Spring 2020 Semiannual Report

Spring 2020 Semiannual Report

Posted March 15, 2020.

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

Memberships: Voting membership stands at 2,616, which is 19 fewer than a comparable time last spring; however, total membership stands at 2868, an increase of 28 from last spring. At least three voting members reside in each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. Texas and California represent the two largest state memberships with 315 and 297 respectively. 


Strategic planning meeting with JEA president Dec. 8-9

H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year presentation in Kansas City, Dec. 12

Board of directors virtual budget meeting, Jan. 19

Nashville 2019 convention planning meeting with local committee, Feb. 8

In-person interviews for JEA assistant director position, Feb. 10-11

Seattle 2021 convention planning meeting (virtual) with local committee, March 8

Headquarters: In early February, a search committee gathered to interview three final candidates for the assistant director position opening. The result was an offer to Lindsay Porter, and subsequent acceptance to fill the position. Porter will start her new role within JEA in August 2020. Connie Fulkerson announced her intentions to retire, which promoted the search. Porter will join the team, overlapping with Fulkerson for five weeks to assure a smooth transition as we head into a busy fall schedule. 

Conventions: I have been in constant contact with NSPA, the local Nashville committee, state and regional health organizations as well as JEA leaders as the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold. The disruption caused by the virus reaches far and wide, and no doubt has affected each of our members and their schools as well as the greater economy. Regardless of how the situation fully plays out, JEA and our joint convention operation with our partner NSPA, will have lasting implications. I will continue to work tirelessly and proactively to keep the health and safety of our members as a top priority, while serving the organization to secure a promising future. 

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

As I prepare this final report of the three-year term, I am grateful for the contributions of each board member and so proud of this team for the collaboration, flexibility, experimentation, patience and good humor. Each leader has served with passion and purpose.

Among other things, our team embraced a new model to conduct the annual budget planning meeting virtually, in part as a cost-saving measure so we could pay forward that funding toward a retreat in May when the next board takes office. I look forward to recognizing our leaders in Nashville next month and thanking them in person for their service to JEA.

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

  • Meeting with Kelly Glasscock, CJE, for a strategic planning session Dec. 8-9, 2019, at JEA Headquarters
  • Serving on the assistant director search committee, including final interviews Feb. 9-11, 2020, at Kansas State University
  • Serving on the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Ed Committee and working on its #Press4Education initiative
  • Coordinating the First-time Convention Grant for Nashville
  • Administering JEA’s online critique training, “You be the judge” (163 complete, 85 in progress, 248 total and 304 users in the JEA community on Participate)

At the end of January I had the opportunity to work with other educators on the Journalism National Advisory Committee to help ETS develop a new journalism Praxis. While this was not a specific JEA initiative, it was incredibly rewarding to play a role in determining which knowledge and skills are relevant and essential for teachers entering the profession.

I have also really enjoyed supporting other leaders in their efforts, serving as a sounding board when asked, brainstorming with our partners at NSPA, SPLC and SPJ as well as helping with tasks like creating visuals to promote the Partner Project and Advisers Institute.

Kelly and I had really been looking forward to our SXSW EDU campfire session “Gen Alpha Can Save Democracy — Will We Let Them?” scheduled for March 11, 2020. With the cancelation of the conference due to COVID-19, I hope we’ll have the opportunity to engage with education leaders on this topic in another setting. At the same time we learned of the cancelation in Austin just days before the conference, we have been busy monitoring the situation and responding to the evolving circumstances as the virus spreads and new information becomes available. As with much of our roles serving JEA, right now we are balancing the urgent, immediate needs with plans for the near and distant future.

When the new term begins May 1, among my earliest efforts will be appointing new leaders to chair Awards, Journalist of the Year and Scholastic Journalism Week. Please consider whether any of these roles might suit your interests, expertise and availability. More information will be available to members in the weeks ahead, but I’d like to make sure anyone interested in getting more involved knows of these opportunities.

Thank you for your membership and participation in the best organization (PLC, community, network, family!) for scholastic journalism teachers and advisers. I am humbled by your trust in me, and grateful for the opportunity to serve another term as president. The highlight is connecting with each of you and knowing we’re all doing our best each day to keep journalism alive and well in schools everywhere. It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever do — and one of the most important.

Working with our incredible headquarters staff makes it all possible, and I hope you’ll join me in paying tribute to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, as she ends a legendary career with JEA. Luckily she’ll be around to help welcome our new assistant director, Lindsay Porter, in August. With Kelly’s leadership and the fantastic office team of Cindy, Kate and Pam, the organization is in great hands as we work to support teachers, celebrate student voice and give members the resources, services and community they deserve.

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

As I reflect on this three-year term as Vice President, I’m surprised at how quickly the time has flown and the incredible things I’ve learned about this organization and the amazing teachers/advisers who serve our organization and students across this country. I’ve been lucky to work closely with an incredible network of state directors and SPA leaders. I’ve also been astounded by the time our board members, committee chairs, office staff, executive director and teachers commit to making JEA the top scholastic journalism association in America.

We’ve got a good thing going and I am so excited and honored that I will get to serve in this capacity another three years.

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

  • Participating in monthly Google Hangouts with the board to communicate progress on reaching our goals and to craft the next budget for this organization.
  • Appointing a new state director in Minnesota. We are lucky to have Kathryn Campbell on our team. We continue to have active state directors in all states except Idaho and North Dakota.
  • Working on the follow-up with First-time Convention Grant recipients from Washington, D.C., and prepping recipients for Nashville.
  • Promoting the application process for the 2020 Partner Project.
  • Serving on the assistant director search committee, including final interviews Feb. 9-11, 2020, at Kansas State University

I know that our members give so much of their time and energy to advance our field. It’s hard to be a committed volunteer, and each day I’m more impressed by the advancements we accomplish working together. Thank you!

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, I have worked on several items for the Scholastic Press Rights Committee. It truly is an honor to serve this group and organization. I’m humbled by the great work by SPRC members.

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, Megan Fromm, MJE, Mark Goodman, Marina Hendricks, CJE, Emilee Hussack, CJE, Cyndi Hyatt, CJE, Val Kibler, MJE, Jeff Kocur, CJE., Jackie Mink, Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE, Tripp Robbins, CJE, Kathy Schrier, MJE, Matt Smith, CJE, Kristin Taylor, CJE, John Tagliareni, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Audrey Wagstaff, MJE, and 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. I often respond privately to those on the listserv.

Blogs: The blog team posts content weekly 11 months of the year. (We take off mid-June to mid-July.) Contributors are John Bowen (three), Candace Perkins Bowen (three), Lindsay Coppens (three), Susan McNulty (four) and Stan Zoller (three). See jeasprc.org for their work.  

Write Offs: Jeff Kocur and Vince DeMiero wrote the spring and fall tests (respectively), and other judges include the committee members.

Podcasts (led by Kristin Taylor): We’ve had four podcasts since the last report. Most recent podcasts have been from January and February. The January one looked at student photography in crisis situations, and the February one talked about copyright issues in JOY portfolios. 

Social media (John Bowen, Vince DeMiero, Marina Hendricks, Jane Blystone, Glenn Morehouse Olson): This group posts to social media daily promoting information and SPRC offerings. If you don’t already, please follow us @jeapressrights and like on Facebook.

Panic Button responders (Vince DeMiero, John Bowen, Lori Keekley, Mark Goodman, Jane Blystone, Val Kibler): We support those in need of help through SPRC’s Panic Button. Additionally, I reach out to those (individually) on the listserv when they post about censorship or prior review issues. Additional members have helped in their individual states with issues as well.

FAPFA Award: I worked with NSPA and Quill & Scroll on the questions for this award. Nine schools received the FAPFA distinction. 

New Voices legislation: Work continues in many committee member states. 

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

I can hardly believe this is my last semi-annual report after six years of serving on the board. What a wonderful experience to work in the service of journalism education with such caring, compassionate people. Since the fall, I’ve been:

  • Working with curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers, MJE, and Abri Nelson, CJE, to identify curriculum budget needs for the next fiscal year and craft a strategic plan for the next phase of the curriculum. In February, we met in Washington, D.C., to develop a model for student-directed learning units that will be tested this spring. Our goal was to craft simple, technology-friendly lessons that students could self-pace through. These lessons will be designed especially for classes that have multiple levels of students (although they are also perfect for sub days). After we receive feedback and revise the model, we have developed plans for a summer work retreat to expand the lessons offered in this unique way. 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 fall convention.
  • Participating in two virtual board meetings to work on the upcoming budget document that will be voted on in Nashville.
  • Participating in other board chats.

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 1-year anniversary of Link.

Prior to the Washington D.C. conference, Link paired 40 partners for the fall convention. 

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

  • Contacting and welcoming 29 new JEA members by phone and email since November.
  • Attending the JEA board meeting at the Washington, D.C. convention in November.
  • Attending monthly Google Hangout meetings with JEA Board of Directors.

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


In October I presented two sessions at the Technology and Curriculum Conference of Aldine, a 3000-attendee free education technology conference. One session was “Empowering Student Voice,” on utilizing student publications, particularly online newspapers, to engage students and the community; the second was “Google Tools the Pros Use” on the training modules of the Google News Initiative. In both sessions I stressed the connections between journalism and 21st century skills, and I spoke briefly about JEA and TAJE. The audience included teachers, media specialists and administrators. My hope was to reach educators outside of journalism to show how what we do in our classrooms reflects many of the stated goals of technology education. In February I presented the Google Tools session again at the Texas Computer Education Association Convention and Exhibition in Austin.

I worked with CTE chair Nina Quintana to promote registration for the CTE certification exams provided at convention by drafting social media posts and emails. We attempted to broaden the appeal of certification tests by listing benefits for non-CTE programs. This supports the board goal to increase the number of tests administered. I have also taken the InDesign ACA certification, which helped me understand the challenges of taking a comprehensive software test that included functions and skills one would not typically encounter in a publications classroom; moving forward, the CTE committee should consider ACA study tips to emphasize those skills so that our members and students can be well-prepared for the exams. 

In addition, I have researched additional state certification requirements for CTE teachers to add to the more material on the website. From feedback we have received from members, we need to look at developing more resources that could be used by teachers new to offering publications for CTE credit. 

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

It’s hard to believe my time on the JEA board is almost up and, as cliché as it sounds, these three years have flown by. I’m really proud of the difficult work our board did to make shifts in our Mentor Program to allow for more mentors to train through our digital platform and therefore more mentees to get help around the country. 

We’ve had 25 mentors complete the training, 24 are in progress and 20 have started, which totals 69 mentors – all in under a year. As mentors finish the training, they seek to pick up a few local mentees and/or pursue a long-distance mentorship with a mentee who has reached out for help and hasn’t been matched yet. Our goal was growth, and while we’re still working through growing pains, I think we’ll continue to see increased engagement with this incredible program. 

Moving away from having states have to pay to participate has enabled folks from every state to get help, and the shift in funding to help get Mentors and Mentees to conventions together was incredible to witness. Our first Lunch and Learn, which mentors and their mentees attended together, was a powerful learning experience, and having my mentee Shawnee Rivera at convention with me was a highlight of my time working with the Mentor Program. We’ve come so far.

This ability to help get these mentees to a convention has been an incredibly strong selling point in terms of picking up additional mentees – especially in underserved areas – as well as the structure the Mentor Program provides with a minimum of a monthly check-in. I’ve had my share of “mentors” who reach out once or twice, but then I don’t hear from them again. I don’t see this happening with JEA’s Mentor Program, so I’m hopeful to continue to see it grow.  

I have the following suggestions for continued growth of the Mentor Program:

  • Schedule three rounds of training – spring, summer and fall – for Mentors so they can take the training at roughly the same time as others. This will make the partner assignment of the Collaborative Assessment Log easier and will allow for more Mentors to get in on the final Google Hangout together to talk about what they’ve learned, thereby completing the course and earning the mentor badge in a timely fashion.
  • Have two rounds of mentee intake – one in the fall and one in the spring. It’s somewhat of a logistical challenge to get someone a mentor immediately and it also makes the start/end of the mentorship unclear. Large numbers of people seek out mentors after finding out about the program at the JEA/NSPA Spring Convention and JEA’s Advisers Institute. I’d recommend adding those folks to a list and officially starting their mentorship when school begins for them in the fall in August or September. For those who request a mentor in the fall, perhaps after hearing about it at JEA/NSPA’s Fall Convention, their names would be on a list of mentees to start in January. 
  • Maintain an open, transparent document that includes a list of current mentors and mentees, both those that are matched and those awaiting a match.
  • Streamline the mentor reporting process – including adding a component about attending convention with mentees and attending the Lunch and Learn – to provide information that’s useful to send to Yellow Chair as they continue to largely fund this program.
  • Develop a program hashtag and encourage Mentors and Mentees to share about their experiences in an effort to elevate the Mentor Program brand. Promote the mentor training windows and the opportunity to get a mentor through the Listserv and social media platforms, targeting the Journalism Teacher Facebook in particular. 

It’s been a pleasure working with – and laughing with – Patrick Johnson, MJE, as he kept the Mentor Program afloat throughout a tumultuous transition. Kelly, Sarah and Val, your work ethic pertaining to all things JEA is admirable and I’m so proud to have worked alongside you and witnessed your commitment to this organization; JEA is so much better because of you three. Megan, your continuation of JEA’s strongest selling point, the curriculum, is exactly what we needed to keep it fresh and relevant. Lori, from the moment I spoke to you after pressing the panic button all those years ago, your knowledge of all things law and ethics has made such a difference in the lives of so many students and advisers. Laura and Mike, it was fun working and presenting with you on this journey.

To the next JEA board, you are in good hands and you’ve got your work cut out for you. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my time on the board, it’s that JEA is chock full of advisers from around the country who are willing to volunteer their time and energy, so know that we’ll be here to support you in any way we can.

