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

Kelly Furnas, CJE

Executive Director

JEA Headquarters

Kansas State University

105 Kedzie Hall

Manhattan, KS 66506-1501

C: 540-200-8665 | W: 785-532-7822


Membership: Voting membership stands at 2,476, up 205 members from a comparable time last spring and 57 from last fall. For the fourth consecutive half-year period, we are at the highest level of paid membership in the organization’s history.

While we have seen some small declines in individual states, they are more than outweighed by significant year-over-year gains from Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and others. Texas, at 270 voting members, is once again our largest state, edging out California, at 269 members.

Alaska is the only state with zero members. Additionally, we have seen a significant decline in the number of non-voting members (affiliates, associates, college and institutional members). Our nonvoting membership stands at 262, down 65 members from a comparable time last spring.


Feb. 5-7: JEA Board of Directors Budget Planning Session, Manhattan, Kan.

Feb. 19-21: Convention Planning Meeting, Los Angeles

Feb. 26-28: Convention Planning Meeting, Seattle

March 10-11: Leadership meeting with National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, Ill.

March 25-26: Convention Site Visit, Anaheim, Calif.

For the board: We are about two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year, and our financial position remains solid. We have earned $603,781 in gross profit (about 69 percent of our budget), and spent $515,770 for a net operating revenue of $88,011.

The organization stands with about $1.7 million in total current assets.

Mark Newton, MJE


Mountain Vista High School

10585 Mountain Vista Ridge

Highlands Ranch, CO 80126



Nearly two years into my second three-year term, it continues to be an honor to serve as JEA president. The respect I have for our executive director and headquarters staff only grows. Executive Director Kelly Furnas and the office staff — Connie Fulkerson, Pam Boller, Lisa Terhaar and Kate Dubiel — are the heart of our volunteer organization. I am so thankful for all they do for me, the board of directors and, most importantly, our members.

Please take a few moments to review the notes from our Orlando meeting last November and the subsequent motions and results.

The day-to-day tasks continue to keep me busy. The highlights of my last four months include:

Attended a JEA board work session in early February at JEA headquarters to prepare the 2016-17 budget and bylaw changes. I spent the day prior meeting with the office staff and working with Kelly.

Attended a meeting in early March with Kelly and leaders at the National Council of Teachers of English to identify viable opportunities to enhance our standing and find relevant partnerships.

Supported and guided all the JEA leaders.

Continue to spend a significant amount of time working on all kinds of JEA programs and initiatives, addressing challenges and working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

I continue to focus on outreach to professional and sister organizations, networking and trying to find viable partnerships that will enhance our mission, goals and support our members with valuable opportunities.

Please take a moment to review the agenda for our spring board of directors and general membership meetings in Los Angeles. After taking a look, please be sure to share your ideas, thoughts, and opinions with me and/or other JEA leaders. We absolutely value your viewpoints.

I have said this in each of my reports as president and as always there is absolutely no reason to change even one word: Every conversation I have reminds me of how much our staff, board and members want what’s best for our organization. We may not agree 100 percent on the problems or the solutions, but we always do agree to come together for the good of the organization. So many people make JEA great — and I can’t thank you all enough.

I’m excited about our ideas and plans as we work together to move JEA forward in the remaining year of my presidency. It truly is an honor to serve JEA. Thank you for the opportunity.

Sarah Nichols, MJE

Vice President

Whitney High School

701 Wildcat Blvd.

Rocklin, CA 95765



Thank you for the opportunity to serve on this team as part of the largest — and best — organization for journalism educators in the world. I appreciate the positive energy and collaboration from our headquarters staff, board members, committee chairs, state directors and others who help make our organization the best it can be, which in turn supports teachers and their students every day.

In the time since our last report, I have been involved in a variety of ways, which include:

• Attending JEA’s budget meeting and board planning session in Manhattan, Kansas, Feb. 5-7.

• Launching the JEA/NSPA Adviser Outreach program with NSPA board member Valerie Kibler, bringing on-site training to advisers and students as part of small professional learning communities designed to reach underserved areas.

• Appointing new state directors in Louisiana and Wisconsin. We are lucky to have Albert Dupont and Rachel Rauch, CJE, as the latest additions to our team.

• Maintaining JEA’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.

• Posting articles as a contributor to the JEA Digital Media site.

• Coordinating a special JEA screening of “Frame by Frame,” a documentary about four photojournalists in Afghanistan, for Scholastic Journalism Week.

• Working with 10 curriculum leaders and Executive Director Kelly Furnas on the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

I also had the opportunity to attend an intensive Storytelling with Data workshop in January on behalf of JEA. Fellow board member Megan Fromm, CJE, and I will be presenting two data journalism sessions in July at Advisers Institute.

