Fall 2022 semiannual report

Fall 2022 semiannual report

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

Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE
Executive Director, Journalism Education Association
014 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500

Thank you for accessing the fall 2022 semiannual report from the Journalism Education Association. This is my first report as the new executive director. In case you missed it, here is a recent blog post I wrote. As you’ll see from the staff and members reporting below, there has been a lot of activity and engagement. I am thrilled to have such an engaged community and thank everyone for their hard work.

Membership: Total membership is 2,728 (voting membership is 2,554 and non-voting is 174). That is 36 more total members than in fall 2021.

Financial Position: As of Sept. 30, 2022, JEA’s revenue was $62,766 (mainly from membership dues) while expenses were $80,826 (the majority for event programming expenses) in the first three months of this fiscal year. So the net operating revenue was at $-19,506 which will continue to fluctuate through the fall convention.

Headquarters: I began officially as JEA executive director July 1, 2022 (although I attended part of the spring convention and met the full board) and soon after attended the July Advisers Institute in New Orleans. Since then, I have engaged in a listening tour mainly in the months of July and August getting to know the volunteer leaders (board and chairs) and the staff. I also visited the headquarters office at Kansas State University in September.

Happenings: Other events and activities include:

  • JEA Advisers Institute July 10-13, 2022 in New Orleans.
  • Site visit and local committee planning meeting for the spring 2023 convention in San Francisco in October 2022.
  • Met both virtually and in person with the executive committee (president and vice president) to plan strategic priorities.

Lindsay Porter, CJE
Assistant Director, Journalism Education Association
014 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500

Communications by the numbers:

4,006 Facebook followers — 2% decrease
4,482 Twitter followers — 5% increase
2,091 Instagram followers — 7% increase
9,970 newsletter email contacts — 40% open rate, 5% click rate
1,086 JEA Listserv followers — 16% increase
272 LinkedIn followers — 17% increase

Communications highlights:

  • Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn followers continue to grow. JEA Listserv participation had dipped during the pandemic, but it has increased the past year. 
  • More than 1,000 students and advisers voted for the Scholastic Journalism Week student design poster for the 2023 event. The poster will ship to members with the winter C:JET magazine.

Convention highlights:

  • We are wrapping up the program and schedule for the fall convention in St. Louis, Nov. 10-13.
  • JEA will have a booth in the trade show since we have moved away from a full bookstore. The booth will feature information about JEA programs as well as a short list of merchandise items for sale. JEA members who visit the booth will receive a free gift. 
  • We’ve updated the design of the CJE and MJE ribbons for the name badges. There are now JEA lifetime member ribbons for name badges.

Sarah Nichols, MJE
Whitney High School
701 Wildcat Blvd.
Rocklin, CA 95765

Daily interactions with members this fall have reinforced the power of our supportive scholastic media advising community and the magnitude of the challenges we continue to face in our classrooms and newsrooms. The good news: We’re doing it! It’s awesome! The bad news: It’s harder and it takes longer!

Those reminders speak to how important JEA is, and as I write one of my last reports as president, I’m also struck by how much more I want to do. Thank you for continuing to support and encourage me in this role.

Much of my time during the past few months has been connected to the association’s transition welcoming a new executive director. From regular emails and Zoom sessions in the spring to online strategic planning sessions once Veronica assumed the position July 1, we’ve been busy, and I continue to appreciate her leadership and marketing expertise, thoughtful questions and genuine interest in all aspects of JEA and our members. I’m grateful to our staff and board for their efforts in Veronica’s onboarding process as well.

Aside from the association leadership work, financial review and fundraising exploration we’ve also taken a deeper look at elements of board governance, which is especially helpful as we enter the next election cycle for the organization. Veronica and I met in person Oct. 17 along with Vice President Val Kibler, MJE, for a strategic planning session after a site visit for the San Francisco convention, which will complement the weekly meetings we conduct online.

My other main area of focus has been with JEA’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion. I presented “All In: National Diversity Audit” at JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans, during which I learned only 14.8 percent of the adviser attendees had conducted some type of coverage audit in the student media program they advise, and 19.7 percent had conducted source audits. The focus of the session was to set the stage for JEA’s upcoming diversity initiative.

Researching and exploring partnerships in similar journalism spaces slowed down my initial timeline but improved the plan, and ultimately it led to a wonderful partnership with the Diversity Pledge Institute. Over the past month I have been developing diversity audit questions and survey options. The first phase of the program will launch with a small group in November tied to the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis.

Speaking of conventions, our NHSJC partnership with NSPA has been another focal point. Leaders from both associations met online in September to discuss the convention’s joint operating agreement and explore areas for improvement. We identified a solid list of things to track and evaluate in order to strengthen the convention model. Our team is committed to conducting an audit and to developing a better tracking or task management system between the two associations. We know the process of examining the allocation of duties and the specifics of our revenue split will be a slow and detailed one. As always, I welcome your questions and feedback throughout this process.

In addition to those three areas, other efforts since the last report include:

  • Studying board governance from the National Council of Nonprofits and the American Society of Association Executives
  • Teaching a session July 12 at #JEAai called “Visual communications strategy”
  • Participating in monthly board sessions online
  • Serving on the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Ed Committee and helping with its #Press4Education initiative
  • Administering JEA’s online critique training, “You be the judge” (164 credentialed to date)
  • Coordinating the application and selection process for the JEA/NSPA First-time Convention Grant for St. Louis

I wish I could sit down with each teacher, adviser, editor and scholastic journalism supporter to say thanks for the work you’re doing and also to remind you we’re all in this together, especially in these rebuilding stages. THANK YOU.

As I close this way-too-long report, I have one request: Please consider running for office in the upcoming JEA election. It is challenging, rewarding, humbling, fun — and vital to our profession. We want and need you to be involved.

Valerie Kibler, MJE
Vice President
Harrisonburg High School
1001 Garbers Church Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

It has been fun, yet challenging, watching new students/staff and leaders reshape the media at my school. I imagine many of you are seeing the same thing. No matter how different our media outlets might look now, it’s important to work with the students we have and continually appreciate the efforts they put in. It’s exactly the same way with JEA as a primarily volunteer association. I’m continually thankful for the hours and hours of service our members donate on top of what they are already doing to advance scholastic journalism in their schools and communities. In order for us to grow and remain vibrant, it’s essential that we invite new advisers to serve our organization in some capacity. The more we partner with these new advisers, the more we will be able to expand our reach as we help journalism teachers across America.

In the time since my spring report, I have been:

  • Participating in an online session Aug. 24 with representatives of both JEA and NSPA boards to discuss the joint operating agreement for the NHSJC
  • Working with the Team Storytelling activity and teaching two sessions July 12 at #JEAai 
  • Participating in monthly board sessions online
  • Serving as a member of the JEA mentoring committee and attending monthly meetings online while working with two new mentees
  • Participating in regular online meetings with JEA Executive Director Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE, and JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE, to discuss current JEA initiatives and strategic planning

Kristin Taylor, MJE
Scholastic Press Rights Director
The Archer School for Girls
11725 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Although the pandemic may be ebbing, advisers and student journalists across the country face increasing challenges, even in states with robust New Voices laws. We only have to look at Adriana Chavira’s courageous stand against illegal censorship in California to see the depths of this problem. While Chavira’s suspension was rescinded, advisers in most states do not have the state laws to protect them. SPRC member Sarah Nichols, MJE, moderated a panel with Chavira and her former editors, and its recording may be a valuable classroom resource to programs across the country.

Additionally, “prohibited content” laws in many states are causing confusion about what can and can not be taught, and student journalists are feeling the pressure. Whether being told certain topics are “off limits,” facing book bans, or having their entire paper eliminated for daring to cover LGBTQ+ issues, the Scholastic Press Rights Committee’s work has never been more important. We want to remind our adviser family that we have a website full of resources available for all, and you can reach our team of experienced advisers through the Panic Button. We work in tandem with the Student Press Law Center: They provide legal support, and we provide advice and support from an educator perspective. Additionally, we reach out to those who post on the Listserv and Facebook groups asking for help about censorship or prior review issues. We also often respond privately to those on the Listserv or through the journalism Facebook group.

The Scholastic Press Rights Committee works in teams with members in a variety of areas. Members include Candace Bowen, MJE, John Bowen, MJE, Diana Day, CJE, Vince DeMiero, CJE, Mark Dzula, Janet Ewell, MJE, Brenda Field, MJE, Megan Fromm, MJE, Emilee Hussack, CJE, Val Kibler, MJE, Tom McHale, Andrea Negri, MJE, Sarah Nichols, MJE, Katie Rages, Tripp Robbins, CJE, Kathy Schrier, MJE, Leslie Shipp, MJE, John Tagliareni, Mitch Ziegler, CJE, and Stan Zoller, MJE.

New Voices & Prohibited Content News

SPRC works closely with SPLC to support New Voices legislative efforts around the country and to combat harmful “prohibited content” laws impacting advisers and their students. Work continues in many committee member states, including helping with New Voices law implementation in states where a law has passed.

  • Stan Zoller continues to work on the amendment to the Illinois New Voices law. We are reaching out to Illinois legislators to get a handle on how they think the issue should be addressed. Based on their input, recommendations and ideas will be sent to the committee working on prohibited and divisive content.
  • Kathy Schrier’s focus has mainly been on working with the SPLC on the campaign to build statewide compliance of Washington’s New Voices law, distributing a booklet, professionally produced by the SPLC, about the law, signed in 2018. The publication clearly explains the law as it pertains to students, advisers and school administrators. 
  • Tom McHale reports New Jersey is in the process of educating student journalists and advisers about that state’s law, which was passed last December. The Garden State Scholastic Press Association’s Fall Conference will focus on New Voices and feature the SPLC’s Hillary Davis.
  • Kristin is in regular communication with Hillary Davis and Hadar Harris at SPLC and has been part of multiple panels; she continues to coordinate with SPLC to support advisers and their students through the process. We are currently looking at how the rash of prohibited content laws across the country may affect our student journalists.

FAPFA 2023: If you feel your school actively supports and honors the First Amendment through its student media, consider submitting an entry for this year’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award. The award looks at the entire student media program at the school: digital and print newspaper, yearbook and student broadcast. This award is sponsored by Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll Society; we work as a team to judge each submission. Those schools receiving the award will be honored at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. Read more about the award and apply here.

Website, Blogs and Podcasts: The blog team, led by John Bowen, posts weekly content 10 months of the year. Since the spring report, contributors have included Candace Bowen, Mark Dzula, Kristin Taylor and Stan Zoller.The team would welcome those wishing to contribute. See jeasprc.org for their work. Tripp Robbins is working to reformat the SPRC podcast, Conversations at the Schoolhouse Gate, and publish it more regularly. We plan to shift between shorter “quick tips” and longer interviews in the 2022-2023 school year. You can subscribe through Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

National Student Media Contests: Kristin Taylor will act as lead judge for the Fall 2022 NSMC Law and Ethics test, which she and Vince DeMiero developed. 

Social Media (Led by Andrea Negri): This group posts to social media regularly promoting information and SPRC offerings. If you don’t already, please follow us @jeapressrights and like on Facebook. We have strong Twitter engagement but are looking for ways to increase our Facebook presence and engagement.

Constitution Day 2022: Thank you to Mark Dzula, who led this year’s celebration of Constitution Day. The theme was “Unite for Civil Liberties and Free Speech,” and Dzula and Candace Bowen contributed lessons.  Although Constitution Day has passed, these lessons and resources are useful for any discussion of law and ethics. Check them out!

Join Us: We are always looking for new SPRC members! If you are passionate about student press freedom, consider joining us. Reach out to Taylor directly at ktaylor1164@gmail.com.

Shari Adwers, MJE
Educational Initiatives Director
794 McGurie Circle
Berryville, VA 22611

Gratitude is at the forefront of this report. I am grateful for a normal start to the school year, for a return to old routines, for classes full of energy and curiosity. I am equally grateful for all we learned from our virtual experiences. We continue to maintain our focus on reinventing ourselves, adjusting our systems and reimagining our products.

This gratitude extends to Megan Fromm, MJE, and Abri Nelson May, CJE, with whom I’ve been working closely since the Curriculum Initiative began in 2013. Both have recently left the classroom to pursue other opportunities. I want to thank them for their tireless efforts to provide the facelift the curriculum needed and wish them well on their new adventures.

Since my last report, I’ve been:

  • Working with curriculum coordinators to refresh and renew curriculum to better serve our members and their students’ needs. Highlights include:
  • New Leadership & Teambuilding and Law & Ethics modules, the first of our completely updated modules to go live.
    • “One Slide” Google slideshows for each module that are rolling out as they are completed. Each module has a master “One Slide” Google slideshow which previews each lesson in its own slide with embedded links to lesson resources. Members can easily create their own curriculum scope and sequence by ordering the lesson slides they plan to use in the way that best fits their class.
    • An explanatory video by Megan Fromm, MJE, on the How to use this curriculum tab on the JEA website that gets members started.
    • Revising and modifying lessons within the curriculum based on member feedback and usability needs as we become aware of them.
  • Promoting both the JEA curriculum and other JEA resources in social media groups on Facebook to attract new members and inform existing members about resources they may not know exist.
  • Participating in monthly board meetings and chats as we continue to respond to changes in member needs and plan for upcoming events and educational opportunities.

Sergio Yanes, CJE
Arvada High School
7951 W. 65th Ave.
Arvada, CO 80004

What a great recharge, seeing so many friends and colleagues in Los Angeles this past April! Also, all the new faces certainly added to the atmosphere. I was so excited to share those few days with those of you who went. Since then, the days have become a whirlwind, and now it’s hard to believe we’re looking ahead to November for the next National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis.

Behind the scenes, the frenzy continues, and while it has been a challenge to balance the responsibilities of preparing for a new school year with my efforts as a board member and representative for JEA, I continue to feel proud of what we have collectively been able to accomplish.

