Spring 2022 semiannual report

Spring 2022 semiannual report

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

Kelly Glasscock, CJE
Executive Director, Journalism Education Association
014 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506-1500

Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,452, which is an increase from a comparable time last spring. This spring marks two years since the start of the pandemic crisis. Membership has started to increase for the first time in the last few years. Last fall’s convention was online, the third virtual convention in a row. Numbers were strong, but not on par with the previous in-person fall conventions. Total membership stands at 2,614.

Headquarters: The JEA offices are now open and fully staffed in person. Employees are capable of working in their offices or at home as needed. A national search was conducted to replace the outgoing director at the end of the fiscal year.

Financial Position: As of March 7, 2022, JEA’s expenses were $279,629, whereas total revenue is $225,481, which means JEA has a net operating revenue of $-57,665. Investment revenue has fluctuated greatly this year with total other revenue at $50,177. The result is a net revenue of -$13,343. Markets have been uneasy with large peaks and valleys. We have a long-term investment strategy, which means the day-to-day fluctuations have no impact on our operating budget. JEA’s financial position is $1,754,356 in total current assets.

Lindsay Porter
Assistant Director

Communications by the numbers:
4,180 Facebook followers — 11% increase since fall 2021  
4,281 Twitter followers — 4% increase
2,091 Instagram followers — 5% increase
9,657 newsletter email contacts — 39% open rate, 5% click rate
918 JEA Listserv followers — 9% decrease
225 LinkedIn followers — 26% increase

Communications highlights:

  • Facebook engagement and followers are up. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn followers also continue to grow. JEA Listserv participation is declining. 
  • Cleaning up the JEA email marketing lists to remove multiple addresses for the same contact. 
  • Updated summer workshop package was a success. The Summer Workshop Directory will appear in the summer C:JET magazine and is online at JEA.org. 
  • Worked with Certification Chair Amy Sorrell, MJE, to update the membership application/payment tracking process at headquarters. We also made improvements to how we track and assign certification in our data management system.
  • Working with PJ Cabrera, CJE, and the Scholastic Journalism Week committee to start a SJW student poster contest for the 2023 event. Look for more information this spring about the contest specifics.

Convention highlights:

  • Fall 2021 convention platform — TalentLMS — was another success. Total participation was 4,519 with advisers and students from 289 schools. With one adviser-teacher registration, a teacher got classroom-wide access for all of their students. The total attendance was less than the spring 2021 attendance, but with it being our third virtual convention in a row, we expected a slight drop.
  • We are wrapping up the program and schedule for the in-person spring convention in Los Angeles April 7-9. We are very excited to have Hilde Lysiak as the keynote speaker and offer convention attendees exclusive, early access to her upcoming memoir.
  • Updated banners and added new material to increase JEA’s brand presence at conventions. JEA will have a booth in the trade show since we have downgraded the bookstore. The booth will feature information about JEA programs as well as a short list of merchandise items for sale. JEA members who visit the booth will receive a free gift. 
  • We’ve created new JEA lifetime member ribbons for name badges.

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

As I write this, I’m deep in the process of arranging my students’ trip to attend the spring National High School Journalism Convention in L.A., and it’s a glorious feeling. I’m so glad advisers and staffs will have the opportunity in April to experience the incredible energy of our scholastic journalism community in person.

At the same time, the convention is but one small part of what we do, and I’m grateful for the ongoing efforts of so many volunteers working behind the scenes to chair committees, develop new initiatives, manage contests, promote programs, create resources, judge awards or scholarship entries — and so much more. Thank you for contributing to the journalism, education and association to benefit teachers and their students.

Much of my focus as president these past few months has been chairing the search committee for the upcoming vacancy in JEA’s executive director position. We had 85 candidates at the Nov. 30 deadline, and our team spent countless hours screening applications and conducting follow-up interviews online in December to narrow the pool to 18, then identifying three wonderful finalists. We conducted formal interviews via Zoom Jan. 24-26 and look forward to making a formal announcement April 1.

Each member of the search committee played an essential role in the process to secure the best outcome for JEA. Our office staff was fantastic, too — as always — carving out time each day to meet with the finalists online, make connections, ask questions and provide insights about their operations and needs at headquarters. 

Our incoming director is a wonderful person who brings deep professional experience in nonprofit association leadership, expertise in strategic planning and passion for lifelong learning. She has big shoes to fill, as we wish Kelly Glasscock all the best when his contract ends June 30. I look forward to helping make those upcoming transitions as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

Some of my other efforts since the last report include:

  • Coordinating a board work session Nov. 12 in L.A. to make progress on administrator outreach and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The board approved this Commitment to diversity Nov. 13.
  • Developing PD Pairings for the JEA Mentoring Program and hosting a Dec. 7 session online for mentees and mentors about photography and design
  • Writing this post for the Scholastic Press Rights Committee blog
  • Participating in online board work sessions Jan. 20 and Feb. 8 to revise the 2022-23 budget and meet with JEA’s auditor
  • Participating in the Better Together administrator advisory board kickoff session Feb. 3
  • Writing this “Empowering student voices” post for the DEI page with a set of 37 scholastic media examples for classroom use, which connects to “Scholastic Media Empowers Students to Use Their Voices to Address Inequalities and Inform Their Communities,” the session I presented with Evelyn Lauer, MJE, and Val Kibler, MJE, as part of NCTE’s 2021 Convention: Equity, Justice and Antiracist Teaching
  • Presenting “Beyond the scoreboard: Strategies for improving sports coverage” for the fall online JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention
  • Serving on the Society of Professional Journalists Journalism Ed Committee and working on its #Press4Education initiative
  • Administering JEA’s online critique training, “You be the judge,” which moves this month from Participate to TalentLMS

I’d like to thank each of you for enriching our professional learning community through your efforts as teachers, advisers, volunteers, staff members and scholastic media education supporters. In spite of today’s challenges, including the mass exodus from our profession, widespread misinformation, skepticism of the media and added demands for teachers and students, JEA remains a thriving network of caring educators sharing ideas, advocating for press freedom, celebrating journalistic excellence, serving others and amplifying student voice. It’s an honor to serve you, and with one year left in our three-year elected term, I promise to do all I can to strengthen and grow the association we all love.

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

If the last two years have taught me anything, it’s just how resilient and hard working teachers are. Especially journalism teachers. I am in awe of how quickly teachers have adapted with every change thrown at them. And most importantly, I’m thrilled that so many people have put in the extra effort to get their kids to our first in-person convention this spring. Talk about dedication to kids and our profession!

Much of my time over the past six months has been spent serving on the JEA search committee for our next executive director. I was so excited to have 85 applications that we spent lots of time narrowing down to 18 finalists who we interviewed. Our second round of interviews with our three finalists have left me truly excited about our incoming executive director who will take over for Kelly Glasscock July 1. 

Some of my other efforts since the last report include:

  • Attending a board work session Nov. 12 in L.A. to work on an administrator outreach program as well as our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • Helping with PD Pairings for the JEA Mentoring Program and hosting a Jan. 8 session online for mentees and mentors about writing
  • Serving on the JEA Mentoring committee
  • Participating in online board work sessions Jan. 20 and Feb. 8 to revise the 2022-23 budget and meet with JEA’s auditor
  • Participating in the Better Together administrator advisory board kickoff session Feb. 3
  • Assisting with an online session with Evelyn Lauer, MJE, and Sarah Nichols, MJE, as part of NCTE’s 2021 Convention: Equity, Justice and Antiracist Teaching
  • Participating in a CTE Zoom meeting March 10.

I hope you all have a glorious ending to your school year and enjoy some much needed time for yourselves this summer. I also hope to see you at JEAai and other summer workshops refilling your cup and training the next generation of scholastic journalists.

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

Remember when we thought last year would be the hardest school year? Ah, those were the days. The 2021-2022 school year has been unbelievably challenging with the continued stresses of the pandemic, horrific world events and deeply divided country — all of which impact our classrooms. This is an incredibly difficult time for us all, so it is even more important to strengthen our support of student voices so they can report honestly and ethically. As I wrote in a recent blog, whether you are lucky enough to have leaders who support student journalism or are struggling with censorship and pressure from above, please know we at the Scholastic Press Rights Committee see you and value you. We are here to rejoice with you when school leaders have your back, and we are here to strategize with you when they don’t. 

The Scholastic Press Rights Committee works in teams with members in a variety of areas. Members include Candace Bowen, MJE; John Bowen, MJE; Lindsay Coppens; Diana Day, CJE; Vince DeMiero, CJE; Mark Dzula; Jan Ewell, MJE; Brenda Field, MJE; Megan Fromm, MJE; Mark Goodman; Emilee Hussack, CJE; Cyndi Hyatt, CJE; Lori Keekley, MJE; Val Kibler, MJE; Jackie Mink; Andrea Negri, MJE; Sarah Nichols, MJE; Tripp Robbins, CJE; Kathy Schrier, MJE; Leslie Shipp, MJE; Matt Smith, CJE; John Tagliareni; Audrey Wagstaff, MJE; Mitch Ziegler, CJE; and Stan Zoller, MJE.

We’ve begun work revisiting our mission statement and developing new goals and action plans to educate, advocate and empower. Some of this work includes developing short videos we can embed on our website to answer press rights FAQs, reaching out to stakeholders to advocate for student voices more publicly and auditing the Panic Button to see how it can be most effective as a tool. When anyone pushes the Panic Button, we continue to provide confidential support for advisers and students in need of help. We work in tandem with the Student Press Law Center: They provide legal support, and we provide advice and support from an educator perspective. Additionally, we reach out to those who post on the Listserv and Facebook groups asking for help about censorship or prior review issues. We also often respond privately to those on the Listserv or through the journalism Facebook groups. 

New Voices in New Jersey

The big news this year has been New Jersey becoming the 15th New Voices state. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the latest New Voices law Dec. 21, 2021 ( P.L.2021, c.309.)  Congrats to stalwart advisers Darrell De Tample, Tom McHale and John Tagliareni for their incredible efforts and partnership with SPLC to get this bill signed into law. 

“This is a great victory for scholastic journalism in NJ. The bill protects students’ press rights and protects their teachers from any abuse for defending their students. While the protections went into effect immediately upon the signing, the law mandates that each district have a policy that aligns with the law by the start of the next school year,” Tagliareni said.

Tagliareni has been busy working with the SPLC and the NJ New Voices Team in order to roll out the information in the state. The SPLC produced a guide on their website to help all New Jersey stakeholders understand the New Voices Law. This is a 16-page brochure in hard copy, which will eventually be mailed. The model policy is also online. He met online with a consortium of numerous NJ journalism organizations, which will be an ongoing collaboration. He has also assisted the NJ-SPJ in applying for a grant in NJ for $75,000, which would benefit these organizations, especially the GSSPA and student journalists and advisers. Tagliareni also has been meeting online with various administrators and professors at NJCU and will speak on campus at the end of March to a combined group from the journalism classes and political science classes regarding the New Voices law and other issues. He also wrote a piece for the SPLC blog about their New Jersey New Voices experiences. Hillary Davis asked McHale and Tagliareni to write about their experiences and to share some advice, and both pieces will be published on the SPLC website.

More New Voices news

SPRC works closely with SPLC to support New Voices legislative efforts around the country. Work continues in many committee member states, including helping with New Voices law implementation in states where a law has passed.

Stan Zoller continues to work on the amendment to the Illinois New Voices law.

Kathy Schrier’s focus has mainly been on working with the SPLC on the campaign to build statewide compliance of our New Voices law, distributing a booklet about Washington’s law to administrators and media teachers statewide. This month Washington state celebrates four years since their governor signed the bill into law. To celebrate this milestone, Kathy is helping to organize a statewide webinar student press conference with Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. Before Reykdal is questioned by a panel of 12 student journalists from around the state, he will make a public statement about the importance of the student press in our schools. It is their hope that he will: 

1. urge schools to make student media part of the curriculum, if it is not already in place.

2. urge schools where programs exist to understand and comply with the New Voices law. 

This March 16 event will be promoted to every high school in the state, inviting media, civics and social studies teachers to urge (and even offer extra credit) to their students to attend.

Tayor is in regular communication with Hillary Davis at SPLC and has been part of multiple panels; she continues to coordinate with SPLC to support advisers and their students through the process.

17 FAPFA Award recipients in 2022: We announced our latest crop of First Amendment Press Freedom Award-winners on Student Press Freedom Day, Feb. 24. The FAPFA judging committee includes representatives from JEA, NSPA and Quill & Scroll. After two rounds of judging, the committee named 17 schools 2022 FAPFA recipients: The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles; Bellaire (Texas) High School; Brighton (Colorado) High School; Chantilly (Virginia) High School; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, Maryland; Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, Lake Balboa, California; Denver School of Science and Technology: Montview High School; George C. Marshall High School, Falls Church, Virginia; The Harker School, San Jose, California; Kirkwood (Missouri) High School; Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, Virginia; McLean (Virginia) High School; Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School; North Central High School, Indianapolis; South Salem High School, Salem, Oregon; St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School; and Whitney High School, Rocklin, California. Six of these schools are first-time recipients. Read the complete press release here. The awards will be presented at the Los Angeles convention April 7.

Website, Blogs and Podcasts: The blog team, led by John Bowen, MJE, posts weekly content 10 months of the year. Since the fall report, contributors include John Bowen, MJE; Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE; Lindsay Coppens, Diana Day, CJE; Jan Ewell, MJE; Sarah Nichols, MJE; Kristin Taylor, MJE, and Stan Zoller, MJE. See jeasprc.org for their work. You may see a lull in our posting this spring as we transition the website to a new server and update the design, but our goal is for the new site to be up and running and easier to navigate before the school year ends. In recent podcast news, Tripp Robbins interviewed law professors and First Amendment attorneys Sommer Ingram Dean (also of Student Press Law Center) and Jim Wagstaffe to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court ruling on the BL v Mahanoy case.

National Student Media Contests: Candace Bowen will act as lead judge for the Spring 2022 NSMC Law and Ethics test, which Kristin Taylor and Jan Ewell developed. This will be our first in-person contest since Washington, D.C., in 2019, and we look forward to being together at the judging table once more.

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

Preparing for Constitution Day 2022: Matt Smith, CJE, led a strong celebration in 2021 and will be gathering materials this summer for September 2022. If you have ideas for a new theme or would like to create a lesson plan or activity, reach out to him directly: matthewssmith17@gmail.com

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

Shari Adwers, MJE
Educational Initiatives Director

If you really know me, you’ll know finding silver linings is my superpower. This year brought a full return to in-person learning when 90% of my students had been virtual since March 2020. Adjusting exhausts us on some fronts to blend where we were in 2020 with what we learned in 2021 to move forward into 2022 — learning lost skills, reinventing ourselves, adjusting our systems, reimagining our products. But we’ve learned what’s best to do face-to-face and what actually can be done well virtually. The upside finds us in a better work/life balance, which is one of the most valuable skills we can teach our students.    

