Spring 2023 semiannual report

Spring 2023 semiannual report

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

JEA headquarters

Executive director
Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE

We hope you enjoy reading the spring 2023 semiannual report from the Journalism Education Association. We appreciate your interest in the JEA’s activities. We have a committed community of leaders, members and staff with lots of progress across many areas shared in these reports starting with my headquarters overview, followed by the associate director’s communication and convention report, and the board and committee leaders’ respective reports.  

Membership: Total membership is 2,657 (voting membership is 2,489 and non-voting is 168). That is 43 more total members than in spring 2022 around this time. 

Financial Position: As of Feb. 28, 2023, JEA’s revenue was $433,228 (mainly from programming and membership dues) while expenses were $587,816 (the majority for programming and administrative expenses) since the beginning of this fiscal year July 1, 2022. So the net operating revenue was at $-159,279 which will continue to improve once the final fall convention reconciliation revenue arrives in March. 

Headquarters: I began officially as JEA executive director July 1, 2022. Immediately afterward, I engaged in a listening tour which highlighted various needs. That combined with leadership strategic planning meetings and my observations resulted in several priorities. Since then, I have been focused on a multitude of areas including partnering with leadership to enhance the governance structure for continuity, developing a fundraising and planned giving program while applying for a grant, managing the existing 2022-23 budget while constructing the 2023-24 budget with the board, strengthening the convention collaboration with our partner NSPA, reviewing our policies/procedures, examining other operational areas such as staff job roles and goals to align with current/future JEA needs, as well as assessing the internal infrastructure framework, to name a few priorities. 

Happenings: Other events and activities include: 

Assistant director
Lindsay Porter, CJE

Communications by the numbers since the fall report:

4,317 Facebook followers — 8% increase
4,488 Twitter followers — 1% increase
2,412 Instagram followers — 15% increase
15,200 newsletter email contacts — 47% open rate, 3% click rate
1,074 JEA Listserv followers — 2% decrease
297 LinkedIn followers — 8% increase

Communications highlights:

  • Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn followers continue to grow. JEA Listserv ebbs and flows throughout the year.
  • Starting to work on projects for the JEA centennial (1924).
  • Completed the 2023 JEA board of directors election and director-at-large runoff election through Qualtrics. Member-voter turnout was low despite more election promotions than previous years.

Convention highlights:

  • Purchased a principals contact list for western states to help promote the spring convention. Email open rates were good, but it is too soon to tell the impact on convention registration.
  • The session schedule for the spring convention April 20–22 in San Francisco is nearly full. Less than 10 open spots.
  • Extended sessions will be back for the spring convention. The two- and three-hour sessions focus on in-depth and hands-on learning. Students will be able to register for these through the convention app in early April. We are looking at rebranding these as mini-workshops for the 2024 spring convention as there are normally two-hour sessions in the program for both the fall and spring conventions now. A new name and registration process will help these sessions stand out among the other two-hour sessions. When extended sessions were first created in 2018 there were no other two-hour sessions in the program.

Board of directors

Sarah Nichols, MJE

What an exciting month March has been so far, watching states announce their Journalist of the Year winners, seeing videos on social media of editors submitting their final yearbook deadlines and fielding questions from advisers as they plan convention travel to San Francisco. Students are producing some of their best and most important journalistic work while making progress training their successors. 

At the same time, however, I’ve received texts, calls and emails this month from advisers worried about the mental health of their students or frustrated by the challenges of teaching and advising. Some are constantly undermined or threatened by their administrators. Others have been pushed out or forced into early retirement. We continue to see lasting effects of the pandemic on our students. Burnout, equity issues, public distrust, changing business models, uncertainty about the impact of AI and spikes in book banning are just a few things on our minds.

All of it serves as a reminder of what a unique role we play as scholastic media educators and just how much we’re juggling each day. 

Fortunately JEA’s leaders continue to serve as problem solvers, advocates and innovators to meet our members where they are. Our board members, committee chairs, state directors and staff members remain unwavering in their commitment to students’ First Amendment freedoms while working to provide teachers with support, recognition and professional development. 

Since the fall report, my efforts include:

As I write this final report of the three-year term, and my 24th consecutive report as a board member, I want to thank each of you for the role you play in supporting student journalists, for the ways you give your time and talents to this organization, for the trust and grace and patience you’ve given me. It has been an honor to serve JEA as president these past six years.

We have much more to do, of course. JEA’s work with curriculum development, outreach to underserved areas, efforts toward a more diverse and inclusive organization — and profession! — along with improvements to our website, convention upgrades and attention toward the scholastic to professional pipeline will keep everyone busy. Thanks for finding ways to help, however big or small.

Vice president
Valerie Kibler, MJE

As I write my final semiannual report as JEA vice president, I’m excited about how much we’ve accomplished as an organization through the trying times of the last few years. I’m nervous and thrilled at the same time to move into serving as JEA president beginning in May and know I have tremendous shoes to try to fill. 

I want to use this opportunity to thank JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE, for her past 12 years of service to this organization as an officer on the board. I know most of you are aware of her amazing devotion to scholastic journalism, teachers, students, advisers and the future of our profession. I’ve never known anyone who works as hard for all of us. She has been a driving force in JEA who has advocated for positive changes and made a huge impact on all of our lives. Please join me and the rest of the board in sending our heartfelt gratitude.

Since the fall report, I have:

  • Served on the mentoring committee and worked with two mentees
  • Participated in two online board sessions to review the 2023–24 budget
  • Participated in weekly meetings with JEA Executive Director Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE, and JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE
  • Appointed new JEA state directors Jessica Hunziker, MJE, in Colorado, Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE, in MIchigan, Christina Manolis, MJE, in Missouri, and welcomed back Linda Ballew, MJE, in Montana
  • Begun making plans for JEAai in Washington, D.C.
  • Participated in video efforts to advertise the spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco
  • Participated in collaborative meetings with the Diversity Pledge Institute

Scholastic press rights director
Kristin Taylor, MJE

The theme for this year’s Student Press Freedom Day was Bold Journalism, Brave Advocacy. As I said in a recent SPRC blog, I can’t think of a time when we need boldness and bravery more than now, with so many attempts to legislate critical thinking. So many school libraries are facing censorship, anti-LGBTQ legislation is targeting schools, and Florida even banned the new AP African American Studies class (and, more disturbingly, the College Board seems to be bowing to those demands.)

But take hope in our student journalists. They aren’t waiting for professional newsrooms; they are localizing these controversial stories, digging deeper into the impact of censorship and attempts to legislate thinking. Just look at Caroline Caruso reporting on book bans in her school, Kaden Bryant or Ceclia Cheng reporting on the AP African American Studies course ban, or Brennan Mumper reporting on the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ laws. 

And who supports those journalists to do their best work? The advisers. You. As we continue to navigate tumultuous times in education, I want to reiterate how important your work is and how much I respect all you do to make bold journalism possible. We here at SPRC are here to support you, and we want to remind our adviser family we have a website full of resources available for all. You can also 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; Kirsten Gilliland, CJE; Emilee Hussack, CJE; Val Kibler, MJE; Tom McHale, CJE; 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 NV law implementation in states where a law has passed.

  • Taylor is in regular communication with 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 continuing to look at how the rash of prohibited content laws across the country are affecting our student journalists.
  • Washington celebrated the fifth anniversary of its New Voices law at the WJEA Spring Conference March 4. Featured speaker was Christopher Schwalm from the PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Lab. He and Mike Hiestand (SPLC) presented a session about the censorship case at The Daniel Pearl School in California. They also presented the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award to Lindsay Webster, adviser at Steilacoom High School, whose students successfully fought back against censorship of an article that school administrators wanted to squelch. It was about a recent settlement between the school district and a teacher fired for inappropriate contact with students. Student editors pointed out that the district policy was not in compliance with the law and administrators backed down, allowing the article to run; in fact, the superintendent complimented the students on their work and encouraged them to continue to do excellent journalism. WJEA’s goal is to continue to make sure all school districts in the state are aware of and in compliance with their New Voices Law.
  • Vince DeMiero, CJE, received The Dorothy McPhillips Distinguished Service Award, WJEA’s top award, given only when someone has gone far beyond the call of duty in promoting Scholastic Press Rights: “Vince DeMiero received the Dorothy McPhillips Distinguished Service Award for his continuous effort to ensure student press rights in our state and our country, Vince has devoted many years to ensuring that student voices can be heard through a free student press. He has served at the national level on the JEA Student Press Rights Committee since the 1990s, has testified before numerous legislative hearings on student press freedom. Most recently, at his urging, the Lynnwood School District passed a landmark policy stating that prior review of student media content is not an accepted practice by school administrators.”
  • Stan Zoller continued to monitor legislative efforts on restrictive and divisive language, contributed regularly to the SPRC blog and responded to advisers who have used SPRC’s Panic Button.
  • In addition to continuing to work with three advisers and student publications having censorship problems, Candace Bowen has worked with the SPLC on several New Voices initiatives, including being a coaching volunteer for two students who prepared op-ed pieces for Student Press Freedom Day, partnering with SPLC for Student Press Freedom Day as the director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism, and producing a short video about interviewing for articles concerning school issues to be part of a new SPLC resource section of its website. 
  • Ohio is kicking off its New Voices campaign April 14 at the Ohio Scholastic Media Association convention at Kent State. Hazelwood plaintiff Cathy Kuhlmeier will be the awards banquet keynoter. A QR code on all programs will link to a survey to help them find examples of students/schools with censorship stories and, they hope, get tips on state legislators who might be willing to introduce a bill. Other sessions in the afternoon will also relate to student voices. More than 300 students and teachers are expected.

16 FAPFA Award-recipients in 2023: We announced our latest crop of First Amendment Press Freedom Award-winners on Student Press Freedom Day, Feb. 23. The FAPFA judging committee includes representatives from JEA, NSPA, and Quill & Scroll. After two rounds of judging, the committee named 16 schools 2023 FAPFA recipients: The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles; Arvada (Colorado) High School; Brighton (Colorado) High School; Chantilly (Virginia) High School; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, Maryland; Denver School of Science and Technology: Montview High School; The Harker School, San Jose, California; Kirkwood (Missouri) High School; Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, Virginia; McLean (Virginia) High School; Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School; Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado; South Salem (Oregon) High School; Wayland (Massachusetts) High School; West Springfield (Virginia) High School; and Whitney High School, Rocklin, California. Four of these schools are first-time recipients. Read the complete press release here. The awards will be presented at the San Francisco convention April 20.

Website, Blogs and Podcasts: The blog team, led by John Bowen, posts weekly content 10 months of the year. Since the fall report, contributors have been John Bowen, Candace Bowen, Sarah Nichols, Kristin Taylor and Stan Zoller. The team would welcome those wishing to contribute. See jeasprc.org for their work. On Conversations at the Schoolhouse Gate, SPRC’s podcast, Diana Day recently produced two episodes related to Student Press Freedom Day, and Tripp Robbins will be releasing more Quick Tips episodes soon. You can subscribe through Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

National Student Media Contests: Kristin Taylor and Candace Bowen will act as co-lead judges for the Spring 2023 NSMC Law and Ethics test, which they developed together. 

Social Media (Led by Andrea Negri, MJE): 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 2023: Mark Dzula led a strong celebration in 2022 and will be gathering materials this summer for September 2023. If you have ideas for a new theme or would like to create a lesson plan or activity, reach out to Mark directly: markdzula@gmail.com.

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

Educational initiatives director
Shari Adwers, MJE


This has been the year of reteaching the why. It only takes a few years to change a school culture, and recruiting, like convention travel, was sidelined by the pandemic. So my staff has rallied the past few months to coach, explain, even cajole: why journalism programs are so important, why every student can find their passion, why colleges and employers love journalism kids. 

They talked to students, parents, middle school administrators and teachers. So many don’t immediately get why student-run publications have such an impact. They’re starting to remember. While my students worked on recruiting, I tackled the whys of conventions. The last “normal” one was fall 2019, and the students I took are now in college. 

So I  needed to teach the why to my own staff and also the influx of new journalism teachers and advisers who have joined our ranks since so many of our colleagues left the classroom. The why is what drives culture. 

And it only takes a few years to change a school culture. 

Since my last report, I’ve been:

  • Conducting Convention Chats leading up to the opening of spring convention registration. In these short videos, veteran advisers explain why conventions matter and how they address different aspects of planning and taking students.
  • Working with curriculum coordinators to refresh and renew curriculum to better serve our members and their students’ needs. This includes a completely updated  Photojournalism module in the JEA Curriculum with 46 lessons converted to the One Slide format.
  • Revising and modifying lessons within the curriculum based on member feedback and usability needs as we become aware of them.
  • Promoting 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 Luis Yanes, CJE

As we approach our next National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco, I’m excited to spend time with my journalism family once again. Our time together is never long enough, but the energy keeps me motivated in the ensuing months to continue the work that we all do on the board.

In St. Louis, Sarah Nichols, MJE; David Ragsdale, CJE; and I officially launched the pilot for the “All In: National Diversity Audit” project. The session gave our participants some context regarding JEA’s commitment to DEI efforts, an overview of our project goals and next steps. We were excited at the level of interest and the insights shared by those who attended the session. We look forward to providing an update and more at the convention in April, so please join us!

In December, we sent out the first round of surveys to our pilot group — one for advisers, one for media staff members. Each survey asked questions regarding DEI processes and outcomes within the media staff. Our goal at this stage was to gain an initial understanding of what scholastic journalism programs look like and the kinds of DEI efforts they currently undertake. 

After a few weeks of the initial surveys, we received over 360 responses (combined), representing media programs in 13 public and private schools across 11 states — and one participating program from across the pond!

I have been parsing out the data collected from those surveys and compiling documents for our pilot groups to use in discussing their practices in covering more diverse stories as well as in recruiting staff that is more representative of the identities existing in their schools.

This work has been a passion of mine — which is what inspired me to join the board to begin with — and it led to me changing my original MJE project idea to fall in line with our efforts for this initiative. I will be presenting more about the process and how I developed my contribution into a project for MJE at the certification session in April.

