JEA names Geabhart its 2019 Broadcast Adviser of the Year
Christina Geabhart, MJE, talks to her class after receiving JEA’s Broadcast Adviser of the Year award presented by last year’s winner, Thomas Gregory, MJE.
The Journalism Education Association has awarded Christina Geabhart, MJE, of Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri, as its 2019 Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Geabhart, who has been teaching journalism for 17 years, has devoted countless hours to her own professional growth as an educator and adviser to help make her students’ experiences better.
The Broadcast Adviser of the Year Award is underwritten by Loyola University New Orleans School of Communication and Design and honors outstanding high school advisers and their exemplary work from the previous year, as well as throughout their careers.
JEA also named Andrew Chambers, CJE, Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina as a Distinguished Broadcast Adviser, and Patrick Moring, CJE, Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a Special Recognition Broadcast Adviser.
The honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony Nov. 23, where Geabhart will address journalism educators at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. She will receive a $1,000 prize and her school will receive $500, which may be used to buy equipment for the broadcast classroom or to fund student scholarships for summer media workshops.
The Distinguished Broadcast Adviser’s school also will receive $500 for broadcast equipment or to fund student scholarships to summer workshops.
Over the years, Geabhart has expanded her own knowledge of journalism and advising. She has participated in numerous educational experiences, including attending the American Society of News Editors Reynolds Institute, participating at state and national conventions, and earning her master’s degree in journalism education. From there, she has shared her learning and experience with the rest of the advising community, writing numerous articles for JEADigitalMedia.org and SchoolJournalism.org.
Geabhart’s experiences have provided her with many ideas and solutions to various problems — from school enrollment drastically dropping and impacting program involvement to new classes being thrown on her last minute — she has experienced everything.
“Five years ago, the superintendent came to me eight days before school started and offered me the opportunity to teach a new class he created — Sports Broadcasting, a livestreaming broadcast program enrolling students from all four district high schools,” Geabhart said. “Ten days later, we broadcast our first home football game.”
Through all of the changes and additions, Geabhart has maintained her focus on teaching students the process, ensuring they understand press law and ethics, and giving her students opportunities, something her students and students across the district have sought in increasing numbers.
“Last spring, the district saw the enrollment in [broadcast and sports broadcast] quadruple,” she said. “the district moved the program from one class of each to one class of each at each of the four schools. Due to my experience in the program, the activities coordinator chose me as the lead sports broadcast teacher in charge of curriculum, equipment and training.”
Geabhart’s reach as an educator extends farther than the four walls of her school.
“Christina Geabhart has a passion for helping journalism students succeed,” said Michelle Turner of Washington (Missouri) High School. “After the last school bell has rung, she’s not rushing home. She’s often guiding editors as they lay out the newsmagazine, assisting students as they proof articles, and advising broadcast students as they produce content for not only their school, but their community as well. She juggles all of this so students can become the best journalists they can be.”
Andrew Chambers, CJE, of Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina, completely revamped the journalism program when he started advising nine years ago.
“The program wasn’t consistent and lacked high expectations and inclusion in scholastic journalism organizations,” Chambers said. “The live daily show now begins consistently every morning and students haven’t missed a single show since I started.”
The success of the program Chambers has built is centered in giving the students ownership of what they produce, managing their resources and working with one another.
“One of my biggest contributions to the program was instilling leadership to make all content decisions,” he said. “I instilled a strong understanding of the First Amendment and slowly changed the school’s belief of my students from publicists to journalists. With the change in overall content came awards. With this new recognition, I also made it clear that students don’t produce work to win awards, but (they) produce award-winning work.”
Special Recognition Adviser
Patrick Moring, CJE, of Rampart High School, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has played a significant role in paving the way for secondary broadcast programs in Colorado. Moring, who has been advising student broadcast for the past 11 years, was the first to introduce a live sports broadcast class in the state.
“I believe giving back to the journalism community is important, which is why two years ago I ran for office and was elected to the executive board of the Colorado Student Media Association,” Moring said. “I am the digital media coordinator for the board, and during my current time on the board I have done my best to grow the number of broadcasting programs in the state.”
Moring’s work with his own students have helped set a high standard for what broadcast programs can and should be doing, and it provides opportunities for his students to advance their education and careers.
“I find continual joy in helping students make their perspective a broadcast reality,” he said. “Video production can help a student to finally express himself or herself and make sense of the world he or she lives in. It is that turning point, when a broadcasting package turns the corner from technical and journalistic achievements to pure art form, resonating with both the audience and the student journalist: This is the moment I live to see.”
The Broadcast Adviser of the Year judging committee included Thomas Gregory, MJE and 2018 BAOY of Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln High School; Adam Dawkins, CJE, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colorado; Alyssa Boehringer, CJE and 2017 BAOY, McKinney (Texas) High School; Karen Slusher, CJE, Eaglecrest High School, Centennial, Colorado; and Michelle Coro, CJE, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix.
Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.