Since my last report, I’ve been:

  • Working with curriculum coordinators Megan Fromm, MJE, and Abri Nelson, CJE, to refresh and renew curriculum to better serve our members and their students’ needs. Our current focus is repackaging existing lessons to be delivered in a way that reflects and embraces today’s technology trends. A new format makes the curriculum more student-friendly and appealing, flexible for use in multiple scenarios in terms of delivery and instructional level, and updated with new materials and resources. 
  • Revising and modifying lessons within the curriculum based on member feedback and usability needs as we become aware of them.
  • Promoting both the JEA curriculum and other JEA resources in social media groups on Facebook to attract new members and inform existing members about resources they may not know exist.
  • Participating in monthly board meetings and chats as we continue to respond to changes in member needs and plan for upcoming events and educational opportunities.

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

Lately, it seems as if we have been creeping cautiously back toward normal (and rightfully so). Now, we are looking ahead to our first in-person convention since April 2019 — yes, with cautiousness, but also with an excitement and vigor we have been needing in order to reenergize and refill our buckets. With that same care and anticipation, I have found so much fulfillment in working through the board on several projects that are very close to my heart.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: For the past few months, Kristin Taylor, MJE, and I have been working to add more to the blog that is a part of our DEI directive. In addition to my post on reporting on Indigenous communities, we’ve also added contributions by Taylor, Sarah Nichols, MJE, and Louisa Avery, MJE. These posts cover the crucial topics of centering voices who are underrepresented in our communities as well as amplifying those voices so that their messages are received authentically.

As we continue in our DEI work, I hope to continue a steady rhythm of monthly posts, diving deeper into some of these topics, and expanding more into the work Avery highlighted in her post about creating a sense of belonging. Both Taylor and I would like to also include a wider variety of intersecting voices. We welcome and encourage contributions from JEA members that share your own experiences and your own work in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Please reach out to either of us with ideas and suggestions.

Outreach Academy: I have also begun working with Michelle Balmeo, MJE, and Louisa Avery, MJE, on the Outreach Academy initiative. We have discussed ideas to provide a more meaningful and better connected experience to participants in the program. The application deadline is right around the corner (March 15), so anyone who is interested should apply here. As a former participant, I regularly use what I learned to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for my students.

We plan to have a virtual meet and greet for Outreach Academy at the end of March before meeting in person at the convention. The goal is to establish a sense of connection among fellow attendees so that we can engage in more meaningful discussions during the day-long workshop as well as reduce the anxieties of feeling overwhelmed by attending the convention for the first time. We also hope to provide ongoing support and networking among participants both at the JEA Advisers Institute in the summer as well as through regular virtual meetups.

Board Activity: In November, board officers met for a work session. This marked our first time together in person as a board, which allowed us to accomplish some key goals together, including:

  • Creating and approving a commitment to diversity that expresses our clear commitment to concrete action
  • Brainstorming and planning ways to connect with administrators to provide more support for scholastic journalism programs
  • Providing some more direction for next steps in the National Diversity Audit of programs and professionals

Through January and February, we have met virtually as a board to continue our organizational work, including:

  • Reviewing and editing a budget that responds to the challenges posed by the past two years under pandemic conditions
  • Meeting with SPLC leaders to discuss ways to collaborate on responses to the wave of anti-Critical Race Theory bills making their way into state legislatures across the country

MJE Certification: Lastly, I’m excited to continue my work toward MJE certification. After my test March 10, I will begin compiling my project, which aims to provide resources and strategies for building and supporting a bilingual journalism program. If you have any experience in teaching or advising in a bilingual context, please contact me as I would love to hear about your work.

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

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

Activities have included the following:

  • Working with board members to create a commitment to diversity statement and recommitting as a leadership team to following through on making these aims visible.
  • Meeting with the SPLC to discuss concerns about upcoming legislation in multiple states that could affect the student press.  
  • Beginning conversations around an administrator outreach Initiative and working with Val Kibler to flesh out ideas and plans.
  • Meeting with a focus group of administrators to get feedback on how to go about engaging superintendents, principals and curriculum directors around supporting the student press.

In the fall, I highlighted that while this school year resembles a typical school year for many, it is certainly not the same as it was pre-pandemic. Advisers have been, and continue to be, dealing with new hurdles related to the loss of institutional memory and inconsistent staff training. Hopefully, as travel to in-person workshops and conventions becomes a real possibility, we can begin closing gaps virtual work has left open. Clearly, however, we are not in the same territory as we were in 2019. We can’t, and shouldn’t, just go back to how things were before. While some systems and structures will continue to be effective post-pandemic, others need to be reworked. Still others need to be invented. I remain committed to ensuring that JEA is an organization that is there for all advisers no matter the circumstances.

Katie Merritt, MJE
Darlington School
1014 Cave Spring Road SW
Rome, GA 30161

The past two years serving on the board have been such a valued learning experience for me. Seeing what happens “behind the scenes” is so important in understanding any organization. I strongly suggest you attend the general membership meeting if you are attending the NHSJC in Los Angeles next month so you can see for yourself.

The board had the opportunity to meet in November for a work session since we had never officially been together as a board due to the pandemic. We spent two days talking about how to reach out to administrators and how they can support scholastic journalism as well as working together to create and release our commitment to diversity.

Throughout January and February we worked together to review the annual budget and determine items of priority. We also considered new opportunities to provide to journalism educators. Shari Adwers, MJE, and I are collaborating on how to provide Adobe certification training as well as certification prep materials for advisers.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Los Angeles!

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

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

Announcements had an exciting start, as we were able to hold an in-person H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year surprise honoring Michael Simons, MJE, of Corning Painted Post High School in Corning, New York. As I only live a short 4.5 hours away from Corning, I made the drive so I could do the presentation myself at the end of a faculty meeting Dec. 6. 

In addition to Simons, JEA named three Distinguished Advisers (Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE; Debra Klevens, CJE; and Britton Taylor) and five Special Recognition Advisers (Makena Busch, CJE; Annie Green, MJE; Sarah-Anne Lanman, CJE; Laura Negri, CJE; and Andrew Young, CJE). 

Three months later, we announced the rest of our spring awards. The Odyssey Media Group from Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia, was named the 2022 Diversity Award winner March 2. Advised by David Ragsdale, CJE, the Odyssey Media group embraces diversity and inclusion not only in all their publications, but also in their staff culture and leadership.

A legendary group of Lifetime Achievement Award winners was announced March 3. Recipients of this award celebrating a lifetime of dedication to journalism education include Martha Akers; Judy Allen; Susan Benedict, MJE; Ava Butzu; Elizabeth Cyr; Mary Kay Downes, MJE; Laurie Hansen, MJE; Derius Mammen; Sharon Martin, CJE; Carol Medcalf; Leslie Shipp, MJE; and Mitch Ziegler, CJE.

JEA named Dr. Nicole Kraft, associate professor at The Ohio State University, the 2022 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration award winner March 4. This award recognizes a teacher who, through the teaching and/or advising of journalism, inspired others to pursue journalism teaching as a career and who has made a positive difference in the teaching community.

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

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

H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year judges: Renee Burke, MJE; Judi Coolidge; Mary Kay Downes, MJE; Mark Murray and Mitch Ziegler, CJE.

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

The CTE committee has been inactive for a few months due to illness.


  • Rebuild committee membership. CTE committee is seeking new members to formulate plans and activities for the year. At the April convention, the goal will be to collect contact information for prospective members and identify key wants and needs for CTE members.
  • Increase awareness and support for CTE teachers through networking. The committee conducted a CTE Zoom-in in early March. Lindsay Porter came up with the name “CTE|ETC,” which looks good graphically and sounds appropriate. 
    • Action steps: 
      • Plan and conduct future Zoom-ins. May (first week, date TBD) – CTSOs – need to identify organizations and speakers to talk about the most valid CTSOs 
      • Identify other ways to connect CTE advisers in JEA (adding an asterisk next to names in the directory listings, for example).
  • Promote certification exams.
    • Action steps: 
      • Assess the mobile lab and identify repairs, replacements and upgrades that are necessary before it can be used.
      • Identify a proctor able to monitor testing.
      • Promote the tests 30+ days before convention registration opens using JEA social media and listserv. Perhaps a countdown for preparing for testing would be useful in general, in addition to the weeks leading up to convention
      • Study guide/resource links added to the jea.org.

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

Membership: The committee currently consists of eight members in addition to the chair: Jane Blystone, MJE; Candace Bowen, MJE; Sandra Coyer, MJE; Mark Hilburn, MJE; RJ Morgan, MJE; Andrea Negri, MJE; Rod Satterthwaite, MJE; and Jeff Browne, MJE.

Goals: Since we will finally be able to meet in person and we have five new members since 2020, we will be working to calibrate our scoring for the short answer questions on the CJE. 

Happenings: Online testing has continued. It has been challenging to coordinate schedules of proctors and testers. In the fall, we tested 18 members online. This spring, we will test 26 members online and four in person at the convention.

The committee has adapted to online testing, but balancing the needs of the dates and times of the applicants with the committee members’ availability has been a challenge. 

We added the JEA Advisers Institute as a renewal activity.  

Lindsay Porter is working on getting the MJE projects on the JEA website. 

At the spring convention, we will recognize 11 new CJEs and three new MJEs. Fifteen CJEs and five MJEs met the renewal requirements by the Oct. 1 deadline. 

For the Board: Renewal rejections usually occur because applicants have not read the directions, have not provided required documentation, have not completed professional growth activities from both categories or try to submit certain categories twice. Unfortunately, many applicants view the renewal activities as just a box to check. The intention of the professional growth activities is for educators to show they are actively involved in scholastic journalism outside of their regular job duties and that these activities are positively impacting their growth as educators. All of the descriptions for professional growth activities are available on the Certification page of the JEA website.

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


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

Priscilla Frost  / pfrost@lindberghschools.ws, Contest Office Manager

April van Buren, MJE/ msryanpchs@yahoo.com , Broadcast Contest Coordinator

Bradley Wilson, MJE/  bradleywilson08@gmail.com, Photo Contest Coordinator

Allie Staub, CJE / stauba@wws.k12.in.us , National Quiz Bowl Coordinator and Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest Coordinator

Mark Murray / mmurray@atpi.org, Technology

Goals: Sarah Nichols and I talked about creating Teacher ToolKit resource pages to accompany the National Student Media Contests. They would provide a set of key concepts related to the contest with links to information and samples for students to help prepare them to compete. It would be a great way to tie the JEA Curriculum material to the NSMC. These could be great MJE projects for some members.

We would like to create an informational brochure/handbook for local contest speakers. Now that conventions are back in person, we will make this a priority this summer to complete. It would be helpful to have better information to provide to our guests.

We do have some new contests we would like to pilot in the future including:

  • Separate Broadcast Anchor to On-Air Anchor and Broadcast Anchor/Spot News Reporter
  • Team Photo Story
  • Online News Package Contest (24-Hour Entry) Online Submission 
  • Podcasting 


  • National Student Media Contests: We had 405 students compete in the fall 2021 virtual contest and there were 197 winning entries. That is a drop from the 438 students who competed in the spring 2021 virtual contest and 641 students who competed in the fall 2020 event. We provided contestants with online critiques as well as a video “critique” session. We provided our critics and judges with $25 egift cards as a thank you for their time and expertise in lieu of being able to comp convention registration or provide a dinner event.
  • Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest: There were 195 entries in the Spring 2021 event. Schools and judges used the online contest system for the first time with great success. After a review of the contest process, for the Spring 2022 event, we have clarified some of the rules and JEA Headquarters made a few updates to the contest system to accommodate the differences in this contest from the entries in the NSMC. Also, because contestants now get the same type of written feedback on their entries rather than just a ranking, the entry fee will be increased to $10 per student (not entry). This will help to cover the cost of the $25 gift cards for critics as well as mailing expenses. The Jr. High/Middle School Contest descriptions are here.
  • Coordinator Change Beginning Fall 2022 The current JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year, AJ Chambers, MJE, from Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina, will be taking over as broadcast coordinator beginning with the Fall 2022 contest in St. Louis. April van Buren, MJE, has served on the contest committee since Spring 2015 when she joined the team to supervise the National Journalism Quiz Bowl. In Fall 2018, she took over as broadcast coordinator. We are so very grateful for her service and leadership to JEA for these past seven years.
  • National Journalism Quiz Bowl We are back this spring with an in-person event and encourage all schools attending the convention to enter teams in the competition.

Upcoming JEA Contest Deadlines (*Tentative)

Spring 2022 Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest
Registration opens April 4
Materials due April 15
Judging complete May 2
Winners announced early May

Fall 2022 St. Louis (Nov. 10-13)*
NSMC registration opens/prompts available Monday, Sept. 12
NSMC registration closes/online submissions due Monday, Oct. 17 (five weeks to complete)
Critiques due Sunday, Nov. 6 (three weeks to critique)

Spring 2023 San Francisco (April 20-22)*
NSMC registration opens/prompts available: Feb. 20
NSMC registration closes/online submissions due: Monday, March 27
Critiques due: April 16 

Spring 2023 Jr. High/Middle School National Media Contest*
Registration opens April 3
Materials due April 17
Judging complete May 1
Winners announced early May

For The Board: The contest team is so grateful to the committee chairs/members, board members and state directors who help with critiques when you already do so much for JEA. We are really hoping for a big bounce back to our contest participation as we return to in-person events and appreciate all your help in encouraging JEA members to get their students entered.

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

Membership: Aaron Manfull, MJE, chair; Michelle Balmeo, MJE; Jason Block; Amanda Bright; AJ Chambers, MJE; Fred Haas; Dan Loving; Sarah Nichols, MJE; Spencer O’Daniel, MJE; Michael Reeves, MJE; Jonathan Rogers, MJE;  Elizabeth Strehl; Jim Streisel, MJE; Julie Tiedens; and Mark Webber.

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

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

In our 13 years of existence (March 2009 launch), we had more than 1,650 posts published (roughly 2.5 per week), 1,064,554 visits, and 1,762,915 pageviews. Ten different people contributed posts to the site during the past six months. Members were notified in the fall of 2016 that to remain on the committee, they would need to contribute at least one thing to the site during a 12-month period. Fifteen people have qualified to remain on the committee for posting once in the last 12 months. Two committee members are considered contributors for posting at least three times over the past 6 months.


  • Aaron Manfull, MJE – 25 posts
  • Julie Tiedens – 8 posts
  • Michael Reeves, MJE – 3 posts

Also contributing to the site during the time period were: Michelle Balmeo, MJE; Jason Block; Dan Loving; Spencer O’Daniel, CJE; Jonathan Rogers, MJE; Elizabeth Strehl; and Jim Streisel, 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. 

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

During our fall meeting, we will discuss our goals this winter, but I have a feeling we will work to continue some of our current areas of focus: 1) Continue to build a deeper broadcast presence on the site as it remains one of our biggest draws 2) Continue to post relevant articles for those wanting help with their online journey 3) Work to publicize the site more on the Listserv and other places to try to counteract some of the visitor trends 4) Work with the CTE Committee to help post resources that can be of help for that group. 

As always, if there is anything anyone would like to see on the site, please email us at info@jeadigitalmedia.org.