Thank you for asking questions, making suggestions and dreaming big for JEA. We are stronger together, and I appreciate the ways we learn and grow from our collective efforts.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

Past President/SPA Liaison/Nominations Chair

Kent State University

School of Journalism & Mass Communications

201B Franklin Hall Kent, OH 44242-0001



My thanks, too, go out to all of the JEA “family”— officers, directors, committee members and staff at headquarters — each working to support the free and responsible scholastic journalism our members deserve. Since my last report in October 2015, I have attempted to contribute in the following ways:

Scored CJE and MJE tests from the Orlando convention site and several regional locations (December 2015). Have CJE/MJE test-takers at the Ohio Scholastic Media Association convention in early April.

Continued to produce a weekly current events quiz, posted to the listserv, every Tuesday night. Though not directly tied to my job description, I do believe it is a member service many in the classroom appreciate and enjoy.

Maintained the SPA-L listserv for state scholastic press association directors and officers. Among the topics we shared and discussed were SPA website advertising, university affiliation — pros and cons plus sharing bylaws, using Facebook to promote your SPA, a comparison of contest judging pay, and reminders about upcoming deadlines and requests for topics to share with the board.

Maintained the Facebook Scholastic Press Association Roundtable group, re-posting award-winners during Scholastic Journalism Week and other announcements. I also shared with Meredith Cummings of Alabama the pledge the Ohio Scholastic Media Association has principals sign if they want their school media to receive an extra gold seal on their critique certifications for “no prior review.”

Worked with the Scholastic Press Rights Committee to select and wrote the letters to notify the First Amendment Press Freedom award-winners and losers, wrote four blog posts for jeasprc.org, and worked with John Bowen to co-author the Dow Jones News Fund Adviser Update law and ethics column. (see details in Scholastic Press Rights report)

Attended JEA’s budget meeting and board planning session at Headquarters in Manhattan, Kansas, Feb. 5-7.

Worked with JEA executive director Kelly Furnas to plan the timeline and procedures for the next JEA election, happening later next winter.

If there’s anything I can do to help members — especially related to scholastic press associations or the upcoming election — please don’t hesitate to ask.

John Bowen, MJE

Director, Scholastic Press Rights

Kent State University

School of Journalism & Mass Communications

201 Franklin Hall

Kent, OH 44242-0001


jabowen@kent.edu | jbowen1007@aol.com

General report
Since the last report and board meeting in Orlando, the SPRC found itself involved in two ever developing projects. One has been to assist, as needed, those in states working to pass free expression legislation. The second, directly related, is to assist advisers and students who face censorship, prior review or the threat of that. Our assistance has been to states with and without existing state legislation.

Specific work

Continued work with New Voices groups in various states as they work on legislation, urging them to seek JEA endorsement of such legislation.

Nine public schools and two private schools received this year’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award (FAPFA}. They are Chantilly (Virginia) High School; Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco; Felix Varela High School, Miami; Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri; Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School; Kirkwood (Missouri) High School; Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School; Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado; St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School; The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles; and Whitney High School, Rocklin, California.

Proposed funding to encourage FAPFA recognized administrators to reach out to other administrators or communities with projects stressing the importance of free expression and the First Amendment rights of students.

Aggressively tried to expand intervention with those facing censorship issues or who had specific legal questions.

Began work on a SPRC retreat in 2017 to develop activities, lessons and process to encourage and recognize increased use of FOIA-based reporting by student media across all platforms.

Worked to increase the number of student media programs to apply for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award this year. Twenty-three schools applied and 11 were recognized as FAPFA schools.

Worked to increase the number of submission of Making a Difference stories where JEA recognized reporting of issues and events that changed communities or schools.

Continued SPRC outreach on our Mission, Editorial Policy, Ethical Guidelines and Staff Manual procedures.

John Bowen, SPRC Director, MJE

Individual Reports

Jane Blystone, MJE

I have posted three and will be post two more Making a Difference blogs before the LA convention

I have worked to support the adviser of The Playwickian at Neshaminy High School as censorship is still alive and restricting there. The website was taken down for some time when the adviser was on a short medical leave because the students posted an innocuous article without submitting it for prior review.

