Rising Star Award

Deadline: July 15

About the Award

Rising Star trophies are given to advisers who are in their first five years of advising a media program and have shown great dedication to scholastic journalism and have had success advising at least one media program. JEA members are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals.

Award Recognition

This is a juried award. Entries are evaluated by a national panel of journalism educators consisting of the JEA Awards Committee. JEA will present each winner with a trophy at the Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. Several awards may be presented each year.


Nominations are due July 15.

Entry Criteria

Nominations may come from scholastic press associations, yearbook companies, fellow teachers, students and/or parents. The nomination should include an updated resume of the nominee, sample pages (PDFs) from print publications (limited to five spreads/pages) and/or links to school news sites and/or broadcast program video/audio, to show the quality of the media the teacher advises. The nominator should also include a letter explaining how the nominee shows promise as an up-and-coming adviser. The nominator may also include no more than three additional letters of recommendation from others who support the nomination. The nominee also must provide answers to questions that provide insight into their program and perspectives surrounding scholastic journalism.

The nominee should meet the following criteria:

  • Have one to five years’ journalism teaching and/or advising experience. (May be entering the sixth year.)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to journalism education.
  • Foster an awareness of the rights and responsibilities granted by the First Amendment.
  • Seek additional professional development opportunities to improve skills as a journalism adviser and teacher.
  • Encourage student editors to attend workshops, conferences and conventions.
  • Show commitment to continually improve the medium or media advised.
  • Empower student editors to make all editorial decisions in a responsible way without content being subject to prior review.

The Rising Star is voted on by the full Awards Committee with each member considering all entries and voting for no more than 50% plus one of the candidates. Those with remaining eligibility may resubmit in following years.



  • Alexis Bailey, Rampart High School, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Katrina Berry-Ivy, Tupelo (Mississippi) High School
  • Sue Flaming, Caney Valley Schools, Ramona, Oklahoma
  • Kirsten Gilliland, CJE, Omaha (Nebraska) Bryan High School
  • Joseph Maffey, Lyons Township High School, La Grange, Illinois
  • Sarah McCambridge, Bishop Miege High School, Roeland Park, Kansas
  • Luc Nguyen, Chantilly (Virginia) High School
  • Chris Pearcy, CJE, Logansport (Indiana) High School


  • Amber Chester, Beebe (Arkansas) High School
  • Stephen Green, CJE, Caney Creek High School, Conroe, Texas
  • Kelley Lange, CJE, Ralston (Nebraska) High School
  • Benjamin Langevin, CJE, Oviedo (Florida) High School
  • Jenny Zimmerman, North Buncombe High School, Weaversville, North Carolina


  • Joanna Chadwick, Derby (Kansas) High School
  • Jackie Davis, Christian Academy of Guatemala, San Cristobal, Guatemala
  • Carly Gates, CJE, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Jessica Hanthorn, CJE, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale, Washington
  • Candice Thomas, Haskett Junior High, Katy, Texas
  • Laurel Wicke, Drake Middle School, Arvada, Colorado.


  • Brit Crew, Creekview High School, Carrollton, Texas
  • Patty Gomez, Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Cody Terrance Harrell, CJE, East Lansing (Michigan) High School
  • Christina Levinson, Bear River High School, Grass Valley, California
  • Tucker Love, Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Heather Rice, CJE, One School of the Arts, Longwood, Florida
  • Julia Walker, Olathe (Kansas) West High School
  • Shanon Woolf, McIntosh High School, Peachtree City, Georgia


  • Makena Busch, CJE, Mead High School, Spokane, Wash.
  • Jeni Daley, CJE, Shawnee Heights High School, Tecumseh, Kan.
  • Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE, Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
  • Erin L. Gallegos, Ronald Reagan High School, San Antonio, Texas
  • Samantha W. Lasarow, El Camino Real Charter High School, Woodland Hills, Calif.
  • Roth A. Lovins, CJE, Columbus (Ind.) North High School
  • Vanessa M. Martinez, El Dorado High School, El Paso, Texas
  • Abrianna R. Nelson, CJE, Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington, Va.
  • Bridgette E. Norris, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Leigh A. Rogers, Hermann (Mo.) High School
  • Daniel Sidwell, Freedom High School, Tampa, Fla.
  • Angela Wolfe, CJE, Burke High School, Omaha, Neb.