Here are the links I said I would make available: 

Visitor data for JEADigitalMedia.org
Guide to Moving Online
Guide to Video and Broadcast
Guide to Multimedia Tools
Guide to Live Video Streaming of Sports Events
Guide to Adobe Tutorials
Guide to Podcasting

Joe Humphrey, MJE
Journalist of the Year Coordinator
Farnell Middle School
13812 Nine Eagles Drive
Tampa, Florida 33626


  • My primary goal remains the same as when I accepted this post: To increase the number of total entries in the JEA Journalist of the Year competition. With 50 states, Washington, D.C. and now three potential international winners, that allows for up to 54 contestants. With a week to go until the March 15 deadline, it looks like we will slightly top the 33 qualifying entries received in 2021, but we’re still a long way from 54.
  • Identifying sponsorship for the JOY program. Admittedly, this is an area in which I made zero progress this year due to other time commitments. With a $3,000 scholarship for the winner and four $1,000 runner-up awards, the contest is a $7,000 a year commitment. With stable sponsorship, my hope would be to boost the top award dollar figure and extend the number of runner-up honorees. I would also like to see what we could do in terms of compensating evaluators, who spend hours reviewing portfolios under fairly demanding time constraints.
  • Celebrate our 2022 winners! In the next tab open on my computer, I’m trying to firm up judging assignments so we are ready for the entries arriving by next week. We look forward to celebrating the winners in person in Los Angeles next month. All state winners will be recognized at the opening, where we will also reveal our finalists. The winner and runners-up will then be announced at Saturday’s award ceremony. I will be joined on stage by 2021 Journalist of the Year Riley Atkinson.


  • After hosting Zoom-in sessions about five sections of the rubric during the 2021 contest cycle, we covered the rest of the rubric in six rebranded “Portfolio Polish” talks. Attendance was down a bit from 2021 (I blame Zoom fatigue), but all the videos are archived on the Portfolio Polish section of the JOY website where hopefully they are serving as a valuable resource for all prospective applicants. The new videos are:
    • Audience Engagement and Marketing
    • Reporting and Writing
    • Organization and Documentation
    • Photojournalism
    • Design
    • Web and Social Media
  • Thanks to Porter at JEA headquarters, the JOY website has a fresh, streamlined look.
  • As noted above, it looks like we will get past the 33 entries from 2021. So far, 38 states have shared names of 30 winners. We also have one international winner, so we are at 31 JEA JOY candidates, and I’m guessing most of the other states we’re waiting on will have them as well.
  • Working with the University of Arkansas, we were able to secure funding for 2021 JOY Riley Atkinson to join us in Los Angeles. One casualty of tough financial times was the funding for the JOY to join us at a convention, so I am grateful that Arkansas stepped up to the plate. Kelly Glasscock was able to broker a free exhibit space for Arkansas in what may become a model for future years.
  • I helped Porter craft some messaging specifically to middle school advisers to encourage participation in the Aspiring Young Journalist competition. So far, with a week to go, we have received zero entries, but we certainly have reached out to advisers so hopefully that will lead to an increase beyond last year’s total.

Thank Yous

  • First and foremost, I want to thank Riley for being an incredible bearer of the Journalist of the Year title. She joined multiple Portfolio Polish sessions and another speaker even used her outstanding portfolio as an example during her talk. I am over the moon that she will be joining us in LA.
  • I’d also like to thank the 2021 runners-up who all participated in one or more sessions: Anna Vazhaeparambil of California, Grant Johnson of Texas and Eddy Binford-Ross of Oregon. Johnson, by the way, will also be in LA along with the Ithaca College delegation. A tip of the cap to two other 2021 state winners who also zoomed in for a session: Eva McCord of Michigan and Catherine McCarthy of Florida. 
  • Of course, I also would like to thank my fellow advisers (past and present) for presenting during our Portfolio Polish sessions: 
    • Ava Butzu (Michigan)
    • Kyle Carter, CJE (Missouri)
    • Phillip Caston, CJE (South Carolina)
    • Courtney Hanks, MJE (Florida)
    • Melissa Falkowski, CJE (Florida)
    • Jack Kennedy, MJE (Somewhere south of Denver)
    • Christina Porcelli (Florida)
    • Jim Streisel, MJE (Indiana)
    • Brit Taylor (Florida)
    • Cindy Todd (Texas)
    • Mitch Ziegler, CJE (California)
  • Porter! Honestly, this program would be in the weeds if not for her incredible communication skills, ability to multitask and patience for scatterbrains like me.

For the Board

  • Thank you again for approving the addition of a fourth runner-up and for raising the scholarship value of that award to $1,000.
  • I again respectfully seek advice on how to grow the JOY program in states that attract low to no interest. 
  • I have one additional item about optics that I’d like to discuss at the board meeting, which I will discuss … at the board meeting.

Thanks to all you advisers still fighting the good fight in challenging times! I look forward to seeing you in LA!

Jane Blystone, MJE
Mentoring Committee

Membership: It has been a busy fall and spring for the mentoring program. We have welcomed and trained two new mentors: 

  • Eric Johnston, CJE, Nevada
  • Elle Everson, CJE, California

Currently we have 65 active mentors and 177 active mentees across the USA. We also have one mentee in Guatemala and one in Taiwan, ROC, for a total of 179 mentees this spring.

We celebrate two long-time mentors who have retired from the program: Stan Zoller, MJE, Illinois, and Kathleen Zwiebel, CJE, Pennsylvania, who have mentored many young teachers during their years in this program.

Mentor PJ Cabrera, CJE, put together a stellar national Scholastic Journalism Week with his committee. One more reminder that many JEA mentors are working teachers, so you can do this, too.

Goals: Our main goal is to help each new mentee get a trained JEA mentor. We have accomplished this by connecting as many new mentees with mentors in their home state as possible. Several of our mentees are being mentored virtually by mentors in other states, especially if their state has no mentors or if the mentors within their state are at capacity with their number of mentees. We use a cohort model to mentor. Individuals requesting a mentor after Feb. 15 will be placed in the spring cohort and will be connected with mentors before July 1, 2022. We have mentors in 31 states, leaving 19 states without mentors. (This is up from the fall report when we only had mentors in 28 states.) We hope to add more states soon. We specifically need mentors in the areas of broadcast and online media. In addition, we look for potential mentors among our JEA membership ranks. Interested JEA members can contact the Program Director to learn more about the mentoring program and how to get trained.

Although we do seek funding from other agencies, primarily the Yellow Chair Foundation, we are excited to host a number of second-year mentees at the convention. You can meet with four of them in a session called JEA mentors: I need one!  at 1 p.m. Friday, April 8.

Happenings: We will begin using a new platform to train new mentors this spring called TALENT LMS. This platform has been used successfully by JEA to stream virtual conventions for the past two years and is most cost effective. Individuals wishing to know how to get trained as a mentor can contact the Program Director. You can also attend our JEA mentors meeting at 2 p.m. Friday, April 8, to learn more.

Awards/Honors: Mentors Mary Kay Downes, MJE, from Virginia and Mitch Ziegler, CJE, from California will be honored by JEA with the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Los Angeles convention.

For the Board: We look forward to attending the JEA convention in Los Angeles. Stop by our sessions. Thank you to the board for helping us transition to a new learning management system for our training.

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

Scholastic Journalism Week was Feb. 21-25. In order to feature schools that rarely get national attention, the committee decided to create a Feature Schools option. During the week, the Scholastic Journalism Week Twitter featured 10 schools. A big shout out to the committee: Louisa Avery, MJE; Phillip Caston,CJE; Adriana Chavira, MJE; Jordyn Kiel, CJE; Julie Kuo, CJE; and Shanon Woolf, CJE.

The committee will begin planning for Scholastic Journalism Week 2023 this summer. Scholastic Journalism Week is typically scheduled for the last full week of February (Feb. 20-24, 2023). The Feature School component was a success. Last year, I suggested we move away from the Logo and Advertisement Contest and create one universal logo to use for branding that can be used for all Scholastic Journalism Week materials. Headquarters and I are starting the process to create a student-produced Poster Contest during the NSMC. Those can turn into collectible posters and could be sent to JEA members in the C:JET Magazine.

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


  • Produce four issues, two in fall academic semester and two in spring academic semester, on schedule, each with a minimum of 32 pages.
  • Complete data entry for Howard Spanogle Index (spring/summer 2022)
  • Plan searchable online database of C:JET articles (summer 2022)
  • Searchable database of C:JET articles online (fall/winter 2022)
  • Plan in-person meeting of advisory group (spring/summer 2023)


The 36-page Fall 2021 issue included a great lead package based on sessions by Sergio Luis Yanes at the Advisers Institute in New Orleans with stories by Pam Escobar and Charles Erikson. In addition, the issue included these articles:

Writing headlines by Joe Humphrey, MJE, with Shari Adwers, MJE

Suggestions for writing good headlines anywhere by Griff Singer

Online headlines aren’t the same as print by Daren Low

Spread the love

Heard on the streets, a Q&A with Steve Rutter by Bradley Wilson, MJE

Mahanoy v. B.L. by Tom Eveslage

The order of adjectives

Advertisers included Archive in a Box, BNC, Bright Printing, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, JEA – NSMC, JEA – YAOY, Jostens Inc., K-State JMC, Kent State, School Paper Express and SNO Sites.


Cover photo by Mollie Gallagher, Van Alstyne High School (Texas)

The 40-page Winter 2021 issue included a truly in-depth package centered around Instagram by Courtney Hanks. It was her MJE project — 30 Days of Instagram. In addition, the issue contained these articles:

Anecdotes by Kelly Huddleston, MJE, based on an Advisers Institute session by Jim McCarthy 

Social media strategy by Katrina Berry-Ivy based on an Advisers Institute session by Orlando Flores

Pronoun usage by Bradley Wilson, MJE

An in-depth package on building trust by Kadee Harper with Trusting News material and information from Lynn Walsh

A Q&A about mirrorless cameras with photo experts by Bradley Wilson, MJE

Advertisers included Archive in a Box, BetterBNC, Bright Printing School Division LLC, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Journalism Education Association, Kansas State University, Kent State University, School Paper Express and SNO Sites.

Cover photo by Elizabeth Chan, McKinney High School (Texas).

The mirrorless camera story was edited for print. The full version and additional information was posted on the JEA Digital Media website.

The 36-page Spring 2022 issue included the following:

A feature on covering prom by Bradley Wilson, MJE, with Cassie Bess, the co-assistant editor of The Rebel yearbook; Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser for The Rebel; and Alex Porter, photo editor for The Rebel 

Quotations by Bobby Hawthorne

A Play-Doh camera assignment by Stacy Wildman

Color of the year — Very Peri by Bradley Wilson, MJE

Raising money by Cheyenne LaViolette

Boost the audience by Julia Pappacoda

Words of the ear by Bradley Wilson, MJE

Advertisers included BetterBNC, Bright Printing School Division, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Freedom Forum, JEA/NSPA National High School, Journalism Convention, Journalism Education Association, Kansas State University, Kent State University, School Paper Express and SNO Sites.

Social media: I posted 16 separate posts promoting editorial content on my personal Twitter account between Feb. 4 and Feb. 25.

Contributors: We created and mailed certificates to 12 contributors.

Cover photo by Alex Porter, Richland School (Essex, Missouri); Kyle Carter, CJE, adviser

The Summer 2022 issue included an in-depth package on applying for scholarships, internships, awards and jobs. Contributors to this package of stories included the following:

John Cox, Community Impact Newspaper

Stephanie Sullivan, Midwestern State University

Rebecca Pollard, MJE, former adviser

Grant Johnson, Ithaca College

Parker Davis, Duke University

Michael Kaye, LinkedIn

Ryan Foley, Adelphi University

Riley Atkinson, University of Arkansas

The 60-page issue also included these articles:

Transgender names by Bradley Wilson, MJE

Save the free press, a Q&A with Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times

State of the states by Michelle Balmeo, MJE

Using children’s books in the classroom with Jim Streisel, MJE; Matthew Schott, CJE; Emily Jorgensen; Tracy Anne Sena, CJE; and Pat Graff

Discussing diversity by A.J. Chambers, MJE, and Shanon Woolf, CJE

Peer-reviewed research: Law on the Listserv by Leslie Klein, CJE

Cover photo by Nina Kudlacz, Ralston High School (Nebraska); Kelley Lange, adviser

Social media: I scheduled 25 separate posts promoting editorial content on my personal Twitter account between March 29 and May 4.

Contributors: We created and mailed certificates to 26 contributors.

Advertisers included Archive in a Box, Association of Texas Photography Instructors, BetterBNC, Boston University, Bright Printing School Division, Collegian Media Group, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Connecticut Health I-Team, Freedom Forum, Indiana University, Iowa University, Journalism Education Association, Kansas State University, Kent State University, The King’s College, Leonard’s Photo, Media Now, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Scholastic Press Association, Northern Arizona University, Ohio University, Point Park University, Princeton University, School Paper Express, SNO Sites, Texas Christian University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Missouri and University of Oklahoma.

For the Board: 

2022-2023 DEADLINES
Fall 2022 convention (St. Louis)Nov. 10-13, 2022
Spring convention (San Francisco)April 20-22, 2023
PrintingAllow 2 weeks (10 business days)
MailingAllow 10 days (including weekends)
Ad deadline*Copy deadlineTo printer**To members***
Fall issueFriday, July 22, 2022Friday, July 22, 2022Monday, Aug. 22, 2022Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2022
Winter issueFriday, Sept. 9, 2022Friday, Sept. 16, 2022Monday, Oct. 17, 2022Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022
Spring issueFriday, Dec. 2, 2022Friday, Dec. 2, 2022Monday, Jan. 23, 2023Monday, Feb. 13, 2023
Summer issueMonday, Feb. 6, 2023Monday, Feb. 13, 2023Monday, March 20, 2023Monday, April 10, 2023

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

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

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


The editorial team — Our editorial team, including Beth Butler and Cindy Horchem, really push to make each issue error-free, informative and entertaining. I can’t emphasize how much the editorial product is a team effort.

The advisory team — This group has been helpful for bouncing ideas off of. We had planned to meet in person. Then there was the pandemic. I’d like for this group to meet perhaps in person at the 2023 JEA Advisers Institute.

  • Ellen Austin, MJE, director of journalism, The Harker School (San Jose, California)
  • Amy DeVault, assistant professor, Wichita State University (Kansas)
  • Tyler Dukes, investigative reporter, The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • Kyle Ellis, senior product manager, American City Business Journals (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Mark Grabowski, associate professor of communications, Adelphi University (New York City)
  • Scott Winter, associate professor, Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Article index data entry — To date, a student of mine, Cecil Witherspoon, paid out of donations by Howard Spanogle, has entered 698 articles into the database. We’re indexing the following fields.

  • Author’s last name
  • Author’s first name
  • Second author’s full name
  • Third author’s full name
  • Year of publication
  • Season of publication
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Headline on article
  • First page number
  • Last page number
  • Topic
  • Short description
  • Notes

Article index web development — The database above will be turned into a searchable online database available to JEA members in Phase 1. In Phase 2, PDF versions of individual articles will be linked to this database. According to Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, “The team has met to discuss the database as well as where to place it in line with the other web development tasks ahead of us. It has actually been on my to do list to reach out to you to schedule a meeting in March to talk through it with everyone at the table.” And I agree with Glasscock entirely when he says, “This will be a really cool resource. JEA needs more member benefits. To a new member, they have no idea the tremendous log of incredible articles previously published. This will be really fun to see in action.” I believe this will be the greatest resource to JEA members since the JEA curriculum and will accentuate the JEA curriculum.

