Fall 2019 Semiannual Report

Fall 2019 Semiannual Report

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

Kelly Glasscock, CJE
Executive Director
Journalism Education Association
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500
Phone: 785-532-7822

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,666, with total membership at 2,963, which is 98 percent of total membership from the prior fall when at its peak. However, the current number is still the second largest in a semiannual report, and still up from the fall 2017 report. Each state, plus the District of Columbia has a voting membership presence. In an election year, voting members will participate in board elections, which will take place in February.

May 1-3: Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference, Anaheim, California.
June 26-28: NAMLE Conference, Washington, D.C.
June 28-30: Contest committee retreat, Kansas City, Kansas.
July 8-11: Advisers Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana
August 17: Planning meeting for 2019 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Washington, D.C.
Sept. 21: Planning meeting for 2020 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Orlando, Florida.

For the board: The summer and fall has seen a focus on the development of a new contest system to launch for the Washington, D.C., convention. With the announcement of the registration website, the Write-off competition was rebranded as the National Student Media Contests. The new system was built from the ground up and features a much more user friendly registration and content submission experience.

As of Oct.1 — about a quarter of the way through the fiscal year — JEA has a net operating loss of $99,781.63. That loss is worse when factoring in our investments, which have lost $5,257.92 so far this fiscal year. This gives the organization a total net loss of $105,039.55. However, this is not a surprise as the pattern of finances always sees a large loss at this time of year since none of these figures factor in any revenue from the Washington, D.C., convention. JEA’s total assets still remain strong at $1,572,837.55, which is down from the prior year due to a loss in investment accounts. JEA ended the prior fiscal year with a gain in net operating revenue, which does not factor in investment fluctuations.

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

What a time to teach journalism and to serve others engaged in this noble charge. As I prepare this report, countless examples remind me of why what we do matters more than ever and why students must not only develop skills to think critically and communicate clearly, but must also be provided the opportunity to collaborate in meaningful ways as media producers free of censorship. 

Our volunteer leaders are teachers and advisers first. I am so proud of Val, Meg, Lori, Laura, Julia and Mike as they share their expertise and passion every day in their own journalism classrooms and find ways to keep our team moving forward to focus on what’s best for JEA. It is an honor to serve together.

Since the last report, some of my efforts have included:

  • Signing a five-year contract with Kansas State University as JEA’s host institution to begin July 1, 2019.
  • Working with Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and Val Kibler, MJE, for a strategic planning session April 28-29, 2019 in Anaheim.
  • Launching “You be the judge,” a critique training module for publications judges and student media evaluators, and evaluating learning products submitted (149 badges awarded as of Oct. 1, 2019).
  • Administering a member survey (see a summary here).
  • Completing JEA Mentor Training and working with two mentees in neighboring school districts.
  • Coordinating the opening session and Team Storytelling workshop at Advisers Institute, July 8-11, 2019 in New Orleans.
  • Working with a team of volunteers to revise the Standards for Journalism Educators.
  • Serving on the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Ed Committee and working on its #Press4Education initiative.
  • Contributing blog posts for Digital Media and Scholastic Press Rights sites.
  • Coordinating the First-time Convention Grant for Washington, D.C.

Much of my time is spent connecting with our partners at SPJ, StoryCorps, NCTE, NAMLE and SPLC to share ideas, coordinate joint initiatives and strengthen our relationships. While the emails and conference calls take a considerable chunk of time each day, they provide opportunities for me to represent JEA in bigger conversations and broaden our reach as an organization.

Another considerable area of focus for the past six months has been my work with Patrick and the Mentoring Committee. The committee has worked to identify tasks and assign roles, develop the convention application, coordinate the new Lunch & Learn professional development, manage files in a new shared system and so much more. With so many moving parts in a big transition like this one, it has been a lot of heavy lifting for Patrick and his team. They’ve done a phenomenal job, and I’m excited for mentees to attend the National High School Journalism Convention with their mentors in Washington, D.C., and Nashville.

Our headquarters staff deserves a special shoutout, too. JEA is lucky to have Kelly’s leadership, patience and attention to detail juggling such a complex and demanding position as executive director. Please take the opportunity to thank Connie and Pam for the many ways they serve and interact with members and coordinate programs behind the scenes. Welcome Cindy to the team and get to know her — she’s a perfect fit. And do a happy dance with Kate, who has skillfully worked with Nancy and her team to bring the National Student Media Contests to a new system this fall.

Thank you for staying connected and for reading this report. When you ask questions and reach out to the volunteers doing such important work with their committees, state organizations, programs and initiatives, you make us better!

Valerie Kibler, MJE
Vice President
Harrisonburg High School
1001 Garbers Church Road
Harrisonburg VA 22801
Work Phone: 540-433-2651
Cell Phone: 540-533-8775

In the time since last spring’s semiannual report, I’ve been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

  • Helping as a leader for the Team Storytelling workshop and presenting sessions at JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans July 8-11.
  • Participating in monthly Google Hangouts with the board to communicate progress on reaching our goals.
  • Appointing a new state director in Hawaii. We are lucky to have Cindy Reves join the JEA State Director leadership team.
  • Selecting five participants for this year’s JEA/NSPA Partner Project and leading the on-site visit and Saturday workshop in Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 11-14, 2019.
  • Organizing five virtual workshops to be held in the next few months.
  • Completing JEA Mentor Training and working with a mentee virtually.
  • Working on the follow-up with First-time Convention Grant recipients from Anaheim and prepping recipients for Washington, D.C.
  • Completing the critique training via JEA’s critique training module for publications judges and student media evaluators and earned the badge.
  • Contributing a blog post for JEA Digital Media in advance of Advisers Institute.

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

Since the last report, the Scholastic Press Rights Committee has worked on several items. It truly is an honor to serve this group and organization. I’m humbled by the great people I work with on SPRC.

SPRC functions by teams with multiple helping in a variety of areas. Members are Jane Blystone, MJE, Candace Bowen, MJE, John Bowen, MJE, Lindsay Coppens, Vince DeMiero, Hilary Devoss, Chris Evans, Janet Ewell, MJE, Megan Fromm, MJE, Tom Gayda, MJE, Mark Goodman, Marina Hendricks, CJE, Emilee Hussack, Cyndi Hyatt, CJE, Val Kibler, MJE, Jeff Kocur, CJE, Susan McNulty, Andrea Negri, MJE, Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE, Tripp Robbins, CJE, Kathy Schrier, MJE, Amy Sorrel, CJE, Matt Smith, CJE, Kristin Taylor, CJE, John Tagliareni, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Audrey Wagstaff, MJE, Stan Zoller, MJE.

In addition to the specific items listed below, all SPRC members work with students and advisers who contact us with questions concerning press law and ethics. 


The blog team posts content weekly 11 months of the year. (We take mid June to mid July off.) Contributors are John Bowen, Candace Perkins Bowen, Lindsay Coppens, Susan McNulty and Stan Zoller. Guest blogs have been written by Sarah Nichols.

Constitution Day Committee 

Jeff Kocur and Matt Smith oversaw these plans and resources, including seven new lessons and activities — and links to still relevant past topics. Contributors included Megan Fromm, Lori Keekley, Susan McNulty, and Audrey Wagstaff.

National Student Media Contests (formerly known as Write-offs) 

Vince DeMiero and Jeff Kocur wrote the spring and fall tests (respectively) and judges included Candace Bowen, John Bowen, Vince DeMiero, Megan Fromm, Marina Hendricks, Lori Keekley and Kathy Schrier. 

Podcasts (led by Kristin Taylor) 

The latest installment of the podcast titled “Conversations at the schoolhouse gate: The New Voices podcast” was just released in late September. These podcasts center on issues of importance to the First Amendment.  Of particular note — the podcasts were highlighted on Radio Public’s “Indie Shows to Watch for Sept. 11.” We will continue to work on and produce these throughout the year. Emilee Hussack and Tripp Robbins contribute to this project as well.

Social media (John Bowen, Marina Hendricks, Jane Blystone, Tripp Robbins, Andrea Negri, Glenn Morehouse Olson)

This group posts to social media daily promoting information and SPRC offerings. If you don’t already, follow us @jeapressrights and like on Facebook.

Panic Button responders (Jane Blystone, John Bowen, Vince DeMiero, Mark Goodman, Val Kibler, Lori Keekley and Leslie Shipp)

We still help with SPRC Panic Buttons when requested. We also reach out individually to those on the listserv who have cited they need help regarding censorship or prior review. We have worked with two schools so far this year on Panic Button requests. 

FAPFA Award 

I worked with NSPA and Quill & Scroll on the questions for this award. First round applications are due by Dec. 15. Applications can be found either on the JEA page or here

New Voices (Mark Goodman, John Bowen, Chris Evans, Lori Keekley, Val Kibler, Kathy Schrier, Sarah Nichols, John Tagliareni, Stan Zoller)

For Constitution Day, I amassed a resource folder. We are in a holding pattern until around the elections. We will continue to work to find the state leaders for those working on legislation. We are working to be a resource for those working on legislation — especially in helping coordinate the grassroots efforts. 

Participate/Mentorship Training

Jane Blystone and I worked on the Participate module for the Law and Ethics mentorship training.

Adviser’s Institute

I led the “First Things First” discussion that opened Adviser’s Institute.  The goal was to underscore the importance of the First Amendment and to allow participants a place to ask questions. Thankfully, this discussion continued informally with several after the morning session. 

State Resource Outreach

Many have reported teaching about law and ethics at their state organization programs.

Megan Fromm, MJE
Director, Educational Initiatives
Grand Junction High School
1400 N. 5th St.
Grand Junction CO 81501
Phone: 970-640-0609

The start of my second year back at the high school level has been fast and furious! The highlight of my year since the spring report has undoubtedly been participating in the Partner Project (more details below). Other tasks have included:

  • Working with curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers, MJE, and Abri Nelson, CJE, to select six new curriculum leaders and develop unique work contracts for each leader. These leaders will focus on different aspects of their curriculum based on their strengths. We also continue to:
    • Fix broken links and update examples or lessons as needed.
    • Integrate suggestions for modifications for learners of different levels
    • Respond to member requests or questions about the curriculum on social media and via email, including navigating lessons and putting resources to use.
  • Judging write-offs at the spring convention
  • Approving the budget for the current fiscal year in April
  • Checking in with our grantees for the JEA/NSPA research grant
  • Participating in monthly board chats
  • Teaching a session at the NAMLE conference in June with Kelly Glasscock. Kelly and I presented a mock editorial board meeting to showcase scholastic journalism processes that help amplify student voice.
  • Planning for and participating in the Riverside Partner Project in September at Norte Vista High School. I worked with Danielle Ryan and Margie Raper to coordinate training and the Saturday day-long regional workshop.

Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, CJE
Columbia High School
469 SW Fighting Tiger Dr
Lake City, FL 32025
Phone: 312-933-7503

Since the last report, we’ve reached the one-year anniversary of Link. In the first year of Link, we linked 67 veteran JEA volunteers to 70 new members. As we enter year two, we are reimagining the program with the launch of an in-person Link connection between veteran JEA volunteers and new members at the Washington convention this November. 

Some of my other efforts since my last report have included:

  • Contacting and welcoming 39 new JEA members by phone and email since May.
  • Attending the JEA board meeting at the Anaheim convention in April.
  • Attending monthly Google Hangout meetings with JEA Board of Directors.
  • Becoming a JEA Mentor and establishing contact with potential members.

Joining the local committee for the 2020 fall convention in Orlando..

Laura Negri,CJE
Alief Kerr High School
3230 Ashlock Drive.
Houston TX 77082
Work Phone: 281-983-8484 x 27818
Cell Phone: 832-465-9150

Membership: After looking at previous results for email contacts and hearing feedback on LINK and other programs, I will be sending out an email to all new members in my region with the message, “How can JEA help?” I think the timing of such a message in October is appropriate because it is the time of year when new advisers are facing first deadlines and probably encountering challenges that LINK, mentoring, curriculum resources and other JEA assistance could address. My goal is to keep the email brief so that it is not overwhelming, and to compare responses to that with the welcome email I have sent in the past.

Events: The most important event has been the launch of the Career and Technical Education pages on the JEA website. I worked with CTE chair Nina Quintana to plan out the pages and their content, and to collect the information for the pages. We researched the certification requirements to teach CTE journalism in the 10 example states for the initial pages. I also researched CTSOs and resource organizations for teachers and advisors of CTE programs. Nina provided sample documents and files as well as her experiences for the pages. We coordinated the creation of the five different CTE pages and planned additional steps for increasing the content available for CTE teachers, such as collecting testimonials. 

Moving forward, the CTE committee needs to determine what content to add to JEA.org/Career and Technical Education. The initial focus was on converting a journalism program to a CTE program — movement from English language arts or arts or some other content area into CTE— but there is a need for resources for current CTE teachers as well, such as curriculum aligned with CTE standards. I look forward to meeting with Nina and members of the CTE committee in Washington, D.C. in November to plan our next steps. This is likely a multiple-year project to make these pages effective resources for our membership.

I have also worked to promote registration for the CTE certification exams provided at convention by drafting social media posts and creating graphics with adviser and student testimonials.

Locally, I organized and executed an annual workshop for journalism teachers in the greater Houston area. Moving forward, I want to look at ways the JEA Partner Project could be a model for an effective workshop, to expand the offerings provided by the Greater Houston Area Workshop and make it more useful to advisers in the area and beyond.

Awards and Honors: I completed both critique judge and mentoring certification through JEA this summer. I am proud to be the first JEA certified mentor in Texas. My state has not participated in this program in the past, but I’m hoping that the fact that several Texans have gained this certification will mean we will be able to provide more services to our membership in this state. Just this week, I have contacted two new members in my state, one in the Dallas area and one in South Texas; they will be long-distance mentoring relationships, but I look forward to working out ways to support these advisers in their endeavors. 

Julia Satterthwaite, CJE
Monta Vista High School
21840 McClellan Road
Cupertino CA 95014
Phone: 248-302-4289

It’s been exciting to launch the Digital Mentor Training and see engagement in completing the course right away, with 43 people signing up and 20 who have already completed the training or are at the last step. This is welcome news, as we still have a list of 16 mentees who are in search of a mentor match, which would bring us up to 177 mentees assigned to 62 mentors, though only 44 mentors are actively responding through our JEA mentor emails at this time.

One challenge we faced with the training is that it is more time-intensive than the Certified Judge training and involves a final step of participating in an exit Google chat with Mentor Program Chair Patrick Johnson, MJE, at a mutually beneficial time. Some folks have been surprised to submit their materials and have to wait to receive their badge and begin the mentoring process. 

Additionally, there have been some issues with the Participate platform that I’m still working to iron out to make the experience user friendly for participants. I hope to survey those who have completed the training this semester and see if they have specific feedback on how to improve the training experience. Finally, I’m excited to be working on the addition of a law and ethics chapter in the training regimen to make sure all mentors know how to effectively coach mentees through challenges or put them in touch with resources to help guide them.

I’ve joined the Mentor Committee and look forward to figuring out the best way to support the Mentor Program at the new Lunch and Learn experience for mentors/mentees to attend together, as well as the time allotted for mentors to share ideas among themselves. We have 14 mentors and 21 mentees signed up for Washington, D.C. and 12 mentors and 20 mentees signed up for Nashville. I think it’s really exciting to be able to support mentees in their second or third year of the program in getting to national conventions, which we all know can be so beneficial in upping our advising game.

Beyond working to support Patrick and the Mentor Program, I have also:

  • Participated in monthly Google Hangouts with the board to communicate progress on our goals.
  • Formally mentored individuals through JEA’s Mentor Program.
  • Reached out to new members and helped them get connected with JEA resources.
  • Attended the JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans.
  • Shared the benefits of JEA membership at summer workshops and at the JEANC fall conference.
  • Earned my MJE.

