Minutes from the April 16, 2020, board of directors meeting

Minutes from the April 16, 2020, board of directors meeting

Journalism Education Association Board Meeting
April 16, 2020 • 8 a.m.
Online meeting


A meeting of the Journalism Education Association board of directors took place April 16, 2020, online with all members present. It began at 8 a.m. CDT and was presided over by Sarah Nichols with Connie Fulkerson as secretary.


Voting members: Sarah Nichols, president; Val Kibler, vice president; Megan Fromm, Educational Initiatives director; Lori Keekley, Scholastic Press Rights director; Laura Negri, director-at-large; Mike Malcom-Bjorklund, director-at-large; Julia Satterthwaite, director-at-large.

Nonvoting members (committee chairs, editor, liaisons): Karen Slusher, awards chair; Kim Green, certification chair; Nancy Y. Smith, contest chair; Evelyn Lauer, publications/public relations chair; Aaron Manfull, digital media chair; Jonathan Rogers, professional outreach/NCTE liaison; Nina Quintana, Career and Technical Education chair; Patrick Johnson, Mentoring Program chair; Rebecca Pollard Journalist of the Year coordinator; Bradley Wilson, C:JET editor; Laura Widmer, NSPA liaison

Staff: Kelly Glasscock, executive director; Connie Fulkerson, program and awards coordinator

Incoming board members: Kristin Taylor, Brenda Field, Shari Adwers, Katie Merritt, Sarah Verpooten

Other: Priscilla Frost, contest assistant

The following was posted on JEA.org on March 20, 2020: The Journalism Education Association board of directors will meet at 8 a.m. April 16, 2020. No location was provided.

A motion to accept the minutes, with corrections, of the fall 2019 board meeting in Washington, D.C., was made by Julia Satterthwaite and seconded by Val Kibler. (passed 7-0)

Sarah Nichols affirmed these electronic votes:

  • Motion to endorse Colorado HB20-1062 (passed 7-0, Feb. 22, 2020)
  • Motion to authorize executive director negotiations with Gaylord Opryland Resort regarding Nashville NHSJC (passed 7-0, March 14, 2020)

A motion to approve the agenda was made by Lori Keekley and seconded by Val Kibler. (passed 7-0)

It was noted that the schedule may change slightly as people come in and out of the meeting to give their reports.


  • To Priscilla Frost (submitted by Nancy Smith) in recognition of leadership, innovation and attention to detail during 16 years serving as JEA Contest office manager.
  • To Marina Hendricks (submitted by Lori Keekley) for outstanding service to the Scholastic Press Rights Committee and leadership with social media.
  • To John Bowen (submitted by Lori Keekley) for outstanding service to the Scholastic Press Rights committee and leadership with blog posts.
  • To Beth Butler (submitted by Bradley Wilson) for outstanding contributions to JEA’s magazine, Communication: Journalism Education Today, as copy editor and team member.
  • To Mike Simons (submitted by Bradley Wilson) for efforts to help develop, coordinate and manage a photo repository for images related to the 2020 presidential election.
  • To Cathy Wall (submitted by Kim Green) for nine years serving JEA’s Certification Committee. Her insight, knowledge and commitment helped guide the committee to key test revisions and updates.
  • To Evelyn Lauer (submitted by Sarah Nichols) for outstanding service to JEA as Publications and PR chair, including special assignments and social media communications.
  • To Candace Perkins Bowen (submitted by Sarah Nichols) for coordinating JEA’s 2020 board of directors election with professionalism and enthusiasm in the best interests of the organization.
  • To Jonathan Rogers (submitted by Sarah Nichols) for outstanding service to JEA and innovation regarding partnerships and professional development opportunities.
  • To Val Kibler, Megan Fromm, Lori Keekley, Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, Laura Negri, Julia Satterthwaite (submitted by Sarah Nichols) for outstanding service to JEA from 2017-2020 as a member of the board of directors.
  • To Kelly Glasscock and Laura Widmer (submitted by Sarah Nichols) for outstanding leadership and communication regarding NHSJC decisions during COVID-19.
  • To Sarah Nichols (submitted by the board) for her tireless effort to move JEA forward in a targeted, systematic way and to keep the multiple plates of different JEA initiatives spinning through encouragement and support of all volunteer leaders, while somehow managing to be an incredible teacher, devoted wife and mom, and the most thoughtful friend.