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

Membership: As of March 7, we have 17 international JEA members. Canada, with five members, has the highest membership of non-U.S. countries.

Events/Happenings: JEA China’s Youth Observation Contest wrapped up in February with in-person student presentations in front of a live audience. It’s a fantastic culmination of the students’ monthslong reporting and researching efforts, and I was honored to join the students remotely to help judge and provide feedback.

In Guatemala, Jackie Davis, CJE, adviser at the Christian Academy of Guatemala, has been conducting fantastic outreach with teachers in that country, alerting them to JEA programming and resources. It’s slow-going as Guatemala is just now returning to in-person instruction, but the efforts of Davis, who is one of two international mentees in JEA’s mentoring program, show lots of promise for scholastic journalism in that country.

Awards/Honors: Congratulations to Cameron Spurr, who was named Journalist of the Year for the United Kingdom. He will represent the international contingent for the final round of Journalist of the Year judging. This is the second year in a row that the international representative has come from The American School in London, where Louisa Avery, MJE, advises The Standard.

For the board: I was proud to serve on the search committee for JEA’s next executive director. The tremendous level of interest in the position was comforting reassurance about how respected JEA’s mission, programming and structure are.

Susan Newell, MJE
1150 Valley Forge Road
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Membership: Alabama has 17 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.

Happenings: Alabama Scholastic Press Association and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association coordinate their conferences. 

  • Check out ASPA events and happenings here.
  • ASPA is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 
  • Find SIPA events online. SIPA convention is in early March.
  • Alabama provides mentoring for new advisers.

Upcoming ASPA events: 

  • April 1 is the deadline for the Multicultural Journalism Workshop
  • ASPA holds Fall Workshops. 
  • This fall, workshops were held at individual schools. Check with ASPA to see if this is a possibility for your program.

Highlights: ASPA’s 2022 state convention Back to the Future was held virtually Feb. 11.

Awards and honors: Ansley Nicole Brown from Thompson High School won Alabama’s Student Journalist of the Year award.

Alaska – no state director

Membership: Alaska currently has one member.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 36. Arizona Interscholastic Press Association has recently updated its membership database to Wild Apricot in hopes of tracking membership more accurately with the ultimate goal of increasing membership in both JEA and AIPA.

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

Goals: AIPA is putting focus on rebranding the organization, increasing the organization membership and being more relevant to scholastic journalism programs in Arizona.

As state director, my goal is to get more entries for Journalist of the Year. One way for me to do this is to teach a session at the state convention to talk to students in person about the opportunity. This was a challenge as we were not able to meet in person with students, but will continue to keep this as a goal as we move into having fewer restrictions meeting in person with students. 

Events/Happenings: AIPA will be seeking nominations for the positions of Vice President, Recording Secretary, Communications Director, In-Service Coordinator, and three Members-at-Large this spring.

Hosting a Spring Adviser Reception and the AIPA Summer Workshop will be discussed at an upcoming meeting March 26, 2022.

The Fall State Journalism Convention hosted by AIPA was Oct. 26, 2021.

Melanie Allen, Peggy Gregory and Carment Wendt continue to mentor new journalism advisers, and the majority are in their second year of the process. 

The winners of the Fall 2021 contest sponsored by AIPA were announced at the virtual Journalism Day Oct. 26, 2021.

Awards/Honors/Recognition: There were two entries for the Arizona Student Journalist of the Year competition.

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

Check out the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association website.

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

Justin Turner
1013 Shobe Road
Bryant, AR 72022

Membership: JEA membership stands at 36. I anticipate a bump in membership as advisers register for our state convention and realize their memberships at the state and national levels have lapsed.

Major Developments: As state director, I am also on the board of our state organization, Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. We are in the middle of preparing for our first in-person convention in two years. 

Goals: Like in the fall, a lot of journalism teachers in Arkansas are retiring or pursuing other interests outside of the classroom, so I’d like to begin a campaign to reach out to new advisers across the state via email. Making time to collect that contact information is the biggest hurdle I currently face. 

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

Mitch Ziegler, CJE

Membership: JEA membership stands at 250. There are two major regional branches – JEANC (Northern California) and SCJEA (Southern California). 

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

SCJEA: The annual SCJEA Student Media Contests will be held at MACES Magnet in Maywood Saturday, March 12. This will be the first in-person competition since March 2019 and 175 students from 20 schools will participate.. 

Fourteen schools entered the California All Stars contest in news websites, newspaper/news magazine, yearbook, and broadcast categories. Winners will be announced March 12.


  • The following schools received the First Amendment Press Freedom Award:
    • The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
    • Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, Lake Balboa
    • The Harker School, San Jose
    • Whitney High School, Rocklin
  • Mitch Ziegler, CJE, received the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The California Student Journalist of the Year is Anushka De, from Monta Vista High School, in Cupertino (Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, adviser).
  • Candice Anvari-Ghasr, from Beverly Hills High School (Gaby Doyle, CJE, adviser), is the SCJEA winner.
  • CPSA named 37 California publications as Crown Finalists
  • NSPA named 23 California publications as Pacemaker Finalists
  • These schools/programs received Pacemakers at the Fall convention


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

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

Membership: Colorado has 92 current members of JEA. In year’s past, we have witnessed membership increase in the spring because our individual contest deadlines are in April and publication critiques are due in June.

State Director Goals:

  • To serve as a JEA Mentor to new advisers to support them through their first year as a publication adviser. 
    • Action Plan
      • Meet once a month with mentee through Zoom calls to discuss mentee’s current publication questions and provide resources as needed
  • To collaborate with the CSMA Board to create professional development experiences throughout the year to support publication advisers. 
    • Action Plan
      • Meet with CSMA Board members to identify different skills and align them to strands/events that will support publication advisers. 
      • Create marketing materials that will encourage advisers to attend these professional development experiences.

Happenings: TLC Seminar (Winter Thaw) was held at Rock Canyon High School. Over 10 advisers attended and were able to do a variety of different activities like listening to Jack Kennedy speak, best practice roundtables, and mental health awareness. 

The CSMA began the process of collecting social media handles and email addresses of publications in our state. A spreadsheet was sent out to membership. 


  • Colorado’s student journalist of the year (Dorothy Greer Scholarship) is Kira Zirro from Rock Canyon High School (adviser Kristi Rathbun, MJE). Runner-up winner Avery Hammel, senior at Rampart High School (adviser Patrick Mohring, CJE). You can read more about the winners here.
  • Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, the Priam yearbook adviser at Longmont High School, was named a JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser of the Year. 
  • We have eight Colorado yearbook programs and one newspaper program nominated for Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crowns. We have seven Colorado yearbook programs nominated as Pacemaker FInalists from the National Scholastic Press Association. See all nominees here
  • Brighton High School earned the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. Brighton HIgh School Reflections Yearbook was also named a finalist for the NSPA Pacemaker Innovation award. 

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

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 13.

Events/Happenings: JEA co-sponsored the third annual Central Connecticut State University High School Journalism Day on Press Freedom Day, featuring keynote speaker Hadar Harris from the Student Press Law Center followed by a panel of students from Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut.

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

Awards/Honors: The plan is to try reintroducing the Journalist of the Year award again this coming year. No applications were received by the Feb.15 deadline.

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

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

Membership: Delaware currently has four members.

Goals: I will begin outreach again to schools in Delaware. A few schools in the state have started programs, and I plan on reaching out to them to let them know of the benefits of a JEA membership.

Happenings: We have not had any events.

Awards/Honors: Margaret “Maggie” Patterson has been named 2022 Delaware JOY. She is one of the most well-rounded JOY candidates we’ve had in the past five years.

For the Board: I don’t have anything at this point.

Mary Stapp
District of Columbia

Membership: We have nine members and four complimentary and/or lifetime members (non-paying).

Goals: Establish contact with members to see what they are doing this year and their plans for next year. Find out their status (if any) regarding CJE and MJE certification. Contact former members to see if there is any journalism happening at their schools.

Happenings: I regularly send information about conventions, competitions and opportunities to teachers in D.C. and in the region, but don’t have much to report.

Awards/Honors: Nothing I know of in D.C.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 142. We promote membership through email blasts, mentoring, summer camps and at our regional conferences. FSPA has provided free state memberships for all new advisers and has also encouraged JEA membership.

Goals: To figure out how to keep advisers. I’d like to create a survey to see what support they currently have and what they think they need. I will use the Florida JEA membership list and have FSPA send to their members, too. While there will be overlap, we need to figure out how to keep them from participating in the “great resignation,” as so many already have.

Happenings: FSPA successfully held five in-person district workshops in the fall with 1,400 attendees. University of West Florida, University of South Florida, Daytona State, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University hosted these. 

FSPA is excited to have close to 1,000 attendees at the in-person state convention, April 21-23, where it will celebrate contest winners and name the Morty Schapp Journalism Teacher of the Year Award. Due to JEA’s March 15 deadline, FSPA announced the Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year March 1.

Spring contests had more than 2,600 entries.

Awards/honors: Congratulations to the top three student journalists:

  • Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year: Asher Montgomery – Hillsborough High School
  • Second Place: Alissa Gary – Dreyfoos School of the Arts
  • Third Place: Emma Yost – Oviedo High School

District Journalism Teacher of the Year Winners:

  • District 1: Katie Brand – West Florida High School
  • District 2: Kristen Ray – Hilliard Middle Senior High School
  • District 3: Ryan Bowden – Trinity Preparatory School
  • District 4: Kristen Case – formerly of Wharton High School
  • District 5: NONE
  • District 6: Gabriela de Francisco – Miami Sunset Senior High School
  • District 7: Jodi Tesser – West Broward High School

For the Board: FSPA is working on nurturing a partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter. This organization will be a valuable resource for quality workshop and convention speakers. 

Florida has started the New Voices Florida process. Florida Sen. Tina Polsky filed SB 1860 Freedom of Speech and the Press in the Public Education System (2022 Session). It got referred to the Education Committee, but there wasn’t any action after Jan. 12. Perhaps next session. 

FSPA is close to solidifying an agreement with FHSAA that will provide scholarship money for a student sports journalist, provide students opportunities to be published on the FHSAA website and social media, give more voice to student journalists on their media advisory committee, and ultimately the playing field by clearing up confusion for student journalists when it comes to covering sporting events (giving them equal access to covering sporting events).

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

Membership: Georgia has 44 active members as of March 7. I have communicated with members via Smore email blasts and direct emails each quarter. The analytics from Smore indicate users have engaged with the newsletter format, which is far easier for me to gauge interaction versus direct emails. Note the data below:

2021-2022 Goals:

  • JEA Director-at-Large Katie Merrit, MJE, and I touched base on 8/4 to identify areas of growth for state members.  Brainstormed goals include regional workshops, continued mentorship and communication.
    • Action plan: Until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, regional workshops have been tabled. We will continue to field the calls for mentorship when JEA mentors are needed and the use of Smore will heighten communication.
    • Update: The Georgia Scholastic Press Association held its first in-person conference since Fall 2019 in February and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association will also host its first in-person conference since 2020 this March. As stated previously, it’s clear that the use of Smore indicates members are interacting with the information shared with them.   
  • Georgia Scholastic Press Association Director Stephanie Moreno and I met on 8/26 to address increasing participation in on-site events in the spring, competitions and students submitting competitive Journalist of the Year entries. 
    • Action plan: continued targeted communication from both GSPA and JEA State directors to members.
    • Update: The Georgia Scholastic Press Association received 22 total JOY entries (junior and senior combined), up from an average of 12-15. I’m pleased to share that more schools participated this year, and I’m hopeful that additional funding helped motivate entries.
  • Membership has been and continues to be a targeted area for growth.
    • Action plan: I hope to lean on current members to advocate the virtues of JEA to colleagues within their sphere of influence.
    • Update: Three new members have joined this spring. I’ve emailed them directly to provide guidance on the services JEA provides.


Georgia Scholastic Press Association

The 2021 GSPA Summer Yearbook contest ratings were as follows: 16 Superior and six Excellent. The 2021 Summer Literary Magazine Competition had three Superior and four Excellent books.

There were 337 students and teachers from 19 schools registered for the Winter Conference Feb.10 at the University of Georgia’s Tate Student Center — the first in-person event since Fall 2019. Students from across the state were able to participate in five rounds of sessions (42 total sessions) and two on-the-spot competitions: photography and social media.

GSPA received nine entries for the First Amendment Essay contest. The winners will be announced later this month. The individuals will receive monetary awards along with their publications.

Upcoming GSPA Spring/Summer events:

  • GSPA and its members from across the state will celebrate the best in scholastic journalism at the 2022 Spring Workshop and Awards at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education April 11. A workshop will lead the event, followed by a banquet-style awards luncheon. Recipients of awards administered throughout the year will be recognized, including the Summer Yearbook and Literary Magazine contest winners, Georgia Champion and Junior Champion Journalists, First Amendment Essay finalists, Achievement Award winners and Spring Broadcast, Newspaper, Newsmagazine and News Website contest winners.
  • The Summer Yearbook and Literary Magazine Contest entry period will be May 16 through July 31.
  • An Advisers Workshop will be held June 6-7 at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism in Macon, Georgia.
  • In partnership with the University of Georgia Summer Academy program, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is offering weeklong, in-person camps in three subject areas: Advertising and Public Relations (overnight June 12-18, 2022, OR day camp June 13-17, 2022), Journalism (overnight June 12-18, 2022, OR day camp June 13-17, 2022), Entertainment and Media Studies (overnight June 26 -July 2, 2022, OR day camp June 27-July 1, 2022). Instructors will lead engaging activities and participants will hear from guest speakers. They’ll also work on specialized projects over the course of each week.

A handful (three) of Georgia programs attended the Southern Interscholastic Press Association‘s annual convention from March 4-6. Advisers brought 80 students and attended sessions taught by nationally award-winning instructors. Students competed in on-site competitions, an interactive keynote speech, and enjoyed social and networking opportunities with their peers from the SIPA service area.

Georgia advisers have been encouraged to register for the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. 

Awards and honors: Multiple Georgia journalism programs have earned state and national awards. You can see them here.

Odyssey Media Group, advised by David Ragsdale, CJE was named the 2022 JEA Diversity Award winner.

For the board: Question: Is it possible for JEA to provide state directors with professional Smore accounts for enhanced analytics and to ensure more newsletters can be sent per year?

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at nine. We have a working list of every scholastic journalism program for newspaper, yearbook and broadcast in public and private schools. This list assists us in sharing information about JEA and journalism opportunities in Hawaii


  • Get more schools involved in our state New Voices movement.
  • Modify the state JOY criteria to better fit the educational situations in Hawaii and establish a sponsor partnership with local media organizations to incentivize student participation.