  • Zeb Carabello, Rangeview High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • Gina Claus, Castle Rock (Colo.) Middle School
  • Courtney Hanks, CJE, University High School, Orange City, Fla.
  • Sarah Kirksey, CJE, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis
  • Lori Larson, North Platte (Neb.) High School
  • Katie Moreno, Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas
  • Nancy "Joanie" Oben, T.R. Robinson High School, Tampa, Fla.
  • Jayna Rumble, Troy (Mich.) High School
  • Hannah Shapiro, Eagle Valley High School, Gypsum, Colo.
  • Lisa Stine, CJE, Bryant (Ark.) High School

2017 (fall)

  • Tiffany Cavicchia, Mooresville (N.C.) High School
  • Annette Deming, CJE, Don Antonio Lugo High School, Chino, Calif.
  • Sarah-Anne Lanman, CJE, Munster (Ind.) High School
  • Kathleen "Kate" Plows, CJE, Malvern (Pa.) Preparatory School

2017 (spring)

  • Travis Armknecht, CJE, Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis
  • Katie Comeford, Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago
  • John Horvath, Hill Country Christian School, Austin, Texas
  • Jordyn Kiel, CJE, Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Dennis Leizear, CJE, Padua Academy, Wilmington, Del.
  • Susan McNulty, J.W. Mitchell High School, New Port Ritchey, Fla.
  • Alicia Merrifield, The Village School, Houston
  • Tim Ryckman, Rocky Heights Middle School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
  • Veronica Sarmiento, CJE, Seminole High School, Sanford, Fla.
  • Andrew Young, Woodland Junior High School, Fayetteville, Ark.


  • Samantha Berry, Cypress Creek High School, Houston, Texas
  • Kyle Carter, Richland Jr./Sr. High School, Essex, Missouri
  • Ashley Clark, East Bay High School, Gibsonton, Florida
  • Katie Frazier, Seven Lakes Junior High School, Katy, Texas
  • Rebekah Goode-Peoples, CJE, Woodward Academy, College Park, Georgia
  • Patrick Johnson, CJE, Antioch (Illinois) Community High School
  • Kari Koshiol, Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Kevin Patterson, Oviedo (Florida) High School
  • Teresa Scribner, CJE, Cleveland STEM High School, Seattle
  • Emily Smith, CJE, Pittsburg (Kansas) High School
  • Barbara Tholen, CJE, Lawrence (Kansas) High School
  • Leslie Thompson, CJE, Conifer (Colorado) High School
  • Leah Waters, CJE, Creekview High School, Carrollton, Texas


  • Lindsay Benedict, McLean (Va.) High School
  • Claire Burke, CJE, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, Md.
  • Erin Castellano, Clayton (Mo.) High School
  • William Caulton, Avon (Ind.) High School
  • Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE, Arvada (Colo.) West High School
  • Stephen Hanf, R.J. Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Matthew LaPorte, CJE, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas
  • Emily Pyeatt Arnold, CJE, Halton High School, Haltom City, Texas
  • Kristen Scott, Kealing Middle School, Austin, Texas
  • Allie Staub, Westfield (Ind.) Middle School
  • Suzi Van Steenbergen, CJE, San Marcos, Calif.


  • Adam Dawkins, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • Adrienne Forgette, CJE, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs, Mass.
  • Nima Kapadia, South Garland High School, Garland, Texas
  • Melissa Larson, Mesa Middle School, Castle Rock, Colo.
  • Jessica Leifheit, Castle View High School, Castle Rock, Colo.
  • Pia Longinotti, Freeman High School, Rockford, Wash.
  • Julieanne McClain, CJE, Hayes High School, Delaware, Ohio
  • Cory Morlock, Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Natalie Niemeyer, East High School, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Megan Ortiz, Summer Creek High School, Houston
  • Kyle Phillips, CJE, Washington High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Rachel Rauch, Homestead High School, Mequon, Wis.
  • Jesse Sutherland, CJE, Waterford Kettering High School, Waterford, Mich.
  • Kim Vinh, Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif.