Karen Slusher
Awards Committee
Awards Committee Chair
18584 E. Garden Pl.
Aurora, CO, 80015
Work Phone: 303-817-9221

The biggest topic our committee is looking at is the shift from summer submission to the spring submission for Broadcast Adviser of the Year. We discussed this at the conference last spring, and the JEA Board weighed in on the decision. We would like to announce the deadline this fall to help with the transition and ensure people have plenty of time to get their applications in. We are also continuing to look at the breakdown of awards language on the website to ensure people understand what needs to be submitted for each nomination and application. This 

Since the last report, the following has taken place:

  • Jeff Browne of Quill and Scroll did a great job taking on the Student Impact Award, and the partnership there will certainly be good for both organizations.
  • Kelly Glasscock worked to secure a new sponsor for the Broadcast Adviser of the Year Award. We will be working with Loyola University New Orleans School of Communication and Design for the next few years. We were too late to bring them in on judging this year, but we would like to have them contribute to judging for the spring BAOY deadline.
  • This summer, Adam Dawkins, Michelle Coro, Thomas Gregory (former Broadcast Adviser of the Year), Alyssa Boehringer, and Karen Slusher were the judges for the Broadcast Adviser of the year. 
  • We saw a standard number of applications, some from several new people for BAOY, but there are still more applications that could come in from advisers across the country.
  • We again announced the fall awards in a timed series (10 a.m. Central) at the end of August, but we postponed the announcement of BAOY due to complications with judges initially and then the ability to time things out with the school of the winner.
  • We are hoping that the new date of March 15 for the BAOY application deadline (following suit with the other March awards deadlines) will aid us in working with judges and schools to make a timely announcement and provide the recipients time to plan attendance to the fall convention. The new announcement will most likely take place in May (dependent on the school’s needs).

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

Nina Quintana, CJE
Career and Technical Education
Eaglecrest High School
5100 S Picadilly St
Centennial CO 80015
Work Phone: 720-886-1149
Cell Phone: 303-817-9221

During the 2018 Fall National Convention in Chicago, we launched our certification testing for students and teacher’s by providing exams through Precision Exams and Certiport platforms. For Precision Exams, we had six students sign up for the broadcast exam and three certified, three signed up for basic digital photography and zero were certified. For the Certiport exams, we had 11 signed up for the Photoshop and InDesign exams and 11 passed. For the Spring 2019 National Convention in Anaheim, there were seven signed up for Precision Exams (Digital Photography & Broadcast) and nine signed up for Photoshop and 11 for InDesign for a total of 27 exams; an increase of 7. The goal is to see growth in the number of students and teachers taking these exams in order to show JEA’s support of CTE initiatives within respective states. Currently, we are advertising through social media, gathering testimonials from teachers and students who have taken certification exams. 

There were some challenges with proctoring the Certiport Adobe Indesign exam despite the updates Certiport was working on during the fall. There were three options provided for those who were unable to test due to technical difficulties: 1. Vouchers were provided to test at other locations, 2. Test candidates will be allowed to test in Washington, D.C., or 3. A refund was provided. All test candidates chose option 1.  Testing times will continue to be Saturday morning. The option to sign up for the exams is listed when the adviser registers for the convention. 

If a communications program is recognized under the CTE umbrella, participating in certification opportunities will assist in demonstrating the program is highly qualified in the pathway of study. Remember, having opportunities for students to receive industry certification is an important component for CTE recognition. It is important to remember if programs are currently classified as a CTE program or are trying to work into this pathway of study under the CTE umbrella, certifications for both the adviser and students add to achieving full compliance for the program receiving funds under the Carl D. Perkins grant.

My over-arching goal is to continue to move the needle forward for journalism programs to be viewed as CTE pathways of study to assist with funding issues and additional resources for the classroom.  

The CTE tab for the JEA website is now active. There are items we have decided to put behind the “paywall” as a “members only” option such as examples of developed communication pathway of studies as these items are examples of how one school may build a program versus an exemplar of how to build a program pathway. Currently, I have had individuals reach out after viewing information on the site about how to start a program or individuals who have used items and information for presentation to their school board to discuss why journalism programs should be looked at as CTE pathways of study. Because of some of the technical aspects with setting up items behind the “paywall,” I will be proposing a retreat for the CTE committee to focus on phase two of the website. This would include, updating phase 1 to include quotes and images, building templates for various programs to house information behind the “paywall,” and developing phase 3.

I would like to continue to build the CTE tab for JEA, focusing on audience needs. However, how we will identify those needs is the current challenge. I am not sure if a survey would be the best option; however, I will be looking to the CTE committee to brainstorm various ways of collecting information to further develop the website and any additional ideas that JEA members may need to offer further support. This includes sessions we should consider developing at national conventions or Advisers Institute.

JEA has been partnering with Business Professionals of America as part of the CTE collaboration. Work has included JEA assisting with BPA’s broadcast and photography competitions, and New Mexico’s BPA adviser assisting with JEA’s first certification testing sessions. However, to continue to move the CTE initiative forward, we need to look at getting involved with ACTE (Association for Career & Technical Education). The Visions 2019 conference will be hosted in Anaheim, CA, Dec. 4-7, 2019. This conference is where programs from across the country present best practices. This would be a good opportunity to see how presentations are run and help set up sessions that will showcase journalism programs as quality CTE programs.  The National Policy seminar hosted in Arlington, Virginia, March 29-April 1, 2020 is an opportunity to see what is going on with national policy and see how to get on national policy maker’s radars to begin advocating for journalism programs.

Kim Green, MJE
Certification Committee
Ball State University
Art & Journalism Building – AJ304
Muncie, IN 47306
Work Phone: 765-285-8900
Cell Phone: 812-525-8502

Members: Four post-secondary journalism education representatives: Jane Blystone, MJE; Candace Bowen, MJE; Brian Hayes, MJE; Joseph Mirando, MJE; four secondary journalism educator representatives: Joe Humphrey, MJE; Rod Satterthwaite, MJE; Amy Sorrell, MJE; Cathy Wall, MJE


  • Spring: We tested in Anaheim (17 CJE and three MJE candidates), for the Garden State Scholastic Press Association (nine CJE candidates and one MJE candidate), for the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (one CJE candidate; Jane Blystone proctored and presented, so the requirement for five applicants is waived in this situation); for the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (three CJE candidates of the five who applied tested)
  • Summer: We tested at Ball State (one CJE candidate and one MJE candidate), in Colorado (one CJE candidate); at JEA Advisers Institute (four CJE candidates and one MJE candidate); at Walsworth Advisers Academy (six CJE candidates); at Camp Orlando/ in Florida (four CJE candidates)

 Interested candidates should keep checking the test calendar at jea.org as off-convention sites are added as we receive them.

  • We will be testing 10 CJE candidates and five MJE candidates in Washington, D.C.
  • As of this report, JEA has 656 Certified Journalism Educators and 170 Master Journalism Educators
  • As always, we couldn’t do what we do without Pam Boller, our JEA Headquarters Certification partner who supports us, our CJEs and MJEs and our candidates. Thank you, Pam!

Nancy Y. Smith, MJE
Contest Committee
Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011
Work Phone: 636-733-4118
Cell Phone: 314-704-1242


Nancy Y. Smith (MJE)  / nysmithjea@gmail.com

National Contest Chair

Priscilla Frost  / pfrost@lindberghschools.ws

Contest Office Manager

April van Buren (MJE) / msryanpchs@yahoo.com 

Broadcast Contest Coordinator

Bradley Wilson (MJE) /  bradleywilson08@gmail.com

 Photo Contest Coordinator

Allie Staub (CJE)  / stauba@wws.k12.in.us  

National Quiz Bowl Coordinator and Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest Coordinator

Mark Murray / mmurray@atpi.org



  1. National Student Media Contests Participation (formerly Write-off Contests)

We had 1,201 contestants for the Anaheim Spring 2019 (34% of convention attendance). Our participation is steady, averaging 34 percent each convention. 

  1. Partnership with Scholastic Journalism Week and Scholastic Press Rights Committee

The Graphic Design Logo and Advertising contests are continuing to partner with the Scholastic Journalism Week team and Scholastic Press Rights Committee incorporating the SJW logo/ad contest and Constitution Day activities with the National Student Media Contests in the fall and spring respectively. 

  1. Updates to Contests
  1. We have officially rebranded the Write-off Contests as the National Student Media Contests. This name is a better reflection of the 46 contests that over 3,000 students compete in each year at our two conventions. 
  2. Washington, D.C. will be the first convention where the new and improved computer management system for the contests will be used. The new system has been in development for several years and gone through several successful rounds of testing. All JEA members were required to set up a new password for the system and the jea.org/contest system will now be the starting point for all of the contest needs for members.
  3. That new system is also being used for the Jr. High/Middle School Contest this spring and will be used for National Journalism Quiz Bowl registration this spring..
  1. Job Descriptions and Timelines

The Contest Chair is in the process of compiling a document outlining the history of the JEA contests and is working with the JEA staff to pull information from past JEA publications. In additio, all of the contest committee job descriptions and timelines have been updated and appear here.

  1. National Journalism Quiz Bowl

We had 30 registered teams in Anaheim and Lincoln Hills High School in Portland, Oregon took the top prize. This was the first convention where the new quiz bowl format was rolled out. To determine the initial seeding of the registered teams, the pre-qualifying test was taken in person Friday morning online through Canvas. Saturday morning, the top 16 qualifying teams met for four rapid-fire buzzer rounds, answering questions pertaining to current events, media law and terminology, and civics. For the new format, instead of the first team to 10 correct answers winning each round, it was the team that scored the highest out of 10 questions that won each round. This allowed for the difficulty level to increase as teams progressed through each round. In addition, Quiz Bowl participants now receive special ribbons identifying them as participants to wear on their convention badges. Finalists are also recognized at the JEA Awards Ceremony with certificates.

  1. Jr. High/Middle School Contest 

There were 367 entries in the Spring 2019 contest. During the summer, Jr. High/Middle School Contest Chair Allie Staub and National Contest Chair Nancy Smith looked at entry history over the past several years and also looked at the needs of our members and revised the contest offerings to more accurately reflect the work students are doing in their schools. The new contest descriptions are all on the jea.org website and can be read here.

The 2020 contest dates are outlined below and will also utilize the updated system being used by the National Student Media Contests to make the contest process easier for advisers and judges.

  1. Upcoming JEA Contest Deadlines
    Spring 2020 Nashville (April 16-18)

NSMC Registration Opens / Prompts Available: Tuesday, Feb. 11

NSMC Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: March 18

Critiques due from judges April 8

Spring 2020 Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest

Registration Opens (generally aim for Wednesday after WO Close) March 25

Materials Due (generally aim for third Wednesday in April @ 7 p.m. ET) April 22

Judging finished May / Winners announced early May 

Fall 2020 Orlando (Nov. 19-22)

NSMC Registration Opens / Prompts Available: Tuesday, Sept. 15

NSMC Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: Wednesday, Oct. 21

Critiques due from judges Nov. 11

Aaron Manfull, MJE
Francis Howell North High School
2751 Cumberland Landing
Saint Charles MO 63303
Personal Phone: 314-323-5572


JEA Digital Media Committee Report – Fall 2019

Membership: Aaron Manfull (chair), Travis Armkneckt, Michelle Balmeo, Jason Block, Amanda Bright, Judah Brody, Kathryn Campbell, Kelly Glasscock, Don Goble, Courtney Hanks, Patrick Johnson, Valerie Kibler, Beatrice Motamedi, Sarah Nichols, Kyle Phillips, Matt Rasgorshek, Jessica Roberts, Jonathan Rogers, Kristy Roschke, Jim Streisel, Julie Tiedens, Michelle Turner, Chris Waugaman, Mark Webber and Jared Zegelis.

For the board: JEADigitalMedia.org has continued to grow our content 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 10 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,366 posts published (roughly three per week), 755,705 visits, and 1,334,629 pageviews.  Fourteen 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 a 12-month period. 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 – 48 posts
  • Sarah Nichols – 4 posts
  • Amanda Bright – 3 posts
  • Jonathan Rogers – 3 posts
  • Julie Tiedens – 3 posts
  • Mark Webber – 3 posts

Also contributing to the site during the time period was Madison Abanathie, Travis Armknecht, Kelly Glasscock, Valerie Kibler, Beatrice Motamedi, Jessica Roberts, Kristy Roschke.

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.

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

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

The team is still working to update guides, expand guide offerings and maintain weekly posting schedules. In the past six months we have added a guide to Adobe programs as well as podcasting

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

We will discuss our goals at our committee meeting in DC, 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 to try to counteract some of the visitor trends.

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

Here are the links I said I would make available:

Visitor data for JEADigitalMedia.org



Guide to Moving Online

Guide to Video and Broadcast

Guide to Multimedia Tools

Guide to Live Video Streaming of Sports Events

Guide to Adobe Tutorials

Guide to Podcasting

Rebecca Pollard, MJE
Journalist of The Year
Lovejoy High School
2350 Estates Parkway
Lucas TX 75002
Work Phone: 469-742-8700 x28633

We had another year for the Journalist of the Year contest where the state winners continue to impress. In April we awarded one national winner and six runners-up for this contest. After receiving 36 state-winning entries, a judging panel of 39 combed over each one and invested in these candidates as if they were their own student journalists. I appreciate each one of them for their talents and dedication to this tedious process. My hope each year is this contest is given the proper attention to detail and is fair to all candidates. These judges did just that, as each portfolio had multiple rounds of judges looking, reading and evaluating each one.

The following students were recognized at the Saturday awards ceremony at the spring convention in Anaheim:

2019 National High School Journalist of the Year

Parker Davis of St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas, Texas (Ray Westbrook, adviser)


  • Nicole-Marie Konopelko, Pittsburg (Kansas) High School (Emily Smith, CJE, adviser).
  • Ashley Hitchings, Palo Alto (California) High School (Paul Kandell, adviser).
  • Avery Maslowsky, Conestoga High School, Berwyn, Pennsylvania (Susan Gregory, MJE, adviser).
  • Annika Prom, Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School (Vincent DeMiero, adviser).
  • Nyah Phengsitthy, Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School (Valerie Kibler, MJE, adviser).
  • Mimi Geller, St. Paul (Minnesota) Academy and Summit School (Kathryn Campbell, CJE, adviser).

Please see a list of all the state winners and links to all the portfolios here.

2019 Aspiring Young Journalist

Tayla Ahlf, Derby (Kan.) North Middle School (Laura Hayden, adviser)


Marchella Mazzoni, Winslow Township Middle School, Atco, N.J. (Heather Hay, adviser)

In Anaheim, we hosted our third meet-and-greet for those who participated in the 2019 JEA National Student Journalist of the Year contest. We continually are adjusting from previous meet-and-greet events to find the right format for this event. We hosted a lunch in Anaheim at the hotel restaurant for those who could be there. Participants had a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and network with each other about the contest and college plans.

In Chicago, the 2018 Journalist of the Year, Christine Zhao, and I presented a session to JOY hopefuls about applying for the contest and how to build a portfolio. Christine also spoke to the convention at the opening ceremony. I would like to thank Christine for her time and talents to help future candidates.

Moving forward, the requirements and guidelines for the contest are similar to last year. Refining behind the scenes will continue to take place. 

Shortly after the 2019 contest concluded, JEA Executive Director Kelly Glasscock and I started working on plans for the 2020 meet-and-greet in Nashville. We will keep tweaking this event to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our state winners.

Patrick Johnson, MJE
Mentoring Program
Antioch Community High School
1133 Main St.
Antioch IL 60002
Personal Phone: 224-725-0590

As of Oct. 1, there are 161 mentees and 62 registered mentors.

Events: We will host our first Mentoring Lunch and Learn at the upcoming Washington, D.C. Convention. Mentors and mentees will gather at this event to discuss leadership and current issues facing mentors and mentees; the mentors will also have a smaller meeting where they are able to debrief on their current experiences in the field. 

Mentor training is now completely online. Forty-three people have signed up to be trained as JEA mentors and are currently participating in the training through Participate. Sixteen have completed the training and another four are awaiting their final debrief via Google Hangout.

For the Board: Since the last Mentoring Program semiannual report was submitted, I’ve been working on the following projects:

  • Digital Mentor Training
  • Google Migration
  • Second-year mentee convention planning and experiences
  • Mentoring Lunch and Learn
  • Increasing state, mentor, and mentee participation in the program. I’ve specifically been targeting states that did not previously participate in the mentor program, as well as states with increased needs for mentors.