Happenings: New Voices legislation: A House bill was introduced by the Speaker of the House and has passed two committees and will soon cross over to the senate. A Senate bill carried over from last year passed one committee and then was not heard by its second committee and is therefore dead. However, that first senate committee will most likely hear the House bill soon and we expect it to pass, leaving only the Senate Judiciary Committee as a question mark. A positive addition this year is the support of the Hawaii State Teachers Union. They have submitted written and oral testimony at all the bill hearings. The bills have received some press. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser wrote an article about the bill. A college radio program on the Big Island interviewed a few advocates. A student at McKinley High School has been calling schools and setting up Zoom meetings with their journalism staffs to talk about New Voices. He will also speak at the spring Hawaii High School Journalism Awards Virtual Banquet.

Hawaii High School Journalism Awards: Several JEA-member schools will participate in this annual contest. 2022 is the 53rd year. This year’s event is co-sponsored by the Journalism Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Communications and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

Awards: We have two contestants in the Hawaii JOY competition. Participation has hovered between one and two entries for years, and we were hoping to have three this year, but the third student pulled out. However, this is the first year that one of the entries is from a public school. Until now, all entries had come from private schools. Also for the first time we have a sponsor, the local chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. They provided judges and financial prizes for the contest. Jenny Howe, CJE, a local Josten’s representative, is providing gift cards for the judges. The winner will speak at the spring Hawaii High School Journalism Awards Virtual Banquet.

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

Membership: There are currently 15 members in Idaho.

Goals: Create more communication and widespread knowledge about the Journalist of the Year awards.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 129.

Goals: It appears the Student Online Personal Protection Act has been fully adopted by districts in the state. Although it took some districts a long time to comply with the law and figure out what it meant for student publications, it seems all publications are back up and running. 

Events/Happenings: IJEA held a virtual write-off competition in the fall followed by the annual yearbook competition. Entries for the annual newspaper contest are being accepted now. 

Awards/Honors: Prospect High School senior Olivia Kim was named Illinois Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Jason Block, CJE. Several adviser award nominations are due March 15.

For the Board: Advisers are hoping that with COVID-19 cases on a steady decline, school districts will allow advisers to bring students to the fall convention in St. Louis this fall.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 77.


  • Plan for all 2022-2023 events to be in person
  • Visit more schools before end of the year
  • Have mentor program ready for 2022-2023 school year


Awards & Honors:

For the Board: We are still struggling to include student media programs into the new graduation pathways. Any guidance on, and assistance with, lobbying our education officials to expand the number of courses educators with a journalism certification can teach, particularly within the CTE communications pathway, would be greatly appreciated.

We are losing some really good teachers to the educator burnout every state is facing. What are some successful strategies for retention within our field? Is it even possible for us to make an impact on this massive problem?   

Has JEA been able to combat legislation restricting what can be taught/discussed in the classroom? Any tips or talking points to share with advisers who find themselves facing hostile parents and/or legislators wanting to punish teachers unwilling to censor their lessons for political purposes?

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 36.


  • To continue to promote the Iowa JOY contest. Talk of offering cash for second and third places after the top three this year were separated by three points.
  • To meet in person with advisers to form a cohesive group.
  • Further education about the addition to the Iowa student publications law, Code 280.22(6A), a new subsection of Iowa Code 280.22.


  • The state conference went live in Iowa City Oct. 21 with over 40 sessions. After trepidation as to how many students would attend, over 600 students came. While that was down from the 900+ students before COVID-19, it was a victory just to have an in-person event.
  • For the second year in-a-row the annual Adviser Winter Thaw was canceled due to COVID-19 and overwhelmed advisers.
  • The number of JOY entries dipped to five after seven last year.
  • The University of Iowa Summer Journalism Workshop will again be virtual.

Awards and Honors: Kailey Gee of Iowa City West High School is the Iowa representative for the national JOY contest, Sara Whittaker, CJE, adviser.

For the Board: IHSPA called every high school in Iowa and secured email addresses for advisers. The thought is a personal email might more-likely be read. Thoughts about the effectiveness of this sort of campaign?

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

Membership: We currently have 122 JEA members in Kansas. We promote membership through email blasts, mentoring, summer camps, through our website and at our regional and state conferences. KSPA has provided free state memberships for all new advisers and we have also encouraged JEA membership by allowing advisers to pay JEA dues at the same time as KSPA dues.


  • Work to complete my own MJE.
  • Work to encourage others to apply for and receive CJE status as well as MJE status.
  • Do a better job of contacting new JEA members as soon as I am notified of them.
  • Work to provide better support for KSPA


Regional Contest: Although scheduled as an in-person event, the pandemic once again interrupted our plans. Executive Director Eric Thomas, MJE, and his staff with the cooperation of the KSPA Board once again pivoted and pulled off another virtual and incredibly successful Regional contest. In the month of February, 72 high schools submitted more than 2,166 entries in the 25 categories offered. In spite of judging difficulties, the winners were announced on schedule March 5. Regional contest registrations were back to pre-pandemic levels. That’s good news for revenue and the KSPA footprint. 

State Contest: Although the board had planned to offer an in-person contest, changes made to the regional contest (allowing a single person to enter in more than two contests) made it impossible. Therefore, the state contest will also be virtual, but KSPA is hoping to bring student journalists together for a conference in early May. National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson will keynote the event.

KSPA Board: This is an election year for the KSPA Executive Board. A slate of self-nominated candidates will be voted upon this month.

Kansas Student Journalist of the Year: There were Journalist of the Year entries in every division and competition in every division, a first in many years. A total of nine students submitted an entry. The Kansas Student Journalist of the Year committee chooses winners in three classifications: 1A/2A, 3A/4A and 5A/6A. Each of those winners receives a check for $750. In addition, the overall winner receives an extra $500 (for a total of $1,250) and becomes the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year. Only one overall winner is named for each year.

KSPA Social Media: The University of Kansas School of Journalism has agreed to take on KSPA as a client for the Social Media course and plans to offer lots of suggestions for improvement of our social media accounts. Executive Director Thomas met with the Social Media Strategy class to introduce KSPA, the goals and current social media practices. According to Thomas, the work the class may do for us may include content creation or creating a social media strategy for the future.

Monthly Contests: The KSPA-sponsored monthly contests have seen near-record or record participation this year. The KSPA staff have continued showcasing the winners on Twitter and the KSPA website, while also adding Instagram showcases. 

We are so proud of:

  • Cuyler Dunn: Kansas Student Journalist of the Year: Lawrence H.S., Barbara Tholen, MJE, adviser. 
  • Savannah Athy-Sedbrook: 3A/4A Student Journalist of the Year:, Augusta H.S., Julie Barker, adviser
  • Emma Alderman: 1A/2A Student Journalist of the Year, Wabunsee H.S., Brendan Praeger, adviser

And congratulations to the eight schools who received 14 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist and/or CSPA Gold or Silver Crown awards.

In May, KSPA will announce the winners of the Jackie Engel Award (Journalism Adviser of the Year), the Ad Astra Award (recognizing an adviser who works to continually improve his/her journalism program and significantly contributes to the profession of advising in Kansas), the Administrator of the Year, the Sunflower Award (recognizes a new adviser who shows enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program) and the newest Hall of Fame inductees.

For the Board: Several Kansas schools will be attending the national convention in Los Angeles and are thrilled to be able to do that in person. Thank you for the excitement we are all feeling! See you there! For more information about what’s going on in Kansas scholastic journalism, please visit our website www.kspaonline.org.

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

Membership: We have 25 total members. Membership in both JEA and KYJTA is stagnant. We are reorganizing to make a push to grow both organizations for next year.

Goals: Aside from growing membership, we are launching our first spring contest. This is a key strategy to grow our membership.

Happenings: Our contest information was sent out mid-March and we are excited to start honoring students in our state again. House bill 408 is our New Voices bill in Kentucky. We are growing our coalition and organizing contacts throughout the state to lobby representatives. Things are going well with our plan. Thank you to Representative Attica Scott for her continued support of student journalism.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 20.


  • Have an in-person State Conference in Fall 2022
    • We will see how things are going in the Fall 2022 Semester and plan accordingly. We will shoot for the traditional one-day “media day,” but if that is not possible, we have also talked about a multi-day small groups conference where schools would sign up for particular times.
  • Enhanced promotion of the JOY contest
    • We have run the contest in its current form for the past four years and we typically get three to five applicants almost exclusively from Southeast Louisiana.  
    • Want to reach out statewide to promote this contest.
    • Loyola University New Orleans will continue to offer a full tuition scholarship to the School of Communication and Design for the Louisiana State JOY winner.

Events/Happenings: Unfortunately we had to cancel our planned in-person Media Day that was scheduled for the end of January 2022 due to the COVID-19 surge in cases. We are now planning for a Fall 2022 State Conference.

Awards/Honors: We awarded the 2021 Louisiana State Journalist of the Year to Hannah Darcey who attends Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. Hannah had a very strong application, and I think will represent Louisiana well. Unfortunately we did not have any applications for the 2022 Louisiana State Journalist of the Year. The deadline was pushed back to March 7, 2022, to account for the Mardi Gras holidays.

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

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

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

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

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 7.

Goals: To create at least one point of contact. I plan to send an email before summer vacation.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 25.

Happenings: In Montgomery County, we received funding to print two countywide magazines a year. Three students behind the countywide magazine, “Coming of Age in a Pandemic,” were featured on NPR. You can listen to the show here. The latest countywide magazine can be found here. Two students who wrote about Instagram’s impact on girls in this latest edition were featured on Fox and PBS in the same day. An editor behind the edition was featured on Kojo Nnamdi’s last special. Kat Comer was talking about how student publications can help students talk about social justice even when schools are prevented from doing so. Building on the success of our countywide magazine, we hope to do a statewide magazine, providing an opportunity for all to be part of a print magazine.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 25.


  • I “attended” the spring 2021 virtual convention, but not the fall 2021 one.
  • The spring convention of the New England Scholastic Press Association was canceled. We are likely holding an in-person event in May, which will be a return to our regular convention.
  • The Journalist of the Year was Anushka Patil of Westford Academy, and she will represent Massachusetts in the national contest. We had three submissions this year, after having just one last year, so that is an improvement. The other two were named as “finalists.”
  • As I serve on the boards of both NESPA and MASPA, as well as JEA state director, I continue to try to use that position to spread the word on scholastic journalism and increase participation for publications, students and advisers in all of the organizations.
  • Outreach continues to try to bring new members into JEA, including directly contacting teachers/advisers.
  • I completed the process of becoming a JEA mentor and met for the first time with my mentee early in 2022. 

Goals: A main goal will continue to be to increase our JOY participation. We had a winner from a school not typically represented, as well as a finalist from a different one not typically represented. I plan on starting this process earlier in the fall this coming school year, after deadlines and production are in full swing, prodding advisers to have at least one student from their program apply — the “somebody will win even if only one person applies” approach. That way, we can have a winner and a true “Journalism Honor Roll” again, rather than just two.

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

Timothy Morley, CJE
PO Box 396
Topinabee, MI 49791

Membership: JEA membership stands at 64.

Goals: I need to be more actively visible to the state’s JEA membership. A monthly or biweekly email of highlights, pro tips, stories, etc. is what I view included in this. 

Judging Day: The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association held face-to-face judging for individual student media contests March 5. Individual awards were judged in Yearbook, Newspaper, Digital and Video categories.

Spring Conference: 

  • Last spring, MIPA executive director Jeremy Steele, with the aid of numerous board members, filmed, produced, edited and presented a week-long awards celebration in place of the canceled face-to-face awards conference. Michigan State dropped many COVID protocals March 6, so the possibility of a face-to-face spring awards convention is being investigated. The awards conference includes:
  • Individual Category Contests
  • Michigan’s nominee for JEA Journalist of the Year
  • Student Journalist Staff (MIPA’s 16-student member ALL STATE staff (one “wild-card” added to the normal 15 member staff).
  • ALL-MIPA winners:  recognition for the top overall student in the following areas of emphasis
    • Digital Media
    • News Writing
    • News Design
    • Photography
    • Broadcast
    • Yearbook Writing
    • Yearbook Design
  • Administrator of the Year
  • John Field Award (Friend of Scholastic Journalism)
  • Golden Pen Award (Adviser)

MIPA Summer Workshop:

  • Planning, promotion and registration is being finalized for the annual MIPA Summer Workshop. Last year, the workshop was online. Recent COVID protocol updates may make it possible to have the summer workshop in person.


  • JEA JOY: Michigan is proud to announce the selection of Meghan Wysocki of Grosse Pointe South High School as our 2020-2021 Journalist of the Year. Meghan is editor-in-chief of The Tower newspaper, advised by Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE. Overall, Michigan received 20 portfolios from student journalists. This was down from 27 last year and 41 the previous year (understandable in the current pandemic)
  • JEA Lifetime Achievement: Ava Butzu and Elizabeth Cyr were named 2022 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Cyr retired mid-way through the school year. Butzu will be retiring in June.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 29.

Goals: We have a series of initiatives going right now, including some small committees focused on:

  • Adviser Outreach – regional representatives are working to connect non-Metro advisers and learn from them what they need for themselves and their staffs.
  • Equitable Sports Reporting – COVID protocols limited student access to report on tournaments and other MSHSL sponsored sporting events in the state. The committee has been working to build communication channels and help shape policy around student media access to report on our teams.
  • Hennepin Theater Trust/Spotlight – arts reporting in the Twin Cities has been a long-time priority for us, and this partnership focuses on educating students about  access to behind-the-stage interviews and Broadway traveling shows.

Happenings: JEM partnered with the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English to add a journalism advising thread to its spring convention in April. While it’s small, it’s a start, and the sessions will focus on press law and ethics, protecting student voice, and advising publications.

Awards/Honors: Minnesota Journalist of the Year for 2022 is Elizabeth Trevathan, the Director of RubicOnline at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

For the Board: My fall question about adviser burnout and how we support each other during this time still stands, but I add to that the question of maintaining connections with publications programs in light of high adviser turnover during the past two years.

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

Membership: There are now 17 JEA members in Mississippi, up one from this time last year. Membership is encouraged at all Mississippi Scholastic Press Association events and a link to future JEA conventions is posted on the MSPA website. JEA membership is one of the first planks we talk about with new advisers at our Overby Adviser Institute each June.

Goals: My primary goals for this semester are:

  • To establish a post-pandemic baseline for our total number of programs in the state
  • Work with new contacts in the Mississippi Department of Education to continue CTE pathway development
  • Return to hosting in-person events, especially our statewide adviser institute this summer. 

Events/Happenings: Mississippi hosted its first in-person scholastic journalism event since the start of the pandemic (MSPA’s fall statewide convention at the University of Southern Mississippi Nov. 1), and the response was very encouraging. We had 401 students attend, or about 80 percent of our pre-pandemic norm of approximately 500 students.  We will host our spring convention March 30 and are hoping for similar numbers or better. This is also MSPA’s 75th anniversary, so there will be cake. 🙂  

Awards and honors: At MSPA’s fall convention, Anna Griffin (yearbook) and Thomas Richardson (literary magazine) were named Advisers of the Year and The Paw Print (Madison Central HS) and The Pleiades (Murrah HS) were named 2021 yearbook and literary magazine of the year, respectively. The WTHS broadcast program at Tupelo High School was also honored with a Broadcast Excellence Award from Student Television Network.

