director. He is in charge of contests, critiques and some programming on the college side of his job. Of course, there are other duties, but he certainly adds to our team.

We also continued to pilot our Pacemaker judging with the idea of having current Pacemaker advisers and retired award-winning advisers judge the contest. Current advisers were not in the same meeting room, and actually not even on the same floor. Judging was different in that each judge looked at each book in their category. Judges came to a consensus on Pacemaker winner and finalist books. There was great discussion and great energy in the selection process. We will rotate judges off this year so we can add a variety of advisers to the Pacemaker judging corp.

We also have a new board president. Al Tims resigned in December and interim director Jane Kirtley served as our board president in the spring. In the spring Elisia Cohen, from the University of Kentucky, accepted the job and started in late June. Elisia has already been an asset at our board meetings. She will be in Dallas and I hope most of you have an opportunity to meet her.

Over Labor Day weekend, NSPA welcomed the new JEA board and executive director to Minneapolis. We had a great time showing off our city and getting some work done, as well. We had a set agenda, but had time on Saturday to do some work on the critique videos for judges.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we move to our new membership software, Member 365. We truly believe it is going to be more user-friendly for our members. The company is also building our critique portal. That has had a few more hiccups as it was supposed to be completed in April and it was close to completion in August.

NSPA Advisory Committee continues to be an asset to me. I love the conversations we have with our members, and I love the focus on how can we offer better services, contests and critiques for our student journalists and all members.

Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and I have been travel buddies most of the summer and fall. NSPA/JEA has signed contracts in Orlando at Marriott World Center for Fall 2020 and 2026. We are currently looking at contracts for Boston and Nashville. It’s been a busy site visit schedule for us, but very beneficial. We hope to share more good news soon.

I buried the lead, but the biggest thing that has happened to us is that we moved offices Oct. 3. We moved a few blocks up the street on University Avenue in Minneapolis. We are no longer on campus and that is why we have new phone numbers. The move went like all moves — not the way you had envisioned, but overall it was worth the effort and inconvenience. We still haven’t found everything yet, but hope that will happen when we can finish unloading boxes after conventions. Our new info is 2829 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. The main number is Ashley’s number: 612-200-9254, Amber is 612-200-9295, Gary is 612-367-4114 and my number is 612-200-9265.

We look forward to a great convention in Dallas and this spring is San Francisco. Come by and see me, if you can!

Student Press Law Center

Hadar Harris Esq
Student Press Law Center
1608 Rhode Island Ave.
Suite 211
Washington, DC 20036
W: 202-785-5450

Higher Education

Kate Klonowski, MJE
6819 Brookside Road
Independence, OH 44131
H: 216-534-3498

I am pleased to have so many exciting projects underway and on the horizon with the JEA board under Educational Initiatives.  Megan and I have been coordinating several projects including:

  • Presenting at The National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) conference in Chicago, IL this past June with Beatrice Motamedi, CJE, (fellow member) and Peter Adams (The News Literacy Project). I spoke about ways to teach media literacy through scholastic media production in our symposium entitled “Journalism and Teens.” Our audience included secondary school educators, college and university professors, advocacy leaders, and business professionals.
  • We are currently networking with several new researchers in scholastic media who are interested in increasing the academic literature surrounding and pertaining to scholastic media.
  • My dissertation research is exploring the issues of voice, power, and trust in scholastic media production. The student-initiated investigation is bridging the work of high school journalists, practitioner scholars, and more traditional academics.
  • I am currently engaged with several other board members (current and former) in Ohio on the New Voices legislation efforts. We are reaching out to educators in high schools as well as higher educational institutions about experiences of censorship and self-censorship.
  • At the time of this report, I will have presented at the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) in Pittsburgh the first week of November on a paper entitled, “Civic Engagement through Collaborative Journalism: A Case Study” in a symposium about teens and civic engagement in schools. This audience is predominantly higher ed. academics in the larger field of education.
  • We will be collecting examples of current and recent research relating to scholastic media being published in peer reviewed journals and providing a synopsis to our members in the form of a series of briefs so we can assist our membership in staying current on what is being studied and where we might do additional research.

Additionally, I was recently honored to be named president of the Ohio Scholastic Press Association.

Our hope is that in the coming months we can increase JEA’s presence in academia, and promote the great work that is already being done through collaboration, education, and innovative research. If the board has specific suggestions on where we might reach out beyond where we already have, please be in touch.

State Directors


Susan Newell, MJE, NBCT
1150 Valley Forge Road
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
C: 205-454-9394

Membership: Alabama has 25 JEA memberships. JEA membership is encouraged at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, at Troy University’s J Day, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth.

Events and happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences.

ASPA events can be found here and on Facebook and Twitter.

Troy University in Troy, Alabama hosted over 500 students for J Day on Sept. 14.

ASPA held fall workshops in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Mobile in September.

Jan. 31 is the senior awards deadline.

Feb. 9-10 is the ASPA State Convention.

April 1  is the Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline.

June 8-17 is The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to give high school students experience that teaches them more about college life and a career in media.

June 8-10 is The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.

Fall Regional Workshops will be held in Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Huntsville in September.

New journalism teachers in Alabama who would like a mentor, should contact Susan Newell at newellsusan54@gmail.com.

Awards and honors:

ASPA awards are listed here.


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

The web site for Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) is www.azaipa.org, and it is on Facebook and Twitter. The AIPA blog is here.

The state’s Summer Journalism Workshop was in July at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism on the Arizona State University downtown campus. Both advisers and students attended. The workshop is a two-day commuter camp, which emphasized an integration of writing, video, and online media.

The Fall Convention was held Oct. 24 with about 30 classes in newspaper, yearbook, photography, broadcast, censorship and blogging. The state contest awards were announced. The keynote speaker was Donna Rossi, local CBS reporter. She was introduced by Arizona Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee.

Last spring Senator Kimberly Yee, a former Greenway High School journalist, introduced a New Voices bill. It passed both the Senate and the House only to be vetoed by Gov. Doug Ducey. A renewed effort is planned to introduce a new bill. Arizona Interscholastic Press Association and Arizona Newspaper Association, Executive Director Paula Casey, worked in support of the bill.

The board has develop a comprehend list of the state’s scholastic journalism programs and publications, which is current – until it changes. Outreach programs to better meet the needs of the membership, encouraging JEA membership and convention attendance, and developing leadership within the state are being planned.

A strong scholastic journalism supporter in Arizona is SPOT 127 Youth Media Center, supported by Phoenix NPR member station KJZZ. SPOT 127 offers a variety of free scholastic journalism programs, working with approximately 250 students each year. SPOT 127 also collaborates with AIPA through such activities as speaking at the organization’s annual events and cross-promoting workshops to increase student engagement.


Stephanie Emerson, MJE
PO Box 3
Wynne, AR 72396
C: 870-588-2094

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 82 members advising 111 publications in our state AJAA organization; 57 of those are in JEA. An additional 12 members are still active but are retired, working for publishing companies, or working in other areas of journalism. We have 10 CJEs and 5 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.

Our e-mail address: arkansasscholasticpress@gmail.com

Our website is www.arkansasscholasticpressassociation.org

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.

Happenings: The 2018 State Convention will be held in Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 19-20, at the Fort Smith City Center adjacent to the Double Tree by the Hilton at the Fort Smith City Center.


Danielle Ryan, MJE
Carlsbad High School
3557 Lancer Way
Carlsbad, CA 92008
H: 858-349-3451

Membership: California currently has 242 members.  There are two major regional branches- JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California).  Orange County, San Diego County and the Inland Empire have smaller sub groups for the SCJEA regional branch.

Events, SCJEA:

Wake Up Call 125 students ventured to Long Beach City College on Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. – noon to tweak and improve publications for the start of the year. The workshop offered 12 sessions, including opportunities for newspaper and yearbook critiques.

Journalism Day and Adviserfest Hosted at Cal State Northridge, The LA Times hosts this one day workshop in conjunction with SCJEA on Oct. 21. The day includes breakout sessions and on-site competitions for students as well as workshops for advisers hosted by SCJEA.

Olga Kokino Scholarship SCJEA is awarding a $500 scholarship to help new or almost new SCJEA members and schools attend the Spring Convention in San Francisco.

California All-Stars SCJEA will once again be hosting the California All-Stars Competition. Schools will submit work from the beginning of this school year for judging.

Events, JEANC:

Nor Cal Media Day JEANC hosted over 300 advisers and students at Palo Alto High School on Oct. 7.  The morning offered numerous breakout sessions, critiques and a keynote address.  In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to participate in an on site write-off contest.  The workshop also hosted the Best of the West contest where seven schools were honored with awards for their publications in four categories

Stories that Matter Davis High School and JEANC hosted a one-day workshop on Oct. 21 focusing on improving all aspects of storytelling for newspaper and yearbook.  The mini-conference offered nine breakout sessions and a keynote address from media professional Michael Schiller.

JEA/NSPA Spring Convention JEANC is continuing preparations for the JEA/NSPA Spring Convention in San Francisco.  Don Bott is the local chair and has a talented team of veteran advisers who are working hard to prepare a great convention for students and advisers.

Awards and honors:

Mitch Zeigler, CJE from Redondo Union High School won both the NSPA Pioneer Award and the JEA Medal of Merit which will be presented in Dallas. Ziegler has advised student publications for 28 years.  He has served as the California JEA State Director,  SCJEA president, helped plan numerous JEA/NSPA journalism conventions, teaches across the country during the summer and spends his time at conventions teaching sessions and critiquing publications, working with both students and advisers.

Pete LeBlanc, CJE, from Antelope High School has also been named a 2017 Pioneer Award winner. LeBlanc has been teaching for 25 years and currently advises Antelope’s newspaper, magazine and broadcast programs. In addition to the Pioneer Award, LeBlanc is also the 2006 Yearbook Adviser of the Year.

Annette Deming, CJE, from Don Antonio Lugo High School in Chino has won the Rising Star Award. Deming has been teaching for four years after leaving her professional media job.  She is also working to reestablish the Inland Empire chapter of JEA.

Pacemaker Awards Nine California schools are Pacemaker finalists for the Broadcasting and Newspaper categories that will be presented in Dallas in Nov. (one in Broadcasting and eight in Newspaper).

NSPA Individual Awards California schools will have 46 finalists in 19 categories in the NSPA Individual Awards that will be awarded in Dallas.


Kristi Rathbun, CJE
Rock Canyon High School
5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO 80124
W: 303-387-3000

Membership: Colorado has 83 JEA members. This is a considerable decrease of over 30 memberships from one year ago. However, most advisers renew their memberships prior to JDay, so this number should increase. Registration and membership renewal deadlines were Oct. 12.