Barrington photo for web

Adam Dawkins, CJE
Scholastic Journalism Week Committee
Regis Jesuit High School
6400 S Lewiston Way
Aurora CO 80016
Personal Phone: 303-408-0596

Scholastic Journalism Week Feb. 24-28, 2020 

This year’s Scholastic Journalism Week theme is “Big Questions, Big Results.” JEA Scholastic Journalism Week 2020 celebrates student journalists who ask important questions about the world around them and thoroughly and accurately convey solid reporting to benefit the audience in a big way. They investigate and their coverage is timely and relevant; they shed light on the people, trends, issues and stories of their community. The results are clear and meaningful.

2019-2020 Scholastic Journalism Week Design Contest

Promotion for the design contest will begin Wednesday, Oct 2 on social media and on the listserv. The NSMC Design Contest at JEA/NSPA Washington, D.C. will also be geared toward this contest. 

Guidelines for Submission

  • Using the theme “Big Questions, Big Results” create a design for us to use for 2020 Scholastic Journalism Week promotional materials and on social media. The winning logo and designer will be revealed Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. The winner need not be present to win. Judges will decide on the winning design after all entries, including those from the convention write-off contest, have been received. 
  • This year’s theme, “Big Questions, Big Results,” celebrates student journalists who ask important questions about the world around them and thoroughly and accurately convey solid reporting to benefit the audience in a big way. They investigate, and their coverage is timely and relevant; they shed light on the people, trends, issues and stories of their community. The results are clear and meaningful.
  • Create your design package with the theme in mind.
  • Include the event title: Scholastic Journalism Week “Big Questions, Big Results.”
  • Include the event date: Feb. 24-28, 2020
  • Include a banner version, full Instagram-style square version, and a thumbnail version of your design.
  • Target market: Schools with journalism programs
  • Color required: Full color but logo must also work in B&W
  • Submit a Vector logo (Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
  • Also submit your designs in JPEG and PDF format
  • Provide a datasheet (specifying fonts and Pantone colors)
  • Include a short rationale with the thinking behind your logo
  • Include your name, school name, your publication, your grade level, email address and phone number. Also include your personal and your publication Twitter and Instagram handles if you have them so we can promote your entry!
  • Deadline for submissions: Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
  • Submit your entries to: scholasticjournalismweek@gmail.com

Read more here.

Jonathan Rogers, MJE
Iowa City High School
55 N. Westminster St.
Iowa City IA 52245
Work Phone: 319-855-2559


JEA will not be attending NCTE this year as the JEA/NSPA fall convention is the same weekend.

FOR THE BOARD: This past year I have focused my outreach efforts on posting Trending updates based on my connections through social media and other outlets with journalism education partners. 

The JEA-Flipboard magazine is going strong with 5,095 followers and 238 student stories published. Jeffrey Brown has helped me curate the magazine this year with award-winning content and is hoping to get other outlets to publish award-winning student work. We have moved away from the contest format to now publishing award-winning work from state contests and other contests that want to share their work. Submit stories to hswireservice@gmail.com or hsjournalism@flipboard.com   

I continue to do outreach with Adobe. We have partnered on Adobe Spark digital stories projects and I have worked as a BETA tester on new products from a drawing app to the Creative Cloud that I think will be game changers for high school journalism teachers. More posts to come as these products get released. I also have been accepted as part of Adobe Education Leaders (AEL) for the second year. The community is still new to me, but I do have the opportunity to go to two international gatherings and connect in their online space.

Those are the major fronts for my professional outreach. My action items for the board would be to continue to look to partner with organizations like Adobe and continue to find more ways like the Flipboard magazine to showcase the great work JEA student journalists.  The NCTE relationship is still strong and they are a very willing partner to help us on the censorship front, and I think it would be a good idea to invest in advertising with their magazines to let their membership know about the benefits of being a JEA member.

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

Since my last report as the Publications/Public Relations chair, I continue to work on the following responsibilities and initiatives: 

Social Media: 

I update JEA’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram daily to a few times a week, depending on the platform and news cycle. Social media managing, scheduling, posting and interacting takes up most of my time. Since my last report, I have covered/worked on the following social media posts:

  • NSPA/JEA in Anaheim: I covered the entire #NHSJC via Facebook, Twitter and Instagra, but mostly via Instagram Story as a Live Event.
  • JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans: I covered the entire #JEAai on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Including promotion for #JEAai)
  • Award announcements and deadlines for all JEA awards
  • Partner Project/Virtual Workshop: Highlighted photos and work from Partner Project schools throughout August and September. 
  • Promotion for the CTE certification. 
  • Promotion for Fall Convention in Washington, D.C. 
  • Promotion for the new Write-off contests–National Student Media Contests
  • Promotion for the new JEA mentor training. 
  • General breaking news such as the new curriculum leaders and convention contracts.

Total Followers on JEA’s Social Media as of Oct. 1, 2019:

  • Twitter (@nationalJEA): 3268
  • Instagram (@journalismeducation): 1580
  • Facebook (@Journalism Education Association): 3336

One Book: 

The 2019-2020 One Book is “Dopesick” by Beth Macy. I will be presenting a session at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., called “Investigate this: Takeaways from ‘Dopesick.’” Here is the session description: “Great journalism begins with great reporting. Great reporting begins with investigative research. Come discuss the JEA One Book, ‘Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America’ by Beth Macy and learn tips for how to incorporate investigative journalism into your own program.” This session will take place Friday, Nov. 22  at 11 a.m. in Harding Mezzanine Level.


Please see SJW Chair Adam Dawkins’, CJE, report on SJW 2020. Dawkins and I developed this year’s theme: Big Questions, Big Results.

Bradley Wilson, MJE
Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today
Midwestern State University
3410 Taft Blvd.
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099
Work Phone: 940-397-4797
Home Phone: 919-264-6768

New stuff:

We started off the fall semester for the first time in 20 years without Howard Spanogle as our copy editor. However, Beth Butler is doing awesome. She has adapted to the specifics of C:JET style and has helped us go to press early with both the fall and winter issues. Plus, not only does she catch the little stuff, she thinks through the big stuff. She and Connie work great together.

We also started a new workflow using Google Drive and Google Docs. There have been a few kinks here as we decide what works best for us.

Online supplement and social media

The online issue is still buried pretty deep and isn’t visible from jea.org. So, I try to promote it via social media. After the fall issue, I scheduled 38 tweets to promote content and advertising in the print issue as well as the online supplement. I wish the JEA account would retweet that more often. In particular, the information on covering suicides is popular.

Fall issue

48 pages

Major contributors: Ellen Cowhey, Kristy Dekat, Howard Spanogle, Jerred Zegelis

Other contributors: Logan Aimone, Candace Perkins Bowen, Claire Benson, Elizabeth Chan, Gary Lundgren, Abigail Roberts, Jonathan Snover, Chris Waugaman, Marissa Young

Coverage topics

  • On the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Adam Pawlus, executive director of NLGJA, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and Bethany Grace Howe, a recent graduate of the doctoral program at the University of Oregon, answer questions about how to cover the LGBTQ community in the school. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Advisers also play a role in coverage of LGBTQ issues, helping to ensure that coverage is honest, truthful and transparent. | By Logan Aimone, MJE
  • The Associated Press has numerous entries pertaining to LGBTQ style.
  • Creating Infographics. JEA’s infographics contest gives students the opportunity to learn by doing. | By Howard Spanogle
  • The Podcast. Jerred Zegelis and Tim Kaldahl started a new podcast — “J Room.” Learn from what they did. | By Jerred Zegelis
  • Chris Waugaman, MJE, focuses on quality interviews as part of a podcast. | By Ellen Cowhey
  • A response to Hazelwood. Kansas advisers created legal support for students. | By Kristy Dekat, MJE
  • The Pylon | Salina Central High School (Kansas) | Newsmagazine illustrates modern design.


  • Note: For the first time in more than two decades, we ran the wrong ad from one of our advertisers. The national office staff – that handles all advertising — is taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
  • $3,425 billed of $4,000 goal
  • $0 collected to date
  • ArchiveInABox
  • BetterBNC
  • California State University, Northridge, CSUN
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Jostens Inc.
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kent State University
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Ryerson School of Journalism
  • School Paper Express
  • schoolprinting.com
  • SNO Sites

Winter issue

52 pages

Printed on recycled paper for the first time.

Major contributors: Carol Terracina Hartman, Mai Hoang, Sandra L. Pagliughi, Katina Paron, Susan Pavelka, Jason Weingart 

Other contributors: Ryan Ash, Madeline Emerson, Carol Lange, Maya Lee, Gary Lundgren, Sarah Nichols, Lori Oglesbee, Abigail Roberts, Kincaid Schmitt

Coverage topics

  • Environmental journalists empower readers to take action. | By Carol Terracina Hartman
  • Society of Environmental Journalists president offers advice for budding journalists. | With Bobby Magill
  • Focusing on writing and storytelling. | By Carol Terracina Hartman
  • Institute for Environmental Journalism helps students turn passion into skills. | By Katina Paron, MJE, with student work by Christine Zhu, Madeleine Klass, Celeste Wolf and Satchel Walton
  • Young environmental journalists form global network | By Mai Hoang with student work by Sarah Wang and Shah Tazrian Ashrafi 
  • Texas photographer covers environment while teaching others. | By Jason Weingart
  • First Amendment. The First Amendment we know now wasn’t the real First Amendment. Indeed, it was third. After, a historical review, a variety of authors contribute seven exercises on the 45 words that make up the First Amendment. | Contributions by Lori Oglesbee, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Carol Lange, Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Say this. Not that. At this past summer’s JEA Advisers Institute, Kelly Furnas, talked about some common grammar mistakes almost everyone makes. | Susan Pavelka
  • The Mirror | Students at Van Nuys High School (California) cover everything from the homeless in their community to famous alumni from their school.


  • $3,425 billed of $4,000 goal
  • $0 collected to date
  • ArchiveInABox
  • BetterBNC
  • California State University, Northridge, CSUN
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Jostens Inc.
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kent State University
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • schoolprinting.com
  • SNO Sites

Kelly Furnas, MJE
Global Outreach
Elon University
2855 Campus Box
Elon NC 27244
Phone: 540-200-8665

Membership: As of September, we have 34 international JEA members, compared with 33 international members from last fall. China remains our most heavy membership non-U.S. country, with 10 members. Canada has six members. The Philippines has four.

For the board: In October, I attended the final round of the Youth Observation Contest conducted by JEA China in Shanghai. The event culminated a month-long competition of hundreds of Chinese high school journalists. Special thanks to JEA members who served as judges for different rounds of the competition, including Beatrice Motamedi, Rachel West, Patrick R. Johnson, Tamra McCarthy, Renee D. Burke, Matthew LaPorte, Joseph Humphrey, Mitch Eden and Jonathan Rogers.

I’ve had ongoing conversations and trainings with Cevre High School in Istanbul, Turkey, where students produce a monthly news magazine and bi-weekly broadcasts as part of a club. Their adviser and principal are especially interested in finding a certification or badging mechanism for students through JEA.

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

Membership: Alabama has 20 JEA memberships, many from new advisers. 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. JEA membership has tremendous benefits. JEA provides members access to curriculum and lesson plans. JEA members can be a part of an email listserv where specific questions can be asked. Twice a year JEA partners with National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) to host conventions and offer training to advisers and students. JEA has certification for teachers and awards for teachers and students.

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences. Check out ASPA events here. ASPA is on Facebook and Twitter. Find SIPA events online.

Alabama continues to provide mentoring for new advisers.

Recent events: 

  • ASPA held workshops in Mobile Sept. 16, Tuscaloosa Sept. 18, Huntsville Sept. 20, and Montgomery in October. University of Alabama faculty members and professional journalists were featured speakers.
  • Troy University in Troy, Alabama held J Day Oct. 22. Each school was invited to register up to 10 students in the categories of Multimedia, Yearbook and Broadcast Journalism – Television; and five students for Broadcast Journalism – Radio for a total of 35 students.
  • The SIPA Convention in March 2019 had over 600 students.

Upcoming ASPA events & SIPA convention:

  • Contest and senior awards deadline Dec. 15, 2019.
  • ASPA State Convention Feb. 7-8, 2020.
  • SIPA Convention March 6-8, 2020.
  • Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline April 1, 2020.
  • The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop June 5-14, 2020.
  • The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus June 5-7, 2020.
  • Fall Regional Workshops will be held in Mobile, Tuscaloosa, & Huntsville in September 2020.

Awards, contests and honors: Click here for more information.

Chad Eichenlaub
Unalaska City High School
PO Box 570
Unalaska AK 99685
Work Phone: 907-581-1222
Cell Phone: 907-359-1340

Membership: Alaska currently has two JEA memberships, both new members this year. The state director has continued to reach out to journalism teachers and CTE teachers throughout the state. 

Events: None to reportAwards and Honors: None to report

Christine Brandell Melendez
Paradise Valley High School
3950 E Bell Road
Phoenix AZ 85032
Phone: 602-449-7000

Membership: Arizona currently has 51 members in JEA. Fifty of the 51 members are voting members. We are down seven members from the spring, but this could potentially be from the start of the school year and it takes time to get paperwork into place. In reviewing the membership report, not all members and/or board members of Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) are members of JEA. As the state organization, AIPA recommends and supports new advisers becoming members of JEA and AIPA. Having two JEA mentors in our state allows for one-to-one communication with advisers who have a tendency to become more active at the state level as well as at the national level. The membership goal for the 2019-20 academic year would be to not only increase membership in JEA, but to encourage membership in both AIPA and JEA. 

The AIPA Board continues to discuss membership in both AIPA and JEA as the two organizations work hand in hand to support scholastic journalism in Arizona as well as the United States. AIPA is currently trying out Wild Apricot to more efficiently manage state membership. At this time, we do not have an update on how this program is working for the organization.

Events: The Fall Convention for AIPA will be held at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union in Tempe, Arizona Oct. 29. Fernanda Santos, Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University will be the keynote speaker for the convention. Students and advisers will have a variety of breakout sessions to attend, and the 2019 fall contest winners will be announced after the keynote address. 

The Adviser Day, “Direction Connection” was held Sept. 7 at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Approximately 10 advisers attended and were greeted with a message from Mark Lodato, associate dean at Cronkite. Advisers then attended various sessions on leadership, journalism basics and technology.

Jake Kelly of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix was the recipient of the Freeman Hover New Adviser Award for the 2018-19 school year. Stan Bindell of Hopi Junior-Senior High School was the recipient of the Forest Martin Experienced Adviser Award for the 2018-19 school year. These awards along with the new officers for the board were presented at the Adviser Reception hosted at Grand Canyon University. The following were elected: Melanie Allen, President; Amy McTague, Treasurer; Deanne Hutchison & Jan Carteaux, Co-Fall Convention Coordinators; Anita Luera, Summer Workshop Director and Stan Bindell and Heather Eaton, Members at Large. Each person will serve in these positions for two years. There terms will end June 30, 2021. In the spring of 2020, AIPA will be seeking nominations for the position of Vice President, Recording Secretary, Communications Director, In-Service Coordinator, and three Members-at-Large. These positions are staggered two-year terms to keep continuity on the board. 

Recognition: Carmen Wendt was recognized with the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award. 

I would like to recognize the AIPA board under the leadership of Melanie Allen, Moon Valley High School, Phoenix, AZ for their continued support of scholastic journalism in Arizona. 

Please visit Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA).

Justin Turner
1013 Shobe Road
Bryant AR 72022
Phone: 501-838-0354

Membership: Arkansas currently has 44 JEA members, three less than my last report.  However, we have worked with our state level organization (ASPA) and are now allowing members to register with JEA when they sign up for ASPA. I have several I will be mailing into headquarters at the end of the week after our state level deadline, so the numbers should rise to more than we had last update.   

Major Developments: I was asked to be on a committee helping to design an assessment that will lead to journalism teacher licensure.]]’? I’ll be working on that committee throughout this year.  