  • Angela Banfield, CJE, Coronado High School, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Colleen Bennett, CJE, Oak Ridge High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Keith Carlson, CJE, Naperville Central High School, Naperville, Ill.
  • Tara Stepanek, CJE, Parkway Central High School, Chesterfield, Mo.
  • Anthony Whitten, CJE, Westfield High School, Chantilly, Va.


  • Jody Evans, Hillcrest High School, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • Heather Hanks, CJE, Bloomingdale High School, Valrico, Fla.
  • Stephanie Keagle, CJE, Auburn Mountainview High School, Auburn, Wash.
  • Evelyn Lauer, CJE, Niles West High School, Skokie, Ill.
  • Beth Phillips, Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Mary Seal, Taylorsville High School, Taylorsville, Utah
  • Timothy Yorke, Heritage High School, Leesburg, Va.
  • Jessica Young, CJE, Orange Glen High School, Escondido, Calif.


  • Michelle L. Balmeo, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Calif.
  • Carlos Briano, El Dorado High School, El Paso, Texas
  • Natalie Brown, Central High School, Keller, Texas
  • Kathy M. Gustad, Brighton (Colo.) High School
  • Anastasia M. Harrison, Ponderosa High School, Parker, Colo.
  • Melanie F. Huynh-Duc, Northwest Guilford High School, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Tamra L. McCarthy, James C. Enochs High School, Modesto, Calif.
  • Michael W. Moon, Kinston (N.C.) High School
  • Mark Novom, Brentwood School, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Sara-Beth O’Connor, Grand Ledge (Mich.) High School
  • Elizabeth A. Palmer, CJE, duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.
  • Erica C. Rickard, Newton (Kan.) High School
  • Karen Wagner, Eaglecrest High School, Centennial, Colo.
  • Stacey L. Wilkins, CJE, Darien (Conn.) High School
  • Nicole Wilson, CJE, Carmel (Ind.) High School


  • Mary Dempsey, CJE, O'Fallon Township (Ill.) High School
  • Justin Daigle, Brighton (Colo.) High School
  • Christopher Greenslate, LaCosta Canyon High School, Carlsbad, Calif.
  • Erinn Harris, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va.
  • Rachel McCarver, CJE, Columbus (Ind.) North High School


  • Alyssa Armentrout, McKinney (Texas) High School
  • Jason Block, Prospect High School, Mount Prospect, Ill.
  • Amanda Paola Casares, Coronado (Calif.) Middle School
  • Kristy Dekat, CJE, Topeka (Kan.) West High School


  • Hillary Aerts, CJE, Omaha (Neb.) North High School
  • Courtney Archer, Elkhorn (Neb.) High School
  • Stephen J. Chiger, CJE, University Academy Charter High School, Jersey City, N.J.
  • Kellie Doyle, Lakes Community High School, Lake Villa, Ill.
  • Carrie F. Faust, CJE, Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • Scott P. Foster, Waverly (Neb.) High School
  • Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE, St. Francis (Minn.) High School
  • Louis E. Plumley, Scott Johnson Middle School, McKinney, Texas
  • Nathan Thompson, Montezuma-Cortez High School, Cortez, Colo.
  • Lindsay Webster, Franklin Pierce High School, Tacoma, Wash.


  • Maureen Freeman, CJE, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Md.
  • John J. Gonczy, Mount Carmel High School, Chicago
  • Ryan Gunterman, CJE, Bloomington (Ind.) High School North
  • Stacy Haynes-Moore, CJE, Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Joseph Humphrey, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, Fla.
  • Jeffrey C. Moffitt, CJE, Olympia High School, Orlando, Fla.
  • Jeff Nusser, Emerald Ridge High School, South Hill, Wash.
  • Chad L. Rummel, CJE, Oakton High School, Vienna, Va.
  • Lisa Wingo, Glendale High School, Springfield, Mo.


  • Ellen Austin, CJE, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Jill Chittum, Derby (Kan.) High School
  • Timothy Morley, Inland Lakes High School, Indian River, Mich.
  • Nikki Schueller, CJE, North Farmington High School, Farmington Hills, Mich
  • Derek Smith, Peninsula High School, Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • Sarah Verpooten, CJE, Lake Central High School, St. John, Ind.
  • Karen Elizabeth Barrett, CJE, Wheeling (Ill.) High School
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