Much of my focus continues to be on our DEI efforts and on providing more opportunities and spaces for our membership to feel seen, heard and supported. The DEI blog has added a few new posts aimed at both expanding representation (providing a platform for more voices) and providing a space for accountability from JEA.

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, I shared the experiences of female sports journalists — a current sports reporter at my school, a freelance sports reporter and current college student majoring in sports broadcasting. Following the convention in April, Sarah Nichols, MJE, posted our first Diversity Report, which she presented previously at the board of directors meeting.

After she settled into her new role, Executive Director Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE, described her perspective on the role leadership plays in DEI work. And, during Hispanic Heritage Month, Adriana Chavira, MJE, wrote about the the need to improve Latino representation in areas where our voices can be heard and have deeper impact.

Kristin Taylor, MJE, and I have met to explore more possible topics for the blog, including neurodiversity, multilingual learners, Asian American and Pacific Islander representation, and the role mentorship plays in supporting advisers of color. If any of these topics speak to you, we would love to have your experiences shared on our site.

We’re also working out a few details for a new “Faces of JEA” (working title) project that will allow all of us in the organization to tell our stories. We will share out as early as November with more opportunities to engage in that.

Taylor and I are always looking to expand the DEI blog to provide a more accurate reflection of our organization’s membership, so please reach out to either one of us with contributions, ideas and suggestions.

As is the case for marginalized identities, visibility matters, and I do not take the opportunity lightly. I aim to be visible in as many capacities as I effectively can manage in the hopes that someone out there feels like they can belong in our spaces. And if they belong, they feel more empowered to act and become a part of the conversation. So because of this, in early June I dove into the Mentoring Program and completed my mentor training. Since then, I have been fortunate to foster a few new relationships in this role. 

As a Latino adviser and mentor, I hope to connect with more advisers of color, not only to provide support from a familiar space, but also to encourage others out there who would be phenomenal mentors to the new wave of more diverse advisers. Please contact Jane Blystone, MJE, to get started.

Some of my other efforts since the last report include:

  • Presenting three sessions and assisting with Quiz Bowl at the NHSJC in Los Angeles
  • Cohosting with Brenda Field, MJE, and Katie Merritt, MJE, the First-Time Attendees session at NHSJC
  • Working within the Jeffco Public Schools district (my own district) to support a new cohort of middle school media advisers in CTE
  • Participating in an online session Aug. 24 with representatives of both JEA and NSPA boards to discuss the joint operating agreement for the NHSJC
  • Participating in an online meeting July 27 with Executive Director Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE, as part of her onboarding process
  • I’ve also been working with three new mentees since the school year began, all within my district. The work has been plenty, but the rewards have far surpassed my expectations. I can’t wait to see those of you who are able to attend the convention in November. Until then, stay well, and keep building up our next generations of journalists.

Brenda Field, MJE
Glenbrook South High School
4000 W. Lake Ave.
Glenview, IL 60026

Since the last report, I’ve been continuing to work on board goals and seeking to understand how JEA can better service the needs of members short-term and long-term. 

Activities have included the following:

  • Working with other members of the SPRC to strategize how best to address “prohibited content” laws to support scholastic media advisers.
  • Continuing the conversation around an Administrator Outreach Initiative. At present, while this initiative remains important, we have agreed to wait until we have a clearer sense of where this initiative fits within our other budgetary priorities.

A priority for me continues to be dealing with new hurdles related to the loss of institutional memory and inconsistent staff training. I see within my own staff how the pandemic has had long-term effects on our program. Hopefully, traveling to in-person workshops and conventions will allow us to begin closing some of those gaps, but we will need to think about how to address these learning gaps in additional ways. We are not in the same territory as 2019. I also remain committed to addressing the intersection between “prohibited content” laws, school board publication policies and administrator outreach. I am hopeful that we can find additional ways of connecting with administrators to help them see more clearly how journalism programs develop 21st century skills and provide academic benefits across the curriculum.

Erinn Harris, MJE
Awards Committee
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

The awards committee had an exciting fall announcement season, honoring an outstanding list of scholastic journalism advisers and supporters. 

Announcements began Aug. 22 with the Future Journalism Teacher scholarship, awarded to Alexis Berkey (Kent State University), followed by Friends of Scholastic Journalism (Jeanne Acton, Carlos Armenta, Jim Dumont, Mike Taylor, CJE), and JEA Rising Stars (Amber Chester, Stephen Green, CJE, Kelly Lange, CJE, Benjamin Langevin, CJE, Jenny Zimmerman). 

JEA named Brian Knight its Administrator of the Year, and Medals of Merit were awarded to Emily Arnold, CJE, Justin Daigle, MJE, Debra Klevens, CJE, Tamra McCarthy, CJE, and Heather Nagel, CJE, Aug. 24.

Finally, we announced Dr. Jane Blystone, Ph.D., MJE, as the JEA Carl Towley Award winner Aug. 29. Blystone, currently an English professor at Mercyhurst University, has worked with JEA on the certification committee, the Scholastic Press Rights committee, and currently serves as the Mentoring Program chair. Blystone will give a speech at the Saturday luncheon in St. Louis.

Two and a half weeks later, the 2021 Broadcast Adviser of the Year, A.J. Chambers flew to Colorado for the Colorado Student Media Association J-Day, where, with the help of Colorado State Director Justin Daigle, MJE, and CSMA Executive Director Elise Carlson, JEA named Patrick Moring, CJE, the 2022 Broadcast Adviser of the Year  Sept. 15. In addition to his work with his own students at Rampart High School, Moring also serves as President-Elect of CSMA and has worked to add protections for advisers to Colorado’s student press laws.

JEA also recognized Distinguished Advisers Terry Cassreino, CJE, St. Joseph Catholic School, Madison, Mississippi; Spencer O’Daniel, MJE, Maize (Kansas) Career Academy; and Special Recognition Adviser Zack Gorman, Holbrook (Massachusetts) Middle High School. 

Awards Committee standing members include Martha Akers, Sara-Beth Badalamente, CJE, Leslie Dennis, Linda Drake, MJE, Ranae Duncan, Del Ellerton, Charla Harris, Leslie Thompson, CJE, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, MJE, Carmen Wendt, MJE, Andrew Young, CJE, Mitch Ziegler, CJE, and Brett Zinger, MJE. 

Broadcast Yearbook Adviser of the Year judges include A.J. Chambers, Christina Geabhart, Alyssa Boehringer.

Laura Negri, MJE
Career and Technical Education Committee
Alief Kerr High School
8150 Howell Sugar Land Rd.
Houston TX 77083


  1. Restart and promote Adobe Certification Testing. The main focus of efforts has been restarting certification testing at St. Louis. Photoshop and InDesign tests will be offered. This is the first time I will be proctoring testing through Certiport at a convention, so I have been going over procedures and practicing setup and administration.
  2. I have also started a timeline for test preparation and a series of preparation tips that I hope to have in place prior to testing in San Francisco. It should be in a members-only area on the website. The timeline starts with ways to identify students (and advisers) who have enough experience to take the test. The recommendation is two years with each program, but for many publications advisers and students, particularly those in non-CTE courses, their experience has been limited to just the tasks and formats most often used by their publications; identifying gaps in existing knowledge and planning supplementary instruction that will fill in those gaps is essential to success on the tests. Study materials and practice tests from Gmetrix and Brain Buffet, as well as other vendors, can fulfill that role, but the costs associated with them are considerable. My goal would be to provide a skills checklist, recommended activities and a suggested sequence for covering less-often used skills. I would also like to work with the curriculum committee to identify Adobe skills that could be incorporated into existing lessons.
  3. Rebuild committee membership. The CTE committee is seeking new members to formulate plans and activities for the year. Response at the April convention was sparse, so I plan to promote the time of the committee meeting at St. Louis on JEAHELP-L starting Oct.13.
  4. Increase awareness and support for CTE teachers through networking. Participation in the CTE|ETC zoom-ins has also been sparse. I would like to shift to another format, such as brief “talk with an expert” videos covering specific questions of interest to members, to share information. I would also like to identify other ways to connect CTE advisers in JEA (adding an asterisk next to names in the directory listings, for example).

Amy Sorrell, MJE
Certification Committee
303 S. Harrmann Road
Antwerp, OH 45813

Membership: The committee currently consists of eight members in addition to the chair: Jane Blystone, MJE, Candace Bowen, MJE, Sandra Coyer, MJE, Mark Hilburn, MJE, R.J. Morgan, MJE, Andrea Negri, MJE, and Rod Satterthwaite, MJE. Jeff Browne recently left the committee. The new position will be filled by Timm Pilcher, MJE.

Goals: I hope to get the MJE projects on the JEA website with the help of Lindsay Porter. 

Happenings: This spring we moved our online testing to an online test proctoring service called Proctorio. Testing is still done through Moodle, but testing can now be done 24/7 during our testing window, and we no longer need committee members to proctor tests. We were able to return to in-person testing for the first time since February 2020 at the L.A. convention. In the spring, we tested 27 people, and in the summer, we tested 13. Our numbers are looking good for fall with 30 applicants so far. We permanently extended the application deadline to Oct. 1 for online testing and Oct. 15 for in-person testing. 

The spring convention also meant the return of MJE project presentations at the convention. 

The committee rolled out several new MJE questions that were used for the first time this summer. 

At the fall convention, we will recognize 20 new CJEs and six new MJEs. Twenty-three CJEs and seven MJEs met the renewal requirements by the Oct. 1 deadline. The numbers are finally going up after a couple of slow years due to the pandemic.

Nancy Smith, MJE
Contest Committee
Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011


Nancy Y. Smith, MJE  / nysmithjea@gmail.com
National Contest Chair

Priscilla Frost  / pfrost@lindberghschools.ws
Contest Office Manager

A.J. Chambers, MJE / anchambers@richland2.org
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


  • We would like to create an informational brochure/handbook for local contest speakers. Now that conventions are back in person, we will make this a priority next summer to complete. It would be helpful to have better information to provide to our guests.
  • We do have some new contests we would like to pilot for the Fall 2023 convention:
    • Separate Broadcast Anchor to On-Air Anchor and Broadcast Anchor/Spot News Reporter
    • Team Photo Story
    • Online News Package Contest (24-Hour Entry) Online Submission 
    • Podcasting 


1) National Student Media Contests
We had 652 students compete last spring in Los Angeles at our first in-person convention since the Fall 2019 event in Washington, D.C. There were 333 students recognized with 59 superior, 103 excellent and 171 honorable mention awards. The NSMC portal opened Sept. 12 and registration closes Oct. 17 with online submissions due on that date. 

2) Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest 

There were 279 entries in the Spring 2022 contest, up from 195 entries the previous year. There are 139 winning entries comprising 27 Superior, 53 Excellent and 59 Honorable Mentions. Now that schools have gotten back to traditional school years, we hope to continue to see entry numbers increase. The Jr. High/Middle School Contest descriptions are here. 

3) Broadcast Coordinator 

A.J. Chambers from Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina, began his duties as NSMC broadcast coordinator this school year. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and has lots of ideas to implement in the future. He also has done a great job of reaching out to broadcast advisers across the country to get them involved as judges and encourage them to get their students entered in contests. We are so fortunate to have him as part of our team.

4) National Journalism Quiz Bowl

Last spring, 21 teams competed in the event in Los Angeles and Torrey Pines High School won the trophy. This summer, the contest committee, with help from some content experts, scoured the entire Quiz Bowl database to make updates and edits to the questions. Nearly 50 new items were added and outdated questions were deleted. In addition, the buzzer rounds will now also consist of some pop culture questions in addition to the current categories of current events, journalism law and terminology, and civics. 

5) Upcoming JEA Contest Deadlines (*Tentative)

Spring 2023 San Francisco (April 20-22)

NSMC Registration Opens/Prompts Available: Feb. 20
NSMC Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: Monday, March 27
Critiques due: April 16 

Spring 2023 Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest

Registration Opens April 3
Materials Due April 17
Judging Complete May 1
Winners announced early May

Fall 2023 Boston (Nov. 2-5)

NSMC Registration Opens / Prompts Available: Monday, Sept. 4
NSMC Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: Monday, Oct. 9 (5 weeks to complete)
Critiques due Sunday, Oct. 29 (3 weeks to critique)

For The Board: The contest team is so grateful to the committee chairs/members, board members and state directors who help with critiques when you already do so much for JEA. We still need more help getting the word out to our members to get them to enter their students in contests and also to participate in onsite judging.

Aaron Manfull, MJE
Digital Media Committee
2751 Cumberland Landing
St. Charles, MO 63303

Membership: Aaron Manfull, MJE, chair, Amanda Bright, A.J. Chambers, CJE, Fred Haas, Dan Loving, Sarah Nichols MJE, Spencer O’Daniel, MJE, Jonathan Rogers, MJE, Julie Tiedens, CJE, Mark Webber, CJE, Todd Vogts, MJE, Jason Block, CJE, and Elizabeth Strehl.

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 13 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,690 posts published (roughly 2.5 per week), 1,104,934 visits, and 1,820,894 pageviews. Eight different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Members were notified in the fall of 2016 that to remain on the committee, they would need to contribute at least one thing to the site during a 12-month period. Thirteen people have qualified to remain on the committee for posting once in the last 12 months. One committee member is considered a contributor for posting at least three times over the past six months.


  • Aaron Manfull, MJE – 23 posts
  • Spencer O’Daniel, MJE – 4 posts

Also contributing to the site during the time period were: Jonathan Rogers, MJE, Amanda Bright, MJE, Todd Vogts, MJE, Logan Aimone, MJE, Jason Block, CJE, and Elizabeth Strehl.

While some of the wording is cut off on the following charts, the graphs move from the least recent 6-month period on top to the most recent 6-month period, on the bottom.

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

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

As a reminder, Aaron Manfull worked to create an advertising structure for JEADigitalMedia.org. Information on advertising on the site can be found at: http://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/advertise-with-us/. 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 summer journalism workshops and other advertisers as well. 