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

State Organization Websites:

Membership: Missouri has 94 voting members. Voting members include Teacher/Adviser, Emeritus Teacher/Adviser, Lifetime Teacher/Adviser members, and Affiliates (with director as voting member).

Goals: Continue to support the newly merged state organizations, The Missouri Interscholastic Press Association and the Missouri Journalism Education Association. The goal of this merger is to take the best of what each of the organizations offered individually and offer them as a united organization to reach all in Missouri to offer support and education in any way we can – in all parts of the states and offer numerous opportunities to celebrate students and scholastic journalism programs. This collaboration will come together in person March 30 at the annual J-Day conference at the University of Missouri Journalism School. 

Happenings: Missouri is excited to officially announce that our two state journalism organizations, MIPA and MJEA, are merging. While this merge has been in the works for a bit but is still very much in progress, here are some fast facts:

  • Our official new name: MIPA-MJEA
  • Board members: Currently, all of the members of both organization’s boards combined (a big team!)
  • The new website has launched
  • Currently, the J-Day event is slated to be an in-person student and adviser event in the spring at Mizzou March 30. 
  • We’re working with Mizzou to offer advisers and students some online opportunities for learning and collaborating throughout the year, available statewide
  • We continue to run the monthly photo contests and a seasonal journalism challenge for students statewide
  • State contest winners will be announced March 7 and individual student awards will be announced at J Day March 30. 

You can currently reach the same information about membership at either of these sites:

The former MJEA site

The former MIPA site

Other Happenings:

  • In the St. Louis area, Kirkwood High School adviser Mitch Eden, MJE, will host a Student Newspaper Online workshop at KHS April 12. Jason Wallestad, SNO Co-Founder, will be the workshop facilitator. 

Awards and Honors:

Susan Benedict, MJE, received the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award. Benedict taught for 31 years before retiring in 2021. Benedict served as a local convention committee chair, and she was a member of the JEA National PLC Committee and the JEA curriculum committee. She also wrote for Communication: Journalism Education Today: JEA’s quarterly magazine. 

“Susan’s top concern was making sure her students are empowered and equipped to create a publication that connects with the student body at Pacific High School,” Dan Mueller, CJE, said. “Susan set the standard high and would not settle for anything but the best from her students. She encouraged her students to revise again and again until they had covered every detail in their work.” 

This attention to detail was apparent not only in her students’ work, but also in her dedication to the craft. 

“[Benedict] advised publications for over 20 plus years,” Michelle Dunaway, MJE, said. “Her commitment to journalism never wavered, despite the principal of PHS stripping her from what she loved because she had her students do ‘real journalism.’ But journalism remains in her blood, and she remained involved, including coaching me on many occasions for how to teach video production.”

Debra Klevens, CJE, was named a Distinguished Yearbook Adviser by JEA. In an era when yearbook advisers are required to innovate, comfort and inspire, the entire Parkway West High School community in Ballwin, Missouri, benefits from an adviser that embodies all of those traits and more. Klevens is one of a kind. 

“Having worked in education in five buildings and for nearly 30 years,” principal Jeremy Mitchell said, “it is easy to declare Debra Klevens as — by far — the most progressive, forward-thinking, student-centered yearbook adviser with whom I’ve had the privilege to work.”

Klevens’s forward-thinking nature helps her lead a group of students with a constant desire to innovate and achieve.

“Because they were excited about the possibilities of raising the bar, the editors arrived [for a consultation] armed with lots of theme and design work for critique,” Herff Jones Special Consultant Paul Ender said. “As we talked, they demonstrated both their understanding of yearbook best practices and their awareness of trends in the professional arena that seemed to ignore those guidelines. Pawesehi staffers ‘get it’ and want to know more; that’s who they are and how they operate. And that is Debra’s influence to be sure.” 

While gifted at advising her students to create exceptional publications, Klevens puts her students before the product, which is one of the reasons she has had such success with student publications. Never was this more important than in the midst of a virtual school year. 

“I first met Mrs. Klevens at the beginning of my sophomore year in a virtual classroom. It was an odd school year,” yearbook editor Amelia Burgess said. “I found forming relationships with my online teachers difficult and awkward. Mrs. Klevens was the exception, as her uplifting support helped me find comfort in an unfamiliar area.” 

As Mitchell said, Klevens runs a student-centered program, and that program primarily seeks to foster relationships and instill confidence in her students. 

“I once told Debra that she is the kind of teacher you remember for a lifetime because she changes your life,” parent to three Paweshei staff members Mollie Gulino said. “I will be forever grateful for the lessons she taught my daughters but, more importantly, for the way she made them feel.”

These Missouri programs were recognized as NSPA finalists. 

Missouri Student Journalist of the Year: We are pleased to announce that the Missouri Student Journalist of the Year is Audrey Culver. Audrey is the Editor-in-Chief of Liberty North’s nationally recognized Ayrie Yearbook. Culver is a young journalist skilled in reporting, writing, editing and designing. Culver is inspired to follow in the footsteps of her journalist grandfather and is planning to pursue journalism at the University of Arkansas in the fall. 

Her adviser Ronna Sparks-Woodward, MJE, said, “[Audrey] is the most mature, level-headed, conscientious, and introspective young adult I’ve ever encountered, and the way she welcomes opportunities for growth and approaches difficult situations inspires those who are privileged to know her … As a yearbook adviser of 25 years, I’ve worked with some truly incredible young men and women who demonstrated the highest levels of maturity, skill, writing abilities, and leadership, and before the past two years, I wouldn’t have been able to narrow it down to one student who rose above the others. But now I can; it’s Audrey.”

For the Board: I mentioned this in the fall report, but I think it is worth reiterating. The MIPA-MJEA merger marks an important milestone in the Missouri scholastic journalism story. The combining of forces will allow for resources from both organizations to become available to all Missouri advisers, as well as considerably driving down the cost of membership. It is hopeful that we will be able to increase the national JEA enrollment for Missouri advisers through this process as well, as the cost reduction will leave more funds available for advisers to seek resources. Additionally, the merger will continue to bolster our relationships with the University of Missouri Journalism School, one of the best in the nation.

Linda Ballew, MJE
2212 4th St. S.
Great Falls, MT 59405

Membership: JEA membership stands at 20.

  • Although Montana has always reported a small but relatively stable membership, interest in attending and participating in fall/spring meetings/contests continues to diminish. 
  • Although retiring advisers and cuts in co-curricular programs have impacted the number of programs available in Montana public schools, the number of new advisers seeking membership in JEA has started to encourage the MJEA board. We have contacted and noted that 20 of the current MJEA list of 36 active advisers are currently JEA members. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are all members of MJEA. 
  • MJEA’s highly motivated and action-orientated president Beth Britton, CJE, the CMR adviser of the Stampede and Russellog from Great Falls, continues to diligently work to assist the state’s journalism advisers through the dissemination of information and resources, working closely with JEA’s state director Linda Ballew. Beth continues in her 10th year as MJEA president. 
    • We extended the invitation to a membership meeting during the Montana Teachers Convention, The Journalism Breakfast Club, where we met and discussed the issues facing us in upcoming years. The overall convention was poorly attended. The MJEA meetings and  workshops had enthusiastic new faces, but limited interest in becoming members or in attending the Breakfast Club of potential MJEA board members. 
  • Britton and Ballew will encourage communication and membership in MJEA and JEA. Maintaining and expanding MJEA and JEA membership continues as always to be a top priority. 
    • Britton and Ballew continue to contact advisers encouraging them to COMMUNICATE with us, RETAIN membership in MJEA and JEA, and PARTICIPATE in adding content and discussion to mjeajournalism.com 
    • 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 for both in their classrooms as well as with administrators who want advisers to demonstrate curricular accountability. Thank you for the consistent addition of vital virtual teaching methods as well as other additions to the curriculum portion of the jea.org site. This is refreshing, current and relevant to the issues teachers and advisers now face. 
    • We so appreciated Joe Humphrey’s enthusiasm in presenting JOY on ZOOM meetings again this  spring.  
    • Our action plan continues to reach out with information, curriculum and additional resources. We have even tried to encourage a book exchange, free yearbooks/textbooks and supplies. 
    • Britton and Ballew will continue to provide “care packages” for advisers. 
    • We have placed our current emphasis on reaching out to new advisers with the JEA Mentoring Program. 
  • Several issues have caused a rift in the positive working relationship that we have enjoyed over the years with the University of Montana School of Journalism.
    • To begin, the University of Montana has seen a drastic reduction in overall enrollment in the last four to five years. Recruitment has become a major focus for the University’s schools. Thus, they are not necessarily inclusive of MJEA and its board members.
    • The many programs, contests, critiques and High School Journalism Day offered by the j school have dwindled or vanished. Although U of M will have a J Day for high school students this spring, the focus is less on quality high school journalism and more on U of M School of Journalism Recruitment.
    • MJEA now finds itself trying to replace these invaluable services. 
    • Yearbook, Broadcast and Online 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 yearbook programs as well as social and digital media programs will have a critique and contest service as the current newspaper publications have with U of M. These additional contests will have a spring deadline. Critiques will be returned in the late summer. 
    • Broadcast critiques have become essential as this is how our advisers will be able to apply for CTE in Montana. 
    • We will also add a Montana Adviser of the Year to this list of recognitions. The Adviser  of the Year will be celebrated at the Montana Teacher Convention in October 2022. 

Awards and Honors: We are pleased to announce our 2022 Montana Journalist of the Year, Elizabeth “Liz” Hyde from Bigfork High School. Hyde will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Montana Newspaper Association. She will represent Montana High School Journalism at the L.A. JEA/NSPA spring convention in April 2022. 


  • mjeajournalism.com This site continues to provide resources and information. Britton has also requested and encouraged participation. Advisers can engage by adding content and sharing lesson plans, adding updates, commentaries. We encourage them to post to the site: 
    • 1. Photos of their students in action, their classrooms, guest speakers, etc. 
    • 2. Short opinion pieces written by advisers. Britton would like to have their voices on the site.
    • 3. Ideas for other advisers – lessons, celebrations, classroom set-up etc.
  • Our 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 encourage younger members to become engaged in MJEA. However, Montana journalism programs have continued to undergo dramatic turnover with new advisers taking the helm of journalism programs in many of the small, rural as well as larger high schools. It is obvious that younger advisers need to find reasons to be professionally involved with our organization to revitalize what MJEA can offer to a diverse state membership in these challenging times of virtual learning.
  • COVID-19 has taken a toll on co- and extra-curricular programs. Britton and Ballew have reached out to many advisers who are now taking on the roles of newspapers, online and yearbook programs by themselves. Although schools are no longer remote, the resulting lack of student motivation and  involvement has made these productions a challenging new adventure. Attendance is still sketchy with contact tracing still in effect, but overall, advisers have risen to the challenge.
  • The PRINTING of school newspapers is a challenge, with many presses shuttering in even the larger cities. The Lee Newspapers printing facility in Helena now prints dailies for Helena, Butte, Great Falls and Missoula — in addition to the University of Montana newspaper and numerous smaller publications. As a result, they are no longer taking on small high school print jobs.
  • The Montana Federation of Public Employees will host the Montana Teachers’ Convention in Helena, Montana, in October 2022
    • MJEA will conduct workshops for our co-curricular portion of this convention Oct. 20-21, 2022. 
    • Britton and Ballew will invite advisers to present a class/workshop at the 2022 Educators’ Convention in Helena Oct. 20-21, 2022. 
    • We hope to find instructors who would share their expertise in writing, editing, design,  broadcast, yearbook, podcast, photography …. Ideally, the class would be well suited for teachers in several curricular areas.
    • Our keynote speaker will be recently retired broadcaster, journalist and author of “Inside  Montana Politics,” Mike Dennison.  

For the Board: 

  • The JEA office has been an essential asset because of the wonderful people in the office. Thank you, Lindsay, for your assistance with video workshops and keeping us all informed. Your talent, grace and work ethic has made you an indispensable part of our family. 
  • The staff continues to help advisers by sending to MJEA, support materials as we try to enlist new members. The staff has also been essential in helping with materials that reinforce classroom procedures and deadlines.
  • The virtual workshops extended from the HUBB platform as well as those provided as ZOOM meetings and webinars/podcasts by Joe Humphrey and other board members on a variety of topics have clarified information, taught both advisers and staff, and encouraged JEA members. Thank you for the innovative contact and support. We appreciate all you do. Thank you! 
  • We are looking forward to a face-to-face spring convention in L.A.
  • Val, thank you for your patience. We will continue to “push forward.”
  • Sarah Nichols, thank you for all your brilliant ideas and collaboration with so many talented people! We are inspired and motivated because of all you do.

From MJEA president, Beth Britton, CJE: MJEA as an organization and its advisers are still battling the pandemic, and the publication of newspapers and upkeep of websites continues to slip at many Montana schools. Yearbooks are on firmer ground, but even they are decreasing in size or are moving to after-school production with no class time devoted to a curriculum. Even before COVID-19 remote learning and the challenges the pandemic presented to journalism advisers kicked in during the spring of 2020, Montana’s high school journalism community was struggling to remain relevant and strong. Too few schools offer journalism classes, and for many schools – even the largest AA institutions – a yearbook class or club is all that is offered. There are several schools, however, across this vast state that set themselves apart with a small but growing broadcast program, a strong print and/or online newspaper, and electives including Introduction to Journalism, graphic design, and video production. The main goal for the Montana Journalism Education Association is the continued development of a support system and useful website for Big Sky Country advisers and students, even if we are physically located hundreds of miles apart.” Please visit mjeajournalism.com

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 67.

Goals: In October, I set these goals: 

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

As of March 8, I am making great progress on these goals and hope to maintain them for the rest of this school year and beyond. One new goal is to complete the mentorship training program once the new platform is released. I’ve been serving as an informal mentor for many years and have been a Kent State J-teacher mentor partner for the last two spring semesters.

Happenings: NHSPA and the CoJMC at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln held a fall convention Oct. 18, 2021, with 650 students and advisers attending from 40 Nebraska high schools from around the state. The event kicked off with a keynote presentation by Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald writer and author of “24th & Glory: An Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha’s Greatest Generation of Athletes.” Chatelain, a Husker alumnus, is a five-time Nebraska sportswriter of the year. During an awards ceremony, the organization presented its Distinguished Adviser of the Year and the R. Neale Copple Friend of Journalism awards. The NHSPA also recognized high school student winners in its annual awards competition. Major sponsors of the convention and its annual awards include the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, School Newspapers Online sites and the Nebraska Press Association. 

Nebraska is actively searching for a new sponsor for New Voices as the past sponsor, Sen. Adam Morfeld, is not able to assist. The Nebraska Broadcasters Association has been interested in starting a radio project and is looking to pilot it at a few high schools. We are watching with interest. NHSPA board members have proposed a new award for 2022 to recognize an Administrator of the Year and to establish an NHSPA Cornhusker Hall of Fame.  

We held the 2022 Nebraska JEA Winter Contest and had great response. This is the 19th year we have held this contest. Outside of recognizing JEA member students, it serves as a precursor to NSAA State Journalism Contest. The NSAA Contest entries were due March 1, 2022, and 79 schools entered a record number of entries: 2,722 entries in 25 categories with three school classification sizes. Results should be shared by April 4 for April 25 and 26 live contests.

