2019 Spring Semiannual Report

2019 Spring Semiannual Report

Executive Director – Kelly Glasscock, CJE

Journalism Education Association
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500
W: 785-532-7822  |  C: 316-619-9403

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,635, which is more than a comparable time last spring, the second consecutive spring increase. Memberships in California continue to see growth, up 118 percent since last spring. Total membership grew 103 percent comparing spring to spring, and now stands at 2,840. At least one voting member resides in each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. JEA continues to see growth in Non-U.S. memberships, increasing by 113 percent since last spring.


  • Dec. 18: Signed contracts to host JEA/NSPA NHSJC in Seattle in 2021
  • Dec. 30: Signed contracts to host JEA/NSPA NHSJC in Kansas City in 2024
  • Feb. 2: JEA Board of Directors budget planning meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Feb. 9: Convention planning meeting, Anaheim
  • March. 4: SXSW EDU panel discussion on Media Literacy
  • March 27: Convention site visit to San Francisco

The headquarters staff has changed since the Chicago convention. The bookkeeping responsibilities have shifted to a local accounting firm. JEA is in the process of hiring a part-time office specialist to assist with basic office tasks for the association. Development of the Write-off system continues with testing taking place in Anaheim.

Financial Position: As of March 12, 2019, JEA’s expenses are $656,139.40 whereas total revenue is $696,850.94, which means JEA has a net operating revenue of $8,984.66. Investment revenue has fluctuated greatly this year with total other revenue at $-54,424.79. The result is a Net Revenue of $-45,440.13. Markets have been uneasy with large peaks and valleys. We have a long-term investment strategy, which means the day-to-day fluctuations have little impact on our operating budget, which is in a strong position. In fact, JEA’s financial position boasts a comfortable reserve with $1,731,175.15 in total current assets.

JEA President – Sarah Nichols, MJE

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

At the two-thirds mark of our three-year elected term, the board of directors has been focused on evaluating progress toward our goals and developing strategies to best meet our members’ needs. As part of that ongoing reflection, I’m reminded of this list of leadership principles:

  • Serve first
  • Add value to others
  • Build trust
  • Listen to understand
  • Think about your thinking
  • Demonstrate courage
  • Live your values.

I am so proud of Val, Mike, Julia, Laura, Lori and Meg and their efforts of volunteer leaders as they embody these principles and continue to focus on what’s best for JEA. It is an honor to serve the organization as part of this team and know that the hard work is meaningful, purposeful and intentional.

In the time since our last report, some of my efforts have included:

  • Meeting with K-State officials Dec.1 in Manhattan, Kansas for negotiations regarding the headquarters contract, which expires June 30, 2019
  • Attending the budget meeting Feb.1-2 in New Orleans at the Ace Hotel, including a strategic planning session beforehand with Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and work on the 2019 Advisers Institute
  • Coordinating the First-time Convention Grant for Anaheim
  • Developing an online training module for publications judges and student media evaluators
  • Outreach to the National Association of Secondary School Principals with suggested partnership opportunities
  • Coordinating free NYT subscriptions for up to 1,500 teacher/adviser members
  • Serving on the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Ed Committee and working on its #Press4Education initiative

The Year of the Student Journalist has offered unique opportunities to showcase the value of scholastic journalism education and the important work students do every day. From Student Press Freedom Day to Scholastic Journalism Week and the Tinkerversary, 2019 has provided countless opportunities to collaborate and engage on freedom of speech and expression, in addition to designing new shirts, endorsing bills for state legislation via electronic vote (New York, Minnesota, Nebraska) and helping raise awareness for New Voices campaigns underway. The efforts from the SPLC, Adam Dawkins, CJE, for #SJW2019 and our own SPRC team are impressive and much appreciated.

Working with NSPA, our National High School Journalism Convention partner, has been another priority. In Chicago, a small team of leaders from JEA and NSPA met with the organizations’ executive directors Nov. 2 to identify cost-saving measures, review convention budgeting procedures and explore ideas. Kelly’s continued research and analysis on every aspect of NHSJC expenditures demonstrates his expertise in this area and his commitment to effective and efficient convention co-planning.

At our spring meeting in Anaheim we’ll vote to approve JEA’s budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, a financial blueprint that marks significant changes as we prepare for shifts in headquarters staffing and seek to align our budget to the current demands of the organization. The budget also reflects a long-in-the-works transition in the mentoring program. The changes represent a noticeable emphasis in allocation of resources toward mentees and a revised structure that provides for program expansion and sustainability. The legwork here has been no small task, and I am grateful for the leadership of Mentor Chair Patrick Johnson, MJE. The budget also includes funding for scholastic journalism education research in the form of a study developed by JEA. I am committed to JEA’s role in understanding why some areas lack any type of journalism program, which parts of the country have the greatest need(s) and what it would take to develop or revive student media in those areas.

I urge you to spend some time thinking about each of the reports here, and to reach out to the volunteers doing such important work with their committees, programs and initiatives. JEA is better as a result of your involvement. Thank you for sharing your ideas, for asking questions, for holding us accountable and for being part of the largest — and best — organization for journalism teachers and advisers.

JEA Vice President – Valerie Kibler, MJE

Harrisonburg High School
1001 Garbers Church Rd.
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Cell Phone: 540-533-8775
Work Phone: 540-433-2651

The more I get to work with advisers around the country, the more I realize just how important the work done by thousands of JEA volunteers truly is. Now more than ever I’m convinced we all need to pitch in help our colleagues in the trenches who guide scholastic journalists to produce amazing stories every day.

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

  • Participating in monthly Google Hangouts with the board to communicate progress on reaching our goals.
  • Appointing new state directors in Idaho and Michigan. We are lucky to have William Love and Tim Morley on our team. We continue to have active state directors in every state.
  • Organizing and completing five virtual workshops for schools in Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Kentucky and Wyoming.
  • Attending the budget meeting Feb. 1-2 in New Orleans at the Ace Hotel, including a strategic planning session beforehand with Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and work on the 2019 Advisers Institute.
  • Working on the follow-up with First-time Convention Grant recipients from Chicago and prepping recipients for Anaheim.
  • Meeting with NSPA leaders and board members to strengthen our partnership during the national convention in Chicago.
  • Promoting the application process for the 2019 Partner Project and Virtual Workshops.

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

Scholastic Press Rights Director – Lori Keekley, MJE

St. Louis Park High School
6425 W 33rd St.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Cell Phone: 612-636-3103
Work Phone: 952-928-6251

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

SPRC functions by teams with multiple people helping in a variety of areas. There are 27 active SPRC committee members. In addition to the specific items listed below, all SPRC members work with students and advisers who contact us with questions concerning press law and ethics. I often respond privately to those on the listserv.

Blogs: The blog team posts content weekly 11 months of the year. (We take mid June to mid July off.)

Contributors are:

  • John Bowen, MJE – three blogs
  • Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE – five blogs
  • Lindsay Coppens – one blog
  • Cyndi Hyatt – two blogs
  • Lori Keekley, MJE – two blogs
  • Jackie Mink – one blog
  • Kristin Taylor, CJE – two blogs
  • Stan Zoller, MJE – two blogs

Tinker Anniversary Day (led by Tom Gayda, MJE) contributors include John Bowen, MJE, and Lori Keekley, MJE: Tom Gayda, MJE, oversaw these plans and resources including a campaign to thank Mary Beth Tinker for her contribution to scholastic journalism, a podcast, several real-world scenarios and a lesson plan. We also created this resource in honor of the festivities.

Write-offs: Jeff Kocur, CJE, and Vince DeMiero wrote the spring and fall tests (respectively) and judges include Candace Bowen, MJE, John Bowen, MJE, Vince DeMiero, Megan Fromm, MJE, Marina Hendricks, CJE, Lori Keekley, MJE, Tripp Robbins, CJE, and Kathy Schrier, MJE.

Podcasts (led by Mike Simons, MJE, and Kristin Taylor, CJE): The first installment of a series of podcasts titled “Conversations at the schoolhouse gate: The New Voices podcast” began last September and the latest release was for the Tinker anniversary. We will continue to produce these.

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

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

FAPFA Award: I worked with NSPA and Quill & Scroll on the questions for this award. We decided to change some portions and include a separate administrator application for round two, which helped streamline the application. Twelve schools were given the FAPFA distinction.

New Voices (Mark Goodman, John Bowen, MJE, Hilary Devoss, CJE, Chris Evans, Lori Keekley, MJE, Val Kibler, MJE, Kathy Schrier, MJE, Mike Simons, MJE, Sarah Nichols, MJE, John Tagliareni, Stan Zoller, MJE): In addition to leading a summit at the fall convention in Chicago, we continually work to support those working in states on legislation through answering questions, sending encouragement and providing endorsements. We have a lot of representation from the committee through the grassroots state-level efforts. Also, many of these members are also speaking at their state levels concerning press freedom and the need for the bill or education toward the existing legislation.

NCTE outreach: During the NCTE convention in November, I served on a panel about censorship and taught a session on Editorial Writing with Sarah Nichols, MJE. Additionally, I talked to many advisers concerning censorship and JEA membership at the exhibitor’s booth.

Website: John Bowen, MJE, Marina Hendricks, CJE, and I met to update and reorganize jeasprc.org. The site went through several conceptual iterations. We will continue to progress through work on the site.

As always, please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions. I’m always happy to help.

Director, Educational Initiatives – Megan Fromm, MJE

Grand Junction High School
1400 N. 5th St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Cell Phone: 970-640-0609

In the fall, I transitioned back into the high school journalism classroom after teaching at the university level for the last 10 years. I’m thrilled to be back with young student journalists and advising a student newspaper. I’m happy to report the learning curve is both exciting and humbling! Continuing a theme from my last report, my work has been almost entirely focused on the curriculum.

This work includes:

  • Working with curriculum coordinators Shari Adwers, MJE, and Abri Nelson, CJE, to implement the design changes and content modifications we’ve been working on with this year’s curriculum team. This includes:
    • Fully revamped landing pages for each curriculum module to provide more information about each lessons.
    • Continuing to fix broken links and updating examples or lessons as needed.
    • Integrating suggestions for modifications for learners of different levels.
    • Responding to member requests or questions about the curriculum on social media and via email, including navigating lessons and putting resources to use.
  • Judging the law and ethics Write-off in the fall.
  • Attending the board budget meeting and focusing on creating a balanced, goal-centered budget.
  • Checking in with our grantees for the the JEA/NSPA research grant.
  • Participating in monthly board Google Hangouts.
  • Crafting a proposal to teach a session at NAMLE in June with Kelly Glasscock, CJE.
Director-at-large – Laura Negri, CJE

Alief Kerr High School
8150 Howell Sugar Land Rd.
Houston, TX 77083
Work Phone: 281-983-8484 x 27818
Cell Phone: 832-465-9150

Since the last report, I have:

  • Emailed 23 new members with welcome messages and offers to connect with a Link person. Click rate is running about 75 percent for Texas and national members, with only about 20 percent reply rate, often just a “thanks for the email” sort of answer. About 15 percent do not respond, but click on one of the links (curriculum is most popular, followed by convention information.
  • Had no referrals this quarter (very few questions).
  • Sought and won a local grant to provide the Greater Houston Area Journalism Workshop in Fall 2019. Will work to bring TAJE, ATPI and JEA representation together at this event.
  • Attended Chicago convention, including CTE committee meeting.
  • Attended January JEA Board budget meeting in New Orleans.
  • Attended Texas Computer Education Association convention in San Antonio in February, where I attended several sessions on Google apps and on “student voice” — in education technology, this means allowing student choice and self-expression, sometimes literally through the use of audio and video comments and recording; but I think utilizing some of the same terminology when talking about journalism programs could enhance cross-curricular connections and build administrative support.
  • Attended and presented at Association of Texas Photography Instructors Winter Conference in Arlington, Texas. Spoke to several attendees about the benefits of joining JEA as well.
  • Met with Nina Quintina and CTE committee in Chicago and followed up via email to discuss plans for the website.
  • Researched CTE certification requirements and CTE organizations in several states.
  • Spoke with teachers and administrators in Texas (at TCEA) who are interested in how JEA provides certification exams — this could be a potential area of growth if we contact state CTE organizations and promote our on-site testing to schools that pay far more to provide testing on their campuses or who have to transport students to another location to test anyway.
  • Drafted a SMART goal for JEA board for CTE.
Director-at-large – Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, CJE

Columbia High School
469 SW Fighting Tiger Dr.
Lake City, FL 32025
Cell Phone: 904-382-3876

Since the last report, we’ve reached the six-month anniversary of Link.

Link statistics: There are currently 67 veteran JEA volunteers linked to 64 new members.

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

  • Contacting and welcoming 52 new JEA members by phone and email since November.
  • Attending the JEA board meeting at the Chicago convention in November.
  • Attending monthly Google Hangout meetings with JEA Board of Directors.
Director-at-large – Julia Satterthwaite, CJE

Monta Vista High School
21840 McClellan Road
Cupertino, CA 95014
Cell Phone: 248-302-4289
Work Phone: 408-366-7649

My biggest accomplishment (and the most time-consuming) since the fall was taking the hard copy materials from the Mentor Training I attended at Advisers Institute last summer and digitizing them into a course on the Participate platform. I worked carefully with our contact at Participate and have put in many suggestions to help them improve the interface and user functionality in the future.

The final draft of the course will be completed before Anaheim. A small group will pilot the test in May, and the official training will begin in June with the next set of new mentors.

Many thanks to Linda Barrington, MJE, Peggy Gregory, CJE, Patrick Johnson, MJE, Kelly Glasscock, CJE, Sarah Nichols, MJE, and Val Kibler, MJE, for providing files and lots of feedback every step of the way.

Additionally, I have:

  • Participated in monthly Google Hangouts with the board to communicate progress on our goals.
  • Formally mentored individuals through JEA’s Mentor Program.
  • Communicated frequently with Mentor Chair Patrick Johnson, MJE, for support.
  • Reached out to new members and helped them get connected with resources.
  • Matched new members with Link volunteers.
  • Attended the NCTE Conference as an English teacher, but shared about the benefits of JEA with attendees.
  • Attended the JEA budget meeting at the Ace Hotel in New Orleans. Folks who attend this year’s Adviser Institute are in for a real treat.
Awards Committee – Karen Slusher

Eaglecrest High School
5100 S Picadilly St.
Centennial, CO 80015
Work Phone: 720-886-1149
Home Phone:303-817-9221

With the new website, the committee spent time this winter/spring going over the awards descriptions to make sure they are in line with what the expectation of the award has been. We found multiple places where edits needed to be made, some of this due to the shift in when an award deadline is now as opposed to previous years (this happened mostly for Medal of Merit, Rising Star, and Lifetime Achievement). We also ran into multiple questions regarding the Linda S. Puntney Teacher inspiration Award, which we hoped to clarify with these corrections.

Since the last report, the following has taken place:

  • We changed the judging committee for the Yearbook Adviser of the Year award, following recommendations from the four main yearbook companies to have quality representation from people who are familiar with the current expectations of the award. The current committee is made up of Mary Kay Downes, MJE, Casey Nichols, MJE, Renee Burke, MJE, Jamie Ray, and Brenda Field, MJE. I tried to focus on balanced representation from around the country, as well.
  • Yearbook Adviser of the Year was announced for the first time during December instead of during January. The shift allowed for an easier time to work with schools for the announcement, avoiding the potential conflict with finals or with the start of a new semester.
  • We saw a significant number of Lifetime Achievement nominations come in, and the committee is excited to recognize these individuals who have greatly contributed to scholastic journalism.
  • One of the more exciting trends we are seeing is the increase in people who are applying for the Future Administrator Scholarship. While the number is still low, every year sees an increase in applications. The committee works to identify how to break down the scholarship, and we are excited to award the scholarship to Zeb Carabello, who also just received the Rising Star award this past fall.
  • We again announced the spring awards in a timed series (10 a.m. Central) in January.
  • While the committee made edits to the website, we also began to explore changing the Broadcast Adviser of the Year application deadline to March 15. This would apply for the 2020 applications/recognition. Discussion for this will continue during the Awards Committee meeting in Anaheim.
  • March 15 is the current deadline for the Student Impact Award and for the Journalist of the Year application, which could create more cohesion with this award as well.
  • Listed below are all of the edits made to the website awards descriptions. We will continue to revisit these as questions are raised regarding the awards details.

There are 13 members on the Awards Committee.

Website Awards Description Edits: The committee has worked on editing many of the awards descriptions on the website. I have linked all of the award applications below and noted those that received no edits.

For all Applications: We would like to include a place for the nominator to identify him/herself as a CJE or MJE.

Career and Technical Education Committee – Nina Quintana, CJE

Bernalillo High School
148 Spartan Aly
Bernalillo, NM 87004
Cell Phone: 505-450-7246
Work Phone: 505-404-5196

During the 2018 Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Chicago, we launched our certification testing for students and teachers by providing exams through Precision Exams and Certiport platforms. For Precision Exams, we had six students sign up for the broadcast exam and three certified, three signed up for basic digital photography and zero certified. For the Certiport exams, we had 11 signed up for the Photoshop and InDesign exams and 11 passed.

There were some challenges with proctoring the exam for our first time, but those were on the Certiport side and according to Certiport, there have been updates; therefore, my hope is our next exam will run much more smoothly. Additionally, the goal is to see growth in the number of students and teachers taking these exams in order to set JEA up as supportive of CTE initiatives in respective states.

As we look forward to the spring convention in Anaheim, JEA will offer testing times on Saturday morning, based on issues from the fall convention. The Precision Exams will be combined into one testing session and the Certiport Photoshop and InDesign exams will each have their own testing sessions. The option to sign up for the exams is listed when the adviser registers students for the convention.

If a communications program is recognized under the CTE umbrella, participating in certification opportunities will assist in demonstrating the program is highly qualified in the pathway of study. Remember, having opportunities for students to receive industry certification is an important component for CTE recognition. It is important to remember if programs are currently classified as a CTE program or are trying to work into this pathway of study under the CTE umbrella, certifications for both the adviser and students adds to meeting full compliance for the program receiving funds under the Carl D. Perkins grant.

My overarching goal is to continue to move the needle forward for journalism programs to be viewed as CTE pathways of study to assist with funding issues and additional resources for the classroom. Next steps include working on a CTE tab for the JEA website. There have been some issues with finding a web developer to work on this with JEA; however, information has been gathered and we are ready to begin developing this portion of the JEA website. My goal is to have a preview for the board at the spring convention. Additional challenges include gathering information by state as CTE programs are not consistent statewide. Not only do programs vary from school district to school district, they sometimes will vary between schools within the same school district. We have decided to put this information behind the “paywall” as a “members only” option so members may view examples of developed communication pathways of studies as these items are examples of how one school may build a program versus an exemplar of how to build a program pathway.

Finally, at the Anaheim CTE Committee meeting, we will work on developing a session for the fall 2019 convention titled, “I’m Certified! Now What?” This session will work with students on how to build professional resumes and portfolios that include their certifications to market themselves to potential employers and colleges. Continued work on the CTE tab will be based on the availability of a preview of the site. We will also discuss and set our goals for the 2019-2020 year.