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

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

The certification testing results for the Fall 2019 National Convention hosted in Washington, D.C., are as follows: 

Industry Recognized Credential Exams:

  • Adobe Photoshop: 5 out 5 who signed up passed
  • Adobe InDesign: 3 out of 7 who signed up passed

Skills attainment exams in:

  • Broadcast: 2 out of 2 passed
  • Digital Photography: 1 out of 1 passed

The committee would like to see the number of individuals signing up to take the exams increase; however, based on the previous two conventions, the trend has not shown an increase in numbers. We will continue to advertise and promote this initiative, with the underlying goal of JEA continuing to support CTE initiatives within respective states. Teachers and students who are not CTE programs can also benefit in building individual portfolios or adding to credentials, so this opportunity really is a win for all JEA members.

All technical challenges with proctoring the Certiport Adobe Indesign have been remedied and individuals were able to test in D.C. Now that we have identified the issue, there are no foreseen challenges in testing for the Spring 2020 convention. 

As a reminder from the Fall report: If a communications program is recognized under the CTE umbrella, participating in certification opportunities will assist in demonstrating that 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 that if programs are currently classified as a CTE program or are trying to work into this pathway of study into the CTE umbrella, certifications for both the adviser and students adds to meeting 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 that would like to become CTE pathways of study and to assist with funding issues that might provide additional resources for the classroom. In order to gather information so the committee can identify the needs of the JEA community, we are working on finalizing a survey that will go out by the end of March. The information gathered will assist in updating the CTE tab for the website and assist with setting goals for future projects. 

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 proposed a retreat for the CTE committee to focus on phase two of the website. This will include, updating phase 1 to include quotes and images, building templates for various programs to house information behind the “paywall,” and developing phase 3.

Moving forward, the partnership with Business Professionals of America as part of the CTE collaboration included providing judges to support the Photography competition JEA has sponsored in previous years. At this time, the committee feels efforts in looking at CTE focused organizations such as ACTE (Association for Career & Technical Education) would better serve our efforts moving forward. The ACTE conferences focus on various CTE programs from across the country to present best practices. This would be a good opportunity to see how presentations are run and look to setting up sessions that will showcase journalism programs as quality CTE 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. A fourth member will be named this spring

Information/Events: The Certification Committee thanks Cathy Wall, MJE, who submitted her resignation this winter, for her nine years of service as part of our team. Her knowledge, passion and keen intellect have made her invaluable in creating and reviewing our exams as well as encouraging JEA members to seek and attain CJE and MJE status. We will miss Cathy and wish her well!

We will be seeking an MJE to fill her position in the coming weeks.


  • We tested in Washington, D.C. (eight CJE and six MJE candidates) and Virginia (two CJE candidates) in the fall. We are again very grateful for the job Meghan Percival, MJE, did in organizing the exam and for JEA president and former Certification Commission member, Sarah Nichols, MJE, for proctoring the exam. Both Herff Jones (11 CJE candidates) and Jostens (10 CJE candidates) tested at their winter meetings. We already have several tests lined up for summer, Ball State (organized by Kim Green, MJE) in June, Walsworth’s Summer Academy (organized by Kris Mateski) in Kansas City and JEA Advisers Institute in July. Interested candidates should keep checking the test calendar at jea.org as more summer sites will most likely be added.
  • We will be testing 12 CJE candidates and five MJE candidates in Nashville.
  • We will recognize 24 new CJEs, eight CJE renewals, five new MJEs and two MJE renewals in Nashville at Saturday’s luncheon.
  • We are updating both the MJE and CJE exams to better align with JEA Curriculum as well as creating a vocabulary terms study guide for the CJE.  

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  

                    Nat’l 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 2,125 contestants for the Washington, D.C. Fall 2019 (29% of convention attendance). Our participation is steady, averaging 33% each convention. 

2) Updates to Contests

  1. Rebranding to the National Student Media Contests from Write-offs went well. We are still cleaning up a few areas where the “old” name appears and helping advisers get registered into the new NSMC system. 
  2. Using the new system in D.C. was an amazing success. Advisers and judges loved the ease of the new system and we had very few, but manageable glitches that have since been tweaked and improved for Nashville.
  3. We did decide to wait to begin using the new system for the Jr. High/Middle School contest until Spring 2021 as that contest overlaps the Spring NSMC, and we wanted to make sure we were 100% ready to have multiple contest platforms running at the same time.

3) National Journalism Quiz Bowl: We had 44 registered teams in Washington, D.C., making it the largest Quiz Bowl event ever. Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati took the top prize. Allie Staub has done an amazing job to make the event a convention highlight and elevated the event with ribbons for the participants and recognition for the finalists at the JEA Awards Ceremony. She has also streamlined the final round on Saturday so that participants are finished by 10 a.m. and still able to take advantage of most of the regular convention activities that day.

4) 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.

5) Upcoming JEA Contest Deadlines:
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

Spring 2021 Seattle (April 8-10)

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

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

Critiques due from judges Nov. 11

6) A Personal Note The JEA contest machine runs all year long. While the committee members all do amazing work, the center of this machine has been Connie Fulkerson. We are so very grateful for her dedication to the quality and integrity of all our contests over her career with JEA and she will be missed so very much by all of us who work on the JEA contest committee.

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

Membership: Aaron Manfull, MJE,(chair), Albert Dupont, Amanda Bright, Andrew Chambers, Beatrice Motamedi, Brent Pearson, Chris Waugaman, MJE, Christina Geabhart, MJE, Courtney Hanks, MJE, Dennis Leizear, CJE, Diana Day, Don Goble, Fred Haas, Jonathan Rogers, MJE, Jim Streisel, MJE, Jamie Miller, Jason Block, CJE, Jerred Zegelis, Jessica Roberts, Jillian Ryan, John Dent, Julie Tiedens, Kathryn Campbell, CJE, Kristen Rogan, CJE, Kristy Roschke, MJE, Leigh Rogers, Margie Raper, Mark Webber, Matt Rasgorshek, Matthew Schott, Megan Ortiz, Michael Reeves, Michelle Balmeo, MJE, Michelle Turner, Patrick Johnson, Roth Lovins, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Tracy Anderson, Travis Armknecht, CJE, and Valerie Kibler, MJE.

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 11 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,420 posts published (roughly three per week), 800,414 visits, and 1,403,372 pageviews.  Sixteen 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. Five committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:


  • Aaron Manfull, MJE – 31 posts
  • Jonathan Rogers, MJE – 4 posts
  • Sarah Nichols, MJE – 3 posts
  • Michelle Balmeo, MJE – 3 posts
  • Jim Streisel, MJE – 3 posts

Also contributing to the site during the time period was: Amanda Bright, Courtney Hanks, MJE, Tracy Anderson, Kathryn Campbell, CJE, Michael Reeves, Tracy Anne Sena, Jamie Miller, Don Goble, Jerred Zegelis, Fred Haas and John Beale.

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

Below are the most clicked posts/pages from the last six 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, MJE, 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. Currently, there are two advertisers utilizing the summer camp space. 

We will discuss our goals this spring, 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 4) Work with the CTE Committee to help post resources that can be of help for that group. 

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

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

The 2020 Journalist of the Year contest is underway with 33 state winners. We have also received our first international entry this year from Taiwan. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround to the judges, as each state director coordinated the state winner.

The national JOY committee has been tentatively set with a panel of 31-34. We are awaiting results from some of the state contests, which is the cause for this fluctuation at the report deadline. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents. One of the special parts of this contest I am thankful for is these judges will take on multiple portfolios during our judging timeframes, which is time consuming. They love helping and their willingness to go above and beyond is inspiring.

I have been working through implementing feedback from the 2019 contest. Lots of events to note for the upcoming 2020 spring convention in Nashville:

  • The newest addition is I will host a panel discussion on various topics April 17 at 11 a.m. Those involved with the JOY process have been invited to speak, but this won’t exclusively focus on the JOY contest. This will be a chance to hear perspectives on New Voices, covering sensitive issues like COVID-19, how to work with administration, what makes a portfolio stand out, how to work with administration, what you get from the JOY experience and other advice.
  • I will be also joined by the 2019 Journalist of the Year, Parker Davis, during the Oh JOY! Session April 17 at 10 a.m. This session will continue to be a mainstay to address the fundamentals of building a portfolio and entering the contest, addressing those questions.
  • Davis will also be joining us during the opening ceremony to deliver an inspirational speech April 16 at 7 p.m.
  • The fourth meet-and-greet at the 2020 spring convention will be a luncheon hosted by JEA for the national JOY candidates April 17 at noon. This is an opportunity for these students to network about the contest, their present or their futures, as well as celebrate and reflect on their accomplishments.
  • We also have the opportunity for those who can’t make it to the spring convention a chance to feel like they are, as we are broadcasting the results on Facebook Live from the Journalism Education Association page. Please make sure you have marked this in your calendar or on the convention app so you don’t miss it. We will recognize the state winners in Nashville April 16 at 7 p.m. Central, and the national runners-up and winner April 18 at 3:30 p.m. Central. 

I would like to take this opportunity to share with our members that the 2020 contests are my last ones as JOY and AYJ chairs. I have served two terms and have loved every minute of it. This opportunity has been full of learning and fulfilling to give back to an organization that has helped me grow in this profession. I am grateful to Mark Newton, MJE, and Sarah Nichols, MJE, for believing in me six years ago when I was appointed to this position. I am also grateful to all of the board members, state directors, judges and members — current and past — for your ideas and constant feedback to keep improving this contest. I continue to encourage members to send me suggestions for improvements. I plan to share all of it, including my own perspective, with whoever takes over. I plan to be involved in the transition process however much my successor and the board would like me to be. 

I would like to thank Kelly Furnas, MJE, and Nichols for their work at the international level to extend our contest beyond the U.S. I would like to thank Evelyn Lauer, MJE, for her help posting the state winner shoutouts on Instagram in March/April. I also would like to thank Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her constant attention to detail on processing contest entries and fielding JOY-related questions from all members. And a special thank you goes to Davis for joining me in Nashville for the spring convention to speak at the opening ceremony and to co-present sessions with me.

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

As of April 9, there are 56 active mentors. We are now at 24 states being represented by active mentors. We currently have 11 additional states represented through advisers participating in the training. Our future goal was to reach 35 in the following year; this looks highly possible as soon as those members complete the mentor training. We have 230 active mentees with a number of them getting ready to graduate from the program. At the conclusion of this school year we will have accurate numbers as to retention in the classroom.

Events: We will host our second Mentoring Lunch and Learn at the upcoming Nashville Convention. There mentors and mentees will gather together 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. 

The program’s shift to the two-hour Mentor Program Lunch and Learn in the fall was well attended and provided an opportunity for both mentors and mentees to learn together. In its first iteration, 38 people attended. The program’s second Lunch and Learn will be during the upcoming convention in Nashville (49 anticipated attendance). With the new model, a third hour is included in the programming. This hour is called the Mentor Power Hour and it is time for the mentors to meet and discuss issues without their mentees. 

The digital mentor program training rolled out during the summer and was successful–69 total teachers are participating so far. A majority of the trainees are current classroom teachers and they’ve all expressed needing time to complete the modules and coordinate with another potential mentor to complete the training. The program is self-paced, which means that teachers can have difficulty with immediate follow through with the course, but it allows for teachers to set their own pace.

Current Numbers from Participate

  • 25 completed training
  • 24 are currently in progress
  • 20 have started training

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 was Feb. 24-28, 2020 

This year’s theme was “Big Questions, Big Results” and celebrated 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. Each day highlighted a mini-theme using a hashtag. Monday, Feb. 24 #AskedAndAnswered highlighted stories with impact; Tuesday, Feb. 25 #TacklingTruth highlighted journalists who tackled tough and controversial issues, Wednesday, Feb. 26 #OurNeighborhood highlighted community and everyday journalism; Thursday, Feb. 27 #Press4Education highlighted the importance of scholastic journalism with SPJ; and Friday, Feb. 28 #WhoweAre showed the students who chose to participate in student media. 

There were a total of 16 entries in the daily “staff spotlight” celebration, including 13 different schools (eight of them new schools who have never been featured during SJW). They were all featured during the week on the @ScholasticJWeek Twitter feed and on the JEA Facebook page.  

Engagement was on par with the past few years. It was maybe slightly down from last year, but not by much. 

Emily Schneider from Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, New York, won the SJW design contest at the Washington, D.C., convention in the National Student Media Advertising/Design contest and her design was used in the lead up to the week and throughout the week.

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


FOR THE BOARD: This spring, I have:

  • posted on JEA Digital Media trending topics.
  • Breaking news right now includes the GMail add on that lets you access Adobe Creative cloud from your GMail account. From what I have learned, more Drive and Adobe Creative Cloud connections are to come.
  • The JEA-Flipboard magazine is going strong with 5,095 followers and 238 student stories published.  AWARD WINNING STORIES CAN BE SUBMITTED TO:  hswireservice@gmail.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.  
  • This year, I am hoping to attend an Adobe Education Leaders (AEL) conference. The next few months events have been canceled and the usual San Francisco AEL meeting has been moved to Washington, D.C., in July. The London meeting also might be rescheduled for August or November.  
  • I did ask Adobe if they would be interested in hosting a Journalism Day at Adobe headquarters.  They responded very positively to the idea. There are several options for the day including having a group of JEA leaders and students attend a workshop day with Adobe Creative Cloud. I think it could be a win-win where we could learn about new CC features and they would love to hear how we use CC with our teams.

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 JEA students great work. The NCTE relationship is still strong and they are a very willing partner to help us on the censorship fronts, 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

This will be my final report as the Publications/Public Relations chair. After six years in this role, the position is being eliminated and the responsibilities will fall under the new assistant director position. I am proud to have served JEA for six years in this capacity and will greatly miss the work. 

Since my last report, I’ve worked 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:

  1. NSPA/JEA in Washington, D.C: I covered the entire #NHSJC via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but mostly via Instagram Story as a Live Event.
  2. Award announcements and deadlines: Fall and Spring awards.
  3. SJW: Helped the @ScholasticJWeek account promote and celebrate SJW 2020.
  4. JOY: Journalist of the Year state winner announced on Instagram.
  5. Write The World: JEA continued its partnership with Write the World on its Op-Ed Competition. Promotional posts went live throughout March.
  6. Partner Project: Promotional posts went live throughout March/April.
  7. Promotion for Spring convention in Nashville and Advisers Institute in New Orleans.
  8. General breaking news such as the new curriculum leaders and convention contracts.