During our fall meeting, we will discuss our goals this winter, 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
Guide to Podcasting

Joe Humphrey, MJE
Journalist of the Year Coordinator

It’s been a busy few months for me personally, as I have transitioned from the classroom and into a role as an assistant principal. So many of the skills I learned and taught in the media world – collaboration, communication and problem solving among them – remain vital in my day-to-day work. 

It’s an honor to remain part of the JEA team as JOY coordinator, and I look forward to meeting you in St. Louis. 

My primary goal remains the same as when I accepted this post: To increase the number of total entries in the JEA Journalist of the Year competition. With 50 states, D.C. and now three potential international winners, that allows for up to 54 contestants. In 2022, we recognized 36 JOYs, including winner Anushka De of California. That was up from 33 in 2021.

Anushka will not have to travel far to help us celebrate the 2023 winner in San Francisco as she is attending Stanford University. And she will hopefully have company on her commute as multiple 2022 finalists are currently at Stanford.

The JEA JOY website is the first stop for prospective applicants and their advisers. We have links to past winners’ portfolios, tutorial videos that break down each component of the rubric, the rubric itself, deadlines and much more. I’m eager to help state directors coordinate their contests and excited to work with advisers and students to help them put their best work forward for the 2023 JOY competition.

That starts with a session for advisers and applicants, and a meeting with state directors during the St. Louis convention and will continue with “office hours” or a catchier title TBD in the spring. 

I regret that I have not had much success with another goal of mine, to help identify a sponsor for the JOY program. With a $3,000 scholarship for the winners plus four $1,000 runner-up scholarships (and with the hope of continued growth), an underwriter would be an amazing asset. It’s a tricky sponsorship, but I welcome any advice or support.

In this role, I also coordinate the Aspiring Young Journalist award, given to a top middle school journalist. We saw growth in the number of entries, and judges selected Ragan Stoltz of Cactus Canyon Junior High School in Apache Junction, Arizona.

Finally, let me thank state directors for running our qualifying contests and Lindsay Porter at headquarters, who does incredible work to help promote this program and recognize our winners on social media. As I said in my spring report, this program would be in the weeds if not for her incredible communication skills, ability to multitask and patience for scatterbrains like me.

Jane Blystone, MJE
Mentoring Committee

Membership: Currently, we have 69 mentors in 31 states and one foreign country (England) who are mentoring 203 new journalism teachers. Twenty-eight of these mentees are working with mentors outside their home state. One is an international mentee (Taiwan.) Our committee includes Linda Barrington, MJE, (Wisconsin); Jane Blystone, MJE, chair (Pennsylvania); Peggy Gregory, CJE (Arizona); Sheila Jones, MJE (Colorado); Alicia Merrifield, CJE (Texas); Mark Webber, CJE (Texas); Carmen Wendt, MJE (Arizona) and Val Kibler, MJE (Virginia).


  • Increase the number of mentors: We are working to increase the number of mentors in each state. The director has been contacting CJE/MJE members in various states to invite them to consider mentoring and to participate in the Mentor Training available online. 
  • National participation of mentors and mentees: We also encourage mentors to participate with their year-two mentees at the national convention. 
  • Seek grant funding: We seek Yellow Chair Foundation grants to cover many of the expenses incurred by this program. 
  • Retain new teachers: Although we have seen several mentees leave the profession, we are excited to add 84 new mentees to this fall cohort. Each semester our mentors provide us data on our program, and these findings from our mentors help us keep the mentoring program fresh for the mentees.

Happenings: Each month except July, the mentor committee meets virtually to continue to build on our current program and to revise any program elements that become outdated. We also spend time discussing communication strategies to assist both mentors and mentees. We debriefed several new mentors after their online training and before they started to mentor individuals. This gives the committee feedback to revise training and to update new mentors on additional things they need to know. Several mentors attended the spring convention with their second-year mentees in the spring, and a number of these mentees and mentors shared their experiences of teaching during COVID with us. Our mentors submit reports at the end of each semester so we can gauge how the program is progressing. These are some of the issues mentors and mentees worked through this past spring term:

  • Skills development and instruction
  • Publication staff management
  • State and regional membership, participation, and contests and awards
  • Support for mentees from administrators and school districts, JEA mentors, and scholastic journalism organizations
  • Mentee adviser development, both personal and professional

Awards/Honors: Since our last report the following mentors have earned national awards and will be honored at the fall convention in St. Louis:

  • Justin Daigle, MJE, Colorado – JEA Medal of Merit and MJE certification
  • Josh Davis, CJE, Ohio – CJE renewal
  • Mary Kay Downes, MJE, Virginia – JEA Lifetime Achievement Award, MJE renewal
  • Shelia Jones, MJE, Colorado – MJE renewal
  • Valerie Kibler, MJE, Virginia – MJE renewal
  • Evelyn Lauer, MJE, Illinois – MJE renewal
  • Alicia Merrifield, CJE, Texas – CJE renewal
  • Meghan Percival, MJE, Virginia – MJE renewal
  • Laura Negri, MJE, Texas – MJE renewal
  • Spencer O’Daniel, MJE, Kansas – JEA Distinguished Broadcast Adviser
  • Julie Tiedens, CJE, Wisconsin – CJE certification
  • Mitch Ziegler, CJE, California – JEA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Carmen Wendt, MJE, Arizona – MJE renewal

For the Board: We continue to request support through JEA to apply for the Yellow Chair grant funding. We thank the board for supporting us financially through the budget process, also.

P.J. Cabrera, CJE
Scholastic Journalism Week Committee
Judson High School
9142 FM 78
Converse, TX 78109

Scholastic Journalism Week falls on the last full week of February. The committee has decided SJW 2023 will once again occur Monday – Friday, which is Feb. 20 – 24. This year’s theme is “More To The Story,” which focuses on pushing students to think critically, go in-depth, and think out of the box when it comes to their reporting.

Each day is going to have a mini-theme and lesson plan attached, which advisers can use that week and also throughout the school year. 

Monday is #TruthInReporting, which will focus on how to conduct simple news, fact-based reporting. Because this is President’s Day and a holiday for most, we will likely create a virtual activity for members and students, something that can be used whether a school has or doesn’t have class. 

Tuesday is #BalancedReporting, a day to discuss strategies on how to increase equitable coverage of your school. 

Wednesday is #InclusiveReporting, a day to discuss why focusing on diversity and inclusion reporting is vital. JEA has been purposeful in ensuring that a diversity and inclusion component is included in everything we do. Friday is #InDepthReporting, which is a feature storytelling day that will emphasize why digging into a story is critical.

Thursday of that week we are partnering with Hadar Harris and SPLC to spotlight Student Press Freedom Day! This is the third year of this partnership. We’ll coordinate with her team to bring as much attention as possible to free speech, free press and student press freedom.

Similarly to last year, we will use the SJW Twitter account to feature schools, allowing smaller schools and schools that normally don’t get that much attention to get some publicity on JEA’s platforms. Lastly, we’ve created a new SJW Poster Contest! The poster will be included in every winter C:JET magazine and used for marketing during the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis. The poster can be posted in every classroom in the country and can be kept as a commemorative item.

Finally, I am incredibly honored to work with this group of people for another year, especially Adraina Chavira, who has admirably pushed through a very difficult time but has reminded everyone why supporting student journalists is key.

Bradley Wilson, MJE
Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today
Midwestern State University
3410 Taft Blvd.
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099


  • Longtime C:JET Assistant Editor Howard Spanogle died June 4, and his obituary is on the JEA website.
  • Molly Clemons, C:JET editor from 1982-1997 (15 years), died Sept. 29. And her obituary is also published on the JEA website.


The database of articles from 1996 until the present was completed this summer. It includes all the fields necessary to complete a bibliographic entry of every article in the magazine for the last quarter century. Donations from Howard Spanogle paid for the data entry. 

According to the schedule submitted to the Board several years ago, the searchable database was supposed to be online at jea.org this fall. This has not happened. As far as I know, there are no plans to make it happen. This is disappointing and unfortunate as the searchable database would be a great resource for JEA members.

Further, the searchable database was only the first step. Next, the database entries would be linked to a PDF repository of each article for members to download. Each article would be a protected PDF file with a cover sheet similar to those on other online databases. This repository of more than 1,000 articles will prove a lasting resource for JEA members, students and researchers.

Fall issue

  • Scheduled to go to press Aug. 18
  • Actually sent to press Aug. 12
  • 40 pages
  • 20 social media posts promoting each story twice


  • Celebrate Sept. 16 | On Constitution Day look at the activity of the U.S. Supreme Court. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Get it together | Val Kibler, MJE, offers a system for staff organization and grading efficiently. | By Sarah Griggs
  • The individual | Teachers should focus on individual strengths. | By Sue Skalicky
  • Teach and advise | Before instructors can advise, they need to teach. | By Timothy Cain, CJE, with assignment ideas by Sara Boyle from a presentation by Sarah Nichols, MJE
  • Take the compliment | “Compliment” and “complement” are two often-confused words. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Icebreakers | Games and lighter activities provide more than just a break from the pressure of deadlines. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE, with A.J. Chambers, MJE, and Debra Klevens, CJE
  • It’s random | Use online tools to help randomize selections of people and things in the classroom. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • A new look | Learn how and why new fonts were selected for JEA’s flagship publication. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE

Other contributors

  • A.J. Chambers, MJE, adviser, Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • Val Kibler, MJE, adviser, Harrisonburg High School (Virginia)
  • Debra Klevens, CJE, adviser, Parkway West High School (Chesterfield, Missouri)
  • Taylor Newton, First Flight High School (Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina); Steve Hanf, adviser
  • Sarah Nichols, MJE, adviser, Whitney High School (Rocklin, California)
  • Kennedy Weatherby, McCallum High School (Austin, Texas); Dave Winter, adviser
  • Addyson Williamson, Richland R-1 School (Essex, Missouri); Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser


  • Archive in a Box
  • Better Newspaper Contest
  • Bright Printing School Division LLC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Magazine Design Basics
  • Northwestern University, Medill School
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites

Cover photo by Ella Neff

Winter issue

  • Schedule to go to press Oct. 15
  • Actually sent to press Oct. 11
  • 36 pages
  • 20 social media posts promoting each story twice


  • Placing captions | Entering metadata for every photo makes workflow easier and increases the value of photos over time.
  • Building a community | Journalism is like “Introduction to High School.” As such, journalism classrooms often focus on enhancing soft skills to ensure stories. | By Charles Erikson, CJE
  • Coverage evolves | Despite the pandemic and other disruptions, student media coverage can’t suffer. It just changes. | By Meag Abo, CJE
  • Stories beyond school | No one said coverage was going to be easy. | By Bev Jones
  • InDesign Libraries |Ensure consistency in the design process by using libraries. | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Everybody has a story | As broadcast journalist Steve Hartman proved, everyone has a story. | By Vicki Kennedy-Klaker
  • Advice from experts | Expand coverage beyond the routine and mundane. 
  • Performance review assessment | Using tools developed in a finance office, teachers can increase efficiency of grading. | By Laura Bengs, CJE
  • Two-week sprint | Break each deadline into smaller pieces, and produce each yearbook spread in six steps. | By Josh Clements, MJE
  • Everyone vs. every one | Everyone has a story to tell. So does every one of the students. 
  • Other contributors
  • Rachael Barkoff, Westlake High School (Austin, Texas), Alison Strelitz, adviser
  • Ella Neff, Liberal Arts and Science Academy (Austin, Texas), Kate McGuire, adviser
  • Grace Smith, University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)
  • Dalyn Springer, Mead High School (Spokane, Washington); Makena Busch, CJE, adviser


  • Archive in a Box
  • Better Newspaper Contest
  • Bright Printing School Division LLC
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Freedom Forum
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Magazine Design Basics
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites

Kelly Furnas, MJE
Global Outreach
Elon University
2855 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Membership: As of October, we have 16 international JEA members. The United Kingdom, with four members, has the highest membership of non-U.S. countries.

Events/Happenings: The Canadian Youth Journalism Project continues to support student media through a variety of networking and educational events. Throughout the pandemic the organization’s website has been showcasing student media in a variety of categories.

The Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Region has brought back its annual journalism conference called Far East Journalism, which engages high school journalism students across 49 schools in mainland Japan; Okinawa, Japan; South Korea and Guam. JEA was able to support DoDEA’s organizational efforts as it developed programming and contests for this year’s conference.

A special thank you to A.J. Chambers, MJE, David Ragsdale, CJE, Chris Waugaman, MJE, and Bradley Wilson, MJE, who over the summer developed online training modules about writing, reporting, editing and photography that were shared with international teachers who were supporting students competing in journalism competitions.

Awards/Honors: Congratulations to the students at Christian Academy of Guatemala, whose 2021 yearbook “Sonshine” won first place against more than 800 entries in the Entourage Yearbooks National Yearbook Competition. The school’s student media adviser, Jackie Davis, CJE, also received a grant to attend the Spring 2022 National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles.

Erin Coggins, MJE
1150 Valley Forge Road
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35406

Membership: JEA membership stands at 20 in Alabama. The Alabama Scholastic Press Association is currently updating membership data in order  to cross reference membership between ASPA and JEA. 

Goals: As a new state director, I am still gathering information on membership. The goal is to grow JEA membership and to have more Alabama schools attend the national convention. A new Facebook group was created to serve as an information portal. The goal is to grow the following on this as well. 

With a new SPA director in Alabama, another goal is to create a solid relationship between the two organizations, specifically in getting the new SPA director up to date on JEA. 

Many advisers in Alabama have retired leaving a lot of new advisers in the state. This is the time to reach out to them to grow membership as well as to recruit new advisers for the JEA Mentoring Program. We also need to grow our mentors in the state to help with the growing number of new advisers. 

Partner with ASPA to increase the number of students competing for Alabama High School Journalist of the Year and possibly host a portfolio workshop. 

Happenings: Meredith Cummings left her position as Director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association to accept a position at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Hailey Allen has been hired as the new director. 