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

Happenings: Our state convention, J-Daywas Oct. 19 at the Lory Center on the CSU Campus in Ft. Collins. Nearly 1500 students and advisers attended from schools from all over the state; over 50 sessions were offered by presenters from top high school and collegiate media programs as well as members of the professional press. All-Colorado and Best of Show awards followed in the afternoon in addition to the induction of the inaugural class of the All-Colorado Hall of Fame.

CSMA’s Winter Thaw Conference will continue in Jan. 24, 2018 on the University of Colorado campus. The focus of this workshop for advisers will be photography with Kathy Daly.

The Capitol Hill Press Conference is set for Feb. 26, 2018.

First Amendment Issues:

Highlands Ranch Chronicle

When dean and head football coach Mark Robinson resigned after suspicious circumstances surrounding a K-9 drug search at school, the editors at the Chronicle knew they had to tell the story for their community. However, they ran into opposition from multiple sources – including some faculty members telling them they shouldn’t report the story at all. Adviser Erin Tuttle was able to make use of CSMA Advocacy resources which led her to the JEA curriculum for FOIA and investigative reporting. Additionally, student editors contacted SPLC for help in reporting the story. Their work was published in the October issue of The Chronicle because of the persistence of the students and the guidance of their adviser. What could have been a censorship issue, was resolved because of the resources available through our state and national organizations.

Middle School Yearbook Experiences Sudden Prior Review

The Prowl yearbook at Powell middle school reported their principal started the year by instituting prior review of the 2018 yearbook’s theme and content. After a meeting with the principal which included the adviser’s education association representative, the prior review seems to have subsided. In the meantime, the adviser plans to continue training her staff about Colorado’s student freedom of expression law as well as best practices for student journalism.

CSMA Fall contest

Students have a new contest for this fall in Colorado. They can complete a PSA on the First Amendment and five freedoms to win a $300 voucher for events and entries through CSMA. PSAs can be videos, print ads, podcasts or editorials. Three schools earned vouchers last year for their work in the fall Fearless contest.

Awards and Honors: Colorado is honored and excited to report Mark Newton, MJE, adviser at Mountain Vista High School is the Carl Towley recipient for 2017. Newton is a leader and inspiration for advisers and students throughout our state and nation. A former JEA president, Newton has influenced multiple programs and students to achieve excellence in student media. Newton will receive his award at the Dallas convention in November.

CSMA Awards

Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, adviser at Longmont HS is the 2017 Adviser of the Year.

Aurora Usama-Arko, Principal at Early College HS in Colorado Springs (and former media student and adviser) is the 2017 Administrator of the Year.

Fifteen student media programs were inducted into CSMA’s All-Colorado Hall of Fame at J-Day, Oct. 19. Inductees represented print news (4), yearbook (10) and video media (1) programs which consistently earned the highest critique rating for at least six of the last seven  years. For the complete list of the inaugural class, head to colostudentmedia.com.

NSPA Awards: Colorado has two NSPA Pacemaker finalists who will be recognized in Dallas along with two individual award finalists.


Dennis Leizear, CJE
Padua Academy
905 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE 19806
W: 302-421-3739

Membership:  Delaware currently has two members. I continue to reach out to schools to help increase membership, but few schools have journalism programs.

In January we’re holding a Convergence Media Day at Padua Academy for girls in grades 5-8 to help increase awareness of our program.

District of Columbia

Clare Berke
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
800 Euclid St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
W: 202-671-6320  |  C: 303-709-8304

Membership: We have four active teacher members and 12 total members.

Events: The Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association held its annual J-Day Oct. 27, at the University of Maryland, College Park.


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

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 2018.

Events: The state convention is April 12-14, 2018, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando.

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

Awards: At the spring convention, FSPA awarded Brit Taylor, CJE, with the Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year award. Taylor is a yearbook, newspaper and website adviser in Oviedo, Fla. at Hagerty High School. He has advised yearbook for 24 years and newspaper for 20. Taylor is drawn to the real-world application of high school journalism, and he appreciates the many lessons that publications teach. As a member of FSPA, JEA, NSPA and CSPA, Taylor has presented and critiqued for publications nationwide.

This fall FSPA recognized 58 All Florida publications and had 358 entries in the fall digital contests. They are announcing the Best of the Best for each category soon.

Four Florida newspapers received CSPA Crown nominations (up from two last year). Click here for full list of nominees. Four Florida magazines received a CSPA Crown nomination (up from two last year). Click here for a full list of nominees.

Two Florida newspapers were named Pacemaker finalists by NSPA and 10 individuals are finalists in a variety of individual categories in the NSPA competition.


Karen Collier, CJE
Veterans High School
340 Piney Grove Rd
Kathleen, GA 31047
W: 478-218-7537  |  C: 478-335-5476

Membership: Georgia has 44 members and we’re working to connect more with our Facebook group.
Events: There is a current movement to create/update journalism standards for the state. A 5-person committee headed by Karen Collier, CJE, from Veterans High School also includes Nora Neff, CJE, from Mill Creek High School.
The GSPA State Spring Conference was held April 24-27 at the University of Georgia. Students participated in workshop sessions with topics ranging from resume development to sports writing to staff leadership to social media and fact checking.  Awards were presented, including: Georgia Jr. Champion Journalist: Johanna Hall, Clarke Central High School; runner up- Maddie Ledet, Woodward Academy; Georgia Champion Journalist: Sophie Fernandes, Clarke Central High School; runner up- Ellie Ritter, Decatur High School. Adviser of the Year was Melissa King Rogers, Druid Hills High School.
Georgia Media and Leadership Academy was held June 4-11 on the campus of the University of Georgia. Students from around the country participated.  Students chose from one of three tracks to study: Journalism, Ad & PR, and Entertainment (Video Production). They spent the first half of the camp learning the basics of that track. For the second half of camp, students worked within teams to complete a class project.
Georgia has one NSPA Pacemaker Finalist who will be recognized in Dallas and three CSPA Gold Crown finalists as well as seven Gold Circle winners. Georgia also had two awards from NATAS – Southeast Student Production Awards.


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

Membership: Hawaii has nine 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 regularly 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. Minutes are posted on the website linked above. Most recently, we met with Brian Black, the Executive Director of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, to learn more about the bill and legislative process in Hawaii. Upcoming are two socials to engage with journalism teachers about HSJA, JEA, and New Voices.
  • The Hawaii Publishers Association’s 2017 HHSJA Awards Ceremony took place April 19. I presented about the benefits of JEA and encouraged advisers to join our organization along with the HSJA group. All schools awarded can be found at the link provided, but our member advisers’ publications who placed include Kye Haina of Kamehameha-Maui, Daryn Kakazu of Waipahu High School, Cindy Reves of McKinley High School, Jessica Hanthorn of Mid-Pacific Institute, and Alyssa Myers of Sacred Hearts. My students also placed this year.
  • Obscenity became an issue with a school this year and has been a topic of conversation during HSJA meetings.


Michelle Harmon, MJE
Retired from:

Borah High School
6001 W. Cassia St.
Boise, ID 83709
C: 208-371-4431

Events: The 4th annual state conference was held Oct. 26 at J.U.M.P. (a hip, new structure in downtown Boise where we held it last year).  Highlights included:

  • Schedule
  • University of Idaho Journalism and Mass Media co-sponsored this year, contributing $5,000.
  • The local community college brought three teachers and nine students.
  • Group hotel block was 25, but we filled 29.
  • Key note speaker was David Adler, a constitutional expert and popular speaker in Idaho.
  • Michael Hernandez conducted a video boot camp.
  • Over 400 people registered.
  • Three yearbook vendors helped by donating items
    • Adviser gift bags (Jostens)
    • Lanyards & Exhibit Table (Herff Jones)
    • Photo Booth and Swag (Lifetouch)
  • We raffled about 50 coffee-table size books I purchased at a local library book sale.  Topics include Rock ’n’ Roll Encyclopedia, Photography, Art, History, Music, and so on.  I gave everyone a free ticket for coming, and then tickets were sold to raise money for our SPA, Idaho Student Journalism Association.
  • There was a Boise Capitol Tour for out-of-town groups in the afternoon before the conference.
  • One out-of-town group has scheduled tours outside of the conference, which include tours of a Boise TV station, a local newspaper, and a college newspaper, and a tour of the Boise State University campus.
  • Andrew Reed from Idaho Education News presented a session and covered the event.
  • Lunch was available to advisers and students who wanted updates on New Voices Legislation.
  • Many new & renewal memberships have been confirmed.

The conference is our big event.  Several advisers have brought groups many years in a row.  This year I sent post cards to all high schools in Idaho, and addressed them to the attention of four specific groups instead of one general group.

I also updated the idsja.org membership page to include an online membership form in addition to revising the old print form for new membership prices.


Brenda Field, MJE
Glenbrook South High School
4000 W. Lake Ave.
Glenview, IL 60026
W: 847-486-4509

Membership: Current membership in Illinois is 143. IJEA, the Illinois JEA affiliate, has a website. IJEA also has an active social media presence on Facebook (Illinois Journalism Education Association) and Twitter (@IllinoisJEA).

Events: Eastern Illinois University hosted the IHSA Journalism State Tournament April 29. IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud coordinated the event.  More than 80 schools had representatives competing in the state finals. The Illinois Journalism Education Association hosted its annual fall conference at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana Sept.15. Nearly 500 students and advisers attended the conference, which also included two write-off competitions.

Initiatives: With the assistance of the Student Press Law Center, we continue educating stakeholders about what the Illinois New Voices law means to them, supporting advisers and students as challenges arise. To that end, IJEA recently developed a free curriculum for advisers so they can teach press law with the 2016 Speech Rights of Journalists Act in mind. It is available for download from the IJEA website.

We have formed a local committee for the Chicago 2018 JEA/NSPA convention.

We are increasing the number of Illinois advisers who have JEA certification and encouraging current CJEs to become MJEs. We continue to offer certification testing at the IJEA fall conference and to promote student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Two Illinois newspapers are NSPA Pacemaker finalists for 2017. Five Illinois student journalists are finalists for NSPA individual awards. Pacemakers and individual awards will be presented at the fall convention in Dallas.

For the board: As monetary constraints become an even bigger issue for staffs, please continue to think about how to further support initiatives that get JEA resources and talent out to underserved rural and urban populations of student journalists.


Nancy Hastings, MJE
9234 Prairie Ave.
Highland, IN 46322-2339
H: 219-838-6743

Membership: Membership remains about the same as last spring, with 77 current members.

Events: The Indiana High School Press Association’s 95th fall state convention took place Oct.19-20 in Franklin, Indiana. The annual meeting provided adult and student HSPA members a chance to network with other journalists, to learn new skills, and to be involved as the state kicks off it’s push to #BeHeard through New Voices legislation. Friday’s keynote speaker State Representative Ed Clere, advocate for student press rights and co-sponsor of New Voices legislation, urged attendees to get involved to defeat Hazelwood and #BeHeard for the future of the First Amendment.