Certification Committee – Kim Green, MJE

Ball State University
Department of Journalism
AJ 300 Muncie, IN 47306
Work Phone: 765-285-8900
Cell Phone: 812-525-8502

After the Chicago convention, we were excited to welcome our newest member of the Certification Committee, Amy Sorrell, MJE, who was selected from a group of highly qualified applicants to replace longtime committee member Lizabeth Walsh, MJE. We put her right to work, and she responded like the professional she is!

Sorrell teaches English and advises the award-winning Archer yearbook at Antwerp (Ohio) Local School. Under her guidance, the Archer is self-published. In addition, she is a Google Certified Trainer. She is also on the board of the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) for which she has served on a committee to digitize state contests, including creating digital submission forms and procedures.

She earned her BA in secondary education English with a journalism minor from Indiana University/Purdue University Fort Wayne, and earned her Masters of Teaching and Learning with a focus on technology integration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Her awards include the 2007 JEA Courage in Journalism Award, The 2007 Mary Beth Tinker Award from American University in Washington, D. C., and the 2007 Intellectual Freedom Award from the Indiana Library Federation after her administration cracked down on her newspaper staff for writing an opinion piece advocating tolerance for gay students. Sorrell also serves as a yearbook judge and conference and convention speaker.

In July 2015, she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post and was interviewed on the NPR show The Takeaway regarding the publication of Harper Lee’s book “Go Set a Watchman.”

Sorrell lives in Monroeville, Indiana, with her husband Jon and their three children — Atticus, Iris, and Aleta. She enjoys travelling and hiking, and in the little spare time she has, she reads, sews and bakes.

Welcome, Amy!

  • We tested in Chicago (28 CJE and six MJE candidates) and Virginia (four CJE candidates and 1 MJE candidate) in the fall. We are very grateful for the job Meghan Percival, MJE, did in organizing the exam and for Committee Member Jane Blystone, MJE, for proctoring the exam. We already have several tests lined up for spring and summer, including a recent exam at SIPA (organized by Leslie Dennis and proctored by Jane Blystone, MJE) and exams scheduled at GSSPA at Rutgers (organized by Caryn Demyen, CJE) in early May, Ball State (organized by Kim Green, MJE) in June, Walsworth’s Summer Academy (organized by Kris Mateski) in Kansas City and JEA Advisers Institute in July. Interested candidates should keep checking the test calendar at jea.org as more summer sites will most likely be added.
  • We will be testing 16 CJE candidates and three MJE candidates in Anaheim.
  • We will recognize 42 new CJEs, 56 CJE renewals, five new MJEs and 13 MJE renewals in Anaheim at Saturday’s luncheon.
  • We are looking forward to our retreat as we will be busy analyzing data from both versions of the CJE exam and look at areas for improvement, update our “Get Certified!” PowerPoints to align with the JEA Curriculum and examine MJE exam updates.
  • As always, we couldn’t do what we do without Pam Boller, our JEA Headquarters Certification partner who supports us, our CJEs and MJEs and our candidates. Thank you, Pam!
Contest Committee – Nancy Smith, MJE

Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63011
Work Phone: 636-733-4118
Cell Phone: 314-704-1242


1) Write-off Contests: We had 2,033 contestants for the Chicago Fall 2018 (32 percent of convention attendance). We examined numbers in individual contests and eliminated Broadcast Commentary and combined Broadcast Sports Story and Broadcast Feature Story. We always need to consider our members, but also space at the convention sites for contests as well as judging resources. Our participation is steady, averaging 34 percent each convention.

2) Partnership with Scholastic Journalism Week and Scholastic Press Rights Committee: The Graphic Design Logo and Advertising contests are now partnering with the Scholastic Journalism Week team and Scholastic Press Rights Committee incorporating the SJW logo/ad contest and Constitution Day activities with the Write-offs in the fall and spring respectively.

3) Updates to writeoffs.jea.org: In Anaheim, JEA is ready to begin some testing of the updated system. We have booked a room and secured computers to stage that testing on Saturday morning. Kate Dubiel will be at the convention to run the test. We have gathered a group of advisers to test the submission and registration system and volunteer judges to help test the judging and critiquing aspects. They will provide feedback on the system which Kate will then use to update the system and fix bugs in the weeks after the convention. Next, the Write-off team will meet in Kansas City this summer June 28-30 to test and finalize the new system with the goal of full implementation at the Washington D.C. convention.

4) National Journalism Quiz Bowl: We had 43 registered teams in Chicago and Walnut Hills High School took the top prize. For the Anaheim convention, we are moving the seeding test on Friday morning to an online test using the JEA Canvas account. This will allow for faster/easier scoring. On Saturday morning, rounds 1, 2, 3 ot the live buzzer event will change to a best of 10 rather than first to 10 to ensure we can complete the contest in time. The final round will be a best of 20. Allie Staub has also designed a special logo for the National Journalism Quiz Bowl and special certificates which will be presented to all the students/teams that advance to the buzzer rounds. In addition, all students entered in the NJQB will now have special ribbons identifying them as participants to wear on their convention badges. We hope this will help to draw attention to the event and continue to increase numbers.

5) Jr. High/Middle School Contest: There were 394 entries in the Spring 2018 contest, up from 330 entries in Spring 2017. This contest continues to grow each spring as word gets out to our junior high and middle school members. 2019 contest dates are as follows: Registration opens April 1 with materials due April 17 at 7 p.m. E.T.  The judging will wrap shortly after and winners will be announced early May.

6) Upcoming Write-off Contest Deadlines
Fall 2019 Washington D.C. Nov. 21-24

  • Write-off Registration Opens / Prompts Available: Sept. 24
  • Write-off Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: Oct. 30
  • Critiques due from judges Nov. 15

Spring 2020 Nashville (April 16-18)

  • Write-off Registration Opens / Prompts Available: Feb. 11
  • Write-off Registration Closes/Online Submissions Due: March 18
  • Critiques due from judges: April 8
Digital Media Committee – Aaron Manfull, MJE

2549 Hackman Rd.
Saint Charles, MO 63303
Work Phone: 636-851-5107

Membership: There are 32 members on the Digital Media Committee.

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 10 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,294 posts published (roughly 3 per week), 718,546 visits, and 1,267,364 pageviews.  Nineteen different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Members were notified in the fall of 2016 to remain on the committee, they would need to contribute at least one thing to the site during the 12-month period ending Sept. 13. Six committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past six months or because they work with other parts of the site. They are:


  • Aaron Manfull, MJE – 30
  • Michelle Balmeo, MJE – 7
  • Patrick Johnson, MJE – 5
  • Mark Webber – 5
  • Jonathan Rogers, MJE – 4
  • Sarah Nichols, MJE – 3

Also contributing to the site during the time period were Jason Block, CJE, Amanda Bright, MJE, Judah Brody, Kathryn Campbell, CJE, Don Goble, Courtney Hanks, CJE, Kyle Phillips, CJE, Matt Rasgorshek, Kristy Roschke, MJE, Jim Streisel, MJE, Julie Tiedens, Michelle Turner, and Chris Waugaman, 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 six months:

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

The team is still working to update guides, expand guide offerings and maintain weekly posting schedules.

As a reminder, Aaron Manfull, MJE, worked to create an advertising structure for JEADigitalMedia.org. Information on advertising on the site can be found here. School Newspapers Online has purchased the main widget area for another year. We also have a rotating ad area within posts and pages where we will work to push to summer journalism workshops and other advertisers as well. We currently have two summer camps that have purchased space.

We will discuss our goals at our committee meeting in Anaheim that Jim Streisel, MJE, will be leading, 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.

One thing I have started is creating posts surrounding Adobe product tutorials. I will be building a guide on the site in the coming weeks for programs like Adobe Premiere and After Effects and continue to curate and create resources for the Guide.

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:

Journalist of the Year – Rebecca Pollard, MJE

Lovejoy High School
2350 Estates Parkway
Lucas, TX 75002
Home Phone: 972-523-0384

The 2019 Journalist of the Year contest is underway with 36 state winners. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround to the judges, as each state director coordinated the state winner.

The national JOY committee has been set with a panel of 39. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents.

I have been working through implementing feedback from the 2018 contest. The third meet-and-greet at the 2019 spring convention will be a luncheon hosted by JEA for the national JOY candidates. This is an opportunity for these students to network about the contest, their present or their futures. When we arrive for this event, these journalists immediately do what comes natural to them, they ask all sorts of questions to each other and swap contact information. The added bonus will be a luncheon at the hotel restaurant. Thank you to Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and the board for providing the funding to allow the meet-and-greet as something even more special to celebrate the accomplishments of these journalists.

We now have the opportunity for those who can’t make it to the spring convention to feel like they are, as we are broadcasting the results of this competition on Facebook Live from the Journalism Education Association page. Please make sure you have marked this in your calendar or on the convention app so you don’t miss it. We will recognize the state winners in Anaheim April 25 at 7 p.m., and the national runners-up and winner April 27 at 3:30 p.m.

After the 2019 contest is complete, I will reach out to national contestants and committee members to seek feedback. I also welcome state director feedback.

I would like to thank Evelyn Lauer, MJE, for her help posting the state winner shoutouts on Instagram in March/April. I also would like to thank Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her constant attention to detail on processing contest entries and fielding JOY-related questions from all members. And a special thank you goes to Christine Zhao, the 2018 winner, for traveling to Chicago for the fall convention to speak at the opening ceremony and to co-present a session with me to help current juniors and seniors who were interested in applying for this year’s contest.

Mentoring Committee – Patrick Johnson, MJE

Antioch Community High School
1133 Main St.
Antioch, IL 60002
Work Phone: 847-395-1421

As of March 15, there are 155 mentees.

Events: We will host our final mentor forum at the upcoming Anaheim convention. There mentors will gather together to discuss current issues facing mentoring; learn from sessions about technology, time management, mentee relationships, and more; and develop strategies to improve mentee communication, mentee recruitment, and mentee retention. Moving forward, the mentor forum will become a two-hour program for mentors and mentees with lunch included as a combined professional development experience, which will provide the opportunity for relationship-building and in-person dialogue as they learn together.

Mentor training will now be completely digital using the Participate platform and will occur three times a year.

For the Board: Since the last Mentoring Program semiannual report was submitted, I’ve been working on the following projects:

  • Digital Mentor Training—I worked with Julia to create digital training for the mentor program and supported her in the program’s development and execution through Participate.
  • Google Migration—The Mentor Program helped to pilot JEA’s transition to a Google Suite, which meant transferring all of our files from a number of places to a Google Team Drive, assigning mentors Google emails, and providing feedback and assistance with mentors transitioning to the entire Google Suite for their filing, reporting, and mentee support.
  • End-of-semester Reports—Mentors continued digital submission of their end-of-semester reports. While there were a few hiccups with submission, this process is proving to be a successful one. For the fall 2018 semester reports, we are hoping to collect more anecdotal evidence than we received in the previous school year’s reports.
  • Yellow Chair grant goal updates to reinforce what we’ve done as a mentor program and what we plan to do in the future. I worked with Yellow Chair to realign our goals and outcomes to meet the change in philosophy the program is taking.
  • Reporting and requests—I worked to create a stronger tracking system for when mentees request a mentor and how long it takes to fill the request. I also created forms to add to the JEA website for requesting a mentor and becoming a mentor.
  • Increasing mentors and mentees participating in the program.

Based on a full evaluation in the year I’ve served as chair of the Mentor Program, which has been so generously and graciously supported by the Yellow Chair Foundation, the JEA Board and I believe the program must focus more on the mentees’ experiences, rather than the outcomes of the mentors. The following philosophical and structural changes are outlined in the best way possible to align with the program’s outcomes/goals and those submitted to Yellow Chair for our funding support. The changes our organization has put in place shift the program significantly to emphasize the mentee experience and offer more support from teacher to teacher to keep our mentees in the classroom. We have crafted the mentoring budget to shift expenses to bringing mentees to the National High School Journalism Convention in the form of convention grants. Additionally, the following changes occurred with this new philosophical shift:

  • Mentor training will move to an online platform utilizing a course management system. This has already been developed and will be implemented for the first time this summer. Training will occur three times a year and will be facilitated by the Mentor Program chair. This will cut down transportation and lodging costs we’ve had in the past; however, this money was reallocated to support mentees.
  • Mentees will receive three years in the program; previously they were only allowed two years. The first year will be significantly more one-on-one experiences and mentorship from an assigned mentor. The second year will be when mentees can apply for a convention grant, created from reallocated funds (both JEA and Yellow Chair), which will pay for two nights in the hotel and transportation. We believe this second year opportunity shows buy in, as well as a chance for the mentees to present at a convention and judge at the national level. We also believe this will create a more collaborative culture with the entire journalism PLC that is present, as well as assist the mentees in their ownership of their journalism knowledge, media program, and confidence. The third year will focus on completing a new badging program that is being creating to prepare the mentees to take the CJE exam, thus reinforcing their readiness for the next steps in their careers.
  • Mentors will no longer receive a stipend, and we will be repurposing the mentor forum. The reallocation of funds for stipends means we also lose funding from the scholastic press associations; however, the funds will be shifted substantially to the mentees’ experiences and opportunities. For example, we are intending to provide financial support to up to 92 mentees next school year through these new convention grants.
Scholastic Journalism Week Committee – Adam Dawkins, CJE

Regis Jesuit High School
6400 S Lewiston Way
Aurora, CO 80016
Work Phone: 303-269-8000

The 2019 Scholastic Journalism Week “Dedicated to Our Communities” ran the week of Feb. 17-24 on the @ScholasticJWeek Twitter account and on the National JEA Facebook page.

Participation and engagement on Twitter and Facebook increased again this year. We featured 19 schools in our daily themed hashtag spotlight series on both platforms and honored for them their work. The themes, copied below, were capped by the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Tinker vs Des Moines #Tinkerversary Feb. 24 and the Scholastic J Week Twitter account was involved in some national attention from PBS, the Newseum, Mary Beth Tinker and more.

We partnered with the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board and the students helped design the daily themes, they encouraged member schools to apply to be our featured schools, and they ran the Quill and Scroll Twitter and Instagram accounts during the week to help increase engagement across platforms taking cues from the Scholastic J Week Twitter posts. The partnership was successful and resulted in added engagement and awareness. Thank you to Jeff Browne and the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board! Special thanks to advisory board members Emily Fey, Emily Hood, and Emily Runge.

This year we also partnered for the first time with Nancy Smith, MJE, to run our SJW design contest as a Write-off design contest. This was a successful partnership and we were very happy with our winning entry by Yoo Young Chun from Naperville Central High School in Illinois. There were a few kinks with timing and communication on the contest we need to iron out for next year, but we definitely want to continue this partnership.

Scholastic Journalism Week 2019

  • Sunday, Feb. 17 —  #SJW2019
  • Monday, Feb. 18 — #MyCommunityMonday
  • Tuesday, Feb. 19 — #RealNews
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20 — #EverydayJournalism
  • Thursday, Feb. 21 — #SavingDemocracy
  • Friday, Feb. 22 — #NewVoices #studentvoice
  • Sat, Feb. 23 and Sun, Feb 24 -#Tinkerversary
Professional Outreach Committee – Jonathan Rogers, MJE

1900 Morningside Dr.
Iowa City, IA 52245
Work Phone: 319-855-2559

Outreach Overview: Since my last report, I’ve been involved with the following:

Action items or things to consider:

  • The great resolutions by NCTE – How NCTE uses NCTEGRAM to send positive messages to teachers.
  • More connections with Adobe and their resources for teachers using Adobe apps and Spark.

For the Board: This past fall, JEA attended the NCTE convention with a presence to support their theme Raising Student Voice. The convention was inspiring, especially NCTE’s branding and mission to empower teachers and students. Their opening keynotes were stunning and ranged from hip hop educators to best-selling authors.  

With the help of Sarah Nichols and many others, I think JEA’s relationship with NCTE is growing and stronger than ever. This next year, however, the JEA convention is at the same time as the NCTE convention. Sarah and I discussed the possibility of attending both, but didn’t think it would be possible.  We also discussed whether it would be worth it for JEA to continue to have a booth at the conference. Presenting sessions seemed to have the most bang for the buck for JEA’s presence at the convention. I have worked hard to try and develop the booth over the past few years, but agree it may be time to call it quits on the booth.  

The JEA-Flipboard magazine is going strong with over 5,000 followers and 186 student stories published. This showcase is invaluable to me when spreading the word about the great work high school journalists are doing at conferences and on social media. I have changed the name to the JEA WIRE magazine in an effort to switch from it being a contest to get into the magazine to showcasing student work which has already won awards. There is enough award-winning work out there in the scholastic journalism community that I believe the magazine is best served by putting the award-winning work in one place. Jeffrey Browne from Quill and Scroll has offered to help me curate the award winners. I will also be putting in the JOY award winning portfolios this spring.

My mission for this year is to share the resources I am finding through NCTE and Adobe and all the other organizations I am connecting with. I have published one blog already this year on JEADigitalMedia showcasing the resources I have learned about through outreach.

My work with Adobe continues and I am learning more each week about their organizations and the great resources.  It started at SXSWEdu last year when I snuck my way into the Adobe dinner with new connections I made after my media literacy session. At the dinner, we discussed how JEA and Adobe could work together. They were beginning a project on digital storytelling. The Adobe Spark digital stories created by students were showcased at my presentation at the JEA conference in Chicago, and possibly will be used at ISTE with a media literacy presentation. I also applied and was accepted into the Adobe Education Leaders (AEL) community. The community is new to me, but I do have the opportunity to go to two international gatherings and connect in their online space.

Those are the major fronts for my professional outreach.  As always, send me links to resources or outreach opportunities that come up throughout the year. My action items for the board would be to look at resolutions and NCTEGRAM posts as inspiration for how JEA can send even more positive statements out into the education world that helps support journalism education teachers.  

Publications/Public Relations – Evelyn Lauer, MJE

Niles West High School
5701 W. Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077
Work Phone: 847-626-2592

Since my last report as the Publications/Public Relations chair, I continue to work on the following responsibilities and initiatives.

Social Media: I update JEA’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram daily to a few times a week, depending on the platform and news cycle. Social media managing, scheduling, posting and interacting takes up most of my time. Since my last report, I have covered/worked on the following social media posts:

  • NSPA/JEA in Chicago: I covered the entire #NHSJC via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but mostly via Instagram Story as a Live Event.
  • #TeacherTakeover: This is a series on Instagram I launched over the summer. It continues to run every Tuesday on Instagram Story. A new adviser highlights their publication classrooms each Tuesday, focusing on teaching and learning. If you are interested in participating, email me at evelau@d219.org. This series will continue until the end of May.
  • SJW: Helped the @ScholasticJWeek account promote and celebrate SJW 2019.
  • Award announcements and deadlines: Fall and Spring awards
  • JOY: Journalist of the Year state winner announced on Instagram
  • Write The World: JEA continued its partnership with Write the World on its Op-Ed Competition. Promotional posts went live throughout March.
  • Partner Project/Virtual Workshop: Promotional posts went live throughout March.
  • Promotion for Spring Convention in Anaheim and Adviser Institute in New Orleans.
  • General breaking news such as New Voices votes and convention contracts.