Total Followers on JEA’s Social Media as of March 6, 2020:

  • Twitter (@nationalJEA): 3,596 (up 328)
  • Instagram (@journalismeducation): 1,685 (up 105)
  • Facebook (@Journalism Education Association): 3,421 (up 85)

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 Nashville called “Always go back and other tips to investigate well.” Here is the session description: “Great journalism begins with great reporting. Great reporting begins with investigative research. Learn tips for how to incorporate investigative journalism into your own program through examples from the JEA One Book, ‘Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America’ by Beth Macy.” This session will take place Friday, April 17 at 10 a.m. in Presidential Chamber A, Level 2

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

SPJ CONTEST: I secured 26 judges for the JEA/SPJ writing contest: During a presidential election cycle, how can local journalism help foster more civil discussion in communities around politics and democracy?”

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

Introduction: Well, it’s been another successful, 53rd, year for the magazine — Communication: Journalism Education Today. All four issues came out early or on time.


This year, we have utilized the website for expansion of printed content and things such as answer keys to quizzes. Last year’s section on coverage of suicide, both including a PDF of the printed content and additional material, has been very popular again this year. So has the movie guide. Although it’s buried pretty deep and hard to find, accessible only from one link on the magazine’s page, we are putting a lot of useful information on the site.

We continue to use social media to promote the articles and advertisers with two tweets during the six weeks following scheduled distribution for each article and advertiser. Several of the advertisers have said how much they appreciate this and often retweet the tweets with their ads. I wish it were from an official JEA account. I’ve considered making a C:JET Twitter account, but that would be one more thing to maintain.

We formed partnerships with the National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll to help generate content. Gary Lundgren at NSPA picks a publication and works with the adviser to create a profile. At Quill and Scroll, Jeff Browne, MJE, helps me get content from the top individual award entries to profile as needed.

With new copy editor Beth Butler, we modified our workflow using Google Docs from initial submissions to final editing. This helped us get ahead of editing for 2020-2021 issues. We’ve been using Google Spreadsheets for advertising and Google Docs for story idea progress for quite some time. Connie Fulkerson will work through the first issue of next academic year, fall 2020.

We have $8,700 outstanding in advertising payments, the most in a long time, representing 61% of our advertising. Clearly collections need to be a priority.


Amount paid: $5,745 (40%)

Amount owed: $14,351

Goal: $16,000 (90% reached)

Amount due: $8,732 (61% outstanding)

FALL 2019, 48 pages


  • Cover photo by Abigail Roberts, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (Shawnee, Kansas), Susan Massy, adviser
  • Covering LGBTQ Issues Fairly and Accurately | By Bradley Wilson, MJE, and Logan Aimone, MJE
  • Take It Down | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Creating Infographics | By Howards Spanogle
  • The Podcast | By Jerred Zegeles, Jonathan Snover and Ellen Cowhey
  • Peer-reviewed Research: A Response to Hazelwood | By Kristy Dekat, MJE
  • Profile: The Pylon, Salina Central High School (Kansas)
  • Other contributors: Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, Claire Benson, Elizabeth Chan, Gary Lundgren, Chris Waugaman, MJE, Marissa Young

Advertisers: $3,259 ($2,057 outstanding)

  • ArchiveInABox
  • BetterBNC
  • California State University, Northridge
  • 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, 2019, 52 pages

The first issue ever printed on recycled paper.


  • Cover photo by Ryan Ash, Edwardsville High School (Illinois); Amanda Thrun, adviser
  • The environment
    • 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 | By Lori Oglesbee, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Carol Lange and Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Say This, Not That | By Susan Pavelka
  • Profile: The Mirror, Van Nuys School (California)
  • Other contributors: Ryan Ash, Madeline Emerson, Maya Lee, Gary Lundgren, Lori Oglesbee, Abigail Roberts, Kincaid Schmitt

Advertisers: $4,722.25 ($300 outstanding)

  • 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

SPRING, 2020, 51 pages


  • Cover photo by Iliana Ortiz, Claudia Taylor “Ladybird” Johnson High School (San Antonio, Texas); Velisa Jewett, adviser 
  • Issuu
    • CEO Joe Hyrkin and numerous scholastic media advisers discuss how they use Issuu and how it can expand a publication’s reach. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE 
    • RESEARCH: Adults spend more time using mobile devices than they do watching television. 
    • Integrate Issuu and Adobe InDesign 
    • Create Issuu articles for consumption on mobile devices 
    • Make a video or animated GIF to make social media posts visually interesting 
    • Monetize content, reach new audiences and incorporate video 
  • Look Differently with Al Drago by Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Peer-reviewed Research: Factors Affecting Censorship by R.J. Morgan
  • Engagement Strategie with Sarah Nichols, MJE, by Julia Walker and Emily Miller
  • Profile: Kodiak yearbook, Bridgeland High School (Cypress, Texas)
  • Chuck Todd tells students to focus on local politics
  • Word of the Year: Climate emergency, existential, they
  • Color of the Year: Classic blue
  • Other contributors: Joshua Davis, Sam Figgins, Gary Lundgren, Andrew Maier, Sarah Nichols, MJE


  • ArchiveInABox  
  • Balfour 
  • BetterBNC 
  • California State University, Northridge, CSUN 
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association 
  • InsideClimate News 
  • Journalism Education Association 
  • Kansas Scholastic Press Association (JMW) 
  • Kent State University 
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum 
  • Newsroom by the Bay 
  • School Paper Express 
  • schoolprinting.com 
  • SNO Sites 

SUMMER, 2020, 40 page


  • Cover photo by Iliana Ortiz, Claudia Taylor “Ladybird” Johnson High School (San Antonio, Texas); Velisa Jewett, adviser 
  • Helping Students Write by Timothy Cain
    • Kibler discusses Roy Peter Clark, her hero
    • Jim Lehrer’s “Rules of Journalism” | By Jim Lehrer
    • In 1913, Willard G. Bleyer published 11 strategies for writing. Clark updated them. | By Roy Peter Clark
  • Stylebook Updates by Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Have a Little Fun with Brian Wilson, MJE, by Trisa Dyer
  • Virginia Teacher Inspires by Mary Kay Downes
  • Academic Coverage with Quill and Scroll
  • Profile: The Communicator, Community High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan) by Gary Lundgren
  • Profile: Pantera yearbook, Mead High School (Spokane, Washington) by Gary Lundgren


  • ArchiveInABox
  • Association of Texas Photography Instructors
  • Balfour
  • Ball State University Journalism Workshops
  • BetterBNC
  • California State University, Northridge (CSUN(
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Imaginet Studios Books
  • Indiana University, High School Journalism Institute
  • InsideClimate News, Institute for Environmental Journalism
  • Jayhawk Media Workshop
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kent State University
  • Media Now
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • schoolprinting.com
  • SNO Sites
  • University of Georgia, Grady College
  • University of Iowa, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

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

Membership: As of February, we have 26 international JEA members. Canada, with seven members, has taken over as our most heavy membership non-U.S. country over China, which has six members.

Events/Happenings: We continue to see tremendous efforts by students in Canada to create a nationwide presence for scholastic journalism. A Facebook group for the Canadian Youth Journalism Project continues to grow, filled with educational opportunities in Canada, in the U.S., and online. Leading the charge have been high school junior Isabel Sternthal and Toronto-based journalist Laura Howells, who has been working with Ryerson University on an annual high school journalism conference. I’m especially grateful to Abrianna Nelson, CJE, and the student staff at Crossed Sabres for agreeing to partner with students near Toronto on a series of virtual exchanges about newspaper production.

Awards/Honors: Congratulations to Charlotte Lee of Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan, (Lindsey Kundel, adviser) for being named Student Journalist of the Year, International Division.

For the board: I still believe, at least on the international level, there is desire to find a certification or badging mechanism for students through JEA. As the vast majority of programs we have worked with so far are extracurricular in nature, students would see a lot of value in their ability to somehow document their journalistic efforts for college or other purposes.

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

Membership: Alabama has 21 JEA memberships. JEA membership is encouraged at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, at Troy University’s J Day, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth. 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 also on Facebook and Twitter.

Find SIPA events online. SIPA convention is in early March.

Alabama provides mentoring for new advisers.

Upcoming ASPA events:

April 1 Deadline for Multicultural Journalism Workshop

June 5-14 The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop.

June 5-7 The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.

ASPA Fall Regional Workshops:

Sept. 28, 2020 Mobile ASPA workshop, University of South Alabama Library

Sept. 30, 2020 Tuscaloosa ASPA workshop, The University of Alabama campus

Oct. 2, 2020 Florence ASPA workshop, University of North Alabama

Dec. 15, 2020 is the deadline for ASPA critiques

Feb. 12 & 13, 2021 is ASPA State Convention, at the Ferguson Student Center (12th), and Reese Phifer Hall (13th), both on the University of Alabama campus.

ASPA Fall regional workshop dates are set for September 2021. 

They are:

Sept. 20, 2021 Mobile

Sept. 22, 2021 Tuscaloosa, The University of Alabama

Sept. 24, 2021 Huntsville


ASPA’s 2020 state convention hosted around 400 people with over 30 sessions offered. A highlight at the convention was students visited the commercial TV station on campus, WVUS23, for news and sports anchor competitions. Students were able to use some of the equipment at the station. Onsite competitions for reporting, writing, photo, design and broadcast were held – 16 categories total – and a record 127 students competed in a wide variety of mock press conferences.

ASPA awarded 348 awards in categories across media (yearbook, newspaper, literary magazines, multimedia and broadcast). 

Troy University hosts J-Day each fall with about 400 in attendance. Faculty from the school, professional alumni and a JEA/ASPA representative speaks.  Registration begins in August.

Awards and honors:

Saylor Cuzzort from Sparkman High School won Alabama’s Student Journalist of the Year, the Rick Bragg Award for Feature Writing, and the J. B. Stevenson Scholarship.

Erin Long won Alabama Broadcast Journalist of the Year.

The Susie Dement Adviser of the Year Award went to Abby Jaillet from Clay-Chalkville High School and Renee Quaife of Sparkman High School.

Brookwood High School administrators Mr. Daniel Bay and Dr. Tripp Marshall won the Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year award.

Sparkman High School won the spirit award.

Other ASPA awards are on the ASPA website.

McGill-Toolen Catholic High School’s Ingenium was a NSPA Pacemaker finalist in the Literary Arts Magazine category.

Former Alabama Journalist of the Year Rebecca Griesbach has been named editor of the University of Alabama Crimson White newspaper.

Paul Apfelbeck
Galena Interior Learning Academy
847 Challenger Rd
PO Box 359
Galena AK 99741
Phone: 907-656-1205

Membership: Alaska currently has three members.

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

Membership: Arizona currently has 39 voting JEA members. Dorian Studios just became a non-voting member. This number is down from the 51 in the fall. This could be attributed to schools needing to complete the necessary paperwork to renew memberships. The Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA)  hosted an adviser workshop early on in the school year to connect with new advisers. AIPA’s intent is to follow up with those who attended the event to ensure membership in both AIPA and JEA. 

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

For the 2020 Fall Convention, AIPA recently agreed to change the venue to The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication located in downtown Phoenix to be held October 12, 2020 during their fall recess. Both parties are excited about the change and look forward to forging a closer relationship with the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

The Spring Adviser Reception is tentatively set for Friday, May 8. Location and times TBD.

AIPA cancelled last summer’s workshop for students and advisers due to low registration numbers. The board continues to discuss the relevance of a summer workshop and how to support it. For now, we promote the summer programs offered by The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. 

Awards/Honors: Arizona does not have a JOY entry for the national competition. 

The nomination and ballot process for Arizona’s advisers of the year will commence in March. The winning advisers will be recognized at both the Spring Reception in May and at the Fall Convention in October.

For the Board: AIPA would like to recognize Peggy Gregory for her life-long dedication and support of scholastic journalism in Arizona as well as the rest of the United States. Gregory has served AIPA and JEA in some capacity for 40 years. 

AIPA is looking for a solution to manage membership to be more instrumental in ensuring journalism programs and their advisers become members in both JEA and AIPA. Anything JEA can do to support management of state members for scholastic press associations would be helpful. 

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

Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) www.azaipa.org

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

Membership: Arkansas held steady at 44 JEA members. Beginning this year, we have worked with our state level organization (ASPA) and now allow members to register with JEA when they sign up for ASPA.

Major Developments: I have worked on both a developmental and national advisory committee to help develop a journalism test for novice journalism teachers. 

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.  

Lastly, I just completed our JOY application process and have also selected the second Arkansas All-State Journalism Team. 

Arkansas State Press Association News: I attended the board’s spring convention planning meeting and finished both the newspaper and yearbook critiques for our state organization modeled after the NSPA rubric.    

Outreach: During the last report, I detailed my plans to send monthly messages to Arkansas JEA members with links to JEA content. To be honest, it’s been a hectic year at my school and I have not done as well at this as I anticipated. My plan is to attack this in a more concentrated way. 

For the Board: I know I write this every time, but I think it would help a lot of journalism teachers justify convention attendance to leery administrators. 

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.

Lastly, I’d like to reach out and thank the leadership for their work for the Nashville convention. I know the current virus situation has caused concern and consternation, but I have faith that you all are doing the best thing possible for the organization, our membership, and the students. Thank you. 

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

Membership: California currently has 282 members There are two major regional branches- JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California).  


Annual Contest: JEANC is currently accepting entries for their publication contest that recognizes excellence in over 50 publication categories. The deadline for submission is April 15. They have also moved their Best of the West competition to the spring to help encourage more students to apply.

Membership: JEANC continues to work to increase their membership by offering incentives including Honor Cords for senior graduates, a new lifetime membership option and opportunities to connect and collaborate through workshops and social activities.