I’ve also joined an effort headed by our state organization to get the Arkansas School Board Association to revise their “model policy” as we believe it is not in compliance with the Arkansas New Voices legislation. That process is ongoing.  

Arkansas State Press Association News: I attended the board’s summer meeting and lead a separate meeting to help refine our contest categories. I also designed a new critique rubric for our state organization modeled after the NSPA rubric.    

Outreach: I will be sending monthly emails showcasing different aspects of JEA. I think a lot of people know about the curriculum, which I’ll share as well, but I think there’s a lot of really great content worth putting out there. My hope is to get advisers to see the ongoing worth of a JEA membership.  

For the Board: Recently, my school has decided my students can only attend the national JEA/NSPA conference once every three years. They allow students to attend the national FBLA conference every year. The difference is that FBLA students must qualify at the state level before being able to compete at the national level, so the district views the FBLA conference as a greater honor.

My district is not alone in this logic. I would like to recommend ONE competition be held at each convention in which only schools that have won their state’s respective top award can compete. While I understand the benefits and honor of ANY award won at JEA/NSPA, not all school district administrations do. I believe it’s a small change that could benefit a lot of students.

I’d also like to see JEA do additional administrator outreach. The work we do regarding student press freedom with advisers and students is important, but we need to do more administrator outreach. If we don’t also work more at addressing administrator ignorance regarding press law and best practices, we’re missing one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle.

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

Membership: California currently has 324 JEA members.  There are two major regional branches: JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California). Since April, 49 people have joined JEA.

Statewide Events:

Linda Bowen from CSU Northridge is working on creating a census of all secondary and post-secondary journalism programs in California. I will be reaching out to California advisers to see who is interested in participating and adding their program to the database.

JEANC Events:

Nor Cal Media DayJEANC hosted over 375 advisers and students from approximately 35 schools at Palo Alto HIgh School Sept. 28. The day offered nearly 50 breakout sessions and opportunities for on-site publication critiques. In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to participate in on-site media contests and the Best of the West competition which presented 15 awards in 5 categories for publication excellence. Sixteen schools participated in the annual contest.

Adviser Teach-in – JEANC will offer a one-day professional development at the Four Points by Sheraton, Pleasanton Dec. 7 offering a variety of sessions led by JEANC advisers. This annual event is a great opportunity for advisers to network and share best practices.

Honor Cords – JEANC is offering Honor Cords to graduating seniors for the first time this school year. The organization has established criteria for a senior to earn a cord including: multiple years on staff, holding leadership positions or earning local JEANC awards and adviser membership in JEANC. SCJEA might also research implementing the award for So Cal students.

SCJEA Events:

Wake Up Call – Approximately 130 students and advisers representing 17 local schools attended a half-day workshop at Fullerton College Sept. 21 to improve publications for the start of the year. The workshop offered breakout sessions and opportunities for newspaper and yearbook critiques. Participants began the day with an inspirational keynote address from LA Times writer Esmeralda Bermudez.

Journalism DaySCJEA, Los Angeles Times High School Insider and CSUN hosted J-Day Oct. 19, an event with on-site competitions and break-out sessions at Cal State Northridge.

JEA Partner Project-  Norte Vista High School in Riverside was one of five schools selected for the three-day intensive workshop which began Sept. 12. Yearbook adviser William Nelson and 40 Novi staffers spent two content-filled days learning with Megan Fromm, MJE, PhD, from Grand Junction, Colorado; Margie Raper, MJE, from McKinney, Texas; and JEA California State Director Danielle Ryan, MJE, from Carlsbad, California. On Saturday, over 120 students and advisers joined the Novi staff for a full-day workshop that featured a keynote address and four 50-minute breakout sessions taught by the three Partner Project instructors and local advisers Jessica Young, MJE, from Escondido; Adriana Chavira, MJE, from Los Angeles; Julie Braun, CJE, from Irvine; and Chris Joy from Jostens. Local Herff Jones representatives also supported the event by providing lunch to the attendees.

Awards and Honors:

Medal of Merit – Adviser Pete LeBlanc from Antelope High School was named one of five JEA Medal of Merit award winners. In addition to the three publications he advises, LeBlanc earned recognition for his year-round work presenting and critiquing both regionally and nationally.

Rising Star – Samantha Lasarow from El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills is one of 12 advisers recognized as an up-and-coming talent. With a background in reporting at Stanford, Lasarow brings her passion for journalism to both her site and SCJEA.

Administrator of the Year – For the second year in a row, a Calif. Administrator was name the JEA Administrator of the Year. Dr. Amy Besler of Colfax earned the recognition for her support of the high school journalism program as the principal at Bear River High School in Grass Valley as the program grew from a yearbook-only school to a thriving multi-publication journalism program.

For the Board: Thank you so much for selecting one of our So Cal schools for the Partner Project. The students were so fabulous and the administration was incredibly welcoming and helpful. They clearly want the program to succeed. The students were so appreciative of the time we were able to spend with them, not only during the school day but also at the football game on Friday night. Additionally, the Saturday workshop was incredibly successful as we were able to host many schools who had never been able to attend local SCJEA activities or JEA/NSPA conventions. After taking part in the entire 3-day process, I truly believe the Partner Project is a worthwhile and beneficial opportunity available to our members who are most in need of support and anything we can do to support these schools will only make us stronger as an organization.

Kristi Rathbun, MJE
Rock Canyon High School
5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch CO 80124
Phone: 303-387-300

Membership: Colorado has 94 current members of JEA. CSMA’s membership year begins Oct. 1 (CSMA’s state conference J-Day and the associated Best in Show competitions sometimes result in a membership boost.) 

Events: CSMA J-Day kicked off with celebrations for Adviser of the Year Rampart High School’s Patrick Moring, CJE and Administrator of the year Andy Parks, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Rampart High School. Moring serves on the CSMA board as the Digital Media Coordinator. Nearly 1600 students and advisers filled the Lory Student Center on the Colorado State University campus in Ft. Collins Sept. 26 to attend sessions presented by representatives from the professional press and advisers and editors from a wide range of scholastic media programs. J-Day ended with All-Colorado awards and announcing Best of Show winners. Rocky Heights Middle School’s yearbook, the Nighthawk, was inducted into the All-Colorado Hall of Fame. 

The Capitol Hill Press Conference returns for CSMA members this spring. After construction prevented the event in 2019, students will be back at the Capitol March 2 to interview government representatives and media professionals, meet with their representatives and tour the capitol. Students will have the opportunity to submit work for recognition after the event. 

CSMA’s winter offering for advisers is in the planning stages. The University of Colorado will host the event with a tentative theme related to student media and mental health coverage.

Contests/Awards: CSMA’s One-Day competition is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6. Students will report on the day’s happenings and events in any media format they choose – video, podcast social media, print, photo – and submit content for judging no later than Jan. 10, 2020. Winners earn vouchers for participation in 2020 CSMA events.

The Capitol Hill Press Conference March 2 will also include contests for students. Work will be submitted after the event for competition.

FOR THE BOARD: The list of CSMA initiatives is long. The board is currently in an RFP process to select an executive director and partnership for the state organization. Anyone interested in the CSMA Executive Director position should contact President Annie Gorenstein Falkenberg, CJE, or President-elect Jessica Hunziker, MJE. Current Executive Director Jack Kennedy, MJE, will complete his term in July 2020. 

CSMA is also working with Colorado House Representative (and former media adviser and JEA Lifetime Achievement recipient) Barbara McLachlan to add adviser protections to Colorado’s student freedom of expression law. McLachlan is chair of the House Education Committee. In pursuit of updating the current law, advisers will potentially testify in February. (Some of Colorado’s largest school districts still hold publications policies that are in conflict with state law.)

CSMA continues to offer Press Law and Ethics certification for advisers through its course headed by Adam Dawkins, CJE. Dawkins will chair a committee to get the course online for advisers to complete and earn their certification.

David Fortier
Rocky Hill High School
50 Chapin Ave
Rocky Hill CT 06067
Cell Phone: 860-690-4358
Work Phone: 860-258-7721

Membership: Connecticut JEA membership is 10, up one from last year.

Events: The goal is, once again, to get the Student Journalist of the Year competition up and running.

Initiatives/Visions/Concerns: Talks with Vivian Martin continue. Martin is journalism chair at Central Connecticut State University. We intend to hold a statewide conference sometime this school year. In addition, I have begun compiling a statewide list of newspaper and yearbook advisers for future contact. The University of Connecticut has also begun contacting JEA members here to find out more about their students’ interest in journalism. Overall, JEA members here will have plenty of opportunities to share their thoughts and concerns as well as identify future initiatives.

Awards and honors: We missed our goal of running a state Journalist of the Year competition, so we are getting a jump on things for 2019-2020.

For the board: Members are looking to JEA for resources, advice and support, including models for collaboration.

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

Membership: Delware membership is at six, up four from the spring. Outreach to more schools is continuing.

Events: For the third straight year Padua Academy will hold a Convergence Media Day for elementary and middle school students to introduce them to various fields in communications.

Clare Berke
District of Columbia
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
800 Euclid St. NW
Washington DC 20001
Work Phone: 202-671-6320
Phone: 303-709-8304

Membership: The District of Columbia currently has seven members.

Events: I spoke with a new JEA member who is working on a journalism program for middle school students at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. Other members are helping plan the upcoming JEA/NSPA convention

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

Membership: We currently have 158 members. We promote membership through email blasts and at our regional conferences. FSPA will, again, offer the JEA Certification Exams at our state convention in April 2020. 

Events: The state convention is April 23-25, 2020, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando. We are also excited to host the 2020 JEA/NSPA fall convention. We had a preliminary meeting Oct. 21 to tour the hotel and to volunteer to help Joe Humphrey, the convention chair, in the various roles needed. Who doesn’t want to be in Florida in November?

Awards/Honors: The nation, our state and especially Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will never forget the horrific tragedy that took 17 lives Feb. 14, 2018; however, how their journalism students and advisers handled coverage in the aftermath is to be commended. We are not the only ones to think so, just ask Dana Canedy the Pulitzer awards’ administrator. Click here to read the New York Times article.

At the spring convention, FSPA named Susan McNulty, J.W. Mitchell High School, New Port Richey, Florida, the 2019 Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year

Special congratulations to Bridgette Norris, Boone High School, and Dan Sidell, Freedom High School, who will be named Rising Stars at the JEA/NSPA fall convention in Washington, D.C. 

This FSPA fall digital contests received more than 500 entries – making yet another record year. 

Congratulations to the National Scholastic Press Association finalists (winners announced Nov. 23): They included two newspapers, three broadcast programs, eight designs of the year, and one photo of the year

For the Board: Florida is excited to be the 2020 fall convention site. We look forward to sharing the beauty of Orlando and its fabulous theme parks. It’s going to be a fantastic convention!

Karen Collier, CJE
Veterans High School
340 Piney Grove Rd
Kathleen GA 31047
Work Phone: 478-218-7537
Cell Phone: 478-335-5476

Membership: Georgia has 53 active members. I communicate with them monthly via emails. We also have a Facebook group to further connect.

Events: Georgia Scholastic Press Association summer adviser workshop was held June 4-5, 2019, at Mercer University. Advisers attended sessions on topics such as visual composition and convergence.

59 high school students from around the country produced portfolio projects during the Media and Leadership Academy in June at the University of Georgia.

Georgia Scholastic Press Association summer evaluations were mailed out in September, and the fall awards ceremony was held Sept. 19, 2019, at the University of Georgia campus.

Awards and honors: The 2019 Georgia Champion Journalist is Alyssa Freyman (South Forsyth High School); General Excellence- All Georgia awards (Spring 2019) from GSPA:  Literary Magazine- The Iliad (Clarke Central High School); Yearbook- Beacon (Calvary Day School)

Cynthia “Cindy” Reves, CJE
Apt. 1707
Honolulu, HI 96824
Work Phone: 808-594-0400
Cell Phone: 808-398-5116

Membership: Hawaii has 14 JEA members.We have a working list of every scholastic journalism program for newspaper, yearbook, and broadcast in public schools. Next, we plan to create a list for a private school programs. This list will assist us in sharing information about JEA and journalism opportunities in Hawaii.

Events: The Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association (HSJA) and JEA members have been meeting monthly to discuss legal and policy issues related to scholastic journalism.

New Voices legislation: Hawaii has a New Voices House bill, which failed to get a hearing last year. The sponsor, Representative Takashi Ohno, has agreed to try again in 2020. In 2020, we will also have a Senate bill, sponsored by Senator Les Ihara. Two Hawaii JEA members will participate in the SPLC’s New Voices Training Institute in October.

Meeting with DOE and BOE: In the summer, a group of advisers and student journalists met with Hawaii Board of Education president and a representative from the Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design. We proposed a revision to the BOE School-Sponsored Student Publications Policy and the DOE’s Standards of Practice (not publicly available) for journalism courses. It was a positive meeting and we will continue to offer our assistance in getting clearer rights and responsibilities for scholastic journalists and advisers in Hawaii. 

Journalism Day: The annual Journalism Day sponsored by the University of Hawaii at Manoa was held Sept. 28, 2019. Six schools participated, four public and two private. We will work with the organizers to use feedback to plan next year’s Journalism Day.

William Love
Sandpoint High School
410 S Division St
Sandpoint ID 83864
Work Phone: 916-632-6500 ext 6624
Cell Phone: 208-890-6975

Membership: The Idaho membership is down since a year ago from 20 to 16. We did have a new member, and membership could increase with upcoming national conventions.

Events: Madison High School will host a journalism workshop Jan. 17. ISJA is hoping to help out with the event.

I will contact the University of Idaho to see if they will host a workshop for North Idaho schools similar to last year.

For the Board: I am stepping down as state director. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to oversee a state organization with the other duties I have at Sandpoint High School. I will help out as much as I can with a transition and still plan to be active at the state level. Please let me know what I can do to help.

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

Membership: Illinois current membership is 159.

Events: Heartland Community College hosted the IHSA Journalism State Tournament April 26. 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 Friday, Sept. 20. Nearly 400 students and advisers attended the day-long conference, which also included two write-off competitions.

Awards: Dennis Brown, newspaper adviser at Huntley High School, was named the 2019 IJEA James A. Tidwell award winner. The award recognizes advising excellence in the past year and throughout a career.

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. The Partner Project is an incredible program, but can it be expanded, and/or can we add new initiatives to address this growing need?

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

Membership: Membership remains the same as last spring, with 86 members.

Events: Accepting the challenge, students and advisers from across the state travelled to the Indiana High School Press Association’s 96th fall state convention in Franklin, Indiana Oct.18.  Under the theme Challenge Accepted, attendees learned new ways to take on the challenges facing student journalists and advisers. Student journalists became empowered to go back to their schools to practice journalism with courage, truth, integrity, and freedom. 

Highlighting the convention, Jon Seidel of the Chicago Sun-Times returned to his roots as the keynote speaker. Twenty years ago, Jon served as IHSPA student board president, and now returned to Franklin to offer wisdom as a former high school and college student journalist, and current federal courts reporter in Chicago. Paired with featured speaker Mitch Eden adviser from Kirkwood, Missouri, students and advisers were in for a special treat as they attended sessions in writing, design, photography, and leadership. They also celebrated student media successes with the Hoosier Star honors and individual achievements with the Harvey awards.

Awards and Honors:

JEA Rising Star – Indiana is proud that Roth Lovins, CJE, is one of this year’s Rising Star honorees. Lovins found his way back to his alma mater, Columbus North High School, bringing with him a drive to make the student media programs continue their long-standing tradition of excellence.

“Roth’s presence in and influence on the staffs of Columbus North’s national-award winning newsmagazine, The Triangle, and yearbook, Log, would be difficult to summarize in a letter,” said Kim Green, MJE, Roth’s former adviser. “It is a fact that Roth outpaced my expectations every day he was on both staffs! He did everything and did everything well.”

Now in his third year as an adviser, Lovins is committed to growing his own students in their abilities and their critical thinking. “Most of the time I play the devil’s advocate and make them think about the story from the other viewpoints and how people in the community might react to reading something that is more controversial,” Lovins said. “The main goal in getting them to think about these things is so that they address those principles that are part of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics —seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable and transparent.”