Recruiting students from across the state to participate in the National Federation of Press Women (sub organization the Alabama Media Professionals) national contest. 

Erin Coggins, MJE, and Thatcher Reynolds (student from Brookwood High School) met with the Southern Interscholastic Press Association Board in September to plan the annual SIPA convention. JEA convention was discussed. 

An official Facebook group was created to help recruit and inform JEA members from Alabama. 

ASPA’s new director Hailey Allen is currently planning the spring conference (most likely to be held in February at the University of Alabama). 

Awards and Honors: Auburn High School broadcasting placed first in the state Alabama Media Professionals contest and qualified for nationals. 

Sparkman High School’s Olivia Lake placed first in art/illustration in the National Federation of Press Women’s national contest. 

Erin Coggins, MJE, was named the 2022 Youth International Journalism Adviser of the Year. 

For the Board: As a new state director, I am still navigating some things as is the new Alabama SPA director.

Alaska – no state director

Membership: There are no members in Alaska.

Christine Brandell Melendez
Paradise Valley High School
3950 E Bell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Membership: JEA membership stands at 34 in Arizona. AIPA has recently updated its membership database to Wild Apricot in hopes of tracking membership more accurately with the ultimate goal of increasing membership in both JEA and AIPA. We are still working on a more complete membership database.

The Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA), will continue to review the JEA membership list so it can be cross referenced with membership in AIPA. The goal is to have more involvement at both the state and national level. 

Goals: AIPA is putting focus on rebranding the organization, increasing the organization membership and being more relevant to scholastic journalism programs in Arizona. AIPA is also going through a transition as those with experience have stepped down and we are in need of someone who can devote time on a weekly basis to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization.

As state director, my goal is to get more entries for Journalist of the Year. The state convention will be held in person Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. I am unable to attend, but will ask a colleague to present the JOY information as a session.

Events/Happenings: AIPA elected the following to their board this past spring:

Vice President: Mike Walker, Verrado High School

Recording Secretary: Stephen Truog, Copper Canyon High School

Communication Director: Kristy Roschke, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Arizona State University

Member-At-Large: Marianne Webb-Kim, Desert Vista High School

AIPA will be seeking nominations for the positions of President, Treasurer, Fall Convention Coordinator, Contest Coordinator, and Members-at-Large in the Spring of 2023.

The Fall State Journalism Convention hosted by AIPA will be held Nov. 15, 2022 in the Memorial Union at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.


I would like to recognize the board of the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association under the leadership of Michelle Coro, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, Arizona for their continued support of scholastic journalism in Arizona. 

For the Board: As an organization, we are struggling with tracking membership. AIPA is a volunteer organization without the financial resources to invest in a membership database. The board would like to find financial funding either through Arizona State University or another organization that can house an office for the organization as well as potentially fund an executive director. AIPA would like to have all schools in Arizona be members so that we can grow as an organization and offer more opportunities for students and advisers involved with scholastic journalism. I know this is discussed at the SPA sessions at the conventions and it is not an easily answered question, but what could JEA put into place that might support scholastic press associations that do not have the financial backing of a university or other organization?

Justin Turner
1013 Shobe Road
Bryant, AR 72022

Membership: JEA membership stands at 39. That’s an increase of three from the spring ‘22 report.

Activity: As state director, I am also on the board of our state organization, Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. We have begun planning for our state wide convention in the spring. Like last year, I will help create our contest prompts.  Additionally, I am helping to refresh our contest categories for online newspapers.   

Goals: Arkansas, like the rest of the country, has seen a lot of journalism teachers retiring or pursuing other interests outside of the classroom, so I’d like to begin a campaign to reach out to new advisers across the state via email. This was my goal in the spring of ‘22, and making time to collect that contact information is the biggest hurdle I currently face. 

For the Board: While huge work needs to continue in promoting New Voices legislation, many states already have protections, and administrators violate those protections because they’re either unaware of the law or think no one is paying attention. I would love for JEA to form a committee to reach out to administrator organizations to help them understand the law. A law no one knows about isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. As the students at Bigelow High School can attest, our New Voices law didn’t stop administrators from ripping out pages from a yearbook. We must make sure the laws exist AND are known.

Mitch Ziegler, CJE

Membership: JEA membership stands at 272 in California. There are two major regional branches – JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California). 

JEANC: NorCal Media Day: This returned to a live event at Palo Alto High School Sept. 24. The program included four sets of 45-minute sessions. JEANC conducted its annual contest, presenting awards to students in 64 categories May 18.

SCJEA: The annual Wake Up Call was Sept. 17 at Fullerton College. 

J-Day will be Oct. 23. This FREE workshop is sponsored by CSUN, Los Angeles Times High School Insider and SCJEA. The first portion of the event is focused on Student Media Contests. After the contests, there are workshops mostly led by LA Times journalists and a professional panel. J-Day is live this year. 

Awards and Honors

From NSPA:
Two Broadcast Pacemakers
Three Online Pacemakers
Two Yearbook Pacemakers

From CSPA:
15 Gold Crowns
22 Silver Crowns

From JEA:
Journalist of the Year: Anushka De, Monta Vista High School. Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, adviser
Medal of Merit: Tamra McCarthy, CJE, James Enochs High School, Modesto. 
Friend of Scholastic Journalism: Carlos Armenta, Hayward


  • Continue to promote JOY competition in Southern California. I ran a session in September for SCJEA about the competition. I also moved our deadline for the state competition up two weeks so our candidate can better prepare for the competition.
  • I am now a mentor to four advisers from California
  • By attending JEANC and SCJEA meetings, I am in a position to better coordinate cooperation between the two organizations.

Justin Daigle, CJE
Brighton High School
270 S 8th Ave
Brighton, CO 80601

Membership: Colorado has 95 current members of JEA. In year’s past, we have witnessed membership increase in the spring because our individual contest deadlines are in April and publication critiques are due in June.

State Director Goals: I began these goals in the spring and am continuing to follow through with them:

GOAL 1: To serve as a JEA Mentor to new advisers to support them through their first year as a publication adviser. 

  • Action Plan
    • Meet bi-monthly with mentee through Zoom calls to discuss mentee’s current publication questions and provide resources as needed

GOAL 2: To collaborate with CSMA Board to create professional development experiences throughout the year to support publication advisers. 

  • Action Plan
    • Meet with CSMA Board members to identify different skills and align them to strands/events that will support publication advisers. 
    • Create marketing materials that will encourage advisers to attend these professional development experiences.

Happenings: The CSMA Board has been encouraging members to run for board positions as the term ends for the current board this spring. 

In June, advisers and students attended our ReTHINK and Summer Adviser Workshops at Rock Canyon High School. Presenters included Adam Dawkins, MJE, Jack Kennedy, MJE, Jessica Hunziker, MJE, and Kristi Rathbun, MJE.

Over 1,100 students and advisers attended our CSMA Journalism Day at Colorado State University Sept. 17. We had 29 sessions in four 45-minute time slots for attendees to attend workshops presented by advisers and professionals. 

Awards/Honors: In August, Brighton High School Reflections yearbook adviser, Justin Daigle, MJE, was one of five advisers named a Medal of Merit honoree from JEA. Read about it here. 

In September, the CSMA Adviser of the Year, Andrea Adams from Vista Peak High School, was honored at Journalism Dayl. Adams advises Ridgeline yearbook. Read about it here.

Also announced in September at Journalism Day was the CSMA Administrators of the Year, principal Shelly Genereux and assistant principal Jennifer Minor of Brighton High School. Read about it here

In a surprise announcement at CSMA JDay, Patrick Moring, CJE, the KRAM broadcast adviser at Rampart High School, was honored with the JEA Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Read about it here. 

For the Board: The CSMA Board continues to work throughout the year to find ways to bring advisers and student journalists together to provide support and resources as we see more new advisers in journalism roles in our state.

David Fortier
Rocky Hill High School
50 Chapin Ave
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Membership: JEA membership stands at 11 in Connecticut.

Events/Happenings: JEA is planning to co-sponsor the fourth annual Central Connecticut State University High School Journalism Day on or around Press Freedom Day this coming February.

JEA Connecticut is working on a website, expanding responsibilities to members in the state, and possibly pursuing New Voices legislation. We now have a Google Classroom for members to share ideas.

Awards/Honors: The plan is to try reintroducing the Journalist of the Year award again this coming year.

For the Board: Still figuring out how to drive the conversation toward some common goals and more fruitful conversations with state members, as well as pushing for more participation from members to boost awareness.

Dennis Leizear, CJE 
Padua Academy
905 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE 19806

Membership: JEA membership stands at three in Delaware.

Goals: We would like to bring back Convergence Media Day for 6-8th graders. We’ve done this in the past, but Covid put a stop to it.

For the Board: Would like to somehow continue the Covid practice of schools that cannot attend the convention being able to participate in some of the contests.

Mary Stapp
District of Columbia

Membership: JEA membership stands at eight in Washington, D.C.

Goals: D.C. needs more student journalism! We have two new members that I know of, both of whom I am in touch with about growing their programs. One school is ripe for conventions and competitions, so I am encouraging them to up their game by attending a JEA convention and getting involved in contests. The other school has not had an active media program for a few years, so I’m encouraging the new teacher to go all in.

Happenings: I keep in touch with members and other advisers in the area, and continue to encourage activation of journalism programs in our schools. One student from Theodore Roosevelt worked with a student in Virginia and one in Atlanta to produce this story under the guidance of a non-profit organization.

For the Board: I would like to have access to membership information just for my “state,” without having to bother anyone in the office. Thank you for your work on behalf of all members.

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

Membership: We currently have 144 members. We promote membership through email blasts, mentoring, summer camps and at our regional conferences.   

FSPA has provided free state memberships for all new advisers and has also encouraged JEA membership.

Goals: Due to the continued influx of new advisers, we have a large need for mentors. While our state has 21 CJEs, there are only five MJEs. I will work to encourage those with CJEs to work toward their MJE and for those who do not have a certification to take the CJE test in the spring.

Happenings:  FSPA is excited that all seven districts found educational institutions willing to host the one-day workshops. These in-person events provide advisers and students the opportunity to network with peers and learn from a cadre of media professionals. 

District 1 – Oct. 14, University of West Florida
District 2 – Oct. 21, University of Florida
District 3 – Oct. 28, Daytona State College
District 4 – Nov. 4, University of South Florida
District 5 – Oct. 7, Ringling College of Art + Design
District 6 – Oct. 3, Florida International University (this one occurred at time of report)
District 7 – Oct. 15, Florida Atlantic University

Once again, fall Digital Contest entries have exceeded the previous year. Joe Humphrey has done a fabulous job continuing to grow the statewide contest that provides actionable feedback on students’ work for this year’s publications.

Awards/Honors: Special congratulations to Benjamin Langevin, CJE, Oviedo High School for being recognized as a JEA Rising Star. He will be recognized at the JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

Congratulations to the 17 publications that earned a Gold or Silver Crown award from Columbia Scholastic Press Association

Congratulations to the four publications that earned a Yearbook Pacemaker, the two Literary Magazines that earned a Pacemaker and the six Yearbook Pacemaker Finalists from National Scholastic Press Association. 

For the Board: FSPA is working on nurturing a partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter. This organization will be a valuable resource for quality workshop and convention speakers. 
With the new Florida laws limiting curriculum, a growing number of school districts are creating policies media advisers and professionals find troublesome. At this time, FSPA and SPLC are monitoring and will work together to aid staffs when necessary. Last spring, Seminole County Public Schools’ initial censorship of Lyman HS’ spread covering a student walkout is an example of what many schools may face this academic year. There is a great need for New Voices Florida.

David A. Ragsdale, CJE
Odyssey Newsmagazine Adviser
Iliad Literary-Art Magazine Adviser
JEA Georgia State Director
Clarke Central High School

Membership: JEA membership stands at 52 in Georgia, which is down nine from Sept. 23, 2022. I have communicated with members via email blasts during spring and the beginning of fall. While I prefer to use Smore to transmit communications to be able to monitor communications, I have since switched back to traditional email due to the costs associated with the Smore platform. 

I’ve encouraged members to nominate colleagues for JEA awards, to consider signing up for the JEA Adviser’s Institute and the National High School Journalism Convention. I have also encouraged members to engage with JEA via the curriculum website and social media:  Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Goal 1: Continued engagement in-state with the Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s fall and spring workshops as well as contests/awards.

Action plan: 

  • Personal encouragement of colleagues to not only attend, but to present with their students at the GSPA workshops. 
  • Amplify Director Stephanie Moreno’s calls to members regarding attendance at workshops, as well as for Journalist of the Year entries. 
  • Continued targeted communication from both GSPA and JEA State director to members.
  • Continued service on the GSPA Advisory Committee and worked as JEA’s Georgia State Director.

Goal 2: Membership has been and continues to be a targeted area for growth.

Action plan:

  • I hope to lean on current members to advocate the virtues of JEA to colleagues within their sphere of influence.
  • Welcome emails to new members and provide resources to make JEA their go-to for support.
  • Outreach via email to lapsed members to still connect with JEA.

Goal 3: Outreach to membership to attend regional workshops in addition to JEA conventions/workshops.

Action plan: 

  • Invitation to members to attend along with testimonials regarding the offerings of the JEA AI and fall/spring conventions.
  • Invitation to members to attend along with testimonials regarding the offerings of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association convention and summer camp.
  • Continued service on the Executive Committee of SIPA and work as JEA’s Georgia State Director.

Events: The Southern Interscholastic Press Association held its Executive Board meeting in Athens, Georgia Sept. 16-18..  JEA Georgia members, Del Ellerton of Midtown High School, GSPA’s Stephanie Moreno and Clarke Central High School’s David Ragsdale, CJE were in attendance. Additionally, Clarke Central High School’s Lucas Donnelly will serve as the SIPA President and lead a cabinet of student officers. The SIPA spring conference will be held March 3-5  Board members along with student delegates planned sessions and outreach initiatives as well as a theme for the event.  Additionally, Board members planned the Carolina Journalism Institute for the summer of 2023. CJI is a four-day immersive program that allows students to not only show what they know, but to acquire and implement new skills on-site while producing content.  Finally, SIPA will continue to offer its Stars program to showcase the talents of student journalists from across the Southeast.