New Executive Director
IHSPA and Franklin College selected Ryan Gunterman as the new executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association, replacing Diana Hadley who retired in June after 13 years as director. Gunterman, who most recently advised at Columbus North HS, brings 14 years of advising experience to the position. He received the Ella Sengenberger Indiana Adviser of the Year award and served as IHSPA board president early in his career. He received recognition as a Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser, JEA Rising Star and Ball State Journalism Workshops Hall of Fame member.

Awards and Honors
JEA Medal of Merit: Congratulations to Indiana’s Nancy Hastings, MJE, and Brian Hayes, MJE, for being recognized with the Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit awarded to individuals who have contributed significantly to scholastic journalism throughout their career. They will receive their awards at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas.
Nancy Hastings, MJE, retired from teaching and advising after 38 years and has stayed involved as JEA’s Indiana state director for more than two decades. Hastings has maintained her commitment to journalism and her education as a journalism workshop instructor despite being out of the classroom on a daily basis.
Brian D. Hayes, MJE, has had a wide variety of experiences in journalism, but his expertise in design and graphics stand out. He has served as the design and graphics team leader for the JEA Curriculum Initiative, served on the Certification Committee and provided instruction at the JEA Advisers Institute. Brian reaches out beyond Ball State, as he volunteers to help both JEA and the Indiana High School Press Association.

JEA Rising Star: Sarah-Anne Lanman, CJE, has had journalism in her blood for a while. After serving as an editor-in-chief for her high school yearbook, it was only fitting she move into the publications director position at her former high school in 2013. Since then, Lanman has continued encouraging the tradition of excellence for both the newspaper and the yearbook programs at Munster High School. For this, she will be recognized as an up-and-coming adviser who shows promise with Journalism Education Association’s Rising Star Award.

JEA Future Teacher Scholarship: Indiana is proud that Andrew Disinger of Ball State University is one of this year’s four Future Teacher Scholarship winners. Disinger, who started his college career as a telecommunications major, but switched to journalism education last spring, will receive one of this year’s $1,000 Future Teacher Scholarships from JEA. Disinger is concerned about media literacy and the need for multimedia stories that resonate with young audiences. As he wrote in his application, “The profession of journalism is falling under attack in our country today. I want to equip my students to not only succeed in their own careers, but also help end the negative stigma that journalism has developed.”

Student media honors: One Indiana newspaper is among the NSPA Pacemaker Finalists to be recognized in Dallas and three Indiana news media have earn CSPA Gold Crown Finalists and will be recognized next spring in New York. Several individuals have also earned national NSPA honors. One Story of the Year Finalist, six Design of the Year Finalists, one Cartoon of the Year Finalist, and two Picture of the Year Finalists will be recognized at the Dallas convention.


Leslie Shipp, MJE
Johnston High School
6501 N.W. 62nd Ave.
PO Box 10
Johnston, IA 50131
W: 515-278-0449

Membership: JEA members in Iowa number 42, slightly fewer than last year. Emails, contact by phone and get-togethers with newer advisers facilitate reaching out to newer members.

Happenings: The Iowa High School Press Association’s state conference was held at the University of Iowa Oct. 26. Scott Winter of Bethel College was the keynote.

The state convention has grown to its largest numbers ever the past few years under the leadership of Paul Jensen, the IHSPA executive director. Last year over 800 students crowded the University of Iowa’s Memorial Union ballroom to the point where it might not have been safe to have that many people in the room. So the convention has moved to a new room that holds 1,000.

The state yearbook contest deadline was moved earlier to late August to allow for judging to finish before the state convention. Much emphasis has been put on recognizing students at the convention instead of mailing awards.

Tweaks to the state newspaper contest will occur this spring after a revamp of it two springs ago.

Placing more emphasis on recognizing newspaper staffs at the state convention has been stressed. While the individual awards still are mailed in the late spring so graduating seniors receive them, the news team awards are announced at the state convention, the thought being that younger staff members will be in attendance.

The Iowa High School Journalist of the Year prize money has doubled to $500. However, the contest attracted only three applicants. More marketing needs to be done.

Awards and Honors: Three Iowa school were Online Pacemaker Finalists, one magazine earned a Pacemaker and a newspaper was a Finalist.

Kathryn Ikeda from Johnston was the Al Neuharth Free Spirit winner from Iowa.


Susan Massy
Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
12701 W. 67th St.
Shawnee, KS 66216
W: 913-993-7286

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association website is www.kspaonline.com. KSPA is on Twitter @kspastaff.

Membership: JEA membership continues to be strong in Kansas with 118 proud members, but this represents a significant drop from a year ago.

Events: Kansas student journalists kicked off the year with a celebration. On Sept. 25, KSPA marked the 25th anniversary of the Kansas Student Publications Act with a two-day Fall Conference in Topeka. More than 800 people attended the event… and, yes, there was cake. The conference kick-off was organized by executive director Eric Thomas and featured those who were key to the movement which resulted in the passage of the act protecting the rights of student journalists. Among those who spoke were former K-State faculty member Ron Johnson, former JEA executive director Linda Puntney, MJE, former KSPA executive director John Hudnall, former Kansas State Senator Lana Oleen, Wichita East adviser Sharon Martin, CJE, Shawnee Mission Northwest adviser Susan Massy and Blue Valley Southwest principal, Scott Roberts, who testified before the House Education committee as a student and again when the bill was challenged several years later.

Jim Richardson of National Geographic magazine received a standing ovation for his keynote address that showcased his images on the first night of the conference. Frank LoMonte, former executive director of the Student Press Law Center, and Mary Beth Tinker, the student in the landmark 1969 Supreme Court case, spoke to the assembled group on Tuesday.

In addition, conference attendees donated more than $1,400 to the Jackie Engel Endowment, which supports and provides a safety net for the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. In fact, endowment will receive a donation of double that amount as the endowment’s board and an anonymous donor matched the money given at the conference.

Links to local media coverage of the event include:

Preview article about the conference from the Topeka Capital-Journal

Article about the opening session of the conference from the Topeka Capital-Journal

Mary Beth Tinker

Jim Richardson

In other news, KSPA members elected the following members for the Board of Directors:

President: Kristy Nyp, CJE, Manhattan High School

Secretary: Amy Morgan, MJE, Shawnee Mission West High School

Area 1 Representative: Todd Vogts, CJE, Sterling High School

Area 2 Representative: Heather Hooper, CJE, Topeka High School

Area 3 Representative: Jeffrey Welch of Wichita High School South

Area 4 Representative: Linda Drake, MJE, Chase County Jr.-Sr. High School

Area 5 Representative: Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest High School

The first round of winners in the monthly contests offered by KSPA have already been announced and are posted on the KSPA website.

Our JEA mentors, Maryanne McCloud, CJE, and Mary Patrick, CJE, are working with mentees across the state and helping create the new generation of quality scholastic journalism advisers.

Awards and Honors: We are particularly proud of our Kansas student journalists and their advisers and offer a virtual high five to each of the following:

  • Bill Gasper of Hays H.S. was named the winner of the 2016 Jackie Engel Award by the Kansas Collegiate Media. This is the equivalent of the Kansas Journalism Teacher of the Year.
  • Dr. Linda Wiley of Topeka H.S. was named the Kansas Administrator of the Year.
  • Barry MacCallum, a long-time sales representative for Herff Jones Yearbooks received the 2016 Friend of KSPA Award.
  • Jill Holder of Bonner Springs H.S. was named the 2016 Ad Astra Award winner. This award honors an individual who has displayed a significant effort to 1) continually improve his/her journalism program, and 2) make a significant contribution to the profession of advising in Kansas.
  • Dan Loving of Maize H.S. received the Sunflower Award which recognizes a new adviser who shows enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program.
  • Celia Hack of Shawnee Mission East represented the state of Kansas as our Student Journalist of the Year and was named one of the national runners-up at the convention in Seattle.
  • Austin Schultz, Maize Middle School, was named the first winner of the Mary Patrick Aspiring Young Journalist Award which recognized the work of middle school journalism students.
  • The staff of the Pittsburg Redux, Trina Paul, Gina Mathew, Kali Poenitske, Maddie Baden, Patrick Sullivan and Connor Balthazor whose story last spring led to the resignation of their newly hired principal.
  • Two schools received Online Pacemaker Awards from NSPA while three were named NSPA Yearbook Pacemaker winners.
  • Four staffs received a Gold Crown from CSPA.
  • Four staffs received a Silver Crown from CSPA.
  • 21 journalists have been named NSPA individual finalists.
  • Seven staffs are NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists.


Larry Steinmetz, CJE
Bullitt East High School
11450 Highway 44 E
Mount Washington, KY 40047
W: 502-869-6400  |  C: 502-727-8538

Membership: Kentucky has 17 active members. We are making a strong push to add more.

Happenings: I have been collaborating with a few advisers throughout the state in the establishment of a Kentucky Journalism Teacher’s Association. It’s been an adventure so far, but in order to boost our JEA numbers, we have to have a united front and a reputable voice. The past few months have been filled with paperwork, emails and phone calls, but we are starting to see progress and are excited for what it will mean for our state. In our surveys, we found that the typical adviser does not stick around after year five. We do have more student media outlets than we suspected, but they are still sporadic and are often not a school focus. Our advisers need help and that’s where I have started to advertise what JEA can offer in terms of support and curriculum.


Albert Dupont
Loyola University
School of Mass Communication
6363 St. Charles Ave. Box 201
New Orleans, LA 70118
W: 504-865-2653  |  C: 504-465-0637

JEA Louisiana Website

Membership: There are 17 members in Louisiana. We recently promoted the benefits of JEA membership at our JEA Fall Conference and hope that will encourage some to join.

Events: We held the first JEA State Fall Conference in Louisiana. I believe it’s the first state JEA conference ever held in Louisiana. It was held on the campus of Loyola University in New Orleans Sept. 28, 2017. We had a quick welcome from me, Dr. Sonya Duhe, the Loyola Director of Mass Communication and Dr. John Head, Loyola’s Director of Admissions.

We had 125 students and 12 advisers attending from high schools in Southeast Louisiana. We offered 22 unique 50-minute sessions to choose from at four times during the day. In addition to the Loyola professors presenting sessions, we brought in professionals from broadcast, newspaper, advertising and online journalism industries.

We will also be hosting another conference Feb. 1, 2018 that will include sessions and contests. We are hoping we will be able to announce the first ever Louisiana State Journalist of the Year at this conference. The director of Loyola’s Admissions department announced that the State Journalist of the Year will be offered a full tuition scholarship to the Loyola University School of Mass Communication. The scholarship will be worth over $150,000 for a four year program in Mass Communication.