Student media honors: One Indiana newspaper is among 49 middle school and high school student newspapers and newsmagazines named as a finalist in the NSPA Pacemaker competition, to be recognized in Washington, D.C., in mid-November. Congratulations to the Carmel High Schiik Hilite adviser Jim Streisel, MJE, and Editor Carson TerBush for being named a Pacemaker Finalist.

Last, but not least: Indiana has high hopes of moving forward with its New Voices legislation. The bill protecting student journalists was filed by Reps. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, and Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, for a third year in the 2019 General Assembly but didn’t garner enough support to get a hearing in the House Education Committee during the first half of the session. 

The legislation was presented in 2017 and passed by the House 88-4. In 2018, a similar bill won 47-46 in the House but needed a constitutional majority of 51 votes to pass.

What differed in the spring of 2019 was the loss of support for the legislation among lawmakers. “There are folks who voted for it in 2017 and voted against it in 2018 as a result of the misinformation and fear-mongering from three administrative interest organizations,” Clere said. These associations represent state superintendents, principals and school boards.

 The bill’s author decided to not push anymore last spring because he felt the issue needed time to cool down after the opposing groups ramped up their lobbying efforts within the past year. 

Hopefully, the new year will bring renewed energy and support for students’ First Amendment protections.

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

Membership: JEA members in Iowa number 43, with six new people this year. Emails and contact by phone have been utilized to reach out to newer members. Attempts were made to entice them to attend the state convention.

Events: The Iowa High School Press Association’s state convention will be held at the University of Iowa Oct. 24. Facebook partnering with the Society of Professional Journalists will offer a training workshop that teaches students how to use Facebook tools like Live, Groups, Video, Insights and Safety features in their work. 

An early bird deadline was added when registering for the state convention to make the planning of it easier. In the past, schools waited until a week or two before the convention to sign up. Now signing up a month before the convention saves students a $4 late fee.

Borrowing an idea from the National Convention, IHSPA will distribute ribbons that can be worn on state convention name badges. The ribbons say things like Editor and Staff Member. The badges which are laminated press passes have been popular since being introduced several years ago. 

The Iowa Newspaper Foundation in cooperation with Iowa State University, Drake University and Simpson College has hosted a convention for students in the spring the past several years. The idea arose when it was decided the IHSPA convention would only host one convention a year in Iowa City instead of one in Iowa City and one in the central part of the state. The central part of that state has to travel several hours to Iowa City. The western part of the state, which historically did not attend conventions, was even further away. A representative talked with the IHSPA board this summer about increasing attendance at this convention which attracted about 90 students last spring. Feedback centered around how hard it is to find money, busses, subs, and time for students to attend, especially when they already attend the state convention and sometimes miss multiple school days for the national convention. No clear-cut solutions developed with this age-old issue. 

Awards and Honors: An Iowa High School Adviser of the Year will be announced at the state convention.

Susan Massy
Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
12701 W. 67th St.
Shawnee KS 66216
Phone: 913-993-7286
Fax: 913-993-7466

Membership: With 132 members in the state of Kansas, membership is up from past years. KSPA members can sign up for a JEA membership at the same time they renew their KSPA membership online. It’s easy and makes for one-stop shopping. 

Events: The annual fall conference was held in four locations across the state: Wichita State University, Kansas State University, Fort Hays State University and the University of Kansas and attracted more than 1000 students. This is a slight increase over the previous year. This year’s theme was Tricks of the Trade. The next big event will be the regional contest in February.


KSPA’s documentary video of the Kansas Student Publications Act: To celebrate more than 25 years of Kansas’s landmark law, the Jackie Engel Endowment funded a video for advisers to use in the classroom to empower their students to use their voices. The video was released last year and can be seen here.

The KSPA Courage in Journalism Award: Inspired by the 50th year of the Tinker decision, KSPA launched a new award this year. The new award was presented to high school students who showed determination, despite difficulty or resistance, in lawfully exercising First Amendment press rights.

The first winners of the award were Grace Altenhofen from Shawnee Mission North, a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against her school district that accused the district of violating a student journalist’s rights to photograph an unsanctioned student walkout, and Anna Cowden, from Blue Valley Northwest who covered a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former student against the school district and others, including Anna’s principal, as well as for her coverage of the fatal police shooting of one of her classmates.

Strategic Goals: KSPA has formulated strategic goals for the current year and the board is working toward goals for the next two years. This year’s goals have created new regional publicity materials that were overwhelmingly popular with members as well as a new regional configuration that was also a needed and welcomed change.

kspaonline.com redesigned: Another welcome change at the beginning of this school year was the redesign of KSPA’s website under the direction of executive director Eric Thomas. The website, in addition to being sleeker and easier to navigate, also incorporates a nearly seamless way to purchase membership, enroll in contests and critiques, as well as to pay for all of these items online.  Go to www.kspaonline.com to check it out.

Recognition: We are so proud of our colleagues and students, including…

2019 Pioneer Award winners: Amy Morgan, Shawnee Mission West, Overland Park and Sharon Martin, retired adviser Wichita East, mentor program member, Wichita.

The Jackie Engel Award honors the best high school journalism teacher in Kansas with a plaque and a cash award. The 2019 winner was Michelle Huss, Blue Valley H.S., Overland Park.

The Sunflower Award 2019 recognized a new adviser who shows enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program and aims to encourage him/her to remain in the profession. Jeni Daley, Shawnee Heights H.S., Topeka, KS was honored with this award in May.

KSPA Hall of Fame Award Winner: Ron Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in recognition of his years of service to KSPA — most notably for his work toward the 1992 passage of the Kansas Student Publications Act.

Friend of KSPA Award 2019: Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications 

Click here to see Kansas newspapers that have been named Pacemaker Finalists.

A special shout out to our 32 middle school students from Andover, Derby North and Turner who collected 28 awards in last spring’s national media contest. Way to go!

Report on a First Amendment Rights violation case that played out in Kansas.

Shawnee Mission School District settles in Freedom of Speech case

KSPA Executive Board Statement

by Kathy Habiger

After an ACLU lawsuit against the Shawnee Mission School District over students’ First Amendment rights violations stemming from the April 2018 National School Walkouts, the KSPA executive board began a long journey supporting the ACLU’s efforts and voicing concerns directly to the school district throughout the lawsuit.

Members of the KSPA executive board worked together on behalf of students to defend the Kansas Students Publications Act after a personal conflict of interest led KSPA executive director Eric Thomas to receive an exemption from helping in the efforts.

In May 2018, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Shawnee Mission students, and in the process, hired William Allen White School of Journalism lecturer Mark Johnson to write an amicus brief detailing how the student’s freedom of press rights had been violated during the walk out. Under the direction of then KSPA president Jessica Bowman, the KSPA board and other interested parties worked together to create a set of arguments Johnson could use in his brief. This brief was used by the ACLU as part of its defense of students’ First Amendment rights. 

Fast forward to March 2019, when the district and the ACLU agreed to a settlement in the case which required the school district to: 1) apologize to each student plaintiff and pay $1 in damages as well as commit to training its administrators in students’ First Amendment rights and 2) to adopt policies that clarify students’ rights to express themselves while on campus and to protect student journalist’s rights. After the settlement terms were released, KSPA president Kristy Nyp and secretary Kathy Habiger sent a letter to the school board June 22, making suggestions for how the board might best train its administrators in upholding the Kansas Student Publications Act. It was signed by the executive board and endorsed by Peter Bobkowski, Ron Johnson, Mark Goodman and John Bowen, all of whom offered their expertise to the school board in training administrators.

On the day after the letter was sent, the school board released a draft of a revised publications policy that it hoped would comply with the ACLU settlement. The policy was to have a first read by the board at that night’s board meeting June 23. After reading the policy, KC-area board members Diana Klote and Kathy Habiger issued a statement on behalf of KSPA during the open forum, speaking out against parts of the policy and asking the board to rework the policy to comply with the student publications act. Ironically, all five Shawnee Mission journalism advisers were out of town the night of the meeting, four of them attending the same journalism workshop in Dallas with their students. They reached out to their students and parents, encouraging them to contact board members with concerns. Also contacting the board with their concerns were the Student Press Law Center, former district journalism students and other members and supporters of KSPA. The board took no action that evening, preferring to rewrite the policy and present a second reading at the next meeting. 

After meeting with the district’s five journalism advisers who all gave input about policy language and context, the board crafted and passed its final draft of the district’s publications policy, which kept in place students’ freedom of the press and pledge to follow the Kansas Students Publications Act. Administrators participated in civil rights training July 31, which included the First Amendment rights of students. It should be noted that Jay Senter, editor and publisher of the Shawnee Mission Post, provided valuable coverage of the entire lawsuit over the past two years. It’s local journalists like him who keep the community informed of important local stories like this one.

While the board is proud of its efforts to make KSPA’s voice heard throughout this entire process, we know there is still work to do in educating administrators and school board members about the Kansas Student Publications Act and students’ First Amendment rights. We will continue to “fight the good fight” on behalf of journalism students and their advisers whenever the need arises.

Larry Steinmetz, CJE
Bullitt East High School
11450 Highway 44 E
Mount Washington KY 40047
Work Phone: 502-869-6400
Cell Phone: 502-727-8538


Membership: Kentucky has 25 active JEA members. That’s up two from the spring. We’ve been working hard to boost membership and grow journalism in our state.

Honors: The On the Record staff at DuPont Manual High School was named a NSPA Pacemaker Finalist.

Happenings: We held our second Kentucky Journalism Teacher’s Association Adviser Retreat. Our adviser in residence was Lakota East’s Dean Hume. Our attendees worked to build their network and we discussed starting the process for New Voices Legislation.

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

Membership: Louisiana has 19 members as of Oct. 1, 2019, which is up eight from the Spring 2019 report.

Events: The Fall 2019 JEA/Loyola Conference was held Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 on the Loyola Campus. We had 17 schools represented from Southeast Louisiana and approximately 160 attendees.  

We had session presenters from WWL-TV, NOLA.com, Walsworth, New Orleans Press Club members and Loyola Students from the Maroon, Donnelley Center and Brand Lab organizations. Our keynote speaker was Doug Mouton, WWL-TV Sports Director.

Announced at the conference was that Loyola University will offer for the third year in a row a full tuition scholarship to the School of Communication and Design to the JEA Louisiana Journalist of the Year to be chosen in the Spring of 2020.  They will then represent Louisiana at the JEA/NSPA Spring Convention in Nashville.

Loyola University New Orleans is the new sponsor of the JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year Award.  The Director of the School of Communication and Design, Dr. Sonya Duhe, looks forward to growing this partnership between the JEA and Loyola New Orleans.

The Spring JEA/Loyola Louisiana Conference will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.  The Louisiana Journalist of the Year applications will be due Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.

Awards and honors: As part of the Fall 2019 conference we presented the JEA/Loyola Tom Bell Silver Scribe Yearbook awards.  Parkview Baptist High School took top honors with their 2018-19 yearbook with the theme “The Eagle Has Landed.” 

For the board: Keep up the great work!

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

Membership: Maine currently has four JEA members.

Events: None to report at this time.

Awards and honors: None to report at this time.

For the board: Nothing to share at this time.

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

Membership: Maryland currently has 32 JEA members.

State Events: The Maryland/D.C. Scholastic Press Association did not hold their annual Journalism Day at the University of Maryland this fall, in preparation for the National High School Journalism Convention in D.C. Nov. 21-24. However, they planned two webinars for advisers, one of which was held Sept. 26 on “The Adviser’s Role: Tackling the Needs and Challenges of High School Journalism Today,” led by Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School journalism teacher and adviser, David Lopilato.  

Future Plans:  The next Maryland/D.C. Scholastic Press Association webinar will be held Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. on “Thinking Differently About Your Audience: Engagement Practices for Your Publication,” led by Alexander Pyles, a faculty member at the University of Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism. Pyles was previously a content editor at the Baltimore Sun. If you are interested in participating, contact Jay Goldman at  jgoldman@aasa.org for login information. 

In the meantime, we hope to see you at the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., Nov. 21-24. Click here for more information. If you are attending, we hope you will join us for a Maryland and D.C. adviser meeting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 in the Madison A room on the Mezzanine Level. It’s a great chance for us to form a network of advisers, and to learn about local support and opportunities. Please come, and feel free to bring copies of your publication to share.

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

Membership: There are 25 members in Massachusetts. (My outreach efforts have yet to bear fruit. I’m hoping to get some advice on this at the D.C. convention.)

Events: I attended the fall 2018 convention in Chicago.

I attended and presented at the spring conference for the New England Scholastic Press Association (NESPA), as well as represented JEA at the adviser luncheon. I also served as a judge for the annual Special Achievement Contests, which honor individual student work.

I attended the June meeting of the Massachusetts Scholastic Press Association (MASPA), where we discussed, among other things, the perennial topic of how to increase participation in Massachusetts scholastic journalism, where there has been an ongoing difficulty in increasing engagement. MASPA is also going to continue the process of having “All-State” honors in journalism, one goal of which is to identify early which students would be good candidates for the Journalist of the Year competition, as well as “Best of the Massachusetts High School Press” awards. 

We announced six students as the 2019 All-State Journalism Staff, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the talent in our high schools. MASPA held a reception for this year’s winners on March 27 at the Boston Globe. My recollection is that all six attended, and feedback was entirely positive. It was a fairly low-key affair, which I think was the right approach. Brian Baron, MASPA President, ran the contest and the ceremony. We’ve decided to streamline the process so that applications for All-State are automatically entered into the JOY contest. During this first round, there was some (understandable) confusion from students about how to apply for which one.

I also attended the first-ever MASPA winter adviser’s retreat Feb. 8-9 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. About a dozen advisers attended, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Numerous people said they’d like to see it become an annual event and possibly grow in scope and length. Once again, Brian Baron, MASPA executive director, planned and ran the retreat.

As I serve on the boards of both NESPA and MASPA, as well as JEA state director, I continue to try to use that position to spread the word on scholastic journalism and increase participation for publications, students and advisers in all of the organizations.

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

Awards and honors: Nathan Lau of Wayland High School was named Massachusetts Student Journalist of the Year.

For the board: The “watch list” for the All-State honors is something that has proven fruitful. Brian Baron sends out something to journalism advisers asking for them to send along names of current juniors to be on the “watch list” for All-State recognition during their senior year. It’s a good way for kids to become aware of it and start thinking about portfolios with a year’s notice.

Timothy Morley, CJE
PO Box 396
Topinabee MI 49791
Phone: 231-238-4788

Membership: We are currently at 79 voting members in Michigan. That’s a net gain of two members since the spring report.


JEA Partner Project: Eppler Junior High School in Utica was chosen for the JEA Partner Project. Reports from instructors say that the two days working with the yearbook students at Eppler were quite productive. The newspaper kids were only a part of the training for one hour, so they missed out on much of the instruction. Students said the team-building activities were the best part of the event. The Saturday workshop was canceled after only 10 students and their instructor signed up. Discussion at the September MIPA board meeting focused on the timing of the event only two weeks after school started. Teachers felt this was too soon after the start of school and getting kids to agree to a Saturday all-day event was an issue.

Critique Training: Several MIPA members have gone through JEA critique training. Most are people who have been judges for numerous years for various organizations.

Fall Conference: MIPA will hold its annual Fall Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing Oct. 30. The initial search for speakers is underway. Plans are to fully embrace the Halloween theme.

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

Membership: Minnesota membership is currently at 35 members, this is up 7 from a total of 28 last spring. A new member from Austin, Minnesota is not showing up on the directory yet, but she brings our total to 35. It has been nice to be busy sending welcome letters for a change.

Key Projects: Minnesota continues to be active with the New Voices legislation Our bill’s sponsor Cheryl Youakim is the chair of the education committee and was able to pass our House bill through a committee hearing March 5, 2019. Lori Keekley’s update is that both Senate and House bills are still active. It’s a two-year cycle. We are in a holding pattern until after the upcoming election. Both House and Senate members are still asking to hear from students and advisers. Often, advisers are unwilling to speak because of repercussions from their districts. Minnesota does not have a flash point censorship case yet to help propel this bill into the limelight. 