New President: Rod Satterthwaite from Palo Alto High School has begun his term as JEANC President.


Los Angeles JEA/NSPA 2022 Spring Journalism Convention: Though still two years away, Southern California advisers will be gearing up again next year to begin preparations for the spring National High School Journalism Convention. We will be looking for advisers to join the committee and prepare our city for the nation. A chair will be named at a later date and he/she will be reaching out to local advisers to participate in the planning process.

Southern California Student Media Contest: So Cal JEA has rebranded their annual write off competitions to follow the National model. Regional contents were held across Southern California through the beginning of March to qualify students to attend the competition for all of Southern California. Hundreds of students travelled to Fullerton College March 14 to compete in 14 categories. In addition to the Media Contests, SCJEA held a board meeting at the event as well as interviewed students for the Jolene Combs Memorial Scholarship and entertained students and advisers with a journalism bowl.

California All Stars Competition: SCJEA members from 19 schools submitted their students’ best work to the All Star competition. SCJEA offers a range of categories from news to yearbook to photography to broadcast. 

Awards and Honors

JOY: Nineteen advisers judged 13 JOY portfolios: 10 from JEANC and three from SCJEA. Eric Fang from The Harker School (adviser Ellen Austin) won the state competition and will represent California in the national JOY competition. 

We also named a Southern California Journalist of the Year, Ava Seccuro from Beverly Hills High School (adviser Gaby Doyle), who will not be continuing on to the national JOY competition.

We saw a significant increase in JOY applicants this year. For next year’s competition, I will be reviewing the process with both the JEANC and SoCal JEA boards for streamlining the submission process as well as how to ensure the adviser plays a larger role in the nomination.

First Amendment Press Freedom Awards: Three schools from California have earned the 2020 Press Freedom Award: The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles

Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco

Monta Vista High School, Cupertino

Additionally, in honor of Press Freedom Day, JEANC made a $500 contribution to the Student Press Law Center.

NSPA Pacemaker Awards: 12 California schools are Pacemaker finalists for the awards that will be presented in Nashville: Five schools are Online Pacemaker finalists and seven schools are Yearbook finalists.

For The Board: I know the lead up to Nashville has been very stressful for you all. Thank you for being so thoughtful with not only the health of our students, but also the health of our organization.

Justin Daigle, MJE
Brighton High School
270 S 8th Ave
Brighton CO 80601
Phone: 303-655-4156

Membership: Colorado has 81 current members of JEA. In year’s past, we have witnessed membership increase in the spring due to the fact that our individual contest deadlines are in April and publication critiques are due in June.

Events/Happenings: The annual CSMA Capitol Hill Press Conference occurred March 2. Students were able to question Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D-Durgano) and Sen. Paul Lundeen (R-Monument) about their positions on a wide range of education issues. Both are members of their respective chambers’ education committees. They also learned of the progress of our HB20-1062 bill to add adviser protections to our state law. Governor Jared Polis greeted attendees briefly, and then students had the rest of the day to meet their own legislators, tour the capitol building, and observe from the galleries. They even had a chance to talk with some anti-vaccination law protesters.

CSMA’s Summer Adviser Workshop and the Rethink workshop will be June 3-5 at Rock Canyon High School.

Awards/Honors: Colorado’s student journalist of the year (Dorothy Greer Scholarship) is Jivan West from Fairview High School in Boulder, (adviser Claire-Maria Broaddus). Runner up winner is Taylor Mean, Highlands Ranch High School in Highlands Ranch (adviser Erin Tuttle). 

Individual student media contests – the CSMA Best of Colorado awards – are due April 8. Featuring $250 cash prizes for both the individual winners and their school student media programs, Designer, Photographer, Middle School/Junior High Journalist, Broadcast Journalist and Reporter of the year contest deadlines are April 15.

Mark Newton, MJE, will receive the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award and Jessica Hunziker, MJE, will be recognized as a JEA Yearbook Special Recognition adviser.

We had several winners in 2019 NSPA Individual Awards.

We had 12 student medias nominated for CSPA Crowns.

We had five student medias nominated for NSPA Pacemakers.

For the Board: The board posted on both the JEA and CSMA listservs our Executive Board Position. Anyone interested in the CSMA Executive Director position should contact President Jessica Hunziker, MJE, President-Elect Kristi Rathbum, MJE, or current Executive Director Jack Kennedy, MJE, who will complete his term in July 2020. 

CSMA met with their newly elected board along with Marta Hedde, former CHSPA president (now retired) in January to finalize the wording to add adviser protections to Colorado’s student freedom of expression law HB20-1062. Hedde worked with other courageous advisers and legislators who wrote and won passage for the 1990 law. CSMA has been working with Colorado House Representative (and former Durango HS’s El Diablo newspaper and JEA Lifetime Achievement recipient) Barbara McLachlan through this process as she is the chair of the House Education Committee. The first reading of the bill went before the House Feb. 6 as CSMA Advocacy Coordinator Sergio Yanes organized documents and live testimony for the hearing as Hedde, Executive Director Jack Kennedy, Overland High School teacher Laura Sudik Vrable and our current CSMA Adviser of the Year, Patrick Moring, from Rampart High School testified. Lori Schafer, who was editor of The Scout nine years ago when Laura was harassed by her principal, testified as well. Each speaker had three minutes to present arguments and then the committee was able to ask follow-up questions of each of the two four-person panels. The law was enthusiastically endorsed in a 13-0 vote by the House Education Committee.A third reading took place Feb. 13 and it passed unanimously 59-0. It was passed by the Senate Education committee 5-0 March 4.  

At time of turning in this report, the bill was in its final reading of the Senate. 

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

Membership: Currently, membership is 12, up a tad from previous years. 

Events/Happenings: Connecticut JEA co-sponsored, along with CCSU Department of Journalism/Robert C. Vance Endowed Chair in Journalism, CCSU Media Board, a Journalism Day for students, their teachers and advisers. The event was held Feb. 28 at CCSU. Weatherman Darren Sweeney was the keynote speaker at breakfast and Jon Ringel, from Stratford High School, adviser for the Stratford Rams, spoke at lunch. Students could choose from three workshops: ethics, sports or news. The day ended with an interactive session on taking photos with an iphone. The event drew 120 students in addition to their teachers and advisers. A date has been set for next year–Feb. 26. Many thanks to Dr. Vivian Martin, chair of the Journalism Deptartment, and her staff for making the day possible.

Awards/Honors: This year we posted materials for the Connecticut JOY but did not receive any applications. Next year, one of the goals is to publicize the competition more broadly.

For the Board: All things journalism are approached differently in the East. Still figuring out how to drive the conversation toward some common goals and more fruitful conversations.

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

Membership: Current membership is six.  

Events/Happenings: There are no events planned at this time. 

Awards/Honors: Unfortunately Delaware did not produce a JOY candidate this year after two years in a row. Hopefully we will fix that next year. 

For the Board: None at this time.

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: Washington, D.C. currently has seven members.

No report.

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

Membership: We currently have 129 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. Joe Humphrey is the local convention chair, and will work with the various committees to create an outstanding convention! 

Awards/Honors: Special congratulations to Britton Taylor, Hagerty High School, for being named a JEA Special Recognition Adviser. He will be recognized at the JEA/NSPA Spring Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Congratulations, too, to Sarah Lerner, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, for being recognized as a National Journalism Teacher of the Year Special Recognition Adviser.  

Our district journalism teachers of the year are:

D1- Cynthia Reeves, Gulf Breeze High School

D2 – Dawn Huskey, Bishop Kenny High School

D3 – Joseph Winters, Four Corners Upper School

D4- Jennifer Kious, Durant High School


D6- Elayne Diaz, Doral Academy

D7- Melissa Falkowski, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

One of the above will be named the Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year at the state convention in April.  

This FSPA spring digital contests received more than 3200 entries – making yet another record year. 

Florida staffs and individual students have earned multiple NSPA and CSPA awards you can read about here.

For the Board: FSPA is working with the Florida High School Athletic Association to develop a consistent set of policies for student journalists. This will include coverage and photography rules/procedures to help provide access to games and athletes. They are interested in student journalists providing content for their website and social media platforms. Their Public Relations team has been invited to the spring convention to help showcase the talent that exists within the state. 

UF’s Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, headed by Frank LoMonte, is going to attend the state convention and distribute a survey to all participants asking about their student censorship experience. This data may help support Florida’s New Voices campaign. Also, FSPA created a “Florida Needs Student Journalists” shirt it will sell at the state convention. Proceeds will go toward the Florida New Voices campaign.

Also, the FSPA board voted to create Mentor Grants. It recognizes that in the new system from JEA, mentors are no longer compensated. While the current budget does not allow FSPA to take on the compensation, the goal is to make sure the program stays alive in our state, and continues to grow. The plan is to have eight grants a year that mentors can apply for to receive $200 to spend on helping with their mentorship efforts. FSPA also decided to add a box on the membership registration that advisers can click to indicate he/she is a new adviser. That will connect mentors with possible mentees.

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

Membership: 41 current members

Events/Happenings: GSPA received 26 entries for the First Amendment Essay contest in January. The top three winners will be announced in March. The individuals will receive monetary awards along with their publications.

Feb. 22: Student Media Conference at Augusta University

April 13: Georgia Scholastic Press Association spring workshop at the University of Georgia. Keynote speaker will be CNN’s Kendall Trammell. Competitions will be held in a number of individual categories for all media genres.

Mercer University will host an adviser workshop in late May/early June.

Grady College at UGA will host the student Media and Leadership Academy June 7-12, 2020.

Awards/Honors: McIntosh High School (Peachtree City) journalism students were two photographers who placed at GSPAs on-the-spot contest. The McIntosh 2019 yearbook is going to be featured in Jostens’ 2020 Lookbook. We have our 2020 Georgia Champion Journalist of the Year! Congratulations to Elena Gilbertson Hall from Clarke Central High School. (Adviser, David Ragsdale)

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

Membership: Hawaii has 13 JEA members. We have a working list of every scholastic journalism program for newspaper, yearbook, and broadcast in public schools and are working on one for private school programs.This list will assist us in sharing information about JEA and journalism opportunities in Hawaii.


  • The Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association (HSJA) and JEA members have been meeting monthly to discuss curricular and policy issues related to scholastic journalism.
  • New Voices legislation: Hawaii has a New Voices House bill (HB1529), sponsored by Representative Takashi Ohno, which has passed three House committees. Senator Les Ihara sponsored a companion bill, which did not get heard. He has, however, been assisting us with the House bill. A local news organization wrote an editorial in support of the bill. Two Hawaii JEA members participated in SPLC’s New Voices Training Institute in October. 
  • Hawaii High School Journalism Awards: The annual HHSJA banquet, sponsored by the Hawaii Publishers Association, will be held Apr. 15. We work with the organizers to plan this competition and banquet.
  • Scholastic Journalism Week: Three JEA members brought their student journalists to the Hawaii State Capitol where the governor proclaimed Feb. 24-28 Scholastic Journalism Week in Hawaii.


Membership: Idaho currently has 13 members.

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

Membership: Illinois current voting membership is 119.

Events/Happenings: Heartland Community College will host the IHSA Journalism State Tournament April 24.

We continue to work on behalf of advisers and students to educate stakeholders about the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act passed in 2016. Some programs still face prior restraint and/or efforts on the part of school boards to rewrite policy to allow for administrative control. See these links for more information on one program’s challenges this fall and spring:

Illinois school district censors student newspaper. Is it a violation of the New Voices law?

Naperville student journalists say school district′s proposed changes contradict state law on free speech rights

IJEA, the Illinois JEA affiliate, has a website that can be found at illinois jea.org. IJEA also has an active social media presence on Facebook (Illinois Journalism Education Association) and Twitter (@IllinoisJEA). Additional efforts of Illinois programs can be followed there.

Awards: Ryan Kupperman, of Prospect High School, is the Illinois Journalist of the year. His adviser is Jason Block Levin. The runner-up is Sarah Waters of Niles West High School (adviser Lisa Rossa).

For the Board: Nothing new at this time.

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

Membership: Membership stands at 79 current voting members.            

Happenings: Heading into spring, students and advisers would have gathered at the Indianapolis Statehouse March 10 for the annual Indiana High School Press Association First Amendment Symposium, where Indianapolis Star investigative reporter Tim Evans was to keynote, but the event was cancelled because of the Corona Virus.

Nathan Miller, editor-in-chief of Avon High School’s newspaper, The Echo, was named Indiana’s Journalist of the Year. Miller has been on the Echo staff for three years and served as an editor for two. His adviser is Bill Caulton. Miller will receive a $1,000 scholarship from IHSPA and represent the state in the national competition. The national winner will be announced during the spring convention in Nashville, April 16-18.

Finalists for the Indiana JOY honor include: Salomé Cloteaux, editor of the Columbus North HS Triangle newsmagazine, adviser Rachel McCarver, MJE; Haley Miller, Editor-in-Chief of Southport High School’s newsmagazine, The Journal, adviser Mike Mike Klopfenstein; and Ethan Moore,  Editor-in-Chief of both Zionsville Community High School’s The Harbinger newsmagazine and Aerie yearbook, adviser Lauren Wagner, MJE. Eight portfolios were entered in the competition.

State contest winners were also announced in the First Amendment Design contest, and the David Adams Award, named after former IU Student Media Director and fierce student rights advocate David Adams. This award recognizes scholastic journalism programs that promote First Amendment freedoms within the school and community. First place winners earned a $100 award, while $50 went to second place. 

Three finalists in the SPJ/JEA Essay contest were also to be recognized during the event, each earning a $50 finalist award.  A link to those winners can be found here.

The Indiana High School Press Association has updated its Hoosier Star Student Media Evaluation Service to include guidebooks and evaluation opportunities for broadcast and news website programs. These new opportunities will provide the same educational tools that have benefitted Indiana newspaper and yearbook staffs for decades, and all students can learn from feedback provided by the country’s top educators and professionals regardless of the storytelling platform.