National Student Media Contests — Nancy Smith
More details on the contests are provided in the spring semiannual report. At the Washington, D.C., convention, the new contest registration/entry system had a successful run. There were about 2,100 participants, which was 29% of the overall convention attendance (not just students). There were a lot of judges, including many new ones. Problematic areas with the new system were addressed after the D.C. convention in December.

Recently, all contest critique sheets were revised to tie in to JEA’s curriculum standards. The committee eliminated the numbering system, choosing instead to use Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations or Does Not Meet Expectations. This should eliminate some of the confusion when the critiques are read by the students or teachers. The new critique sheets would have been used in Nashville but will be used at the next on-site convention.

The NSMC committee is considering rolling out some new contests, and getting rid of some contests (see semiannual report).

The new contest registration/entry system will not be used for the junior high/middle school contest yet. There were several adjustments to the number of entries and categories in the JHMS contest to encourage higher quality.

A record number of Quiz Bowl teams participated at the D.C. convention. The Saturday event is more streamlined now.

Moving forward, the committee discussed ways JEA could have a virtual contest with online entries. The team considered keeping the online categories from Nashville but decided to cancel all contests this spring since the headquarters office was closed, and it may have been difficult to conduct the contest remotely. JEA will consider some contest alternatives to still provide members’ students with opportunities if travel is a problem for future conventions.

Since most members are teaching from home during the pandemic, the committee gathered and posted contest materials from the past five years to let members have access for their online classes.

Conventions — Kelly Glasscock and Laura Widmer

NASHVILLE: Glasscock said that canceling Nashville was a challenge, with serious discussions for a couple weeks. This is the first time JEA/NSPA had to cancel a convention. Widmer said thanks for the patience during the pre-cancellation time. There was a method to the madness. JEA/NSPA wanted to make sure things were good for the organizations financially with the Gaylord. If we don’t fill a certain number of rooms, we’re paying attrition. Also, we are liable for a certain amount for food and beverage. The executive directors were working with a lawyer to make sure they were comfortable with the final financial obligations. The Gaylord is wanting JEA/NSPA to book a future date. On a side note, Glasscock noted the Nashville 2020 convention contract was the first contract that he signed as JEA’s executive director. Widmer said the Nashville convention registration refunds will be sent when the NSPA staff can get back into the office, possibly in May. It was hard to do this remotely.

ORLANDO: It’s far too early to decide anything about whether or not we’ll be having an on-site convention. Glasscock talked to a Marriott World Center representative Tuesday. The hotel is closed during the pandemic. It’s not going to be the convention we had planned, but we hope everyone is going to love it. We recently had signed an addendum to increase the room block. The hotel is working with us. Widmer said we have a good relationship with Marriott so that is helping us with negotiations.

SEATTLE: Kelly said Seattle is a different scenario than the previous two conventions. There are two hotels — one with sleeping rooms only; one with sleeping rooms plus meeting rooms plus convention center that we pay for through rebates from the hotels. The executive directors will be looking at what this convention will look like as soon as they know how the pandemic plays out.

Widmer said the NSPA awards show will be Friday (April 17). After the Nashville convention was canceled, NSPA opened Best of Show up to all NSPA publications. There were 760 entered. NSPA also is starting Pacemaker master classes. Mitch Eden is doing one on newspaper leadership. Others will be on breaking news, yearbook Pacemakers, online Pacemakers and resources.

Headquarters — Kelly Glasscock

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2019: Numbers were strong for the D.C. convention: 2,100+ in contests; 370 for awards luncheon; 485 for Pizza and Proud; 546 of 575 spots available for pre-convention workshops (95% filled); 3,418 of 3,460 room block or 99% filled; 6,161 attendees.

Total attendance projected for the year (Washington, D.C. plus Nashville conventions) was 9,300, but actual was 6,161 since the spring convention was canceled. In 2001-02, after 9/11, attendance for both conventions (Boston and Phoenix) totaled 6,767.

Some D.C. expenses were high: Pizza and Proud ($25,000); Adviser hospitality ($20,000); other things came in under budget. We actually made less in Chicago in 2018 because of higher expenses in items like electrical.

Despite the Nashville convention being canceled, there still are some Nashville expenses: credit card processing fees, flight cancellations, lawyer; but no income. Total convention revenue for this fiscal year was $425,265, and total convention expenses totaled $200,312, with net revenue $224,953. In the FY19-20 budget the projected net revenue was $382,542 but it now is -$157,499 because we cut the convention.