Since June, @nationalJEA (Twitter) has gained 760 new followers, and @journalismeducation (Instagram) has gained 468 new followers.

One Book: The 2018-2019 One Book is “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. I will be presenting a session at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim called “Fiction as inspiration: ‘The Hate U Give.’” My session will examine how Starr’s story can inspire student journalists to cover challenging topics that spark change in their communities. This session will take place April 27 at 11 a.m. in Santa Monica, 4th Fl. I will be announcing the 2019-2020 One Book in May.

Scholastic Journalism Week: Please see SJW Chair Adam Dawkins, CJE, report on SJW 2019. I secured 26 judges for the SPJ essay contest. I will also serve as a final judge with Dawkins and JEA Director Kelly Glasscock.

Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today – Bradley Wilson, MJE
3410 Taft Blvd.
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099
Home Phone: 919-264-6768
Work Phone: 940-397-4797
After the summer issue was complete, Howard Spanogle retired as assistant editor of the magazine. Howard has helped make the magazine better for 21 years. Just look at some of the numbers. Howard worked on 77 issues of the magazine, from the summer of 2000 until the summer of 2019. That included issues ranging in size from 32-72 pages and averaging 41 pages — or 3,148 pages total. He worked with 1,271 contributors on 652 story packages through three different executive directors and five presidents.

Over the years, Howard — and his wife Juanita — have contributed not only to the magazine but to the profession. Howard as a scholastic media adviser in Illinois (21 years at Glenbard East) and Texas. He won the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, the Carl Towley Award in 1993 and the Medal of Merit in 1983. He has also received NSPA’s Pioneer Award. In the late 1980s, Howard and his students published a series of three books “Voices of Hope,” in which teenagers present more of their views on such topics as drugs, sex, suicide, and homosexuality and consider solutions to some of the conflicts that divide the youth of that time period.

Introduction: Well, it’s been another successful, 52nd, year for the magazine — Communication: Journalism Education Today. All four issues came out early or on time.

Membership: This year, we finally got a dedicated area of the website back. We haven’t had one for about a decade, since the national office took over maintenance of the website. Although it’s buried pretty deep and hard to find, accessible only from one link on the magazine’s page, we are putting a lot of useful information on the site.

In particular this year, at the request of some members, we put the entire covering suicide package online with dozens of links. We’re also putting the answer keys to quizzes on the site. This summer, I plan to put a guide to journalism movies on the site, as this is one of the most-often-requested pieces of information from past issues of the magazine and on the JEAHELP email distribution list.

We’ve also increased the social media presence of the magazine using my personal account. This year, every single advertiser got two Twitter posts every time they advertised. For the summer issues, this means 41 Twitter posts scheduled between April 1 and June 13. I also scheduled posts to promote the content. That meant 28 posts for the summer issue. This takes a considerable amount of time, but I do believe it increases the visibility of the magazine. I wish it were from an official JEA account. I’ve considered making a CJET Twitter account, but that would be one more thing to maintain. The feedback from the advertisers has been VERY positive.

Events: Two issues this semester.

Spring, 40 pages


  • Cover photo by Kathleen Bock, Glenbrook South High School (Glenview, Illinois), Brenda Field, MJE, adviser
  • The Portable Document Format: Toward a paperless society | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
  • Pearltrees | By Rebecca Pollard, MJE
  • It’s Coral
  • The Guardians
  • Hometown coverage | By Kyle Carter, CJE
  • Fact-Checking | By Diana Burban
  • Word of the Year
  • Rubicon Online | St. Paul Academy and Summit School (Minnesota)
  • The Roundup | Brophy College Prep (Phoenix)
  • Other contributors: Kathryn Gomez, Niles North High School (Skokie, Illinois); Renee Scott, adviser; Regina Waugh, Derby High School (Kansas); Joanna Chadwick, adviser; and Tom Woodward, associate director of learning innovation, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia)

Advertisers: $4,524.75 ($640 outstanding)

  • Alabama Scholastic Press Association
  • ArchiveInABox
  • Balfour Yearbook
  • BetterBNC
  • Boston University New England Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • EduLaunch
  • InsideClimate News
  • Jayhawk Media Workshop at the University of Kansas KSPA
  • Jostens Yearbooks
  • Journalism Education Association
  • JS Printing, Inc.
  • Kent State University
  • Media Now STL
  • Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism
  • Missouri School of Journalism Workshops
  • Newseum Institute / Freedom Forum
  • Newsroom by the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites

Summer, 40 pages


  • Lessons learned at Advisers Institute
    • The recipient of the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award says that what we teach matters. | By Brenda Gorsuch, MJE
    • Adam Dawkins taught a class on how he instructs students to do a little of everything. | By Jill Cavotta
    • Getting all the right video involves following basic rules according to Justin Raisner. | By Erin Burden
    • The Magic Rubric is a solution to the grading dilemma according to Sandra Coyer, MJE. | By Jill Cavotta
    • Sarah Nichols gives tips about how to use time wisely in a publications classroom. | By Keri Kemble, CJE
  • Stylebook updates | By Bradley Wilson, MJE
    • Word search
    • Fill-in-the-blank exercise
  • Bokeh | A Q&A with Jessica Stamp
  • Quiz
  • Something New | By Michelle Balmeo, MJE
  • The Echo | Grand Blanc Community School (Michigan) | Yearbook illustrates modern design.
  • Favorite Teacher | In this assignment, students first write about then photograph their favorite teacher. | By Jeff Grimm
  • Paper Plate | This assignment is a great icebreaker for a new staff or during deadline stress. | By Jeff Grimm
  • Other contributors: Ryan Ash, Edwardsville High School (Illinois), Amanda Thrun, adviser; Raquelle Bennett, Robert G. Cole High School (San Antonio), Brenda Marafioto, adviser; Aubrey Bolinger, Pittsburg High School (Kansas), Emily Smith, CJE, adviser; Jill Cavotta, Portola High School (Irvine, California); Ella Ho Ching, Whitney High School (Rocklin, California), Sarah Nichols, MJE, adviser; Abby Mueller, Nolan Catholic High School (Fort Worth, Texas), Alex Mechalske, adviser; Adam Purvis, Whitney High School (Rocklin, California), Sarah Nichols, MJE, adviser; Cady Russell, Dripping Springs High School (Texas), Jessica Stamp, adviser; Rumi Salt, Westlake High School (Texas), Alison Strelitz, adviser; Sarah Sinclair, Andover High School (Kansas), Cary Conover, adviser;  Jessica Stamp, Dripping Springs High School (Texas); Angelina Viltierra, Dripping Springs High School (Texas), Jessica Stamp, adviser

Advertisers: $4,722.25 ($300 outstanding)

  • Alabama Scholastic Press Association
  • ArchiveInABox
  • Association of Texas Photography Instructors
  • Balfour Yearbook
  • BetterBNC
  • Boston University New England Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association
  • Education Unlimited
  • Indiana University High School Journalism Institute
  • Institute for Environmental Journalism Inside Climate News
  • Jayhawk Media Workshop University of Kansas KSPA
  • Jostens Yearbooks
  • Journalism Education Association
  • Kent State University
  • Media Now ST
  • Newsroom By the Bay
  • School Paper Express
  • SNO Sites
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa Journalism & Mass Communication

Advertising goal: $16,000

Advertising owed: $14,871.50

Outstanding: $940

Awards and honors: I’m really not sure how this applies to the magazine, but I would like to recognize Howard Spanogle, Connie Fulkerson and Pam Boller for all their work this year. It’s really great to have people who will, professionally and respectfully, challenge even the smallest thing in the interest of making the magazine better.

For the board: The workload of the magazine doesn’t go down. So, if you want to contribute, now is the time. Don’t put it off. I’m not sure what we would have done without all the copy generated at last summer’s Advisers Institute. That sure has turned into a win-win-win. A win for the adviser who gets a contribution in a national magazine to put on their resume and LinkedIn profile. A win for the magazine that gets some quality content. And a win for JEA and the Advisers Institute that gets wider distribution of the quality instruction that takes place there. Having taught at the very first Advisers Institute at K-State, it’s nice to see how this workshop has grown.

In addition to producing the magazine, and generating what seems like more and more copy in-house, we have all the challenges of dealing with advertisers, printing certificates and mailing labels for every contributor, managing social media, maintaining the website and maintaining a database of contributors.

Starting next year, we’re going to modify our workflow a bit to facilitate editing of copy, using Google Docs from initial submissions to final editing. At the very least, this should allow us, as a team, to stay up to date on the progress of copy and to avoid losing files. We’ve been using Google Spreadsheets for advertising and Google Docs for story idea progress for quite some time.

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

Membership: As of February, we have 33 international JEA members, compared with 30 international members from last spring. China remains our most heavy membership non-U.S. country, with nine members. Canada has six members. The Philippines has four.

For the board: International outreach continues in fits and starts. The most promising new conversations that have sprung up have been with School of Journalism and Mass Communication for Auro University in Surat, India, which is hoping to expand its outreach and recruiting efforts to area high schools and might be looking to JEA for support and guidance.

Frustratingly, it was a goal to have at least one international student apply for the Journalist of the Year competition, and that didn’t happen this year. It might be necessary to rethink or reimagine marketing efforts for next year to make sure international students have the time and direction to develop their portfolios.

Awards and honors: Congratulations to The Standard, of the American School in London (Shannon Miller, adviser), which was inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame in Chicago in November.

Alabama – Susan Newell, MJE

1150 Valley Forge Road
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
Cell Phone: 205-454-9394

Membership: Alabama has 19 JEA members. JEA membership is encouraged at Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) workshops and conferences, at Troy University’s J Day, in emails, on Facebook and by word of mouth. JEA membership has tremendous benefits. “When I began advising publications over 30 years ago, I became active in scholastic press associations. Almost everything I learned about advising came from attending their events. Advisers become active in your state (ASPA), regional (SIPA) and national organizations (JEA/NSPA & CSPA). In this way your students can best be prepared for college, a profession and for publishing quality publications.” JEA provides members access to curriculum and lesson plans. JEA members can be a part of an email listserv where specific questions can be asked. Twice a year JEA partners with National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) to offer conventions that offer extensive training to advisers and students. JEA has certification for teachers and awards for teachers and students.

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) coordinate their conferences. Check out ASPA events hereASPA is also on Facebook and Twitter. Find SIPA events online. SIPA convention is in early March. Alabama provides mentoring for new advisers.

Upcoming ASPA events:

  • April 1:  Deadline for Multicultural Journalism Workshop
  • June 7-15:  The University of Alabama’s annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop.
  • June 7-9:  The Long Weekend summer camp on the University of Alabama campus.
  • Sept.: ASPA Fall Regional Workshops.
  • Sept. 16: Mobile ASPA workshop
  • Sept. 18:  Tuscaloosa ASPA workshop, Bryant Conference Center, The University of Alabama campus
  • Sept. 20:  Huntsville ASPA workshop
  • Dec. 15:  ASPA Critique deadlines
  • Feb. 7-8: ASPA State Convention, Ferguson Student Center, The University of Alabama campus
  • ASPA’s 2019 state convention hosted 298 students and 31 teachers from 18 different schools. A record 43 sessions were offered.
  • Troy University holds J-Day each fall. Registration begins in August.

Awards and honors:

  • Jacob Whitlock from Sparkman High School won Alabama’s Journalist of the Year. Jacob also won the Rick Bragg Award for Feature Writing.
  • Ben Fu of Mountain Brook High School won the Bailey Thomson Award for Editorial Writing, and Ashley Ryan of Thompson High School won the Alabama Broadcasters Association Award.
  • The second Alex House Journalism Sustainability Award went to six students from Clay Chalkville High School. House is a former high school editor from Northridge High School who now heads communication for the city of Tuscaloosa.
  • The Susie Dement Adviser of the Year Award went to Brooke Dennis at Thompson High School.
  • Clay-Chalkville HIgh School principal Michael Lee won the Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year award.
  • Other ASPA awards are on Facebook and the ASPA website.
Alaska – Chad Eichenlaub

Unalaska City High School
PO Box 570
Unalaska, AK 99685
Work Phone: 907-581-1222
Cell Phone: 907-359-1340

Membership: Alaska currently has two JEA members.  I am continuing efforts to reach out to journalism teachers and CTE teachers throughout the state.

Arizona – Christine Brandell

Paradise Valley High School
3950 E Bell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Work Phone: 602-449-7000

Membership: Arizona currently has 43 members in JEA. In reviewing the membership report, not all members and/or board members of Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) are members of JEA. As the state organization, AIPA recommends and supports new advisers becoming members of JEA and AIPA. Having two JEA mentors in our state allows for one-to-one communication with advisers who have a tendency to become more active at the state level as well as at the national level. The membership goal for the 2018-19 academic year would be to not only increase membership in JEA, but to encourage membership in both AIPA and JEA.

The AIPA Board continues to discuss membership in both AIPA and JEA as the two organizations work hand in hand to support scholastic journalism in Arizona as well as the United States. AIPA is currently trying out Wild Apricot to more efficiently manage state membership.

Events: The Fall Convention for AIPA was held at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union in Tempe Nov. 6, 2018. Steve Irvin of ABC15 was the keynote speaker. Attendance was over 600 students and advisers. Breakout sessions were offered in the morning with the keynote address and awards after lunch.

Nominations for the state adviser awards are taking place in March with voting to take place in April.

Nominations for the AIPA positions of President, Treasurer, Fall Convention Coordinator, Summer Workshop Director, and two Members-at-Large are taking place in March with voting to take place in April. Current terms end June 30, 2019. In 2020, AIPA will be seeking nominations for Vice President, Recording Secretary, Communications Director, In-Service Coordinator, and three Members-at-Large. These positions are staggered two-year terms to keep continuity on the board.

May 2, 2019 will be the Adviser Reception for Arizona. The location is still to be determined.

The final board meeting of the school year for AIPA will be May 2, 2019 prior to the Adviser Reception.

Recognition: Julianna Head of Red Mountain High School, Mesa Arizona is the recipient of the 2019 AIPA Dave Cosgrove Memorial Scholarship and the Journalist of the Year entry for Arizona. Her adviser is Amanda Cline who advises Roar News Magazine.

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

Visit the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA)website www.azaipa.org.

Arkansas – Justin Turner

1013 Shobe Road
Bryant, AR 72022
Cell Phone: 501-838-0354

Membership: Arkansas currently has 47 JEA members. We’ve had quite a drop in membership.  I have personally emailed members who dropped to try to boost our numbers. I attribute this drop to our state organization no longer including JEA membership as an option on its membership form.  Many teachers simply do not go through the trouble of having two purchase orders made. I am going to meet with our state level organization at our spring convention in April to rectify this.

Major Developments: As you may remember, the Arkansas Department of Education removed journalism from our state required offerings list.  In February, I, and several others, testified at an Arkansas House of Representatives education committee meeting in support of a law that would place journalism back on that list.  Unfortunately, it did not pass.

We also testified in support of an update to the Arkansas Student Publications Act to provide adviser protections and strengthen student protections.  While that law also did not get out of committee, we learned valuable information and the bill’s sponsor intends to bring a revised version back for another vote.  

Lastly, while conducting our journalist of the year competition, I also instituted an All-State Journalism Team.  The top four JOY entrants have been named All-State Journalists and will be honored at our state convention in April.  I’ve also partnered with Josten’s to provide each member with an All-State lapel pin.

Arkansas State Press Association News:. I attended the board’s convention planning meeting in January. At that meeting, we attempted to align our state level competitions with JEA’s competitions.  

Our annual conference will be April 18-19, 2019 at the NWA Convention Center in Springdale, Arkansas.

Outreach: I’ve compiled a list of all Arkansas JEA members’ email addresses. I’ve sent an email to our membership each month. That email has highlighted services JEA offers as well as other journalism information. As our deadlines have heated up, the student aide compiling a list of journalism teachers who are not JEA members has stalled a bit. The process is slow going as many schools are less than forthcoming with the information; however, I will begin emailing them once that list is complete.

For the Board: Recently, my school has decided my students can only attend the national JEA/NSPA conference once every three years. They allow students to attend the national FBLA conference every year. The difference is that FBLA students must qualify at the state level before being able to compete at the national level, so the district views the FBLA conference as a greater honor.

My district is not alone in this logic. I would like to recommend ONE competition be held at each convention in which only schools that have won their state’s respective top award can compete. While I understand the benefits and honor of ANY award won at JEA/NSPA, not all school district administrations do. I believe it’s a small change that could benefit a lot of students.

California – Danielle Ryan, MJE

Carlsbad High School
3557 Lancer Way
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Home Phone: 858-349-3451

Membership: California currently has 302 JEA members There are two major regional branches- JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California).  Orange County and the Inland Empire have smaller sub groups for the SCJEA regional branch. San Diego recently dissolved their chapter and donated all remaining funds to JEANC per the state rules of donating to a non-profit organization. SDJEA officers will continue to support San Diego advisers, but work more closely under the SoCal JEA umbrella.


Annual Contest JEANC is currently accepting entries for their publication contest that recognizes excellence in over 50 publication categories. The deadline for submission is April 15.

Logo Contest JEANC has invited students to submit entries to redesign the JEANC logo. The contest will end March 31.

Governor Visit Governor Gavin Newsom visited the journalism students at Palo Alto High School Feb. 21 and participated in a Q&A session about current issues facing California.

New President Rod Satterthwaite, MJE, from Palo Alto High School is currently serving as president-elect and will be taking over at the end of Brian Wilson’s term as JEANC President.


JEA/NSPA Spring Convention 2019 Welcome to Anaheim. The committee has worked nearly two years to prepare the Spring convention for you. Lacey Hatfield chaired the committee and has done a great job ensuring all assignments are complete. We hope you have a great time visiting Southern California.

Southern California Write-offs Write-offs were held across Southern California through the beginning of March to qualify students to attend the competition for all of Southern California. The So Cal Finals were held March 16, and 270 students and their advisers from 27 schools participated at Long Beach City College. In addition to Write-offs, SCJEA held a board meeting at the event as well as interviewed students for the Jolene Combs Memorial Scholarship

California All Stars Competition SCJEA members from 18 schools submitted their students’ best work to the All Star competition. SCJEA offers a range of categories from news to yearbook to photography to broadcast.

Awards and Honors

JOY: Five advisers judged five JOY portfolios: four from JEANC and one from SCJEA.  Ashley Hitchings from Palo Alto High School (adviser Paul Kandell) won the state competition and will represent California in the national JOY competition. We saw a significant decline in JOY applicants this year and will be working to increase participation next year.

JEA Lifetime Achievement Awards: Five advisers from California will be honored in Anaheim with the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award: Dan Austin, Jim Jordan, Konnie Krislock, Crystal Kazmierski and Casey Nichols, MJE.