With the permission of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association, IHSPA modeled the new Hoosier Star categories and instructional material after the All-Kansas critique service. 

IHSPA’s goal for the improved critique process and academic criteria within the four guidebooks is to provide all scholastic journalists and their advisers a method for continuously enhancing the overall quality of their program. The new Hoosier Star Student Media Evaluation Service provides a rubric for learning proper journalism, valuable instruction from objective critiques by the best in the field, and high standards to which all may adhere to better serve their audience. Paired with the Indiana academic standards for Journalism and Student Media courses, those who take advantage of the updated Hoosier Star will find it beneficial during traditional class time, planning sessions, regular production cycles, out-of-class workshops, and more.

Around the state: IHSPA is currently working with the Department of Education to update the content standards for teaching Mass Media and Student Publications (which will become Student Media). The IHSPA is also exploring ways in which journalism could be expanded across the Indiana school curriculum. What that is or how that looks is yet to be determined. 

Events: In celebration of the best in scholastic journalism, Indiana High School Press Association’s 97th Fall State Convention took place Oct.18 in Franklin, IN, as students and advisers from across the state made their way to Franklin College to celebrate the 2019 Harvey Award and Hoosier Star competitions and attend classes.

Highlighting the day’s activities, Michelle Burress of Plainfield High School, was named the 2019 Ella Sengenberger Journalism Adviser of the Year, recognizing an adviser who has made outstanding contributions to scholastic journalism both in their own classroom and across the state. Burress advises the Quaker Shaker newsmagazine and the Silhouettes yearbook.

The award honors the memory of one of the founding members of the organization, Ella Sengenberger, a nationally recognized adviser at Indianapolis Arsenal Technical High School. Each recipient must possess the qualities of an outstanding secondary educator and exhibit commitment, leadership, and sound ethical practices while supporting their students and community.

Awards and honors


Indiana is especially proud of Kim Green, MJE, of Ball State University as she has been named as the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award winner. Green will be officially recognized July 6-9 at the JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Green, who taught and advised high school media for 37 years before moving on to teach at Ball State University and direct the Summer Journalism Workshops, has been inspiring scholastic journalists to make that leap into advising.  She also has been JEA’s Certification Committee chair since 2011, promoting professionalism in scholastic journalism and encouraging teachers and others to seek JEA’s Certified Journalism Educator or Master Journalism Educator national certification. Couldn’t happen to a better person. Truly an inspiration to so many!

Indiana is equally proud of newly elected JEA Board member Director at Large Sarah Verpooten, MJE, of Lake Central High School.

Student Media: Click here to see Indiana’s NSPA Pacemaker nominees and winners as well as CSPA Crown finalists.

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

Membership: Iowa currently has 29 JEA members.

Happenings: Adviser professional development day at Drake University: Professor Chris Snider led a morning session of PhotoShop and Illustrator instruction for 10 advisers. Much practice ensued as advisers have little time to actually develop their own skills. In the afternoon, IHSPA president facilitated a session about feedback with all contributing.  

JOY contest: Increasing the total prize for the Iowa JOY award to $500 several years ago seems to have worked as eight students applied this year, one more than the last two years. IHSPA and the Iowa Newspaper Association each give $250.

Awards and Honors: Natalie Dunlap of Iowa City West High School is the Iowa representative for the national JOY contest. Sara Whittaker is her adviser.

For the Board: At the urging of IHSPA executive director Paul Jensen, Senator Liz Mathis wrote a revision to Iowa Code 280.22, a law that affords students strong First Amendment rights. It was signed into law by former governor Terry Branstad in 1989 shortly after the Hazelwood ruling. In an attempt to further strengthen student press rights, SF2138 would make it unlawful for school officials to retaliate against journalism advisers for students work that is lawful, but may ruffle feathers. Jensen, retired advisers Gary Lindsay and Ann Visser, retired newsman Lyle Muller and high school student Ada Basic met with the three members of the Senate Education Committee Feb. 18. After the meeting, all three Senators – Senator Amy Sinclair, Senator Chris Cournoyer and Senator Herman Quirmback – voted to send it to the full committee. The committee then voted 14-0 to send it to the full Senate. Renamed SF2331, it awaits scheduling for debate on the Senate floor.

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

Membership: With 117 members in the state of Kansas, membership is down from past years and reflects a similar decline in KSPA membership. KSPA members can sign up for a JEA membership at the same time that they renew their KSPA membership online. It’s easy and makes for one-stop shopping. 


Regional Contest: The annual regional contests were held over three days in six locations across the state: Emporia State University, Wichita State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University. Fort Hays State University and the University of Kansas. Eighty-five Kansas high schools created more than 2,166 entries. The contest gives student journalists the chance to complete in 20 different contests that cover the spectrum of the journalistic experience. Due to low participation in video contests, they are offered only at the state level.

Prompts from past regional and state competitions are posted on the KSPA website here and could be used for an assignment in your journalism classroom or to prep for the national contest.

All Kansas Yearbooks: Fifty books were entered this year, down from 53 last year.

All Kansas Newspaper: Deadline was March 6.

Next big event? State contest in May


KSPA introduces four new ways to recognize outstanding journalism students

After significant brainstorming and discussion, the board has decided to implement portfolio contests to recognize the state’s top designer, photojournalist, reporter and videographer of the year. Entries were accepted until the end of March. 

One of our concerns with the introduction of these awards was that it might reduce the number of students who compete for Student Journalist of the Year. With this in mind, these awards have no monetary reward, just bragging rights and the application is significantly less complex than the SJOY. Additional information is available on the KSPA website

Strategic Goals: KSPA has formulated strategic goals for the current year and the board is working toward goals for the next two years. Each report will update the progress toward meeting these goals.

Change for a Change:  This is a fundraising campaign for the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. This campaign connects to our strategic goal on revenue and our need to increase revenue to avoid deficit spending.The campaign began in late March and continues through late April. Donors will be invited to become sustaining members through monthly donations or to provide a one-time donation. KSPA will offer incentives to individual as well as corporate donors.

Executive director Eric Thomas developed a branding strategy for the project. 

Other strategic goals:

PROGRAMMING: KSPA will expand its offerings and instruction in journalism-related skills to its advisers and students beginning at fall conferences in fall of 2019 and continuing through May of 2021. The fall conferences used the theme “Tricks of the Trade” to encourage presenters to focus on tangible skills that students could learn and apply to their work on staff. Each session title started with “How To” and we recruited speakers on particular topics to be sure that we covered many different aspects of student media. Also, we aligned the sessions so that a student could — for instance — attend 3-4 photography sessions in a row if that was their primary interest.

PROGRAMMING 2: KSPA will improve professional learning opportunities among its membership beginning in fall 2020 and continuing through May of 2021. We have not started on work on this.

COMMUNICATION: The KSPA staff will re-design the association’s website and social media with an emphasis on connecting advisers to one another during 2019-2020. The website portion of this is complete. We upgraded our WordPress theme to a structure that best suits our audience and our goals as a non-profit.

COMMUNICATION 2: The KSPA executive director and staff will create a system for recruitment/retention of member advisers new to positions by May 2020. In August, Eric began a directory document listing all new advisers that was shared with our mentors. With the addition of Sharon Martin as a mentor, we hope to improve our contact with new advisers through the mentoring program as well. Additionally, new contacts have been made with some of our member schools through the KSPA conferences and through the JEA/KSPA convention. However, we are lacking a “system” to put in place. 

The KSPA board continues to meet electronically monthly as well as face-to-face three times each year. 

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

2020 Kansas Student Journalists of the Year

Overall Winner: Ben Henschel, Shawnee Mission East

Adviser: Dow Tate

Henschel’s online portfolio showcases a variety of work, but especially in-depth coverage of tough subject matters, including issues within his school district’s special education system, potential student risks of a popular app and inequities within the college admissions process. The judges especially commended Henschel on his coverage of the local effects of the 2014 shootings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and more recently a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

3A-4A Winner: Sophie Osbourne, Chanute High School

Adviser: Dustin Fox

Osborn’s work is showcased on a portfolio website that exhibits work for her high school print publication and news website, The Comet. Osborn’s portfolio shows a special emphasis on photography and her work revamping her publication’s social media accounts. In addition to her work for the Comet, Osborn also took sports photos for her local publication, the Chanute Tribune.

1A-2A Winner: Abby Riffel, Sterling High School

Adviser: Todd Vogts

Riffel’s online portfolio shows a variety of work, from writing to multimedia journalism. The judges cited the strong leadership skills shown through recommendation letters and Riffel’s portfolio. “You can tell she has a passion for what she does. She also does not shy away from being a leader, which is evident in some of the roles she’s had while in high school.”

2020 Distinguished Adviser of the Year

Awarded by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and The Dow Jones News Fund

J.D. Garber, Salina Central High School

2019 Yearbook Adviser of the Year

Awarded by the Journalism Education Association

Becky Tate, Shawnee Mission North 

Click here to see the numerous individual and staff awards in Kansas from multiple journalism associations and events.

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 is at 21 members and waiting for a few more to be processed. 


  • KYJTA worked with students from duPont Manual and Bullitt East High Schools to introduce New Voices legislation this session. Representative Attica Scott is our sponsor and we are working to build our coalition. 
  • KHSJA held its conference for the first time in the past three years in Lexington at the Hilton.
  • KYJTA is planning its summer adviser retreat and is eyeing a date in late July.

Awards/Honors: Katie Huffman of Bullitt East High School was selected as the 2020 Kentucky Journalist of the Year. 

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: There are 16 members as of March 7, 2020 which is down three from the Fall 2019 report.

Events/Happenings: Unfortunately we had to cancel the Spring 2020 JEA/Loyola Conference. The date we scheduled was Jan. 14, 2020 which just happened to be the day after the National Championship game between LSU and Clemson.  As Ron Burgundy would say, it was kind of a big deal around here. Many of our guest speakers and schools that were planning to attend were having to drop out. We made a frantic search for a replacement date, but the venues on campus we use for the conference did not have the same dates open.

The good news was that we did have the Fall 2019 JEA/Loyola Conference Sept. 26, 2019, on the Loyola Campus. We had 17 schools represented from Southeast Louisiana and approximately 160 attendees.  

Our next conference is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020 on the Loyola Campus. We are also exploring the possibility of hosting regional conferences around the state and have received some interest from colleges and universities around the state.

Loyola University New Orleans is the new sponsor of the JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year Award. Louisiana is looking to have a strong presence at the Nashville conference.

Awards/Honors: We have another bit of disappointing news. There will be no Louisiana Journalist of the Year. We will be exploring strategies to get the word out to encourage applications for the award.

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

Membership: Maine currently has five members.

Events/Happenings: Nothing statewide to report at this time.

Awards/Honors: Nothing to report at this time.

For the Board: Nothing 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 20 members.

Events/Happenings: The Maryland/D.C. Scholastic Press Association will hold their second annual Advisers Day at the University of Maryland June 6, with sessions for both new and experienced teachers. Click here for more information on sessions and to register. The workshop will feature informative sessions led by professional journalists and experienced yearbook and newspaper advisers. Topics will address content, design, videography, photography, social media and more.

Awards/Honors: Maryland’s Journalist of the Year winner is Amanda Liu of Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. Congratulations to Amanda and her adviser, Jeremy Stelzner!

For the Board: Those of us who attended really enjoyed the JEA/NSPA National Convention, and a small number of us worked really hard to contribute to the local committee, in particular, myself on Featured Speakers and Jay Goldman on Break with a Pro.

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

Membership: There are 29 members in Massachusetts, up from 26 in the fall.

Events: I attended the fall 2019 convention in Washington, D.C.

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 2020 All-State Journalism Staff, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the talent in our high schools — five full selections and one honorable mention, with the Journalist of the Year being Dina Zeldin of Newton South High School. MASPA plans a reception for this year’s winners April 1 at the Boston Globe. Brian Baron, MASPA President, ran the contest and is organizing the ceremony, and I served on the selection commitee. We’ve streamlined the process so that applications for All-State are automatically entered into the JOY contest, and vice versa. (I don’t expect students to apply for JOY instead of All-State, though, simply because the All-State application is not as extensive.)

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: Dina Zeldin of Newton South High School was named Massachusetts Student Journalist of the Year.

For the board: The “watch list” for the All-State honors continues to be the way forward. 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. We’ve had six entries the past two years, up from three in 2018 and one several of the years before that.

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

Membership: We are currently at 75 voting members in Michigan. That’s a net loss of four members since the fall report, down eight from a year ago. (We typically see this trend before and after a year where JEA/NSPA is in Chicago.)


Judging Day: The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association recently welcomed over 80 teachers, college professors, professional journalists and college journalists to the Michigan State campus for our annual judging day. This crew judged over 5000 individual contest entries in Newspaper, Yearbook, Digital Media and Video categories. Award winners will be recognized at the MIPA Spring Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing April 20, 2020.

One-Day Workshop: MIPA will host its annual one-day workshop on campus at Michigan State University May 9, 2020. Course offerings are still being ironed out, in light of an adviser survey from January. Digital media offerings were by far the most requested.

Spring Conference:

  • MIPA will hold its annual Spring Conference at the Lansing Center April 20, 2020 in Lansing. Typically attended by 1200-1500 student journalists, the purpose of the conference is to recognize the following:
  • Award winners in Individual Category Contests
  • Michigan’s nominee for JEA Journalist of the Year
  • Student Journalist Staff (MIPA’s 16-student member ALL STATE staff (one “wild-card” added to the normal 15 member staff).
  • ALL-MIPA winners: recognition for the top overall student in the following areas of emphasis (categories have been modified from prior years) Digital Media, News Writing, News Design, Photography, Broadcast, Yearbook Writing, Yearbook Design
  • Administrator of the Year
  • John Field Award (Friend of Scholastic Journalism)
  • Golden Pen Award (Adviser)

MIPA Summer Workshop: Planning, promotion and registration is underway for the annual MIPA Summer

Workshop. This year’s workshop will be held on campus at Michigan State University from July 26 – July 30, 2020. This year’s theme is “Find Your Voice.”