We will also begin exploring the possibility of holding a JEA Louisiana Conference in Central or North Louisiana. Travel to New Orleans for schools in other parts of the State is time and cost prohibitive due to our location.

Awards and honors: We are gearing up for the Journalist of the Year Contest.


Marcie Young
Presque Isle High School
16 Griffin St
Presque Isle, ME 04769
H: 207-551-3223

Membership: We are a mighty membership of two people, at last count. I have been working with local university admissions counselors to help me connect with other yearbook/journalism advisers in the area. I hope to encourage more of my colleagues to join.


Jessica Nassau, CJE
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
W: 301-692-4971

Membership: Maryland currently has 16 members.

State Events: The Maryland DC Scholastic Press Association hosted a fall Journalism Day for students at the University of Maryland Oct. 27. Among the 25 sessions was a session on using JEA resources, presented by the state JEA directors from Virginia and Maryland.

Scholastic Journalism News: Five Maryland school publications received CSPA Crown nominations. One also received an Online Pacemaker from NSPA.

Future Plans: The JEA state journalist of the year competition will be restarted this year, after a lapse of several years.


Bretton Zinger, MJE
238 Austin St
West Newton, MA 02465
C: 202-316-0309

Membership: There are 28 members in Massachusetts.

Events: Massachusetts Scholastic Press Association (MASPA) board members and officers attended the Spring New England Scholastic Press Association’s spring convention at Boston University in May, and many presented and/or judged the contests.

MASPA held its first teacher workshop in the fall of 2016. Discussions about how and when to continue offering teacher support, especially for new teachers, are ongoing at board meetings.

Outreach continues to try to bring new members into JEA, including directly contacting teachers/advisers.

Awards and honors: Mona Baloch of Newton South High School was named the Massachusetts Journalist of the Year.

The first All-State High School Journalism Staff was named in February, representing excellence in writing, page design, photography, and editorial leadership. Click here for more info.


C.E. Sikkenga
1010 Franklin Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
C: 616-405-6712

Membership: We are currently at 68 members in Michigan.

New Voices Legislation:  MIPA is currently working to re-introduce New Voices legislation.  A bill that was introduced in 2016 died without action at the end of the 2016 legislative session.  A current draft of the bill is under review at the time of this report.

MIPA FALL WORKSHOP:  Nearly 2000 student from around the state attended MIPA’s Fall Conference Oct. 16 held at The Lansing Center in Lansing, Mi.  Mitch Eden, MJE, from Kirkwood, Missouri was the featured speaker.  Students had their choice of over 80 breakout sessions in four time blocks.

MIPA MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFERENCE:  Our 2017 Middle School Conference is scheduled for Nov. 2 on campus at MSU.


From July 30-Aug. 3  MIPA hosted 306 students at Michigan State University for the annual summer workshop (theme “True Colors”).  Numbers were down from 2016.  MIPA is looking into ways to increase attendance for 2018.

  • Prior to the workshop, workshop director Chad Sanders announced his intention to retire from his position.
  • After a search and interview, Sara-Beth Badalamente was named Chad’s successor.  There will be a multi-year transition.
    • 2017 – Sara-Beth continues as activities director while shadowing Chad in her free time.
    • 2018 – Sara-Beth will be elevated to assistant director and take over all marketing.
    • 2019 – Sara-Beth will become full time director.
  • MIPA members met Sept. 15 for the annual think tank to plan the 2018 workshop.  The workshop  will be held July 29-Aug. 2 at MSU.

JEA CRITIQUE SUMMIT: MIPA Executive Director Jeremy Steele represented Michigan at the second critique summit held June 10 in Denver.


  • In an attempt to help encourage and retain newer advisers, MIPA has created 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.

Entry Criteria

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

At the end of five years, they are eligible for theHigh Five award if they have completed at least FIVE of the published criteria.

AWARDS:  Two Michigan media staffs are NSPA Pacemaker Finalists and six Michigan journalists are up for 2017 NSPA individual awards.


Laurie Hansen, CJE
Stillwater Area High School
5701 Stillwater Blvd. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082
W: 651-351-8128

Membership: Minnesota has 28 members.

Key Projects: Minnesota is currently in a holding pattern with our New Voices Act. The bill is still alive. Sandra Erickson, a Republican on the education committee, (one of the committees that needs to approve the bill) is not supportive of the group’s purpose. One difficult aspect of Minnesota is that we have so many separate groups to gain support from—the principals’ association, the superintendents’ association, the school board association, etc. We need to work on getting more testimony from students. We realize the movement has to be supported more by students. We haven’t yet had a flashpoint to make everyone rally behind the bill. All of our current sponsors are Democrats, so we continue to work on securing a Republican sponsor. While our legislature remains a Republican majority, we foresee slow progress.

In addition to my work on JEA membership, I continue to serve on the NSPA board. At last October’s NSPA board meeting, I proposed a plan for an outreach workshop to be piloted in Minnesota for underserved schools, modeled on the JEA model. We planned on doing a pilot workshop before the spring and had a site reserved at Rochester Mayo High School in Rochester, MN, but other than the host school, no other schools signed up to attend. Discussion has now shifted to trying a remote state convention model, with a proposed smaller convention model in the northern area of the state. That way, schools from the outlying areas can take part in the state convention activities.

I finished my MJE project, a 9-page article on anniversary yearbooks and an accompanying slideshow that I first presented as a first draft session in Indianapolis, and I will also present in Dallas. I am excited to receive my MJE in Dallas, and my newspaper colleague at Stillwater Area High School, Rachel Steil, will receive her CJE.

I have continued my work on the NSPA Contests and Critiques Committee as well as the board of judges and my committee will continue to revise the critique services to resolve any issues.

I have sporadically assisted on-site at conventions with JEA Write-off photo judging, but I assisted with online photo judging for JEA Write-offs for the first time last fall, and plan to continue the online judging this fall.

Awards/Events: The Minnesota State High School Press Convention was Oct. 10, with keynote speaker Linda Puntney, MJE. We had an attendance of 459 students and advisers. Awards announced at the state convention include Gold Medallions (individual awards sponsored by MHSPA), Best of Show (in yearbook, newspaper, online newspaper and literary magazine, also sponsored by MHSPA) and All-State (a JEM-sponsored competition that awards gold, silver or bronze recognition and provides a mini-critique.)

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

The Minnesota journalism community is proud of Lori Keekley, MJE, who was honored this past year as the Dow Jones National High School Newspaper Adviser of the year.

We have one NSPA Online Pacemaker Award nominee who will be recognized in Dallas as well as two Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists.

Three Minnesota schools were on the Best of Show list for newspaper in Seattle. In addition, two websites were on the Best of Show list in Seattle.

Our website is www.minnjournalism.org


R.J. Morgan, CJE
The University of Mississippi
102 Farley Hall
PO Box 1848
University, MS 38677
W: 662-915-7150

Membership: There are 18 JEA members in Mississippi, up from 14 last school year. 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 typically hosts a statewide convention in the spring and regional workshops in the fall. This year, however, we have partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi to provide a second statewide convention in the fall. The goal here is to expand the size and scope of our services to members in south Mississippi with the hope of attracting new members who are too strapped to ever make the trip to Oxford. Our first fall convention will be Oct. 30 and it looks like we’ll have about 430 students from 28 schools.

Awards and honors: At our spring MSPA convention, we awarded excellence in over 100 different categories, including Best Newspaper/Yearbook/Broadcast/LitMag and Broadcast/Yearbook/Newspaper Adviser of the Year. However, with our new two-convention format, we’ve moved all yearbook and lit mag awards – including Adviser of the Year – to the fall. Schools submitted their publications by Sept. 15, and we saw no drop-off in submission numbers during this transition year. The split should allow for smoother logistics and an increased emphasis on each award – doing them all together was almost a cattle-call.

On a congratulatory note, we had two staffs recently recognized nationally as CSPA Gold Crown Finalists.

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: I applaud the board’s continued emphasis on updating the JEA curriculum, and on certification. These items best position us as a professional learning community for advisers, and I believe that should remain a central goal.


Erin Castellano, CJE
Clayton High School
1 Mark Twain Circle
Clayton, MO 63105
W: 314-854-6668  |  C: 314-807-3945

State Organization Websites:

Missouri Journalism Education Association

Journalism STL

Missouri Interscholastic Press Association

Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City

Membership: Missouri has 144 voting members; 4 non-voting members.


CRONKITE NEW VOICES ACT: Good news! Elijah Haahr, who sponsored our bill in 2016, was just elected to be Missouri Speaker of the House! Although he doesn’t assume that role until 2019, hopefully in his position as speaker-to-be he can fast-track New Voices so we get over to the Senate for a vote before things get bogged down–and talk persuasively to the governor. Our great sponsor this year, Kevin Corlew, is on board to sponsor the legislation again.

  • MJEA (Missouri Journalism Education Association) Partner Events
    • Held their annual Leadership Conference at the University of Missouri School of Journalism Sept. 26.
    • Held J-Day Sept. 19, J-Day at Southeast Missouri State sponsored by Jostens Keynote speaker, breakout sessions and contests.
    • We plan to send a couple of our members to the national JEA/NSPA convention in the spring again this year, and look forward to those opportunities.
    • We are excited about the tours, educational working opportunities and combined learning that we are planning for this school year, including adviser socials in multiple areas of the state.
    • We are looking forward to a couple of equipment giveaways this year to help state programs. Look for us at local conventions or keep an eye out in your email for those chances.
  • Journalism STL
    • Held their fall conference Oct. 23 at Saint Louis University. Mike Bush, anchor at KSDK, was the keynote speaker for the 2017 fall conference. Bush likes to say that he’s worked at 5 On Your Side since the Paleozoic Era, but really, he’s been there since 1985. Though he’s won dozens of Mid-America Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards. The conference also featured breakout sessions from professional journalists from the greater St. Louis Region.
  • MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association)
    • MIPA is growing. MIPA has several new schools as members this year that weren’t members last year. Most MIPA members are also JEA members.
    • The second annual Journalism Summit at East Central College doubled its attendance.
    • MIPA has a new fund guaranteeing a cash prize for the MIPA Student Journalist of the Year winner. Each year, MIPA judges can choose to receive payment for their feedback and assistance to Missouri’s scholastic journalists, or donate a portion of their honorarium back to the SJOY Scholarship Fund. That fund will be tapped for the first time to assist the 2018 MIPA SJOY with post-secondary plans.
    • MIPA SJOY will be due Jan. 12. Win or lose, SJOY candidates are encouraged to also apply to the Missouri SJOY round to qualify for nationals. Missouri SJOY is due Feb. 9.
    • MIPA features weekly Thursday Tips for members with links to relevant articles and teaching tools for advisers
    • MIPA features a monthly photo contest.
    • The Phillip Martin and Amanda Sue Puntney Journalism Grant has been established in memory of Amanda Sue Puntney and her father, Phillip Martin Puntney. Amanda’s mother and Martin’s wife, Linda Puntney, MJE, has taught journalism in Kansas since 1979 and served 22 years as Journalism Education Association’s Executive Director. Applicants must be associated with Kansas high school journalism programs. The grant will award a one-time gift between $500 and $1,000 annually to one or more Kansas journalism programs that demonstrate how this money would expand their organizational capacity and further the resources, skills and/or experiences of scholastic journalism students in Kansas.
    • Nine member schools were named Pacemaker finalists

A total of 19 school are finalists for NSPA Pacemakers or individual awards in Dallas. 