Remember these efforts do not exist in a vacuum as the responsibility of select experts. We all can contribute and learn from each other. There are so many voices that we would like to hear from, so I encourage you to consider submitting a post to the DEI blog. Kristin Taylor, MJE, and I have so many ideas, but it would mean more coming from those who live in these spaces.

Some possible topics for the blog include 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.

Other work since my last report includes:

  • Presenting sessions and assisting with Quiz Bowl at the NHSJC in St. Louis
  • Reviewing JEA’s ’23–24 budget and proposals
  • Continuing to mentor three mentees
  • Recording a conversation with Shari Adwers, MJE, and providing resources to help advisers and students get to a national convention
  • Working with our partners at the Diversity Pledge Institute in applying for grants that would support more of our DEI goals and potentially strengthen some current initiatives

As we creep closer to JEA’s centennial next spring, it’s encouraging to see how our organization has continued its mission to support journalism teachers and students, even as the needs for support continue to change. Let’s continue to build together and bring each other along. I look forward to holding space with you again in April. See you soon!

Brenda Field, MJE

Since the last report, I’ve been continuing to work on board goals and seeking to understand how JEA can better serve 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.
  • Meeting with advisers and the SPLC to strategize revising the Illinois New Voices law.
  • Working on becoming a JEA mentor. I have not yet fully completed the training modules, but a goal is to finish those this spring so I’m available to mentor in the fall.
  • Serving as a lead judge for the fall National Student Media Contests.

A priority for me continues to be dealing with new hurdles related to the loss of institutional memory and inconsistent staff training. We need to think about how to address these learning gaps in additional ways. 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. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the organization as a director-at-large for two more years. Please reach out and let me know what JEA can do to better support you. We are a stronger organization when we hear more voices.

Committee chairs

Awards Committee
Erinn Harris, MJE

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

JEA surprised H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year Kristi Rathbun, MJE, of Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Dec. 21. JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE, was on hand to present Rathbun with the award.

In addition to Rathbun, JEA named three Distinguished Advisers (Robin Christoper, CJE; Andrea Negri, MJE; Daniel Reinish, CJE) and four Special Recognition Advisers (Sarah Kirksey, MJE; Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE; Jayna Rumble, MJE; Sergio Luis Yanes, CJE). 

One month later, we announced the rest of our spring awards. JEA named Dan Sidwell, yearbook adviser at Freedom High School in Tampa, Florida, its 2023 Future Administrator Scholarship recipient Jan. 30. The next day, Wendy Turner, CJE, from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, was named the 2023 Diversity Award winner. 

A legendary group of Lifetime Achievement Award winners was announced the next day. Recipients of this award, celebrating a lifetime of dedication to journalism education, include Ellen Austin, MJE; Michelle Coro, CJE; Kim Green; Yvette Manculich, CJE; Susan Massy; Pat Monroe; Mark Murray; Marci Pieper; Rebecca Potter, CJE; Colleen Sanders; Sheri Scott; Tracy Anne Sena; Ed Sulllivan, and Ray Westbrook.

Finally, JEA named Aaron Manfull, FHN Media adviser at Francis Howell North High School in Saint Charles, Missouri, the 2023 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration award winner Feb. 2. This award recognizes a teacher who, through the teaching and/or advising of journalism, inspires others to pursue journalism teaching as a career and who has made a positive difference in the teaching community. Manfull will speak at the JEA Advisers Institute in Washington, D.C., this summer.

The deadline for the 2022 Broadcast Adviser of Year contest is May 15. State directors, please reach out to your members and encourage them to apply. 

Awards Committee standing members: Martha Akers; Sara-Beth Badalamente, CJE; Leslie Dennis; Linda Drake, MJE; Charla Harris; Thomas Kaup, MJE; Leslie Thompson, CJE; Cindy Todd; Andrew Young, CJE; Mitch Ziegler, CJE, and Brett Zinger, MJE. 

Yearbook Adviser of the Year judges: Renee Burke, MJE; Judi Coolidge; Mary Kay Downes, MJE; Mark Murray and Mike Simons.

Career and Technical Education Committee
Laura Negri, MJE


  • Promote Adobe Certification Testing

After a successful relaunch of certification testing at the St. Louis convention last fall, the main goal was to encourage more testing at future conventions..

For this spring, I wrote a series of emails to provide preparation tips for those planning to take the tests themselves or administer tests to students. The series will be modified into a testing guide and added to the website in the CTE area. I also have a recommended timeline for preparing for the tests that will wrap up the email series and be included on the website. As previously noted, Adobe recommends anyone taking the tests have about 150 hours with each application, 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. 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. 

Moving forward, I plan to create a skills checklist for each test and recommended activities 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.

  • Rebuild committee membership

This is an ongoing challenge. The CTE committee is seeking new members to formulate plans and activities for the year. Response at the 2022 conventions was sparse. I have yet to identify an effective way to recruit committee members, in part because there is so much difference in how CTE programs appear in different states.

Certification Committee
Amy Sorrell, MJE

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; Timm Pilcher, MJE, and Rod Satterthwaite, MJE.

Goals: Complete the development of a new MJE Law and Ethics question. With the completion of a new question, we’ll have three versions of each question on the MJE exam. We also hope to get the MJE projects on the JEA website with the help of Lindsay Porter. 

Happenings: Online testing with Proctorio has continued to improve as we’ve learned how best to manage the program. The 24/7 testing access has increased the number of members testing online. We also did our first proctored test at a yearbook company event since 2020. 

I created a Professional Growth Activity Log to make it easier for members to keep track of their completed activities over the five-year period between renewals. 

At the spring convention, we will recognize 11 new CJEs and one new MJE. We currently have 10 CJEs and 9 MJEs who have renewed since the fall convention. 

For the Board: I see a lot of renewal applicants scramble at the last minute to complete their application; the biggest issue is a lack of awareness about renewal requirements. I developed the activity log to help prevent this last-minute scramble. I hope that the Professional Growth Activities can encourage more people to get involved. When I notify applicants that they’ve passed the test, I explain that they have five years to complete the activities. Board members, committee chairs and state directors can help communicate the activities and encourage JEA members to get involved with committees, curriculum, mentoring and judging to meet their renewal requirements.

Contest Committee
Nancy Smith, MJE

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  
National Quiz Bowl Coordinator, Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest Coordinator

Mark Murray / mmurray@atpi.org


  • Create an informational brochure/handbook for local contest speakers along with material for the local committee to provide to potential speakers.
  • Work on Contest Committee history for JEA Centennial and look at possibility of special contest for Kansas City convention
  • We will pilot a new Podcast contest category next fall in Boston. Look for information on jea.org this summer.


National Student Media Contests 

  1. We had 1,119 students compete last fall in St. Louis. There were 510 students recognized with 75 superior, 168 excellent and 266 honorable mention awards. 
  2. For the Spring 2023 NSMC, the registration opened Feb. 20 and will close March 27. 
  3. There are a few changes for the 2023 spring contests. 
    1. We expanded the TRT for Broadcast News Story Items and eliminated the Short Documentary category.
    2. Students competing in online submission broadcast contests will attend one large critique session like students in the photo contests do. We believe this will provide students with a more thorough critique experience and expose them to a wider sample of storytelling strategies for their broadcast programs.
    3. Students attending those large group critiques will sign into those sessions using a QR code to verify their participation. Attendance at the critique session is required for all contestants. 
    4. After every convention, we review feedback from the contestants and judges and make some revisions to the contests. Therefore, it is imperative for advisers and students to carefully read all the rules EVERY TIME. Contestants who do not follow the rules, do not meet posted deadlines, do not bring the required materials, etc. will be disqualified from the contests. We are having more and more students unaware of the rules for the contests and come without the materials needed.

Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest 

  1. There were 279 entries in the Spring 2022 contest, up from 195 entries the previous year. 
  2. The 2023 contest window will open April 3 and entries are due April 17. The Jr. High/Middle School Contest descriptions are here. 

National Journalism Quiz Bowl

  1. Last fall, 35 teams competed in St. Louis and Homestead High School won the trophy. The event continues to grow and we encourage schools to register teams at the conventions and come watch the live buzzer rounds on Saturday morning.
  2. Schools can register for the Quiz Bowl when they register for the convention online or add that later by contacting the JEA Office.

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

Spring 2023 Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest
Registration Opens: April 3
Materials Due: April 17
Winners announced in 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 (five weeks to complete)
Critiques due Sunday, Oct. 29 (three weeks to critique)

Spring 2024 Kansas City (April 4-6)
NSMC Registration Opens/Prompts Available: Feb. 5
NSMC Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: Monday, March 11

Digital Media Committee
Aaron Manfull, MJE

Membership: Aaron Manfull, MJE, chair; Amanda Bright; Sarah Nichols, MJE; Spencer O’Daniel, CJE; Jonathan Rogers, MJE; Todd Vogts, MJE; Jason Block, CJE; Elizabeth Strehl; Diana Day, CJE; Michelle Balmeo, MJE; Kyle Phillips, CJE, and Louisa Avery, MJE. 

For the board: JEADigitalMedia.org has continued to grow our content, and we have continually worked to reassess the most pressing needs of students and advisers. We have been tracking data so we can get a gauge of how we are doing with this. I will only touch on part of it here; please let me know if you’d like to have any other data and I will make sure to get it to you.

I have decided to compare six-month periods of the site (from March 13–Sept. 13 and Sept. 14–March 12) each year that I do this. They are even six-month periods and will allow us to get an annual report together in time for each convention.

In our 14 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,670 posts published (roughly 2.5 per week), 1,143,869 visits, and 1,876,919 pageviews. Nine 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. Twelve people have qualified to remain on the committee as active members for posting once in the last 12 months. Four committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months.


  • Aaron Manfull, MJE – 25 posts
  • Spencer O’Daniel, CJE – 3 posts
  • Michelle Balmeo, MJE – 3 posts
  • Todd Vogts, MJE – 3 posts

Also contributing to the site during the time period were: Jonathan Rogers, MJE; Diana Day, CJE; Kyle Phillips, CJE; Sarah Nichols, MJE, and Louisa Avery, MJE.

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 socially 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 here. School Newspapers Online has purchased the main widget area for another year. We also have a rotating ad area within posts and pages where we will work to push to summer journalism workshops and other advertisers as well. 

During our Spring meeting, we will discuss our goals this Summer, 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 

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

Journalist of the Year coordinator
Joe Humphrey, MJE

At this writing, we are a week away from the deadline for our spring 2023 state winners to submit their entries to the JEA Journalist of the Year competition. We finished 2022 with 36 qualifying entries (an increase from the previous year). JEA received 35 entries for 2023 Journalist of the Year, down one from 2022. We also received nine entries for the 2023 Aspiring Young Journalist award, down from 12 in 2022.

I am looking forward to celebrating our 2023 winners at the convention in San Francisco. We will also honor our 2022 JOY winner, Anuskha De of California, who will be joining us in The City from nearby Stanford University. De will address attendees at the convention opening, when we will also recognize the state winners and announce the five JOY finalists. 

De and I will lead an interest session for prospective future applicants Saturday morning and a meet-and-greet for state winners. We will name our 2023 JOY winner at the Saturday afternoon mega-awards-gathering extravaganza.  

During the convention, we also will recognize our 2023 Aspiring Young Journalists for top middle school journalists.

This will be my third and final cycle of overseeing the JOY program, and I hope I have left a solid foundation in place for whoever assumes this role next. We introduced and tweaked a new scoring rubric and created tutorial videos for each of the 11 areas measured on it. We migrated scoring onto the super-easy-to-use Submittable platform. And we tried to provide outstanding customer service to state directors running their own qualifying contests.

I use “we” there because all of this happened with the support of advisers and JEA leaders, most notably Porter at the home office in Manhattan, Kansas. 

I will make sure the next leader thanks our 2023 judges in their future report, and I’ll state right here that I am eager to serve as a juror for 2024 and beyond.

One major priority for the next JOY coordinator will be to help JEA find sponsorship support for the JOY program. With a $3,000 scholarship for the winner and four $1,000 runner-up awards, the contest is a $7,000 a year commitment. I’d love to see a larger prize for the top winner and a return to five state finalists, the number recognized in 2020. I also think compensating evaluators would be a worthwhile discussion, as it is a challenge to review these portfolios and provide quality feedback under fairly demanding time constraints.

I would urge the new JOY coordinator to try to continue the growth of this program into additional states. Based on how submissions are trending right now, I expect our total number of state winners to drop from 2022. It takes someone in every state to carry the torch, but the person in this job needs to keep trying to light those torches. 

I appreciate the opportunity to serve in my role and thank President Sarah Nichols, MJE, for allowing me to complete my tenure despite my new “day job” as a high school assistant principal.

See you in The City!

Mentoring Committee
Alicia Merrifield, CJE

Membership: Currently, we have 77 mentors in 33 states and two foreign countries (England and Guatemala) who are mentoring 194 new journalism teachers. Twenty-eight of these mentees are working with mentors outside their home state. The committee includes Linda Barrington, MJE, Wisconsin; Jane Blystone, MJE, 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. In February, Alicia Merrifield, CJE, began as the new chair of the Mentoring Program.


  • 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. Individuals who want a mentor can fill out this form to participate in the fall 2023 cohort of mentees.
  • 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 most of the expenses incurred by this program. We are planning some larger partnerships with Yellow Chair Foundation. Individuals who would like to complete mentor training to become a mentor can fill out this form to get more information about mentor training.
  • Retain new teachers: Although we have seen several mentees leave the profession, we are excited to add 19 new mentees to the spring 2023 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. Our new cohort of mentees will be forming in June.

Happenings: Each month except July, the mentor committee meets virtually to continue to build on current programing and to revise any program elements that become outdated. The committee spent time discussing communication strategies to assist both mentors and mentees and plans for the spring convention. 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. At the fall convention, we hosted nine mentors and 11 mentees.