First Amendment Press Freedom Awards: Five schools from California have earned the 2019 Press Freedom Award:

  • The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
  • Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco
  • Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay
  • Monta Vista High School, Cupertino
  • Whitney High School, Rocklin

NSPA Pacemaker Awards: 23 California schools are Pacemaker finalists for the awards that will be presented in Anaheim. There are 13 schools who are Online Pacemaker finalists, one school who is a Magazine finalist and nine schools who are Yearbook finalists.

Dow Jones Distinguished Newspaper Adviser: Julia Satterthwaite,CJE, from Monta Vista High School was named one of four National Distinguished Journalism Teachers by CSPA and Dow Jones News Fund, Inc.

Teachers of the Year: In San Diego, Nicole Miller from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos was named Teacher of the Year. Danielle Ryan, MJE, from Carlsbad High School was named Carlsbad Unified Teacher of the Year.

Colorado – Kristi Rathbun, MJE

Rock Canyon High School
5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO 80124
Work Phone: 303-387-3000

Membership: Colorado has 94 current members of JEA. Membership often increases in the spring as our individual contest deadlines are coming up in April and publication critique] deadlines are in June.

Events: CSMA has continued opportunities for students and advisers so far this spring, beginning with the advisers Winter Thaw conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder Feb. 2. Director of partnerships at the News Literacy Project Damaso Reyes led the professional development day for close to 60 participants. Check out the link here to see additional speakers and resources from the event.

Because of construction/restoration on the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado State Capitol, the annual CSMA Capitol Hill Press Conference was cancelled for this year.

CSMA’s Summer Adviser Workshop and the Rethink workshop will be June 5-7 at Rock Canyon High School.

Colorado Representative Lisa Cutter introduced a media literacy bill in the Colorado legislature in January. The draft of the bill is attached here. Big thanks to Jack Kennedy, MJE, Adam Dawkins, CJE, and Mark Newton, MJE, for working to get this process started.

Initiatives/Vision/Concerns:CSMA has a number of initiatives they continue to address for membership, including helping advisers earn their CJE/MJE (CSMA reimburses members who take their test), apply for and earn CTE certifications. Additionally, the CSMA board is beginning its search for an Executive Director as current Executive Director Jack Kennedy, MJE, is retiring in 2020.

Denver Public School teachers went on strike Feb. 11 for the first time in 25 years. Students at two DPS schools reported on events and were disciplined by administration on their campuses. Thankfully, they reached out to CSMA and were able to get some help initially. As a result, the CSMA board will continue to focus membership attention toward the metro district in hopes of educating advisers and students (and administrators) on the state law and student freedom of expression rights in Colorado.

Contest/Awards: Colorado’s student journalist of the year (Dorothy Greer Scholarship) is Taylore Todd from Castle View High School in Castle Rock, (adviser Jess Hunziker, MJE). Todd will receive $2000 toward tuition and expenses to attend a Colorado University. Runner up winner is Caitlin Danborn, Arvada West High School in Arvada (adviser Ellie Norwood, CJE) She will receive $1000 for attending an in-state school, $500 for out-of-state.

Individual student media contests – the CSMA Best of Colorado awards – are due April 9. Featuring $250 cash prizes for both the individual winners and their school student media programs, Designer, Photographer, Middle School/Junior High Journalist, Broadcast Journalist and Reporter of the year contest deadlines are April 15.

Zeb Carabello, CJE, Rangeview High School was awarded the Future Administrator Scholarship. Carabello is a former Rising Star recipient (2018). He has also earned his Press Law and Ethics Certification through CSMA.

Annie Gorenstein Falkenberg, CJE, Longmont High School and Carrie Hendrix, CJE, Lewis-Palmer High School are both JEA Special Recognition advisers.

Click here for our list of Pacemaker nominees.

Connecticut – David Fortier

Rocky Hill High School
50 Chapin Ave
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Cell Phone: 860-690-4358

Membership: Connecticut JEA membership is 9.

Events: None at the moment. The goal is, once again, to get the Student Journalist of the Year competition going.

Initiatives/Visions/Concerns:  We have been talking to Vivian Martin, journalism chair at Central Connecticut State University with the intention of CCSU sponsoring a conference later this spring for advisers.

Awards and honors: We missed our goal of getting a state Journalist of Year competition, so we will be trying to get a jump on things for 2019-2020.

For the board: Members are looking to JEA for resources, advice and support, including models for collaborating on a statewide basis.

Delaware – Dennis Leizear, CJE

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

Membership: Delaware currently has two members, but outreach is continuing.

Events: There are currently no events planned, but discussions about a local J-Day have begun.

Awards and Honors: Delaware has named a JOY winner for the second year in a row.

District of Columbia – Clare Berke

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
800 Euclid St.
NW Washington, D.C. 20001
Work Phone: 202-671-6320
Cell Phone: 303-709-8304

Membership: There are currently seven JEA members.

No new updates from D.C.

Florida – Renee Burke, MJE

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

Membership: We currently have 148 JEA members. We promote membership through email blasts and at our regional conferences.

Events: The state convention is April 11-13, 2019, at the Wyndham Resort Orlando. FSPA again will offer the JEA Certification Exams at our state convention in April 2019.

Awards and Honors: We are excited for Melissa Falkowski to be recognized as National Journalism Teacher of the Year. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas The Eagle Eye News adviser has helped her students use their voice to research, write and report topics that impact them.

At the spring convention, John Cutsinger, CJE, will receive a JEA Lifetime Achievement award for his outstanding contributions to scholastic journalism.

Our Student Journalist of the Year winners are:

  • First: Emily Fussell – Boone High School (she will advance to the JEA National competition)
  • Second: Bryson Turner – Hagerty High School
  • Third: Rebecca Schneid – Marjory Stoneman Douglas HIgh School

The following teachers are the district journalism teachers of Year. We will announce the Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year at the spring convention banquet, April 12. In alphabetical order: Hilary Brown, Courtney Hanks, CJE, Anna Jacobson, CJE, Sarah Lerner, CJE, Devin Marsh,  Susan McNulty, CJE, Carrie De Zutter.

This FSPA spring digital contests received more than 3,000 entries – another record number.

Congratulations to the:

  • 14 publications who are Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown finalists (winners announced March 22).
  • One online newspaper and two yearbooks on this year’s National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker finalists list (winners announced April 27).

For the board: Florida is excited to be the 2020 fall convention site. We look forward to sharing the beauty of Orlando and its fabulous theme parks. It’s going to be a fantastic convention!

Georgia – Karen Collier, CJE

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

Membership: Georgia has 51 active JEA members. I communicate with them monthly via email. We also have a Facebook group to further connect.


  • Spring workshop and Awards: April 9 at UGA Georgia Center (12 sessions, 1 keynote, luncheon)
  • Advisers’ Workshop: June 3-5 at Mercer University
  • Media and Leadership Academy: June 16-21 at UGA
  • Summer Yearbook & Lit Mag Contest: mid-May through mid-July

Awards and honors: The 2018 GSPA Summer Yearbook contest ratings were as follows: 15 Superior, nine Excellent and one Achievement. The 2018 Summer Literary Magazine Competition had seven Superior ratings.

We received 45 entries for the First Amendment Essay contest (January). The top three winners will be announced later this month. The individuals will receive monetary awards along with their publications.

Georgia Champion Journalist:

Alyssa Freyman, South Forsyth High School, Cumming, Georgia

Publication–Bird Feed

Adviser– Clori Rose-Geiger

Hawaii – Jenny Howe

President Theodore Roosevelt High School
1120 Nehoa St.
Honolulu, HI 96822
Work Phone: 808-307-0515
Cell Phone: 808-489-4425

Membership: Hawaii has 13 JEA members. Fellow JEA members and I continue to network with advisers to increase membership.

Events: After meeting just once after the last report, the Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association (HSJA) and JEA members have continued to meet monthly in 2019. After Representative Takashi Ohno and 25 other legislators introduced HB1529, the Hawaii Free Expression Act modeled from New Voices legislation, the January meeting marked the largest and most diverse meeting yet with 11 attending members of student journalists, middle school and high school journalism advisers, university-level advisers, and community partners. Despite daily contact by advisers and students with legislators involved in the Lower and Higher Education (LHE) Committee, the bill did not get scheduled for a hearing. It had been referred to three committees:  LHE, Judiciary, and Finance. A legislator and his office manager did make efforts to get the bill re-referred to only two committees, but it was unsuccessful.

Civil Beat journalist Suevon Lee wrote about the bill’s introduction in her article “Why Student Journalists Feel The Need To Censor Themselves.”

Since then, we have met with the LHE Chair and Rep. Ohno to discuss what happened with HB1529 and possible reasons it didn’t get scheduled. They said it remains “political” and they are still working to find out exactly what opposition might exist. HSJA and JEA members were less interested in a short form bill or a resolution, but are ready to try again next year.

The bill’s introduction did motivate HSJA and JEA members to contact every Hawaii Department of Education high school adviser, and now we have a working list of every scholastic journalism adviser for newspaper, yearbook, and broadcast publications as well as media clubs. We will continue to network with these advisers about the need for New Voices legislation in Hawaii as well as the professional learning community benefits of JEA and HSJA.

We have been advised by legislators to bring our efforts directly to the Board of Education’s attention.

At our monthly meetings, we also continue to discuss the benefits of scholastic journalism, how to improve statewide events for our students, and how education board policies impact our students’ work. One of our next efforts is the categorization of publication courses in schools’ course catalogs and how their credits reflect on a student’s high school transcript.

We have since shared about HB1529 at a Honolulu District ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching) Feb. 23, 2019. Hawaii representatives recently participated in the New Voices nationwide call hosted by Mike Simons.

So far, Hawaii will be represented by newspaper adviser Larry Wayman and six students at the April JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

Awards and honors: The Hawaii Publishers Association will host its 50th annual Hawaii High School Journalism Awards banquet April 17. According to the contest rules, “Schools will compete against one another in their group (public or private) in six divisions (Writing, Photography, Design, Online, Single Issue and Awards Poster) for first-, second- and third-place awards in 20 categories. A school’s score in each division (excluding Awards Poster, as there is only one winner) will then be combined and ranked against all other schools to determine first-, second- and third-place ‘Best in State’ division winners. Finally, all schools’ cumulative scores will be ranked to determine first-, second- and third-place ‘Best in State’ winners.”

Hawaii does not have a Journalist of the Year submission this year.

For the board:

  • Who should we contact to learn more about advocating for certain course designations and awarded credits on students’ high school transcripts?
Idaho – William Love

Sandpoint High School
410 S. Division St.
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Cell Phone: 208-890-6975

Membership: Idaho currently has 15 JEA members. The Idaho membership is down a little bit, but could increase with the Anaheim convention. There is representation throughout the state.

Events: The University of Idaho hosted a state conference last fall. Because of the location, the conference was attended by programs in North Idaho. They are talking about planning a fall event.

For the Board: Michelle Harmon, MJE, stepped down as state director after many years in the role. She was a dedicated advocate for journalism education in Idaho and did a great job as director. Her contributions to JEA and the Idaho Student Journalism Association are greatly appreciated.

The state’s website, IDSJA.org, is active again. The hope is to have regular contributions by JEA members and their students from throughout Idaho.

Illinois – Brenda Field, MJE

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

Membership: Illinois current membership is 159.

Events: Heartland Community College will host the IHSA State Journalism Tournament April 26.

IJEA, the Illinois JEA affiliate, has a website that can be found at www.ijea.net. IJEA also has an active social media presence on Facebook (Illinois Journalism Education Association) and Twitter (@IllinoisJEA).

Initiatives: Since the last report, we have:

  • Played host to over 6,397 high school journalists and their advisers at the fall national high school journalism convention in Chicago.
  • Worked to develop a more concrete framework for supporting advisers and students dealing with challenges to our New Voices law.  
  • Continued to educate stakeholders about their rights and responsibilities under our New Voices law.
  • Enhanced membership by attracting new members, especially by informing them about the JEA curriculum, and by ensuring that IJEA members are also JEA members.
  • Promoted student and adviser success as reflected in awards and honors from JEA and other organizations.

Awards: Ayse Eldes, of Prospect High School, is the Illinois Journalist of the year. Her adviser is Jason Block, CJE. The runner-up is Matt Troher of Downers Grove North High School (adviser Liz Levin, MJE).

One Illinois yearbook and two Illinois online newspapers are Pacemaker finalists for 2019. Stan Zoller, MJE, instructor at Lake Forest College, has been named a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. All of these awards will be presented at the spring convention in Anaheim.  

Indiana – Nancy Hastings, MJE

9234 Prairie Ave.
Highland, IN 46322-2339
Home Phone: 219-838-6743

Membership: Indiana has 76 JEA members.

Happenings: Matching the Indiana’s rollercoaster winter weather, it’s been an up and down start to 2019.

On the upside, students and advisers gathered at the Indianapolis Statehouse March 14 for the annual Indiana High School Press Association First Amendment Symposium to celebrate Journalism Matters and recognize Indiana’s Journalist of the Year finalists and state contest winners. Madelyn Knight, editor-in-chief of the Southport High School Journal was named the 2019 Indiana HS Journalist of the Year. Beginning her high school journalism career as a photographer, she grew from being a visual journalist to a reporter, photo editor, and current editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She is advised by Mike Klopfenstein. The 2019 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year receives a $1,000 scholarship from IHSPA.

Journalist of the Year Finalists include Evan Gerike of Portage High School, adviser Faith Cooper; Haley Pritchett from Greenwood Community High School, adviser Denise Roberts, MJE; and Morgan Taylor, Crown Point HS, adviser Julie Elston.

Also recognized at the Symposium, the seven IHSPA Student Board Members gave speeches on Journalism Matters. The three SPJ/JEA Essay Contest State winners, the two Sports Journalism Contest Finalists and two First Amendment Design contest finalists were also honored. Winners of the sports and First Amendment contests received a $100 award, while second place earned a $50 prize.

The rollercoaster ride plunged downward in February when Indiana’s New Voices legislation, House Bill 1213, didn’t even get a committee hearing. According to Diana Hadley, former IHSPA Executive Director and lead advocate for Indiana’s New Voices push, Rep. Behning of the Education Committee had a significant number of requests to hear the bill, but he had doubts about its chance of passing. Indiana’s team felt we could pass the House, but knew the Senate would be much more challenging. Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany and the bill’s author, Indiana High School Press Association Executive Director Ryan Gunterman, and Hadley are planning the next steps to try again next year.

That rollercoaster took an upswing in December when the Indiana State Board of Education and Indiana Department of Education both gave approval for Journalism to count as two of the required eight English credits for all diplomas. This came after months of meetings between the IHSPA and the Department of Education to revise the academic standards.

The Indiana State Board of Education approved the course description that states, “If Journalism course work addresses the Indiana Academic Standards for English/Language Arts, the credits accrued can be counted as part of the eight (8) required English/Language Arts credits for all diplomas.”

Indiana High School Journalism Standards and how these standards correlate with the ELA curriculum can be found on the DOE site, and Journalism, course #1080, can be found on pages 156 and 157: Indiana State Approved Course Titles and Descriptions.

April Moss, CJE, Pike High School adviser and IHSPA president; and Gunterman worked long hours to make these changes a reality. A committee under Moss’s direction and Department of Education Secondary Literacy Specialist Jordan Pridemore worked to rewrite the State Standards for journalism, student media & mass media. The goal was to align and restructure the current journalism standards to align with the English standards.

Events: Indiana High School Press Association’s 96th Fall State Convention took place Oct.19 in Franklin as 279 students from 33 schools made their way to Franklin College to celebrate state awards and attend classes.

Highlighting the day’s activities, Southport High School’s Mike Klopfenstein was named the 2018 Ella Sengenberger Adviser of the Year award. Klopfenstein was recognized for his significant contributions made to the state’s scholastic journalism, not the least of which is advising this year’s Indiana Journalist of Year Madelyn Knight, along with last year’s Indiana Journalist of Year, Andrew Tapp. Klopfenstein advises the Journal student newspaper and online website. This award honors the memory of Ella Sengenberger, one of the founding members of IHSPA.

Clark Hadley was recognized with the Louis Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press award. This award is given to someone who is not an adviser of any high school publication, but has made an outstanding contribution to scholastic journalism education and to Indiana scholastic journalism in particular. Hadley, the husband of former IHSPA Executive Director Diana Hadley, received the award in honor of his devotion to IHSPA for more than a decade and the countless photographs he’s shot to record the organization’s history and achievements.

Ball State University Department of Journalism hosted their J Day celebration March 25. Recognizing Ball State’s 100th birthday and the Ball State Department of Journalism’s 50th Anniversary, and coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Tinker v. Des Moines decision, keynote speaker Mary Beth Tinker set the tone for “Retro. Relevant.” celebrating the past, present and future of journalism.

Awards and honors:

Individuals: Congratulations to Tom Hayes, adviser at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, who has been honored as a Special Recognition Adviser, part of the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year program managed and sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and co-sponsored by Dow Jones News Fund, with support from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and The Wall Street Journal. Hayes is an award-winning sports journalist who has taught high school journalism for 14 years at Ben Davis, where he advises the newspaper, yearbook and arts magazine. Prior to teaching, Hayes covered central Indiana sports for 20+ years.

Student Media: Carmel High School’s Hilite online! was named a NSPA Online Pacemaker, while the Hilite earned a NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker. Jim Streisel, MJE, is the adviser.

Iowa – Leslie Shipp, MJE

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

Membership: Iowa has 39 JEA members, 10 of which are new in the past eight months. Three of these new members have sought advice/help on more than one occasion. Two emailed back and said they were fine.


IHSPA State Convention – After significant changes in format including more sessions and a bigger variety of speakers the past two years, the convention attracted over 800 students for the third year in a row. A restructuring of the day occurred this year. Previously, all sessions other than the keynote ran 50 minutes. Shorter sessions were offered to give students more opportunities to experience a wider variety of speakers and topics.

JOY contest: Work to improve the Iowa JOY contest seems to have worked. Paul Jensen, IHSPA Director, and Geof Fischer of the Iowa Newspaper Association again secured $250 from their organizations to offer a total prize of $500, $400 more than a few years ago. Seven applied, the same number as last year, which was the largest number ever. Continual encouragement for advisers to make their students aware during sessions at the state conference and other meetings, an increased marketing presence on the IHSPA website and several email blasts could also be reasons.

Leadership and Innovation in High School Media Conference: The third annual conference will be held March 27 at Drake University. This conference began as a collaboration among Drake University, Iowa State University, Simpson College and the Iowa Newspaper Foundation to offer an opportunity for students to meet for a day of learning in the spring opposite that state conference in October. Last year about 100 students attended. Two awards that boast $250 prizes will be presented.

Awards and Honors: Andrew Maresca of Johnston High School is the Iowa representative for the national JOY contest.

Censorship Situations: A high school in the state faced criticism about a story that mentioned an athlete quitting their school sport because of differences with the coach and then achieving several major awards while participating for a club team. While no mention of direct censorship arose, the program did feel pressure from school officials, parents and students about the content and about whether a story about success on a club team should constitute coverage.