JEA Partner Project: Eppler Junior High School in Utica was chosen for the 2019 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 being 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.

Awards: Michigan is proud to announce the selection of Julie Heng of Ann Arbor Huron High School as our 2019-2020 Journalist of the Year. Julie is editor-in-chief of The Huron Emory newspaper, advised by Sarah-Beth O’Connor. Overall, Michigan received 41 portfolios from student journalists. It was our largest pool of portfolios in numerous years.

Kathryn Campbell, MJE

Membership: We are currently at 24 members, with three JEM board members who need to renew. I sent out a reminder with the most recent e-mail to the board.

Events/Happenings: The adviser hotdish potluck took place Feb. 3. Minnesota advisers were offered free registration for the Best of the Midwest Feb. 21-23. This was ACP’s support of our goal to provide more professional development opportunities for journalism educators in the state. The Journalism Day at The Guthrie is coming up April 22 and students will see and review Jane Austen’s Emma.

New Voices Minnesota (from Lori Keekley and Jeff Kocur): The senate did not hear our bill last year, but it has been approved by the house committee. If the senate committee could hear it this year, and conference the bill with the house, both chambers could put it on a floor vote. In the meantime, we’re talking about how to mobilize members and student journalists to show our support in new ways and keep the bill from stalling.

There is a call for new board members in Minnesota, and I am hoping to enlist regional representatives.

Awards/Honors: The 2020 Minnesota Journalist of the Year is Marta Hill, Editor in Chief of The Echo from St. Louis Park (Lori Keekley, MJE, adviser). The runner-up is Emma Conway, EIC of the newspaper and yearbook in Cannon Falls, Minnesota (John Fogarty, adviser). This year’s contest was judged by Sasha Aslanian, a correspondent for American Radioworks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media.

For the Board: My current goals as someone new to the State Director position are to (a) increase our social media engagement / get information out to our members (b) recruit new members, (c) partner with professional organizations in our state. For example, I’m collaborating with the SPJ Minnesota Chapter president to get the word out about #Press4Education outreach, especially outstate, and talking with them about other ways we might connect pros to student journalists. I’m also working with the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English to add a journalism strand to their state conference in April 2021, which is outside the Twin Cities, to provide an additional professional development opportunity for journalism educators who are also English teachers — or for journalism educators who would want to register for the convention just for the journalism strand, and (d) utilize the talent on our JEM board.

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 19 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 Overby Adviser Institute each June.

Events/Happenings: MSPA will host its annual statewide spring convention March 31 at the University of Mississippi. Last year we welcomed 558 students from 35 schools, one of our larger crowds. Emily Barr, CEO of Graham Media in Washington, D.C., will be our keynote. The Overby Adviser Institute will be June 22-24, also at the University of Mississippi. 

Awards and honors: At MSPA’s fall convention at the University of Southern Mississippi, Emma Richardson (literary magazine) and Jennifer Edwards (yearbook) were named 2019 Advisers of the Year and Earthwinds (literary magazine) and The Commodore (yearbook) were named 2019 Publications of the Year. Gina Nguyen was recently selected as our Mississippi JOY alongside 11 other students who will be recognized as “All-Mississippi” honorees at our spring MSPA convention. We stole this +1 contest model from Michigan, and it has done wonders for our JOY engagement. This year we received 34 portfolio entries!

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. 

I believe the most worthwhile place we could be investing our resources is trying to convince the next generation of school administrators of the value of student media programs. Strategies for accomplishing this goal might include funding scholastic research, developing a nationwide administrative marketing campaign, building partnerships with school leadership organizations, contracting with lobbyists, etc. This is certainly not to suggest these efforts are not already underway; just reaffirming their value and significance in shaping how outside decision-makers view our profession. 

Thank you for assuming the mantle of leadership. 

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 131 voting members. 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
    • Held Mizzou Leadership Day for MJEA Feb. 25. You can see the full schedule here. This year, sessions were on investigative and documentary journalism. There was a session presented by the MOJO ad team, discussing trends in advertising and PR and a special opportunity to sit in on the judging of the Picture of the Year contest. The program included a tour of the J School and campus and an optional tour of the KOMU-TV Studio.
    • STL SNO DAY will be held April 17 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 will be on hand to meet students where they are and take them to the next level. The day’s group instruction will concentrate 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. 
    • MJEA Contests: Top performing students can be nominated to the Missouri All-State Journalism team. Ten are selected from across the state. All State journalism winners receive a certificate, plaque, and pen. Lastly, nominate a colleague for Teacher of the Year, Rising Star, Administrator of the year or Advocate for student journalists for state honors. All recipients will receive a plaque and certificate. Awards roll out beginning May 1.
    • Columnist Tony Messenger, 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner, St. Louis Post-Dispatch is slated to speak March 28. Messenger will discuss his series of columns that led to an end to the state’s debtors’ prison scheme where poor Missourians accumulated charges for time spent in jail or on probation. He became Post-Dispatch metro columnist in September 2015 after anchoring the editorial page as editor. He worked on weeklies, dailies and magazines in Colorado, where he grew up, as well as Arizona, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri before joining St. Louis’ daily newspaper in 2008 at the state capital bureau.
    • MediaNow in St. Louis, MO (June) and MediaNow Drake in Des Moines, IA (July) this summer
  • Journalism STL 
    • Their annual conference will be March 9. The Keynote speaker is photojournalist Al Drago for the 2020 journalismSTL spring conference. Drago is an independent photojournalist based in Washington, DC., where he primarily works for The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, and the Associated Press. He covers the White House, Congress, national news and politics. During his time in the nation’s capital, he has covered the final months of the Obama presidency, the 2016 election, and all facets of the Trump White House, including a secret trip to Iraq to greet members of the military over the holidays. He is currently traveling throughout the country on the 2020 campaign trail. He is one of a few photographers at The Times that follows the President everywhere he goes, whether it’s in the motorcade for a speech down the street, or traveling on Air Force One to accompany the President on a weekend trip.
  • MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association) 
    • MIPA hosts its annual Journalism Day March 25 at MU in Columbia. The event draws more than 1,000 high school journalism students and their advisers. Students attend sessions taught by MU Journalism faculty, MIPA high school journalism teachers and professional journalists. MIPA’s Student Journalist of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Emerging Journalism Educator will be honored as well as hundreds of students who entered MIPA’s annual journalism contest.
    • All programs including the monthly photo contests, three timed Challenges, and regional workshops were successful this year.
    • Membership continues to be at an all-time high.
    • SchoolJournalism.org, supported by MIPA, reaches hundreds of online readers each week, and over 9,000 subscribers with its email newsletter. If you have an amazing lesson, an article you’d like to share nationally, or know a pro who would make a good feature in the new “Q and A with the Pros” series, drop them a line at mipajourno@gmail.com. SchoolJournalism.org welcomes new contributors!
  • University of Missouri Summer Workshops
    • Missouri Investigative Journalism Workshop — Learn how investigative journalists find information, track people down, conduct better interviews, analyze data and find great stories. You’ll leave with skills you need to do your own investigations. The workshop is taught by investigative reporters who have worked at top news organizations such as The New York Times and by experienced MU faculty.
    • Missouri University Journalism Workshop — Discover the fast-paced world of professional journalism! Learn how to cover issues, news and current events. Your instruction will be guided by faculty experts at the Missouri School of Journalism and industry professionals.

Awards and Honors: Emily Hood will represent the state of Missouri as the 2020 JEA Student Journalist of the Year. Emily currently serves as the Executive Producer for FHNtodayTV at Francis Howell North High School. As a freshman, Emily started her own news show, The Hood Report, a weekly news program with a format designed for teens. The Hood Report has now become a show that the broader community consumes through her popular YouTube channel. Emily also demonstrates her journalistic talents in her coverage of tough topics. This past December, Emily produced a four-part series titled “Life After,” examining the obstacles faced by those coming out of incarceration. Emily’s adviser, Aaron Manfull, MJE, described Emily’s role in FHN’s broadcast production program as pivotal.

“In October of 2018, we worked to move the broadcast program from one with a traditional broadcast focus to one that’s more in line with current video journalism realities, with everything ranging from traditional feature stories and illustrated video stories to podcasts and social media motion graphics. It’s been a gamechanger for the broadcast program at FHN and wouldn’t have been possible without Emily’s approval, ideas and execution to make it work,” Manfull said. 

Missouri set the pace in the online category along with California and Texas with five NSPA Pacemaker finalists. In the yearbook category, Missouri had four finalists. Click here to see them.

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 active members, which is a decrease from last fall. We have recently had an addition of two new JEA members. We continue conversations with an additional eight members who tend to re-join to allow their students participation in contests.
  • MJEA’s highly motivated and action-orientated president Beth Britton, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from 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. 
  • Both Beth and Linda continue to request input on how to reorganize the association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively. Advisers are willing to use the resources Beth and Linda provide; however, they are not willing to engage in working within the framework of the organization.
  • To gain a better understanding of this issue, we have reached out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails, letters and requests to submit and participate in 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Currently, however, there have been no outreaches for the mentorship program.
  • 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 that yearbook programs as well as social media programs will continue to have critique and contest services as well as the current newspaper and online publications. 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.
  • mjeajournalism.com

Information regarding the spring convention in Nashville, 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… 

Regarding this request, Kate Lende and Lauren Zent have contributed. Thanks for their help!

  1. 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 both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability. 


  • Because of the timing of this report, which is a week earlier this year, we will not be able to report the Montana Journalist of the Year.
  • Three student submissions were compiled and sent to our judges.
  • The deadline for the state contest winner is March 11. I will send an update when I have this information and have contacted the winner.
  • Once again, the Montana Newspaper Association will sponsor the $1,000 scholarship for the state winner. 


  • Montana Teacher Convention, Oct, 14-15, 2020 Britton and Ballew have worked since the beginning of the new year to involve our organization in the upcoming state Montana Educators’ Convention. Because we have been in on the ground floor in planning, we will offer multiple workshops, a diversity of medium and topicality. We continue to seek additional speakers and presenters. We have found a remarkable keynote speaker from Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau. For more information click here or visit mjeajournalism.com
  • Journalism Day at the University of Montana, April 23, 2020 High school students from across the state of Montana are invited to the University of Montana to tour the school of journalism, visit with professors and attend college classes. Students will also celebrate their high school accomplishments in the work that has been published throughout the 2019-2020 school year. 
  • JEA Fall Convention, Washington, D.C., Former mentee and Park High School Journalism adviser, Kate Lende and JEA Montana state director Linda Ballew, attended the convention. Kate did a phenomenal job in her first workshop. She will present again at the Montana Educators’ Convention in the fall. Both Kate and Linda will try to attend the fall convention in Orlando, 2020. This was a wonderful experience for both of us.
  • Media Career Day Students heard from University of Montana School of Journalism professors about the multitude of careers possible with a journalism degree, and they were joined at lunch by Billings area media professionals.

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! 

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:  Nebraska’s current membership number (as of the 3/2/2020 report) sits at 54 members.  We have six CJE active members and four MJE active members in the state.

Events:  Nebraska is still pushing New Voices Legislation. The last Facebook post (New Voices of Nebraska) was that LB206 stalled.  But, we are excited for our neighbors, both Iowa and Colorado, who seem to have passed legislation. Nebraska will keep fighting. Giant thanks to those school advisers and students who have contacted their senators and who have testified.  Giant thanks to the public school advisers who have been working tirelessly for the cause. Thanks to those in the broader scholastic journalism community who have given us advice and support. 

The NHSPA (Nebraska High School Press Association) held their Fall Conference: “Real Journalism: Facts Matter” at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Oct. 21 with more than 700 students in attendance. The keynote speaker was Lise Olsen, an award-winning investigative reporter from the Houston Chronicle. They will sponsor their annual Summer Journalism Workshop at UNL July 13-15. Contact Diane Schieffer at dschieffer@epsne.org for more information. We welcome students and advisers from other states!   

Nebraska had a strong showing in Washington, D.C., at the Fall Convention with a number of great National Student Media Contest Awards. A few Nebraska schools plan to be in Nashville, but there is great concern over schools limiting travel because of COVID-19.  

Omaha South High School was a JEA Partner-Project school this fall and we held a successful regional workshop Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Special thanks to Val Kibler, Erin Sucher-O’Grady and Mark Hilburn for being the presenters.  Almost 100 students participated. Special thanks to the college journalism program at UNO, UNL and Creighton University for sponsoring the lunch.

Awards and honors:  We had some incredible entries into the JOY competition. Nebraska is excited to announce our JOY…LeAnne Bugay from Bellevue West High School. Her adviser is Julie Rowse. Our Runner Up is Lucy Tu from Millard North High School. Her adviser is Sarah Crotzer. 

From the JEA convention in Washington D.C., we were super excited to have a Rising Star adviser, Angie Wolf of Omaha Burke High School.

JEA Nebraska sponsored a winter contest over the winter holidays that mirrors the state NSAA contest in the spring.  Thanks to our JEA friends from around the country who helped us judge. We are grateful. Results can be found here

For the board:  Thanks for everything you do. Good luck navigating the COVID-19 issue.

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

Membership: The numbers for Nevada are in and we are hanging in there at 28 voting members. Looking back into the past membership for the state, there are 17 members who have not renewed their membership. Communication has been started with them to identify if they are no longer journalism educators, forgot to renew, plan to renew etc. 

Events/Happenings: It’s rather low-key in Nevada right now for journalism. The local journalism contest has made a decision to add multimedia categories to its annual contest, which is great for those who are pushing their students to pursue digital storytelling. 

Awards/Honors: Nevada is proud that two veteran advisers, Julie Goldstein and Nancy Thompson, will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nashville convention. Both teachers reflect the qualities of an inspirational adviser for journalistic publications and these two individuals couldn’t deserve it more. Additionally, we extend our congratulations to Christy Briggs being named the National Speech & Debate Association Educator of the Year. 

For the Board: It would be great to hear about future plans about conferences/conventions when schools are forced to cancel due to circumstances out of their control i.e. school district directives. Can a portion of the registration indicate all circumstances in which refunds would be made available and the kinds of circumstances that would not result in a refund?