GSPA held its fall conference Sept. 20. Director Moreno indicated the event was a hit and shared the following with state members: “We hosted 700 students and teachers who were eager to visit campus and learn from experts in the industry. You may view our photo gallery here. The social booth was also a hit with attendees!”

Awards and honors: Multiple Georgia award winners can be found here.

For the board: Based on conversations with JEA Georgia members, continuing to support students as they reacclimate to full-time instruction in face-to-face environments after quarantine/virtual school is a topic of concern. Many school systems offered grace to students with extended deadlines, submissions of late work until the end of grading periods, etc. to support the social/emotional well-being of students during the 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years. 

As a result, there has been a concern broached about a generation of students who are unable to meet deadlines or see the urgency of completing tasks across the curriculum, much less in the realm of scholastic journalism where meeting deadlines is not an expectation, but a mandate.

In light of these challenges, support for advisers in regard to the motivation of students, as well as adviser self-care, would be appreciated – potential solutions: CJET articles, sessions at NHSJC, posts on the JEA website, and/or sessions at JEA AI.

Cynthia “Cindy” Reves, CJE
Apt. 1707
Honolulu, HI 96824

Membership: We have 14 members. Cindy Reves and Jenny Howe are CJE. 


  • Educate state administrators and advisers about the Hawaii Student Journalism Protect Act
  • Establish partnerships with post-secondary journalism programs
  • Increase participation in the Hawaii JOY contest


New Voices legislationThe Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act was signed into law in May. The signing ceremony for Act 24 took place at McKinley High School and received a lot of media coverage. We worked with the Student Press Law Center and Hawaii’s Department of Education’s English Language Arts specialist to hold two informational webinars in September. We are also in contact with the state’s Board of Education chair and offered our assistance as they craft a policy in line with the law. Once that policy is completed, the DOE’s ELA specialist will hold more webinars.

Adviser Social – After a long hiatus, we have scheduled our first in-person adviser event for Oct. 15. So far, five secondary advisers, two university representatives, and the DOE ELA specialist have RSVP’d.

Hawaii JOY competition – Last year’s contest had two entries and, for the first time, monetary prizes, provided by the local chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. It was the first year that one of the entries was from a public school. Chelsee Sawai of Mid-Pacific Institute was the winner.  Based on feedback, we have simplified the rubric for HiJOY. Participation has hovered between one and two entries for years and we are hoping the rubric modifications along with monetary prizes will increase participation.

Angela Zuroeveste
Rocky Mountain High School
5450 N. Linder Road
Meridian, ID 8364

Membership: JEA membership stands at 13.

Katie Fernandez, CJE
2221 W. Belmont Ave. # 204
Chicago, IL 60618

Membership: Illinois has 150 members.

Goals: Working to help teachers implement a curriculum unit of instruction on media literacy due to the passing of Illinois House Bill 234 which requires the inclusion of one unit starting this school year. The bill defines “Media literacy” as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and communicate using a variety of forms, including, but not limited to: print, visual, audio, interactive, and digital texts.

Increasing the number of scholastic media programs statewide through outreach, mentoring and an upcoming webinar. The Illinois Principals Association will host the “News You Can Use: How Student Media Can Engage Your School Community” webinar through their Ed Leaders Network. The goal is to educate administrators about the benefits of scholastic journalism and encourage them to support and expand programs throughout the state. Illinois State Director Katie Fernandez and New York State Director Katina Paron will present the webinar on behalf of the Teach for Chicago Journalism program at Medill.

Support the nine current Illinois mentees by recruiting more mentors and encouraging collaboration between existing mentees.

Events/Happenings:  IJEA hosted their fall conference at the University of Illinois in September – the first in-person conference in over two years! Ten schools attended which included 180 students and their advisers. Entries for the annual yearbook competition are being accepted now. 

Awards/Honors: Former IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud was inducted into IJEA’s Hall of Fame and received the IJEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to scholastic journalism in Illinois. Prospect High School adviser Jason Block received IJEA’s highest honor in June – the James. A. Tidwell Award for Excellence in Scholastic Media Education. 

For the Board: Illinois teachers are looking for more lessons geared toward their ELL student population.

Ryan Gunterman, MJE
185 S. Stonechase Crossing Rd.
Bloomington, IN 47403

Membership: Indiana membership currently stands at 69.


  • Increase JEA membership in state
  • Develop regional workshops for regions furthest away from Indianapolis
  • Finalize plans for mentor program 


Awards & Honors:

For the Board: I sound like a broken record, but has anyone had success navigating anything like Indiana’s graduation pathways? It is vital for us to lobby our education officials for expanding the number of courses educators with a journalism certification can teach, particularly within the CTE communications pathway. The survival of many Indiana programs depends on it.

Are there any adviser-specific mental health resources available?   

Has anyone at the state level created a program where schools can request on-site workshops or guest speakers? It would be helpful to have a template that would be applicable elsewhere.Finally, Indianapolis is a great site for events with plenty of experience serving as a host (Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament, College Football Championship, National FFA, Indy 500, Pop Con, etc.). Our strong network of student media programs and advocates would gladly welcome another national scholastic journalism event.

Leslie Shipp, MJE
609 E. 1st St.
Grimes, Iowa, 50111

Membership: JEA membership stands at 39 in Iowa.

Goals: My main goal is to help the new executive director of IHSPA, Michelle Sillman, transition into her role. I talked with the outgoing IHSPA director and the IHSPA Board numerous times over the summer. This fall I have been walking through items with Sillman.

Happenings: Michelle Sillman was hired in August as the new director of the state organization. Sillman brings experience in magazine writing, marketing, fundraising and public relations. As an employee of the University of Iowa, she will also be an internship, placement and recruitment specialist for the school of journalism.

The state conference will be in Iowa City Oct. 20. Over 40 sessions are planned.

The opening keynote speaker is Nixon Benitez, editor of the University of Northern Iowa’s student newspaper. The closing keynote is Ty Rushing, the senior editor of Iowa Starting Line. Twenty-eight sessions are planned including speakers, interactive activities and tours of the University of Iowa’s student media outlets.

Awards and Honors: Paul Jensen, the outgoing IHSPA executive director, retired in August after 10 years as the face of the organization. Paul’s legacy was growing the state convention to include over 1,000 students and in a great rebound attracted over 700 students last fall to the convention after a two-year cancellation. He found engaging speakers and was always rounding up anyone and everyone who might have something interesting to say to high school journalism students. Contests improved under Jensen’s guidance. Rules for all state contests were rewritten and aligned. He secured money for the State Journalist of the Year contest from the Iowa Newspaper Association, combining it with money from IHSPA to offer a $500 prize. This helped increase numbers as one year the contest had no entries. Jensen enjoyed teenagers and worked on their behalf, and teenagers enjoyed himl. Whenever a student visited the University of Iowa, Jensen usually found them and sent word back to their adviser.

For the Board: How do states run their Journalist of the Year contest? One judge or a panel? Do they pay judges? Do judges offer feedback to all entries? What happens when a student is unhappy with the results?

Susan Massy
Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
12701 W. 67th St.
Shawnee, KS 66216

Membership: JEA membership stands at 135 in Kansas.

Larry Steinmetz, CJE
Bullitt East High School
11450 Highway 44 E
Mount Washington, KY 40047

Membership: JEA membership stands at 22 in Kentucky. Adding our first state contest certainly helped and there is positive buzz for this year as well.

Goals: My goal is to expand our state contest and grow our JOY entries. We have a focused plan and it is falling into place. We expect growth in both.

Happenings: We will refile our New Voices bill in Kentucky. We had to regroup, but our student leaders are charged up and making headway. In addition to our team, we have the Kentucky ACLU on board as well. I expect a busy February and March. KYJTA held its first state contest in the spring. We recognized 62 students from 12 schools. Feedback was terrific and we are looking to add schools and contests this spring. We are really happy with the way things went and got great feedback from our member schools.

Albert Dupont
Loyola University
School of Mass Communication
6363 St. Charles Ave. Box 201 New Orleans, LA 70118

Membership: JEA membership stands at 18 in Louisiana.


  • Have an in-person state conference in January 2023
    •  We are planning for the traditional one-day “media day” conference. The conference will include learning sessions and the Tom Bell Silver Scribe Awards for yearbook, journalism, broadcast, photography, newspaper, etc.
  • Enhanced promotion of the JOY contest
    • We have run the contest in its current form for the past four years and we typically get 3-5 applicants almost exclusively from Southeast Louisiana.

In the Spring of 2023 we had no entries which was very disappointing.  

We are reaching out statewide to promote the JOY contest.

Loyola University New Orleans will continue to offer a full tuition scholarship to the School of Communication and Design for the Louisiana State JOY winner.

Events/Happenings: I was able to attend a back-to-school yearbook social for advisers at a local restaurant in New Orleans. The event was sponsored by Walsworth Yearbooks and there were 10 advisers in attendance. I was able to mention our JEA/Loyola Media Day scheduled for January and have time for Q&A. 

We have opened up the Loyola TV Studio to local high schools. St. Augustine High School in New Orleans has now been regularly recording their Purple Knight News show since the Spring.

Unfortunately we had to cancel our planned in-person Media Day that was scheduled for the end of January 2022 due to the Covid surge in cases. We are now planning for a January 2023 state conference.

Awards/Honors: We awarded the 2021 Louisiana State Journalist of the Year to Hannah Darcey who attends Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. Hannah had a very strong application and I think will represent Louisiana well.

Unfortunately we did not have any applications for the 2022 Louisiana State Journalist of the Year. The deadline was pushed back to March 7, 2022 to account for the Mardi Gras Holidays.

For the Board: My biggest challenge as a state director is the same as it has been for the past few years: to identify journalism teachers and advisers in my state and establish contact with them.  I am relatively sure I am not alone in this struggle. I had over 30% bounce back on emails on a bulk email that I sent out in the summer.  

Mining school and district websites to find contact information is hit or miss at best. There are 558 high schools in Louisiana according to Google and we are a relatively small state.

Could JEA partner with yearbook companies to get up-to-date lists of current yearbook advisers and provide this information to state directors? I realize this is probably “top secret” information that they may be reluctant to share, but the yearbook reps are the “boots on the ground” and would have the most up-to-date information.

I feel this information would benefit JEA and most certainly state directors. Maybe there could be some kind of non-disclosure agreement where the information would not be shared and only used for certain purposes such as announcements of state contests and conferences.

Marcie Young
Presque Isle High School
16 Griffin St
Presque Isle, ME 04769

Membership: JEA membership stands at 7 in Maine.

Goals: Reaching out to the other members by email to introduce myself and connect.

David Lopilato
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
4301 East West Hwy
Bethesda, MD 20814-4420

Membership: JEA membership stands at 25 in Maryland.


  1. The Maryland chapter is organizing two conferences this year:
    1. An Adviser’s Day (November) for publication adviser on a high school yearbook, newspaper or TV/radio, in Maryland-D.C.  Saturday, Nov. 5 (9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) at the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism. Click here to register by Oct. 25. We will feature the following sessions:
      1. Expanding Coverage: 50 Ways to Find Your Story.
      2. Interactive Design and Development.
      3. How to Teach Photojournalism to Students.
      4. Digital Storytelling and Audience Engagement.
      5. Audio and Podcast Reporting.
      6. Story Structures in News and Feature Writing.
    2. A conference for students
  2. In Montgomery County, we continue to print two countywide magazines a year.  You can see our latest here
  3. Three students behind the countywide magazine, “ Coming of Age in a Pandemic,” were featured on NPR. You can listen to the show here.
  4. Two students who wrote about Instagram’s impact on girls in this latest edition were featured on Fox and PBS on the same day.

Bretton Zinger, MJE
238 Austin St
West Newton, MA 02465

Membership: JEA membership stands at 32 in Massachusetts. My outreach continues. I think the variety in our numbers is just the fluctuation of renewals.

Happenings: I “attended” the spring 2021 virtual convention, but not the fall 2021 one.

The spring convention of the New England Scholastic Press Association was canceled. We are likely holding an in-person event in May, which will be a return to our regular convention.

The Journalist of the Year was Anushka Patil of Westford Academy, and she represented Massachusetts in the national contest. We had three submissions this year, after having just one last year, so that is an improvement. The other two were named as “finalists.”

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.

I completed the process of becoming a JEA mentor and met for the first time with my mentee early in 2022. We kept up occasional communication through the spring. 

I signed on for a second mentee starting this fall. I have emailed both my mentees and received replies, but neither has responded to my request for meeting options yet. 

Goals: A main goal will continue to be to increase our JOY participation. We had a winner from a school not typically represented, as well as a finalist from a different one not typically represented.

I plan on starting this process earlier in the fall this coming school year, after deadlines and production are in full swing, prodding advisers to have at least one student from their program apply — the “somebody will win even if only one person applies” approach. That way, we can have a winner and a true “Journalism Honor Roll” again, rather than just two.

Awards and honors: Anushka Patil of Westford Academy was named Massachusetts Student Journalist of the Year.

Timothy Morley, CJE
PO Box 396
Topinabee, MI 49791

Membership: JEA membership stands at 64 in Michigan.

Fall Conference: MIPA is returning to hosting a face-to-face conference in Lansing this fall. The conference will be held at the Lansing Center Wednesday, Oct. 26.

MIPA  Summer Workshop: The MIPA summer camp was a success overall. There were 180 students, and few COVID-related issues. Numbers were down about 100 from 2019, the last in-person conference.