Kansas – Susan Massy

Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
2701 W. 67th St.
Shawnee, KS 66216
Work Phone: 913-993-7286
Work Fax: 913-993-7466

Members: 113

Membership: Since the last report, membership is up just slightly to 113 members. Generally, increased membership in JEA is a reflection of increased membership in KSPA.

Events: Regional Contest: KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas and the KSPA Contest Committee pulled out all the stops, making major changes in the regional contest format. The most popular, allowing schools to select which contest site to attend, increased participation in the regional contest. Regional contests were divided by classification (size of school) rather than the site-based regionals of the past. This allowed the KSPA office to divide the competitions more equitably and avoid having schools from the same district compete against each other. A video presentation on the changes can be found here.

2019 Middle School Workshop: KSPA will sponsor a Middle School Workshop at Derby H.S. to encourage further development of journalism programs at this level.

The State Contest will be held May 4 at the University of Kansas. Due to increased participation in the regional contest, more students have qualified for this competition than in the past.


Monthly Board Meetings: Under the leadership of president Jessica Bowman, the KSPA Board has begun meeting electronically once per month. This allows the board to react swiftly to issues or concerns that arise as well as keep the discussion on important topics moving

KSPA funds documentary video of the Kansas Student Publications Act: To celebrate more than 25 years of Kansas’s landmark law, the Jackie Engel Endowment funded a video for advisers to use in the classroom to empower their students to use their voices. The teaser for the video can be seen here:

KSPA Courage in Journalism award: Inspired by the 50th year of the Tinker decision, KSPA is launching a new award this year. The new annual award will be presented to a high school student journalist or a team of student journalists who showed determination, despite difficulty or resistance, in lawfully exercising First Amendment press rights.

Strategic Goals: KSPA has formulated strategic goals for the current year and the board is working toward goals for the next two years. Please contact your board representative with any ideas. This year’s goals have created the new regional publicity materials and the new regional configuration. Plus, we will soon unveil a new members-only section of the website where advisers can share curriculum and more.

KSDE Notes: The end-of-pathway assessment from KSDE has been abandoned, according to KSDE. We are working with Stephen King of KSDE to rescue the many great questions that were written as part of that process. However, we don’t have any precise answer on that. Also, with the Praxis exam for journalism education being discontinued, Stephen is working on solutions that would help certify teachers through another route.

KSPA will be naming its Ad Astra, Hall of Fame, Friend of KSPA, Administrator of the year, Sunflower and Jackie Engel (Journalism Teacher of the Year) Awards in May. Most of the awards are adult-centered, so the board is looking at adding a Courage in Student Journalism Award as well as naming “… of the Year” awards similar to those named by NSPA. These latter awards could be an extension of the current “…of the Month” awards.

Awards and Honors: We are so proud of our colleagues and students, including:

Dow Tate, Shawnee Mission East adviser, received the S’Park Media Mentor Award this October by The Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. The award recognizes educators who demonstrate a “commitment to igniting a passion for media among students.”

Nicole-Marie Konopelko, editor-in-chief of the Booster Redux at Pittsburg High School, was named the 2019 Kansas Student Journalist of the Year as well as the 5A-6A winner. Her adviser is Emily Smith.

The overall winner is chosen among the winners of three different enrollment classifications: 1A/2A, 3A/4A and 5A/6A. Grace Rowland of Sterling High School was named 1A/2A Student Journalist of the Year. Grace’s adviser is There were no entries in the 3A/4A division.

Tayla Ahlf, the 2019 Mary Patrick Aspiring Journalist Award has served as yearbook editor, photo shoot manager and teacher aide at Derby North Middle School. Her adviser is  Laura Hayden. Along with the title, Ahlf has been awarded a scholarship to a summer journalism workshop in Kansas during her time in or before high school.

Miles Lindley, the runner-up for the award from Chisolm Trail Middle School in the Olathe School District. His adviser is Samantha Collins. Lindley’s application showed impressive work in news and feature writing as well as in broadcast.

We are also extremely proud of: 

  • Our three NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker winners and five CSPA Crown winners: See the list here.
  • Our 14 All-Kansas yearbooks which were named in December. See the list here.
  • Our 34  NSPA individual award winners. See the full list here.
  • Our 24 CSPA Gold Circle winners. The full list of winners can be found here.
  • Our 13 Best of Show winners and our 62 Write Off winners from the Chicago convention. You can find links to the full list here and here, respectively.
Kentucky – Larry Steinmetz, CJE

Bullitt East High School
11450 Highway 44 E
Mount Washington, KY 40047
Work Phone: 502-869-6400
Cell Phone: 502-727-8538
Work Fax:502-538-8368

Membership: Kentucky has 23 active JEA members.

Honors: Piper Hansen of duPont Manual High School was named the Kentucky Journalist of the Year. Liz Palmer, also from duPont Manual, was named a Special Recognition Adviser by CSPA.

Happenings: We are gearing up for our second Kentucky Journalism Teacher’s Association retreat in the summer. We had nine attendees last year and hope to grow our statewide PLC. Our JEA focus is growing our number of state JOY entries and this year we tripled our submissions from last year.

Louisiana – Albert Dupont

Loyola University
School of Mass Communication
6363 St. Charles Ave. Box 201
New Orleans, LA 70118
Work Phone: 504-865-2653
Cell Phone: 504-465-0637

Membership: We have nine JEA members as of March 15, which is down from the Spring 2018 report of 20 members. I do know of a couple of people who told me they would join who have not submitted their membership as of yet. Growing membership will be my focus as we wrap up the school year and head into 2019-20.

Events: The Spring 2019 Louisiana State JEA Conference was held Feb. 7 on the campus of Loyola University of New Orleans. We had approximately 150 students and advisers in attendance for the one-day conference.

After a welcome by President of Loyola University, New Orleans Tania Tetlow and Director of the School of Communication and Design, Dr. Sonya Duhe, we Skyped in our keynote speaker. ABC News Weekend Anchor and Senior National Correspondent Tom Llamas was scheduled to fly in to New Orleans to be our speaker, but he was held up when the Virginia Governor story was breaking.  

The morning of the conference Llamas was on site at the Virginia State Capitol, and after his Good Morning America live shots, he called in. We showed the students his report on World News Tonight which aired the night before as a setup. He talked for a while, took some questions and then went live on ABC’s “The DeBrief” show which we watched and he gave us a shoutout! The students couldn’t believe it! We couldn’t have scripted it any better. The Shoutout to Students is about 25 seconds). The Full Speech is about 21 minutes.

After the keynote, we had many members of the New Orleans Press Club present sessions which included writing, portfolios, online, social media, broadcast, print, crisis communication, design, yearbook, etc. Special sessions for yearbook were presented by Mike Taylor of Walsworth Yearbooks.

Here’s a link to our conference program.

Members of the Loyola University Social Media Strategies Class ran the social media for the event using the hashtag #LoynoJEA and the @JEALouisiana accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Awards and honors: As part of the Spring 2019 JEA Louisiana Conference, we presented the Tom Bell Silver Scribe awards and the Louisiana State Journalist of the Year. Here is a link to the winners in publication and individual student awards and LA JOY.

For the board: Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing you in New Orleans this summer for the Advisers Institute!

Maine – Marcie Young

Presque Isle High School
16 Griffin St
Presque Isle, ME 04769
Home Phone: 207-551-3223

Membership: Maine currently has three members.

Maryland – Jessica Nassau, CJE

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Work Phone: 301-692-4971

Membership: Maryland currently has 25 JEA members.

Events: The Maryland/D.C. Scholastic Press association hosted Journalism Day at the University of Maryland Nov. 16, with over 300 students in attendance. The event will not be held this coming fall in preparation for the National High School Journalism Convention in D.C. Nov. 21-24. Click here for more information. If you are interested in being on the local planning committee, contact jnassau@cesjds.org for more information.

Future Plans:  The Maryland/D.C. Scholastic Press Association will hold an Advisers Day at the University of Maryland June 1, with sessions for both new and experienced teachers. Click here to register.

Massachusetts – Bretton Zinger, MJE

238 Austin St
West Newton, MA 02465
Cell Phone: 202-316-0309

Membership: There are 25 members in Massachusetts, down from 34 in the spring.

Events: I attended the fall convention in Chicago.

I attended and presented at the spring conference for the New England Scholastic Press Association (NESPA), as well as represented JEA at the adviser luncheon. I also served as a judge for the annual Special Achievement Contests, which honor individual student work.

I attended the June meeting of the Massachusetts Scholastic Press Association (MASPA), where we discussed, among other things, the perennial topic of how to increase participation in Massachusetts scholastic journalism, where there has been an ongoing difficulty in increasing engagement. MASPA is also going to continue the process of having “All-State” honors in journalism, one goal of which is to identify early which students would be good candidates for the Journalist of the Year competition, as well as “Best of the Massachusetts High School Press” awards.

We just announced six students as the 2019 All-State Journalism Staff, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the talent in our high schools. MASPA will hold a reception for this year’s winners March 27 at the Boston Globe.

One event that came from that meeting was the first-ever winter adviser’s retreat, which happened Feb.1-2 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. About a dozen advisers attended, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Numerous people said they’d like to see it become an annual event and possibly grow in scope and length. Brian Baron, MJE, MASPA executive director, planned and ran the retreat.

As I serve on the boards of both NESPA and MASPA, as well as JEA state director, I continue to try to use that position to spread the word on scholastic journalism and increase participation for publications, students and advisers in all of the organizations.

Outreach continues to try to bring new members into JEA, including directly contacting teachers/advisers.

Awards and honors: Nathan Lau of Wayland High School was named Massachusetts Student Journalist of the Year.

For the board: Having the All-State Journalism Staff has definitely helped increase applications for Journalist of the Year. It may be something to encourage other states to take a look at, especially those, who, like Massachusetts, sometimes have a rather small number of JOY applications. Brian Baron, MJE, asked advisers at the beginning of the school year (or perhaps it was the end of last school year) for names to be put on a “watch list” for targeting emails during the school year to those students. That got it on the radar of those who would be good candidates.

Michigan – Tim Morley, CJE

P.O. Box 396
Topinabee, MI 49791
Home Phone: 231-238-4788

Membership: We are currently at 77 voting members in Michigan.  That’s a net loss of four members since the fall report.


Judging Day: The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association recently welcomed over 70 teachers, college professors, professional journalists and college journalists to the Michigan State campus for our annual judging day. This crew judged over 5000 individual contest entries in Newspaper, Yearbook, Digital Media and Video categories. Award winners will be recognized at the MIPA Spring Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing April 23.

One-Day Workshop: MIPA will host its annual one-day workshop on campus at Michigan State University March 15. Course offerings include:

  • Building Next Year’s Staff (Ava Butzu, Grand Blanc HS)
  • Illustrator and Infographics (Rick Epps, MSU School of Journalism)
  • InDesign for Publications (Cody Harrell, East Lansing HS)
  • Newspaper (re)Design Clinic (C.E. Sikkenga, Grand Haven HS)
  • Photoshop (Ike Lea, Lansing Community College)
  • Spartan Work Room (Michigan schools have been hit with numerous snow days, many schools with 15+, so MIPA is offering a quiet place for student staffs and/or advisers to get work done)

Spring Conference: MIPA will hold its annual Spring Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing April 23. Typically attended by 1200-1500 student journalists, the purpose of the conference is to recognize the following:

  • Award winners in Individual Category Contests
  • Michigan’s nominee for JEA Journalist of the Year
  • Student Journalist Staff (MIPA’s 15-student member ALL STATE staff).
  • Administrator of the Year
  • John Field Award (Friend of Scholastic Journalism)
  • Golden Pen Award (Adviser)
  • ALL-MIPA winners:  recognition for the top overall student in the following areas of emphasis:
    • Multiplatform Journalist
    • News Writing and Reporting
    • News Design
    • Photography
    • Video
    • Yearbook

MIPA  Summer  Workshop: Planning, promotion and registration is underway for the annual MIPA Summer Workshop. This year’s workshop will be held on campus at Michigan State University July 28-Aug. 1. This year’s theme is “MIPA Makes”.


Student JOY: Michigan is proud to announce the selection of Audrey Whitaker of Grosse Pointe South High School as our 2018-19 Journalist of the Year. Audrey is web editor-in-chief of The Tower Pulse online news site, advised by Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE. Michigan received 29 portfolios from student journalists.

JEA Diversity Award: Congratulations to Elizabeth Cyr from Stockbridge High School for earning a 2019 Diversity Award.

Other awards won by Michigan students can be found here.

Minnesota – Laurie Hansen, MJE

5701 Stillwater Blvd. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Work Phone: 651-351-8128

Membership: Minnesota has 20 JEA members. Numbers have dropped slightly, and a few are people simply forgetting to renew, so I will get on that as soon as final yearbook deadline is over.

Key Projects: Minnesota took a big step in the New Voices legislation. Our bill’s sponsor Cheryl Youakim is now the chair of the education committee and was able to introduce her bill to the committee for a hearing March 5, 2019. Lori Keekley, MJE, and Jeff Kocur, CJE, both presented on behalf of House Bill HF 1868 as well as lawyer Mark Afinson, attorney for the Minnesota Newspaper Association and Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE, of St. Francis High School, an adviser who has had the most recent censorship battle in our state. Glenn and Lori brought along a few students. Emma Yarger of St. Louis Park High School addressed the committee as well. Laura Widmer of NSPA and I were there for moral support. Opposing speakers were David Adney, executive director of Minnesota’s Principal’s Association, Roger Aronson, representative for the Secondary Principals Association and Grace Keliher, representative of the Minnesota School Board Association. The New Voices legislation is intended to clarify the roles of students and administrators in Minnesota. We would love to be the next state to have this legislation. After the vote, the bill now drops to the Senate. The bill has Susan Kent (DFL) as the senate sponsor, and recently Republican Karin Housely has decided to support the bill.

My projects: In addition to my work on JEA membership, my work on the NSPA board has also been focused on increasing membership in the Minnesota High School Press Association. I have also continued my work on the board of judges, and we will continue to revise the critique services to resolve any issues.


  • Mimi Geller, editor-in-chief of Rubiconline from St. Paul Academy in St. Paul was named the 2019 Journalist of the Year for Minnesota. The Rubiconline is advised by Kathryn Campbell, CJE.
  • Second place went to Abby Banks, co-editor for the Pony Express in Stillwater. Her adviser is Rachel Steil, CJE.
  • Third place went to Dani Orloff, editor of the Echo, St. Louis Park High School, Lori Keekley, MJE, adviser. An honorable mention went to Henry Witterschein, editor of the Knight Errant at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School, Kari Koshiol, adviser.

Events: Minnesota’s annual Arts Journalism Day at the Guthrie was taken over by Kathryn Campbell, CJE, of St. Paul Academy. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled because of a snowstorm. However, the Guthrie did give us a credit to use for next year’s event (for tour and lunches) and students were not charged for the tickets. Our JEM (Journalism Educators of Minnesota) winter meeting (pot luck) was also cancelled because of the Polar Vortex.

Mississippi – R.J. Morgan, CJE

The University of Mississippi
102 Farley Hall PO Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Work Phone: 662-915-7150

Membership: There are 15 JEA members in Mississippi, three of which are new members. Membership is encouraged at all Mississippi Scholastic Press Association (MSPA) events, and a link to future JEA conventions is posted on the MSPA website. JEA Membership is one of the first planks we talk about with new advisers at our Adviser Institute each June.

Events: MSPA hosted its second annual statewide fall convention Oct. 25 at the University of Southern Mississippi (a new partner in crime). At our first event last year, we had 440 students from 28 schools… this year we welcomed 499 students from 35 schools! Many were already members, but several were new schools that would never have traveled to our other events at Ole Miss. Our traditional Spring Convention (formerly our only statewide event) will be April 1 at Ole Miss.

Awards and honors: Tupelo High School yearbook and newspaper adviser Shari Chumley, CJE, earned her CJE last fall in Chicago. Congrats Shari!

Further congratulations to Garret Grove of St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison. Garret beat out a record-high field of 20 applicants to become our 2019 Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year.

After hearing about the successes of our friends at MIPA in Michigan, this spring MSPA eliminated its Editor of the Year & other top individual awards and replaced them with one pool of students to be recognized as “All-Mississippi”. To be considered, students were required to submit a JOY-level portfolio of their best work instead of just letters of recommendation. From this one pool, we have named Grove our JOY, plus selected nine other All-Mississippi honorees who will be announced at the MSPA spring convention April 1. Our statewide Newspaper and Broadcast division awards will also be presented on this date.

For the board: Though no major issues are pressing, Mississippi continues to struggle, as many states do, with heavy-handed administrators, prior review and de facto censorship. It has occurred to me that school administrators most likely have differing ideas about what the First Amendment even means, and I began developing a qualitative study on this theory last fall at high schools across the South. I presented the findings of my pilot study at the AEJMC Southeastern Colloquium earlier in March, and will do so again at CSPA’s spring convention.

I am excited to see the JEA Adviser Institute relocate to our backyard. Engaging, educating and empowering journalism advisers in a region plagued by poverty and underfunding is wise strategic positioning. I hope you will consider offering scholarships. Mississippi has decided to cancel our own state adviser institute this summer and instead fund FREE REGISTRATION for any Mississippi adviser interested in attending the JEA Advisers Institute.

Missouri – Erin Sucher-O’Grady, CJE

Clayton High School
1 Mark Twain Circle
Clayton, MO 63105
Work Phone: 314-854-6668
Cell Phone: 314-807-3945

Membership: Missouri has a total of 130 voting members. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, Affiliates (with director as voting member).

State Organization Websites are linked below.


Cronkite New Voices Act: Walter Cronkite New Voices Act, originally proposed in 2016, prohibits schools from stopping the publication of student-created media, except in circumstances outlined in the bill, such as libel, invasion of privacy and unlawfulness. The Cronkite New Voices bill sailed through the House 147-3. It will move on to the Senate.

Representatives from Kirkwood High School and Francis Howell North High School represented student journalists in Jefferson City.