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

Membership: New Hampshire currently has  seven 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 currently has 57 members, including several new CJEs and MJEs. In fact, our total number of these educators compared to a decade ago is 300% higher.

Events/Happenings: Our 40th annual fall conference took place at Rutgers University in New Brunswick Oct. 28.  A total of 801 student journalists and 97 advisers were in attendance. New Jersey Senator Nia H. Gill spoke about her support of New Voices legislation. Mike Simons, teacher at at Corning-Painted Post High School in New York, adviser to Tesserae Yearbook, and president of the CSPA Advisers Association, delivered a keynote session titled “Telling Stories That Need To Be Told” and trumpeted the need for New Voices legislation to clarify and strengthen student journalists’ First Amendment rights. GSSPA President Bill Rawson presented Sen. Gill with a special citation for her efforts on behalf of the state’s journalism students, teachers, and advisers in advocating for New Voices legislation. GSSPA’s spring conference, which is for teachers and advisers only, will take place at Rutgers on Friday, May 1.

Awards/Honors: At the fall conference, Pascack Valley High School took home three big awards, including the Distinguished Journalism Award for Division B and the Online Distinguished Journalism Award.  Cherry Hill High School East took home its 11th consecutive Distinguished Journalism Award for Division A. For a full list of newspaper and yearbook winners, use this link. New Jersey’s Student Journalist of the Year is Mariyum Rizwan of Bergenfield High School; she is the state’s Kilgore Scholarship winner, which comes with a $5,000 award. The Bob Stevens Scholarship winner is Nia Watson of Northern Valley Regional High School, who will be awarded $2,500. Both winners will be honored during lunch at the GSSPA’s spring conference.

For the Board: New Jersey members expressed concerns over hotel reservations at the fall convention. Those who had to register more than 10 students had to spend more time registering, which gave them a disadvantage when it came to booking a hotel. Some members were dismayed by the number of advisers posting to the listserv that they had available rooms to give away and were wondering, or perhaps hoping, that these schools would be penalized for overbooking.  Could there be, some asked, a hotel system that rewards those schools that have attended multiple consecutive conventions. A school that has attended the prior five conventions, for example, would be able to book hours or days before a school that has never attended. I would love to discuss further with you at some point.

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 New Mexico is 14. We are down two members from my fall 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 that time, a new governor was elected into office 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 that 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 NM membership. However, I believe that this initiative will be a positive catalyst to increasing these numbers with broadcast and film advisers. 

Events/Happenings: The NMSPA State Leadership Conference was hosted by Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jan. 23.  There were seven schools that competed in this NMAA event. The numbers were alarming as the conference saw less than average attendance. I plan on working with NMSPA to see how I can assist in promoting the event for next year.

However, this event did see a new event included, Podcast.  As CTE initiatives continue to move forward in our state, the conference will need to continue to move the needle forward in effectively managing 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.

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 dropped by 32%, with only 33 members currently.  

EVENTS: JEA member Dennis Mihalsky (City College Academy of the Arts) is holding a roundtable for student journalism advocates in the city March 15 through his organization, Students Disrupting. “This will be our first opportunity to bring together parents, teachers, and administrators to discuss the state of student journalism in our city’s public schools, and share best practices to implement a successful student newspaper. It’s for those who have AND don’t have a student newspaper!” Click here for tickets.

Mike Simons, MJE, Katina Paron, MJE, and Dennis Mihalsky and NYS students and advocates met 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. We are working on scheduling a small group visit to Albany in April. To get involved in the effort, please email katinaparon74@gmail.com.

Awards and Honors: Congratulations to Eximius Preparatory School adviser Rachel Renick for being awarded the 2020 Robert Greenman Award for Excellence in High School Teaching and Advising from The Deadline Club, NYC’s SPJ chapter. Renick will receive her award at the May 18 Awards Dinner. being honored with a Big Apple Award for teaching excellence. 

For the Board: We got ZERO submissions for the New York State Journalist of the Year Award competition. It was the first year in a while that we offered it, but no one submitted. What a bummer.

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 for North Carolina as of March is 52. N.C. Scholastic Media Association membership materials continue to offer a JEA membership option, as NCSMA is an affiliate member of JEA.

Events: North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute, June 15-18. The North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute will be held at UNC-Chapel Hill June 15-18. High school journalism students and advisers are invited to enroll. The four-day workshop teaches innovative and effective ways of communicating through scholastic media: online news, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, photojournalism, design and broadcast news. The early bird application deadline for registration is May 1. For more information, visit ncsma.unc.edu.

Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, June 24-27. Rising high school juniors and seniors interested in sports and media are encouraged to apply to the second annual Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, UNC-Chapel Hill June 24-27. The four-day workshop will instruct students on sports play-by-play, sports writing and sports photography through classroom study and newsroom practice. Deadline for applications is April 1. Fee of $550 for instate students and $1,100 for out-of-state students covers lodging, instruction and meals. For more information, visit jomc.unc.edu/csjc.

Journalism Education Fellowship Program, July 5-11. NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program offers North Carolina high school journalism teachers the opportunity to enroll in a one-week, short-term summer course with tuition funding provided by NCSMA. Journalism teachers and media advisers can qualify for free in-state tuition, lodging and books. The three-hour graduate credit course, “Teaching Online News in the Secondary School,” will be July 5-11.

Mentoring: North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Steve Unruhue, David Jackson, Candace Brandt and Brenda Gorsuch now serve as mentors.

Awards and Honors: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association has announced West Henderson High School journalist Elise Trexler as the 2020 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year. Trexler is the editor-in-chief of the West Henderson (Hendersonville) school newspaper, Wingspan. Judges noted her editorial leadership, skillful storytelling and community media links.

Alternates for Journalist of the Year are Emily Schmidt of J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, Lucy Smithwick of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte and Emmy Trivette of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills. Schmidt is the co-editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, Rampant Lines; Smithwick is the co-editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Eagle; and Trivette is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, Nighthawk News Magazine.

Since 2001, the North Carolina Press Foundation (NCPF) has funded the annual scholarship award in memory of Rachel Rivers-Coffey, former N.C. Press Association president. NCPF will award a $3,000 scholarship to Trexler. The three alternates will each receive $1,000. The foundation will also award the winners’ journalism programs. The Journalist of the Year’s program will receive $500. The three alternates’ programs will each receive $250.

Trexler will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition. Winners will be announced April 18 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 16 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute, a summer journalism workshop open to students and teachers across the state.

North Dakota

Membership: North Dakota currently has eight members.

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 currently at 55 members, which is down from 71 in the fall. Efforts are continuous to recruit JEA members in Ohio. The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) currently offers JEA membership through the state registration forms and Maggie Cogar, CJE, Ohio JEA state director, and Candace Bowen, MJE, executive director of OSMA, use state press association events to inform Ohio advisers on the benefits of joining JEA. Using Constant Contact newsletters, email marketing continues to be sent to all JEA and OSMA members, as well as to a database of over 800 administrators across the state, in an attempt to increase membership for both JEA and OSMA. The OSMA executive board also continues to discuss member outreach for both OSMA and JEA, with a few board members initiating direct contact with non-member schools.

Events: Ohio JEA and OSMA continue to offer events for scholastic media advisers and student journalists throughout the school year. In the fall, the OSMA executive board hosted three successful regional workshops at Kent State University, Bowling Green University and Otterbein University. Combined, these workshops reached 800 students and advisers.

The 2019-2020 annual state convention will be held April 3-4 at Kent State University, where the board anticipates around 375 students and advisers 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 at the annual banquet, and will also name Ohio’s Journalist of the Year for 2020.

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 continue to seek 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 is comprised of student representatives from across the state who provide input to the OSMA executive board and help run sessions at the regional workshops and state conference. The student board continues to be actively involved in the organization and is currently recruiting student representatives for the 2020-2021 school year.

My dissertation proposal titled “Gatekeeping in Scholastic Journalism: Examining factors that influence student content decisions” has been approved by committee and is in the process of going through IRB. This research is sponsored by the JEA and will focus on factors that correlate to student self-censorship rates, including examining the correlation of student comfort level in publishing controversial material to the rate of perceived administrative censorship. Survey research will be conducted using the JEA listserv in April 2020, with findings of the research ready to disseminate at the fall JEA convention in Orlando.

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

Membership: The current number of members stands at 25.

Events/happenings: Oklahoma advisers have enjoyed a relatively easy winter this year, and as a result have been busy working toward new activities for our spring. Spring Media Monday is planned for Monday, April 27 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Many members attend this event and usually win a significant number of awards. This conference is a good time to invite advisers to join JEA for this next school year. As a result of input by other advisers a late summer, an early fall adviser retreat is being considered. OKJEA hosted one of these a few years ago and it was very successful.

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

Membership: JEA membership is at 38. 

Events/Happenings: The OJEA Summer Adviser Workshop had a strong first season last July and is beginning plans for this summer’s program which will be July 20-23 at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. We are expanding our offerings to include beginning and advanced advising sessions, broadcast and online programs and digital photography. Consider joining us for a week of wise words from your colleagues on advising and wiser words from Shakespeare himself as you have the opportunity to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival during the week. More information at adviserworkshop.com or contact Bill Flechtner at ojeaworkshop@gmail.com.

Awards/Honors: Kyle Pinnell, of Southridge High School in Beaverton, was our 2020 Oregon High School Journalist of the Year, and will be awarded the Alyce Sheetz Memorial Scholarship, Mattea Hellman, of West Albany High School was the runner-up.

Mentoring: There are three mentors working with 11 advisers in Oregon: Ray Hopfer, CJE, Ellen Kersey, and Bill Flechtner, MJE. The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association is funding the stipends for the mentors for this year. Each of the mentors has participated in the Fall Media Day at the University of Oregon. Ray Hopfer is planning on attending the Nashville convention with his two mentees.

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 63 members, a decrease of 10 members since October. 

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) will host the Student Journalism Competition Finals at the Pennsylvania State University March 25, 2020. We are currently working on contingency plans due to concerns regarding the coronavirus. These contingency plans will likely result in advisers proctoring the competitions at their home schools. Should it be held as planned, competitions will center around a press conference. We are hoping to host Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman for this press conference. Winners will be announced on-site for all categories except for broadcast and photography, which require a submission after the event. The Teacher of the Year, Student Journalist of the Year and the Keystone Awards will also be announced during the awards ceremony. 

We continue to make progress with our support of New Voices. Teacher and student leaders are in place, and a bill has been drafted. The bill is in the House and Senate committees. The bill was endorsed by Point Park faculty today, March 9, 2020. They are willing to send letters of support to whomever.

Awards and honors: 


JTOY: Denise Reaman – Emmaus High School

2019 Keystone Awards:

  • Yearbook: Daedalus from Northeastern High School and Sigma from Eastern Lebanon County High School
  • Newspaper: Spoke from Conestoga High School
  • Lit Mag: Pulp from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School and The Folio from Conestoga High School

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: Junior Reporter Hannah Langlois from Lincoln High School’s CTE Journalism & Broadcast Academy was recognized by the New England Scholastic Press Association with a special localizing award last fall. LHS senior editor Lauren Germani, also of Lincoln High School, was named a candidate in the 2020 United States Presidential Scholars Program which honors students for outstanding scholarship and ability In CTE fields. Lauren’s field, of course, is Media Communications.

Happenings: Photojournalist Cheryl Hatch, thanks to SPJ’s #Press4Education will make an encore visit to Lincoln High School’s Journalism & Broadcast Academy again this year, as part of the wonderful program offered through this wonderful initiative. Indeed, it has already served to establish some lasting friendships. Our students embraced Hatch’s wonderful presence last spring and are excited to welcome her back. She has become a true mentor and friend.

LHS Journalism Academy also launched Scholastic Journalism Week with an industry partner, WJAR-TV 10 New England’s number one local NBC affiliate. Earlier in the school year, students shadowed station professionals. During that visit, Operations Manager Joseph Doris and General Manager Vic Vetters invited the school to host their 12th annual career forum in their facility. The three-hour panel and small group discussion was life changing for the 36 students in attendance. The event is traditionally held at Lincoln High School, but space at the school has been unavailable due to a major reconstruction of the facility. 

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: There are currently 18 JEA members in South Carolina.


Carolina Journalism Institute – The Carolina Journalism Institute will take place June 10-13 at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Columbia, South Carolina.This summer’s institute is limited to 75 students and will combine written, visual and social media elements. Students will be placed in a group, assigned a beat and produce a story for various platforms using skills taught throughout the Institute. Faculty members – AJ Chambers, Erin Coggins, MJE, Kelly Furnas, MJE, and others– will teach sessions and act as mentors to students. Tuition is only $225 and on-campus housing is $125. Find out more information online.

SCSPA Spring Conference – SCSPA will hold its spring conference Wednesday, April 1. Newsprint, online and broadcast evaluation and individual awards, as well as the Journalist of the Year, the SCSPA scholarship, the Reid H. Montgomery Adviser of the Year and the Scroggins Award are presented during the spring conference. Student and adviser officers for the SCSPA board will be elected at the conference as well.

SIPA convention – SIPA’s 2020 convention had a diverse group of 400 students and advisers from six states traveling to Columbia, South Carolina, March 6-8. Lori Oglesbee, retired newsprint, online and yearbook adviser, was recognized as the SIPA Endowment speaker.

Amanda Heckert, the deputy editor of Garden & Gun magazine and editor of the magazine’s most recent book Southern Women, was the Saturday morning keynote speaker and shared stories of underrepresented and diverse voices in the South.


Southern Interscholastic Press Association Broadcast Scroggins Award –

“RNE TV,” Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, South Carolina

Southern Interscholastic Press Association Literary Magazine Scroggins Award –

Voices, Nation Ford High School, Fort Mill, South Carolina 

Southern Interscholastic Press Association Newsprint Scroggins Award –

Tribal Tribune, Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Marina Hendricks, CJE
South Dakota
South Dakota State University
Box 2235
Yeager Hall 224
Brookings, SD 57007
W: 605.688-6515

Membership: South Dakota has eight members – a decrease of one from the fall 2019 report due to a retirement. 