This necessitated budget cuts outside of the convention line in contests, board and committees, mentoring and magazine. Still, the total projected net operating revenue is -$113,176 for FY20-21. The board will need to look for more cuts.

Nashville items: NSPA will process refunds after getting back into the office in May.

Hotel: To mitigate any risk of the hotel coming back in the next six years to claim misuse of force majeure, we will look at a convention contract for 2030.

ORLANDO 2020: The executive directors are pleased with how the hotel responded. We should be in a good spot to negotiate. Hotel wants what is good for us. They are looking at the long game. It is hard to project what the revenue will be like. Looking at a hybrid model for conventions: some onsite/some virtual activities.

JEA ADVISERS INSTITUTE: We announced this week it will be a virtual event with the same speakers taping their talks so people can watch them when they want. Roy Peter Clark has agreed to be the keynote speaker. We have 17 registrations already.

Documentation of subsequent events
Due to COVID-19:
• Schools banned travel and moved online.
• States have issued stay-at-home orders.
As a result:
• Spring NHSJC was canceled.
• Global economy is reeling.
• JEA will significantly miss budget projections.

Statement of Activity as of April 15, 2020:
-$40,000 net operating revenue. Investment statements arrived April 15 to the tune of -$200,000. Only $65,000 more income projected for FY19.

Net operating revenue: -$113,176; Net revenue: -$313,176; Net ordinary revenue: -$363,176. Additional cuts are being explored. Cash flow needs to be around $300,000 for operating expenses.

2020-21 BUDGET: How do we budget in an uncertain year? This forces innovation. JEA is set up to weather a crisis like this but it may take a few years to rebound.

A  lawyer has been looking at our contracts before we sign them. Attorney expenses for conventions are shared by JEA and NSPA.

We will be signing with Ace Hotel for the Advisers Institute in 2022.

Bradley Wilson asked about the stability of NSPA. Kelly Glasscock said JEA doesn’t jump into those specifics with NSPA. NSPA is working on ways to generate other revenue. Many organizations will be hurting. Nancy Smith: Would it be better for JEA/NSPA to hold instead of refund Nashville paid registrations for future conventions? Glasscock: It would be easier to refund everything now than for NSPA to deal with multiple school accounts and fiscal years. Some of the money has to be refunded activity accounts/publication accounts, not the school’s general fund. Some students paid their own way so the money needs to eventually go back to them. It’s best to get it back to the source in this fiscal year.

Sarah Nichols: New board members will receive a statement of account first of every month. This year, the board will get one on May 1, the first day of their term. If there are questions, board members can engage with Kelly via email.


Lindsay Porter will start Aug. 10. That is a five-week overlap with Connie Fulkerson, who will be retiring Sept. 18. Porter will be moving to Manhattan in May. K-State has issued a hiring freeze, which we beat by three weeks.

All staff have worked from home since about March 20. We have a process for shipping items and receiving mail, but depositing checks will be done less frequently. The outgoing phone message directs callers to staff@jea.org. K-State has suspended all in-person meetings through July 31.

All contest refunds were made before the office was closed in March.

Curriculum — Megan Fromm

Curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers and Abri Nelson met with Educational Initiatives director Megan Fromm in Washington, D.C., and talked about multilevel learning. They would like to develop a model for student-directed learning, which would be low-tech and have limited adviser supervision. It would be accessible to every adviser. It would have a slide show that a student follows through with ways at the end to engage with the adviser. The committee had hoped to meet this summer but will cut back due to the current circumstances. They would appreciate feedback on the slide show if anyone on the board wants to test it.

Moving forward with the curriculum: The committee hopes to provide more curriculum resources. They are considering offering individual contracts to non-committee members for curriculum work to keep the curriculum committee from getting overwhelmed. This should widen the pool of people willing to contribute to the curriculum. We need to preserve one of the things that encourages people to become members. Also, once the curriculum materials are in the world, we need to get ideas on how to protect them as a member benefit.

Career & Technical Education — Nina Quintana

The Committee developed an information survey and was hoping to send the survey out through state directors next week in order to gather information to prioritize content for Phase II of the CTE tab on the JEA website.

For Phase II: Items the committee is focusing on are housing previews of model CTE programs (this would be an item behind the paywall), developing shopping lists by programs who are receiving funds, and adding to the current content gaps in Phase I.