Candace Bowen, MJE

In the time since the Fall 2015 report, I have completed the following for the Scholastic Press Rights Committee:

Wrote blog posts on JEASPRC.org

“A class activity  to learn both law AND ethics,” Nov. 2, 2015

“No one lives in a Hazelwood state,” Nov. 30, 2015

“Developing reporters who are more than notetakers,” Jan. 13, 2016

“What you don’t know COULD hurt you,” Feb. 16, 2016

Served on the First Amendment Press Freedom selection committee

Participated in the discussions to choose both those from the first round to go on to the finals and the 11 ultimate winners

Wrote the press release about the 2016 winners

Sent congratulations to the winners

Sent explanations to the second round losers, explaining what created problems for them and how they could improve next year

Co-authored with John Bowen the law & ethics column for Dow Jones Adviser Update, Winter 2016

“Exploring ‘What ifs’ Proactively”

Helped develop the prompts, monitored and judged the Law & Ethics contest in JEA Write-offs, Orlando and Los Angeles

Mitch Eden, MJE

I have worked with Robert Berglund, Missouri Western professor, on the Missouri Cronkite New Voices Act, including testifying in front of the Missouri senate. The bill has now moved through two stages successfully.

Continue to work with Missouri advisers who email asking for guidance on everything from working with editors and administrators to how best to teach law and ethics and the major court cases in the classroom.

Currently penning a column for the Gateway Journalism Review about the New Voices Act

Jan Ewell

My contributions are slim:  I wrote the school board in support of beleaguered high school paper that Konnie Krislock was championing.

I organized the SPRC session in LA this April on passing state legislation in support of student voices.

I organized and collected items for the Student Press Law Center jumble sale at the April JEA convention and will run it.  I also will contribute peanut brittle packages to the silent auction.

Wrote, with Ellen Austin, Randy Hamm and Michelle Balmeo Journalism: Publishing Across Media, which includes a robust chapter on student press law and rights as well as three references to the Student Press Law Center (and additional links on the accompanying website) as well as a 3/4 page profile of Mark Goodman.

Vince DeMiero

Lots to report from the upper left corner…

Some of the highlights:

Lots of time and energy on SB6233. Ultimately this bill never made it out of the rules committee in the state senate, but for the first time ever this legislation enjoyed bipartisan support. Way too much detail to go into here, but we certainly have learned a great deal this time around. Glad to share in L.A.

Continued struggles and educational opportunities with some local hotspots – including an unfortunate incident in Warden, Wash. where it’s clear that there are political powers in play that will likely mean that the current adviser there will move from the school. Again, details can be shared at L.A.

Several interactions with state officials, legislators, etc. surrounding the need for greater understanding about student press rights, responsibilities, laws, etc.

Guest editorials, letters to the editor, etc. in support of student press

Continual education of community members, parents, etc. around this topic.

Mary Kay Downes, MJE

Most of my work has been to give advice to one of our FCPS advisers who is undergoing a great deal of difficulty with prior review and censorship.

Although the SPLC is involved I have worked with the adviser and other advisers on the ways to promote the education of administrators so they stop acting out of fear.

I also coordinated our schools process to attain the 1st Amendment award for the second year. The students are so proud – it was first page news in today’s school newspaper.

Lori Keekley, MJE

I’ve presented at national conventions on law and ethics topics at both the high school and collegiate levels and worked with several Panic Button issues.

Additionally, I have worked to support the Minnesota New Voices Act by attending meetings, answering questions at a booth at the Minnesota News Association booth and contacting media sources.

Jeff Kocur

We have a legislative sponsor in the house named Cheryl Youakim, and we have filed a New Voices bill. The sponsor is a Democrat, so she is in the minority, and she has not had much luck getting the chair of the education policy committee to consider her bill.

She represents both my high school and Lori Keekley’s high school. She is still looking for a senate sponsor, and we hope to have one soon.

We have a short session this year, and it begins next week. We are hopeful to get in front of the committee, but time is running out.

The Minnesota Newspaper Association has been helping us, and we appeared at their state convention a few weeks ago.

We have reached out to major media and are starting to get some attention. The Fargo Forum, just published an editorial saying Minnesota should follow North Dakota’s lead. Minnpost (an online only newspaper that is heavy on political coverage has contacted our sponsor, as has a public affairs program with Almanac, a weekly news program carried on PBS stations throughout the state.

Lori and I met with one of my school board members who is a board member for the state association, and she was warm and receptive to the idea. But then the lobbyists and lawyers for the school board association and the principal’s association requested a meeting with Rep.Youakim and brow beat her about the law saying it wasn’t a problem and would lead to many problems in schools including kids printing private data and potentially bullying through the newspapers.

She said it made her want to pass this even more.

Glenn is helping us connect with a former student editor of hers who was an aid for the majority leader in the house to hopefully get him to press the chair to hear the bill.

Glenn Morehouse Olson, CJE

In fall I presented at the Minnesota state convention on censorship and empowering student voices.

I helped get a Wisconsin editor in touch with Student Press Law Center (which got her teacher in trouble with admin – just for reaching out…) I’m not sure what happened there yet.

I attended the Fall convention with students and I attended sessions on legislation.