Events: I am planning a high school journalism workshop that will be offered during the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s annual convention in April. In addition, I am organizing high school journalism programming that will be provided during the joint conference of the Speech Communication Association of South Dakota and the South Dakota Council of Teachers of English in September. Lastly, I am in the preliminary planning stages for the South Dakota High School Press Convention in October. My to-do lists for all three events include JEA membership promotion – recruitment as well as retention. 

Awards and honors: I am preparing to launch a spring opinion writing contest for South Dakota high school journalists. The winner will be honored at one of the two fall events mentioned above. 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:  We have 56 state members.

Events/Happenings: LIVE from Nashville: We are all storytellers. The Spring Convention is coming to Nashville, April 16-18, 2020. The members of the local committee have been busy at work preparing for this convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. The Keynote Speaker will be John Seigenthaler, and the One Story will feature songwriter Ashley Gorley as he is interviewed by digital storyteller Libby Oellerich.


  • The Tennessee High School Press Association will hold its annual state awards ceremony at the JEA/NSPA Spring Convention in Nashville April 17 at 3 p.m. 
  • The Sequoyah Scribe from John Sevier Middle School in Kingsport, Tennessee is a Pacemaker winner. The editors are Ella Miller and Balu Pushkas, and the Adviser is David Flanary. 
  • The Lion’s Roar from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee is a Pacemaker Finalist. At the JEA/NSPA Convention in Nashville the Pacemaker winners will be announced. The editors are Abigail Francis and Elaina Joy Sanders, and the Adviser is Heather Nagel, CJE. 
  • JEA named Heather Nagel, CJE, a Distinguished Adviser and will formally recognize her April 18 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville.

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 currently has 337 members.

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 2019. 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. New categories of competition have been added this year, including audio and podcasting. This year’s deadline for submitting entries is April 17, 2020. More information can be found here

The UCMA Futures Awards will happen May 8, 2020 at Weber State University in Ogden. Schools must register by May 5, 2020. The awards ceremony is free to attend for any teachers/advisers and students who are part of their school’s journalism program. 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. 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. 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 here. 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

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

Membership: Vermont has four voting members. 

Events/Happenings: Beth Fialko-Casey, adviser to The Register of Burlington High School, and two of the paper’s co-editors, Jenna Peterson and Julia Shannon-Grillo, spoke as advocates for free speech on a panel at a day of learning hosted by the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education.

Marilee Attley, adviser to the “Brattleboro Beacon,” at Brattleboro Union High School, said the staff is working on a “Best of the Decade” issue.

Peter Riegelman, adviser to “The BFA Mercury” at Bellows Free Academy, sent an article from an April 2019 issue reporting on whether the school’s policy on student expression is in accordance with Vermont’s “New Voices” law, passes in May 2017.


The Register and its editors at Burlington High School, received the Courage in Student Journalism Award in November 2019 at the JEA/NSPA fall convention in Washington, D.C.

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

Membership: Virginia’s voting membership remained the same since the last report, with 86 voting members.

Our relationship with the Virginia High School League continues to strengthen and grow. The upcoming 2020 VHSL Media Championship will once again take place at Harrisonburg High School in October. There, we hope to introduce the new Virginia All-State Journalism staff, as well as reintroduce a write-off competition into the programming.

Virginia had a whirlwind year working towards getting New Voices legislation passed. We have a dedicated and knowledgeable patron in Delegate Chris Hurst, and the bill made significantly more headway than it did last year. In fact, both chambers approved HB36, but unfortunately, the bill they approved only covers college students after an amendment that removed protections for elementary, middle and high school students and their advisers. The bill allows college students discretion over their news and opinion articles, but neither advertising nor features. 

The bad news is that this is basically the status quo. The good news is that Delegate Hurst has promised to continue to fight for high school protections. Additionally, a strong team of student advocates from Colonial Forge High School, Heritage High School, Prince George High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School lobbied delegates and senators on the day of the original subcommittee hearing and made some strong contacts with both. Some have even pledged their support for high school protections moving forward.

Our annual jRetreat was a great success. Michelle Balmeo, MJE, was amazing and the entire group had rave reviews for her instruction on data-driven journalism, infographics and alternative coverage. As always, please consider joining us next year over MLK Weekend, Jan. 15-17, in Petersburg. We’ll be learning all about audio and podcasting from Chris Snider from Drake University.

Awards: Erinn Harris has been named the Columbia Scholastic Press Association/Dow Jones News Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year. In the Virginia Journalist of the Year contest, two of her students, Grace Mak and Irina Lee, placed first and second respectively. Emma Andreas, Hayfield Secondary School (adviser, Brittany Eckerd) placed third. Valerie Kibler, JEA Vice President and former JEA Virginia State Director, will be inducted into the VHSL Hall of Fame in April. Meghan Percival was named a Pioneer Award winner prior to the D.C. convention, and will be recognized in Nashville. Mary Kay Downes has been named CSPA’s 2020 Charles O’Malley Award Recipient.

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

Membership: Currently, we have 65 voting JEA members in the state of Washington. We have 97 adult members of WJEA and at least 15 student members. Of the adviser members, we have 38 that are shared members of both WJEA & JEA.

Events/Happenings: Since the October semi-annual report submission, we have hosted our Journalism Day in Eastern Washington (Whitworth College in Spokane). We had 175 attendees and a phenomenal keynote speaker in Rob Curley, the current editor of The Spokesman Review. Eleven attended the Adobe Illustrator and InDesign trainings we held at Cleveland High School in Seattle, WA. Next year, we are looking at options to provide Adobe training on the eastern side of the state as well.  

Saturday, March 7, we were scheduled to have our state conference at Mercer Island High School. We had 206 attendees from 17 schools registered. There are 16 contests and 125 students signed up to compete in those contests. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was our keynote speaker. The conference was cancelled Tuesday afternoon by the hosting schools because of coronavirus concerns. We had schools who had field trips cancelled, so our numbers would have been down from the registered numbers anyway. We are now scrambling to get the contests rescheduled and to reveal our journalist of the year and adviser of the year. We’re also trying to regroup and collect video footage for our promo video to share at Nashville advertising the Seattle 2021 convention. 

We are at what feels like the epicenter for the Coronavirus outbreak, so we are facing school closures for preventative cleaning and/or because students and staff are ill. Some school districts are banning airline travel for the remainder of the year, which will, of course, impact our numbers at JEA in Nashville. Some schools are preparing for extended closures just in case, so the journalism staffs may have to modify publications and deadlines. 

We are in the beginning stages of planning for Seattle 2021. Our year-out meeting was changed from a face-to-face meeting to a virtual meeting — thank you, coronavirus. Well, the tornado in Nashville and the fact that we had convention here in 2017 and still have most of that planning committee on board makes the tour of the facility and an actual face-to-face meeting not as pressing right now. 

Awards/Honors: Our Journalist of the Year is Nolan DeGarlais of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Our Outstanding Journalist is Arjun ThomasFrom Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington.

Our Journalism Adviser of the Year is Angelo Comeaux, broadcast teacher at Mountlake Terrace High School. Our WJEA president and state director, Anne Hayman, was awarded Special Recognition Adviser by CSPA as well.

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 four members.

Events/happenings: West Virginia will be having a virtual meeting to work on a strategic plan for increasing membership and identifying member needs in the state.

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 56.

Events/Happenings: The Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA) held its annual Fall Conference in October. The featured speaker was Mary Beth Tinker, and there was a focus on student press rights in general. KEMPA will also be hosting its annual Winter Advisers Seminar March 6-7 in Delavan, WI. Adam Dawkins is the keynote speaker. Upcoming events include the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA) annual Spring Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, April 22. 

Awards and Honors: Unfortunately, we did not get any completed applications for Wisconsin Journalist of the Year. This is the second year in a row we have tried to operate this new version of the competition, with a cash prize. We will continue to discuss ways to increase exposure and participation in the future. The deadline just ended for entries in the NEWSPA individual and publication contests, and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association will honor student journalism awards winners at its annual convention March 20.

For the Board: We continue to solidify things with the newly established Wisconsin Journalism Education Association. Although we were unable to get any entries in this year’s Wisconsin Journalist of the Year contest, we have managed to establish a presence online and through social media and to begin compiling data on school programs and advisers across the state. Finishing up the year and heading into the summer, we’d like to solidify new plans for hosting the contest next year as well as get additional membership services in place.

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

Membership: Wyoming currently has 14 members.

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  the 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’ve had an excellent year. We’ve had initiatives added and resources added to our website and convention setting. 

We have launched our 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. 

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

Board member Mitch Eden has taken the lead on our Student Advisory Committee. The first meeting was in DC, and the ideas generated were unbelievable, all with just a little coffee and some muffins. We are looking at implementing some of these ideas within our organization and at future conventions. In Nashville we will introduce a pilot of People’s Choice Awards to program with our Best of Choice Awards. Staffs will have a window of opportunity to vote for the “best” in a category. 

Kelly Glasscock and I continue to be great travel and convention-planning partners. We look forward to a great convention in Nashville and then we’ll get ready for Orlando. 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

As we move into the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, all of us are finding ourselves in uncharted territory as school travel is increasingly restricted and schools are shutting down to limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. Despite that, student journalists are still pursuing important stories and we at the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) are still here to help you maneuver your way through this new reality. We want to share a few exciting developments with you and make sure you know about SPLC resources that can help you during this time. 

  • The SPLC Legal Hotline continues to provide essential services to student journalists and advisers who have questions about legal issues ranging from censorship or prior review, to copyright issues or takedown requests. Thousands of students and advisers reach out to us each year and this year is no different. Spring is our busiest time of year as advisers find themselves under threat of nonrenewal or transfer, funding cuts are proposed to student news organizations/journalism programs, censorship hits it stride, and a range of other concerns emerge. As the core of SPLC’s work, the legal hotline is always free and all inquiries are answered. Please reach out here so that we can help you with any questions or concerns which may arise.
  • SPLC continues to explore ways to bring our training and services to you – even if we can’t meet up with you in person. In August, we launched the SPLC Virtual Speakers Bureau, which brings an SPLC expert to your classroom/newsroom via Zoom free video conferencing. In the first six months since the program was launched we have reached over 1,000 students in 18 states. Currently, VSB sessions are available to cover four key topics: High School Press Freedom, Copyright, Libel/Defamation, or Freedom of Information. We have also recorded these presentations and they are available to stream or download from our website. Feel free to use them in class. And a reminder in this time of COVID-19-related school shutdowns: SPLC is available to meet with you in your virtual classroom. Just sign up here (and give us a few choices of date/time.) We can accommodate up to 100 users per session. 
  • Now in its second year, Student Press Freedom Day is hitting its stride as it continues to establish itself as a national day of action for student press freedom. In addition to the many events and activities that took place across the country Jan. 29, 2020, SPLC partnered with the National Archives to bring together four student journalists from around the country to talk about “New Visions of the Future of Press Freedom.”  The event was moderated by Emmy Award recipient Joie Chen and introduced by David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch the full discussion on the National Archives YouTube channel, here. In addition, SPLC was able to provide 14 small grants of up to $300 for student-led activities in 10 states to support Student Press Freedom Day. Dozens of student news outlets ran op-eds or articles about the need for student press freedom, and social media was brimming with posts using #StudentPressFreedom.You can see more about Student Press Freedom Day 2020 here. Plans are afoot to expand the impact and extend the organizing of Student Press Freedom Day for next year. Stay tuned for ways for you to get involved in the coming weeks!
  • SPLC has been able to expand our support and expertise to the stalwart grassroots activists of the New Voices movement with the hiring of New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizer Hillary Davis. Hillary joined SPLC in October, days before SPLC’s first-ever New Voices Training Institute took place. The Training Institute brought together teams of advocates from seven target states (from Hawaii to New York) to do a deep-dive into skills development, advocacy training and strategy planning. Since then, SPLC has provided focused technical support and expertise and is working to provide resources to all state-based New Voices groups, with model legislation, standardized core materials, monthly training webinars (also available to download), personalized training workshops and more. The results have already been amazing as New Voices has extended its reach and made huge new strides in more than a dozen states. If you have not signed up for the monthly New Voices newsletter, please sign up here. If you want to find out more about New Voices, contact Hillary at hdavis@splc.org
  • SPLC’s creative collaboration with JEA at the fall high school and college conventions in D.C. enabled participants to understand and experience the First Amendment and press freedom in new and direct ways. By working with the conference organizers well in advance, SPLC was able to provide unique events and opportunities for attendees, including a special, sold-out pre-con tour of the U.S. Supreme Court (as part of a re-envisioned “Student Press Freedom 101” session) and a surprise Q & A session with Mary Beth TInker at the Newseum. SPLC experts provided a dozen workshops on topics ranging from copyright or takedowns, to censorship and New Voices. As part of our celebration of the Year of the Student Journalist, we also partnered with the Freedom Forum Institute to secure free entrance to the Newseum for all conference attendees. It was especially meaningful because it was a last opportunity for most attendees to visit before the Pennsylvania Avenue location of the Newseum closed for good in December. As we think ahead, we look forward to working with the Orlando local planning committee now to determine various types of SPLC-branded programming or events that can best serve students and advisers. Do you have ideas of things you would like to see SPLC experts discuss in Orlando?  Please let us know by contacting SPLC Director of Engagement Diana Mistu Klos at dmk@splc.org
  • In addition to covering breaking news and writing enterprise stories about student press freedom issues, SPLC’s journalism interns have produced pieces designed to help their peers. News You Can Use includes guides to covering the 2020 elections, what to do if your student news organization’s funding is cut and how to use the Clery Act to cover crime on campus. You can find their great work here

We are so fortunate to have a close partnership with the Journalism Education Association. We deeply appreciate all you do for your students and the entire student journalism community and are happy to play a role in supporting your efforts however possible. Wishing you all a happy and healthy spring semester.

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