Elections

Participating as a board member offers the opportunity to develop new leadership skills, expand your professional network, and learn the legal, financial and ethical responsibilities of nonprofit associations.

Elections take place annually, and two seats are open in the February 2024 election: the scholastic press rights director and one director-at-large. Both positions are two-year terms that begin May 1, 2024.

JEA’s seven-member board of directors should comprise a variety of skill sets, leadership styles and diversity of thought and background. Great candidates will possess:

  • Passion for scholastic journalism education
  • Eagerness to participate
  • Preparedness for events
  • Desire for stewardship and service
  • Willingness to learn

Board of directors election timeline

Sept. 1, 2023 Candidate sign-up opens
Oct. 27, 2023
Deadline to sign up as a candidate
Nov. 3, 2023
Candidate list presented at JEA’s General Membership Meeting
Nov. 17, 2023
Candidate list available at JEA.org
Jan. 8, 2024
Candidate statements available at JEA.org
Jan. 15, 2024
Voter rolls are created based on active teacher/adviser members
Feb. 19-26, 2024
Members vote via electronic ballot
Feb. 28, 2024
Board members announced at JEA.org
May 1, 2024
Two-year term begins


2024 board of directors candidates

Director-at-large candidates include:

  • Shari Chumley, CJE, Tupelo (Mississippi) High School
  • Sandra Coyer, MJE, Puyallup (Washington) High School
  • Christi Opiela, Hallettsville (Texas) High School
  • Jessica Young, MJE, Orange Glen High School, Escondido, California

Scholastic Press Rights Director candidates include:

  • Andrea Negri, MJE, Bellaire (Texas) High School

How to vote

  1. Voting in the 2024 election will take place Feb. 19-26. Only JEA teacher-adviser members (see Article III, Section 1, Paragraph A of JEA’s bylaws) current as of Jan. 15, 2024, will be eligible to vote.
  2. The candidate slate will be announced at JEA.org no later than Nov. 17, 2023. Full candidate statements will be available online on Jan. 8, 2024.
  3. All teacher-adviser members eligible to vote will receive an email at their preferred email address from JEA headquarters (specifically, noreply@qualtrics-survey.com) on Feb. 19, 2024, with a link to their ballot. Each link is unique to the individual voter and can only be accessed once. Do not forward your ballot to anyone. You can verify your preferred email address in the JEA Membership Portal.
  4. Elections will be carried out using ranked-choice voting, sometimes called “instant runoff voting.” Voters have the option to rank candidates in order of preference: first, second, third and so forth. In short, if no candidate has a majority, the candidate with the least first-preference votes is eliminated, and their votes are redistributed based on voters’ subsequent preferences until a candidate achieves a majority. Read more about ranked-choice voting and our decision to use this method.
  5. Two reminder emails will be sent to eligible members who have not yet cast a ballot during the voting window. The deadline to cast a ballot is 11:59 p.m. CST, Feb. 26, 2024.

How to run for the board

Call for candidates is closed for the 2024 election. JEA members interested in running for the 2025 term can review the information elow.

  1. Verify you are a teacher/adviser member in good standing. You can log in to confirm or renew your membership, or join JEA. Any candidates who are not members in good standing as of Jan. 15, 2025, will be removed from the ballot.
  2. Carefully read the job descriptions for JEA leadership, including duties for all positions, elected positions and specifically for the position being sought. 
  3. Submit a nomination form. The form will be available Sept. 1, 2024, and must be submitted by Oct. 27, 2024.
  4. Craft your candidate statements to be published on JEA.org. Candidates will answer each of the following questions in 300 words or fewer:
  • Why do you want to serve, and how will you help advance JEA’s mission?
  • What do you think is the greatest challenge facing scholastic journalism education today?
  • Why do you believe your voice is an important voice or perspective that needs to be heard?
  1. In November 2024, candidates will be invited to do a one-on-one interview with the chair of the nominations committee via Zoom. Recordings of the interview, as well as written answers to the above prompts, will be made available to the general membership Jan. 8, 2025.

Role of the nominations committee

The nominations committee serves as an independent party in helping to conduct the election. Committee members develop timelines and procedures in accordance with JEA bylaws. The chair of the committee is appointed by the JEA president, and members of the committee are appointed by the chair.

While the committee assists headquarters in conducting the election, perhaps its most important role is in helping recruit nominees to run for office. The committee is charged with “evaluating interest and willingness on the part of candidates to serve the organization as an elected officer” and to “seek nominees who represent gender, ethnic, racial and cultural diversity and prepare a slate to present to the membership that includes such diversity.”

Candidates not included in the slate presented by the nominations committee may still be placed in nomination by any voting member at the general membership meeting on Nov. 3, 2023.

Members of the nominations committee for the 2024 elections include:

Kelly Furnas, MJE, teaches multimedia journalism at Elon (North Carolina) University and is faculty mentor for the converged student news operation, Elon News Network. He is a former executive director of JEA and serves as treasurer of the Student Press Law Center.

Renette McCargo is the interim director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas. Since 2020, she has served as executive director of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association.

Stephanie Moreno is the director of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association, which is housed at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She also serves as the college’s scholastic outreach coordinator, manages the Summer Media Academy, and is a member of Grady College’s diversity committee.


Past elections

2023 slate of candidates | 2023 election results | 2023 runoff results
2020 slate of candidates | 2020 election results
2017 slate of candidates | 2017 election results | 2017 runoff results

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