Quintana will be hosting a Zoom meeting in late May to review the data collected from the survey. This meeting will be focused on brainstorming additional ideas for Phase II and to assign tasks to committee members to gather information and materials needed for developing the content for the website. Additional feedback will be collected through the New Mexico College and Career Readiness Bureau: She will be sending a rubric to assess Phase I of the website and will be meeting with representatives from NMCCRB to gather additional information and suggestions on improving the current content and suggestions for new content.

Quintana will work out a virtual meeting in October versus the in-person retreat to put content together, review and preview with the committee. Her goal is to launch Phase II by the fall convention.

Quintana said there is a need for a Gmail account for CTE in which she can move collected content used for Phase I into that Google Drive. Although she has been gathering and housing content for the committee in her personal drive, she feels it is important that JEA has ownership of all content and whomever the CTE committee chair may be in the future has access to all content.

Finally, a long-term goal is to look at how to bring testing opportunities to various states for people who cannot attend conventions for various reasons. Quintana has discussed this with Kelly Glasscock and in that conversation, they agreed they would have to work out what that costs would be to make that happen and the details to ensure that JEA wouldn’t take a loss.

Things to consider are the shipping of the mobile computer lab and the travel for the exam proctor. Therefore, we would have to figure out the minimum number of tests that would have to be purchased by the event to make this happen. Other things to consider are potential technical challenges such as the internet that might make this challenging. Once all the details are ironed out, this would be another item for the website with a request form.

Agenda change after the agenda was approved: Board members agreed to discuss the bylaws before the budget.

Approval of 2020-21 budget
Sarah Nichols moved and Julia Satterthwaite seconded to accept the 2020-21 budget draft. (passed 7-0)

In developing the budget, Kelly Glasscock said it was difficult to create an expense column when you don’t know what the income will be in these uncertain times. In projecting a loss, the budget committee needed to look at how much we were willing to take out of reserves. Before the board meeting, the budget bottom line was -$144,817, so the board members looked through the budget to find other expense areas to cut including line items in board and committees, awards, donations and travel. In awards, the Journalist of the Year winner will receive $3,000 and $850 will go to three runners-up (instead of six). Future Teacher Scholarship will be reduced to up to two awards of $1,000 instead of up to five. The Future Administrator scholarship will be reduced to $1,500 from $5,000. Final bottom line ended at -$68,016. This spends less than 10 percent of the reserves, which was the goal for this budget cycle.

Motion to amend bylaws
Val Kibler moved and Julia Satterthwaite seconded to change the last sentence of  Article VIII: State Directors Section 1: Qualifications to read “They shall be appointed by the vice president.” (passed 7-0)

 Article VIII: State Directors
Section 1: Qualifications
State directors must be teacher/adviser JEA members. Each state and the District of Columbia will have one state director. They shall be elected by JEA members of the state organization, appointed by the state organization or appointed by the vice president.

Motion to amend bylaws
Sarah Nichols moved and Megan Fromm seconded that the Journalism Education Association avoid perceived or actual conflict of interest by amending its bylaws with the changes below. (passed 7-0)

Article IV: Board of Directors
Section 2: Directors
It is the duty of the directors to carry out the programs and projects of the organization under the direction of the president.


Directors shall not serve in any type of voting capacity for a local, state, regional or national press association and must resign such roles before their elected term with JEA begins. Candidates must notify the nominations chair of all existing leadership roles and potential conflicts before the general meeting when the election slate is finalized.

Discussion — Bradley Wilson: Does this apply to the president and vice president?Sarah Nichols: It is meant for the entire board of directors, which includes the officers.
Megan Fromm: You can’t craft a bylaw for each specific situation. There may be times when board members should recuse themselves from voting for potential conflict of interest. Board members have to complete a conflict of interest form.
Sarah Nichols: Other organizations are looking out for their sides as well.
Bradley Wilson: He suggested adding “or executive leadership” to the first line of original proposal. All agreed.

Final wording after discussion:

Directors shall not serve in any type of voting or executive leadership capacity for a local, state, regional or national press association and must resign such roles before their elected term with JEA begins. Candidates must notify the nominations chair of all existing leadership roles and potential conflicts before election slate is finalized.

Lori Keekley moved and Megan Fromm seconded to adjourn the meeting. Sarah Nichols adjourned the meeting at 12:46 p.m.


The next board meeting will be Nov. 19, 2020, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, or held virtually on that day if travel is restricted or the convention is virtual.




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