Linda Ballew, MJE
2212 4th St. S.
Great Falls, MT 59405
W: 406-727-4233  |  C: 406-799-8313


  • Although Montana has always reported a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has now distinctly declined. The number of returning members has diminished. This is due in part to retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs. Currently, MJEA has 13 members, a decrease from last spring, and although we have recently had an addition of two new JEA members, these advisers have not joined MJEA. Our membership also includes three of Linda Ballew’s new mentees who have been given memberships.
  • MJEA’s highly motivated and action-orientated president, Beth Britton, CJE, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls, MT, continues to diligently 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 fourth 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. Advisers are willing to use the resources Beth and Linda provide; however, they are not willing to engage in working within the framework of the organization.
  • 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 mjeajournalism.com 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 the helm of 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.
  • Developing interest in JEA membership has also been encouraged by pointing to the value of the online journalism curriculum. This continues to perk interest in JEA. Advisers express their appreciation for the thorough and in-depth lessons, rubrics, Common Core Standards’ alignment and assessments they use both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability.
  • Maintaining and expanding MJEA and JEA membership is a top priority.
    • Britton and Ballew have continued to email advisers encouraging them to communicate with us, retain membership in MJEA and JEA and participate in adding content and discussion to mjeajournalism.com
    • Britton and Ballew have continued to send resource materials and membership forms in the mail encouraging communication and membership in MJEA and JEA.
  • Ballew has developed an outreach to new advisers through JEA’s Mentor Program. She currently has three Montana mentees in Lewistown, Billings and Butte. These advisers have been given access to MJEA and JEA membership.
  • The University of Montana’s Journalism Day for high school students is tentatively scheduled for late March in Missoula. Communication with the School of Journalism has been limited. They have made cuts and decided in the spring to no longer include workshops, critiques and competition for yearbook.
  • Yearbook advisers comprise a majority of MJEA’s membership. Britton and Ballew would like to take on more responsibility for the state journalism contest to ensure that yearbook programs as well as social media programs will continue to have critique and contest services as well as the current newspaper and online publications.
  • 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 the number of students majoring in journalism has also decreased. Severe cuts to curriculum and faculty continue to occur at the University of Montana. The focus of the Journalism School has been adapting to ensure its viability.
  • Information regarding the spring convention in San Francisco, resources from the New York Times, various articles and a look at an amazing multimedia project are only a few of the posts to mjeajournalism.com. This site continues to provide resources and information.
  • Britton has also requested the following from our members and state advisers encouraging them to post to the site: Photos of their students in action, their classrooms, guest speakers, etc.; Short opinion pieces written by advisers. Britton would like to have their voices on the site; Ideas for other advisers – lessons, celebrations, classroom set-up etc.
  • Sadly, but unlike last year, there is no MJEA presence at this year’s MEA-MFT convention in Missoula. It was enjoyable meeting a handful of advisers last year at the classes. We are hoping for a larger presence at next year’s convention and in the future – especially if it is ever held in Great Falls.


  • The Mentoring Program is doing well. Linda Ballew, MJE, is mentoring three Montana advisers.
  • The JEA office has been an essential asset because of the wonderful people in the office. They continue to help us by sending support materials as we try to enlist new members. The staff has also been essential in helping with materials that reinforce classroom issues and support Linda’s mentees.


Marsha Kalkowski, MJE
Marian High School
7400 Military Ave.
Omaha, NE 68134-3398
W: 402-571-2618, ext 1134

Membership: Membership is holding steady.  We couple our yearly JEA membership drive with the membership drive and registration for the fall Nebraska High School Press Association Fall Convention.  Since we failed to update our registration materials to reflect the $5 increase in JEA dues, the NHSPA will not be getting a kick back this year. But, we understand why the membership fee increased.

Events: The Nebraska High School Press Association held its annual Fall Convention Oct. 16 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  The keynote presentation was on Social Justice Journalism by a team of UNL students and their professor, Joe Starita.  More than 750 students and advisers from 55 high schools in Nebraska attended.  Students could choose between 40 breakout sessions for the day.  The NHSPA advisers also held their annual membership meeting.  Special thanks to Walsworth Publishing Company, who stepped in to fill a few yearbook sessions when the original speakers couldn’t make it.

• Nebraska Mentor Bob Bair, MJE, led a special session at the NHSPA Fall Convention for New Advisers. He shared tips and tricks, as well as promoted the value of JEA membership and resources.

• Nebraska advisers were invited to a Broadcasting Workshop in August sponsored by the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and the University of Nebraska.  Presenters included Matt Rasgorshek and Jonathan Rogers, MJE, along with members of UNL broadcast faculty and professionals from the NBA.  More than 50 advisers attended.

• The NHSPA Summer workshop was held July 17-19.  Almost 130 students attended some portion of the workshop.  Directed by Diane Schieffer of Elkhorn High School, the camp was held at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln campus with national speakers including Scott Winter, Jim Streisel, MJE, Rod Satterthwaite, MJE, Emily Arnold, CJE, Taylor Siebert and Bruce Thorson.  The dates for the 2018 summer workshop are July 16-18.  We welcome students from other states!  Contact Diane for more information dschieffer@epsne.org.

Awards and honors: Nebraska recently recognized two Friends of Journalism for 2017, Michael Kennedy of Chadron State College for his efforts with the New Voices legislation and Jim Timm of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association for his support of high school broadcasting programs. Both community members have significantly impacted scholastic journalism and journalists in the state.

Student publications from 2017 were critiqued by a number of veteran JEA friends. Thank you to all who assisted.  Congratulations to these schools who brought in the coveted “Cornhusker Award” for the best of the best publications in the state:

Newspapers: Omaha Bryan, Omaha Central, Gering, Lincoln Southwest, Marian, Millard West, North Platte, Papillion LaVista, Westside and Yutan.

Yearbooks: Brownell Talbot, Omaha Central, Elkhorn South, Gering, Omaha Gross Catholic, Millard North and Millard West.

Broadcasts and Websites: No Cornhusker Winners this year but many Superior Awards and Awards of Distinction.

For the board:  A number of Nebraska advisers mentioned that they would really like the paper printed pre-program for national conventions to come back.


Matthew LaPorte, CJE
Southwest Career and Technical Academy
7050 W. Shelbourne Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89113
H: 702-406-3871

Membership: Membership in Nevada has decreased by three members to a total of 27. Efforts have been made to increase the current membership numbers with additional emails and conversations to new and veteran advisers. This will now be expanded to sharing the Curriculum Initiative preview that has been made available.

Events: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists held their sixth annual Journalism Awards night Sept. 7. Close to 1,000 awards were presented to 44 publications from the Southern Nevada area. This year also had the highest number of attendees for the presentation of the awards.

Awards and honors: The Nevada New Voices Law was passed into legislation June 2 by Governor Brian Sandoval. SB420 went into effect Oct. 1 and clearly defines the freedoms afforded to student journalists, as well as protections for advisers. JEA members in Nevada are proud to have helped pass this legislation and to join the other states with similar New Voices laws. Recognition should be extended to Steve Listopad, CJE, Frank LoMonte, Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, Patrick File, Christy Briggs, MJE, and Casandra Workman, CJE, and all other individuals who wrote a letter, made a phone call, or kept SB420 in the conversation.

Christy Briggs, MJE, was awarded special recognition by the Nevada State Press Association for her support of the NV New Voices Legislation. Briggs was a champion of SB420 and a strong representation of advisers across Nevada.

For the board: Thank you for posting the preview lessons of the curriculum materials on the Curriculum Initiative site. This will be a great way to encourage those to become members who may have needed proof of the curriculum prior to investing.

Additionally, the release of past contest Write-off materials has helped to provide context for what a Write-off contest is and what is expected from student participants. If this could be a regular practice after Write-offs, that would be awesome. These are great teaching materials to show the progression of an idea and concept through one specific medium/task.

New Hampshire

Adam Theriault
Souhegan High School
412 Boston Post Rd
Amherst, NH 03031
W: 603-673-9940

Events: The New Hampshire JEA is in its infancy stages and is currently in the process of creating a working database of school publications, advisers, and locations from around the state.  The current goal is to introduce the newly forming network of its existence and to share with educators the various opportunities, resources, and events that are available through JEA and throughout New England education organizations.   In the next month, we will start promoting our first round of workshops, contests, and programs available to students and educators.

New Jersey

Greg Gagliardi, CJE
Cherry Hill High School East
1750 Kresson Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
W: 856-424-2222

Membership: We have 52 members in New Jersey, including five new advisers in the past two months.  We have seven CJEs and one MJE.  Our CJE number more than doubled when we offered CJE testing at our spring conference in 2016.  Many of our CJEs are discussing trying for their MJE certification within the next two years.

Events: The Garden State Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference will take place Oct. 30, at the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers-New Brunswick.  We are expecting close to 1,000 attendees.  Students and advisers will attend sessions during six different blocks, including a newspaper and a yearbook keynote.  Our theme for the day is #RealNews, which will begin with a keynote on polling.  Students will hear the results of our online competition and our print competition; finalists for both have been tweeted from our Twitter @GSSPA.

Awards/Honors: We have one NSPA Pacemaker finalist and five individual award finalists.  New Jersey is looking to do well in on-site competitions in Dallas, as many NJ students placed last year.  New Jersey also had nearly half of the 16 finalists in the National Journalism Quiz Bowl a year ago and is looking to do just as well this year.  Please check our GSSPA Twitter in early November for award winners from our state competition.

New Voices: Tom McHale, CJE, and John Tagliareni continue to work hard on New Voices legislation for New Jersey.  They have been making progress, and we hope to have good news to report soon.

New Mexico

Nina Quintana, CJE
Bernalillo High School
148 Spartan Alley
Bernalillo, NM 87004
C: 505-450-7246  |  W: 505-404-5196

Membership: Current membership in New Mexico 15. We are up three new members this year. After speaking with several journalism educators, it looks like the work I will be doing with the New Mexico Public Education Department will increase our numbers further. There has been more inquiry and interest in how JEA can assist in professional development.