I offered to get connections with the republican Mn speaker of the House, as one of my former E-in-Chis and a former 45 Words kid worked for him. Also offered to get the Rod Grams family on board for naming.

Purchased the rights to show Frame by Frame in March. I’m hoping to get other programs in Mn to come out to see it and have a discussion and possibly some photojournalists to speak as well.

I am working with a former editor with ties to the legislature to gain access to that group.

Sarah Nichols, MJE

I have continued to respond to each Panic Button request, helping connect advisers and students with their state director and fielding questions.

In addition, I have offered support via email to editors from Virginia, Michigan and California during censorship situations. I also promoted the First Amendment Press Freedom Award at journalism events in California and Nevada.

I presented a scholastic press law and ethics session to yearbook printing company representatives in January.

Kathy Schrier, MJE

My focus has been on trying to educate the public and past nay-sayers about SB6233, our “New Voices” student press rights legislation bill in Washington state.

Besides PR about the bill, my role in this most current attempt was to recruit for a good showing (on very short notice) at the hearing before the Senate Education Committee, and a strong line-up of folks who testified.

The committee voted for the bill to advance; but unfortunately, it then stalled in the Rules Committee. Legislation lives on for two cycles, so we will try again in the 2016-17 legislative session.

I have also worked to update the information in the 2012 SPRC document, Promoting Scholastic Press Rights Legislation: A blue print for success. The editing on this document is now complete and ready to submit, so it will be available at the 2016 Spring JEA/NSPA Convention.

I look forward to presenting a session promoting the offerings of the SPRC in L.A. with Lori Keekley:  The Student Press Panic Button: Where to find it and When to use it.

Matthew Smith

I have mostly been involved with the effort to get some New Voices legislation moving in Wisconsin.

We just started getting some more traction in the media and amongst some legislators and many community members during past month or so, but that is just in time for the legislative session to come to an end. We’ll be consolidating support and trying to get some legislators in line to introduce a bill early in the next session.

In short, my activities involved appearing in a significant amount of state media (newspaper and radio . . . I’ll be on Wisconsin Public Radio on Thursday and have had a lot of contact with an editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has spoken to my students and is interested in publishing a supportive editorial from that publication).

I’ve also worked with a few other advisers to get a form letter out to advisers, students, and community members supporting the introduction of a New Voices bill. I know many of these letters went out and that my own state representative and senator have said they’ll be looking at this more closely after the current session ends. We’ll see where that goes. I managed to have a lengthy chat with my local representative (who happens to be a Republican and chair of the education committee), and he seemed interested and friendly.

I’m not sure if that means anything, but I’m going to keep pursuing that relationship. I also shared information at a meeting of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, whose members were very interested and agreed to let me write a “New Voices” editorial that would be syndicated throughout the state. Linda Barrington has also helped speak to other organizations to get official support. We’ll keep the pressure on and see what we can get jump-started next session. At least most people are now generally aware that we’re out there.

Other than that, I’ve gone back and forth a bit with an adviser from a middle school newspaper in Texas. She first posted some questions and concerns about a story on the JEA listserv.

Her principal has since decided to implement full review and censor the current issue. She’s been sharing some more specifics with me, and I’ve been trying to offer some advice. She’s not necessarily in my neighborhood, but I wasn’t sure if anyone else was in touch much.

It seemed like she could use some reassurance and some resources . . . and I’ve got plenty of both to share.

Randy Swikle, MJE

I have been writing rationale, strategies and a variety of essays in support of student press rights legislation now being launched in the Illinois General Assembly.

As a board member of the Illinois Press Foundation, I have been galvanizing support for the legislation from professional journalists and their news media. In the course of my work, I am addressing important issues in scholastic journalism and student news media, such as public forum status of student news media; the deficiencies of prior review; the ability of students to pursue the functions, principles and ethical standards of exemplary American journalism in the school environment; and the value of free and responsible student news media.

John Tagliareni

We have been working to find a new sponsor for our New Voices Legislation, since the defeat of New Jersey Assemblywoman Donna Simon, who had introduced bill A 4912. This student press rights bill, with teacher/adviser protection, is a combination of the North Dakota and California legislations, as well as the NJ Constitution’s First Amendment provisions.

We have a number of possibilities for new sponsors, and we are working closely with Frank LoMonte and the SPLC. We have spent a considerable about of time networking and building alliances with various organizations and the media.

I went to Trenton, with fellow GSSPA board member Tom McHale, and we met with the New Jersey Education Association’s Working Conditions Committee to discuss the bill. The committee members unanimously endorsed the bill, and it has moved to The Tenure, Evaluation, and Certification Committee for its approval. That should be the final step before we get the endorsement of the NJEA.