  • MJEA (Missouri Journalism Education Association) Partner Events
    • Hosted five student journalists/editors and their advisers to attend the annual Leadership Conference at The University of Missouri Feb. 21.
    • Hosted their annual conference at Webster University for rising leaders. The conference offers courses such as editorial leadership, writing, photoshop and photography, among others, that students can select from.
    • Is hosting STL SNO DAY April 17. STL SNO DAY is an intense workshop packed with training and designed to help students learn and immediately put into practice methods to improve their website. A SNO trainer will be on hand to meet students where they are and take them to the next level. The day’s group instruction will concentrate on showing methods to keep sites fresh, manage the content on the homepage, improve the look and utility of story pages and how to pluck relevant information from analytics to make decisions about coverage and promotion.
    • MJEA Contests: Top performing students can be nominated to the Missouri All-State Journalism team. Ten are selected from across the state. All State journalism winners receive a certificate, plaque, and pen. Lastly, nominate a colleague for Teacher of the Year, Rising Star, Administrator of the year or Advocate for student journalists for state honors. All recipients will receive a plaque and certificate. Awards roll out beginning May 1.
    • MediaNow will be in St. Louis (June) and Drake in Des Moines, Iowa (July) this summer.
  • Journalism STL Held their annual conference at St. Louis University Oct. 23. Chris Canipe was the keynote speaker for the 2018 fall conference. Canipe is a senior visual journalist at Axios, a startup news organization based in Washington, D.C., which means he tells stories with charts and data. He spent six years on the graphics team at The Wall Street Journal (where his work earned him a Pulitzer Prize) and has taught data visualization at Columbia University and the Missouri School of Journalism (his alma mater).
  • MIPA (Missouri Interscholastic Press Association)
    • MIPA hosts its annual Journalism Day March 25 at MU in Columbia. The event draws more than 1,000 high school journalism students and their advisers. Students attend sessions taught by MU Journalism faculty, MIPA high school journalism teachers and professional journalists. MIPA’s Student Journalist of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Emerging Journalism Educator will be honored as well as hundreds of students who entered MIPA’s annual journalism contest.
    • The keynote speaker for the 50th J-Day will be Brian McGill. McGill is a Multimedia Editor for Politics and Policy at The Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining WSJ, he worked at the Atlantic Media, The Tampa Tribune and the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. McGill conveys his reporting and analysis of news through data visualizations for both print and online platforms. His work includes everything from information graphics, 3D modeling, interactives, news games, cartography and illustrations. Projects he has reported on include four presidential elections, NASA, gender inequality, sporting events, economic development, historical events, etc. A native of Kansas City, McGill graduated from Mizzou with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism and information graphics. Also, he is an alumnus of J-Day while working on the Cambia yearbook staff at Oak Park High School, Kansas City. You can see some of McGill’s work at brianjmcgill.com
    • All programs including the monthly photo contests, three timed Challenges, and regional workshops were successful this year.
    • Membership continues to be at an all-time high.
    • SchoolJournalism.org, supported by MIPA, reaches hundreds of online readers each week, and over 9,000 subscribers with its email newsletter. If you have an amazing lesson or article you’d like to share nationally, or know a pro who would make a good feature in the new “Q and A with the Pros” series, drop them a line at mipajourno@gmail.com. SchoolJournalism.org welcomes new contributors!
  • JEMKC (Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City)
    • Annual Awards Ceremony will take place April 15 at the Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit. The event features keynote speaker, individual awards and scholarship awards.
  • University of Missouri
    • Missouri Investigative Journalism Workshop June 23-28, 2019 Learn how investigative journalists find information, track people down, conduct better interviews, analyze data and find great stories. You’ll leave with skills you need to do your own investigations. The workshop is taught by investigative reporters who have worked at top news organizations such as The New York Times and by experienced MU faculty.
    • Missouri University Journalism Workshop June 23-28, 2019 Discover the fast-paced world of professional journalism! Learn how to cover issues, news and current events. Your instruction will be guided by faculty experts at the Missouri School of Journalism and industry professionals.

Awards and Honors:

Missouri Student Journalist of the Year: The Student Journalist of the Year who will represent Missouri in the national competition is Abigail White. Abby White is a senior at Lee’s Summit West. She serves as editor-in-chief of the Titan Scroll student newsmagazine. White plans to attend The University of Missouri in the fall to pursue journalism. Carol Ullery is her adviser.

What made Abby’s portfolio stand apart was her varied talents in editing, writing, designing, photography and her digital contributions. Abigail demonstrated strong leadership and writing skills, and a drive to tackle difficult issues with her well-researched reporting.

“Abby took on a most difficult topic — suicide awareness — at a time when students, teachers and parents in our district were struggling deeply after three suicides within weeks of each other, one of which occurred inside a high school during the school day. The emotions were raw as school staff was forced to examine the policies (or lack of policies) and the culture of our prevention and response programs. Abigail believed silence was not the answer, and so she explored solutions and presented those ideas in print. Sometime later, she received a message with a copy of her story from an individual letting her know that her work, which included the national suicide awareness hotline, made a difference in at least one life. That is journalism with a purpose,” Ullery said.

Overall, there was very strong competition from across the state for the contest. Please see below for other outstanding candidates that deserve recognition for their amazing journalistic efforts.

Runners Up:

For a list of Missouri Pacemaker finalists click here.

JEA Carl Towley Winner: The Journalism Education Association has named Nancy Smith, MJE, Lafayette High School (Wildwood, Missouri), as its Carl Towley Award recipient. Smith, who has served scholastic journalism in a variety of ways, is most recognized for her years of service organizing, managing and improving JEA’s Write-off competitions.

JEA Rising Star: Sarah Kirksey, CJE, attended the University of Missouri in order to go into teaching, and with only two years of advising experience, she dove in to earn her Masters in Journalism Education. Currently, she is the vice president for the Missouri Journalism Education Association, the communications director for Journalism STL, and a member of the JEA Digital Media committee.

Montana – Linda Ballew, MJE

2212 4th St. S.
Great Falls, MT 59405
Home Phone: 406-727-2795
Cell Phone: 406-799-8313


  • JEA membership is currently 15 members. Although Montana has always reported a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests has once again diminished. The number of returning members has diminished. This is due in part to retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs. However, the number of new advisers has started to encourage the MJEA board. Currently, MJEA has 20 members, which is a decrease from last fall, and although we have recently had an addition of two new JEA members, these advisers have not joined MJEA. Our membership also includes two of Linda Ballew’s new mentees who have been given honorary two-year memberships.
  • MJEA’s highly motivated and action-orientated president. Beth Britton, CJE, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls, MT, 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, MJE. She is beginning her seventh year as MJEA president.
  • Both Beth and Linda continue to request input on how to reorganize the association as well as what kind of resources would assist Montana advisers more effectively. Advisers are willing to use the resources Beth and Linda provide; however, they are not willing to engage in working within the framework of the organization.
  • To gain a better understanding of this issue, we have reached out to former members and high school journalism programs throughout the state with surveys, emails, letters and requests to submit and participate in adding content and providing suggestions for updating mjeajournalism.com
  • This website, provided by SNO, allows us to provide information and resources to our members. It has been a vital link in our messaging and communication with members. Updated regularly, it is an aspect of the organization of which our members speak highly.
  • The gap left in MJEA’s executive board continues to not be filled. We hope to encourage younger members to become engaged in MJEA. Montana journalism programs have undergone dramatic turnover with new advisers taking the helm of journalism programs in many of the small, rural high schools as well as larger high schools. It is obvious 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 continue to be top priorities.
    • Britton and Ballew continue to email advisers encouraging them to communicate with us, retain membership in MJEA and JEA and participate in adding content and discussion to mjeajournalism.com
    • Britton and Ballew have continued to send resource materials and membership forms in the mail encouraging communication and membership in MJEA and JEA.
    • Ballew has an outreach to new advisers through JEA’s Mentor Program. She currently has two Montana mentees in Lewistown and Billings, and one in Las Vegas. These advisers have been given access to MJEA and JEA membership.
    • Yearbook advisers comprise a majority of MJEA’s membership. Britton and Ballew have decided to take on more responsibility for the state journalism contest to ensure that yearbook programs as well as social media programs will continue to have critique and contest services as well as the current newspaper and online publications. These began this fall with an emphasis on broadcast workshops as this is how our advisers will be able to apply for CTE in Montana.
    • Developing interest in JEA membership has also been encouraged by pointing to the value of JEA’s dynamic journalism curriculum. This continues to perk interest in JEA. Advisers express their appreciation for the thorough and in-depth lessons, rubrics, Common Core Standards’ alignment and assessments that they can access both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability. Thank you for the recent upgrade to the curriculum portion of the jea.org site. This is refreshing and current
    • There will be no MJEA presence at this year’s MFPE convention in Belgrade, Montana. With PBS, MJEA again will offer a two-day broadcast workshop in Bozeman, Montana for students and advisers during this time. Please see under Happenings.
    • We are hoping for a larger presence at next year’s teachers’ convention and in the future – The 2020 teachers’ conference will be in Great Falls. We will be there!
    • Information regarding the spring convention in Anaheim, resources from the New York Times, various articles and a look at an amazing multimedia project are only a few of the posts to mjeajournalism.com. This site continues to provide resources and information. Britton has also requested the following from our members and state advisers encouraging them to post to the site:
      • 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-ups.

Awards: Ahna Fox is the 2019 Montana Journalist of the Year. Fox writes, “Starting freshman year, I participated in volleyball, swim team, tennis and journalism. Bigfork High School’s sports program and journalism class have taught me the importance of hard work, integrity and passion. Whether it be in sports, the classroom or on the back of a horse, I truly believe all my moments in high school have shaped me into the girl I am today. In the fall of 2019, I plan to attend the University of Montana Davidson Honors College to earn a degree in journalism. I am so excited to see my future unfold and experience all.”


Journalism Day at the University of Montana, April 17, 2019: High school students from across the state of Montana are invited to the University of Montana to tour the school of journalism, visit with professors and attend college classes. Students will also celebrate their high school accomplishments in the work that has been published throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

2018 Student Reporting Labs at PBS NewsHour: Montana PBS based out of Bozeman, offered a free two-day workshop for Montana’s high school journalism students and educators Oct. 18-19, 2018. Teachers who attended earned OPI credit. The workshop is designed for both beginner and more advanced broadcast programs. One of PBS’s goals is to make connections with young journalists throughout Montana, and eventually feature much of their work on the station. As more and more journalism programs move online, the video component of reporting is increasingly important and relevant to young readers/viewers. The workshop was led by PBS producers Chris Seifert and Beth Saboe — along with several people from the Student Reporting Labs at PBS NewsHour. The first day of the workshop focused on ethics, lighting, audio and shooting. Each school brought its own equipment so the professionals at PBS could help everyone learn to make the best use of what they already have without the need to purchase expensive equipment.

The second day found the young journalists and their teachers out capturing footage in Bozeman. They returned and learned the basics of editing, logging and storing that footage. The workshop ended with each group sharing its project.

New Voices Legislation has been tabled this year.

For the Board: The JEA office has been an essential asset because of the wonderful people in the office. They continue to help us by sending support materials as we try to enlist new members. The staff has also been essential in helping with materials to reinforce classroom issues and support Linda’s mentees. Thank you so much!

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

Please visit mjeajournalism.com

Nebraska – Marsha Kalkowski, MJE

Marian High School
7400 Military Ave.
Omaha, NE 68134-3398
Work Phone: 402-571-2618, ext 1134
Work Fax: 402-571-2978

Membership:  Nebraska’s Fall 2018 membership was at 63 members, but currently (as of the 3/16/19 report) sits at 53 members.  A full analysis will be made of the changes by the April 23 NSAA State Journalism Contest so that face-to-face queries can be made of advisers who allowed their membership to lapse.

Events:  Nebraska is again pushing New Voices Legislation. Advocates reported Feb. 22 that LB206 was unanimously advanced from the Judiciary Committee. Stay tuned for more details. Giant thanks to those advisers and students who attended the hearing Feb.1 and who watched live in their classrooms.  

The Nebraska High School Press Association (NHSPA) held their Fall Conference at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Oct. 15 with more than 500 students in attendance. The keynote speaker was Boyd Huppert, award winning reporter from KARE in Minneapolis. They will sponsor their annual Summer Journalism Workshop at UNL July 15-17. Contact Diane Schieffer at dschieffer@epsne.org for more information. We welcome students and advisers from other states!   

Nebraska had a strong showing in Chicago at the Fall Convention with a number of great Write-off Awards.  At current count, only three schools plan to be in Anaheim, but we are happy to have students and advisers representing.

Awards and honors:  

  • We celebrate Millard West adviser, Mark Hilburn, MJE, for earning the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Dr. Sherrie Wilson Outstanding Service Award for journalism advisers. He was recognized Jan. 25.
  • We celebrate Scottsbluff’s retiring adviser, Terry Pitkin, for earning the JEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented in Anaheim.
  • We had five incredible entries into the JOY competition and have named Madelyn Augustine of Millard West as the 2019 Nebraska winner.  
  • From the JEA convention in Chicago, we were super excited to have a Rising Star adviser, Lori Larson of North Platte High School.
  • JEA Nebraska sponsored a winter contest over the holidays that mirrors the state NSAA contest in the spring. Thanks to our JEA friends from around the country who helped us judge. We are grateful.

For the board: Thanks for everything you do. It is hard enough to stay on top of our own publications, but you do that plus watch out and work for the rest of us. Thank you sincerely.

Nevada – Matt LaPorte, CJE

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

Membership: The state of Nevada currently boasts a +1 increase in voting members, with a total of 31 members. Communication with the membership has been consistent and an effort is being made to update an outdated list of advisers in the state. The goal is to communicate with them now while additional budget money might be made available prior to the end of the school year.

Events: The Southern Nevada Society of Journalists will be hosting a J-Day March 30. Speakers from the University of Nevada-Reno and Nevada Bound project will be presenting, as well as local advisers and company reps. The goal is to increase upon the previous year’s attendance. New co-presidents of the organization, Tara Verderosa, CJE, and Jolie Lindley, are coordinating the event.

Awards and honors: Several schools will also be participating in the Las Vegas Review Journal Newspaper contest that occurs annually in May. It’s great to have a local newspaper supporting scholastic journalism. The annual SNSJ yearbook/newspaper contest will continue as normal, with judging occurring over the summer and an awards ceremony to be held in August.

For the board: As work continues with the curriculum, it would be great to have a focus group to study what is currently available and to identify any areas that would benefit from additional lessons. Also, this is the first time in three years where Nevada had zero participants for the Journalist of the Year contest. I wonder if some additional social media or print materials could be created to send to members? Sometimes it’s best to have this pushed into the students hands and not necessarily the advisers.

New Hampshire – Adam Theriault

Souhegan High School
412 Boston Post Rd
Amherst, NH 03031
Work Phone: 603-673-9940

Membership: New Hampshire has six members throughout the state.

Events: The first virtual training session took place Oct. 15. Students from Souhegan High School and The Derryfield School took part in this full-day training focusing on leadership, social media, broadcasting and sports writing.  

Awards and Honors: The New Hampshire chapter of JEA is in the process of establishing the JOY state competition and will be actively collecting and judging portfolios by next year.

New Jersey – Greg Gagliardi, CJE

Cherry Hill High School East
1750 Kresson Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Work Phone: 856-424-2222

Membership: Our membership is at 48 JEA members. Our monthly GSSPA meetings typically have 10-20 members present, so we would love to not only increase our membership, but to also increase the number of people we see on a monthly basis. If you are interested, please email me at greggagliardi@gmail.com. We have monthly meetings in Clark, New Jersey, and dinner is always provided.

Events: Our GSSPA Spring Advisers Conference will take place at Rutgers May 3. Please visit gsspa.org for more information. The day will include multiple roundtable sessions for newspaper and yearbook advisers, as well as an opportunity for teachers to take the CJE or MJE exam.

Awards and honors: Our New Jersey Student Journalist of the Year, our Kilgore Scholarship winner, is Andrew Rowan from Moorestown Friends High School. Our Stevens Scholarship winner is Sarah Dougherty of Kinnelon. New Jersey high schools are still in session until June, so there is still plenty of time to come up with award-winning material. New Jersey high school publications continue to be on the rise when it comes to its number of statewide awards for print and online journalism.

New Mexico – Nina Quintana, CJE

Bernalillo High School
148 Spartan Alley
Bernalillo, NM 87004
Cell Phone: 505-450-7246
Work Phone: 505-404-5196

Membership: New Mexico has 18 JEA members. We are up five more new members from my last semi-annual report. After speaking with several journalism educators, it looks like the work I will be doing with the New Mexico Public Education Department will continue to increase our numbers. There has been more inquiry and interest in how JEA can assist in professional development.

A committee was formed to work on the communications pathway of study to meet the alternative graduation requirements set by the state. During the same time, a new governor was elected into office and changes are in process once again. All items were sent to the College and Career Readiness Bureau in January as required. After speaking with the Director, Elaine Perea, Ph.D, we decided we will wait to see what the new governor will prioritize for graduation as town hall committees are already underway to discuss graduation requirements; however, we are able to rewrite course descriptions and develop the POS to meet CTE standards. This was a huge win since previously changes were made by people who were not knowledgeable on our content. We are also able to connect Precision exams to our course POS for end of course exam requirements.

I will continue to reach out to New Mexico journalism advisers to increase membership. However, I believe that this initiative will be a positive catalyst to increasing these numbers.

Events/Happenings: The NMSPA State Leadership Conference was hosted in January in Las Cruces at Centennial High School. This will be the first year that the conference was hosted outside of the Albuquerque area and planning for the event started Aug. 22, 2018 hosted by NMSPA President, Rebeca Zimmermann, CJE. The planning committee in Las Cruces, led by Marissa Prentice, put together an organized and well-planned event. Although not many schools attended from the central region, there were new schools participating that had not previously attended, and that was exciting to see.

The increasing involvement of students and schools has begun to take some of the pressure from previous concerns on the lack of schools competing which may negatively affect our current NMAA standing. We saw an increase of participation from those schools located in the southern region of the state.

Additional conversations have begun about updating the current events to include things such as Podcast as well as how to more effectively manage the increasing demand for more multi-media production type events.

The summer journalism workshop hosted by Rory McClanahan, NMPA President, was rejuvenated and plans are in place to continue the event.

Bernalillo High School will host the first yearbook conference April 4 that will focus on getting a jump start on thematic concepts, visual and verbal trademarks, as well as strategies for the student editors to learn how to be successful in leading their staffs. This free event is hosted by Jostens; however, it is open to ALL yearbook advisers.

First Amendment Issues: I had the opportunity to speak at the New Mexico Council for Teachers of English Oct. 27, 2018. The theme for this year’s conference was Nuestras Voices-Speaking out for Equity and Justice. The conference provided an opportunity to engage in dialogue around the New Voices movement and spark interest in the movement here in New Mexico. I shared the presentation and resources I used with Lori Keekley, MJE, at the NHSJC in Chicago.  

Our state concerns continue; however, I am actively meeting with representatives from the NM Public Education Department to address the concerns expressed from the members of JEA and continue to meet NMPED throughout the year.

I have copied these concerns form my last report:

As I have been meeting with advisers, two major concerns have come up. First, there has been a trend in schools cutting yearbook programs and journalism programs, moving them to a club activity and/or after school program. The number of students enrolling in student newspaper has decreased since the state took away the communications credit and changed to an elective credit. Additionally, programs are not receiving funding to support printing and/or to revamp their programs to meet a more modern newsroom.

The second area of concern is the lack of publications policies in school districts and the challenges of trying to get publications policies adopted by school districts. For example, I tried to submit a policy from the NSPA to be read by our school board for adoption. I was not put on the agenda and received an email from the superintendent with a document from the school’s lawyer stating what I proposed was not necessary and sent a policy speaking more about student council than student publications. After speaking with individuals from other school districts, we noticed the same trend with journalism advisers appealing to school districts to adopt publications policies and receiving similar policies that do not truly address student publications.  

Conversation is in the works to add our state to the New Voices movement to change the mindset about student journalism and the positive impact these programs have on developing students into active, free thinking and well-informed members of society who should have a voice.  