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 fall term:

  • Publication staff management
  • Time management for both student staff and advisers
  • Student motivation and commitment
  • Recruiting, retention, and program stability
  • State and regional membership, participation, and contests and awards
  • Support for mentees from administrators and school districts, especially in the areas of:
    • Class scheduling
    • Technology support
    • Commitment to make publication programs vital, valued and integral to the school.
  • Journalism skills development and instruction
  • Mentee adviser development, both personal and professional
  • An increase in the variety and range of mentor comments in their recordings of mentee

We also look at the breakout of publications. Many of our mentees are advising more than one publication and teaching more than one journalism course. Some are teaching courses as extracurriculars as well.

  • In-class courses: Newspaper (33), Yearbook (55), Online news (26), Broadcast (20), News magazine (7), Graphic design (1), Feature magazine (1), Journalism I/Intro to Journalism (2), Multimedia (1), General journalism course (2), Social media (1), Podcast (1), Commercial Photography (1), Digital and Audio/visual technology (1), Photojournalism (2).
  • Extracurricular journalism courses: Newspaper (13), Yearbook (13), Pubs Club (1), Journalism (1), Online (4), News mag (1), Broadcast (2).

In their reports, mentors indicated that 45 of 100 mentees are teaching multiple media courses for different media. Check out these graphs from the data gathered.

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Individuals who want to become mentors or who want a mentor can click here to find more information and to apply. The fall 2023 cohort for new mentees will begin forming in June 2023.

For the Board: We continue to request support through JEA to apply for the Yellow Chair grant funding. We are seeking additional funding to cover another JEA mentor-driven project led by JEA mentors. We thank the board for supporting us financially through the budget process.

Scholastic Journalism Week Committee
P.J. Cabrera, CJE

Scholastic Journalism Week was Feb. 20–24. In order to feature schools that rarely get national attention, the committee decided to create a Feature Schools option. During the week, the Scholastic Journalism Week Twitter featured 10 schools. A big shout out to the committee: Louisa Avery, MJE; Phillip Caston, CJE; Adriana Chavira, MJE; Jordyn Kiel, CJE; Julie Kuo, CJE, and Shanon Woolf, CJE.

The committee will begin planning for Scholastic Journalism Week 2024 this summer. Scholastic Journalism Week is typically scheduled for the last full week of February (Feb. 19–23, 2024). The Feature School component was a success. This was also the first year of the Poster Contest, which was found in every issue of the C:JET winter edition to advertise the upcoming SJW. Kent State University sponsored the poster. Seven students from across the country submitted a poster. Hopefully, this turns into a yearly commemorative thing that can be displayed years from now. The goal is always to increase awareness of Scholastic Journalism Week and Student Press Freedom Day. Next year, we hope to increase the number of Featured Schools, number of poster entrees, and possibly “unveil” the poster at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Boston.

Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today
Bradley Wilson, MJE

Submitted by Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE, editor
With Beth Butler, copy editor
And Cindy Horchem, JEA business and projects coordinator
And Amy DeVault, Mark Grabowski and Scott Winter, advisory board members

Outstanding: Online searchable database of articles

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. When complete, this will be the best resource for JEA members since the curriculum — and what a great accent to the curriculum, thousands of articles (1,111 as of summer 2022 when data entry stopped) on almost every topic in scholastic journalism. 

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.

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 will prove as a lasting resource for JEA members, students and researchers.

Outstanding: JEA.org

I notified the staff in the national office twice (most recently Jan. 5, 2023) about updates to the JEA.org website that still have not happened.

Media guide

The media guide online linked from this page is still the 2021 version. At this point, can we put the 2023–2024 version up?

Latest issue

This still has the fall 2022 issue.

At this point, we should probably go straight to the summer issue. I still don’t know if the statistics for the site give us any insight into how many people use this feature? Do we have hit counts for this page? Have we promoted it on JEA social media?

Also, I’ve asked why I can’t be given permission to update this page myself. 


As sent to the national office Jan. 8, 2023.

 Ad deadline*Copy deadlineTo printer**To members***
Fall issueFriday, July 21, 2023Friday, July 21, 2023Monday, Aug. 21, 2023Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023
Winter issueFriday, Sept. 8, 2023Friday, Sept. 15, 2023Monday, Oct. 16, 2023Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023
Spring issueFriday, Dec. 1, 2023Friday, Dec. 1, 2023Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2024Monday, Feb. 12, 2024
Summer issueMonday, Feb. 5, 2024Monday, Feb. 12, 2024Monday, March 11, 2024Monday, April 1, 2024

Fall 2023 convention — Boston, Nov. 2–5, 2023

Spring 2024 convention — Kansas City, April 4–6, 2024 (100th anniversary)

* The advertising contract and PDF of ad will be in by this date. In a crisis (exception, not the norm), the PDF of the ad or correction could come in as late as the copy deadline.

** This is the deadline. If all material is ready earlier, the magazine can go to the printer earlier, giving the printer and the USPS more time to get their jobs done.

*** This is based on approximate timing during the past years. Supply-chain problems and problems with the USPS might disrupt this schedule. The entire team should be kept apprised of any deviations as soon as practical.

Cover photo by Nicholas West, Argyle High School (Texas); Caroline Robertson, adviser

Spring issue
Scheduled to go to press Jan. 19
Actually sent to press Jan. 17
48 pages
18 social media posts promoting each story twice


  • The little things | JEA’s Carl Towley Award recipient, Jane Blystone, MJE, discusses how to make little things into big things.
  • Perfecting websites | Some student journalists perceive the web as a place for stories that “aren’t good enough” for print; no one in the school knows the website exists; and it’s hard to know where to start. But Louisa Avery, MJE, shares some tips for getting students to buy into improving a school’s online presence.
  • Six online tips | There’s no excuse for having a lame website. Two education specialists with SNO — School Newspapers Online — share some tips.
  • Clear protection | The UV filter can be a lens saver.
  • Amazing yearbooks | Pete LeBlanc and Mimi Orth discuss some trend-setting yearbooks and what sets them apart. With Paul Ender; H.L. Hall, MJE; Lynn Strause; Kristi Rathbun, MJE, and Philip Zamora
  • Google Trends | A Google tool makes it easier to identify trends and to compare trends over time.
  • Color of the year | Pantone chose a version of red as the color of the year, reflecting societal trends.
  • Words of the year | “Permacrisis,” “gaslighting,” “goblin mode” and “woman” were chosen as the words of the year for 2022 by various dictionaries.

Other contributors

  • Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser, Richland R-1 schools (Essex, Missouri)
  • Wayne Dansby, creative director, The Parkside Group (New York)
  • Georgia Gianopulos; Strath Haven High School (Wallingford, Pennsylvania); Kate Plows, CJE, adviser
  • Debra Klevens, CJE, adviser, ​​Parkway West High School (Ballwin, Missouri) with Elle Rotter and Tanvi Kulkarni
  • Pete LeBlanc, adviser, Antelope High School (California)
  • Corey Neumeier, Conifer High School (Colorado); Leslie Thompson, CJE, adviser
  • Mimi Orth, CJE, representative, Herff Jones (Altadena, California)
  • Nicholas West, Argyle High School (Texas); Caroline Robertson, adviser


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

Cover photo by McKenna McBroom, Richland High School (Essex, Missouri); Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser

Summer issue
Scheduled to go to press March 11
Actually anticipated to go to press March 7
48 pages
14 social media posts promoting each story twice


  • 100 days, 100 photos | Kathy Beers discusses a project for her photographers. On the 100th day of school, they publish 100 photos taken so far in the school year. | by Kathy Beers
  • Club picture day | Advisers, including Debra Klevens, CJE; Kristin Taylor, MJE; Kelley Lange, CJE; Jack Kennedy, MJE, and Reid Westrem, discuss ways to set up a club picture day as well as reasons not to include group shots at all.
  • Avocado | Pantone develops special colors, including Avocados From Mexico, for events such as the Super Bowl.
  • Lateral reading | Fact-checking a website goes beyond currency, reliability, authority, accuracy and purpose by delving into the author’s credibility, intent and biases. | by Coleen Meyers-Martin
  • Information-gathering basics | Carolyn Gilman discusses what she learned from R.J. Morgan, MJE, about teaching reporting basics. | by Carolyn Gilman
  • Renaissance imagery | Lauren McCauley-Moore discusses a still life photography assignment that she gave her photographers: emulating Renaissance painters with modern digital photography. | by Lauren McCauley-Moore

Other contributors

  • Kathy Beers, adviser, Timber Creek High School (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • Devin Duffie, Richland High School (Essex, Missouri); Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser
  • McKenna McBroom, Richland High School (Essex, Missouri); Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser
  • Lauren McCauley-Moore, adviser, All Saints Episcopal School, (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • Matt Petres, University of Chicago Laboratory High School (Illinois); Jayna Rumble, MJE, adviser
  • Kayla Serota, Navasota ISD (Texas), Erica Garcia, adviser


  • Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting
  • Archive in a Box
  • Better Newspaper Contest
  • Boston University
  • Bright Printing School Division LLC
  • Collegian Media Group
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Freedom Forum
  • Indiana University
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Leonard’s Photo
  • Media Now
  • National Scholastic Press Association
  • Ohio University
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites
  • Summer workshop directory
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa
  • Washington JEA

Global Outreach
Kelly Furnas, MJE

Membership: As of March 7, we have 15 international JEA members. The UK, with three members, has the highest membership of non-U.S. countries.

Awards/Honors: “One Opportunity to be Heard,” the radio program at Escuela Normal Superior Popayán in Cauca, Colombia, is celebrating 20 years and has been selected by Colombia to participate in the Science, Technology and Innovation Fair in La Valleja-Uruguay, and also invited to present this experience in La Rioja-Argentina. Javier Alberto Zapata Monje, director of the program and a teacher at the school, said the radio program is focusing on female empowerment and gender equality, taking into account problems identified by the students through a survey. The radio program can be heard online 10 a.m. Eastern every Saturday, and more information about the school radio program can be found here.

Congratulations to the students at Christian Academy of Guatemala and student media adviser Jackie Davis, CJE, whose yearbook won second place in the 2022 Entourage Yearbook Contest and also received honorable mentions for cover design and a page layout design.

Congratulations to Grace Hamilton of The American School in London, (Louisa Avery, MJE, adviser) for being named Student Journalist of the Year, International Division.

State directors

Erin Coggins, MJE

Membership: Alabama currently has 16 members.

Goals: My goal as state director of Alabama is to increase membership. I have reached out to programs that are doing amazing things, encouraging them to join JEA. These programs are not currently a member of any scholastic press association. I also want to utilize Facebook and Instagram to help in recruiting members as well as highlight some of the great work Alabama students are doing. I have initiated a conversation with the Dean of the College of Communications and Informational Sciences at the University of Alabama to do a membership package to include both ASPA and JEA. 

Happenings: Despite not having a director, ASPA held its annual spring convention in February. Over 200 students were in attendance. The University of Alabama has posted a job announcement and hopes to have someone named as the ASPA director by August. The Multicultural Journalism Workshop will be held on the University’s campus June 2–11. Applications are open and any student in the U.S. is eligible to apply. Applications can be found here. The deadline to apply is April 1. 

Awards/Honors: Sparkman High School’s Tess Warren was named the Alabama High School Journalist of the Year as well as the Rick Bragg Feature Writer of the Year. Her adviser is Erin Coggins, MJE. Mountain Brook’s Zach Touger was named the Alabama High School Broadcast Journalist of the Year. Sparkman High School’s the Crimson Crier was awarded a Crown from CSPA.

No state director

Membership: There are no members in Alaska.

Christine Brandell

Membership: Arizona currently has 35 members.

No report submitted.

Justin Turner

Membership: Arkansas currently has 35 members.

Activity: As state director, I am also on the board of our state organization, Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. We have begun planning for our statewide convention next month. Like last year, I will help create our contest prompts.  Additionally, we refreshed our contest categories for online newspapers.   

Goals: Arkansas, like the rest of the country, has seen a lot of journalism teachers who are 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 2022, and making time to collect that contact information is the biggest hurdle I currently face. I also want to push our state JOY contest with more intensity. Unfortunately, we had no entries this year.  

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: California currently has 280 members. There are two major regional branches – JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California). 

JEANC: JEANC continues to offer critique services and training services to member schools. 

SCJEA: Approximately 175 students from 20 schools will participate at the annual SCJEA Student Media Contests Saturday, March 18.  

Fourteen schools entered the California All Stars contest in news websites, newspaper/news magazine, yearbook, and broadcast categories. Winners will be announced March 18.

Adriana Chavira, MJE, Daniel Pearl Magnet School, Lake Balboa, and Tamra McCarthy, CJE, James Enochs High School, Modesto, were named Distinguished Advisers in the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year competition.

The following schools are receiving the First Amendment Press Freedom Award in San Francisco:

  • The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
  • Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, Lake Balboa
  • The Harker School, San Jose
  • Whitney High School, Rocklin

The following advisers are receiving the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award in San Francisco:

  • Ellen Austin, MJE
  • Sheri Scott
  • Tracy Anne Sena, CJE

California Journalist of the Year: Delilah Brumer, from Daniel Pearl Magnet School in Los Angeles (Adriana Chavira, MJE, adviser) will represent California in the JEA JOY competition 

Anna Jerolimov, from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino (Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, adviser) is the JEANC winner.

The eight entries we received was the most in four years. 

CSPA named 32 publications as Crown Finalists and NSPA named 13 publications as Pacemaker Finalists

The following schools were Pacemaker winners last fall:

  • Berkeley High Jacket (Berkeley High School, Peter Rodrigues, CJE, adviser)
  • El Estoque (Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, adviser)
  • The Campanile (Palo Alto High School, Rod Satterthwaite, MJE, adviser)
  • Verde (Palo Alto High School, Paul Kandell, adviser)
  • High Tide (Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, Kerri Eastham, adviser)
  • Bear Witness (Branham High School, Fitzgerald Vo, adviser)
  • Winged Post (The Harker School, San Jose, Ellen Austin, MJE, adviser)
  • The Nueva Current (The Nueva School, San Mateo, Anouschka Bechtolsheim, adviser)
  • The Mirror (Van Nuys High School, Ron Goins, adviser)


  • 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.
  • Continue to mentor to three advisers from California
  • By attending JEANC and SCJEA meetings, I am in a position to better coordinate cooperation between the two organizations. 