I helped to coordinate the GSSPA Press Day Conference at Rutgers  University, which focused on student press rights and featured Mary Beth Tinker as our keynote speaker. I announced the news of the legislation that morning, and we welcomed Mary Beth’s offer to help with its passage. In addition, our student chapter of the GSSPA, has become very active, and the members presented two sessions at the conference, one with Mary Beth. She was very impressed with our student leaders, and they were thrilled to meet her and to have the opportunity to present a session with her.

I have been one of the main coordinators of the student group, which has been a very exciting addition to our organization.Our students members continue to make contributions, increase their membership and involve their advisers to a greater degree. They have given us input and have suggested sessions for our future conferences, and they have become advocates as First Amendment Freedom Fighters. The student leaders have worked with our officers,  and they have connected with their student members primarily through Facebook discussions, which Tom McHale created. We are continuing to develop this group for their benefit, as well as a resource for us.

I spoke at the CSPA Fall Conference in New York, and I will present  sessions at the 2016 CSPA Spring Convention, as well. Lilia Wood, our student affiliate president, will join me to focus on student press rights and ethics, to encourage student involvement, and to explain how our chapter works. She has been a strong advocate for the legislation, and we will include a number students when we get to committee hearings.

I will also speak at the GSSPA Adviser Conference at Rutgers, in May to promote the legislation, give assistance to advisers, and to promote the goals of the SPRC.

Audrey Wagstaff, MJE

I’ve been busy with:

Presented on press law associated with censorship at JEA in Orlando (will present at OSMA state conference in April).

Served as press law and ethics write-off judge in Orlando.

Initiated conversations with members of the Ohio legislature regarding a student free expression bill in Ohio.

Stan Zoller, MJE

Worked to bring OSMA to my college for a regional fall conference (which involves lots of discussion surrounding scholastic journalism and its benefits)

Collaborating on a research study about self-censorship

•  Most of my time related to SPRC activities has been on the New Voices Illinois initiative.  HB 5902, the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act, was filed on Feb. 11 and moved out of the Rules Committee on Feb. 25 and assigned to the Judiciary-Civil Committee.  I have been in contact with several key media associations that have indicated they will support the bill.  There is also interest from the Better Government Association, a watchdog organization that is pushing hard for news consumers to “Get Informed” and “Get Involved”.

•  I communicated with advisers are Downers Grove North and Steinmetz High School regarding press rights issues.  Downers Grove North’s was quickly resolved.  The Steinmetz situation came to light mainly because alum Hugh Hefner had donated $50,000 to support the paper.  With that grant ending, the principal allegedly had plans to discontinue the paper.   He changed his mind and the paper continues.

•  I continue to blog on a regular basis for the SPRC with special interest on access to public records, FOI issues and using the FOIA.

• A point of emphasis for me when I do critiques of scholastic media is a clear and well-written editorial policy.  Many student newspapers fail to establish a forum or wrongfully identify the type of forum they are.

Megan Fromm, CJE

I have continued to write blog posts for the SPRC website as well as respond to listserve questions regarding law and ethics.

I networked with teachers and students in Maryland to help shore up support for the Maryland New Voices bill, including emailing teachings who might be interested in having their students write letters of support.

I served as law and ethics write-off judge in Orlando.

In early March, I introduced advisers in Western Colorado the the JEASPRC website and panic button for resources.

Megan Fromm, CJE
Director, Educational Initiatives
Colorado Mesa University

Mass Communication

1100 North Ave.

Grand Junction CO 81501


megfromm@gmail.com | mfromm@coloradomesa.edu

Thank you to JEA members for the pleasure of working on your behalf for another season. It’s a joy to work with the board, committees, volunteers, passionate students and tireless advisers who give their all to our schools. Here’s what I’ve been up to since our last report:

I attended JEA’s annual budget meeting and planning session at headquarters in early February.

I continue to blog about ethics, law, and news literacy for the SPRC blog.

I co-led a panel session with expert broadcast adviser Don Goble at the International Media Education Summit in Boston in late November. Along with professor Julie Smith, we convened a session aimed at building stronger partnerships between secondary and higher education teachers, especially in regards to student media creation.

I attended Boston University’s Data Storytelling Bootcamp with Vice President Sarah Nichols. We spent a week learning the ins and outs of teaching data journalism, and we are thrilled to be offering two sessions on the topic at the Adviser’s Institute in July.

As always, if there is a way I can better serve you, your school, your students, or our JEA members, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Carrie Faust, MJE


Smoky Hill High School

16100 E. Smoky Hill Road

Aurora, CO 80015



As the second year of our term comes to a close, I continue to be proud of the work this JEA Board has done to create partnerships and opportunities that will reach the varied expectations of our membership. The volunteers that comprise our committees and board are dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of the student press and the values of the Journalism Education Association. Thank you to all who serve.