My projects: In addition to my work on JEA membership, my work on the NSPA board has also been focused on increasing membership in the Minnesota High School Press Association. I have also continued my work on the board of judges, and we will continue to revise the critique services to resolve any issues.

Awards: State awards will be given out at the Minnesota State High School Journalism Convention Oct. 10, 2019. Big awards in 2018 were Pacemakers to both the Echo print newspaper and the Echo Online paper from St. Louis Park High School. An Online Pacemaker also went to Rubiconline from St. Paul Academy, and the Knight Errant from Benilde St. Margaret’s High School in Minneapolis was an Online Pacemaker Finalist.

Events: Minnesota’s annual Arts Journalism Day at the Guthrie was taken over by Kathryn Campbell of St. Paul Academy. Although last spring’s event was cancelled because of a snowstorm, the Guthrie did give us a credit to use for this year’s event. This event is in the planning stages.

Our JEM (Journalism Educators of Minnesota) fall meeting had low attendance because of scheduling conflicts, but the five advisers present were able to get a great deal of judging done for the All-State contest sponsored by JEM. 

The Minnesota State High School Press Convention is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 at the University of Minnesota. State-wide awards will not be announced until then.

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

Membership: There are now 18 JEA members in Mississippi, up one from last 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.


  • Mississippi had 19 advisers attend JEA’s summer Adviser Institute in New Orleans. MSPA sponsored their registration. 
  • MSPA will host its third annual statewide fall convention Oct. 29 at the University of Southern Mississippi. Last year we welcomed 499 students from 35 schools, the largest event in southern Mississippi we’ve ever had! 
  • Our traditional Spring Convention at Ole Miss (formerly our only statewide event) had 558 student attendees from 35 schools. 
  • Six advisers attended our Jackson-area adviser social in August. Similar events are in the works in other parts of the state. 

Awards and honors: 

  • Gautier High School yearbook adviser Rebecca Coursey was selected this fall for a JEA Partner Project. The three-day embed really helped orient her and the rest of Gautier’s growing student media program for the year ahead. 
  • Last spring’s Mississippi Advisers of the Year: Katie Lewis (broadcast) and Diala Chaney (newspaper). 
  • Last spring’s Mississippi Publications of the Year: Patriot Vision, Lewisburg HS (broadcast) and The Charger, Oxford HS (newspaper)

For the board: Mississippi would like to thank the board for expanding and investing in the Partner Project program. This type of shoe-leather outreach cannot help but grow membership numbers over the long haul. Identifying young programs and getting the adviser, administration and staff all oriented early/pulling in the same direction should really improve the long-term odds of the program’s success. I would like to see us potentially make engaging with the school’s administration a bigger part of the game plan.

Erin Sucher-O’Grady, CJE
Clayton High School
1 Mark Twain Circle
Clayton MO 63105
Phone: 314-854-6668
Cell Phone: 314-807-3945

State Organization Websites:



Membership: Missouri has a total of 130 voting members. As of Oct. 15 there are 130 voting members in Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member).


MJEA (Missouri Journalism Education Association) Partner Events

  • Hosted STL SNO DAY Sept. 18. STL SNO DAY is an intense workshop packed with training and designed to help students learn and immediately put into practice methods to improve their website. A SNO Trainer was on hand to meet students where they were and take them to the next level. The day’s group instruction concentrated on showing methods to keep sites fresh, manage the content on the homepage, improve the look and utility of story pages and how to pluck relevant information from analytics to make decisions about coverage and promotion. 
  • Is hosting Design Day at Kirkwood High School with St. Louis Post Dispatch designer Carlos Ayulo who is Assistant Managing Editor / Presentation for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Is hosting their annual conference at Webster University on Wednesday, October 23rd. The conference offers courses such as editorial leadership, writing, photoshop and photography, among others, that students can select from. 
  • MJEA is featuring two two Missouri journalism advisers. For September, they featured Cherié Burgett from Staley High School and Elaine McDonald from Lee’s Summit High School. They are excited to continue to share these features.

MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association) 

  • Hosted a free, day-long workshop for high school students and educators interested in Journalism and Mass Media at East Central College Saturday, Sept 21.
  • MIPA is in year six of J Challenges! And MIPA J-Challenge 1 is underway. There are lots of categories students can compete in with the challenge: podcast, graphic design, feature article, and more. 
  • MIPA is also continuing their Monthly MIPA Photo Contest. 
  • MIPA continues to connect with Missouri adviser through “Thursday Tips” a weekly email packed full of classroom ideas for journalism advisers. 

University of Missouri

  • University of Missouri News: A 25-module scholastic journalism curriculum is now available. A no-cost, stress-free way for high school teachers to refresh their curriculum for lessons dealing with journalism, communication arts and related topics is now available. 
  • The Missouri High School Journalism Project is a 25-module curriculum designed and developed by the faculty of the Missouri School of Journalism, the world’s first journalism school.
  • Funding for the project was provided by the University of Missouri’s Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Office.

Washington University in St. Louis First Amendment Clinic through the Law School

  • Washington University in St. Louis has launched a brand new First Amendment Clinic at Wash U’s law school.  The law school clinic provides an opportunity for upper year law students to work on real legal matters under the supervision of a licensed attorney while providing pro bono legal services to members of the community. The new First Amendment Clinic is focused on providing free legal advice and assistance to organizations, students, journalists, and others on matters that implicate free speech, press or association. They are hoping to serve student journalists among others.

St. Louis Support: Missouri Professional Communicators Event – March 28

This is an event with a program specifically targeted to high school journalism students which will be held Saturday morning March, 28, 2020, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will talk about investigative journalism and the road to the Pulitzer. This will take place at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, 12 N. Jackson, Clayton. More info to come. 


Missouri Pacemaker Finalists in D.C.

Newspaper – Missouri tied with California and Texas eight print finalists each for 2019 Pacemaker Nominations!

Le Journal, Notre Dame de Sion High School

The Kirkwood Call, Kirkwood High School

The North Star, Francis Howell North High School

Central Focus, Francis Howell Central High School 

The Globe, Clayton High School

The Rock, Rock Bridge High School

The Marquette Messenger, Marquette High School

Panorama, Ladue Horton Watkins High School


Tiger Broadcast, Lee’s Summit High School

HTV Magazine, Hillcrest High School

JEA Rising Star Award for Missouri Adviser: Leigh Rogers made an immediate impact on the school journalism culture as soon as she started advising at Hermann High School.

“Watching Leigh transform the journalism program at Hermann High School has been exciting,” said Michelle Turner of Washington (Missouri) High School. “Ever since her arrival to HHS, she’s helped her students reach new heights in their journalistic endeavors.”

Much of Leigh’s success has come from her own drive to improve, but she also hasn’t hesitated to network and reach out for support.

“Realizing that she couldn’t do it all on her own, she sought assistance and mentoring from both JEA and MIPA,” Turner said. “[Rogers] has taken the skills she’s learned from other journalism educators and customized them to work in her small (but mighty) program.”

And now, Rogers is taking everything she has learned from others and her own experience to share with the rest of the journalism community. Rogers has written numerous articles for SchoolJournalism.org and the Idea File, and she has taught at several state and regional conferences, presenting on the culture of her program.

“I enjoy creating environments where students can thrive and where they can find passion,” Rogers said. “Every year, I watch my yearbook kids strategize, plan, and excel as young professionals. It is the most rewarding class I teach for this reason.”

Linda Ballew, MJE
2212 4th St. S.
Great Falls MT 59405
Home Phone: 406-727-2795
Cell Phone: 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 once again diminished. The number of returning members has diminished. This is due in part to retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs. However, the number of new advisers has started to encourage the MJEA board. Currently, MJEA has 16 members, which is a decrease from last spring, and although we have recently had an addition of two new JEA members, these advisers have not joined MJEA. 
  • MJEA President Beth Britton, the adviser of the Stampede and Russellog at C. M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana, 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. She is beginning her eighth year as MJEA president. 
  • Currently, Beth is working with the University of Montana on recruiting students into the Journalism School’s programs at the U of M. We are working with them as they develop new curriculum because of their merger with the Media Art School. Our goal is to help them update their curriculum as they look to the future for aspiring journalists as well as adding an education section for students or new teachers who are about to advise high school publications. The Montana Media Lab, which will have its launch reception Oct. 4 in Missoula, aims to provide workshops in podcasting, video, mobile media, writing and social media. MJEA will work to collaborate with the lab as it teaches media literacy and digital storytelling to rural and Native American youth in schools across Montana.
  • 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, because the turnover has increased from year to year, the new advisers avoid engaging  in working within the framework of the organization. Many new teachers are overwhelmed with the time-consuming duties and schedules of their days. Lack of quality teaching time within the duty day confronts them most often.
  • The gap left in MJEA’s executive board 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 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.
  • The University of Montana has reached out to high school advisers this fall with a workshop in the eastern part of Montana. Held in Billings Sept. 26, the Journalism Career Day offered students opportunities to work with professional broadcasters, journalists and editors as well as with U of M journalism professors. 
  • 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 adding content and providing suggestions for updating mjeajournalism.com 
  • This website, provided by SNO, allows us to provide information and resources to our members. It has been a vital link in our messaging and communication with members. Updated regularly, it is an aspect of the organization of which our members speak highly.
  • mjeajournalism.com
  • Maintaining and expanding MJEA and JEA membership continues as always to be a top priority. 
    • Britton and Ballew continue 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 an outreach to new advisers through JEA’s Mentor Program. She currently has graduated two Montana mentees in Lewistown and Billings. One of her former advisers, Kate Lende, will travel with Ballew to the Washington, D.C. 2019 JEA/NSPA Convention. 
    • Yearbook advisers comprise a majority of MJEA’s membership. Britton and Ballew have decided to take on more responsibility for the state journalism contest to ensure 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. These began this fall with an emphasis on broadcast workshops as this is how our advisers will be able to apply for CTE in Montana.

Information regarding the fall convention in Washington, D.C., 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:

  1. Photos of their students in action, their classrooms, guest speakers, etc. 
  2. Short opinion pieces written by advisers. Britton would like to have their voices on the site. 
  3. Ideas for other advisers – lessons, celebrations, classroom set-up etc. 
  • There will be no MJEA presence at this year’s MFPE convention in Belgrade, Montana. MJEA with PBS again will offer a two-day broadcast workshop in Bozeman, Montana, for students and advisers during this time. We have agreed to be a curricular group and host workshops for the 2020 Educators’ Convention in Great Falls.
  • Developing interest in JEA membership has also been encouraged by pointing to the value of JEA’s dynamic 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 can access for both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability. Thank you for the recent upgrade to the curriculum portion of the jea.org site. This is refreshing and current.

Awards: Meet the 2019 Montana Journalist of the Year Ahna Fox. Fox writes, “Starting freshman year, I participated in volleyball, swim team, tennis and journalism. Bigfork High School’s sports program and journalism class have taught me the importance of hard work, integrity and passion. Whether it be in sports, the classroom or on the back of a horse, I truly believe all my moments in high school have shaped me into the girl I am today. In the fall of 2019, I plan to attend the University of Montana Davidson Honors College to earn a degree in journalism. I am so excited to see my future unfold and experience all.”

Happenings: The University of Montana School of Journalism hosted a Media Career Day Thursday, Sept. 26 at the Billings Public Library in Billings, Montana. Check out the schedule for the day here.

For the Board: 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. Thank you so much! We will see you in D.C.!

From MJEA president, Beth Britton: Funding and support for scholastic journalism in the state of Montana is on shaky ground. Few schools offer journalism classes, and even many of the largest AA schools offer little more than a yearbook class or club. There are a few programs that continue to publish newspapers, offer introductory journalism classes and produce broadcast options. We at MJEA continue to stress the importance of journalism in the overall curriculum and aim to grow our numbers. Developing a support system for the few of us who teach journalism in the massive Big Sky Country is key – we need to bridge the hundreds of miles that separate our schools.

Please visit mjeajournalism.com 

Marsha Kalkowski, MJE
Marian High School
7400 Military Ave.
Omaha NE 68134-3398
Phone: 402-571-2618, ext 1134
Fax: 402-571-2978

Membership: According to the 9/20/19 report from JEA HQ, Nebraska has 57 active members. There still seems to be some overlap and confusion with renewal registrations coming through NHSPA, so I will be looking into that in the next month. The NHSPA registration is due Oct. 15 with the option to renew JEA at the same time.

Events: The big news in the last month was that Omaha South High School was part of the JEA Partner Project.  Advisers Aaron Stepp and Kim Wheeler hosted Val Kibler, Erin Sucher O’Grady and Mark Hilburn as instructors Sept. 12 and 13. Then, the group hosted a Saturday, Sept. 14 event at Omaha South for the region. More than 140 students and advisers had pre-registered, but there were only 100 in attendance because of the date being an ACT date and homecoming for a few local schools. Special thanks to JEA for providing the speakers. We had great local support from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha who provided breakfast, lunch and a mini college fair during the lunch break on Saturday.   

The NHSPA Summer Workshop was a success in July with more than 100 students participating in “Real Journalism.”  The camp director is Diane Schieffer, contact her for more information (dschieffer@epsne.org). Camp is held at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Dates for 2020 workshop will be posted soon here.

Awards and Honors: We celebrate Rising Star Angela Wolfe from Omaha Burke High School, and the Lifetime Achievement of Terry Pitkin from Scottsbluff High School. Nebraska had some students recognized last spring at JEA/NSPA and will have a strong group in D.C. next month. We also thank Bob Bair, retired adviser from Blair High School for his years as a mentor.

For the Board: Thanks for all you do.  It is hard enough to stay on top of our own publications and students, but you all find time to do that AND work for the rest of us. We are grateful.

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

Membership: Membership remains steady at 31 strong. Given the high rotation in the state with advisers, this is a solid number to continue to build on. As suggested in previous reports, the benefit of having an email alert notifying that a membership was about to lapse would aide in increasing retention of members.

Events: Southern Nevada Society of Journalists (SNSJ) was able to provide programming for newspaper specific sessions at the regional Jostens workshop in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic opportunity to continue to build a journalism workshop in the area and it was awesome that Jostens provided the space for SNSJ to use. Lots of thanks to Judy and Michelle Allen. The goal is to continue with this model next fall and to hopefully find an additional sponsor to help out in the spring.

Awards and honors: One of the longest tenured advisers in the area retired this summer. Nancy Thompson from Coronado High School was a wonderful adviser who helped out many teachers in the area with her expertise and bright smile. While there is no “official” award, as the state director, I believe she deserves some kind of recognition in this report.

For the board: As conventions continue to be planned, it would be excellent to be included more in the dialogue regarding locations. Orlando and Anaheim are wonderful convention sites because they actually offer opportunities at night for teenagers – which some cities just don’t. Or if they do, they are priced out of a school’s budget. Increased on-site events for cities that score low on the teenage audience meter would be great to consider and be part of a state director or member survey.

Adam Theriault
New Hampshire
Souhegan High School
412 Boston Post Rd
Amherst NH 03031
Phone: 603-673-9940

Membership: New Hampshire currently has five members.

Events:The New Hampshire JEA  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 available through JEA and throughout New England education organizations. In the next year, we will start promoting our first round of workshops, contests, and programs available to students and educators.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE
New Jersey
Cherry Hill High School East
32 Lumber Lane
Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059
Phone: 856-424-2222

Membership: New Jersey continues to grow its membership and now has 62 active JEA members.

Events: The GSSPA is getting ready for its fall conference, which will be held at Rutgers University, Oct. 28. This is NJ scholastic journalism’s largest event of the year, with teachers and students representing nearly 100 schools from throughout the state. Students and teachers will attend sessions throughout the day and will learn contest results for individual contests, as well for NJ scholastic journalism’s two biggest awards: the Distinguished Journalism Award and Overall Excellence.  To see the finalists for most of the categories, click here. The rest of the results will be posted soon.  Also check out gsspa.org for more information about the conference.