Kathryn Campbell, CJE
St. Paul Academy and Summit School1712 Randolph Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Membership: Minnesota currently has 24 JEA members


  • Reconnecting and re-energizing Minnesota advisers. We lost a significant number of advisers, either to leaving the profession or to retirement in the past three years. We need to update communication: where and who new advisers are.
  • Resuming or building new connections for partnerships. We currently have a New Voices campaign going, a Hennepin Theater Trust partnership, discussions with Minnesota State High School league about equitable access for student journalists, are in conversations with the Minnesota Vikings about creating a sports reporting award at the state level. It’s fun to plan, and I’m excited to see how we can move forward in each area.


  • JEM advisers got together Sept. 29 for a state meeting and to judge the JEM All-State Awards.
  • JEM/MHSPA State Convention Oct. 13 is our first return to in-person since 2019. The focus is on community journalism, with keynote speakers from North News and The Spokesman-Recorder, the oldest Black-owned newspaper in the state.


  • JEM All-State Awards and MHSPA Gold Medallions will be announced at the state convention Oct. 13. 
  • Congratulations to the Stillwater Pony Express (Stillwater, Minnesota) for earning a George H. Gallup Award through the Quill and Scroll crique this year. Robbinsdale Cooper HS (New Hope, Minnesota) earned an International First Place.

For the Board: I feel like I keep adding to the questions! 

  • Last fall, I opened the question of adviser burnout and how we support each other during this time. 
  • Then in the spring, I added to that the question of maintaining connections with publications programs in light of high adviser turnaround. 
  • Now, I add the question of how we recruit advisers (who are burned out, who are new) to join boards and take on initiatives at the state level JEA organization.

R.J. Morgan, MJE
The University of Mississippi
102 Farley Hall
PO Box 1848 University, MS 38677

Membership: There are now 31 JEA members in Mississippi, up almost 100% from this time last year thanks to a new statewide sponsorship program funded by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association (MSPA).

Goals: My primary goals for this semester are to 1) get as many Mississippi advisers as possible plugged into JEA’s national resources and 2) return to hosting in-person events, especially our statewide convention this fall.

Events/Happenings: MSPA’s spring convention was canceled due to a tornadic weather system, which has greatly hurt our efforts to bring all of our pre-pandemic members back into the fold. We were able to host our summer Overby Adviser Institute in June with 12 attendees. 

Awards and honors: In digital announcements this spring, Marc Lewis (broadcast) and Laura Grice (newspaper) were named Advisers of the Year and WTHS (Tupelo HS) and The Vision (Mississippi School for Math and Science) were named 2022 broadcast and newspaper of the year, respectively. 

For the board: Of the 34 respondents to my JEA membership survey (required to receive free membership), only 17.6% said they plan to leave the profession within the next five years. The largest group (44.1%) said they plan to teach journalism for 6-10 more years.

Erin Sucher-O’Grady, MJE
Clayton High School
1 Mark Twain Circle
Clayton, MO 63105

State Organization Websites:

Membership: JEA membership stands at 135 in Missouri. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, and Affiliates (with the director as a voting member).

Goals: Our number one goal for this year is to put on a successful convention here in St. Louis! Dozens of advisers from around the region have pitched in their efforts to make this event a success. A special shout-out should go to Mitch Eden, Nancy Smith and Aaron Manfull for organizing the local team of advisers. 

A second goal is to continue to foster the success of our merged state organizations – the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association and the Missouri Journalism Education Association which merged into MIJA and rebranded over the summer to create the Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association (MIJA). We are excited about this change and for all the opportunities we will be able to offer the Missouri journalism community. As we move forward, part of this process involves updating our website. We are working with a Mizzou student to complete this and are hoping to have it fully updated by the end of the semester. MIJA offers many scholastic journalism resources and opportunities for advisers and students throughout the year, more information can be found on our website.


  • MIPA & MJEA merged last year and rebranded over the summer to MIJA (Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association)
  • MIJA is planning J-Day, which will happen at Mizzou March, 29, 2023
  • MIJA’s only contest going on right now is our monthly photo contest; the first contest ends Sept. 30
  • We continue to run the monthly photo contests + a seasonal journalism challenge for students state-wide
  • In the St. Louis area, Kirkwood High School adviser Mitch Eden, MJEl hosted a Student Newspaper Online workshop at KHS this fall with a SNO facilitator. The event was completed full. 
  • Also in St. Louis we are emerging from the past two years of the pandemic with a commitment to reconnecting the advisers in the local area, with a goal to get together once a month. While our first few meetings will likely be focused on getting ready for the national convention, we will work to make the others more focused on socializing and community building with this great group. We are planning the Happy Hours to run from 4:30-6 p.m. with people coming and going as they can and we are working to find some sponsors for as many of the dates as possible to help with some of the food and drinks. 
  • The 2022 Minority Student Journalism Workshop for high school students in the St. Louis area. The workshop will be held at Webster University on the following Saturdays: Oct. 15, 22 and 29. 
  • We’re working with Mizzou to offer advisers and students some online opportunities for learning and collaborating throughout the year, available state-wide. For example, the University of Missouri offered three summer workshops for high school students

Awards/Honors: MIPA-MJEA is proud to announce and congratulate its all-state journalism team for 2022. The team consists of 11 students from 10 different schools across the state. You can find more information about these students here.

Jill Page

Glasgow High School
Glasgow, MT 59230

Membership: JEA membership stands at 16 in Montana.


Get a better understanding of what the state director’s responsibilities and duties are. My action plan is to: 

  • Communicate with other state directors and JEA officers, reference the state directors’ guide and work on becoming certified.
  • Increase awareness to Montana teachers about JEA and CTE programs. 
  • Promote communication between state members and the national members by emails. 
  • Keep in contact with statemembers.
  • Work on my certification. Find out the process on how to get certified and when to take the test.
  • Learn more about the JOY awards.
  • Get more involved with JEA. Love the program.

Happenings: I communicated with past members through email this month requesting renewal info, ideas, etc.

  • Conference call with Valerie Kibler and Linda Ballew to learn about the JOY awards in our state.
  • High School Journalism and Media Day at the University of Montana School of Journalism March 9, 2023 in Missoula. Nearly 150 students attended last year from as far away as Frazer (465 miles) and nearly every part of Montana was represented. We also had students from around the country attend our virtual sessions. We had so much fun working with these students and hope everyone found it to be productive, informative and worth the effort to attend.  

For the Board: Certification process to be shared with members.

Marsha Kalkowski, MJE
Marian High School
7400 Military Ave.
Omaha, NE 68134-3398

Membership: JEA membership stands at 69 in Nebraska. We had 67 members last March. We have a few new high schools in the state of Nebraska, and that has created some moving of schools. Membership seems strong though. We did NOT offer a chance to register for JEA through NHSPA Convention Registration this fall, so I’ll need to send out another reminder to members to renew on their own.

Goals: As state director, I hope to maintain positive relations between the Nebraska High School Press Association and JEA. I will attend all NHSPA general membership meetings and as many NHSPA Exec Committee meetings as possible to keep the Nebraska advisers informed and enthused about JEA initiatives, opportunities and events. I will organize a JEA Winter Contest for the state of Nebraska and help to celebrate the achievements and activities of the state’s members. I will coordinate the JOY contest for Nebraska and have a state winner submitted to the national contest by deadline. I will also encourage more advisers to become mentors!

Happenings: Nebraska held a successful Summer Workshop at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nearly 100 students participated. Some Nebraska advisers attended the JEA Adviser Institute over the summer. The NHSPA Fall Convention is Oct. 17. The keynote speaker is Omaha native Alyssa Schukar, a photographer whose journalism has been featured in many major U.S. and international publications. We are expecting 500+ students. We are adding some new awards to Nebraska’s scholastic program including an Administrator of the Year award and a Hall of Fame. I have queried the state directors for other states with Hall of Fames, and had fewer than eight replies. I guess that means we need to be trailblazers. The NSAA has a new Journalism Representative, so we are hopeful that state journalism will be moving in the right direction. We thank JEA Critiique-trained members who have served as judges for us in the past at our state contest and in our Cornhusker Awards program.

Awards/Honors: I’ll have a bunch this spring to note, but since I won’t know them until Oct. 17, this will have to wait. We do have one 2022 NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker Finalist: the Millard West Wildcat News!  We celebrate Emily Arnold, CJE, who was named as a JEA Award of Merit because she has been our lead yearbook presenter at the Nebraska Summer Camp and we celebrate Kelley Lange, CJE, of Ralston High School for being named a JEA Rising Star. 

For the Board: Thanks for everything you do for us! Will be good to see you all in St. Louis!

Eric Johnston, CJE
Green Valley High School
460 N. Arroyo Grande Blvd
Henderson, NV 89014

Membership: JEA membership stands at 27 in Nevada.

Happenings – We were able to facilitate the return of the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists (SNSJ) Contest after a one year absence. An Awards Night was held Sept. 8 at Green Valley High School and included high school newspaper awards, as well as middle and high school yearbook awards. We had 31 publications submit entries, and are working on continuing to grow interest in both JEA and SNSJ. There is a significant number of new advisers in our state, and I am hoping to share the benefits of joining both of these organizations once we are able to identify them all. I am focusing on encouraging current members to attend the convention in San Francisco since it is another one close to us and would be an easier trip for those taking students for the first time.

Awards – SNSJ All-Nevada Award Publications for 2022 included Southwest Career & Technical Academy (Matt LaPorte, CJE), Spring Valley High School (Tara Verderosa, CJE), Green Valley High School (Eric Johnston, CJE), and Alexander Dawson (Jolie Lindley).

For the Board – My biggest challenge is keeping an updated list of active advisers in our state. We have a lot of new advisers that do not want to return to their positions after a year or two. Besides calling every school each year, I am wondering if any states have a better system in place. We have a fair amount of schools that do not use the major publishing companies, so asking reps is not really a solution. I would also like to give a shout out to Jane Blystone regarding the mentoring program. I have developed very beneficial relationships with my mentees and they are helping me to improve my teaching while I support them as new advisers. I feel like this program helps with the development of advisers that will build a program and provide some stability for their schools in the world of scholastic journalism.

Timothy Cain, CJE

Pinkerton Academy
5 Pinkerton Street
Derry, NH 03038

Membership: There are currently six members in New Hampshire, one of whom is retired. Two members have earned the CJE credential. Annette Deming, CJE, has moved from California to New Hampshire. This is not reflected in the New Hampshire directory


1. Increase JEA membership in New Hampshire 

2. Get more New Hamsphire members certified as CJE/MJE

3. Establish and implement a Journalism of the Year (JOY) program for New Hampsire student journalists.


Currently, there are no organized statewide events planned. I will continue to work with my Walsworth representative to connect with other advisers in New England to see if we can organize a student symposium.

For the JOY program, I have encouraged my members to have their seniors apply for this recognition. I will continue to work on getting the word out to current New Hampshire JEA members about the benefit of this student program. I sent the New Hampshire members a Google Form application for New Hampshire candidates.

I had my article “The Constant Loop,” from 2021 JEAai in New Orleans published in the fall edition of C:JET.

For the Board: Any help and/or advice to increase membership in my state would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I have checked school websites to find contact information, and I have reached out to former colleagues who are now administrators to send me contact information about their journalism teachers.

Greg Gagliardi, CJE
New Jersey
Cherry Hill High School East
32 Lumber Lane
Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059

Membership: JEA membership stands at 43 in New Jersey. The Garden State Scholastic Press Association has been actively trying to recruit new members and has been reaching out to brand-new advisers.

Goals: The Garden State Scholastic Press Association will hold its first in-person conference since the pandemic. It will return to its usual location of the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers-New Brunswick. With New Jersey recently passing New Voices, state members have the goal of spreading awareness to advisers and students statewide.  That goal will move forward to a great degree at the state conference Oct. 24, as a New Voices panel will serve as the day’s keynote.

Happenings: Advisers should register for the state conference by Oct. 17. It will take place Oct. 24. For more information, visit click here. The winners of all individual state contests as well as the two biggest awards, Distinguished Journalism and Online Distinguished Journalism, will be announced that day. Sessions will address print newspaper, online, yearbook and broadcast. GSSPA President Bill Rawson, CJE, is no longer teaching in New Jersey. Tom McHale, CJE, is now the interim president.

Awards/Honors: Eastside Online was a NSPA Online Pacemaker Award winner this past spring. All state awards will be posted soon on gsspa.org

For the Board: We will have very low attendance in St. Louis, mainly due to flight costs and the red tape involved with finding and arranging flights. For example, Cherry Hill East students intended to go and even paid for most of their trip, but the expected cost increased by over $300 due to a group flight running over $500/person. On a positive note, New Jersey teachers and advisers who were planning to go to St. Louis but now cannot will be attending the 2023 conference in Boston, as it is accessible by bus.

New Mexico – no state director

Membership: Current membership in New Mexico stands at 12.

Katina Paron, MJE
New York
Hunter College
582 20th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11218

Membership: JEA membership stands at 41 in New York.

Awards/Honors: NYC public school teacher and JEA member Deborah Porterfield of Bronx River High School received a First-time Convention Grant for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. This is the most exciting thing that has happened in NYC student journalism since sliced pizza! 

In New York City, the nonprofit organization, Press Pass NYC, has been working to remedy the lack of access to journalism opportunities in New York City public schools, where fewer than 15% of 400+ high schools (not to mention middle schools) have no student journalism programs whatsoever.

Everything is moving ahead with Cardozo High School’s (Queens, NY) new building. JEA member Georgia Mavromihalis says the new building will have two journalism media centers (one that will be a newsroom with an anchor desk, editing bays, the works) is set for a soft opening in January.

In partnership with Baruch College’s existing High School Journalism Program which sponsors a free 5-week “How to Launch an Online Student Newspaper” course for potential teacher/advisers as well as an annual conference for NYC high school news publications, Press Pass NYC is helping 23 area high schools—all high-need and underserved. Additionally, a new partnership with Communities of Hope’s Hope Lab Fellowship program will be providing a year of customized community-based journalism training for eight Press Pass NYC sponsored advisers. Founder and JEA member Lara Bergen, recommends to every teacher at the outset that they join JEA, and if the membership fee is an obstacle, offers to pay for the first year. 