I have a meeting scheduled with the College and Career Readiness Bureau Oct. 19, 2017 to discuss how JEA can support efforts in improving journalism education in our state as well as brainstorm how to acquire more funding to improve programs. I will continue to reach out to New Mexico journalism advisers to increase New Mexico membership.

Events/Happenings: The first planning meeting with NMSPA (hosted by Rebeca Zimmerman) is scheduled Oct. 18, 2017. I will attend to assist with planning the state conference that will be hosted on Jan. 26, 2018. Efforts will be made to update current contests and develop an on-site broadcast competition.

Concerns have been expressed about the lack of schools competing which may negatively affect our current NMAA standing. However, last year we saw an increase in attendance which was exciting. We received positive feedback on the on-site broadcast competition and plan to improve and add to this competition. 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.

First Amendment Issues: Our state concerns continue; however, I am actively meeting with representatives from the NM Public Education Department to address the concerns expressed from the members of JEA. I have copied these concerns from my last report:

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 school’s lawyer stating that what I proposed was not necessary and sent a policy that spoke more about student council than student publications. After speaking with individuals from other school districts, we noticed the same trend with journalism advisers appealing to school districts to adopt publications policies and receiving similar policies that do not truly address student publications.

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

For the Board: To offset funding issues, I am opening dialogue with advisers to move them in the direction of certifying for CTE. This will provide them with Carl Perkins funding for professional development and funding to purchase technology to develop their programs. This will also assist those schools that are currently cutting journalism programs to revitalize these programs to enhance student learning. As mentioned earlier, I am meeting with the CCRB Oct. 19, 2017.

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

New York

Patrick Bernal, CJE
Marble Hill High School for International Studies
John F. Kennedy Campus
99 Terrace View Ave Rm 822
Bronx, NY 10463
C: 646-675-2332

Membership: New York has 27 members, including six new members, three CJEs and one MJE.

Events: Baruch College will host the 14th Annual NYC High School Journalism Conference Nov. 3. New York Assemblyman Phil Palmesano has introduced a New Voices bill for the state legislature’s next session, which begins in January.

Awards and honors: The 2017 Newsies! award winners for the best student journalism in New York City public schools will be announced Nov. 3. Katina Paron, MJE, has raised over $18,000 to publish her forthcoming journalism comic-book textbook for high school students, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism.”

North Carolina

Marva Hutchinson
Providence Senior High School
1800 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC 28270
W: 980-343-5390

Membership: Current JEA membership total for North Carolina is 56—up one since Spring 2017, but down 20 from Fall 2016. Advisers currently may join/renew JEA through a joint membership opportunity with North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association.

Events: North Carolina Scholastic Media Association is excited to partner with Kettering Foundation’s National Forums Institute on a pilot program for North Carolina, exploring how scholastic journalism programs can make use of NIFI resource guides and deliberation forums. Kettering representatives have met with the North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association board and have traveled to Chapel Hill to teach student leadership sessions. We look forward to sharing the results of our pilot program at the end of this academic year.

Our Mountains to Coast fall regional workshops will conclude Oct. 19 with Central Carolina J-Day at UNC-Chapel Hill. Our four workshops are co-hosted with news outlets and universities across our state. They offer low-cost workshops for students who may not otherwise attend a scholastic journalism event. Registration fee of $15 includes lunch. We began Oct. 5 in the newsroom of The Charlotte Observer, then traveled to Appalachian State for an Oct. 10 event, then across the state to Greenville where East Carolina University hosted a workshop featuring a keynote speaker from Teen Vogue.

Former SI writer Tim Crothers continues to offer top-notch sports journalism instruction to students who participate in the Carolina Sports Journalism Camp. Forty students from across the country take a behind-the-scenes sports media tour, interview a Tar Heel athlete, attend a UNC-CH sports writing class and learn sports play-by-play. The 2018 dates are June 27-30. Registration is open here.

The 2017 summer North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute provided four days of intense instruction in yearbook, news, broadcast news, online news, literary magazine, design, advising and photojournalism for students and teachers from across the state.  The 2018 dates are June 18-21. In the last two years, we have added a Leadership Boot Camp and a Creativity Boot Camp as part of the institute.

Each summer NCSMA offers graduate-level courses in the School of Media and Journalism specifically for high school journalism teachers. Funding for tuition and lodging is available to North Carolina high school journalism teachers through NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program. The summer 2017 course, “Teaching Design in the Secondary School,” was offered this July. The summer 2018 course will be “Teaching Journalism in the Secondary School.”

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

North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Candace Brandt, Steve Unruhue, CJE, and Carol Eanes, CJE, now serve as mentors.

Awards: Click here for a complete list of North Carolina Scholastic Media statewide contest results. During the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill, NCSMA awarded 19 Tar Heels, the highest student media recognition.

NCSMA was proud to recognize our state’s 2017 Administrator of the Year, Dr. Paula Coates of West Johnston High. Journalism adviser Jeanette Neyman wrote in her nomination letter, “Dr. Coates clears her schedule to make time to be interviewed by our student media for the most mundane to controversial stories. The yearbook decided at the last minute to do a faculty page of best moments and Dr. Coates went home to search for a picture of her and her husband at prom. She provided a meaningful quote about how she was not allowed to go to prom in high school with her sweetheart (who is now her husband) because her daddy did not approve of dancing. She submitted a more recent photo of her and her husband at the West prom sharing how much she enjoys being there with her sweetheart. With that said, she doesn’t shy away from the controversial stories either. From dress code to academic dishonesty, she never avoids an interview and speaks candidly.”

NCSMA also awarded its annual Kay Phillips Distinguished Service Awards to longtime board member (and now mentor) Candace Brandt and to the East Carolina University School of Communication.

NCSMA’s endowed workshop scholarship program allowed the organization to recognized four top-performing students at the annual North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute. The Daily Tar Heel cash awards went to Alex Berenfeld of Providence High and to Kate Carroll of East Mecklenburg High. The Don Curtis cash awards went to the two top broadcasting students at the event, Grace Prillaman of Hickory Ridge High and Patrick Meehan of Providence High High. Each of the four students received $625 cash scholarships.

Congratulations to Tiffany Cavicchia of Mooresville High School for being named a winner of the JEA Rising Star Award.

Congratulations to Kelly Furnas, MJE, of Elon University for being named a recipient of the JEA Medal of Merit.

Congratulations to our two NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists who will be recognized in Dallas.

CSPA has named four North Carolina publications as Crown Finalists.

NSPA has announced six students as Individual Award Finalists.

CSPA announced 15 Gold Circle Award winners last month from North Carolina.

For the Board: The 2017 North Carolina JOY contest was, once again, focused on removing barriers from student participation, so we again 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. We want to continue to encourage all top student journalists to enter and not focus on those at schools with more resources. Judging did not use a points-based rubric. This second year of our new system worked well, and we will continue to use it.

North Dakota

Jeremy Murphy, CJE
West Fargo High School
801 9th St. E.
West Fargo, ND 58078
W: 701-499-1864

Membership: North Dakota has 15 members as of Oct. 20. Our membership continues to grow as new and veteran advisers across the state seek more information about the amendments to the John Wall New Voices Act and what it means for them and their students.

Happenings: Adviser Jeremy Murphy, CJE, and West Fargo media students attended the most recent legislative session in North Dakota to advocate for adviser protection in the newly adopted John Wall New Voices Act. The amendments passed without issue. Advisers and students from Bismarck High School and Legacy High School attended the North Dakota Newspaper Association Witham Symposium at University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, Oct. 18-19.

During this event, stakeholders in scholastic journalism in North Dakota coordinated to provide an experience where student journalists can interact and network with professional journalists in the state. The organization is a collaborative relationship with NDNA where high school members are able to interact with college media students, teachers and professors from colleges and universities.


Maggie Cogar, CJE
Ashland University
401 College Ave.
138 Center for the Arts
Ashland, OH 44805
C: 330-441-2860

Membership: The Ohio JEA membership is at 58 members, down from 71 members from this time last year. Efforts are being made to recruit JEA members in Ohio. The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) currently offers JEA membership through the state registration forms and Maggie Cogar and Ohio JEA state director, and Candace Bowen, MJE, use state press association events to inform Ohio advisers on the benefits of joining JEA. Also, email marketing using Constant Contact newsletters are being sent to all JEA and OSMA members, as well as to a database of over 800 administrators across the state, in an attempt to up membership for both JEA and OSMA.

Events: Ohio JEA and OSMA continue to offer events for scholastic media advisers and student journalists throughout the school year. This fall, the OSMA executive board hosted two regional workshops in October. The region 1 workshop Oct. 3 at Kent State University was one of the highest attended fall OSMA workshops to date, with over 400 students and advisers in attendance. The region 5 workshop also saw high attendance numbers, with over 350 students and advisers attending the workshop held Oct. 9 at Otterbein University. While region 1 and region 5 in the state continue to show growth, the OSMA executive board is struggling to keep a fall workshop going in region 4, or the northwest part of the state, where numbers remain low. The board also struggles to reach advisers in the southwest and southeast regions of the state, an issue that is actively discussed at every meeting. Audrey Wagstaff, MJE, is currently working to get a region 3 fall workshop going at Wilmington College for Fall 2018. The annual state convention will be held April 6-7, 2018 at Kent State University, where the board anticipates over 500 students and advisers in attendance. This event is where the state will also award over 1,000 individual awards to student journalists in pre-entered categories in writing, design, photography, broadcast, yearbook and online.

Awards and honors: Emma Stiefel, Lakota East High School, was named a national runner-up in the 2017 Journalist of the Year competition (Dean Hume, adviser) and Maggie Cogar, CJE, received the 2017 JEA national research grant to fund dissertation research on rates of student self-censorship in relation to administrative censorship.

For the board: One of the largest accomplishments and highlights of OSMA in recent years is the addition of an active OSMA student board. This student board, started by JEA members Kate Klonowski, CJE, and Karen Allen, is comprised of 11 students from regions across the state. Student representatives attend two meetings a year and organize sessions for both the fall workshops and spring state convention. They also offer feedback after each workshop or convention and that feedback has led OSMA to offer different types of sessions and change the schedule of workshops to better meet student and adviser needs. Most importantly, it has allowed students to have a voice within the organization. The OSMA executive board is also in the process of updating the rubrics used to judge the state competition. The rubric committee (led by JEA members Juli McClain, CJE, Angela Spano, CJE, and John Bowen, MJE) is in the process of updating the judging rubrics to address adviser concerns. Also in Ohio, JEA member Mark Goodman is leading the process of gathering evidence to support New Voices Legislation. He is currently seeking testimony from advisers and student journalists in Ohio to support legislative efforts. I am currently working on my dissertation proposal titled “Censorship in High School Journalism: Examining administrative censorship practices and other factors in relation to the degree of student self-censorship.” This research, funded by the 2017 JEA national research grant, will focus on factors that correlate to student self-censorship rates, including examining the correlation rate of self-censorship to the rate of perceived administrative censorship. My goal is to have my dissertation proposal approved in time to conduct student survey research at the JEA/NSPA national convention in April 2018.


