Serving the association as an elected board member

JEA’s 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

Teacher-adviser members have much to gain personally from this rewarding experience if elected to a two-year board of directors term.

Benefits of serving as a board member

  • Contribute to the development of a diverse and equitable board of directors
  • Make use of your skills and strengths in a meaningful way
  • Develop new leadership skills
  • Expand your professional network
  • Form personal relationships with wonderful people
  • Give back to an organization you care about to benefit scholastic journalism educators and their students
  • Learn and apply the legal, financial and ethical responsibilities of nonprofit associations
  • Help protect JEA’s best interests while paving the way for a strong future

As a volunteer elected to association leadership, you’ll grow deeper in your affection for and loyalty to JEA and its members.

What matters and what doesn’t?

Any teacher-adviser member in good standing is eligible as a board candidate. What matters most is an interest in actively serving the association to advance JEA’s mission and its core values of pedagogy, advocacy, innovation, community and excellence. It doesn’t matter where you live, how long you’ve been teaching or advising, what past connections to JEA you may have, whether you or your students have earned awards in scholastic journalism, and it doesn’t matter who you know or don’t.

Candidates must demonstrate thought and career leadership within the scope of JEA’s mission and core values as well as be able to perform the major responsibilities, including in the areas of providing oversight, insight and foresight, by:

  • Providing both strategic and innovative thought leadership by analyzing issues and making decisions that support the organization’s overarching mission
  • Possessing knowledge of the field of scholastic journalism while being willing and able to learn the overall organization in order to make business decisions that impact the future of the organization
  • Committing to learning the budgeting, forecasting and other business aspects to provide financial oversight
  • Embracing technology to be able to convene and conduct business
  • Experimenting and developing strategies to drive innovation and creative ways to engage
  • Leveraging experience and strong interpersonal skills to make community connections
  • Cultivating diversity and unity from the classroom to the boardroom

Job descriptions for each position are available here.

In October 2022, the board of directors voted 6-0 to amend the bylaws, shortening terms from three years to two, and staggering board terms to strengthen continuity and avoid having all positions open at the same time. Elections will take place annually, beginning with the February 2023 vote to elect JEA’s president, vice president, educational initiatives director and two directors-at-large for a term beginning May 1, 2023. The February 2024 election will take place to determine the scholastic press rights director and one director-at-large for a two-year term beginning May 1, 2024.

Board of directors election timeline

Nov. 4, 2022 Deadline to sign up as a candidate
Nov. 11, 2022 Candidate list presented at JEA’s General Membership Meeting
Nov. 15, 2022 Candidate list available at JEA.org (below)
Jan. 9, 2023 Candidate statements available at JEA.org 
Feb. 17-26, 2023 Members vote via electronic ballot
Feb. 28, 2023 Board members announced at JEA.org 
May 1, 2023 Two-year term begins

2023-25 term slate of candidates


  • Valerie Kibler, MJE, Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School

Vice President: 

  • Justin Daigle, MJE, Brighton (Colorado) High School

Educational Initiatives Director:

  • Shari Adwers, MJE, Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, Virginia
  • Annette Deming, CJE, Nashua (New Hampshire) High School North

Director-at-large (two open positions):

  • Louisa Avery, MJE, The American School in London
  • Shari Chumley, CJE, Tupelo (Mississippi) High School
  • Josh Clements, MJE, San Marcos (California) High School
  • Michelle Corbett, CJE, Indian Trail High School and Academy, Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Sandra Coyer, MJE, Puyallup (Washington) High School
  • Brett Deever, Red Oak (Texas) High School
  • Charles Erikson, CJE, La Sierra High School, Riverside, California
  • Melissa Falkowski, CJE, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
  • Brenda Field, MJE, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, Illinois
  • Sam Hanley, CJE, Southport High School, Indianapolis
  • Jessica Hunziker, MJE, Castle View High School, Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Ted Kiefat, Proctor High School, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Debra Klevens, CJE, Parkway West High School, Ballwin, Missouri
  • Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, CJE, Columbia High School, Lake City, Florida
  • Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest High School, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Christi Opiela, Hallettsville (Texas) High School
  • Karla Shotts, Englewood (Colorado) High School


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