Nina Quintana, CJE
New Mexico
Eaglecrest High School
5100 S Picadilly St
Centennial CO 80015
Work Phone: 720-886-1149
Cell Phone: 303-817-9221

Membership: Current membership in JEA is 16. We are down five members from my spring report. The downward trend is due to teachers leaving schools and new advisers taking over at various school sites. I will be working on educating new advisers of what JEA has to offer as far as resources to support new advisers. There has already been more inquiry and interest in how JEA can assist with professional development.
As mentioned in the 2019 Spring report, a committee was formed to work on the communications pathway of study to meet the alternative graduation requirements set by the state. During this time, a new governor was elected and changes are in process once again. All items were sent to the College and Career Readiness Bureau in January as required. After speaking with the Director, Elaine Perea, Ph.D, we decided we would wait to see what the new governor will prioritize for graduation as town hall committees are already underway to discuss graduation requirements; however, we are able to rewrite course descriptions and develop the POS to meet CTE standards. This was a huge win since previously changes were made by people who were not knowledgeable on our content. We are also able to connect Precision exams to our course POS for end of course exam requirements.

Currently, one of the top focuses for the state will include the film industry, which falls under the Arts, AV & Communications POS. With Netflix and NBC Universal opening film and TV studios in the Albuquerque area, the demand for this POS is considered a high demand industry; therefore, the College and Career Readiness Bureau is looking to fund through the Carl D. Perkins grant. While this is good news for broadcast programs, this may prove challenging when building in POS to fund photojournalism or other print programs.
I will continue to reach out to New Mexico journalism advisers to increase membership. However, I believe this initiative will be a positive catalyst to increasing these numbers with broadcast and film advisers.

Events/Happenings: The NMSPA State Leadership Conference will be held in January. The planning committee has not yet met. However, meetings are expected to occur late October, early November. Additional conversations have begun about updating the current events to include things such as Podcast as well as how to more effectively manage the increasing demand for more multi-media production type events.
For the Board: As I continue to meet with representatives of NMPED/CCRB, the focus of these conversations is the continuous development of the communications pathway of study. It is important to continue promoting the resources and opportunities for professional development considering JEA as the vehicle for training and further development for future journalism educators will be a key as these conversations move forward. My first scheduled meeting for this school year with NMPED/CCRB will occur Oct. 29, 2019.

Katina Paron, MJE
New York
NYC High School Journalism Collaborative at Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave. 7-260A
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 718-755-6225

Membership: Our membership is holding steady with 34 members this quarter. 

Events: New JEA member Dennis Mihalsky (City College Academy of the Arts) started a campaign to incorporate journalism into all NYC public school curricula. His work has received attention from AmNY, NY Times, Politico, Bushwick Daily News and Kings County Politics. Mihalsky’s organization, Student’s Disrupting, held a well-attended fundraiser Thur. Sept. 26 featuring Manhattan Bureau President Gale Brewer calling the campaign “cutting edge” for NYC public schools. 

Mike Simons, MJE, Katina Paron, MJE, and Dennis Mihalsky and NYS students and advocates will meet with other New Voices advocates in Washington, D.C., in October to strategize with the Student Press Law Center on getting New Voices New York passed in Albany in 2020. To get involved in the effort, please email katina.paron@baruch.cuny.edu.

Awards and Honors: Congratulations to Harry S. Truman High School teacher David Roush for being honored with a Big Apple Award for teaching excellence. 

JEA NYS Director Katina Paron’s comic book-style journalism resource, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” is on its second printing. You can find out more here.

Marva Hutchinson
North Carolina, English Department Chair
Literary Magazine Adviser
Providence Senior High School
1800 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte NC 28270
Phone: 980-343-5390

Membership: Current JEA membership total for North Carolina is 67—up eight since Fall 2018. Advisers currently may join/renew JEA through a joint membership opportunity with North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association.

Events: North Carolina Scholastic Media Association’s Mountains to Coast fall regional workshops will begin Oct. 4 with the South-central Piedmont Regional Workshop sponsored by The Charlotte Observer.  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 begin Oct. 4 at Queens University, then travel across the state to UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill and East Carolina University in Greenville.

Former SI writer Tim Crothers continues to offer top-notch sports journalism instruction to students who participate in the Carolina Sports Journalism Camp. Forty-eight 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 2020 dates are June 24-27. Registration is open here.

The 2019 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 2020 dates are June 15-18. In the last three 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 2019 course, “Teaching Broadcast Journalism in the Secondary School,” was offered this July. The summer 2020 course will be MEJO 490, “Teaching Online News in the Secondary School.” This course will offer advisers instruction and teaching methods in online technologies and tools; designing and hosting a WordPress site; basics of podcasting; social media message, management and measurement; news coverage; storytelling and more.

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.

Lucy Smithwick, editor at East Mecklenburg High in Charlotte, has been named to Quill and Scroll’s national Student Advisory Board. She is one of 13 students serving the journalism honor society.

North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Candace Brandt, Brenda Gorsuch, Steve Unruhue, CJE, and David Jackson, 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 17 Tar Heels, the highest student media recognition.

NCSMA also awarded its annual Kay Phillips Distinguished Service Awards to Institute instructors Linda Drake and Cooper Elias.

NCSMA’s endowed workshop scholarship program allowed the organization to recognize four top-performing students at the annual North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute. The Daily Tar Heel awards went to Elise Trexler and Aidan Shelton of West Henderson High. The Don Curtis awards went to the two top broadcasting students at the event, to Kyla McGhee of Leesville Road High and Allyson Rabon of Wakefield High. Each of the four students received $625 cash scholarships.

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

Membership: North Dakota currently has eight JEA members.

Events/happenings: Media organizations in the state can become members of the North Dakota Student Media Association (www.ndsma.com), an organization providing media education and competition. NDSMA has a collaborative relationship with the North Dakota Newspaper Association and media professionals throughout the state. Last spring, students competed in approximately 50 different categories related to media. Here are the main winners from 2019: 

NDSMA plans to continue and expand its competitions the spring of 2020.

Maggie Cogar, CJE
Ashland University
401 College Ave.
138 Center for the Arts

Ashland OH 44805
Phone: 330-441-2860

Membership: The Ohio JEA membership is at 80 members, up from 71 members since the spring 2019 report and up from 58 members since the spring 2018 report.

Events: This fall, the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) hosted three regional workshops across the state of Ohio. A total of more than 850 journalism students and advisers attended the workshops. The region 1 workshop Oct. 3 was held at Kent State University and had over 320 in attendance. The region 5 workshop held  Oct. 14 at Otterbein University also saw high attendance numbers, with over 420 students and advisers attending. 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. However, a region 4 workshop was held at Bowling Green State University Oct. 8 with over 60 students and advisers in attendance. 

The OSMA board also struggles to reach advisers in the southwest and southeast regions of the state, an issue that is actively discussed at every board meeting.

The 2019-2020 annual state convention will be held April 3-4, 2020 at Kent State University, where the board anticipates more than 500 students and advisers will be in attendance. Besides more than 50 breakout sessions and individualized school team-building and training sessions, students will receive awards from pre-entered contests and overall publication critique ratings. OSMA will award over 1,000 individual awards to student journalists in pre-entered categories in writing, design, photography, broadcast, yearbook and online. 

For the board: The Ohio Scholastic Media Association continues to support Wayne Dunn as the JEA mentor for the state. His work is invaluable in connecting advisers to resources offered at both the state and national level. We are hoping to grow the JEA mentorship program in Ohio and we are currently seeking suitable candidates to serve as additional mentors in our state.

One of the largest accomplishments and highlights of OSMA in recent years is the addition of an active OSMA student board. This student board, advised by JEA members Karen Allen and Dean Hume, 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 board is currently in the process of creating an OSMA honor roll portfolio system which will annually recognize and award students from all grades for superior work in their print, online, and broadcast media outlets.

Darla Tresner, MJE
3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville OK 74006
Phone: 918-214-5512

Membership: Oklahoma currently has 21 JEA members.

Events: Oklahoma advisers are looking forward to our fall scholastic journalism conferences. The University of Oklahoma will host its fall 2019 conference Monday, Nov. 4. At that time, state awards for last year’s yearbooks will be presented.  Also, a wide variety of learning sessions for students and advisers will be presented by area professional journalists and advisers. During the advisers luncheon, invitations to join JEA will be issued as well as a report on the many activities available through JEA. During the fall, the state library association as well as FOI Oklahoma usually sponsor a First Amendment Conference for students. Sadly, due to the death of one of the sponsors, this year’s conference was cancelled. There is a strong desire for the conference to resume next year. Also, Oklahoma State University normally holds a Journalism Day with numerous sessions available to state high school student journalists and their advisers to attend. At press time, although a date of Nov. 12 has been shared, no further information about the conference has been received.

Brian Eriksen
South Salem High School
9375 SE Hillview Drive
Amity, OR, 97101
Phone: 503-560-3818

Membership: JEA membership is 42. State membership in our state association is above 50.


Fall Media Day: Member schools will be participating in Fall Media Day Nov. 6, hosted by Oregon Journalism Education Association and School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. For more information visit OregonJEA.org

Adviser Workshop: The OJEA Summer Adviser Workshop was held July 22-25 at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Digital Media Center at SOU. Brian Eriksen, J. D. McIntire and Bill Flechtner led the workshop. Ten advisers from around the U.S. attended the broadcast and print strands during the workshop. Next year’s workshop will be held July 20-23, 2020. For more information visit Adviserworkshop.com

Awards and honors:
TOY: Trisha Farver, from South Albany High School was our 2019 Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Teacher of the Year.

RAOY: Mary Rechner, from Lincoln High School, was awarded the 20190 Rookie Adviser of the Year.

For the board:
NWSP: Northwest Scholastic Press Association board voted in August to disband the organization and merge with OJEA. All events that had been supported by NWSP will now be led by OJEA. That includes the Fall Media Day and the spring Student Media Olympics.

Mentors:There are three mentors in Oregon: Bill Flechtner, Ellen Kersey, and Ray Hopfer. They are currently mentoring nine new advisers throughout the state. The mentors will be assisting at the Fall Media Day in November at the University of Oregon.

Beth Ann Brown, CJE
Northeastern High School
43 Privet Drive
Etters, PA 17319
Work Phone: 717-421-3504
Cell Phone: 717-266-3644

Membership: Pennsylvania has 69 members, a decrease of four members since March.

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) will host Student Journalism Competitions (SJCs) at six regional venues across the state throughout fall 2019. We have added three new sites: Juniata College, Bloomsburg University, and Drexel University. Student winners in each category will compete at the statewide event hosted at the main campus of Penn State University in March. Further details about this event will be decided later in the year. Sample prompts were also made available to advisers this year to assist their students’ preparation for the regional competitions.

New Voices: In August of 2018, Cyndi Hyatt (adviser, Conestoga High School) contacted Aaron Fitzpatrick (adviser, Freedom Area High School) about spearheading a New Voices movement in Pennsylvania. Both advisers reached out to several members of the House and Senate until Sen. Andy Dinniman agreed to sponsor our bill after meeting with Cyndi and members of her student staff in January. Cyndi and Aaron also contacted a number of potential supporters for endorsement and earned preliminary support from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, Point Park University, and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. We also made contact with the Pennsylvania State Educators Association. Cyndi and her students met with an aide from Senator Dinniman’s office and shared other New Voices bills as well as the template from SPLC. They communicated on a weekly basis and the Conestoga team received the first draft of the bill from Dinniman’s office in late March. Team members from Conestoga and Freedom then worked with Kate Plows (PSPA Vice President), the PSPA board of directors, and the SPLC to ensure the bill’s language was agreeable to all stakeholders, and sent it back to Dinniman’s staff, via Conestoga representatives, with some revisions. After that, months went by with no word from Dinniman’s staff. In mid-July, we reached out to Dinniman’s staff for an update, only to learn that our bill had a name (SB806) and several co-sponsors of both parties. Despite the initial frustration that stemmed from the fact that we hadn’t heard from anyone in months, yet our bill had advanced, upon review, we were thrilled. However, upon closer inspection, SPLC pointed out that some of the bill’s language was revised from the version we sent Dinniman’s staff (though we were not made aware of this ahead of time) and that some concerning loopholes now existed where they previously had not (specifically, in its definition of unauthorized expression). After conversations with Dinniman and the Senate Education Committee’s legislative and legal assistants as well as the SPLC, Hadar Harris emailed a memo to PSPA officers explaining our request to amend SB806. We forwarded her memo to those staffers (Toni Keg/Dinnman and Lisa Feliz/PA Senate Education Committee) on Sept. 19 and have yet to hear back (as of Sept. 23).

As soon as we reach an agreement on the language of our existing Senate bill with both Sen. Dinniman and the Senate Education Committee’s legislative and legal assistants, we plan to focus our efforts on members of the House while the Senate bill (hopefully) makes its way through committee. If we can secure a sponsor in the House, we’ll work on finding a co-sponsor (preferably of the opposite party, to make it known that the bill is bipartisan in nature) to repeat the process that proved to be successful on the Senate side. We are confident that we will have a sponsor in the House. And we also have the word of someone who is running for a seat that she will definitely sponsor and support the bill; let’s hope she wins! Another step is to meet with PSEA. Our initial sponsor from the House indicated their endorsement is critical in Pennsylvania. Meeting with them as soon as the bill is amended to eliminate the loophole is important. Frank LoMonte also provided us with a list of contacts in the state. We should be reaching out to them for support.

Awards and honors: Teacher of the Year: Denise Reaman from Emmaus High School. 2019 Keystone Awards have yet to be determined.

Doreen Picozzi, MJE
Rhode Island
Lincoln High School
135 Old River Road
Lincoln RI 02865
Work Phone: 401-334-7500
Cell Phone: 401-524-6517

Membership: Rhode Island currently has four members.

Awards and Recognition: Students in the Lincoln High School CTE Journalism & Broadcast Academy were recognized by the New England Scholastic Press Association for excellence in print reporting last spring. They include Adam Zangari (‘19), Jenna Laciofano (‘20) and Elizabeth DiMasso (‘20). Zangari, who reports on schoolboy sports for WPRO AM, was also inducted into the Quill & Scroll Honorary Society.

Happenings: Photojournalist Cheryl Hatch, thanks to SPJ’s #Press4Education, visited Lincoln High School’s Journalism & Broadcast Academy last spring, and established some lasting friendships. Our students embraced Hatch’s wonderful presence, and spent all too brief of a day with her to learn more about visual storytelling. Hatch is committed to returning to LHS this fall. She has become a true mentor and friend.

LHS Journalism Academy travels back to Gillette Stadium in November to participate in another highly effective Patriots-hosted visit to the stadium’s press box. About 50 students will be participating. Gillette officials provide journalism students with press kits and assign small groups to media outlets. Each group must produce coverage that reflects their medium as well as their point of view.

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

Membership: The JEA directory shows 22 members in JEA, down one member from this time last year.



Fall Conference: SCSPA will hold its fall conference Thursday, Oct. 10, at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Over 500 advisers and students are expected to attend the fall conference.  Literary magazine and yearbook evaluation and individual awards, as well as Bruce E. Konkle Rising Star Award, are presented during the fall conference.


SCSPA Fall (2019) awards: These awards have yet to be determined and handed out.

 Spring 2019 (handed out April 1): You can find a full list of winners online

Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year: AJ Chambers, Richland Northeast HS, “RNE-TV Live” broadcast adviser (Columbia, S.C.)

Journalist of the Year: Greyson Webb, Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)

SCSPA Scholarship: Kailey Cota, Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, S.C.)

Best Broadcast: “RNE-TV Live,” Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, S.C.)

Best Newspaper: Tribal Tribune, Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)

Best Online Media: Tribal Tribune online, Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.).

NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker finalists –

“The Buzz TV,” Fort Mill High School (Fort Mill, S.C.)

“RNE-TV Live,” Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, S.C.)

Marina Hendricks, CJE
South Dakota
South Dakota State University
School of Communication and Journalism Box 2235
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-6515

Membership: South Dakota has nine members – an increase of two from the spring 2019 report.