For the Board: As I continue to meet with representatives of NMPED/CCRB, the focus of these conversations is the continuous development of the communications pathway of study. It is important to continue promoting the resources and opportunities for professional development considering JEA as the vehicle for training and further development for future journalism educators will be key as these conversations move forward.

New York – Katina Paron, MJE

NYC High School Journalism Collaborative at Baruch College
582 20th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Cell Phone: 718-755-6225

Membership: We have 33 JEA members this quarter, up from last quarter. We’re making a push with the NYC advisers to get on board with JEA.

Events: Mike Simons, MJE, and Katina Paron, MJE, are moving forward with New Voices New York in 2019. We are planning a lobbying day in Albany April 30. Mike has created a fabulous one-pager and we are reaching out to allies to help move this out of the Education Committees. We’ll have post cards available for students to fill out at Columbia Scholastic Press Association Conference (March 20-22, 2019). The JEA board has officially endorsed the NY bill.

“Since Parkland,” the groundbreaking news initiative from The Trace that had 200+ teen journalists writing about the 1200 young people who have been killed because of gun violence since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, involved many New York JEA teens and had Katina Paron, MJE, as a Senior Project Editor.

Katina Paron, MJE, partnered with The Deadline Club (NYC’s SPJ chapter) and Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, to host NewsHounds Censored, a First Amendment panel and book launch party Nov. 19, 2018. Seventy people attended to hear a panel of students and teachers talk about censorship issues on their school publications. Special guest was former youth journalist, New York State Assemblymember Nily Rozic.

Awards and Honors: Congratulations to Georgia Mavromihalis, CJE, (Benjamin Cardozo High School, Queens) who received the 2019 Robert Greenman Award for High School Journalism Teaching and Advising from The Deadline Club (NYC’s SPJ chapter) at the May 20 awards dinner. Under her leadership, her school will include two journalism studios in the new school annex it is building.

North Carolina – Marva Hutchinson

Providence Senior High School
1800 Pineville-Matthews Road
Charlotte, NC 28270
Work Phone: 980-343-5390

Membership: Current JEA membership for North Carolina as of March is 57, up eight from last spring. North Carolina Scholastic Media Association membership materials continue to offer a JEA membership option, as NCSMA is an affiliate member of JEA.

Events: North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute, June 17-20 The North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute will be held at UNC-Chapel Hill June 17-20. High school journalism students and advisers are invited to enroll. The four-day workshop teaches innovative and effective ways of communicating through scholastic media: online news, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, photojournalism, design and broadcast news. The early bird application deadline for registration is May 1. For more information, visit ncsma.unc.edu.

Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, June 26-29 Rising high school juniors and seniors interested in sports and media are encouraged to apply to the second annual Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, UNC-Chapel Hill June 27-30. The four-day workshop will instruct students on sports play-by-play, sports writing and sports photography through classroom study and newsroom practice. The deadline for applications is April 1, and the cost is $550 for instate students and $1,100 for out-of-state students. This covers lodging, instruction and meals. For more information, visit jomc.unc.edu/csjc.

Journalism Education Fellowship Program, July 7-13 NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program offers high school journalism teachers the opportunity to enroll in a one-week, short-term summer course with tuition funding provided by NCSMA. North Carolina journalism teachers and media advisers can qualify for free in-state tuition, lodging and books. The three-hour graduate credit course, “Teaching Broadcast Journalism in the Secondary School,” will be July 7-13.

Mentoring: North Carolina continues to participate in the JEA Mentor Program. Steve Unruhe, CJE, Carol Eanes, CJE, Candace Brandt and Brenda Gorsuch, MJE, now serve as mentors.

Awards and Honors: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association has announced East Mecklenburg High School journalist Ashleigh Fields as the 2019 Rachel Rivers Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year. Fields is the online editor-in-chief of the East Mecklenburg (Charlotte) school newspaper, The Eagle. Judges noted her strength and fluidity in writing, and creativity and thoughtfulness in subject matter.

Alternates for Journalist of the Year are Hannah Ellington of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, Leighann Vinesett of Hickory Grove Christian School in Charlotte and Kate Carroll of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte. Ellington is the co-editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, Nighthawk News Magazine; Vinesett is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Pride; and Carroll is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Eagle.

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

Fields will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition. Winners will be announced April 27 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim, California.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 18 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute, a summer journalism workshop open to students and teachers across the state.

Congratulations to Abigail Welch, a junior from Providence Senior High School, Charlotte, North Carolina, who won a National Silver Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

More North Carolina recipients of NSPA and CSPA awards can be found here.

North Dakota – Jeremy Murphy, CJE

West Fargo High School
801 9th St. E.
West Fargo, ND 58078
Work Phone: 701-499-1864

Membership: North Dakota has seven JEA members.

Happenings: The North Dakota student media organizations are in the third year of a transition to the North Dakota Student Media Association (www.ndsma.com). This organization is a collaborative relationship with the North Dakota Newspaper Association and the North Dakota Professional Communicators (a college journalism organization) where high school members are able to interact with college media students, teachers and professors from colleges and universities. The NDSMA fall conference took place Nov. 9 at Bismarck State College.

The spring competition is scheduled for April 8 at Bismarck State College. The categories are listed here.

Awards and honors:The North Dakota Student Media Association is taking the place of the previous state journalism organization, the Northern Interscholastic Press Association, which had been in existence since 1922.

Carly Bahr was named the North Dakota JEA Student Journalist of the Year. She attends WF Sheyenne High School and her adviser is Stephanie Cwikla.

Ohio – Maggie Cogar, CJE

401 College Ave.
138 Center for the Arts
Ashland, OH 44805
Cell Phone: 330-441-2860

Membership: The Ohio JEA membership is at 72 members, up from 57 members since the spring 2018 report. Efforts are being made to recruit JEA members in Ohio. The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) currently offers JEA membership through the state registration forms and Maggie Cogar, CJE, Ohio JEA State Director, and Candace Bowen, MJE, OSMA Executive Director, use state press association events to inform Ohio advisers about the benefits of joining JEA. We are using Constant Contact newsletters which are being emailed to all JEA and OSMA members and a database of over 800 administrators across the state in an attempt to increase membership for both JEA and OSMA.

Events: The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) will host approximately 400 journalism students and their teachers/advisers at the 2019 state convention at Kent State University April 12-13. Besides more than 50 breakout sessions and Saturday individualized school team-building and training sessions, students will receive awards from pre-entered contests and overall publication critique ratings. We will award the OSMA scholarship and announce the Ohio JOY winner. Keynote speaker will be Mary Beth Tinker.

Awards and honors: Jacob Fulton, Olentangy Orange High School, was the state winner in the 2019 Ohio Journalist of the Year competition (Kari Phillips, adviser).

For the board: New this contest season, the OSMA contest entry submission went digital. The work of JEA members and OSMA executive board members Juli McClain, CJE, and Amy Sorrel, CJE, made this possible. OSMA executive director Candace Bowen, MJE, also aided in the process as she worked through changing the judging process and training OSMA staff on the digital process.

The Ohio Scholastic Media Association continues to support Wayne Dunn, CJE, as the JEA mentor for the state. His work is invaluable in connecting advisers to resources offered at both the state and national level.

One of the largest accomplishments and highlights of OSMA in recent years is the addition of an active OSMA student board. This student board, advised by JEA members Karen Allen and Dean Hume, is comprised of 11 students from regions across the state. Student representatives attend two meetings a year and organize sessions for both the fall workshops and spring state convention. They also offer feedback after each workshop or convention and that feedback has led OSMA to offer different types of sessions and change the schedule of workshops to better meet student and adviser needs. Most importantly, it has allowed students to have a voice within the organization.

Oklahoma – Darla Tresner, MJE

3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006
Cell Phone: 918-214-5512

Membership: Oklahoma has 22 JEA members. JEA membership is promoted through workshops and conferences held at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Northeastern State University. It is also encouraged through emails, a dedicated Facebook page and by word of mouth.

Events and happenings: Oklahoma Scholastic Press Association conducts both fall and spring scholastic journalism conferences. They have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, will host its Media Day April 4. The Oklahoma Scholastic Media Association housed at the University of Oklahoma, will hold its annual Spring Media Conference April 8. Upcoming projects include forming a director’s advisory group consisting of members across the state, regional meetings with member advisers, a revamped member newsletter, new Twitter presence and a possible adviser retreat.

Oregon – Brian Eriksen, CJE

South Salem High School
1910 Church St.
Salem, OR 97302
Work Phone: 503-399-3252

Membership: JEA membership is 37. State membership in our state association is above 50. Efforts are being made to recruit more JEA members in Oregon.

Adviser Workshop: The Oregon Journalism Education Association Summer Adviser Workshops will be returning to Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon for the workshops July 22-25, 2019. They will be offering strands in Print Publications, Web/Multimedia, and Broadcast Journalism. This is a great opportunity to improve your skills, log PDU or CTE hours and get college credit if you choose. After hours, enjoy the nationally respected Oregon Shakespeare Festival. For more information visit Adviserworkshop.com

Portland Media Day: Member schools enjoyed Portland Media Day in early March, hosted by our sister organization, Northwest Scholastic Press and School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.

Awards and honors: Sagarika Ramachandran, of Lincoln High School in Portland, was our 2019 Oregon High School Journalist of the Year and will be awarded the Alyce Sheetz Memorial Scholarship.

Mentoring: There are three Oregon mentors this year: Ray Hopfer, CJE, Ellen Kersey, and Bill Flechtner, MJE. They are mentoring 10 new advisers in Oregon and other states. Thanks to Northwest Scholastic Press and Oregon Newspaper Publishers, the mentor program in Oregon is fully funded for the year.

Pennsylvania – Beth Ann Brown, CJE

Northeastern High School
300 High St.
Manchester, PA 17345
Home Phone: 717-421-3504
Work Phone: 717-266-3644

Membership: Pennsylvania has 62 members.

Events: The Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) hosted the Student Journalism Competition Finals at Pennsylvania State University March 27, 2019. Competitions centered around a press conference with a panel of Berkey Creamery employees. Winners were announced on-site for all categories except for broadcast and photography, which require a submission after the event. The Teacher of the Year and Keystone Awards were announced during the awards ceremony.

We have made progress on gaining support for New Voices. A survey was distributed to all JEA and PSPA members to gather information and anecdotes to be compiled and passed along to legislative members in Pennsylvania. The goal is for the survey to provide enough evidence to prove to the legislature changes are needed. The team spearheading the movement is currently seeking Republican support in Western Pennsylvania. We are optimistic, however, that the bill is coming soon. A New Voices presentation was also given at select regional SJCs in the fall.

We are consistently looking for ways to increase opportunities for students to showcase their skills. The PSPA board has invited two new members to join and hopes to welcome them in March. In the spring, PSPA board members met to revise competition rubrics and discuss New Voices.  

Awards and honors:

  • Teacher of the Year is Aaron Fitzpatrick, CJE, from Freedom Area High School
  • Rick Brooks, CJE, was announced as the recipient of the Jostens Presidential Award.
  • 2019 Keystone Awards:
  • Yearbook: Daedalus from Northeastern High School and Sigma from Eastern Lebanon County High School
  • Newspaper: Spoke from Conestoga High School and The Voice from Perkiomen Valley High School
  • Lit Mag: Pulp from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
Rhode Island – Doreen Picozzi, MJE

Lincoln High School
135 Old River Road
Lincoln, RI 02865
Work Phone: 401-334-7500
Cell Phone: 401-524-6517

Membership: Rhode Island currently has two members.

Awards and Recognition: Adam Zangari (‘19) of Lincoln High School who represented the state as a Free Spirit Award and scholarship winner in July, is representing Rhode Island in the national JOY competition. Adam has been studying journalism since his sophomore year, and for the past two years, has been working for WPRO 630 (a Providence-based AM radio station) during high school basketball playoffs, providing color and commentary.

Jenna Laciofano, Elizabeth DiMasso and Adam Zangari — all of Lincoln High School — have been recognized by the New England Scholastic Press Association in its fall “Localizing” Contest.

Happenings: LHS Journalism Academy traveled back to Gillette Stadium — home to the New England Patriots — in November to participate in another highly effective visit to the stadium press box. About 50 students participated. Gillette officials provide journalism students with press kits and assign small groups to media outlets. Each group must produce coverage that reflects their medium as well as their point of view. The visit provides valuable application of skills and authentic tasks that truly inspire our students.

URI Professor John Pantalone, Journalism Department Chair, visited LHS in February as part of National Scholastic Journalism week. Pantalone reaches out to the state’s high schools annually, and has been a featured presenter on wartime photojournalism, journalism education, career development, story development, newsworthiness and more.

Photojournalist Cheryl Hatch (isisphotos.com) visited Lincoln High School in February as part of SPJ’s Press4Education program. Hatch’s lively, interactive presentation was the highlight of the quarter for journalism students who hope to welcome her back again before the end of the school year.

The New England Scholastic Press Association is hosting its annual conference at Boston University May 3. Students from several Rhode Island high schools will be in attendance. JEA State Director Doreen Picozzi joins advisers from all over the region as a judge again for this year’s special recognition awards.

LHS students also join college students at Bryant University to observe Professor Michael Montecalvo’s broadcast class. The high school students observe and ‘score’ college student interviews in Bryant’s state of the art studio.

South Carolina – Leslie Dennis

South Carolina Scholastic Press Association and SIPA
800 Sumter St.
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Columbia, SC 29208
Work Phone: 803-777-6146

Membership: South Carolina currently has 22 JEA members.


Carolina Journalism Institute – The Carolina Journalism Institute will take place June 12-15 at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Columbia. This summer’s institute is limited to 75 students and will combine written, visual and social media elements. Students will be placed in a group, assigned a beat and produce a story for various platforms using skills taught throughout the Institute. Faculty members – AJ Chambers, CJE, Kelly Furnas, MJE, and others– will teach sessions and act as mentors to students. Tuition is only $225 and on-campus housing is $100. Find out more information online.

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

SIPA convention – SIPA’s 2019 convention had a diverse group of 450 students and advisers from seven states traveling to Columbia March 1-3. Brenda Gorsuch, MJE, retired West Henderson High School adviser, was recognized as the SIPA Endowment speaker.

Neha Madhira and Haley Stack were the Saturday night keynote speakers, and shared their experiences with censorship and battling for First Amendment rights for students.

We offered the CJE test for five advisers, with four advisers being able to show up at the time of the test. Thanks to Jane Blystone, MJE, for proctoring the test and Kim Green, MJE, and Pam Boller for being so flexible with the dates and application process.  

AWARDS: Journalist of the Year – Greyson Webb, a senior at Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant), has been named the South Carolina Journalist of the Year by SCSPA. Webb, the co-editor-in-chief of Wando’s Legend yearbook and a yearbook representative on the SCSPA executive board, will receive $500 and recognition at the 2019 SCSPA Spring Conference. Other award winners include:

  • Southern Interscholastic Press Association Broadcast Scroggins Award – “RNE TV,” Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Southern Interscholastic Press Association Literary Magazine Scroggins Award – Psyche, Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Southern Interscholastic Press Association Yearbook Scroggins Award – The Archive, Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Southern Interscholastic Press Association Elizabeth B. Dickey Distinguished Service Award – Justin Fabiano, Media Technology teacher at Stratford High School, Goose Creek, South Carolina
  • Elizabeth B. Dickey SIPA Scholarship – Kailey Cota, Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, South Carolina
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association High School Hybrid News Crown Finalist – Tribal Tribune/tribaltribune.org, Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
South Dakota – Marina Hendricks, CJE

South Dakota State University
School of Communication and Journalism
Box 2235
Yeager Hall 224
Brookings, SD 57007
Work Phone: (605) 688-6515

Membership: South Dakota has seven members – no change from the fall 2018 report.

Events: The South Dakota High School Press Convention will take place Oct. 21 at the University of South Dakota.

Awards and honors: Entries for our high school journalist of the year competition were due March 25. The winner was recognized during the spring colloquium of South Dakota State University’s School of Communication & Journalism April 16. This contest is not aligned with the national JOY program. We hope to do that in the future. In addition, the South Dakota High School Activities Association conducts an annual contest to recognize excellence in newswriting, photography, newspaper and yearbook. All award winners are honored at the annual convention.

Tennessee – Heather Nagel, CJE

Christ Presbyterian Academy
2323 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215
Work Phone: 615-373-9550

Membership: We have 69 JEA members.

Events: Jimmy McCollum, the director of Tennessee High School Press Association, organized Tennessee High School Press Association’s annual Awards Day which was held March 4. The Keynote speaker was Brad Schmitt, columnist for The Tennessean.

Future Events:The JEA/NSPA Spring Convention is coming to Nashville, April 16-18, 2020, and we can’t wait to welcome all of y’all.

A Local Committee has been formed for the Nashville Spring Convention, with 16 members from across the state. We have our first meeting as a committee April 7. The members are Heather Nagel, Jimmy McCollum, Kelly Huddleston, H.L. Hall, Joy McCaleb, Debbie Chessor, Clay Scott, Michael Ellson, Denise Croker, Anna Katherine Berkompas, Emily Harris, Donna Emmons, Adam Wilsman, Amanda Wash, Maria Jernigan, and Lisa Zenner

Awards: It is a great year for Arlington High School. They won THSPA’s Administrator of the Year, Outstanding Media Adviser of the Year and H.L.Hall Student Journalist of the Year!

  • Administrator of the Year: Chris Duncan, Arlington High School
  • Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Media Adviser of the Year: Jessica Roberts, Arlington High School
  • H.L. Hall Student Journalist of the Year: Aaron Moser, Arlington High School

In addition, we’re proud of the following award winners:

  • Here are the individual award winners in yearbook, broadcasting, newspaper, and literary magazine.
  • Tennessee is proud to announce four Tennessee students won Individual Awards from National Scholastic Press Association.
  • Tennessee is proud to announce there was a Pacemaker and Crown Finalist from our state.
  • One student was recognized by Quill and Scroll as a Sweepstake Winner for her journalism work.
  • There were 14 other Tennessee individual awards from Quill and Scroll.

Mentor News: Joy McCaleb is our state’s JEA Mentor. She is continuing to work with the journalism programs at Mt. Juilet High School and Upperman High School.

Texas – Leah Waters, CJE

Heritage High School
14040 Eldorado Pkwy
Frisco, TX 75035
Work Phone: 469-633-5955 x 25917
Cell Phone: 972-822-6950

Membership: There are currently 329 Texas JEA members, many of whom are first-time members.

Events: The Interscholastic League Press Conference State Convention will be May 4-5 at the University of Texas in Austin. The Association of Texas Photography Instructors hosted Winter Conference Feb. 22-24 at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Region 6 Rep Pedro Cabrera, CJE, and Region 7 Rep Kari Riemer, CJE, will host a one-day adviser workshop April 6 at Texas State University in San Marcos. Sessions will include writing, photography, design, broadcast, staff management, New Voices, grading and organization.