Nebraska will be holding a live summer workshop, July 11-13, 2022, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Contact Diane Schieffer (dschieffer@epsne.org) for more information. Nebraska is grateful for the incredible speakers who keep coming back for more!  

Awards/Honors: The Nebraska Distinguished Adviser of the Year for 2021 is Brandi Benson, CJE, who teaches at Lincoln Southwest High School and is active with the NHSPA, including serving on its executive board and overseeing the Cornhusker critiques and awards competition. The NHSPA also honored two people with its R. Neale Copple Friend of Journalism award, which acknowledges those who significantly support scholastic journalism. This year’s winners were Keith McCoy and Michelle Brosemer, both of Walsworth Publishing. 

These schools won Nebraska’s highest honor — the Cornhusker Award.

Nebraska named Kaitlin Reynolds from Millard West High School as the state’s 2022 Journalist of the Year. Her adviser is Mark Hilburn, MJE. Her portfolio has been received at JEA for national judging. Nebraska’s Runner-up is Jaden Taylor from Westside High School. His adviser is Aaron Stepp. 

The Nebraska JEA Winter Contest Results are here.

For the Board: We say THANK YOU for all you do. Nebraska will have a few schools representing in Los Angeles. A few additional schools are already planning for St. Louis in November. Thanks to all the JEA members who have completed their critique training and who offer their time and expertise to judge for our Cornhusker Awards and our NSAA State Contest. We have a lot of adviser turnover expected in Nebraska for next year. The mentor program will be really helpful.  As soon as there are details on the new system, please share. We will encourage more of our veteran advisers to do the training. Our hearts are with Sarah and the whole JEA family on the loss of our friend, Casey.

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

Membership: We have 30 JEA members in Nevada, including two new mentees for the spring semester.

Goals: As a new state director, my primary goals are increasing membership and increasing participation in the national conferences. I have convinced several advisers to go to L.A. even though they are not taking students (short drive for us from Vegas), so I am going to set up something informal for all of us from Nevada to meet and connect with each other one night. I am also hoping to get our state association, Southern Nevada Scholastic Journalism, back on its feet in the near future.

Happenings: We have not had any formal meetings, but I did have a student aide make a list of all the advisers (and their emails) in Nevada, and we sent out an email to everyone and encouraged them to join JEA and come hang out in L.A. with us.

Awards/Honors: Schools who have earned national recognition can be found here. We are also waiting on the news if the annual Las Vegas Review Journal High School Journalism Awards will continue after a year hiatus.

For the Board: As a new state director, I am looking forward to working with and meeting others at the convention in L.A.

Timothy Cain, CJE

Pinkerton Academy
5 Pinkerton Street
Derry, NH 03038

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


  • Increase JEA membership in NH 
  • Get more New Hampshire members certified (CJE)
  • Establish and implement a Journalist of the Year program for New Hampshire student journalists.

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

For the JOY program, one student inquired about the application, but never followed through in submitting it. I will continue to work on getting the word out to current New Hampshire JEA members about the benefit of this student program. This year, I sent the New Hampshire members an email explaining the JOY program, along with a Google Form application for New Hampshire. 

I am currently working with two mentees virtually.

For the Board: Any help and/or advice to increase membership in my state would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I have checked school websites to find contact information, and I have reached out to former colleagues who are now administrators to send me contact information about their journalism teachers. Also, are there any tricks to get advisers to urge their students to apply for the Journalist of the Year program?

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 44. Seven new members from New Jersey have joined JEA since September.

Goals: My goal is to further put New Jersey scholastic journalism on the map. There’s a lot of thorough work done here, and I would love to see it featured more on the national level. I think more advisers from our state need to enter contests and put their work out there. I would also like to see a greater number of new advisers get involved with our state organization.

Happenings: In conjunction with Rutgers University, the Garden State Scholastic Press Association held a week-long fall conference. There were also live events on Instagram to announce the winners of New Jersey’s annual print and online contests. In December, Gov. Phil Murphy signed New Voices bill S108 into law, making New Jersey the 15th state to adopt a version of the legislation designed to clarify and strengthen First Amendment rights for student journalists in the state as well as protect journalism advisers against retaliation for controversial content. Tom McHale, CJE, and John Tagliareni, CJE, have led this campaign for a solid decade and have endured setback after setback. Their perseverance has led to this positive outcome.

Awards/Honors: Eastside Online of Cherry Hill High School East won the state’s Online Distinguished Journalism Award this past fall. In the print category, there were two divisions based on school size: Eastside of Cherry Hill East won the large school division’s Distinguished Journalism Award and the Lighthouse of Lyndhurst won the Distinguished Journalism Award for the smaller school division. All winners can be found here.

For the Board: Some of our members have expressed interest in holding more events in the later hours that they can attend via Zoom.

New Mexico – no state director

Membership: Current membership in New Mexico stands at 17.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 35. Membership decreased by 8% from last fall.

Events: Roy Gutterman at Syracuse University held a panel Feb. 25, “Student Press Freedom Day: Exploring the Student Journalist Free Speech.” Featuring several New York State leaders (including Mike Simons, MJE, and Katina Paron, MJE), and New Voices bill sponsors Assemblymember Donna Lupardo and Sen. Brian Kavanagh. Mary Beth Tinker made a cameo appearance that was very exciting.   

Paron hosted an Instagram Live event for the Student Press Law Center’s Student Press Freedom Day in February. The LIVE book club event featured Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor discussing their book, “Chasing the Truth: A Young Journalist’s Guide to Investigative Reporting” with student reporters from Townsend Harris High School in Queens. 

Happenings: Simons and Paron have been pounding the Zoom pavement with New York State students to schedule meetings with state senators and phoned legislators for support for the “Student Journalist Free Speech Act.”  We now have 10 sponsors in the Senate and 35 in the Assembly; this is up five sponsors total since the beginning of the school year. We are looking for more student advocates to get involved with helping us pass the bill. For more information, please contact newvoicesofnewyork@gmail.com.

Opportunities: The King’s College will be hosting its Summer Academy for teens July 24-29. The in-person NYC program features tracks in sports reporting, and arts and culture reporting. $1,000 commuter. $1,950 residential. Register by May 15. More information is available here.

Paron is working alongside Region 1 chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists to bring students the Northeast High School Journalism Institute this summer, July 15-17, at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Cost $150/student; Scholarships available. Apply by March 30. 
Sad Trombone: We had no submissions for the New York State Journalist of the Year competition.

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

Membership: Current JEA membership for North Carolina as of March is 42.

Events: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute will be June 13-15. High school journalism students and advisers are invited to enroll. The three-day workshop teaches innovative and effective ways of communicating through scholastic media: online news, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, photojournalism, design and broadcast news. Deadline to register is June 1. For more information, visit ncsma.unc.edu.

Rising high school juniors and seniors interested in sports and media are encouraged to apply to the Carolina Sports Journalism Camp, hosted June 22-24. The three-day workshop will instruct students on sports play-by-play, sports writing and sports photography through classroom study and newsroom practice. Deadline for applications is April 1. For more information, click here.

Journalism Education Fellowship Program will be July 10-16. NCSMA’s Journalism Education Fellowship Program offers North Carolina high school journalism teachers the opportunity to enroll in a one-week, short-term summer course with tuition funding provided by NCSMA. Journalism teachers and media advisers can qualify for free in-state tuition and books. The three-hour graduate credit course is “Teaching Journalism in the Secondary School” and will be hosted in a hybrid format with two days on campus and the remaining days online. Deadline to apply is May 15.

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

Awards and Honors: The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association has announced East Chapel Hill High School journalist Caroline Chen as the 2022 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year. Chen is the co-editor-in-chief of the East Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill) school newspaper, the East Chapel Hill Observer or ECHO. Judges cited her journalism portfolio as “strong from top to bottom.” One judge wrote, “Caroline impressed me with the depth and breadth of her reporting, and her leadership during a tough time for student journalists. Most of all, she shows great promise in her willingness to take on controversial and crucial issues not just in her school but in her local community.” 

Alternates for Journalist of the Year are Maren Ingram of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, Maggie McNinch of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills and Aida Guo of Green Level High School in Cary. Ingram is the co-editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, Nighthawk News Magazine; McNinch is the co-editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, Nighthawk News Magazine; and Guo is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Gator’s Eye

Since 2001, the North Carolina Press Foundation has funded the annual scholarship award in memory of Rachel Rivers-Coffey, former North Carolina Press Association president. NCPF will award a $3,000 scholarship to Chen. 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. 

Chen will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition. Winners will be announced virtually at the National High School Journalism Convention. The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented during the North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute, a summer journalism workshop open to students and teachers across the state.

Goals: My goal is to continue working with the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association to maintain statewide journalism opportunities for students and advisers with continued outreach to JEA members and a special emphasis on the literary magazine community.

North Dakota – no state director

Membership: North Dakota currently has six members.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 60.

Goals: Because I just stepped into this role, my biggest goal is to acclimate myself with what is happening throughout Ohio when it comes to student journalism. While I’ve been part of the OSMA Board for about a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic served as a powerful force to isolate advisers, so many Ohio advisers are just beginning to reach out and make connections again. I’d like to make more consistent personal connections with advisers throughout Ohio, as well as help advisers develop relationships with each other, particularly those who might be struggling with isolation due to their role as a journalism adviser.

Happenings: Many of our virtual efforts have fallen flat, but we are hosting our first in-person OSMA convention since 2019 at Kent State next month.

Awards/Honors: Our 2022 Ohio Journalist of the Year recipient is Callia Peterson, a senior at Upper Arlington High School and editor-in-chief of the Arlingtonian

For the Board: It can be overwhelming to take on the state director role in a state that is somewhat active but not a journalism powerhouse. As an adviser, I tell my students to try to improve one step at a time – don’t start by looking only at the Pacemaker winners, because that can be discouraging and overwhelming. Instead, look to a publication that is one step ahead of where you are, one step closer to where you want to be. As a new state director, I feel like I’m struggling a bit to find my own mentor who is “one step” ahead of where we are in Ohio right now.

Darla Tresner, MJE
3512 Harvey Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006

Membership: JEA membership stands at 33.

Happenings: Following an active fall with conferences at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma advisers have been busy meeting yearbook deadlines, and producing newspapers, websites, broadcasts and social media. 

Next on the state agenda is Spring Media Monday April 11 at the University of Oklahoma.

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

Membership: There are currently 37 members in Oregon. 

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

We are looking to once again host our summer adviser workshop in Ashland, Oregon. We will again be offering workshops in advising newspaper and yearbook publications (beginning and advanced), digital photography and broadcast journalism. Whether you are a veteran or beginner, the workshops will have valuable content for you.

This is a great opportunity to improve your skills, log PDU or CTE hours and get college credit if you choose. We hope to see you this summer.

Happenings: The Oregon Student Media Olympics is happening and will award some of the best journalism in the state of Oregon. We are looking forward to holding our statewide Student Media Olympics once again in the fall of 2023.
Awards/Honors: Oregon’s Journalist of the Year 2022 winner is Tori Thorp of West Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. Congratulations to Tori and her staff of the Whirlwind. The Mary Hartman Oregon Journalism Adviser of the year and the Oregon Rookie Adviser will be awarded in late March.

South Salem High School of Salem, Oregon, was one of 17 schools awarded the JEA First Amendment Press Freedom Award for honoring free expression.

Cyndi Hyatt-Crothers
Conestoga High School
Berwyn, PA 19312

Membership: Currently we have 63 members in Pennsylvania.

Events:  The Pennsylvania School Press Association offered free membership again this year to all schools in the state. The state journalism finals, sponsored by PSPA, will be held in person at Penn State University March 30.

New Voices is gaining momentum with new members. We have a bill in the House and are working on finding a new Senate sponsor. We may have new endorsements coming from state professional press associations.

Awards: Lucy Bickel from Eastern Lebanon County High School is the 2022 Student Journalist of the Year for Pennsylvania. Her adviser is Jonathan Bickel.

Miscellaneous and just good news: Mary Beth Tinker is meeting with the staff of The Spoke newspaper in Berwyn next week via Zoom to talk about student press freedom and the Tinker standard.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at four.

Goals: We are hoping to get together on our statewide Professional Development Day in May.

Happenings: Lincoln High School’s Lions News Group officially became a PBS NewsHour ‘s Student Reporting Lab in December. The youth journalism program and public media initiative allows students to produce stories about issues that affect their generation. Student work is often included in NewsHour Specials. Less than a month into the program, work by 10 Lincoln High School students was included in the Jan. 25 special, “Our New Normal: How Teens are Redefining School Life.Awards/Honors: Lincoln High School’s Charlotte Fellingham was Rhode Island’s winner for the Journalist of the Year competition.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 23.

Goals: Next year we will be beginning a Careers in Media and Information roadshow throughout the state. The goal is to reach out to Title 1 and highly diverse schools with free in-person and online programming culminating with an on-campus experience. 

Happenings: SIPA’s 2022 convention was held in person March 4-6 for the first time since 2020. Natalie Hauff, former reporter for The Post and Courier and part of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning team, was the convention keynote. SC-ETV screened the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Writing with Fire.” In a media landscape dominated by men, the women journalists of India’s all-female Khabar Lahariya (“News Wave”) newspaper risk it all, including their own safety, to cover the country’s political, social and local news from a women-powered perspective. From underground network to independent media empire — now with 10 million views on their YouTube site — they defy the odds to redefine power. 

Awards: Millie Rice, a senior at Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant), has been named the South Carolina Journalist of the Year by SCSPA. Rice is the co-editor-in-chief of Wando’s Legend yearbook and will receive $500 from SCSPA.

Other South Carolina awards can be found here.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 10.

Goals: My goals for 2022 are to launch the South Dakota High School Press Association website, which features a section for South Dakota JEA, and to increase South Dakota JEA membership by three. Students in my public relations writing course have written short features for the website while a graduate student I advise is beginning a plan to develop video content. 

Happenings: The South Dakota High School Press Convention, co-sponsored by Black Hills State University and South Dakota State University, was Oct. 18, 2021. Low advance registration necessitated a move to Zoom. Although we had only a few days to accomplish the shift, we pulled it off and drew strong attendance for a virtual program. 

Bradley Wilson, MJE, Vice Head of AEJMC’s Scholastic Journalism Division, is collaborating with Jeremy Steele, CJE, of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association to plan a “teach-in” for high school educators. This in-person event coincides with AEJMC’s conference, which is scheduled for Aug. 2-6, 2022, in Detroit.  

Awards/Honors: We successfully revived our JOY contest, which had been on hiatus since 2019. The South Dakota High School Journalist of the Year is Daniel Bethke of Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls. He is advised by Katie Kroeze. Bethke receives a $250 cash prize from the South Dakota State University School of Communication and Journalism. Plans are in progress to recognize him at spring 2022 events in Sioux Falls and on the SDSU campus. 

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

For the Board: As mentioned in my fall 2021 report, I would like to increase and strengthen collaboration between JEA and the AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division. I haven’t been able to reach out to JEA leadership to discuss that, but I plan to do so in the coming months.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 38.