For the first time, The Masters School (Dobbs Ferry, NY) is offering a Broadcast Journalism class. It’s team-taught by David Becker (visual arts dept.) and JEA member Ellen Cowhey. “We are really excited to have a crew of budding journalists learn the craft of broadcast news as they learn to be competent student journalists,” said Cowhey, who is the coordinator of the schools newly emerging Journalism Collaborative, which is a cluster of Upper School classes that include: Intro to Journalism, Journalism Production class, Broadcast Journalism, Editor-in-chief major, Broadcasting Executive Producer Major. One of their first stories of the year won a Best of SNO award. 

Happenings: Mike Simons, MJE, and Katina Paron, MJE, hosted a kick-off event for New York State students interested in being involved with New Voices New York. We will host another one soon. We will have to re-introduce the “Student Journalist Free Speech Act” to the state legislature in January. We are looking for more student advocates to get involved with helping us pass the bill, For more information, please contact newvoicesofnewyork@gmail.com.

Opportunity: Press Pass NYC is offering a $500 stipend for NYS CJE and MJE JEA members who sign up for JEA’s mentor training and accept a NYC public school mentee.

For the Board: We’ve gotten no bites on the mentor offer above. Would love help in this area.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 51 in North Carolina.

Events: North Carolina Scholastic Media Association’s Mountains to Coast fall regional workshops will transition back to in-person events after two years of virtual regional workshops. The four regional workshops across the state will include stops at Queens University of Charlotte, University of North Carolina at Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University. The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer will also join as co-hosts. Speakers will represent those in media, student media and scholastic journalism from all across the state. These ons-site regional workshops will once again mean students will have cost-effective access to a college campus visit and scholastic journalism instruction. The workshops begin Oct. 6, with one per week through the month of October. 

All summer programming in 2022 returned to in-person events, following an in-person North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association board meeting in March. 

The 2022 summer North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute provided three days of intense instruction in yearbook, news/online, broadcast, design, advising and photojournalism for students and teachers from across the state. Creativity, leadership and investigative reporting boot camps were offered. Students in the broadcast sequence produced the very first student newscast from the UNC School of Journalism and Media’s Curtis Media Center, a new building on campus. 

The 2022 Carolina Sports Journalism Camp welcomed the 34 students from across the country to an action-packed three days of instruction in sports writing, broadcast and photography. They enjoyed a behind-the-scenes sports media tour, interviewed UNC basketball’s Puff Johnson, attended a UNC-CH sports writing class and learned sports play-by-play. The surprise guest speaker for the event was Coach Roy Williams, who encouraged the students to pay close attention to their guest instructors and to work hard during the camp because a camp could change their lives. He then explained how his work at a basketball camp changed his. 

Each summer NCSMA offers one graduate-level course in UNC’s School of Journalism and Media specifically for high school journalism teachers. Funding for tuition and fees is available to North Carolina high school journalism teachers through NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program. The summer 2022 course, “Teaching Journalism in the Secondary School,” was offered in a hybrid format this July. The 10 educators who completed the one-week, short-term course received three hours of graduate credit. 

North Carolina’s High School Journalist of the Year receives a $3,000 scholarship, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Scholarship, funded by the North Carolina Press Foundation. The tradition of providing funds to each winner’s journalism program continues. The statewide winner’s journalism program receives $500. The scholarship program now awards three scholarships to three alternates. Each will receive $1,000. Each student’s journalism program will receive $250.

North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Candace Brandt, Carole Eanes and Brenda Gorsuch serve as mentors.

Awards: Click here for a complete list of North Carolina Scholastic Media statewide contest results. During the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill, NCSMA awarded 16 Tar Heels, the highest student media recognition.

NCSMA also awarded its annual Kay Phillips Distinguished Service Awards to NCSMA assistant Emma Davis and posthumously to NCSMA supporter Howard Spanogle. 

NCSMA’s endowed workshop scholarship program allowed the organization to recognize four top-performing students at the annual North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute, each one receiving $625 awards.

For the Board: We request that the Certification Commission and the board reinstate JEA’s long-held certification coursework option. That option recognizes the efforts by those who come to the classroom with subject matter expertise, as well as those who take part in journalism education graduate coursework. The certification option recognizes scholastic journalism’s important ties to the higher education community, reflecting an awareness of the importance of supporting and encouraging journalism education coursework at the university level.

North Dakota – no state director

Membership: North Dakota currently has seven members.

Julianne McClain, MJE
Rutherford B Hayes High School
289 Euclid Ave.
Delaware, OH 43015

Membership: Ohio has 58 JEA members at the moment.

Goals: My primary goal when it comes to being the JEA state director and the President of the Ohio Scholastic Media Association is to continue to follow the advice I frequently give to my students: continue to improve one step at a time.  For this school year, the “one step” that I am working on, along with other members of the OSMA board, is connection. I believe strongly that as we emerge from the stressful years of pandemic-era teaching, we have to structure OSMA and JEA resources in ways that help advisers feel the power and importance of connecting with each other. Hopefully we can continue to show advisers that these two organizations have a treasure trove of resources that can help them connect with each other, rather than feeling like they are alone on an island just trying to survive.  

Happenings: In April, OSMA also hosted our first in-person state convention since 2019 at Kent State University. This fall, we are re-launching many of our one-day regional workshops as well. Around 300 students and advisers will be attending the OSMA Region 1 workshop at Kent State Oct. 6, and we hope that a similar number of students and advisers will join us Oct. 18 at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University for Region 5

Awards/Honors: This spring, we honored the following publications with All-Ohio designations, which is OSMA’s highest award level for overall publications:

  • Yearbook: The Archer from Antwerp High School
  • Online News Site: The Arlingtonian from Upper Arlington High School; The Beachcomber from Beachwood High School; The Talisman from RB Hayes High School
  • Newspapers: The Chatterbox from Walnut Springs High School; The Chronicle from William Mason High School; The Beachcomber from Beachwood High School
  • Newsmagazine: Spark, from Lakota East High School

For the Board: I continue to look for ways that we can strengthen the partnership between JEA and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association, but I also struggle a bit with understanding how to juggle both. I would love to connect with other state directors who have a thriving local scholastic journalism organization while also still managing their responsibilities for JEA.

Darla Tresner, MJE
3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006

Membership: JEA membership stands at 32 in Oklahoma.

Happenings: Oklahoma advisers are looking forward to our fall scholastic journalism conferences. The University of Oklahoma will host its fall 2022 conference Nov. 14. At that time state awards for last year’s yearbooks will be presented.  Also, a wide variety of learning sessions for students and advisers will be presented by area professional journalists and advisers. Also, during the advisers luncheon invitations to join JEA will be issued as well as a report on the many activities available through JEA. Oklahoma State University normally holds a Journalism Day with its numerous sessions available to state high school student journalists and their advisers to attend. At press time, the usual fall conference has been moved to the spring. No further information about the conference has been received.

Brian Eriksen, CJE
South Salem High School
9375 SE Hillview Drive
Amity, OR 97101

Membership: There are currently 38 members in Oregon.

Goals: The Oregon Journalism Education Association staff is looking at ways to help student journalists as much as we can virtually. We are also looking into ways we can reach out to advisers one-on-one to make sure we are meeting their needs.

Happenings: The Oregon Student Media Olympics is happening and will award some of the best journalism in the state of Oregon. We are looking forward to holding our statewide Student Media Olympics once again in November at the University of Oregon.

Awards/Honors: Oregon’s Journalist of the Year 2022 winner is Tori Thorp of West Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. Congratulations to Tori and her staff of the Whirlwind. The Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Adviser of the year was awarded to John Fitzgerald of Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, Ore. The Oregon Rookie Adviser of the year is Hannah Osborn of Redmond High School in Redmond.

Cyndi Hyatt-Crothers
Conestoga High School
Berwyn, PA 19312

Membership: JEA membership stands at 73 in Pennsylvania.

We are excited that our very own Dr. Jane Blystone is this year’s recipient of the JEA Carl Towley Award. Blystone is iconic in the Pennsylvania student journalism world and has been a source of inspiration and support for all of us.

The Pennsylvania School Press Association is holding eight regional in-person contests/conferences this year. Winners will compete in March at Penn State University.

Three Pennsylvania students attended the New Voices Student Leadership Institute in July and will hopefully be attending our fall Pennsylvania New Voices kickoff meeting at the end of the month.

For the board: I wish there was more support for advisers, like myself, who have been removed from their positions because of censorship. I’m not sure what that would look like, but it’s a horrible thing to be dismissed because a principal does not like the types of stories the students write, especially after years of producing quality student journalism which has been recognized by NSPA, PNA, PSPA, etc. and not have any idea where to turn or to even know if anyone even cares. In addition, there are no help/advice groups or guides for students who find themselves in a position without a trained adviser.

Elizabeth Kenworthy
Rhode Island
North Kingstown High School
150 Fairway Drive
North Kingstown, R.I. 02852

Membership: JEA membership stands at four.

Leslie Dennis
South Carolina
S.C. Scholastic Press Assn. and SIPA
800 Sumter St.
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Columbia, SC 29208

Membership: JEA membership stands at 20.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at eight in South Dakota.

Goals: My plan to launch the South Dakota High School Press Association website was put on hold because of an issue beyond my control. I am exploring other options for completing this project in 2023. 

Happenings: As I write this, we are preparing to host the first in-person South Dakota High School Press Convention since 2019. Advance registration is exceeding expectations and we are eager to welcome everyone to the South Dakota State University campus Oct. 17. 

Bradley Wilson, MJE, vice head of AEJMC’s Scholastic Journalism Division, and Jeremy Steele, CJE, executive director of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, presented a successful “teach-in” for high school journalism educators Aug. 2 in conjunction with the AEJMC Conference in Detroit. Andrea Negri, MJE, adviser of the Carillon yearbook at Bellaire High School in Texas, was recognized during the event as the 2022 winner of the Scholastic Journalism Division’s Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism award. The teach-in also featured Nicole Kraft, the 2022 winner of JEA’s Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award and an associate professor at The Ohio State University. 

Awards/Honors: Daniel Bethke, the 2022 South Dakota High School Journalist of the Year, was recognized April 8, 2022, during an outreach event hosted by South Dakota State University’s School of Communication and Journalism in Sioux Falls. We recently secured a sponsor for the South Dakota JOY contest, which will enable us to provide annual winners with awards packages for the next several years. 

The South Dakota High School Activities Association sponsors the annual statewide contests in newswriting, photography, newspaper and yearbook. Winners are recognized at the South Dakota High School Press Convention.

For the Board: I am looking forward to attending the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis. While there, I hope to begin – finally – discussions about increasing and strengthening collaboration between JEA and the AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division.

Heather Nagel, CJE
Christ Presbyterian Academy
2323 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215

Membership: JEA membership stands at 41 in Tennessee.

Goals: Tennessee High School Press Association is working on an outreach initiative to increase membership at the state level and the national level (THSPA and JEA) and involvement in state workshops. For the first time, THSPA is hosting four state journalism workshops in cities across the state including Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville.

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association hosted a Fall Workshop at Lipscomb University where students were engrossed with the keynote speaker Jack Kennedy, who is a past president of JEA. Kennedy stressed the importance of the First Amendment as he sang the First Amendment to the audience, getting everyone to sing along. Lipscomb University provided students with an opportunity to earn college credit at the Music City New Media Academy, which was a 5-day program during the summer. At the University of Memphis, THSPA hosted a workshop that featured a panel discussion as the keynote address. The following journalists were on the panel: Laura Faith Kebede, Institute for Public Service Reporting, Andrea Morales, MLK50, Denisha Thomas, ABC 24 and Micaela Watts, Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Awards/Honors: Tennessee High School Press Association hosted a Journalism Writing Contest based on the keynote address given by Jack Kennedy, and three students from Harpeth Hall High School received honors, First Place: Cailin Rork, Second Place: Anna Cate Graham and Third Place: Lily Bowen. Last spring, THSPA awarded the following state awards to members across the state.

Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE
Aledo High School
1000 Bailey Ranch Road
Aledo, TX 76008

Membership: Texas JEA membership sits at 307. TAJE membership sits at 251. The TAJE membership year ended Sept. 30, 2022, so many members are in the process of renewing and are missing from this count. 

Goals: To increase membership in both TAJE and JEA and provide support for our scholastic journalism community.

Happenings: We will host our Fall Fiesta Convention at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio Oct. 8-10. As of Oct. 3, almost 650 have registered. We will host our usual events at the convention, including the Bureau, an Intensive Writing Mini-Workshop with Scott Winter and David Knight, contests and other sessions covering a wide variety of topics. The keynote speaker Saturday will be national award-winning journalist Tony Plohetski and our keynote speaker at the awards ceremony Monday will be visual journalist Tamir Ben Kalifa.

The Best in Texas Yearbook Contest will accept entries until Oct. 28, 2022.

TAJE and ILPC (The Interscholastic League Press Conference) hosted a summer workshop June 17-19, 2022. They will jointly sponsor the Central Texas Journalism Invitational UIL Meet in December. 

TAJE has helped sponsor two regional workshops for members this fall. The first was held jointly with the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas for members in regions 2 and 3 Aug. 15. The second workshop for region 10 members was held in Harlingen Sept. 15. All regional representatives are asked to host a membership meeting or workshop by the end of the year.

The next legislative session begins January 10, 2023, and New Voices Texas has formed a regional organizing team to strive to build a more pronounced coalition of student journalists across the entire state. Four officers have been assigned to serve as Regional Organizers for the North, East, West and Central/South Texas regions as specified on the Texas Education Agency’s Education Service Center Map. Two organizing specialists work alongside the Central & South Texas Regional Organizer, Kaitlyn Nash, to expand outreach and increase engagement with campaign efforts. Other Regional Organizers include: North Texas, Emma Short, West Texas, Gillian Crist, East Texas, Angela Lumbreras, Central and South Texas, Scott Seamon, Rachel Setlik and Flora Farr

TAJE maintains Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to disseminate information from JEA and TAJE. 