Justin Daigle, MJE

This will be my final report as the JEA Colorado state director. It has been a true honor for me to serve in this role for the past five years. I am excited for what the future brings as I transition into the role of JEA vice president.

Membership: Colorado has 89 current members of JEA. In years 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: 

GOAL 1: 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.

GOAL 2: To support the new Colorado JEA State Director as they transition into this role starting in May. 

  • Action Plan
    • Meet with the state director once announced to share materials, agendas, responsibilities, advice, etc. 

Happenings: The CSMA began the process of collecting names of people who would like to run for the journalism board. Much like JEA, CSMA now has split elections. This will help ensure continuity for the organization, as only half of the seats will be new each year. Each term will still be two years. Elections will be held in April/May, and the new board will begin serving June 1 for the 2023–2025 term. 

Awards/Honors: Colorado’s student journalist of the year (Dorothy Greer Scholarship) is Katie Fisher from Grandview High School (adviser Matthew Varca). Runner-up winner Maya Dawson, senior at Conifer High School (adviser Leslie Thompson, CJE). 

We had some amazing advisers who were honored with big JEA awards! CSMA President Krist Rathbum, MJE, newspaper and yearbook adviser at Rock Canyon, was surprised by JEA President Sarah NIchols with the JEA H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year. Sergio Yanes, CJE, of Arvada High School was named a Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser of the year. Yvette Manculich, CJE, the retired yearbook adviser of the Prowl from Powell Middle School, was named a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 

We have one Colorado yearbook program (Reflections – Brighton HS), one General Print Magazine (The View – Castle View High School) and one Hybrid News (The Rock – Rock Canyon HS) nominated for Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crowns.

We have three Colorado yearbook programs (Reflections – Brighton HS, The Prowell – Powell MS and  Black and Gold – Rocky Canyon HS) nominated as Pacemaker FInalists from the National Scholastic Press Association. Arvada High School, Brighton High School, Rock Canyon High School and Montview High School earned the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. 

For the Board: The CSMA Board is continuing to work throughout the year to find ways to bring advisers and student journalists together either in person or virtually to provide support and resources while we transition to more of an “in-person” model of learning after the hybrid and all virtual models we endured last year like our PLC Winter Thaw event. 

David Fortier

Membership: Connecticut currently has nine members.

Events/Happenings: Connecticut JEA will be co-sponsoring the fourth annual Central Connecticut State University High School Journalism Day March 31 with the theme, “Finding and Telling Great Stories,” featuring keynote speaker Lucy Nalpathanchil, former host of “Where We Live” and now vice president for community engagement at Connecticut Public. One of the workshops will be for advisers, “Know Your Rights as a Journalism Teacher and Adviser” with attorney Stephen Nevas, a former CNN legal affairs reporter, and David Fortier, JEA State Director.

Work continues on a website for JEA Connecticut, as well as expanding responsibilities to members in the state and pursuing New Voices legislation. We have experimented with Google Classroom for members to share ideas, but this is a work in progress.

Awards/Honors: The plan is to try reintroducing the Journalist of the Year award again this coming year. No applications submitted by today’s date.

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

Membership: Delaware currently has four members.

Goals: Continue to increase membership over the summer.

For the Board: Thanks to all the outgoing board members and welcome to all the new members. 

District of Columbia
Marry Stapp

Membership: D.C. currently has eight members.

Goals: I had hoped to get a Journalist of the Year submission, and it looks like there will be two in D.C. this year for the first time in a long time.

Happenings: We have begun a New Voices effort in D.C. Hillary Davis at SPLC and another former adviser and I met with the representative of a D.C. Council member who was very receptive to the idea of legislation. He has indicated interest in introducing it in the fall this year. In the meantime we will reach out to other members of the Council.

Awards/Honors: State journalist of the year is currently in the works.

For the Board: The updates to the curricula are wonderful and easier to use. Thank you for doing more indexing of the resources for teachers. It’s terrific! Former JOY winner portfolios/websites/links are inconsistent. I should not have “accepted” the infection served up to me by one, and another recent winner’s website seemed defunct. I did not see the 2021 winner’s portfolio link at all. Thank you for all your hard work and volunteer hours! Also, I would benefit from an updated list of D.C. members. Thanks again.

Renee Burke, MJE

Membership: Florida currently has 135 members.

Goals: To figure out how to retain advisers, through peer-to-peer contact and mentoring. Throughout the state, Florida is facing a teaching crisis. Sadly, the lack of qualified teachers has forced schools to discontinue journalism classes (such as introductory, literary magazine, broadcast and newspaper). The current political climate in the state has also scared some people into leaving the profession thus creating a greater need for highly qualified educators willing to teach, train and mentor scholastic journalists. 

Happenings: FSPA is excited to have 1,000 attendees at the in-person state convention April 13–15 where it will celebrate contest winners and name the Morty Schapp Journalism Teacher of the Year. FSPA announced the Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year March 1.

Awards/Honors: Special congratulations goes to Dan Sidwell, Freedom HS (Tampa), for being the JEA Future Administrator Scholarship recipient.

Congratulations to the top three student journalists:

Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year: Julia Landy, Eagle Eye, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Second Place: Skyler Glenn, BluePrint, Hagerty High School

Third Place: Alexandra Critchett, The Muse, Dreyfoos School of the Arts

District Journalism Teacher of the Year Winners:

  • District 1: Alicia Thibodeaux – Gulf Breeze High School
  • District 2: None
  • District 3: Erin Miller – Trinity Preparatory School
  • District 4: Ashley Swain – Wiregrass Ranch High School
  • District 5: None
  • District 6: Devin Marsh – AP Mays Conservatory of the Arts
  • District 7: Andrew Shipe – Pompano Beach High School

It is also exciting to see students re-engaged with scholastic journalism. This spring, there were 3,300 contest entries up from 2,600 entries last year.

For the Board: Florida administrators are censoring student publications because of viewpoint bias, not because it is “reasonably related to educational goals.” Various districts throughout the state have trained administrators that they have this right based on Hazelwood. One example states, “Schools may control the content of yearbooks and student newspapers which are part of the school’s curriculum. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988)” (OCPS, Camp Legal, p. 25). 

It could be worthwhile for JEA to contact Florida School Boards Association and determine if/when they can present to school superintendents and school boards on what the limitations are and why free speech is important to the development of critical thinkers. So far the New Voices bill has not gotten any traction in the state, but school boards could pass policies that would protect student voice.

David Ragsdale, CJE

Membership: Georgia had 45 active members as of March 7, 2023. I have communicated with members via Smore email blasts and direct emails each quarter. The analytics from Smore indicate users have engaged with the newsletter format.  

While I’m gaining great insights into interactions, return on requests sent via Smore and email blasts can be tricky, e.g., requests for feedback, awards, etc.

Note the data below:

https://www.smore.com/0xr3e https://www.smore.com/1x5dy

2022–2023 Goal Recap

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 work as JEA’s Georgia State Director.

Update: GSPA received 10 entries for the senior competition and seven for the junior competition this year, which is down from 22 overall entries last year, but higher than the traditional 12-15 historical average.

Disha Kumar, co-editor-in-chief for The Messenger newsmagazine at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia, has been named the 2023 Georgia Champion Journalist of the Year by the Georgia Scholastic Press Association. The award recognizes the top high school senior journalist in the state. Melanie Frick, co-editor-in-chief for Cedar Shoals High School’s BluePrints Magazine, was the runner-up in the competition.

In addition to the senior-level Georgia Journalist of the Year contest, GSPA honors the top high school junior journalist in the state. Maya Clement, print managing editor for Clarke Central High School’s ODYSSEY Media Group, was selected as the Georgia Junior Champion Journalist winner. Anna Shaikun, digital editor for Clarke Central’s ODYSSEY Media Group, was the runner-up.

The fall GSPA workshop had nearly 700 students from across the state. Several students participated in presentations both with and without their advisers. The spring banquet and workshop are set for March 27, 2023. 

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.

Update: Current membership stands at 48. We average a new member a quarter. Once a new member joins, I work to connect them with resources and send them previous messages to the Listserv.

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.

Update: While at the NHSJC, I connected with one JEA Georgia member in attendance. I have encouraged JEA Georgia members to attend this summer’s JEAai, as well as last week’s regional SIPA convention. Additionally, JEA Georgia members have been encouraged to attend next month’s NHSJC in San Francisco. I’m certain to include links, photos and testimonials to encourage engagement.


Georgia Scholastic Press Association: GSPA will host its spring workshop and awards banquet March 27. The workshop will consist of rotating rounds of instructional sessions, followed by a luncheon and the event will feature a keynote speech from Sydney Shadrix. Following the luncheon, awards will be presented.

GSPA, in partnership with Grady College and the University of Georgia Summer Academy program, is offering weeklong, in-person camps in the following subject areas: Advertising and Public Relations, Broadcast Journalism, News Website Journalism, and Entertainment and Media Studies. Instructors will lead engaging activities and participants will hear from guest speakers. They’ll also work on specialized projects over the course of each week.  

Southern Interscholastic Press Association: SIPA held its yearly convention March 3–5 in Columbia, South Carolina.  Six schools from across the Southeast attended, bringing with them nearly 300 delegates. Georgia was represented by Cedar Shoals and Clarke Central High Schools, which brought nearly 80 students to the convention. 

Journalism Education Association: Georgia advisers have been encouraged to register for the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in addition to JEA’s Adviser Institute.  

Awards and honors: A complete list of recent awards for Georgia schools can be found here.

For the board: Based on conversations with advisers in Georgia and across the country, the following items are hot topics: 

  • recruitment and retention
  • continued equity and access to student publication programs
  • representation of diversity within the pages and in the content of student publications
  • advisers feeling both overworked and underpaid for their contributions  


  • Sessions at JEAai and NHSJC on recruitment and retention, along with articles in CJET.
  • Continued updates to the JEA page regarding DEI opportunities and testimonials from programs making strides in representation.
  • While there’s no clear nationalized standard for stipends, it would be interesting and instructive to poll JEA members across the country to secure data that would allow teachers to provide their Human Resource department with comps to secure an increased stipend.

Cindy Reves, CJE

Membership: We have 13 members. Cindy Reves and Jenny Howe are CJE. 


  • Assist Board of Education with policy in alignment with the recently passed Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act.
  • Establish partnerships with post-secondary journalism programs
  • Increase participation in the Hawaii JOY contest


BOE Student Media Policy: The Hawaii Student Journalism Protection (Act 24) was signed into law in May. We are working with Hawaii’s Department of Education’s English Language Arts specialist as he prepares a draft policy for the BOE to vote on. Once the policy is on the BOE agenda, we will try to get at least one representative at the meeting to speak in support if we approve of the policy and more respresentatives if we have objections to the policy.

Adviser Social: After a long hiatus, we held an in-person adviser event. In October, three high school advisers, two journalists from Civil Beat, and the president of the Hawaii Publishers Association, which sponsors the annual Hawaii High School Journalism Awards, attended in person. The program director of the University of Hawaiʻi’s Journalism Program attended virtually, as did the student editor of the Raise Your Hand Column, a collaboration between Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders and the Star-Advertiser.

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. Based on feedback, we have simplified the rubric for HiJOY. Participation has hovered between one and two entries for years. Six students responded with intent to enter and five followed through. One was from a private school and the others were from public schools. Three schools total were represented. AAJA will again provide monetary prizes.

Scholastic Journalism Week: We started celebrating early with Journalism at the Capitol. Every February since 2020, we have had student journalists visit Hawaii’s Capitol in some way. Hawaii’s legislative session runs from January through May. This year, two high school journalism programs took the opportunity to pair up with a senior university journalism class. This class is collaborating with Civil Beat to cover the legislature in a special series called UH Beat. The high school students shadowed one university student as that student reported for a story for their university class and possible publication on UH Beat.

HHSJA: The Hawaii High School Journalism Awards will be held soon and is co-sponsored by the Journalism Program in the School of Communication and Information at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser with the Hawaii Publishers Association. 

For the Board: I have two ideas. I would like a few virtual meetings with state directors. I just can’t get to the JEA conferences and miss the chance to talk to other directors. I would also like a small budget. I asked the five students from only three schools who entered the Hawaii Journalist of the Year contest for their suggestions to increase participation. They mentioned flyers and I would like to mail those to the schools.

Angela Zuroveste

Membership: JEA membership stands at 14.

No report was submitted.

Katie Fernandez, CJE

Membership: Illinois currently has 148 members.

Goals: Leaders in Illinois from the Illinois Journalism Education Association and JEA have met with the Student Press Law Center to devise a plan to increase awareness about Illinois’s New Voices Law. The SPLC attended the Southern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference to speak with students and teachers and has plans to attend the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago and the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conferences this spring.  

William Tong, a Naperville Central High School graduate and first year at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications served as a chair for Student Press Freedom Day and has created the Illinois Student Journalist Association. His goal is to create a place for student journalists to connect and work together.  Students in Illinois can join here.

Awards/Honors: Winners for the annual yearbook competition were announced on IJEA’s website and entries for the Newspaper and Digital Media contest are being accepted until March 15. IJEA also announced the Illinois Journalist of the Year at the end of February. Congrats to Caspar Downy from Edwardsville, Ill. Find out more about Caspar and the yearbook award winners here.

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

Ryan Gunterman, MJE

Membership: Indiana currently has 67 members.