The Principals Outreach Committee is proud to unveil its website, principals.jea.org, as the latest JEA resource for our members. This site, intended to reflect the perspective of administrators, was created to answer the questions principals and administrators have when supporting the student press. We have spent the last year cultivating resources and aggregating information for you and your administrators to access when questions arise. During the 2016 spring convention in Los Angeles, we will present our latest addition to the site: a certification program for administrators. This self-paced exploration of student press rights will ask administrators to read and answer questions in five modules, each culminating in a conversation with the student press in his/her building and then reflecting on the materials and exchange. It is our sincere hope that this will not only educate administrators, but also encourage the dialogue between student reporters, advisers, and administrators that has proven so integral to successful programs.

Thank you to all the members of the Principals Outreach Committee: Erin Coggins, Leslie Shipp, Stephanie Hanlon, Linda Ballew, Tom Winski, Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg and Adam Dawkins. A special shout out to Matthew Smith for his vision and commitment to the certification program. Your leadership has helped us move forward with direction.

Please spend some time with the site, principals.jea.org, and feel free to reach out if you have an idea for contribution or would like to see a specific question addressed. I’d love to hear your thoughts at faust.carrie@gmail.com.

In addition to my work with the Principals Outreach Committee, I met with other JEA Board members to work on the 2016-2017 budget, consulted with the Scholastic Press Rights Commission on their initiatives, and communicated with members and assisted on other initiatives as needed.

Thank you again for your commitment to the scholastic press and the Journalism Education Association. It is an honor to serve this organization.

Stan Zoller, MJE


1448 Camden Court

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089



It has been an exciting time as a JEA Board member as the Board continues to identify new and exciting partnerships that benefit JEA, its members and scholastic journalism as a whole.

The Diversity Committee continues to find ways to address multicultural issues in scholastic journalism. The Committee is concerned about getting more professional development for teachers at urban high schools and those schools.

In an effort to address these needs, I have contacted members of the National Association of Black Journalists regarding its successful “J-Shop” program that provides journalism education for students in the host city of NABJ’s national conference. This year, NABJ will be holding a joint conference with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Washington, D.C. Seeing the importance of partnering with these two groups, JEA will have representatives of its Diversity Committee attend these conferences. I may also visit with representatives of the Native American Journalists Association when it meets concurrently with the Society of Professional Journalists in September.

A key focus point of our attendance at the conference will be attending the “J-Shop” in an effort to gain ideas how a similar program could be offered by JEA with organizations like NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA and others. One idea is to promote the “need based” scholarships to minority students in the host city through the resources of local chapters of professional organizations, such as NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA, etc.

Additionally, we would work with these organizations to promote JEA’s Outreach Academy so journalism teachers the host city can gain professional development.

In addition to the Diversity Committee, I am a regular contributor to the Scholastic Press Rights Commission’s blog and am working closely with the SPLC on the New Voices movement. The Illinois Journalism Education Association is excited that HB 5902 was filed in February. It has advanced out of Rules Committee and is in the Judiciary-Civil Committee awaiting a hearing.

In addition to these initiatives, I worked with applicants for the Journalist of the Year Scholarships from states that do not have a state director. As do other Board Members, I participated in the 2016-2017 budget meeting and assisted in other activities as needed.

Casey Nichols, CJE

Awards Committee Chair

2215 Solitude Way

Rocklin, CA 95765



Preparing for the spring national convention in Los Angeles we can look forward to celebrating our national broadcast and yearbook advisers of the year and our Rising Stars. The awards committee continues to refine the all digital process and define existing awards as we move forward. As chair I am grateful to all those who serve on awards committees who bring a collective experience, insight and wisdom to the task. I especially appreciate our newest members Ellen Austin, Leslie Dennis and Mitch Ziegler.

Specifically, since the last report the following as been accomplished.

We completed selection of the Broadcast and Yearbook Adviser of the Year through a virtual ranking process against a rubric that went through a second revision. A panel of volunteer judges completed these a week ahead of the Orlando convention. Mark Murray and Sheri Taylor joined the committee chair in scoring both categories. Kathy Craghead continued in her role as the co-chair for the yearbook sub-committee, while former national broadcast winners Michael Hernandez and Don Goble assisted in that category.

All spring awards applications  were submitted digitally for the second time with the process undergoing revision and refinements.

A new sponsorship for the Broadcast Adviser of the Year was secured with the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.

All voting for spring awards was done digitally.

Karen  Wagner Eaglecrest HS, Denver was appointed vice chair of awards

Spring recipients were notified by phone call or voice message whenever possible by the chair with follow-up emails to those named, their nominators, and where applicable their principal.