Events: The South Dakota High School Press Convention is scheduled for Oct. 21 at the University of South Dakota. The event, co-sponsored by USD and South Dakota State University, includes a keynote presentation, breakout sessions and a panel discussion featuring representatives from South Dakota news media outlets, Walsworth and faculty members from both institutions. 

Awards and honors: The South Dakota High School Activities Association sponsors the annual statewide contests in newswriting, photography, newspaper and yearbook. Winners are recognized at the fall convention.

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

Membership: JEA Membership is up in Tennessee. We have 74 members. That’s an increase of eight since last spring. 


  • JEA/NSPA is hosting its Spring Convention in Nashville  April 16-18, 2020. The local committee is hard at work. 
  • Tennessee High School Press Association will be holding its first workshop in Memphis Sept. 30 at Harding Academy. Jonee Lewis from WREG will be the Keynote Speaker. Students will attend various journalism-centered sessions throughout the day. Check out this link for more details.
  • Tennessee High School Press Association held its annual Fall Workshop at Lipscomb University Sept. 23. Bonnie Hufford, former state press director, was the Keynote Speaker. Students from all over the state attended various journalism-centered sessions throughout the day. 
  • JEA hosted a Partner Project at Kingsbury High School in Memphis, Tennessee. 165 students from Kingsbury High School were served during a 2-day training Sept. 12-13. Another 42 participants were served during a Saturday regional workshop Sept. 14. Check out this link for more details.
  • In June, Tennessee High School Press Association hosted its summer J-Camp, where advisers and students were invited to attend this 5-day camp to hone their journalism skills. 

Awards and honors:

  • The Sequoyah Scribe from John Sevier Middle School in Kingsport, Tennessee is a Pacemaker Finalist. The editors are Ella Miller and Balu Pushkas, and the adviser is David Flanary. At the JEA/NSPA Convention in Washington, D.C., the Pacemaker winners will be announced. 

Tennessee High School Press Association held a Write-Off Competition at its Nashville Fall Workshop. Here is the link where the winners will be posted.

Leah Waters, CJE
Heritage High School
14040 Eldorado Pkwy
Frisco TX 75035
Work Phone: 469-633-5955 x 25917
Cell Phone: 972-822-6950

Membership: Texas JEA membership sits at 342. Membership totals 358 for the Texas Association of Journalism Educators.


  • TAJE hosted a West Texas Media Day Oct. 22 for its members, featuring a free day of workshops and expert training on yearbook design, photography, graphic art, reporting, news writing, social media, video production and media careers.
  • The TAJE executive board will meet Friday, Oct. 18 prior to its Fall Fiesta convention in San Antonio which will run through Oct. 21. TAJE maintains Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to disseminate information from JEA and TAJE. 
  • The Interscholastic League Press Conference State Convention will be May 2-3, 2020 at the University of Texas in Austin. The Association of Texas Photography Instructors will host its Winter Conference Feb. 20-22, 2020 in Austin at the state capitol. 


  • TAJE hosted its Fall Fiesta convention Oct. 19-21. Laura Biel, science journalist and creator of the popular podcast Dr. Death, was the keynote speaker Saturday.
  • TAJE has partnered with JEA to offer a formal mentoring program to members. The program is available to new advisers (1-3 years experience) or advisers with little or no additional journalism staff on their faculty.
  • TAJE has compiled a comprehensive list of reference sources and websites that offer materials for journalism educators. The list includes other scholastic journalism organizations, some of which require membership in order to access the materials.
  • TAJE Pen Pal program: (coming in 2020) The TAJE Pen Pal program pairs advisers with different levels of experience and encourages them to communicate with one another monthly and/or more frequently as issues arise. 
  • TAJE has created a new Student Advisory Panel, a group of students representing different areas of Texas, serving as the voice for student interests with the State Board. Student Advisory Panel members will receive free registration to the Fall Convention in San Antonio.

Awards & Honors:

  • Leland Mallett of Mansfield Legacy High School will receive a JEA Medal of Merit Award at the JEA/NSPA fall convention in Washington, D.C., for his significant contributions to scholastic journalism.

Morgan Olsen
Rockwell Charter High School
3435 E Stonebridge Lane
Eagle Mountain UT 84005

Membership: Utah has 11 JEA Members.

Events: UCMA (Utah College Media) re-introduced the Coverage Cup at the symposium held at Utah Valley University in September. In its third year, this category for the Futures Awards is exclusively available to schools that participated in a Utah College Media Alliance program in the 2019-2020 school year (the Futures Awards in May 2019, the Bootcamp in June 2019, or the Symposium in September 2019). There is no entry fee for this category and all schools are entered to compete after completing the Initial Entry Form.

Schools compete against each other by covering a special-interest topic of their choosing all year long and submitting their work in late April as part of the Futures Awards. More information can be found here.

The UCMA Futures Awards will happen sometime in May 2020. According to the UCMA website, “The Futures Awards are designed to recognize excellent journalism by Utah high school students. Sponsored by the Utah College Media Alliance in collaboration with the Utah Press Association, the contest is judged by Utah’s college journalists, journalism professors and professional journalists. The Futures encourage high school students who show an interest in journalism to pursue their media interests into college. The award ceremony for the Futures will be held in May 2020 at the University of Utah. More details will be sent to contest entrants, but mark your calendars for a red carpet awards night to celebrate the best of journalism and media from Utah’s high schools. Oh, and there’s a cash award for the high school that accumulates the most points throughout the contest in each classification (6A/5A/4A & 3A/2A/1A).”

Rules and instructions for the Futures were sent out via email to high school advisers at each high school, but can also be found by clicking the “Rules” link. A list of categories for submission and rules for the contest can also be found on the UCMA website.

Awards and honors: We did not have a Student Journalist of the Year for Utah this year, but plan to hit it hard next year.

For the board: The student-led New Voices movement is still well underway in Utah, but nothing has been formally passed yet. More information can be found on the New Voices of Utah Facebook page here.

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

Membership: Vermont currently has four JEA members

Events: None

Awards and Honors: None

For the Board: Nothing at this time.

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

Membership: Virginia currently has 92 members, a decrease of 10 from the last report. We have 86 voting members.

Events: We are currently preparing for the second VHSL Media Championship event at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Sarah Nichols, MJE, is coming to give our keynote speech as well as to administer CJE and MJE exams. 

VAJTA has been researching all-state journalism staff specifications, and we are hoping to implement an application process in the next year. The goal is to work with the Virginia High School League to make the selection and prestige something akin to all-state sports teams.

The 2019 JEA/NSPA convention in Washington, D.C., is less than two months away! Chuck Todd will be our keynote speaker on Thursday night. Team Trivia returns not just for the students, but now there will be an adviser-only trivia night, hosted by Mike Simons, MJE, and Joe Humphrey, MJE. Hopefully there will be large contingents from every state, but if you’re on the fence, here is a pretty amazing promo video created by local chair, Meghan Percival, MJE, and local committee members Lindsay Benedict, CJE, and Chris Waugaman, MJE. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in November.

From Oct. 11-13, I will be attending New Voices Training along with Tiffany Kopcak (Colonial Forge High School). We’re hoping to get our New Voices legislation back on the docket in 2020, and the training will help us learn how to mobilize and empower our students to advocate for their First Amendment Rights.

Our annual jRetreat is planned once again for MLK weekend. This year, we welcome Michelle Balmeo, MJE, who will spend the day teaching us all about data-driven journalism and alternative coverage. Please consider joining us! Last year, we had attendees not only from Virginia, but also from from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Mark your calendars for Jan. 17-18.

Awards: Congratulations go out to Abri Nelson of Washington-Liberty High School for being named a 2019 JEA Rising Star. We’re so proud of her, and grateful for all her hard work and dedication to VAJTA and JEA.

Anne Hayman, MJE
Arlington High School
18821 Crown Ridge Blvd.
Arlington WA 98223
Phone: 425-876-6495

Membership: Washington state currently has 77 JEA members and 106 WJEA members (not including students). There are 46 members who are both WJEA and JEA members. This is the season for renewals, so these numbers are ever-changing. 

Events: Since the spring report, WJEA has hosted our summer workshop. This year, we were at Washington State University. The Edward R Murrow School of Journalism hosted us at their fantastic facility. We continued the “It’s All Connected” theme–that is the central message of our camp, so we opted not to change it each year. We had 65 student participants and 13 advisers. We did not bring in an expert in residence this year, as a cost saving measure. We did continue the student simulation; our theme this year was diversity. We encouraged students to look for diversity as more than a skin color or physical condition. The students were teamed up with members from each major session to plan coverage and take it through to publication/deadline. The state of the art broadcast facility was utilized in this as well.  

Journalism Day West was Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 at the University of Washington campus. We had 565 attendees representing 31 different schools. We had two morning sessions and an afternoon keynote. The keynote presenter was Gabriel Campanario. He is a Seattle based visual artist, illustrator and journalist. Much of his work is published in The Seattle Times

Journalism Day East will be held Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 at Whitworth University. At roughly one month out, we had 16 people from one school registered. Typically, we end up with 150-250 participants. Our keynote presenter is Karama Horne, a New York based multimedia content creator. Students will attend sessions following her presentation. 

We are in the planning stage for Adobe classes and our spring conference. WJEA members are beginning to put things in place for the spring 2021 JEA/NSPA convention in Seattle as well. 

WJEA members spoke at several yearbook trainings to educate our journalists and advisers on how the New Voices legislation impacts life in yearbook specifically. 

Awards and Honors: As part of our state critiques, schools can choose to be considered for our Emerald Awards (formerly known as Best of Washington). We had seven submissions for yearbook critiques, seven for newspaper/newsmag, two for website, and we had one broadcast submission for Emerald consideration only (no critique). Winners can be found here.

For the Board: Our board and the members who attended the planning retreat in June are concerned about the changes in the mentorship program. Much of the general unease is simply the newness of the program and not knowing a ton about it. They are curious how the new program is working and are interested in numbers/comparison to previous years. The general consensus from those in attendance was that the previous program was working well for us. Part of their concern is also the required CJE component for being a mentor. This leaves some really great mentors unable to continue/participate in the program.

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

Membership: West Virginia currently has six members

Events: Nothing to report

Matthew Smith, CJE
Fond du Lac High School
801 Campus Dr
Fond du Lac WI 54935
Phone: 920-266-5590

Membership: Wisconsin JEA membership currently stands at 60.

Events: The Kettle Moraine Press Association will be holding its annual Fall Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Friday, Oct. 11. It will feature a presentation by Mary Beth Tinker. Exploratory meetings have also been held for the creation of the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association to assist advisers across the entire state. The first board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Awards and Honors: Last school year we were able to honor a talented senior with the Wisconsin Student Journalist of the Year award, which came with a $400 scholarship for the first time. Information has been shared for this year’s contest, as well, which will also continue to feature a scholarship for the winner (at least partially supplied by the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association, for now).

For the Board: So far the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association has established connections with the Kettle Moraine Press Association and the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association as well as the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. We will be reaching out to other organizations for support as we continue to establish the group. Initially, for this year, the WisJEA will host the Wisconsin Student Journalist of the Year Competition as well as seek to provide professional connections among journalism advisers around the state.

Erika Quick
Cody High School
1225 10th St
Cody, WY 82414
Phone: 307-587-4251 x 5125

Membership: There are 12 JEA members and 31 WHSSPA members 

Events: Wyoming will hold the State Journalism Convention Nov. 4, 2019, in Riverton at Central Wyoming College (CWC). This year, the board voted to allow some of the yearbook and broadcast contests to become online submissions.  For the 2020 State Journalism convention, the board plans to allow all contest entries to be submitted online.

This year’s convention will have a keynote speaker, as well as specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops, and discussion groups. Other convention activities include vendors, an award luncheon, publication critiques, individual contests, and all-state and state champion recognition. New this year, we will hold on-site contest in Photography, Writing, and Broadcast. Anita Wertz and Erika Quick developed prompts and scoring rubrics for the contest. Additionally, we will run a workshop specifically to support advisers and share ideas and resources to help strengthen programs across the state. 

The WHSSPA Board of Director’s main goal is to work to increase student attendance at the convention and increase membership. The board met this summer in Casper for a workday and had a successful meeting planning for the convention and upcoming changes for contests. The WHSSPA website received a makeover and is now more user-friendly for advisers to navigate. Eventually, the board plans to move to SNO site. 

Currently, Jill Miller is President and Dan Morris is the Vice President. Greg Rohrer continues to serve as the Treasurer and Katie Raines is the Secretary. Teri Brantz, Lisa Gray, and Anita Wertz are the current Members at Large. Jill Miller and Erika Quick will fill the role of webmaster for the organization. Erika Quick will step in to serve as Executive Director for Dawn Knudsvig and start her two-year term. The board currently meets once a month, on Sunday evening, via Zoom. 

Check out our website.

Recognition, Awards and Honors: The Board would like to thank Dawn Knudsvig for her many years of service as the JEA State Director. Special thanks to Anita Wertz, who is a state mentor for new advisers. The Board thanks her for her support and work with new advisers in Wyoming.

For the Board: Most board members have never attended a JEA convention. Although board members were encouraged to apply for the first time convention grant, many members on our board do not currently advise high school, like our state president who was ineligible to apply due to the current criteria. Is there any support offered for state board members to attend the conventions? It is difficult to connect the importance of organizations like JEA when most have not attended. Our state is struggling. Our board has hard-working individuals, yet we have a huge disconnect to what is happening nationally. I believe members from the WHSSPA board would greatly benefit if they could attend and even judge/critique at the conventions. The opportunity would not only benefit our state journalism organization immensely, but would help us connect to the national standards set by JEA.

Laura Widmer
NSPA Liaison
2829 University Ave. S.E., Suite 720
Minneapolis MN 55414
Phone: 612-200-9254
Fax: 612-626-0720

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.

What’s new? We had an excellent year with a lot of changes. The first one was adding Ron Johnson to the NSPA team. Ron joined NSPA  July 1 as communications director. Ron replaces Amber Billings who was with NSPA for six years. During the past six months, Amber worked on a data visualization class and found a job that emphasizes that at United Health Care. Amber’s duties will be split between Ashley Tilley and Ron. We are sad to see Amber go, but excited about Ron joining the team. 

We also have some transition on our board of directors. Ann Visser and Sara Quinn will leave our board in October, and Becky Tate from Shawnee Mission North High School and Amy DeVault from Wichita State University will join our board then. Ann and Sara were instrumental in overseeing our new direction and leadership and we thank them for their commitment to NSPA.

We are really excited about Campaign 2020 Photo Exchange service. We’ve created a Flickr archive of student-produced photos of the 2020 national candidates and campaigns, and we’re making them available to our member student journalists for use in their student media. It’s sometimes a challenge for student media to find high-quality images that are current, let alone affordable or free. 

On the other hand, some of our members have images they’re willing to share. NSPA will have a collection of the current presidential candidates available for use. Not only are there instructions on how to select and credit the photo you want to use, our adviser team has provided instructions on how to get press credentials to these campaign events. 

Election coverage should be front and center in our news coverage. A huge shout out to Ellen Austin who presented this idea to me, and we moved forward quickly to make this happen. I want to thank Ellen and the Harker staff for taking the lead on the video component of “why” election coverage is important, now more than ever. It is so moving and should be shown in every student media newsroom in the country. Also, a big thank you to Mike Simons, Bradley Wilson and Tracy Anne Sena who contributed video, instructions, photos and vision to this project. 

The big unveil is in D.C. We thought that was appropriate. 

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. 

This year I am focused on a Student Advisory Committee. We will have our first meeting in D.C.! If you have students interested please reach out to me.

Kelly Glasscock continues to be a great travel partner. We have quite a few conventions signed and contracted for the near future. However, we continue to focus on what asset is there from our spring convention city that can make the spring convention so unique. Look for storytelling, songwriting and arts and entertainment to be featured in Nashville.

We look forward to a great convention in Washington, D.C., and this spring in Nashville. Come by and see me on the exhibit floor when you can. I’d love to chat about what we can do at NSPA to make your journalism life better.

Hader Harris, Esq
Executive Director
Studen Press Law Center
1608 Rhode Island Ave. Suite 211
Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202-785-5450
Fax: 202-822-5045

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