  • Expand certification for journalism teachers
  • Continue development of regional workshops for locations furthest away from Indianapolis
  • Increase number of site visits  
  • Incorporating more media literacy into new state academic standards
  • Create David Adams Hall of Fame for First Amendment schools


Awards & Honors:

For the Board: What are we going to do about getting another generation of advisers into the classroom? We all know journalism isn’t immune from the teacher shortage, so how are we going to convince future educators to devote their talents to scholastic journalism?

How are other states incorporating DEI into programming and initiatives? Most of our work has been grassroots, but our state association is committed to expanding those efforts. It would be helpful to see what has, and has not, been successful on a larger scale. 

Leslie Shipp, MJE

Membership: Iowa currently has 36 members.


  • To continue to promote the Iowa JOY contest.
  • To educate about the change in Iowa law to protect students who self-censor because they fear adviser retaliation.
  • To meet in person with advisers to form a cohesive group.

Events: The state conference was held in Iowa City Oct. 20. The opening keynote speaker was Nixon Benitez, editor of the University of Northern Iowa’s student newspaper, and the closing keynote was Ty Rushing, the senior editor of Iowa Starting Line. Sessions included speakers, interactive activities and tours of the University of Iowa’s student media outlets.

Iowa High School Press Association President Leslie Shipp contacted every senior who had been awarded the Iowa Emerging Journalist honor as an underclassman. As a promotion for future JOY entrants, all underclassmen named Iowa Emerging Journalists were contacted and encouraged to begin building a portfolio of work they could enter in JOY when they are seniors. 

Eleven seniors entered the Iowa JOY contest, a record for at least the past 15 years, maybe ever. Adviser support and encouragement are appreciated in doubling the number of entrants from most years.

Nine advisers attended a professional development day at Drake University Feb. 10. Professor Chris Snyder presented about video editing and social media. Discussion centered around state contests. Major points were the inequality of five News Teams of the Year (three class winners and two at-larges) and three yearbook winners (one for each class) and how to make judging feedback more immediate and personal.

A senior sued Johnston High School when her social studies teacher removed her from class and administration suspended her when she refused to change out of her T-shirt that depicted an assault-type firearm with the text “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” Interesting to note this happened 10 miles from where the Tinker case unfolded. John Bowen and the Student Press Law Center were contacted.

Awards and Honors: The Iowa JOY winner had not been named at the time of publication.

For the Board: What has the response been for judging feedback given live on Zoom?

Susan Massy

Membership: JEA membership stands at 119 in Kansas.

Goals: The main goals for KSPA this year are: 

  • to continue evolving our in-person event offerings to meet member needs 
  • to begin a program to encourage potential journalism teachers to become teachers in media classrooms
  • to begin a fundraising campaign. 

Happenings: During the week of Feb. 13, KSPA offered our Winter Workshops. These events were hosted at the University of Kansas, Wichita State University and Kansas State University. (An event at Fort Hays State University was scheduled but canceled for inclement weather.) The workshops provided students with hands-on experience with a topic of their choice. Rather than 50-minute breakout sessions, these sessions lasted a few hours and asked students to complete a project under the direction of a session leader. We are surveying students and teachers about whether they would like to see the event offered again next year. 

The KSPA Regional Contest stretched from the start of December to the start of March, from the release of the visual contest prompts through the writing categories and concluding with the release of contest results. Students from 73 schools submitted more than 2,000 entries in 26 categories and 11 regional groupings. Award winners advance to the state contest that will begin March 9 and stretch into May when awards are announced at our State Celebration. 

Other notes: 

  • The KSPA board revised our All-Kansas critique books, focusing on updating the criteria. 
  • KSPA board elections begin in March with a candidate on the ballot for every position in every area. 
  • KSPA continues to award students in the monthly contests for November, Dec./Jan. and February. 
  • Our middle school award, the Mary Patrick Aspiring Young Journalist Award, received perhaps the most applications in its history. The judges are considering applications at this time. 
  • The Puntney Journalism Grant, given to a Kansas high school to help fund a special project, was awarded to Belle Plaine High School in support of their purchase of photography gear. 

Awards and Honors: Congratulations to the two winners in the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year contest: LINK

  • Alena Gillespie of Bishop Miege High School: 3A/4A Winner and Overall 2023 Student Journalist of the Year
  • Grace Logan of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School: 5A/6A Student Journalist of the Year

Gillespie is the first student from the 3A/4A classification to win the overall award since students from different sized schools were awarded according to classifications. Gillespie’s portfolio will represent Kansas in the national contest awarded in April. 

For the Board: While requirements for teaching journalism vary from state to state, how could a national or regional effort to encourage college students to major in journalism be enlarged or strengthened? 

Larry Steinmetz, CJE

Membership: Kentucky currently has 23 members.

Goals: As we approach our second spring contest, we are excited to grow it. We are adding several new categories. We hope to grow the number of entrants as well. 

Happenings: We have a new sponsor for our New Voices Bill in Kentucky. Thanks to Sen. Gerald Neal for sponsoring Senate bill 132. Brennan Eberwine and we are growing our coalition and organizing contacts throughout the state to lobby representatives. Things are going well with our plan. 

Awards/Honors: Congratulations to Wendy Turner, CJE, and her Lamplighter staff for winning the JEA Diversity Award. 

Albert Dupont

Membership: Louisiana currently has 16 members.


  • Grow JEA membership in Louisiana 
  • 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.  
    • Want to reach out statewide to promote this 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: Wow! We had our first in-person conference since COVID shutdowns and it was a great success.  The JEA/Loyola Media Day was held on the campus of Loyola University New Orleans Jan. 27, 2023. We were estimating that we would get about 150 advisers and students but ended up with close to 250 attendees. Here’s a link to the program.

We partnered with the Press Club of New Orleans and Walsworth Yearbooks for guest speakers. Our keynote speaker was Lucy Bustamante of NBC10 in Philadelphia. Here’s the link to her talk.

We are exploring the possibility of having fall workshops for advisers and students, likely on a Saturday in September of 2023. Information will be posted on the JEA Louisiana Website later in the spring.

We have set the date for our next JEA Louisiana & Loyola Media day for Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.

Awards/Honors: We have pushed our media contests to April at the request of many of the participating advisers. We have also worked at getting the word out about our State JOY contest.

For the Board: My biggest challenge as a state director is 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.  

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 the 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 National 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

Membership: JEA membership stands at four.

Goals: After connecting with a new JEA member, it would be ideal if we could develop candidates to enter a Maine JOY competition next school year.

Happenings: Nothing to share at this time.

Awards/Honors: Nothing to share at this time.

For the Board: Having the national conference in Boston this coming November will be wonderful in terms of feeling like we’re not so removed.

David Lopilato

Membership: JEA membership stands at 17.

Happenings: The Maryland chapter is organizing J-Day 2023 to be April 14 at the University of Maryland. This is a conference for high school journalism students and advisers. Sessions will be on topics such as reporting, press law, videography, photography, layout/design and social media strategy. There will be opportunities for students to network and explore the department of Journalism at UMD. Click here for more information.

In Montgomery County, we continue to print two countywide magazines a year. You can see our latest here
Three students behind the countywide magazine, “Coming of Age in a Pandemic,” were featured on NPR. You can listen to the show here. Two students who wrote about Instagram’s impact on girls in this latest edition were featured on Fox and PBS the same day.

Bretton Zinger, MJE

Membership: There are 36 members in Massachusetts, up from 34 in the fall and 27 a year ago. Great to see the membership rise. As I’ve said before, I have yet to see a correlation between my outreach and the memberships. I have not done much in the way of outreach since the spring. 

Happenings: The Journalist of the Year was Ryan Martin from Franklin High School, and he will represent Massachusetts in the national contest. 

Submissions were way up for the contest this year. Brian Baron restarted the Journalism Honor Roll, sending out material in the fall to get it on advisers’ radars. We had 15 submissions, tripling the highest previous total of my tenure as state director. Eight students (plus Ryan) were named to the All-State Journalism Staff. I noticed that the portfolios did not tend to have the same variety or depth of some previous candidates, which was surprising considering the large increase in submissions. I suspect this is a result of the pandemic, at least in part.

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.

I will be the chair of the national convention in Boston in the fall of 2023. We have met virtually several times so far. We’ve selected a theme, Spotlight on Journalism, and have made good progress so far in planning the various pieces and reaching out in a variety of ways.

John Vitti, who runs Headliners in Education, suggested partnering with JEA/NSPA for the convention, with Headliners promoting the convention at its events and announcements. In return, the convention materials would feature Headliners as a partner/sponsor and include the logo as a sponsor. 

Goals: My main goals for the school year are all related to the planning of the convention next fall. I plan to have a meeting every three weeks or so, with updates as needed in between. So far, the willingness of advisers from throughout New England to work in various capacities has been strong, so I’m hoping and assuming that will continue. 

The New England Scholastic Press Association is the local group receiving the funds generated from the convention, which I believe is the first time for the partnership. This stems from a meeting I had with Brian Baron, who was local chair of the last Boston convention and suggested the meeting, and Tom Fabian, executive director of NESPA. 

Awards and honors: The Journalist of the Year was Ryan Martin from Franklin High School, and he will represent Massachusetts in the national contest. 

Helen Smith retired as the executive director of the New England Scholastic Press Association, and Tom Fabian at Newton North High School took over the role. Helen remains president and a board member. 

For the board: Nothing specific, except that we welcome any guidance about the planning of the convention. 

Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE

Membership: Membership is promoted through email blasts in conjunction with the state SPA. We have 63 JEA members.

Goals: I’m working with the state SPA to connect with new advisers through educational outreach this summer. This will be a new addition to the MIPA Summer Journalism Workshop.

Happenings: Michigan held its first in-person workshop this fall since the beginning of the pandemic. Students gathered at the Lansing Center for a unique one-day journalism experience, where students worked to improve their media programs through a variety of classes. As a MIPA board member, I’ve been working with the state press association to launch an adviser workshop this summer, which will run in conjunction with the MIPA Summer Journalism Workshop.

Awards/Honors: The Michigan Journalist of the Year is Ridhimia Kodali of Ann Arbor Huron High School. Additionally, middle school student Mia Lin from Clague Middle School will be honored in April for a new division of MIPA’s middle school student journalist staff. Mia will go on to submit her portfolio to JEA’s aspiring young journalist award. Both journalists are advised by Sara Beth Badalamente, CJE. Broadcast students across the state participated in the 2022 MIPA film challenge. Beauman Hull, Nick Viselli and Abby Wasco from Bloomfield Hills High School were awarded a first place certificate. Students are advised by Danielle Tier. Additionally, students at L’Anse Creuse Pankow Center won the PBS News National Student Journalism Challenge. Students are advised by Michael Kaufman. 

The following Michigan schools received gold or silver Crown awards from CSPA: The Utica Arrow/Utica High School, The Communicator/Community High School, Gallimaufry/Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School, The Huron Emery/Huron High School, The Tower/Grosse Pointe South High School, The Crane-Clarion/Cranbrook Schools, Update/H. H. Dow High School.

The following Michigan schools received a Pacemaker nomination from the NSPA: The Communicator/Community High School. 

For the Board: I would like to offer CJE testing in Michigan. I’m not sure how to coordinate this endeavor, but I do think it would boost membership and CJE status in the state. I’d like help or information on how to make this happen. I do think it could coordinate with the MIPA summer workshop because there will be advisers in attendance.

Kathryn Campbell, CJE

Membership: Minnesota currently has 23 JEA members

Goals: It’s time to take up the fight for New Voices in Minnesota again. After a pause, advocates for the bill in previous legislative sessions shared information and advice for new advisers who will work to move this forward. We have a committee of passionate advisers ready to revise the bill, connect with members of the new legislation to find sponsors, and survey the membership to build momentum.

Happenings: JEM Potluck brought together advisers Feb. 16. We enjoyed conversation (and tater tot hotdish) and shared joys and challenges of the year so far.

Coming up? Return of the JEM Arts Review Contest April 26. We look forward to bringing student journalists from across the state to The Guthrie theater to work with a Star Tribune theater critic and review “Hamlet.”

Awards/Honors: Minnesota Student Journalist of the Year for 2023 is Mady Leick (Eastview High School) of The Flash, adviser Nicholas Fornicoia, CJE.

For the Board: I’d love to hear more from states that are really spread out about how they recruit. Our active members are concentrated in the Twin Cities (plus suburbs) and southern Minnesota, so I welcome outreach ideas that get advisers involved.

R.J. Morgan, MJE

Membership: There are now 36 JEA members in Mississippi, up more than 100% from this time last year thanks to a new statewide sponsorship program funded by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association.

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 spring. The spring convention is our largest, flagship event and a freak tornadic system kept us from returning in person last spring. So it’s been since 2019 that we’ve been able to gather. Fingers crossed we can finally get back to normal!

Events/Happenings: MSPA’s fall convention at the University of Southern Mississippi was a great success with more than 400 participants. At least one school is attending the SIPA convention this spring in South Carolina, which is a positive signal for the development of that program. Hoping to expand those numbers next year.  

Awards and honors: MSPA honored Shari Chumley, CJE, (Yearbook) and Glenda Hartfield (Lit mag) as Advisers of the Year at our fall convention. Voyage (Gulfport HS) and Southern Voices (Mississippi School for Math and Science) were named 2022 Yearbook and Literary Magazine of the Year, respectively. 

Christina Manolis, MJE

State Organization Websites:
Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association (MIJA)
Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City (JEMKC)

Membership: JEA membership stands at 140 in Missouri. 

Goals: One of the main state goals we have is to create a cohesive state organization with MIJA after its merger of MIPA and MJEA. This includes rewriting bylaws and holding elections for board positions in order to better serve our state journalism programs. Current board members will be discussing this at J-Day March 29. 

A second goal is to promote JEA certification with members. Next year, there will be a session at MIJA about how to go about gaining certification, but this year, I will speak at our advisers’ luncheon at J-Day and send out information to those who are interested. 