Goals: My goal is to increase state membership even more. I want to make sure that Tennessee advisers know all of the benefits JEA has to offer. I plan to connect with advisers through the Tennessee Press Association and at summer camps.  

Happenings: Tennessee High School Press Association hosted an Awards Days at Lipscomb University where students from all across the state received awards in newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine and broadcasting. In June, THSPA will host a summer journalism workshop at Lipscomb University. 

Awards/Honors: Tennessee High School Press Association named Ella Blair of Central High School the H.L. Hall Tennessee Journalist of the Year. THSPA named Candice Allen from White County High School the Bonnie Hufford Outstanding Media Adviser of the Year. Other national Tennessee award winners can be found here.

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

Membership: Texas JEA membership sits at 330. 

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

Happenings: Interscholastic Press League Conference will hold an in-person Spring Convention in Austin May 7-8. In conjunction with the UIL State Academic Meet, TAJE will host a Team Storytelling Contest May 6 for students registered for the ILPC Spring Convention. Attendance will be free for students registered for the convention. 

Texas Association of Journalism Educators plans to partner with the Texas Interscholastic Press League Conference to offer an in-person summer workshop June 17-19 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

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

Awards and Honors: Eight students applied for Journalist of the Year in Texas. Prosper High School senior Amanda Hare was named the 2022 Journalist of the Year March 4 and will compete for the national JOY title in the Journalism Education Association contest. 

The three judges also awarded first runner-up to Kathleen Ortiz from Kingwood Park High School and second runner-up to Austin Williams from St. Mark’s School of Texas. 

Scholarships: Texas Journalist of the Year Amanda Hare will receive the $1,500 Bill Taylor Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Balfour Publishing. In addition to the four $1,000 TAJE scholarships we give annually to graduating seniors, we will award a fifth $1,000 scholarship thanks to the generosity of Fall Fiesta keynote speaker Scott Pelley, who donated his $1,000 speaking fee back to TAJE. These scholarships will be announced at the ILPC Awards Ceremony May 8. We will also award summer workshop scholarships up to $150 to eight students and two teacher workshop scholarships up to $250. Winners of those will be announced soon. 

For the Board: Following the resignation of Samantha Berry, CJE; Kari Riemer, CJE, of Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, has been appointed president-elect to fill out the rest of this school year. She will become president June 1, when our new fiscal year begins. Riemer will continue to also serve as secretary until June 1. 

TAJE is also pleased to announce the results of the February board election: 

Treasurer: Margaret Edmonson, CJE, from Smithson Valley HS 

Secretary: Stephen Green, CJE, from Caney Creek HS 

President-Elect: Michael Reeves, MJE, from James Bowie HS President Alyssa Boehringer, MJE, has appointed Carey McCarthy, M.Ed., as Region 6 Representative for TAJE. McCarthy fills the vacancy left by convention director P.J. Cabrera, CJE, who resigned from his role as Region 6 Rep last month.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 8.

Events: The UCMA Futures Awards will happen sometime in May 2022, COVID-19 regulations pending. The awards ceremony is free to attend for any teachers/advisors and students who are part of their school’s journalism program. According to the UCMA website, “The Futures Awards are designed to recognize excellent journalism by Utah high school students. Sponsored by the Utah College Media Alliance in collaboration with the Utah Press Association, the contest is judged by Utah’s college journalists, journalism professors and professional journalists. The Futures encourage high school students who show an interest in journalism to pursue their media interests into college. More details will be sent to contest entrants, but mark your calendars for a red carpet awards night to celebrate the best of journalism and media from Utah’s high schools. There’s a cash award for the high school that accumulates the most points throughout the contest in each classification (6A/5A/4A & 3A/2A/1A).”

Rules and instructions for the Futures will be sent out via email to high school advisers at each high school, but can also be found by clicking the “Rules” link here. A list of categories for submission and rules for the contest can also be found on the UCMA website.

Advisors who are interested in being added to the Utah High School Advisor Email list can sign up here.

Awards and honors: We did not have a Student Journalist of the Year for Utah this year.

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

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at seven.

Goals: I have started volunteering with The Media Mentoring Project in Brattleboro, Vermont.

For the Board: Thank you for all you do.

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 96.

Happenings: While we would normally hold our annual jRetreat over Martin Luther King weekend, this year, the board decided to take a step back and recharge instead. Rather than organizing our traditional event, the VAJTA board purchased Starbucks cards for all of our members and put together a playlist of asynchronous professional development sessions members can use in order to fulfill outside PD requirements – or just for the fun of learning something new. This pause in our annual jRetreat is temporary – we’ll be back and better than ever next year.

Speaking of things that are back and better than ever, registration is open for jCamp at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from July 17-21. Early Bird registration ($475) ends April 1.

Goals: We are always working toward outreach to underrepresented areas of our state. In planning for the VHSL Media Championships, we made a concerted effort to reach out to experts from all over the state, encouraging them to participate by presenting sessions or offering online critiques. With the help of Hillary Davis from SPLC, we are looking forward to continuing our efforts to get New Voices legislation passed in the Commonwealth.

Additionally, our “Winter Recharge” campaign (the temporary replacement for our annual jRetreat) also allowed us to reach our members in every corner of Virginia.

Awards: Two of our legendary Virginia advisers, Martha Akers and Mary Kay Downes, MJE, were named 2022 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Though both retired last year, there is no doubt in my mind they will continue to support scholastic journalism as the champions they are.

Additionally, Anuj Khemka, tjTODAY print editor-in-chief at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has recently been named our Virginia Journalist of the Year.

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

Membership: We have 58 adviser members of WJEA with 42 student members. We have 58 members of JEA in Washington state. There are a total of 33 shared members with WJEA and JEA.

Goals: As state director and WJEA president, my goals align nicely for the two organizations. I would like to increase membership and participation. It really simply requires reaching out to the advisers who are non-members or who are members in name only and not in action. We have been offering events with Zoom options because of the pandemic, but I believe that will continue beyond because of the size of our state. We have a J Day on the west side and one on the east side. Our summer camp takes place on the east side, but our state conference is on the west side. Central and the southern/northern areas always have to travel more than other members. I need to make the time to reach out to all advisers and see what they need from us. That will be my goal for after our yearbook is done. I will start with the members of JEA and WJEA and then reach out to the advisers who are not members of either organization. 

Happenings: Typically, we have two Journalism Days in the fall. This year, we were unable to hold either one in person (hosting locations required vaccination for attendance if they would even allow our event on campus, and many schools were not allowing field trips at that point). Instead, we organized a virtual J-Day based at Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington) Oct. 30. We had 149 students and advisers from 10 schools. 

We held our WJEA Spring Conference and Write Off Competitions at Mercer Island High School. It was the longest planning session in history as we were originally scheduled to have our 2020 conference there. That conference was canceled due to COVID. This year, we had 16 schools with 180 students (including 81 write-off participants in 16 contests) and 16 advisers. At the same time, we had three Adobe Workshops/Trainings that did not require pre-registration. 

We are gearing up for a summer camp at Washington State University. It is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 3. Details are still being worked out; they will be posted on wjea.org when we have them finalized. 

During the COVID shutdown, we began hosting a press conference with our State Superintendent of Public Instruction and a dozen or so student journalists. Our last one was Nov. 2, 2021. We will hold another one March 16. This will be a statewide webinar for journalism, civics and social studies students as a way to recognize/celebrate our fourth anniversary of Gov. Inslee signing the Student Press Rights “New Voices” legislation into law. Superintendent Chris Reykdal plans to make a public statement about the importance of the student press in our schools at the opening of the hour-long event. The questions will be posed by 12 student journalists representing schools throughout the state. The press conference will be moderated by Mariah Valle, senior producer at KHQ TV in Spokane, who, as a high school journalist, testified before the state legislature in support of the law in 2018. 


  • Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award: Joanne Little, Inglemoor High School
  • WJEA Outstanding Journalist: Alexandra Bunn, Bellarmine Prep High School
  • WJEA Summer Workshop–Dow Jones News Fund Scholarship Recipient: Ritika Khanal, Mountlake Terrace High School
  • WJEA Adviser of the Year: Jeanne Hanigan, CJE Bellarmine Prep High School
  • WJEA Student Journalist of the Year: Alex Levin, Mercer Island High School

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

Membership: JEA membership stands at 10. 


  • Increasing membership through creation of a database of West Virginia schools and journalism educators.
  • Expand promotion of state JOY competition. 
  • Create and maintain active social media accounts for JEA West Virginia.
  • Create a JEA West Virginia website with resources for JEA members.
  • Establish a meeting schedule, both in-person and virtual, for JEA members.
  • Earn CJE and MJE myself. 
  • Become a JEA mentor.
  • Promote CJE/MJE certification for existing and new members.
  • Recruit state mentors for JEA members.
  • Build a statewide scholastic media association.
  • Develop regional and state workshops/conferences. 
  • Re-establish connections with state colleges and universities. 
  • Network with professional media outlets to serve as resources for advisers and students.

Happenings: We do not have any happenings yet. Since I filled the state director well into the school year, I have really only had time to facilitate the state JOY contest. I hope to arrange a meeting for our JEA West Virginia members soon and to form a committee of advisers who can begin attacking the goals listed above. 

A version of the New Voices bill was introduced in West Virginia this year. Unfortunately, while the original bill included high school journalism students and advisers, the most recent version only protects state college/university students and advisers. I have been working to contact legislators to amend the bill before its passage but have not had any luck yet. This may be something to work toward for the next legislative session.

Awards/Honors: This year, we only had one applicant for our state JOY contest. Luckily, she is quite impressive. She is Sara Collins from Elkins High School. Her adviser is Andrew Carroll. We do not currently have any other state awards or honors, but I hope to change that soon!

For the Board: It might be helpful to develop a bank of materials/resources/templates for state directors, especially new directors, to help fulfill their responsibilities. For example, for our state JOY contest, I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but once I reached out to other state directors, they shared templates for what I needed (application, congratulatory letter, press release, certificate, etc.). Having a Google Drive folder or a folder on the JEA site with those sorts of materials readily available would be tremendously helpful.

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

Membership: Wisconsin JEA membership currently stands at 43.

Goals: My major goal this year is to continue finding and connecting with advisers in the state. Working with the new Wisconsin Journalism Education Association, we have an intern who has been reaching out to secondary schools across the state from which we have no record of journalism programs. We have been able to find dozens of programs and advisers already who were previously unknown and receiving no information. We have also developed a website and flyer with resources and links for these teachers.

Happenings: Many events throughout the state have been returning to in-person, at least in some manner.

  • The Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association is holding a joint virtual and in-person spring conference this year. Attendance is free either way. The virtual sessions are already available for registered schools, and the in-person sessions will take place at UW-Oshkosh April 13.
  • The Kettle Moraine Press Association will be holding its Summer Journalism Kamp in person, again, at UW Whitewater July 17-20. Students will have a choice of session focusing on Broadcasting, Writers Circle, Sports Media and Photojournalism.
  • The Wisconsin Journalism Education Association has continued to hold regular video chats for advisers across the state to ask questions and share ideas. More information and links continue to be posted on the association’s website.

Awards/Honors: We are pleased to honor Annie Brown, from Homestead High School, as Wisconsin Journalist of the Year. Her work as a reporter, writer, designer and student leader has been phenomenal. As our state winner, Brown will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association with money provided by the Milwaukee Press Club Endowment Ltd. We also honored two finalists: Meghan Morgan from Pulaski High School and Ashlyn Jacobs from Neenah High School. More information on them as well as links to their portfolios can be found on the WisJEA website.

For the Board: I continue to try to build partnerships between organizations in the state. In addition to the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association working with the Milwaukee Press Club to fund a scholarship and paid intern this year, I have been part of conversations between the WisJEA and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association about greater collaboration when it comes to the statewide journalism contests the WNA currently sponsors.

Wyoming – no state director

Membership: Wyoming currently has nine members.

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

Greetings from Minneapolis!

It feels great to prepare for our first in-person convention since November of 2019. We are slowly getting back to our routine of convention preparation, but it’s amazing to be planning for 2,000+ students and advisers for our spring convention. Let me say, we are thrilled to be in Los Angeles for the National High School Journalism Convention.

NSPA had a great workshop in Philadelphia in November. We presented our first in-person Pacemaker Master Class — the Philadelphia Storytelling Workshop, a two-day workshop that focused on all facets of storytelling. The Nov. 11-13 workshop was held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown with a Thursday-evening keynote speaker preceding the Friday/Saturday event. Three hundred and fifty-two student journalists and advisers worked directly with college and high school advisers within our 10 workshop tracks. 

The University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication has joined National Scholastic Press Association in launching NSPA’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards. The new award will promote excellence in reporting on diversity, equity and inclusion in the nation’s student press. 

Elisia Cohen, professor and director of the Hubbard School, says connecting students to diverse organizations has always been a top priority through its partnership with NSPA. Cohen is past president of the NSPA/ACP board of directors. The award embodies the school’s century of support as the associations celebrate their centennial.

NSPA will begin accepting DEI entries as part of its annual awards program. Stories from all platforms are eligible, and NSPA membership is not required. Judges will review URLs for broadcast, web or digital content and PDFs for print. Eligible coverage will include but not be limited to race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and other differences.

Finalists will be named prior to the winners, which will be announced at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention. Winners receive a plaque and a $500 cash award presented by the Hubbard School.

NSPA is excited to get back to honoring our Pioneers at our spring and fall conventions. We plan to honor our three most recent recipients in L.A. 

Leland Mallett, CJE; Mike Simons, MJE; and Margaret Sorrows, CJE;, will be recognized at the Journalism Education Association/NSPA awards luncheon in April in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure.

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop brings together the nation’s top workshop faculty and scholastic-journalism experts to propel you and your staff into the year ahead. We will be back in person June 26-30 at the Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria in Dallas. Registration opens March 15. Cost is $125 per student and advisers, plus $20 for the optional Sunday bonus class. 

The 2022 workshop will offer both the training and the flexibility you need. Whether you’re part of a group or flying solo, you can pick the approach to match the situation, your staff and your schedule.

Instruction is returning to the time-tested format used during the in-person workshop. Students will enroll in one workshop class, based on experience level and offering a combination of instruction and hands-on work.

Tracks include: advisers, newspaper boot camp, newspaper editors, online publications, beginning photography, intermediate photography, advanced photography, publication design, feature writing, specialized writing, beginning yearbook, intermediate yearbook, theme development, beginning video and advanced video.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you had a birthday and nobody came because of a pandemic? Well, we experienced just that because NSPA turned 100 in 2021. However, we are going to celebrate our Centennial in St. Louis this fall. Stay tuned for the events and announcements. We will recognize our Pacemaker 100 recipients and announce our new Platinum class.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank JEA’s outgoing executive director Kelly Glasscock for a great partnership these past few years. Kelly has been so great to work with and I will miss him. We made a good team, and I wish him nothing but the best in his new venture. 

As always, NSPA appreciates our partnership with JEA. Together, we are better and stronger. If you have ideas or comments on NSPA’s awards or services, please don’t hesitate to contact me: laura@studentpress.org.


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