JEA announces new curriculum leaders

JEA announces new curriculum leaders

The Journalism Education Association has selected six new curriculum leaders to work on the 2019-20 curriculum initiative.

These new curriculum leaders will work across multiple areas to improve how JEA’s hundreds of lessons can be used in a variety of classrooms. Leaders will develop new curriculum, create adaptations and modifications to existing lessons, update exemplars and more. 

This year’s curriculum leaders are:

Ava Butzu

Ava Butzu teaches Yearbook/English at Grand Blanc H.S. in Michigan and is a 2018 Special Recognition adviser in the H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year competition. Her yearbook staff produces a 386-page book with extensive coverage and design. Butzu and her staff approach yearbook as a complete journalism and entrepreneurship team-building experience, and Butzu has encouraged her students to pursue design, journalism, photography and marketing careers. She believes that there is no greater honor than to work with students who capture the moments and people at their school in meaningful and creative ways each year.

Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE

Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE, advises The Tower newspaper and The Tower Pulse website at Grosse Pointe South H.S. in Michigan. The Tower is a 92-year tradition and the last weekly scholastic broadsheet in the country. Her students receive high rankings and have won numerous awards at both the state and national level. Edgerton currently is the vice president of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and is excited to start her work as a curriculum leader for JEA. 

Katie Merritt, MJE

Katie Merritt, MJE, began teaching and advising student media in Tampa (Fla.) in 2006. In 2017, she relocated to Rome, Georgia, where she teaches photography and advises the Jabberwokk yearbook, Darlingtonian online news and Inkslinger literary magazine at Darlington School. Along with teaching at workshops and camps across the country, Merritt created and implemented an in-house photography studio and curriculum for beginning and intermediate photographers to handle all school portraits and publication photography.

Michael Reeves, CJE

Michael Reeves, CJE, is the newspaper adviser at James Bowie H.S. in Austin, Texas. After almost a decade as a professional journalist, he joined the teaching ranks and has never looked back. The staff of The Dispatch and have won numerous state and national awards, but more importantly are an active part of the New Voices movement in Texas. Today journalism is more important than ever, and Reeves’ goal is to help students find their role in the media through high school and beyond.

Rachel West, MJE 

Rachel West, MJE, is in her 17th year of teaching. Most of her teaching experience was teaching English and journalism in the highly ethnically and socioeconomically diverse Stockton (Calif.) Unified School District, but last year she took the plunge and moved to Northern China to teach Chinese nationals at an American-style high school. She also is finishing her Doctorate in Education in the area of Curriculum and Instruction. While working with English as Additional Language students in Stockton, she became very aware of the need to differentiate instruction … and her experience abroad made her realize this was just the tip of the iceberg! Receiving training from the Teachers’ Training Center in the area of EAL in the Mainstream, West is excited to combine her new passion for EAL differentiation with her love of curriculum in this role.

Callie Williams

Callie Williams has been teaching at Astronaut H.S. in Titusville, Fla., for 15 years.  She is currently the District 3 Director for the Florida Scholastic Press Association. She has been the Golden Aerie yearbook adviser for the past 14 years, the Talon online newspaper for nine years, and has advised the War Eagle Television (WE-TV) crew for six years. She loves advising each of her staffs and believes that student journalism is one of the most influential classes students can take during high school because of its real world, hands-on experience, which they can’t get in most other classes. 

Leading the team are curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers, MJE, and Abrianna Nelson, CJE, along with Educational Initiatives Director Megan Fromm, MJE. To read more about the initiative or to access the members-only repository of lessons, visit the curriculum site.

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