Additionally, with the help of Mizzou, MIJA has been working on putting together a list of advisers at all schools in Missouri; however, with the frequent turnover of teachers, especially among rural schools, this list does not stay up to date. A goal with this is to create more relationships with these schools to help keep them informed about what events and resources MIJA offers for their programs, as well as what JEA resources exist. To start, this will probably just be reaching out through email to introduce myself at the start of the school year and to act as a sort of mentor. MIJA has also been trying to push free attendance to J-Day for new advisers, so I can promote that as well. 


  • The Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting (ASB) held its fall workshop and contests in October 2022. Its upcoming fall workshop dates have not been announced yet, but those interested can sign up here to get notified once the dates are confirmed. They also have two workshops (ASB and Film) happening this summer for middle and high school teachers.
  • This past fall, St. Louis hosted the Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.
  • The Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association completed its merger of the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association and the Missouri Journalism Education Association. MIJA will be hosting the state’s J-Day Celebration March 29 at Mizzou. Individual student awards, SJOY and special adviser/community member awards will be recognized during the event. Over 1,550 contest entries were submitted and current school membership is at around 60 schools. 
  • MIJA has been running monthly photo contests for all members since August and will continue through April. 
  • JEMKC will be hosting its awards ceremony with guest speaker at North Kansas City High School April 27. They are currently accepting individual and staff contest submissions through March 8.
  • St. Louis advisers have been gathering monthly for happy hour with advisers coming and going as they can to catch up and discuss challenges/questions they have within their respective programs. Local journalism companies have helped to sponsor these gatherings. 
  • We’re working with Mizzou to offer advisers and students some online opportunities for learning and collaborating throughout the year, available statewide. Mizzou’s J-School will also be offering three summer workshops for high school students

Awards/Honors: Four St. Louis-area advisers/journalism and journalism employees were also recognized by JEA recently and at the Fall Convention.

  • Aaron Manfull, MJE (Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri): Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award
  • Debra Klevens, CJE  (Parkway West High School, Ballwin, Missouri): Medal of Merit
  • Jim Dumont (Jostens): Friends of Scholastic Journalism
  • Marci Pieper (Clayton, Missouri): Lifetime Achievement Award

MIJA is preparing to recognize student work and specialty awards at the March J-Day Celebration, including Student Journalist of the Year and the All-State Team, but additionally, numerous Missouri programs have earned awards and recognition from several journalism organizations. A list of these awards can be found here

For the Board:

  • Certification: Members have asked if there is a way for advisers to complete their JEA certification exam locally in person, perhaps at MIJA’s J-Day Celebration, which happens in March each year. 
  • Host a local or regional workshop for teachers on Photoshop/AfterEffects: Advisers mentioned it is difficult to find classes and workshops through local colleges and institutions, and learning in a classroom environment is more beneficial than watching YouTube videos.
  • Resources for Lower Income Schools: Advisers in lower income schools would love some resources focusing on the challenges they face within their schools and programs. For example, how to run a program when you have no budget, how to go about getting equipment secondhand or through donations, and how to work with student employers to allow students to stay after school to work on tasks for their publications without impacting their job. Resources could include links for pre-made templates for communication/scripts or a list of businesses/organizations to reach out to.

Linda Ballew, MJE

Membership: Membership in Montana currently stands at 14. Although Montana has always reported a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has once again diminished. This is due in part to retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs.

MJEA’s highly motivated and action-orientated President Beth Britton, the CMR adviser of the Stampede Online and Russellog from Great Falls, continues to diligently work to assist the state’s journalism advisers through the dissemination of information and resources, working closely with the University of Montana School of Journalism and JEA’s state director Linda Ballew. She is beginning her 11th year as MJEA president.

Both Beth and Linda continue to request input on how to reorganize the association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively. Advisers are willing to use the resources Beth and Linda provide; however, they are not willing to engage in working within the framework of the organization.

To gain a better understanding of this issue, we have reached out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails and requests to submit and participate in adding content and providing suggestions for updating mjeajournalism.com

This website, provided by SNO, allows us to provide information and resources to our members. It has been a vital link in our messaging and communication with members. Updated regularly, it is an aspect of the organization of which our members speak highly.

The gap left in MJEA’s executive board continues to not be filled. We hope to encourage younger members to become engaged in MJEA. Montana journalism programs have undergone dramatic turnover with new advisers taking the helm of journalism programs in many of the small, rural as well as larger high schools. It is obvious that younger advisers need to find reasons to be professionally involved with our organization to revitalize what MJEA can offer to a diverse state membership.

Maintaining and expanding MJEA and JEA membership continues as always to be a top priority. Britton and Ballew continue to email advisers encouraging them to communicate with us, retain membership in MJEA and JEA and participate in adding content and discussion to mjeajournalism.com.

Britton and Ballew have continued to send resource materials and membership forms in the mail and online encouraging communication and membership in MJEA and JEA.

Yearbook advisers comprise a majority of MJEA’s membership. 

Information regarding the spring convention in San Francisco, resources from the New York Times, various articles and a look at an amazing multimedia project are only a few of the posts found on mjeajournalism.com. This site continues to provide resources and information. Britton has also requested the following from our members and state advisers encouraging them to post to the site:

  • Photos of their students in action, their classrooms, guest speakers, etc.
  • Short opinion pieces written by advisers. Britton would like to have their voices on the site.
  • Ideas for other advisers – lessons, celebrations, classroom set-up.

Awards: The 2023 Montana Journalist of the Year Isabel Foley is from Charles M. Russell High School. Her adviser is Beth Britton. Her portfolio will move on to the national competition.

The Montana Newspaper Association will graciously continue to provide a $1,000 scholarship. This organization will also offer an opportunity for students to apply for an additional $1,000 scholarship to be given to a student who would like to study journalism but has not had any school-related journalism program in which to participate.

Journalism Day at the University of Montana, May 4, 2023: High school students from across the state of Montana are invited to the University of Montana to tour the school of journalism, visit with professors and attend college classes. Students will also celebrate their high school accomplishment in the work that has been published throughout the 2022-2023 school year.

Montana Annual Fall Teachers’ convention: We will not preside over a co-curricular group at the 2023 Montana Teacher Convention in Billings, Montana, in October 2023.

The Convention in Helena in October 2022 proved to be unsuccessful on-site. Many teachers did attend journalism workshops and our keynote speaker, journalist and author Mike Dennison’s, workshops via Zoom.

For the Board: The JEA office has been an essential asset because of the wonderful people in the office.

From MJEA president, Beth Britton “Funding and support for scholastic journalism in the state of Montana is on shaky ground. Few schools offer journalism classes, and even many of the largest AA schools offer little more than a yearbook class or club. A few programs continue to publish newspapers, offer introductory journalism classes and produce broadcast options. We at MJEA continue to stress the importance of journalism in the overall curriculum and aim to grow our numbers. Developing a support system for the few of us who teach journalism in the massive Big Sky Country is key – we need to bridge the hundreds of miles that separate our schools.”

Please visit mjeajournalism.com

Marsha Kalkowski, MJE

Membership: There are currently 54 members in Nebraska.

Goals: Keeping similar goals has value:  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! I will urge the NHSPA to consider adding policies and statements to encourage diversity, equity and inclusion in all of our state level activities. My personal goal of finishing the JEA Mentor Training was completed over winter break. Yeah!

Happenings: The Nebraska High School Press Association Fall Convention was held in mid-October at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. There was a good turnout and great learning.

Students at Grand Island Northwest’s student newspaper have been fighting a battle with their administrators since their June 2022 issue. Although the newspaper was reinstated online with a different adviser (the former is still the yearbook and broadcasting adviser), there is still a legal battle brewing. Thanks to all who reached out to the adviser and supported the students. Thank you to the SPLC and all who are seeing this as an even greater need for New Voices to pass in Nebraska.  

A large group of Nebraska students and advisers attended the national convention in St. Louis. A smaller, but even more adventurous group of students and advisers is heading to San Francisco in April. We are excited that Megan Kelley from North Platte, Nebraska, is bringing students on a First Time Convention Grant!  Thank you, JEA for that opportunity.


  • Click here to see multiple Nebraska schools who have placed recently in national competitions.
  • JEA Nebraska held its annual Winter Contest. Results can be found here. Thanks to all who helped judge.
  • We have not yet named our Journalist of the Year, but the portfolios and information are in judges’ hands as I type this!  We will definitely be forwarding our best and brightest to the national contest.
  • In October, Nebraska named Jean Brown of Aquinas Catholic and Davey Stevens, CJE, as 2022’s Distinguished Advisers.
  • Lincoln Public School’s Director of Communication Mindy Burbach was named our state’s Friend of Journalism and Lexington Principal Audrey Downey was named as Nebraska’s first Administrator of the Year.
  • Cornhusker Publications for 2022 were announced at the NHSPA Fall Convention as well. We are trying to set up details for a state Hall of Fame. Thank you to those other states who shared information about their process.
  • Congratulations to Mark Hilburn, MJE, and Millard West Catalyst staff for being named Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Finalists in the Hybrid News category this past fall.

For the Board: Giant thank you to all of the leadership team, especially those who are leaving the board. We are grateful for your time, energy and expertise. Thank you to those staying on the board and to all those who ran for an office. We hope the voter turnout from Nebraska was commendable.

Eric Johnston, CJE

Membership: Nevada has 26 current members, having added four new members for the 2022–23 school year. Five of those members are MJE or CJE certified.

Goals: My goals for the next year are to increase membership in our state and to have more advisers become CJE certified.

Happenings: The annual Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards are returning for the first time since 2020, with winners scheduled to be announced in May. Jolie Lindley from The Alexander Dawson School presented a session on media literacy at the OESIS “Classes of the Future” conference in February. We also have a group of advisers hoping to continue the Southern Nevada Society of Journalists awards at the end of the school year. We have four schools scheduled to travel to the JEA conference in San Francisco, as well as several advisers who are planning on attending their first convention (without students).

Awards/Honors: NWCTA (adviser Rosemary Kean-Walsh) earned a first-class critique from NSPA. Green Valley High School (adviser Eric Johnston, CJE) earned an All-American critique from NSPA.

For the Board: Our biggest challenge continues to be reaching advisers to maintain an accurate email list, as well as attempting to get them to submit entries for competitions such as the LVRJ awards mentioned above. The turnover for yearbook advisers continues to be high in our district, and during the pandemic many schools stopped (and have not restarted) publishing any form of a high school newspaper, whether it be print or online. Encouraging advisers to submit student work so they can be recognized is a key aspect of building a successful program, so this will continue to be a focus as I communicate with new advisers. Sharing the benefits of a JEA membership is also something that could help with the turnover of advisers in our state and district.

New Hampshire
Timothy Cain, CJE

Membership: There are currently five members in New Hampshire, one of whom is retired. Three members have earned the CJE credential. 


  • Increase JEA membership in New Hampshire 
  • Get more New Hampshire members certified (CJE)
  • Get New Hampshire members to submit a student for the Journalism of the Year program.
  • Hold a statewide scholastic journalism event for New England high school students

Happenings: 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. I have reached out to the New Hampshire Press Association and the Nackey Loeb Foundation about establishing a symposium for New England journalism students.

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. As of the writing of this report, no one has submitted a name for JOY. 

Annette Deming, CJE, who teaches at Nashua North High School, is a candidate for the JEA Board of Directors as the Educational Initiatives Director. 

I am a member of the local committee planning for the JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in Boston 2023. 

New Jersey
Greg Gagliardi, CJE

Membership: JEA membership stands at 49 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: New Jersey scholastic journalism is getting back to its pre-pandemic form. Experienced New Jersey teachers and advisers have been working to get new advisers involved at monthly meetings. With New Voices now passed in New Jersey, interim Garden State Scholastic Press Association President Tom McHale, CJE, has been working to spread awareness to schools statewide.

Happenings: The Garden State Scholastic Press Association held its first in-person conference since the pandemic at its usual location: the Busch Campus Center at Rutgers-New Brunswick. A New Voices panel served as the day’s keynote to begin the day. At four other time slots, students and advisers could pick from over 25 different sessions run by teachers, advisers, professors and professional journalists.

Awards/Honors: In New Jersey’s annual yearbook contest, Princeton High School won the state’s highest honor: platinum. Four other schools – Governor Livingston High School, Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, Donovan Catholic High School and Old Bridge High School – won gold. For print and online awards, divided into 27 categories, click here

For the Board: Despite low attendance from New Jersey at this past fall’s national convention, several advisers have already begun planning for this upcoming fall’s convention in Boston. Advisers have even discussed “buspooling” by sharing a bus from New Jersey to Boston. Please contact Greg Gagliardi (greggagliardi@gmail.com) if you are a New Jersey adviser who needs help getting to Boston or organizing a convention trip.

New Mexico
No state director

Membership: JEA membership stands at eight.

New York
Katrina Paron, MJE

Membership: Our current membership stands at 37.

Awards/Honors: Bronx River News staff and their adviser, JEA member Debbi Porterfield (NYC), received an Outstanding Achievement Award from Press Pass NYC for the journalism program’s progress since it was started last year. 

Press Pass NYC’s founder Lara Bergen earned her CJE certification last fall. Congrats, Lara!

Our 2023 JEA New York State Journalist of the Year is Hanna Schiciano of The Masters School (Dobbs Ferry) . She is advised by Ellen Cowhey, CJE.

Journalists at Pace High School (NYC) will have their essays published from their pandemic site, CovidClass2021.com, in a book by the Manhattan borough historian Robert Snyder. “Covid Chronicles-NYC: A History in the Words of New Yorkers” will be published by Cornell University Press in Aug. 2023. The personal narrative essays, “The Second Father” by Christian Durian, “In Place: Living in a Shelter During the First Year of the Pandemic” by Charlie Love, and excerpts from “Lexicon of the Pandemic” created by all the seniors that year, will be included in the book. Congrats to adviser David Rolfing!

Happenings: Mike Simons, MJE and Katina Paron, MJE, organized a lobby day in Albany for “The Student Journalist Free Speech Act,” under the guidance of the Student Press Law Center. One hundred and forty students from 16 schools throughout the state were part of the effort, including JEA schools Corning Painted-Post High School and The Masters School. Because of the visit we are a giant step closer to making New York the 17th state with First Amendment protections for students. 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.