Darla Tresner, MJE
3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006
C: 918-214-5815

Membership: There are 19 JEA members in Oklahoma. Our primary goal is to increase number of
members within the state and to conduct outreach to schools within the state to become active

Events: JEA members have attended and in some cases presented during three state conferences in the
fall of 2017. Some attended Oklahoma State University’s High School Press Day in Stillwater, Oklahoma,
Oct. 24. Some 100 students attended. Representative from 50 schools attended Fall Media Day Oct. 30, in Norman, Oklahoma, at the University of Oklahoma. The students of several JEA members received awards and recognition at this event. A final event was the First Amendment Congress held Nov. 2 at the University of Central Oklahoma.

For the Board: Ideas and guidance for growing membership would be appreciated.


J.D. McIntire
Sandy High School
37400 Bell St.
Sandy, OR 97055
W: 503-668-8011 ext. 7227

Membership: The OJEA membership stayed steady at about 48 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.

Events: Willamina High School hosted the JEA Partner Project this fall. JEA Vice President Val Kibler, MJE, Northwest Scholastic Press executive director Anthony Whitten and West Albany High School adviser Michelle Balmeo, MJE, spent three days at the high school training student staff. The event culminated with a Saturday workshop attended by several other local high school staffs.

We have received confirmation from Southern Oregon University for reviving the dormant OJEA Summer Adviser Workshop for the summer of 2018. Dates will be Aug. 5-10. We are excited to bring back this wonderful tradition of attending the workshop by day and the nationally respected Shakespearean Festival at night.

Through personal contact and opportunities at meetings and events, we are planning on holding an election in the spring for new officers after going for two years without a formal Board of Directors. West Albany adviser Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is organizing member recruitment activities.

Awards: Brad Cook from Gresham High School was our 2017 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, MJE, Ray Hopfer, CJE, Karen Boone, CJE, and Ellen Kersey mentored 15 teachers in Oregon and other states, including California, Nevada and as far away as Atlanta, Georgia. Bill was also named Chair for the national JEA Mentoring Program.


Kate Plows, CJE
1504 Windermere Road Apt 201
West Chester, PA 19380
H: 484-467-2817

Membership: Pennsylvania has 52 members.

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) is hosting its fourth annual Student Journalism Competitions (SJCs) at six regional venues across the state this fall. The SJCs provide an affordable regional opportunity for student journalists to compete, learn, and network with other staffs. Each SJC includes the opportunity for students to compete in one of 16 categories representing newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, broadcast, and photography, as well as concurrent educational sessions led by journalism experts. PSPA invites student winners in each category to compete at the statewide event hosted at Penn State University. Publications must be members of PSPA to compete. SJCs are scheduled at partner universities on the following dates:

  • Penn State Behrend – Oct. 20
  • Penn State Altoona – Oct. 27
  • Penn State Berks – Nov. 3  
  • Point Park University – Nov. 3
  • Temple University – Nov. 8
  • Harrisburg Area Community College – Nov. 14
  • Statewide SJC – March 27, 2018

At the summer JEA Advisers Institute, Dr. Jane Blystone, MJE, completed her JEA mentorship training and is now serving as a JEA mentor to several advisers. Dr. Blystone and Kathleen Zwiebel, MJE serve Pennsylvania as JEA mentors.

The PSPA website launched a Member Voices feature to highlight journalism education in our state. Aaron Fitzpatrick, CJE, (Freedom Area High School, Freedom, PA) shared advice on planning a summer J-Camp for staff, and Dr. Jane Blystone, MJE, discussed her experience at the summer JEA Advisers Institute.

Awards and honors: Cynthia Hyatt (Conestoga High School, Berwyn, PA) was formally recognized as the 2016-17 Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year at the statewide SJC at Penn State University March 29.

The 2017 Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year Tommy Pero (Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA) was recognized as a National SJOY Runner-Up.

Kate Plows, CJE, (Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA) was recognized as the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year and a JEA Rising Star.

Three member publications were recognized as 2018 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Finalists for News Publications. We also had two NSPA Individual Contest student finalists.

Joseph Lister (Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA) was recognized as the 2017 National JEA Aspiring Young Journalist.

Eleven member publications/students were recognized in March 2017 with first place awards from the 2017 Pennsylvania Student Keystone Press Awards sponsored by the Pennsylvania News Media Association. Numerous other member students won seconds, thirds, and honorable mentions in this statewide contest that recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.

Rhode Island

Doreen Picozzi, MJE
Lincoln High School
135 Old River Road
Lincoln, RI 02865
W: 401-334-7500  |  C: 401-524-6517


  • New Voices Update: Thanks to the SPLC and community and education leaders in our state New Voices legislation passed unanimously in the Rhode Island General Assembly, making Rhode Island the 13th state to adopt the legislation.  In addition to the guarantees provided to students and their advisers in the bill, its passage truly opened up a dialogue between administrators and scholastic journalists.  In my own school, copies of the bill were distributed to all students in our CTE Journalism Academy, all administrators, and to the members of the Lincoln School Committee.
  • Approximately 50 students from Lincoln High School are visiting the University of Rhode Island Oct. 20 for “Rhode Island Journalism Day,” a conference that had been discontinued about a decade ago.  Working with JEA members, the chairman of URI’s Journalism Department, Professor John Pantalone, committed to reestablishing the opportunity for the state’s high school journalists.  Seminars and tours of URI’s Harrington School of Communication were the highlights of the day.
  • Students of Lincoln’s Journalism and Broadcast Academy will also return to the New England Patriot’s Gillette Stadium this season.  Students tour the press quarters at the state-of-the-art facility, and are given authentic press packets that were distributed the week before.  Working in groups, they are directed by Patriots personnel to file stories for print, radio and television broadcast.

South Carolina

Leslie Dennis
S.C. Scholastic Press Assn. and SIPA
800 Sumter St.
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Columbia, SC 29208
W: 803-777-6146

Membership: The JEA directory shows 18 members in JEA, down six members from this time last year. Membership and participation in our state declined in the later part of last school year, but we hope new programs and initiatives will create excitement and provide outreach for new schools and advisers.

Happenings: The SCSPA fall conference was held Oct. 2, at the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Student Union. 500 advisers and students attended the fall conference.


  • The 2017 Bruce E. Konkle Rising Star is Amanda Hajji, a yearbook adviser at Lexington HS in Lexington, South Carolina.
  • Most Improved Literary Magazine: The Outlet, Wando HS, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
  • Best SCSPA Literary Magazine: Voices, Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.
  • Most Improved Yearbook: The Highlander, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, S.C.
  • Best S.C. Scholastic Yearbook: Reflections, Mauldin HS, Greenville, S.C.
  • Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year: Cindy Koon, South Pointe HS newspaper and online adviser (Rock Hill, S.C.)
  • Journalist of the Year: Sophie Winnick, Wando HS
  • SCSPA Scholarship: Trey Martin, Dutch Fork HS
  • Best Broadcast: RNE- TV, Richland Northeast HS
  • Best Newspaper: Tribal Tribune, Wando HS
  • Best Online Media: SPINwired, South Pointe HS

South Dakota

Susan Smith
South Dakota State University
USU 069 Box 2815
Brookings, SD 57007
W: 605-688-6638


  • In fall 2016, we hosted a homecoming contest for schools to submit for best video, best Instagram picture and best story. We are hosting that contest again in fall 2017.
  • Also in fall 2016, we hosted about 40 fifth graders on campus for National News Engagement Day. We had previously gone to their school to talk with them about journalism and how to write stories and take pictures. They then came to campus to work with the college newspaper to put out their own fifth-grade paper and a fifth-grade TV broadcast. We had papers printed and DVDs made for each student.
  • In spring 2017, we offered another competition for high school journalism students via an editorial contest about the future of journalism. The top entries were copied and handed out at the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s convention in May for the industry to read.
  • Approximately 200 students attended the annual spring convention, with speakers focused on photography, yearbook, writing headlines, social media and podcasting.


Heather Nagel, CJE
Christ Presbyterian Academy
2323 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215
W: 615-373-9550

Membership: We have 43 members. Tennessee High School Press Association (THSPA – directed by Dr. Jimmy McCollum) continues to encourage members to enroll in JEA when they join the state organization. Plus, there is membership outreach during the state workshop in the fall with our mentor speaking about the benefits of JEA to all the state workshop attendees, and I reach out during the adviser luncheon.

JEA Tennessee State Mentor: Joy McCaleb, formerly a teacher at Upperman High School in Tennessee, is our mentor. This is the second year that McCaleb has served as Tennessee’s State Mentor, and in this time she went from mentoring two high schools to five. Those schools are: Upperman, Cookeville, Hume Fogg, Mt. Juliet, and Wilson Central. Currently there are three advisers who have moved schools who McCaleb is working closely with to get involved with journalism programs at the new schools.

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association held a Fall Workshop at Lipscomb University Sept. 11. The keynote address was given by Rhori Johnson, anchor at NewsChannel 5. Students and advisers from all over the state attended sessions on various journalism topics. 380 students were in attendance. Plus, there were three competitions: two Write-offs and one Photography contest. Below are the winners of these competitions.

Feature Writing: Leah Tidwell (East Hickman High School), winner and Eva Randolph (Christ Presbyterian Academy), runner-up.

Sports Writing: Joshua Leow (White Station High School), winner and Gabriel Dickey (Christ Presbyterian Academy), runner-up.

Photography: Eva McDonald (White Station High School), winner and Brianna Davis, (Christ Presbyterian Academy), runner-up.

Happenings/joining forces across state lines: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association invited interested Tennessee schools to attend a regional workshop in the northwest part of their state on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

Awards/Honors: We have two schools up for Pacemakers this fall at the JEA/NSPA Dallas Convention, one for newspaper and one for individual broadcast story.


Leah Waters, CJE
Heritage High School
14040 Eldorado Pkwy
Frisco, TX 75035
W: 469-633-5955 x 25917  |  C: 972-822-6950

Membership: Texas JEA membership is at more than 300 and increasing as we get closer to the 2017 JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in Dallas Nov. 16-19.

Events: In conjunction with SNO, TAJE hosted an online media workshop Aug. 7-8 in Allen. Twelve schools with more than 30 participants learned from a SNO instructor about website design, trends, storytelling and audience engagement. TAJE hosted a regional workshop featuring guest speaker Leland Mallett at Longview High School Oct. 10.