The Awards Committee worked through a very large set of nominations for Rising Star and 13 passed the hurdle of 50 percent plus one votes on the panel to be named and honored in Los Angeles.

The First Amendment Press Freedom Award was announced Feb. 24 in conjunction with Scholastic Journalism Week with 11  schools named.

All awards have been scheduled for a timed release on social media and JEA.org successfully building on our previous standards. Spring awards are announced in late January to allow recipients time to attend and 10. A.M. CT has set as a standard for web updates and social media releases.

We continued our strong relationship with our sponsor yearbook companies through a steady communication. The company which prints the honorees book was given more than two-weeks notice to make arrangements.The companies which print the Distinguished and Special Recognition Advisers was given 24 hours notice ahead of the announcement to make any arrangements it wished.

Margaret Sorrows, our 2014 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year made the surprise announcement to 2015 honoree Rene Burke of Boone High School, Orlando.

The Broadcast Adviser of the Year, Michelle Turner,  Washington HS (Mo.) was named in a surprise visit to her school by previous recipient Don Goble, on Dec. 2.

A special thanks to Connie Fulkerson and Kelly Furnas of headquarters for their efforts in coordinating all the many aspects of JEA’s awards programs.

Awards Committee Members: Martha Akers, Ellen Austin, Sara-Beth Badalamente, Brian Baron, Linda Barrington, Jane Blystone, Leslie Dennis, Linda Drake, Charla Harris, Kathy Schrier, Cindy Todd, Ann Visser, Karen Wagner, Carmen Wendt, Mitch Ziegler

Sub-committee chairs: Candace Perkins Bowen, Future Teacher Scholarship; John Bowen, First Amendment Press Freedom Award; Rebecca Pollard, Journalist of the Year and Future Journalist Award; Kenson Siver, Impact Award.


To be awarded noon Saturday at the adviser luncheon in the Hollywood Ballroom, 3rd Level.


Michelle Turner Washington (Mo. ) High School


Gil Garcia, Austin (Texas) High School


Renee Burke, MJE, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

DISTINGUISHED YEARBOOK ADVISERS Erinn Harris, MJE, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va. Michael Simons, MJE, Corning-Painted Post High School in Corning, N.Y.


Leslie Shipp, MJE, Johnston (Iowa) High School. Sarah Verpooten, MJE, Lake Central High School, St. John, Ind. Laura Zhu, CJE, Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove, Calif.


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

To be awarded 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the opening ceremony in the California Ballroom:


The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles

Chantilly (Virginia) High School

Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco

Felix Varela High School, Miami

Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri

Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School

Kirkwood (Missouri) High School

Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School

Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado

St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School

Whitney High School, Rocklin, California

To be announced 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the closing ceremony in the California Ballroom




To be awarded July 12 at the JEA Advisers Institute in Las Vegas:


Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE, McHenry, Ill.

Kim Green, MJE

Certification Committee Chair

9081 W. Country Road 100 S.

Greensburg, IN 47240-9013

W: 812-376-4260 | C: 812-525-8502


In looking over my previous reports, I noticed references to the “summer certification season” and the “winter certification season.” I chuckled to myself.

Certification season? We certify year-round now, and not just Option C candidates testing through their yearbook companies’ annual or semi-annual meetings. We are receiving more requests to test at state press association’s conferences and summer workshops, also. In fact, a list of test sites and application deadlines for those sites will be posted on the JEA site as well as on the listserv following the Los Angeles convention.

Since the Orlando convention in November, we have used the online test the certification committee — in conjunction with curriculum leaders – developed at our retreat in May 2015. Jack Kennedy, MJE, proctored the online test in Colorado in December with me monitoring the test from home. I proctored the Herff Jones test in California in January, and Sarah Nichols, MJE, proctored the Jostens test in Dallas in February with me monitoring the test from home. Jane Blystone, MJE, proctored the test at Penn State in early March, and the next day Linda Barrington, MJE, proctored the test at KEMPA with me monitoring each from home. One of the benefits of the online format is the ability to test at multiple sites with monitoring capability offsite.

Overall, including Orlando, 38 CJE applicants and one MJE applicant have tested. In Los Angeles, 18 CJEs are registered to test and four MJEs are registered to test.

Upcoming test sites include Ohio Scholastic Media Association April 1, Florida Scholastic Press Association April 29, Garden State Scholastic Press Association May 6, Walsworth Summer Workshop July 10, JEA Advisers Institute July 12 and Ball State University July 20. We have several potential test sites finalizing their plans.

When someone inquires about hosting a test, we now ask if they want it to be “open” for anyone in the area to test or “closed” for their own members. Our goal is to offer testing around the country to reach those folks who cannot get to a national convention.