North Carolina
Marva Hutchinson

Membership: North Carolina membership is currently at 54 members.

No report submitted.

North Dakota
No state director

Membership: North Dakota currently has seven members.

Julieanne McClain, MJE

Membership: Ohio has 63 JEA members.

Goals: Scholastic journalism in Ohio is experiencing a period of transition and rebuilding. Coming out of COVID, we are seeing a pretty extraordinary number of brand new advisers taking over journalism programs, many of them leaving careers as professional journalists to enter the teaching profession. Figuring out ways to connect these new advisers to the resources they need is a primary goal for me right now.  

However, Ohio is also losing a good amount of veteran leadership in scholastic journalism. Our Board participation is at an all-time low, and it has been a struggle to get advisers to commit to helping out with regional workshops and the state convention. We have a widening gap between the advisers who need resources and advisers who are willing to help provide resources. Because of this, one of my main goals is figuring out how to increase leadership participation among advisers who have been in the profession for 5–15 years. Hopefully, we can convince advisers who have a few years of teaching experience to consider achieving their CJE or MJE status, as well as training new mentors in Ohio through the JEA Mentorship program.

Happenings: We had around 600 student journalists and advisers join us for in-person, one-day regional workshops in October, which we held for the first time since 2019. We are getting ready to host our OSMA state convention, which will be April 14–15 at Kent State University. At that time, our annual awards banquet will announce award winners for over 50 pre-submitted categories in writing, design, broadcast, yearbook and more.

At each of our fall and spring workshops, we are incorporating sessions on diversifying publication staffs as well as sessions on how to better cover a diverse student population.

Awards/Honors: Our 2023 Ohio Journalist of the Year recipient is James Underwood, a senior at Upper Arlington High School and editor-in-chief of the Arlingtonian

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

Membership: There are currently 28 members in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma advisers have enjoyed a relatively easy winter this year and, as a result, have been busy working toward new activities for our spring. Spring Media Monday is planned for April 10 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Many members attend this event and usually win a significant number of awards. This conference is a good time to invite advisers to join JEA for the next school year. 

Brian Eriksen, CJE

Membership: There are currently 36 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 in April and will award some of the best journalism in the state. 

In November, we hosted our statewide Fall Media Day at the University of Oregon. There were over 850 students who attended from 36 schools in an amazing day of celebrating high school journalism in the state of Oregon.

Awards/Honors: Oregon’s Journalist of the Year winner for 2023 is Audrey Lippert of West Linn High School. She is the recipient of the Alyce Sheetz Memorial Scholarship. The runner–up is Silvia Ruiz Blanco of South Salem High School.

The Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Adviser of the year and the Oregon Rookie Adviser of the year will be honored in late March.

Cyndi Hyatt-Crothers, CJE

Membership: There are currently 67 members in Pennsylvania.

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association continues to offer FREE memberships to all schools in the state for the current school year. PSPA hosted eight regional competitions during October and November. Three

hundred forty-four students participated. Winners from each region (124 total) have been invited to compete at Penn State University March 30.

New Voices: The Pennsylvania New Voices team is thriving, gaining momentum and new members. We have sponsors for Senate and House bills which are being reintroduced this session. Our social media awareness campaign is in full swing. A special thank you to Mike Simons and the New York New Voices team for giving us pointers on creating a toolkit. The team is trying to meet with the Pennsylvania School Educators Association to explain the bill and to solicit an endorsement. The Pennsylvania News Media Association has expressed interest in helping with the passage of the bill.

Awards and honors: The 2022–23 Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year is Evan Lu from Conestoga High School in Berwyn. The 2022–23 Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year is Todd Cammarata of Tyrone Area High School. He advises the newspaper and yearbook programs.

Opportunities for student journalists: Two students from Pennsylvania participated in a webinar organized by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center. The students spoke about their newspaper’s (The Spoke, Berwyn) censorship story and what they are doing to support students’ First Amendment rights.

Goals: We would like to reach out to more schools across the state, especially those in large urban areas like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, York, Reading, Harrisburg, etc. Although conventions and competitions are nice to have, we in Pennsylvania would like to connect students and advisers to more resources we have available to help them grow and improve their programs.

For the Board: Having contact with other advisers across the state who are experiencing pushback from principals, censorship issues or even possible dismissal from media programs, it has come to my attention that often these advisers are left powerless to fight back because of fear of retribution. Although JEA cannot prevent this from happening, it can consider sending a letter of support for the media program’s freedom of speech or even an official mission statement to the school board. It may be true that school board members are unaware of protected speech for student journalists; they don’t know the law, they have no idea what an adviser should do, they are unsupportive of student speech because they don’t understand what it is. A letter of support for free student speech from JEA to a school board and/or principal may not solve a situation, but it is public record and the adviser and their students can at least feel like they are not alone in their battle. Another concern among active advisers in our state is that we are only reaching a handful of schools. Our state has a large population, but membership in our state organization as well as in JEA is not robust. We lack members in rural and urban areas. How can we reach schools and advisers who don’t even know JEA exists? Not an easy question to answer, but one worth discussing.

Rhode Island
Elizabeth Kenworthy

Membership: There are currently five members in Rhode Island.

No report submitted.

South Carolina
Leslie Dennis

Membership: There are currently 28 members in South Carolina.

Happenings: SIPA’s 2023 convention was held in person in Columbia, South Carolina. Jostens Yearbooks sponsored Bobby Hawthorne as the convention keynote. 


  • Scroggins Award: Best of South Broadcast – “CCNN Live,” Christopher Columbus High School, Miami;
  • Scroggins Award: Best of South Literary Magazine – iliad, Clarke Central High School, Athens, Georgia;
  • Scroggins Award: Best of South News – The Shield, McCallum High School, Austin, Texas;
  • Scroggins Award: Best of South Online Media – ODYSSEY Media Group, Clarke Central High School, Athens, Georgia;
  • Scroggins Award: Best of South High School Yearbook – Lone Star, James Bowie High School, Austin, Texas
  • Scroggins Award: Best of South Jr. High School/Middle School Yearbook – The Round-Up, Woodland Jr. High School, Fayetteville, Arkansas;
  • NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker Award –“RNE-TV,” Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, South Carolina.

South Dakota
Marina Hendricks, CJE

Membership: There are currently three members in South Dakota.

Goals: I have identified a potential collaborator to assist me with launching the South Dakota High School Press Association website and hope to accomplish this long-delayed project by the end of 2023. In addition, I want to increase South Dakota JEA membership by five. 

Happenings: We held the first in-person South Dakota High School Press Convention since 2019 Oct. 17, 2022, at South Dakota State University. Advance registration exceeded 300 students and teachers – the most attendees in the five years I have been organizing the event. 

Bradley Wilson, MJE, vice head of AEJMC’s Scholastic Journalism Division, is planning a “teach-in” – date and location to be announced. This event usually is held on the pre-conference day of AEJMC’s annual conference in August. However, the timing of the pre-conference in 2023 (the first Sunday in August) does not work for high school educators.   

Awards/Honors: The deadline for the 2023 South Dakota High School Journalist of the Year contest was postponed to March 31 because of school closures during winter blizzards. Although I’m disappointed that our winner will not be eligible to compete for the national honor, I’m delighted that a sponsorship is enabling us to raise the cash prize for the winner from $250 to $500. 

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: To Sarah Nichols, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your leadership as president and vice president these past 12 years. To Val Kibler and the new team, I’m looking forward to continued collaboration. 

Heather Nagel, CJE

Membership: Our state membership is 41 members. 

Goals: Tennessee High School Press Association continues an outreach initiative to increase membership at the state level and the national level (THSPA and JEA) and involvement in state workshops. THSPA hosted four well-attended state journalism workshops in cities across the state: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville.

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association held a state awards ceremony March 6 at Lipscomb University. The following state programs and students received awards. Amanda Hara, anchor and director of digital at WSMV-TV in Nashville, was the keynote speaker. She challenged students with an Edward R. Murrow quote, “Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” She went on to speak on the importance of reporting accurately and how journalists can change the world. 

Awards/Honors: Tennessee has three overall awards given out each year: one to an administrator, one to a teacher and one to a student. Administrator Diane Penny from Arlington High School in Memphis was named the Tennessee Administrator of the Year. “She is a visionary leader who is always looking for ways to innovate. One of her greatest strengths is her attention to curriculum consistency,” a nominating teacher said. Patrick Ashbee from Arlington High School in Memphis was named the Bonnie Hufford Media Adviser of the Year. “This year, she has believed in me and encouraged me. I have become the strong and confident person I am today because she never doubted me. With her guidance, I now want to do this as a career,” a nominating student said. Sheerea Yu from University School of Nashville was named the H.L. Hall Outstanding Student Journalist. “Efficient and competent with layout and design but sees language as the primary vehicle for a story,” her adviser said. 

Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE

Membership: Texas JEA membership sits at 307. TAJE membership sits at 288. 

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

Happenings: Interscholastic Press League Conference will hold an in-person Spring Convention in Austin April 14–16. TAJE will hold its spring membership meeting during the convention.

TAJE will host The Story of State team storytelling contest in conjunction with the UIL State Meet in May.

TAJE plans to partner with the Texas Interscholastic Press League Conference to offer an in-person summer workshop June 16–18 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

The two organizations jointly sponsored the Central Texas Journalism Invitational UIL Meet in December. 

TAJE helped sponsor a regional workshop for members in Region 6 at Communications Arts High School in San Antonio Jan. 19. All regional representatives are asked to host a membership meeting or workshop by the end of the year.

The legislative session began 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

New Voices Adviser Officer and TAJE Legislative and Policy Committee Chair David Doerr, who teaches at Akins High School in Austin, and the student leadership group are hopeful they will find a new sponsor for the Texas New Voices bill soon with the hope of getting heard by the House Education Committee this session although they still need a commitment from a state representative to be the bill author and officially file before the March 10 deadline. Last session the bill made it out of committee and was sent to the Texas Senate but never made it to the Senate’s Education Committee. TAJE encourages all members to keep writing letters to state representatives to support a New Voices Bill.

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

Awards and Honors: Twelve students applied for Journalist of the Year in Texas. Bridgeland High School senior Haylie Stum was named the 2023 Journalist of the Year March 2 and will compete for the national JOY title in the Journalism Education Association contest.

The judges also awarded first runner-up to Reagan Netherland from Ray Braswell High School, second runner-up to Natalie Cullen from James Bowie High School and third runner-up to Zoey Wilcox from Rock Hill High School.

Scholarships: Texas Journalist of the Year will receive the $1,500 Bill Taylor Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Balfour Publishing. TAJE will honor graduating seniors with four $1,000 TAJE scholarships along with a fifth $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Tony Plohetski, our Fall Fiesta keynote speaker. These scholarships will be announced at the ILPC Awards Ceremony April 16.

We will also award summer workshop scholarships up to $150 to six students and two teacher workshop scholarships up to $250. Winners of those will be announced soon.

For the Board: TAJE is also pleased to announce the results of the February regional representative election: 

  • Region 1 – Jasinia Frausto, Canyon High School 
  • Region 2 – Daniel Ryan Carr, Ray Braswell High School 
  • Region 3 – Taylor Mersmann, Rock Hill High School
  • Region 4 – Tabitha Houchens, Redwater High School
  • Region 5 – Vanessa Martinez, El Dorado High School
  • Region 6 – Carey McCarthy, Communications Arts High School
  • Region 7 – Haley Gluch, McNeil High School
  • Region 8 – Mike Tobias, Port Neches-Groves High School
  • Region 9 – Megan Ortiz, Kingwood Park High School
  • Region 10 – Sandra Casperson, Robert Vela High School.

No state director

Membership: JEA membership stands at eight.

Nancy Olson, CJE

Membership: JEA membership stands at five.

Goals: None at this time.

Happenings: None

Awards/Honors: None

For the Board: None at this time.

Erinn Harris, MJE

Membership: JEA membership stands at 100 in Virginia.

Happenings: Since my last report, we had a successful return to an in-person state workshop. Our 141 attendees generated an overall positive buzz and an energizing atmosphere. We hope that with earlier promotions and even more outreach, we will be able to grow the program in 2023.

In addition to her work with New Voices advocacy, VAJTA secretary Tiffany Kopcak worked with SPLC to develop “A Yearbook Guide to Names and Pronoun Use Decisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” This guide is not legal advice, but rather a reference document to help staffs make confident and informed decisions regarding preferred names and pronouns.

Unfortunately, due to low registration numbers, we had to cancel our annual jRetreat in Petersburg. As with our VHSL Media Championships, we hope that earlier promotions and more outreach will help us reboot the program for 2024.

Promotions for jCamp 2023 have started. The summer workshop will take place July 16–20 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. The early-bird deadline is April 1. 

Goals: As always, we are looking for ways to reach more of our members across the state. We also find ourselves trying to find ways to combat adviser burnout. Additionally, for 2024, I would like to see an increase in applicants for Journalist of the Year from across the state.

Awards: Congratulations go out to Daniel Reinish, CJE, for being named a Distinguished Adviser in the H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year contest.

Additionally, Kasey Thompson of Harrisonburg High School has recently been named our Virginia Journalist of the Year. 

Anne Hayman, MJE

Membership: We have 61 adviser members and one Olympic level program membership (21–50 members) in WJEA. 

Goals: As a state organization, there are three primary goals we’re focusing on this year.  

  • Making our organization more sustainable. This means finding ways to make more money (and/or spend less), work more efficiently and increase participation across the state. 
  • Making our organization more necessary. We will increase involvement if we are meeting the needs of our advisers and provide a variety of options to do that. Our state is large and separated by some geography, so we are sort of divided into regions. Unfortunately, the majority of the WJEA activity happens in only a couple of those regions, and we are rarely all together in things. We’re definitely not meeting the needs of all of our advisers.
  • Meeting the needs of our CTE advisers to have a Career & Technical Student Organization. We need to find ways to get our students leadership opportunities and additional competition without compromising our efforts to help advisers. 