The TAJE executive board will meet again Nov. 16, following the adviser reception at the JEA/NSPA convention. We will host a luncheon and business meeting Nov. 16. Three Trailblazers, a Pathfinder and a Friend of Scholastic Journalism will be honored at the luncheon. TAJE operates its own listserv and website at TAJE.org. In addition, the organization maintains Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to disseminate information from JEA and TAJE.

The Interscholastic League Press Conference State Convention will be May 5-6 at the University of Texas in Austin.

Projects: Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and its flooding, TAJE has been busy pairing journalism programs affected by the storm with journalism programs from around the country. The response has been incredible. Additionally, with NSPA’s help, we were able to give Dallas convention registration scholarships to all 24 students and advisers who submitted applications. Our Harvey relief project is ongoing, and we’re so grateful to everyone who is still sending donations and reaching out to us offering help.

Awards and honors: Brian Kennedy of Prosper High School is JEA’s National Broadcast Adviser of the Year. He will be recognized Nov. 18 at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas. Jeanne Acton-Shanks and Margie Raper, MJE, who have both contributed significantly to scholastic journalism throughout their career, will be recognized by JEA as Medal of Merit recipients Nov. 18 at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas. Acton-Shanks will also be honored by NSPA as a Pioneer.

NSPA announced Pacemaker Finalists, which include six Texas schools for the Newspaper category, five for the Broadcast category, seven for Broadcast Story of the Year, and 12 students for Picture of the Year. CSPA also announced its Crown Finalists including 29 Texas high school publications among them.


Terri Hall, CJE
Davis High School
325 S. Davis Blvd.
Kaysville, UT 84037
W: 801-402-8925

Events/Happenings: Last Spring the UCMA held the first Utah High School Future of Journalism Awards. Schools from all over the state submitted works in multiple categories and trophies and awards were given out at a Red Carpet evening event.

The Utah College Media Alliance held the second annual Utah Summer Boot Camp on the campus of Utah State University. The boot camp was attended by eight or nine high schools with 20 students who were excited and eager to learn from college professors as well as local professionals over the course of a 3-day workshop.

The state is starting a New Voices drive to aim for the 2019 legislative session to get change in the state for high school scholastic journalism. Advisers will be meeting at the Nov. 3 Symposium to discuss outreach for the New Voices drive.

The UCMA is hosting the first Media Symposium on the campus of Utah Valley University Nov. 3. There will 450 students attending the workshop with multiple breakout sessions from local professionals as well as professors.

The JEA Utah State Director position is open for any Utah Journalism adviser who might be interested in fulfilling the role of state director. Please contact Valerie Kibler with JEA at vkibler@harrisonburg.k12.va.us or Terri Hall, former state director at thall@dsdmail.net


Nancy A. Olson, CJE
45 Pratt Road
Putney, VT 05346
H: 802-387-5963

Membership: Vermont has three JEA members.

Events: Vermont’s New Voices Legislation was signed into law May 23, 2017. The next day, the governor had a special signing ceremony in Burlington with the student journalists who had testified before the state legislature. Those who worked on getting the legislation passed included Michael Donoghue, long-time professional journalist, head of the Vermont Press Association, and member of St. Michael’s College Journalism Department; Chris Evans, Student Life Assistant Director for Student Media at the University of Vermont and Chairman of the First Amendment Advocacy College Media Association; and Frank LoMonte, Esq., former Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Awards and Honors: Because of his work on the Vermont New Voices legislation, I nominated Michael Donoghue for the JEA Friend of Scholastic Journalism award. Donoghue was named one of three recipients of this year’s award. Alexandre Silberman, Vermont’s High School Journalist of the Year in 2017 and a 2017 runner-up for JEA’s National High School Journalist of the Year, is continuing his stellar work in multi-media journalism at St. Thomas University in Canada.


Erinn Harris, MJE
Thomas Jefferson High School
for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
W: 336-775-7397

Membership: We have 73 current members.

Happenings: In May, our membership approved our new slate of officers: Meghan Percival, MJE, director; Valerie Kibler, MJE, associate director; Erinn Harris, MJE, treasurer; and Liz Staley, secretary.

We are in the planning stages of our fourth annual jRetreat event in Petersburg, Va. In effort to increase our presence in the world of broadcast journalism, we will be bringing Kelly Furnas, MJE, to Petersburg to help us learn how to incorporate multimedia broadcast into all of our publications. Held annually on the Friday and Saturday of MLK weekend, we’d love to have advisers from across the country join us in 2018.

On Oct. 27, I presented a session at the Maryland JDay event with Maryland’s state director, Jessica Nassau, CJE, on JEA, the Journalist of the Year competition, and what the curriculum has to offer. Titled “Keeping Yourself Sane: How the Journalism Education Association Can Help Make Advising the Greatest Gig in the World,” we hope to generate new members from Maryland and increase participation in the JOY competition. This has given me a starting point for how I plan to increase our participation in the Commonwealth.

VAJTA has also decided to hold a book lottery for its members. New and old members are eligible to win a copy of “The Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall to use in their classrooms.


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

Membership: The Washington Journalism Education Association currently has approximately 84 paid members. National JEA membership in Washington State is 68, which is down when compared to where we were last year at this time.

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

This September, the organization also hosted Western Washington J-Day on the University of Washington campus in Seattle Sept. 21. There were 26 schools represented and around 500 students and advisers attended.

Eastern Washington J-Day is scheduled for Oct. 30 at Whitworth University with keynote speaker Melissa Segura, an investigative reporter from BuzzFeed News.

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

New Voices Update: While Washington’s Student Press Rights Bill passed in the State Senate (SB 5064) in the recent session, it stalled in the House Education Committee during its caucus, and a vote was not taken. The Bill now has gone back to the Senate Rules Committee for another push in the 2017-18 session. Newspapers around the state have given their public support on their editorial pages, including The Seattle Times and The (Everett) Herald.

Initiatives and vision: The Washington Journalism Education Association established several focus areas the past year. One of those areas has been the creation and support of a student membership group. Students from Mountlake Terrace High School and Timberline High School approached the board at their last meeting to ask for support in the creation of a student leadership board that would meet every month to work on common issues. This board would work with WJEA’s student membership chair.

Secondly, the organization has been looking at ways to feature its members on our website. One idea has been to offer opportunities for members to practice journalism through personality profiles, feature stories, and other avenues to practice the craft we teach. One personality profile that was posted introduced the 2017 Adviser of the Year, Jacob Crouch from Bothell High School.

Finally, the state of Washington recently released new Media Arts standards which are applicable to publication classes. Two members, Anne Hayman, MJE, and Sandra Coyer, MJE, are working on stories for WJEA’s website regarding how to apply these standards in a publication class.

Awards: We had one staff recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association as a Pacemaker finalist.

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

West Virginia

Jessica N Bramer, CJE
John Marshall High School
1300 Wheeling Ave.
Glen Dale, WV 26038
W: 304-843-4444

Happenings: JEA in West Virginia is still trying to build a digital community through Facebook, Twitter, and the state-wide 365 accounts.  We continue to work with West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media to grow and develop journalism throughout the state.  Join us for a teacher workshop at WVU Nov. 17.

We would like to extend our thanks to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Press Association for continuing to serve as a mentor while JEA in West Virginia grows – we wouldn’t be this far without their help!


Rachel Rauch, CJE
Homestead High School
5000 W. Mequon Road
Mequon, WI 53092
W: 262-238-5632

Events: I continue to serve on the KEMPA board. KEMPA’s annual Summer Journalism Workshop took place at Marquette University July 16-19 and was the most successful summer workshop to date.

KEMPA’s Fall Journalism Conference took place at UW-Whitewater Oct. 13, hosting 950 students and advisers with five awards presented at the luncheon meeting:

  • Administrator of the Year: Dee Andershock, Antioch Community High School
  • Friend of KEMPA: Marquette University  The Diederich College of Communication
  • Nancy Becker Newspaper Adviser of the Year: Dennis Brown, CJE, Huntley High School
  • Media Award:  Mike Konopacki, Capitol Times
  • KEMPA Hall of Fame:  Evelyn Lauer, MJE, Niles West High School

I spoke on behalf of JEA on the “13 Reasons to Join JEA,” and I also presented a session for students on applying for the Journalist of the Year Scholarship, which was well attended.

KEMPA’s Winter Adviser Seminar will take place at Lake Lawn Lodge in Delavan, Wisc.  March 2-3, 2018 with Lori Keekly, MJE, 2016 DJNF Teacher of the Year as the keynote speaker. The theme for the weekend is “Empowering Student Voices.” More information at kempajournalism.org.

NEWSPA’s spring conference program will be released online in January of 2018 and will take place at UW-Oshkosh April 18. For more information, click here

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

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

Social Media: You can follow JEA Wisconsin on Twitter @jeaWisconsin or JEA Wisconsin on Facebook.


Dawn Knudsvig
Arvada-Clearmont High School
1601 Meade Ave.
P.O. Box 125
Clearmont, WY 82835
W: 307-758-4444

Events: Wyoming held its annual J-Day Oct. 2, in Cheyenne at Laramie County Community College. This was a big change as the convention had always been held in motel convention centers around Casper. Jake Sherlock, LCCC journalism professor did a great job of helping to organize the convention. The college presented a very welcome and practical change to the convention format. Attendance was down for the convention because of a variety of factors, including the overlap with other state activities, and the distance and time to travel to Cheyenne. There were still over 100 participants who took in keynote speaker Carrie Faust, MJE, as she delivered her message on telling the story. Other presenters included, Sherlock, Kristi Rathbun, CJE, Rob Rathbun, Amanda Nicholoff, J Obrien, Jim Angell, Dr. Li li, Ken Schwartz, Tina Cleavelin, CJE, and Dr. Kristen Landerville. Judges included Justin Daigle, CJE, Jed Palmer, CJE, and Stephen Wahlfeldt.

After some discussion, and a presentation by Amanda Nicholoff from Central Wyoming College, the advisers voted to hold the 2018 convention at CWC in Riverton. It was also decided to put out a bid  for the colleges to put the convention on a two-year rotation to begin in 2019. Lisa Gray was elected president, and Dan Morris was elected vice president/public relations, after Jill Miller stepped down from the president position and Katherine Patrick stepped down from the public relations position. Teri Brantz was elected member at large. Jill Miller will fill the role of webmaster for the organization. The date for future conventions will be changed after a survey of advisers will help in determining the best fit for future convention dates.

Katherine Patrick is a state mentor for new advisers, and will continue to work with the organization and with new advisers in the state.

With the new convention structure and dates, the WHSSPA board of directors looks forward to the challenges ahead to make 2018 a great convention and work to increase attendance with fewer conflicts.

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