Awards and Honors: TAJE will honor the following award recipients at the Fall Fiesta Convention:

  • TAJE Administrator of the Year: John Boehringer, Leander Vista Ridge HS, Prosper HS
  • Texas Treasure: Jeanne Acton
  • Trailblazer
    • Emily Pyeatt Arnold, Aledo HS
    • Andrea Negri, Bellaire HS 
    • Margie Raper, Prosper Rock Hill HS
    • David Winter, Austin McCallum HS
  • Pathfinder
    • Lucy Carr, LaGrange HS
    • Taylor Mersmann, Prosper Rock Hill HS
  • Friend of Journalism
    • Kathleen McElroy, UT School of Journalism

Kenny Mitchell, Bowie County Citizens TribuneThe 2022 Best in Texas News & Broadcast Awards were announced March 25, 2022. Current NSPA Pacemakers and CSPA Crowns from Texas are listed on the TAJE site.

Utah – No state director

Membership: JEA membership stands at 8.

Nancy A. Olson, CJE
45 Pratt Road
Putney, VT 05346

Membership: JEA membership stands at five in Vermont.

Goals:  To begin my MJE project.For the Board: Thank you, as always, for what you do.

Erinn Harris, MJE
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

Membership: JEA membership stands at 98 in Virginia.

Happenings: At this time of writing, we are putting in final preparations for our first in-person state workshop since 2019. The VHSL/VAJTA Media Championships will take place Oct. 15 at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The workshop will feature 21 speakers, instructing students on topics ranging from rebooting a journalism program to designing infographics to New Voices to business trends. 

On the New Voices front, we have a special opportunity to move forward with a clean slate and spend a concentrated amount of time on our grassroots efforts. Tiffany Kopcak, CJE, has been working with SPLC to gather support and sponsors so that Virginia will soon join the states that have adopted New Voices bills. Additionally, she is working with SPLC to create model policies for yearbooks when it comes to naming students who are transgender, which is especially vital in the wake of the Governor’s new model policies.

Goals: We are always working toward outreach to underrepresented areas of our state. In planning for the VHSL Media Championships, we made a concerted effort to reach out to experts from all over the state, encouraging them to participate by presenting sessions or offering critiques.

For the Board: Combating burnout has been one of the biggest struggles we face. It would be great to hear some innovative ways to reach members and get them excited and involved. Energized advisers encourage energized students. We just need to find the energy.

Anne Hayman, MJE
Arlington High School
18821 Crown Ridge Blvd.
Arlington, WA 98223

Membership: Washington state currently has 58 JEA members and 82 WJEA members (not including pending student members). We have several members who are due to renew within the next month. WJEA has new officers. President, Chris Twombley, CJE, from Mercer Island High School; Vice President Anna Ferdinant from Sedro-Woolley High School; Secretary, Kelly Gade of Shorewood High School; and Treasurer Scott Collins, CJE, of University Prep in Seattle, Washington. 

Events: Since the spring report, WJEA has hosted our summer workshop. We hosted 50 students and 13 advisers on site at Washington State University. 

Journalism Day West was held at Everett Community College Friday, Oct. 7. At the time of publishing, the final numbers were unavailable, but we are guesstimating 300. 

Journalism Day East will be held Monday, Oct. 31 at Whitworth University. At the time of this report, we do not have registration numbers, but we are guesstimating something similar to J Day West, 300ish. 

We have an Adobe Blitz scheduled for Oct. 17-22. Our spring conference is scheduled for the first Saturday in March and is currently slated to be at North Creek High School, final paperwork still pending with the district. 

My goal as state director and past president of WJEA is to make WJEA a Career & Technical Student Organization (CTSO) opportunity for our CTE programs in the state. We are working on membership levels and student leadership activities. Part of this will also be to share the leadership equivalencies with CTE programs in our state. 

Awards and Honors: This spring, we awarded our Administrator of the Year award to principal Adam Desautels of Inglemoor High School. As part of our state critiques, schools can choose to be considered for our Emerald Awards (formerly known as Best of Washington). The awards are being given out at J Day West. Yearbook Emerald Awards went to Pantera at Mead High School in Mead, Washington; Summit at Mt. Spokane High School in Mead, Washington; The Edge at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, Washington.  The Newspaper/Newsmagazine Emerald Award winner is The Puma Press from University Prep High School in Seattle, Washington.

Morgan Bricker
West Virginia
Weir High School
100 Red Rider Rd
Weirton WV 26047

Membership: JEA membership stands at 11 in West Virginia. We have started to create a database of journalism teachers and advisers in the state, but we have a long way to go. Our state AP English teacher group helped us by sending out a survey. We only received 14 responses, but it’s a start! We also plan to make phone calls and contact the administrator organizations to build the list.

Goals: Many of last year’s goals remain goals this year with hope to make more progress more quickly.

  • Continue to develop a database of West Virginia scholastic journalism programs and educators and increase outreach.
  • Publish social media accounts and develop a following.
  • Arrange at least one in-person meeting for JEA members as well as opportunities for virtual meet-ups.
  • Work with JEA members, colleges/universities, and other stakeholders to develop a statewide scholastic media association for schools, educators, and students.
  • Once membership is expanded, organize regional workshops and a state convention.

Happenings: We held a virtual meeting for interested WVJEA members this spring to discuss the goals outlined above.

There are three advisers, including myself, interested in working as a committee toward those goals.

Awards/Honors: We did not have any awards or honors aside from our state JOY recipient.

For the Board: I know that state directors have the opportunity to meet in-person at conventions, but it might be nice to also hold a few virtual meetings for interested state directors to discuss what’s happening in their states, what is working and what isn’t, and to network, maybe even collaborate with neighboring states.

Matthew Smith, CJE
Fond du Lac High School
801 Campus Dr
Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Membership: Wisconsin JEA membership currently stands at 42.

Goals: My goal this year will be increasing membership in associations (including JEA, obviously) that provide direct benefits to advisers in the state. Emerging more fully from the effects of COVID, students and advisers would benefit greatly from re-connecting through contests, conventions and other memberships available to them that they may have become a bit disconnected from or not even know about. An updated database of existing high school media in the state and the teachers who advise each that I continue working with the new Wisconsin Journalism Education Association to develop can now be used to provide more direct recommendations for contest, conference, and association opportunities available to schools that have not been involved in awhile or that have new advisers. It is time not only to continue collecting this information but also to more directly provide information and encourage more involvement.

Happenings: Wisconsin continues to offer a mix of virtual and in-person opportunities for advisers and students. The Wisconsin Journalism Education Association is continuing to host monthly video chats for advisers. The goal is to touch base and share questions and ideas on Saturday morning each month. The first chat this year Sept. 24 focused on ideas for staff bonding and motivation. Moving forward, the association this year will also be forwarding a newsletter to all members providing updates on content shared at these chats as well as reminders of upcoming events and opportunities. The Kettle Moraine Press Association will also be holding its Fall Conference in-person at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for the first time in several years. 

Awards/Honors: Once again, we will be accepting submissions for the Wisconsin Journalist of the Year competition through the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association. The deadline for submission is Jan. 31. We are also pleased to continue offering the winner a scholarship award of $1,000 through cooperation with the Milwaukee Press Club Endowment.

For the Board: Working with other advisers through the board of directors of the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association continues to allow me to accomplish more than I could alone, from establishing monthly chats and a new scholarship for the state’s journalist of the year to building a database of advisers in Wisconsin. As stated as part of my “goals,” however, I want to make sure more is done to make sure the most people possible are aware of these opportunities and feel empowered to try them out.

Wyoming – no state director

Membership: Wyoming currently has eight members.

Laura Widmer
Liaison – NSPA
2829 University Ave. S.E., Suite 720
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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. We are stronger together.

What’s new? We’ve had an excellent year. We’ve had initiatives, awards and resources added to our website. We’ve added individual awards, Pacemaker Master Classes, Town Halls and student leadership resources.

The 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 Meghan Percival has assisted with the adviser group. As a result of our meeting in Los Angeles, NSPA will offer a service cord for graduates. Details are on our website.

Board members Mitch Eden and Michele Coro have taken the lead on our Student Advisory Committee. Discussions have focused on online resources and convention programming.

Perhaps our biggest news of the year is Quill and Scroll merging with NSPA. Lori Keekley was named associate director in charge of the organization. Everything else with Quill and Scroll will remain the same for the first year. We will examine best practices throughout the year.

I’d love to chat about what we can do at NSPA to make your journalism life better. Reach out to me at Laura@studentpress.org.

Hadar Harris, Esq.
Executive Director
Student Press Law Center
1608 Rhode Island Ave. Suite 211
Washington, D.C. 20036

We hope the start of the school year has been exciting and fun as the “new normal” takes hold in schools across the country. We at SPLC have been preparing for this school year by expanding resources, creating new strategies and enhancing the support that we can provide to you and your students.  

Thanks to the continued support of JEA and so many advisers, SPLC has grown to be able to confront and address the ongoing legal challenges, expanding policy demands, and training and educational needs of student journalists and their advisers. We have recently added several new members to our team, including Assistant Director Josh Moore and education law attorney Jonathan Gaston-Falk. You can meet our staff here.

You and your students can speak with an SPLC attorney via our legal hotline, where we help with legal questions ranging from copyright to public records to censorship issues. One of our experts can also join your class virtually to discuss a variety of legal issues through SPLC in the Classroom. And don’t forget about our quick guides and dozens of other legal resources available on our website.

California and Nebraska censorship cases highlight a busy start to school year

Within the first four weeks of the school year, SPLC was already dealing with two huge censorship cases with national press coverage, and our free legal hotline was ringing off the hook, metaphorically at least. It’s that kind of year already. 

As pretty much everyone knows, the Los Angeles United School District rescinded its three-day suspension last month of Adriana Chavira, adviser at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, for refusing to violate California law by censoring her students. SPLC worked closely with Adriana’s students for months as they resisted pressure from administrators to remove information from an article about the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. When Adriana faced suspension, SPLC put pressure on the school district by publicizing the case and sending a letter, which JEA joined, to the LAUSD superintendent explaining that the whole episode violated California’s student free expression law. While it is inexcusable that Adriana faced the punishment in the first place, the outcome is an opportunity to educate administrators in California about the state’s law — and yet another reminder for all of us of why having strong New Voices laws to defend students and advisers is so important.

Throughout 2022, we have seen a nationwide trend of administrators increasingly censoring LGBTQIA+ related content. SPLC is extremely concerned and is monitoring this trend closely. Administrators at Lyman High School in Longwood, Florida, reversed censorship in May of the school yearbook’s coverage of a “Don’t Say Gay Walkout” event at the school protesting the state’s Parental Rights in Education Act. More recently, we worked with student journalists at Northwest High School in Grand Island, Nebraska, as administrators first criticized and then shut down the student newspaper for its use of chosen names and preferred pronouns and for its LGBTQIA+ coverage. We connected the students with local counsel, and the incident attracted significant national attention, which we hope will lead to the reinstatement of the newspaper program. More broadly, we are tracking the censorship of chosen names and preferred pronouns, so please let us know if you run into this at your school, and we hope you’ll join us for our session on this topic (Friday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m.) at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis.

Two more states adopt New Voices laws: Welcome New Jersey and Hawaii!

Since December, New Jersey and Hawaii became the 15th and 16th states respectively to restore and protect a free student press through New Voices legislation. New Voices is a student-powered nonpartisan grassroots movement of state-based activists who seek to protect student press freedom with state laws that ensure student journalists alone determine the content of school-sponsored media and that also protect student media advisers from retaliation.

We are thrilled by the success of the students, advisers and others in New Jersey and Hawaii who fought for these laws, but the work doesn’t end there. SPLC has now turned to supporting them in ensuring that stakeholders know about the laws and that school districts implement them correctly. While Hawaii has just one school district, New Jersey has 690! We have sent a model student media policy to all of the districts in both states, and we have been monitoring them to ensure they adopt and implement policies that robustly put the law into action. We also participated in a state-wide training for administrators and advisers hosted by the Hawaii Department of Education and will be working with the Garden State Scholastic Press Association in New Jersey to ensure robust implementation.

This summer, 19 students from 10 states were selected to take part in our third annual New Voices Student Leaders Institute. The Institute helps high school students who commit to being leaders in their state’s New Voices campaign, improve their leadership and organizing skills, develop their role as leaders within the New Voices movement, and identify a strategy that could be instrumental in their state’s efforts.

Looking for a way to make a difference in your community? Use this state-by-state guide to learn more about efforts in your state, and get involved by contacting New Voices Advocacy and Organizing Director Hillary Davis at hdavis@splc.org.

Save the date: Student Press Freedom Day is 2.23.23

Mark your calendars for the fifth annual Student Press Freedom Day Feb. 23, 2023, the Thursday of Scholastic Journalism Week. We’re excited to announce the theme for 2023 is “Bold Journalism & Brave Advocacy.”

Student Press Freedom Day is the culmination of weeks of events, trainings and community-building activities to celebrate student journalists and develop nationwide support for a free student press. You and your students make the day come to life with your activities on campus and in the community and we hope you will start planning now. We look forward to working with the Scholastic Journalism Week Planning Committee and our friends at SPRC to plan ways to get involved, to empower bold journalism within your schools, and to encourage brave advocacy for a free student press. We will share more information on the JEA listserv in coming weeks. 

In the meantime, we are seeking Student Press Freedom Day Student Co-Chairs to take a leadership role in planning and executing activities for Student Press Freedom Day. We ask you to share the posting with students and alumni who are passionate about a free student press.

We’ll meet you in St. Louis!

We’ve missed seeing you in person, and we can’t wait to connect in November. SPLC will be holding a wide array of training sessions, including a New Voices Summit as a pre-convention workshop. Come to our workshops and sessions and stop by to see us at the Exhibition Hall. SPLC is here to help in any way we can, and we look forward to seeing you in St. Louis this fall!


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