  • Advocates of New Voices Texas are working with state advisers, students and other supporters to come to Austin March 22 for a Lobby Day at the capitol.
  • TAJE is overhauling its efforts on mentoring scholastic media advisers in the state. We’ll be launching a resource page on our website for those members seeking mentorship.
  • Texas Educators Association is potentially forming committees to explore CTE courses. TAJE president Margie Raper, MJE, reached out to Laura Torres, the TEA CTE coordinator for career clusters Arts, AV Tech and Communications Information Technology. Torres said the Industry Advisory Committee is already closed, but she can report they have several committee members who are pro-journalism in CTE. She will be adding Raper to their proactive outreach communication. This will be helpful as they take their research and develop a final report/recommendations for TEA and SBOE regarding courses, curriculum and descriptions for college and career readiness clusters.
  • For the second year, The Headliners Foundation voted to approve a grant for $1,500 to pay tuition for five Texas scholastic journalism educators to attend Teachapalooza at the Poynter Institute June 7-9.
  • Best in Texas certificates were mailed to almost 300 winners in the yearbook contest, and certificates will go out soon to the winners of the print/online and broadcast contests. Judging will be completed soon.

Awards and Honors:

  • In a surprise celebration March 8, TAJE executive director Cindy Todd named Westlake High School principal Steve Ramsey the 2019 TAJE Administrator of the Year. Ramsey will be formally honored at the ILPC Spring Convention in May.
  • TAJE president Margie Raper, MJE, and JEA state director Leah Waters, CJE, surprised Journalist of the Year Parker Davis at St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas March 6 with the award. Davis will submit his portfolio March 15 to compete in JEA’s JOY scholarship contest.
  • Four $1,000 TAJE scholarship winners (in addition to the $1,500 JOY winner) will be honored at ILPC. Also, TAJE will award $150 student scholarships and three $250 teacher scholarships for summer workshops.
  • Eleven yearbooks and online news sites from Texas will be recognized as NSPA Pacemaker finalists/winners in Anaheim.
  • Charla Harris, CJE, who advises The Hawk yearbook at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, will be honored as the 2018 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year at the NHSJC in Anaheim. Harris serves as the past president of TAJE. Rebecca Pollard, MJE, who advises the Leopard at Lovejoy High School in Lucas, will be recognized as a JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser, and Deanne Brown, who is retiring as the adviser of The Featherduster at Westlake High School will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

For the Board: Nothing new for the board at this time.

Utah – Morgan Olsen

Rockwell Charter High School
3435 E Stonebridge Lane
Eagle Mountain, UT 84005

Membership: Utah has 10 JEA Members.

Events: UCMA (Utah College Media) re-introduced the Coverage Cup at the symposium in Nov. 2018. In its second year, this category for the Futures Awards is exclusively available to schools that participated in a Utah College Media Alliance program in 2018 (the Futures Awards in May 2018, the Bootcamp in June 2018, or the Symposium in Nov. 2018). There is no entry fee for this category and all schools are entered to compete after completing the Initial Entry Form.

Schools compete against each other by covering a special-interest topic of their choosing all year long and submitting their work in late April as part of the Futures Awards. More information can be found at www.utahcollegemedia.org.

The UCMA Futures Awards are set for May 10, 2019. According to the UCMA website, “The Futures Awards are designed to recognize excellent journalism by Utah high school students. Sponsored by the Utah College Media Alliance in collaboration with the Utah Press Association, the contest is judged by Utah’s college journalists, journalism professors and professional journalists. The Futures encourage high school students who show an interest in journalism to pursue their media interests into college. The award ceremony for the Futures will be held May 10, 2019 at the University of Utah. More details will be sent to contest entrants, but mark your calendar for a red carpet awards night to celebrate the best of journalism and media from Utah’s high schools. Oh, and there’s a cash award for the high school that accumulates the most points throughout the contest in each classification (6A/5A/4A & 3A/2A/1A).”

Rules and instructions for the Futures were sent out via email to high school advisers at each high school, but in case you missed that email, click on the “Rules” link here for a list of categories for submission and rules for the contest.

Awards and honors: We did not have a Student Journalist of the Year for Utah this year, but plan to hit it hard next year.

For the board: The student-led New Voices movement is still well underway in Utah, but nothing has been formally passed yet. More information can be found on the New Voices of Utah Facebook page.

Vermont – Nancy Olson, CJE

45 Pratt Road
Putney, VT 05346
Home Phone: 802-387-5963

Membership: Vermont currently has four members.

Events:  After the controversy of fall 2018, the adviser and the student editors of “The Register,” the student newspaper (print and online) at Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont, working with the school’s lawyer and others, has developed a publications policy which aligns with Vermont’s New Voices law, signed by the governor in May 2017. At my request, John Bowen sent a model policy in November 2018.

Awards and Honors:  The Burlington High School student newspaper, “The Register,” and its editors have received numerous honors after their principled stand on their First Amendment right under Vermont’s New Voices law, signed by the governor in May 2017, to publish a story the principal tried to censor. They were honored with a Special Recognition Award by the New England First Amendment Coalition and received the Vermont Press Association’s New Voices Award for fighting against censorship. In addition, one of “The Register’s” editors, Halle Newman, was chosen to represent Vermont at the 2018 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Conference in Washington, D.C. Newman is also the Vermont JEA JOY winner for 2019.

Virginia – Erinn Harris, MJE

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

Membership: Virginia currently has 84 JEA members.

Events: We had a successful Media Championship workshop with our VHSL partners in October. A reboot of sorts, this event took place on a single day rather than holding regional championship workshops. At the workshop, three advisers sat for certification exams. We’re looking forward to an even more successful workshop Oct. 19, 2019, again at Harrisonburg High School.

January was an exciting month for Virginia. At our annual jRetreat (this year with Bobby Hawthorne), we learned the hearing in House Subcommittee #1 for HB 2382 would be Jan. 25. We had strong support from Delegate Chris Hurst, our chief patron, and from about two dozen other proponents of the bill. Eleven students from Prince George High School lobbied legislators all day leading up to the hearing. There were at least 10 people prepared to speak in support of the bill, but the chairman limited us to three speakers. In the interest of fairness, they limited the opposition to three speakers. These speakers included representatives from the school board association, the superintendents association, and the principals association. The bill did not make it out of the subcommittee, but Delegate Hurst (should he get re-elected) is ready to try again in 2020, as are we.

Speaking of jRetreat, please join us in 2020! We had advisers from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Tennessee join us this year. Mark your calendars for Jan. 17-18. Michelle Balmeo will be joining us for a weekend of hands-on learning and commiseration.

Planning for the 2019 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. is chugging along. We’ve got an exciting keynote speaker (to be announced the Monday after Anaheim). We’re lining up top-notch featured speakers. We’ve got nighttime trolley tours for not one, but TWO nights. The t-shirt is super cute, as is the pretty amazing promo video created by local chair, Meghan Percival, and local committee members Lindsay Benedict and Chris Waugaman. We had a very productive planning meeting March 9, and we’ll be meeting again May 4. Needless to say, we’re excited. Thanks to all members of the local committee, which spans geographical territory from D.C. to Maryland to Virginia to Mississippi to South Carolina and beyond.

Awards: Congratulations go out to Nyah Phengsitthy of Harrisonburg High School for being named the Virginia Journalist of the year. Kudos to her adviser, Valerie Kibler, MJE. Another set of congratulations to Mary Kay Downes, MJE, of Chantilly High School for being named this year’s JEA Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award winner. Downes will speak during the luncheon at the JEA Advisers Institute in New Orleans this July. The Yearbook Queen is an inspiration to us all.

Washington – Anne Hayman, MJE

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

Membership: There are 66 members of JEA from Washington State. Our state organization, WJEA, has 93 adult/adviser members with 20+ student members. Among those, we have 47 shared members.

Events: Since our fall report, WJEA has hosted two Adobe training workshops. We hosted one Jan. 12, 2019 that focused on Photoshop and InDesign. Illustrator training was Jan. 26. Both were held at Cleveland High School in Seattle, WA and were taught by Teresa Scribner, CJE.

We host our state conference March 16 at Cleveland High School in Seattle. We have 112 students signed up for competitions, and as of March 11, we had 186 registered for the conference. We expect that number to increase over the week. The number of attendees is lower than we’ve had in years. We had several weeks of snow impacting our school days in the area, so we believe that is the primary reason for the low numbers.  Our keynote speaker is John Tinker. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Tinker vs. Des Moines decision and the anniversary of New Voices legislation being passed in Washington State.

Our primary upcoming event is the 2019 Summer Workshop. It will be held at Washington State University’s Edward R Murrow School of Journalism. The theme of the camp is “It’s All Connected”. We’re updating the logo to include the shape of the state in the background to emphasize the connectivity of all scholastic journalism programs statewide.  We will NOT have an expert in residence this year. We will continue our simulation model to apply the training from sessions to the publication cycle. Experienced advisers can choose to participate in the simulations and go from major session to major session. We are also adding a yearbook theme development major track this year. We will still have a beginning adviser track. Experienced advisers can choose to attend that track if they wish.

Awards: We recognized a variety of journalists and advisers at our state conference, March 16. Chris Twombley, CJE, Mercer Island High School was awarded the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award AND the Adviser of the Year award.  The Washington State Journalist of the Year is Annika Prom from Mountlake Terrace High School. Washington’s Lu Flannery Outstanding Journalist is Greta Forslund from Timberline High School. Sandra Coyer, MJE, received our Experienced Adviser Professional Development Grant.

West Virginia – Jessica Bramer, CJE

John Marshall High School
1300 Wheeling Ave.
Glen Dale, WV 26038
Work Phone: 304-843-4444

Membership: West Virginia has eight JEA members.

Nothing new to report from West Virginia.

Wisconsin – Matthew Smith, CJE

Fond du Lac High School
801 Campus Dr.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Cell Phone: 920-266-5590

Membership: Wisconsin JEA membership currently stands at 59. Communication has been sent out to advisers whose membership lapsed since last year.

Events: The Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA) recently hosted its annual Winter Advisers Seminar March 1-2 in Delavan, Wisconsin. Upcoming events include the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA) annual Spring Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, April 10. KEMPA’s Summer Journalism Workshop will also take place at Marquette University in Milwaukee July 21-24. This year’s theme is “Tales as Old as Time,” and registration is currently open.

Awards and Honors: We have just concluded collecting entries for the Wisconsin Student Journalist of the Year Contest. The competition is aligned closely with the national program and will present an award of $400 to the winner in early March. The winner is Mary Ellen Ritter, Editor-in-Chief of Legend Yearbook at Brookfield Central High School.

For the Board: With the support of KEMPA, NEWSPA and other advisers across the state, I am exploring the possibility of organizing a state association for Wisconsin to help coordinate the Wisconsin JOY program, better connect state journalism programs to existing organizations and provide professional development opportunities for advisers across the state, especially those in wide swaths not currently served by any regional associations. The goal would be to start small and simple as we get a sense of what programs in the state need.

Wyoming – Dawn Knudsvig

Arvada-Clearmont High School
1601 Meade Ave.
P.O. Box 125
Clearmont, WY 82835
Work Phone: 307-758-4444

Membership: Wyoming has 14 JEA members and 31 WHSSPA members.

Events: Wyoming held its annual J-Day Nov. 5, 2018 in Riverton at Central Wyoming College (CWC). Attendance was up this year. The convention hosted 21 different schools with 173 students and advisers attending.  We had a keynote speaker, as well as specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops and discussion groups. Other convention activities included vendors, an awards luncheon, publication critiques, individual contests, and all-state and state champion recognition. Most importantly, fellow students and advisers were able to share ideas,  collaborate, and strengthen their programs.

Next year, our state convention will again be held at CWC. The WHSSPA Board of Directors looks forward to adding new on-site competitions, updating  the website (with SNO), and adding resources to help student journalist and advisers. The Board also discussed the potential of adding seasonal contests, which will be posted through social media and the new website to encourage scholastic journalism throughout the school year. We are currently scheduling future convention vendors, judges, and presenters.  Our main goal is to work to increase student attendance at the convention and increase membership.

Jill Miller was elected President, after Lisa Gray stepped down from the position.  Erika Quick, CJE, will serve under Dawn Knudsvig as the Executive Director Elect. Dan Morris serves as the Vice President with one term remaining.   Katie Raines began her two-year term as Secretary. Greg Rohrer continues to serve as the Treasurer. Teri Brantz, Lisa Gray, and Anita Mertz are the current Members at Large. Jill Miller, Katherine Raines, and Erika Quick will work together to fill the role of webmaster for the organization. The board will meet once a month, on Sunday evening, via Google Hangouts.

The date for the 2019 state convention is tentatively set for Nov. 4.

Recognition, Awards and Honors:

The Board would like to thank Dawn Knudsvig for her years of service as the JEA State Director. She continues to serve on the board as she trains the new JEA State Director, Erika Quick, CJE.

Congratulations to Erika Quick of Cody High School in Cody, Wyoming who was recognized as the JEA Distinguished Adviser of the Year.

Special thanks to Katherine Patrick, CJE, who is a state mentor for new advisers. The Board thanks her for her continuing support and work with new advisers in Wyoming.

Check out our website, Wyoming High School Student Press Association (WHSSPA)

Our new site sponsored by SNO will hopefully go live by the end of March.

Liaison – National Scholastic Press Association – Laura Widmer

2829 University Ave. S.E., Suite 720
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Work Phone: 612-200-9254
Work Fax: 612-626-0720

Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about what’s going on at National Scholastic Press Association. We value our partnership with JEA and look forward to future conventions.

The Pioneer is the highest honor NSPA awards to journalism educators. Pioneers are individuals who make substantial contributions to high school journalism programs and scholastic journalism education outside their primary employment.

Pacemaker judging continues with the new system of current, and at times, teamed with retired advisers to evaluate the best of the year. Judging takes place at NSPA headquarters in Minneapolis.

We invited a group of NSPA advisory committee members to a work weekend in Minneapolis. The group discussed current contests and critiques offered by NSPA, as well as additional services.

We have started a new individual award for this academic year, the Climate Matters Story of the Year. NSPA has partnered with Climate Matters to share local climate reporting resources with reporters. There will be three cash prizes to the first, second and third place winners. Entries will be submitted in June and the $500 first place, $300 second place and $200 third place winner will be recognized in Washington, D.C.

We are also soliciting blogs from advisers and student editors to place on our website. If you have a blog, column, tips and advice you’d like to share, please reach out to us.

The travels with Kelly continue. Kelly Glasscock, CJE, and I have hit the road to visit with upcoming convention hotel planning teams, as well as the local planning committees throughout the year. Also, we are closing in on more site visit trips to firm up convention cities for fall 2022 and openings in our spring convention schedule.

We look forward to our second year with The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop. The workshop, held in Dallas, has educated thousands of high school journalists for 38 years. In 2018, most of the staffs participating in the The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop were NSPA members, with Pacemaker-winning schools represented. The Gloria Shields/NSPA Media Workshop is scheduled for June 24-27, at its longtime location at the Addison Marriott Quorum near the Galleria in Dallas. Early bonus classes are scheduled for June 23. You can register at the workshop website.

As executive director of NSPA, I value your opinion. I want to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, and you may want to consider joining the NSPA Advisory Committee. You can reach me at laura@studentpress.org

Liaison – Student Press Law Center – Hadar Harris Esq

1608 Rhode Island Ave.
Suite 211
Washington, D.C. 20036
Work Phone: 202-785-5450
Work Fax: 202-822-5045

Welcome to the Year of the Student Journalist!

Launched Jan. 30, 2019, Student Press Freedom Day, the Year of the Student Journalist (#studentpressfreedom) has three main goals: (1) to raise awareness about the great work and impact of student journalists, (2) to understand and address the challenges student journalists and media advisers face, and (3) to stress the importance of journalism education as a key driver of civic engagement for young people.

The Year launched with more than 60 student newspapers around the country publishing editorials and op-eds reflecting the need for student press freedom. You can see the full collection – and read a wonderful diversity of perspectives – at www.splc.org.

Throughout the year, the Newseum is featuring the front pages of student newspapers as part of its Front Pages display on Pennsylvania Avenue (as well as on its app).

A variety of events are being planned at the national and local level. The Year of the Student Journalist is meant to be a vibrant time for students and advisers to create new narratives, activities and events which highlight your important work. While the SPLC and national partners like JEA, the Freedom Forum Institute, the Newseum and many others work to frame a national discussion, you have a great opportunity to help us inform the broader community about your good work. Check out the Year of the Student Journalist webpage for ideas and let us know about your events. You can download the cool Year of the Student Journalist logo for use in your publications and at events. You can even find some cool swag! We’re always open to partnerships and great ideas, so if you have a crazy idea, bring it on!

The core of SPLC’s work continues to be the work we do on the legal hotline, answering questions from thousands of student journalists and advisers each year. This year, in addition to ongoing cases of censorship and prior review, we have seen an increase in inquiries about takedown policies, newspaper theft, retaliation against advisers, and many questions about reporting on #MeToo.  Just a reminder that we have many resources on the newly relaunched SPLC website, including a Public Records letter generator, tip sheets on Covering Protests and Walkouts, and the weekly #AskSPLC – quick answers to your big questions. The cases we’ve been working on at SPLC only reinforce the need to lift up the great work of student journalists and the challenges you face.

Finally, as we celebrate the launch of the Year of the Student Journalist, we also see the start of the legislative season in statehouses across the country. This year, the New Voices movement is experiencing an unprecedented number of bills pending in legislatures from Hawaii to New York. Eleven states (so far) have introduced student press freedom protections.

A national organizing call was held in early March for New Voices leaders in states where legislation is currently pending to share strategies, compare challenges and think about coordinated action.

The first success was March 8, when Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed HB1231 which expands New Voices protections in Arkansas to explicitly apply to college and university students. This builds on the 1995 Arkansas Student Publications Act, one of the first bills to adopt k-12 student press protections. In a signing statement, Governor Hutchinson said, “Freedom of the press is one of our foundational freedoms. Student journalists at colleges and universities have the same right to freely gather information as any other journalist. The freedom of the press that our Constitution guarantees does not limit that freedom by age.”  We could not agree more. Congratulations to our friends in Arkansas!

As momentum around New Voices continues to grow, we are planning for a national organizing summit in Oct. 2019, and more legislative successes this year! New Voices Facebook groups are alive and well and up-to-date resources are available in those groups and on the SPLC website. Find your group and get involved!

At the SPLC, we are proud to support your work and to promote and defend the work of student journalists.  As always, we stand ready to assist with any legal questions which may arise for your publication. Let’s use the Year of the Student Journalist (#studentpressfreedom) to celebrate great work and focus attention on the important contributions student journalists and media advisers make every day.

Liaison – Higher Education – Kate Klonowski, MJE

6819 Brookside Road
Independence, OH 44131
Home Phone: 216-534-3498

I’m looking forward to attending the NAMLE conference in Washington D.C. this June and the AEJMC conference in Toronto in August to report back to JEA on recent research, developments and collaborations in scholastic media.

A current project I’m working on is a news and media literacy partnership initiative at Case Western Reserve University with students in schools with little or no scholastic journalism programming. The program is in the process of being funded and developed.

More consistent reporting out through C:JET and the listserv is a primary goal over the next several months.

If the board has specific suggestions, please feel free to reach out.

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