For each of these goals, there are similar action plans because they are all closely connected. Meeting goals 2 and 3 will help us to meet goal 1. We’re going to send out a survey to our members to ask what they need, including CTE needs. We’re going to spend some time with the board/committee leads (at least) talking about ways to address these goals as well. We are all motivated because the vast majority of the heavy lifting is being done by a dozen or fewer people throughout the year. 

Happenings: We held Journalism Day East Oct. 31 at Whitworth University. We had 195 attendees (250 registrants with 10 eastern Washington schools). We sold out the auditorium with our largest turnout to date!

Adobe Trainings: Our Adobe basic training videos are for InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Students are sent a link to the video, accessible for six weeks. They also receive access to a Dropbox containing graphics to use for a related practice session. Altogether, the video plus practice takes about two hours. Teachers may earn two clock hours per two-hour training session. Students who complete the practice project can receive a “Certificate of Completion” from WJEA. We had 24 student and three adviser subscribers. 

Our WJEA summer workshop will be at Washington State University in Pullman July 25–28. In addition to sessions, we also create a simulation for students and advisers to take on the role of journalists and put in action the skills they are learning at the workshop. 

Our spring convention was March 4, 2023, at Mountlake Terrace High School. We had 195 attendees (172 students, 23 advisers from 21 schools) and 113 student participants for our contests. There were several sessions taught by professionals as well as other advisers. We had Christopher Schwalm from PBS as our keynote presenter. He works with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs team as a Youth Media Producer supporting media production teachers and students to elevate teen voices across all media through transformative real-world educational opportunities. 

Awards/Honors: We honored Mountlake Terrace High School and Lynnwood School District with the Dorothy McPhillips Distinguished Service Award. The district established a district policy fully supporting a free student press. Mountlake Terrace High School has been named a JEA First Amendment School 12 times since 2000. In 2023, the Lynnwood Board of Education revised its districtwide policy to include the most definitive free press language of any district in the nation. 

We gave an adviser professional development grant to Katherine Miller from Central Kitsap High School. 

Adviser of the Year is Micah Richardson, Seattle Prep High School.

Student awards: Lu Flannery Outstanding Journalist Award is Kathryn Sheldon, Inglemoor High School and Washington Journalist of the Year is Arushi Sharma, Inglemoor High School.

We had our Write Off contests as well and awarded Superior, Excellent and Honorable Mentions to several students in a variety of categories: Newswriting, Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Feature Writing, Review Writing, Copy Editing, Photography, Layout, Broadcast, Podcast and News Website. 

For the Board: As an organization, we have been working hard to get CTE classification for our programs. The biggest roadblock we are running into is the CTSO piece. Our state requires we have a student organization. We try to use WJEA as our CTSO, but we don’t have the student leadership piece. There are other states who seem to be having the push to get programs established in CTE as well. Is there any movement with JEA/NSPA to create a student leadership segment?  The National Student Media Contests satisfy the competition piece. If there was something that would help states create their student piece, it would be great. We have looked at trying to establish our own for the state of Washington, but trying to create something with all of the pieces seems unreasonable at the state level if there is nothing nationwide to feed into.

West Virginia
Morgan Bricker

Membership: Membership currently stands at 12 in West Virginia. 

Goals: Most of the goals established in the last semiannual reports exist today with the aim of continuing to develop those endeavors. These include continuing to: 

  • increase membership and develop a database of West Virginia schools and journalism educators. 
  • expand the state WVJEA JOY competition with more applicants each year. 
  • develop active social media accounts and a website for WVJEA. 
  • promote CJE/MJE certification for existing and new WVJEA members. 
  • connect with West Virginia colleges and universities as well as professional media outlets. 
  • work with JEA members, colleges/universities and other stakeholders to develop a statewide scholastic media association for West Virginia journalism educators and students. 

Other goals include: 

  • earning my CJE in March 2023 and working toward earning my MJE in Fall 2023. 
  • becoming a JEA mentor. 
  • recruiting state mentors for WVJEA members. 
  • organizing regional and state WVJEA meetings, workshops and conferences.  

Happenings: The most significant happening is still unfolding. Though last year’s version of the SPLC’s New Voices bill ultimately failed, the legislation was reintroduced as Senate Bill 121 in the 2023 West Virginia legislative session. It has been inspiring to see high school and college student journalists across the state advocating for their rights through emails, phone calls and op-eds that were published by local news outlets. We also deeply appreciate the help of Kellen Hoard and the Student Press Law Center. As a result of their efforts, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate as well as the House Education and Judiciary Committees. Currently, the bill is awaiting a full floor vote in the House. Hopefully, by the time we submit our next semiannual report, I will be able to say that the bill was passed and signed into law. 

Aside from SB 121 and our state JOY contest, we are planning a virtual meeting for a committee that will collaborate to reach the goals outlined above this spring and hope to plan an in-person event for all members before next school year begins.   

In working with this year’s JOY judges, we also established a connection with the journalism departments at the two largest universities in the state. Both indicated an interest in collaborating on common goals. We hope to include additional college journalism departments in the future. 

Awards/Honors: For 2023, we had five applicants for our state JOY contest, progress from just one last year. We enlisted judges from the journalism departments of West Virginia University and Marshall University as well as a professional journalist and Ohio’s JEA state director. Elizabeth Rhodes of Weir High School was selected as this year’s winner. 

We plan to collaborate with Ohio to help each other with the JOY process in the future. We do not currently have other state awards or honors, but I hope to change that with the development of a state student media association. 

In discussing the JOY contest with advisers from participating schools, many plan to have all students develop portfolios to improve student media in our state and produce higher quality JOY entries.  

For the Board: I am in several journalism teacher/adviser Facebook groups, and they have been a great resource for tips and materials. I wonder if a similar group just for JEA state directors might be helpful in creating a more interactive environment.  

Matthew Smith, CJE

Membership: There are currently 40 JEA members in Wisconsin.

Goals: My goal continues to be more connection among advisers and recognition of student programs/work. Once again we had eight excellent students submit applications for Wisconsin Journalist of the Year, and it’s great to see that program continue to build. Sharing not only our winner but multiple finalists and their work around the state, I believe, continues to help inspire future work. I’ve also been helping compile more local resources to share and hosting Wisconsin adviser chats at least every other month.

Happenings: Coming up this spring the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association will once again hold its spring conference completely live at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. It will take place April 19 and include sessions on photography, graphic design, advertising, yearbook and more. I also will be hosting a session with a previous Wisconsin Journalist of the Year winner to discuss creating student portfolios and applying for contests. The Kettle Moraine Press Association also will be holding its Summer Journalism Camp July 23–25 at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. The theme this year is “Reaching New Heights,” and it will include workshops on broadcasting, writing, sports media and photojournalism. Another summer opportunity for students in the Milwaukee area is the Urban Journalism Workshop hosted by Marquette University. Participants this summer will have an opportunity to work as a paid intern for local, professional news outlets.

Awards/Honors: We are honored to award Wisconsin Journalist of the Year to Kadjata Bah, senior at Madison East High School (adviser April van Buren, MJE). Our runners-up finalists included Jasleen Kaur from Hamilton High School (adviser Sarah Kowalske) and Robert Barthell from Neenah High School (adviser Beth Plankey). 

For the Board: The best support that can be provided to advisers in Wisconsin is to continue providing guidance and resources in the form of the JEA curriculum, the Listserv and the mentoring program. Providing materials and advice for new advisers continues to be one of the greatest needs.

No state director

Membership: JEA membership stands at four.


National Scholastic Press Association
Laura Widmer, executive director

Thank you for this opportunity to share what is going on at NSPA headquarters. We value our partnership with the Journalism Education Association. We love the opportunity to collaborate on education, resources and events relative to student journalists and advisers. We are definitely stronger together.

Our biggest news is being able to celebrate our centennial in St. Louis. We celebrated with a cake at the adviser reception on Thursday. Our centennial books arrived on Friday. They are beautiful and Gary Lundgren did a beautiful job of putting it together. If you don’t have your copy please let us know. On Saturday, we kicked off the day with our Pacemaker 100 celebration. We celebrated NSPA’s Top 100 Pacemaker winners over our 100-year history. The programs were recognized with a plaque and banner. The spirit shakers added to the celebration. Shawnee Mission (Kansas) Northwest Lair was the most awarded Pacemaker media outlet.

The NSPA advisory committees continue to improve our organization. Meghan Percival is our board member in charge of the adviser’s group. We meet every convention and if you’d like to have your voice heard, please join us. Just let me know. The student advisory group is headed by board members Mitch Eden and Michele Coro. Discussions have focused on online resources and convention programming

Quill and Scroll: In an attempt to make it easier for advisers to place orders, we’ve expanded ordering to include two online options — one for credit card and the other for purchase order and checks. By using the online option, we are able to process orders more quickly, which results in less of a turnaround time. 

We wrapped up our Yearbook Excellence Contest and will soon be finalizing the results for our Writing, Photo, Multimedia Contest. Other outreach include our Weekly Scroll and Monthly Scroll, which is an email newsletter for advisers, and Quill and Scroll members initiated within the past year. We added the Chapter Activity feature to the Weekly Scroll. One of our Student Advisory Groups is working on adding ideas to this section as well.

Another group of our Student Advisory Board developed an online gathering opportunity for students to meet and talk about ideas and issues surrounding student media. The first topic centered on motivation and the next topic will be leadership and teamwork, and will take place March 28. Please remind interested students to fill out the Google form on our website by March 24. We will send out the next link 24 hours prior to the event. 

We still are receiving forwarded mail from Iowa. Please make sure to update our address with your school’s business office.

Upcoming dates and events to note:

  • Writing, Photo, Multimedia results: end of March
  • Private School Journalism Association Contest: due March 31 
  • 2023 Chapter of the Year applications: due April 1
  • 2023 Adviser Scholarship applications: due April 14
  • 2023 Yearbook Excellence Contest: opens April 15
  • Student Scholarship applications for YEC, WPM winners: due May 12
  • News Media Evaluations and Gallup Awards open now: due by June 15 

Overall, things are great with NSPA and Quill and Scroll. I’d love to chat with you about how NSPA can make your journalism life better. Reach out to me at laura@studentpress.org.

Student Press Law Center
Josh Moore, assistant director

It’s been a busy fall and winter at the Student Press Law Center, full of Student Press Freedom Day festivities, new resources, advocacy and transitions. It is always a privilege for us to work with JEA and its members to promote, support and defend student journalists and the advisers who empower them.

Student Press Freedom Day: We are still feeling the inspiration and renewed energy from Scholastic Journalism Week (Feb. 20–24) and Student Press Freedom Day (Feb. 23). It’s hard to put into words all the amazing ways students, advisers and allies celebrated student journalists and took action to support them, but we’ve summarized many of the festivities here. Highlights include student op-eds, seminars with professional journalists, student press freedom trivia and a Student Press Freedom Day carnival.

We had four fantastic student co-chairs who shared the SPFD message and worked on their own SPFD events and projects. SPLC also paired 15 high school and collegiate journalists with professional journalists and educators for this year’s Op-Ed Coaching Program, resulting in op-eds about student press freedom published in CNN, The Washington Post and other outlets across the country. We also proudly brought together more than 30 national organizations that support student press freedom, several of which hosted their own SPFD events.

Our theme this year was Bold Journalism and Brave Advocacy in honor of the work student journalists do every day to pursue hard truths, doggedly investigate important stories, fight back against censorship, and advocate for policies and laws that will protect press freedom for future students. 

Of course, this work goes beyond one day or week every year. We urge you and your students to continue being bold and brave together to create a better world for all student journalists! There are so many ways to stay involved: Join your state’s New Voices coalition, advocate to improve your school district’s student media policy, and keep writing and sharing stories about student press freedom issues. 

New Voices: It has been a busy legislative season for New Voices coalitions, and many states are still going. 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.

As of March 3, bills have been introduced in five states (Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, New York and West Virginia). Pennsylvania and Texas are also set to introduce legislation, and there may be as many as six more states to come. Things are moving quite quickly in some states: West Virginia’s SB 121 passed in the state Senate in January and moved to the House. SPLC staff joined 50+ New York high school students making the trip in the snow to Albany Feb. 28, where they had more than 30 scheduled meetings with legislators and knocked on the door of every legislator’s office to discuss New Voices legislation.

Use this state-by-state guide to learn more about efforts in your state, tell your students about our “How to be a Spokesperson for Student Press Freedom” pre-convention workshop in San Francisco, and get involved by contacting SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing Director Hillary Davis at hdavis@splc.org.

New Resources: SPLC has launched three important new resources in the past few weeks, and we hope they’ll help you and your students in the weeks and months to come:

  • SPLC’s new School District Advocacy Toolkit helps students find, understand and advocate for changes to their school district’s policy governing school-sponsored student media. Your district policy is an important way to ensure student press freedom in your school, particularly if you do not yet have a New Voices law.
  • Our Sports Media Toolkit is a terrific new resource for student sports journalists to enhance their reporting and to get their stories published.

Leadership Transition: We announced the exciting news that Gary Green — a fierce First Amendment advocate, veteran journalist and accomplished leader — has been named SPLC’s next executive director March 7. Gary will join us in San Francisco and looks forward to meeting everyone.

Former Executive Director Hadar Harris announced last fall that she would step down after five and a half productive years at SPLC. Her last day was Feb. 28, but we know she will continue to support student voices in her next endeavors. We are grateful for all she did at SPLC to promote, support and defend student journalists and their advisers, and our staff will carry forward in that mission stronger than ever, thanks to her leadership.

We’ll see you in San Francisco! The SPLC staff looks forward to seeing you in San Francisco soon, where we will be hosting a wide array of training sessions and preconvention workshops. 

In the meantime, SPLC is here to help in any way we can. 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. See you soon!

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