JEA awards 2 Future Administrator Scholarships

JEA awards 2 Future Administrator Scholarships

The Journalism Education Association has awarded Barbara Bateman, CJE, of Daphne (Alabama) High School, and Laura Gordon Reska of University Preparatory Academy, San Jose, California, with Future Administrator Scholarships.

This scholarship is for current advisers who intend to earn a secondary administrator’s credential/license and seek a position in administration. Up to $5,000 a year is awarded.

Barbara Bateman has been active in the scholastic journalism world since she began advising in 2017, serving on the JEA Diversity Committee and the Alabama Scholastic Press Association while developing her passion for communication and free speech.

“I believe that the students should have freedom of expression as long as it follows SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) guidelines,” Bateman said. “We discuss First Amendment rights and its limitations at great length the first few weeks of school and touch on it throughout the year as the need arises.”

As an administrator, this freedom is at the foundation of what Bateman wants to see in her school’s publications program.

“I see the value in scholastic press and will never require prior review,” she said. “I would want an adviser that is not afraid to stand up for his/her students. The adviser needs to be dedicated enough to work towards their CJE/MJE certification and attend summer workshops as necessary. I want someone who is willing to take students to conventions and challenge them to strive for improvements every year.”

Laura Gordon Reska began teaching and advising after earning her bachelor’s degree in communication from Cal State-Fullerton in 2005. Through her own experiences as a student journalist, she set out to create the same opportunities for the students she advises, taking them to conventions, entering them in contests and providing an environment that supports student voice.

“I teach my students about their rights and responsibilities immediately at the start of each school year,” Gordon Reska said. “They are always shocked at what they are ‘allowed’ to do. It takes a lot of convincing — and educating — on my part to make sure they are taking advantage of their rights and covering what is important to them and their communities. Every year I give a lecture on the importance of avoiding self-censorship.”

Gordon Reska’s familiarity with California’s Education Code 48907 is not only impacting how she teaches and advises now, but it will be an important aspect of how she serves as an administrator in future years.

“I know the value of student voice, and as an administrator I will know the inappropriateness of censorship and pressure on student media,” she said. “I will be able to coach my administrative colleagues on this as well, especially when it comes to releasing information that should be accessible under the FOIA.”

Bateman and Gordon Reska will be recognized at the adviser luncheon April 18 during the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

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.

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