This is an exciting time for certification. Its designation as confirmation of highly-qualified status for educators is rock solid. The alignment with the curriculum reinforces JEA’s dedication to keeping knowledgeable, highly-prepared educators teaching 21st century skills on the cutting edge. I am so proud to be part of this.

We will honor 51 new CJEs, seven new MJEs, 13 CJE Renewals and three MJE renewals at Saturday’s Advisers Luncheon on April 16.

I tip my hat to my committee – all Master Journalism Educators — who work so hard on behalf of the certification effort: Candace Bowen, Kent State University; Jane Blystone, Mercyhurst University; Brian Hayes, Ball State University; Joe Mirando, Southeastern Louisiana University; Joe Humphrey, Hillsborough (Fla.) High School; Rod Satterthwaite, Gross Pointe (Mich.) South High School; Cathy Wall, Harrisburg (Ill.) High School; Lizabeth Walsh, Reno (Nev.) High School. These folks step up with effort, commitment, creativity and devotion to the certification cause. They are the best!

And I couldn’t do my job without Pam Boller at JEA Headquarters as my right-hand partner! She is amazing! A special thank-you to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her support! What a team!

Nancy Y. Smith, MJEA

Contests Committee Chair

Lafayette High School

17050 Clayton Road

Wildwood, MO 63011

W: 636-733-4118 | C: 314-704-1242


National Write-off team:
Nancy Y. Smith, MJE: Write-off Chair

Priscilla Frost, CJE: Print/Design Coordinator

Bradley Wilson, CJE: Photo Coordinator

Kris Doran: Broadcast Coordinator

April Van Buren, MJE: National Journalism Quiz Bowl Coordinator

Laura Zhu, CJE: Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest

Allie Staub, Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest

Mark Murray: Technology

Contest updates:
The Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest will kick-off in late March with entries due April 20. The categories include Yearbook, Newspaper, Photography and Broadcast. Entries will be judged in the late spring and students will awards before the end of the school year.

For Write-offs we added a Themed Photo contest for Orlando and it was very popular so we will keep it in our contest offerings.

Committee goals:

Put past prompts and winners on the Curriculum website for advisers to access.

Revise the contest critique sheets to align with the JEA Curriculum Initiative.

Initiate national-qualifier for Quiz Bowl to allow schools to earn the right to compete onsite. Plan is to initiate this for Fall 2016.

Recent Write-offs participation:
Write-offs, Fall 2015 in Orlando: 2,004 in 48 contests

Write-offs, Spring 2015 in Denver: 989 in 48 contests

2015 Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest: 240 entries in its first year

Aaron Manfull, MJE

Digital Media Committee Chair

Francis Howell North High School

2549 Hackman Road

Saint Charles, MO 63303

w. 636-851-5107


t. @manfull

Report goes here.

Rebecca Pollard, MJE

National High School Journalist of the Year Committee Chair

Heritage High School

14040 Eldorado Parkway

Frisco, TX 75035

W: 469-633-5900 x25914 | H: 972-523-0384


The 2016 Journalist of the Year contest is underway. We received entries through March 15 with relatively quick turnaround, as each state director named the state journalist of the year.

The national JOY committee has been set with a panel of 40. They represent a variety of states and experience levels. They have advised in all media (newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, broadcast, online and literary magazine). Many are current advisers, but some are retired as well. I am thrilled they are willing to volunteer and grateful for their time and talents.

I have already received some feedback from state contests and some ideas for next year. I will continue to collect those ideas and questions, please keep them coming. After the 2016 contest is complete, I will reach out to state directors, national contestants and the national committee members  to seek more feedback for improvement.

The 2016 Journalist of the Year will be announced April 17 at the spring convention. Also in Los Angeles, the 2015 Journalist of the Year, Julia Poe, and I will present a session to get current juniors thinking about their senior year and working towards building their portfolios. I would like to thank Julia for her time working with me this year presenting two sessions about the contest. I would also like to thank committee member Mitch Ziegler for co-presenting with Julia in Orlando for the JOY session.

I would also like to thank Sarah Nichols, MJE, for her continual guidance. I also owe gratitude to Connie Fulkerson, CJE, for her constant attention to detail on processing contest entries and fielding JOY-related questions from all members.

Jonathan Rogers, MJE

Professional Outreach Committee Chair / NCTE Liaison

Iowa City High School

1900 Morningside Dr.

Iowa City, IA 52245



Report goes here.

Linda Barrington, MJE

Mentoring Committee Chair

Mount Mary University

2900 Menomonee River Pkwy.

Milwaukee, WI 53222


Report goes here.

Evelyn Lauer, CJE

Publications/Public Relations Committee Chair

Niles West High School

5701 W Oakton St.

Skokie, IL 60077

W: 847-626-2592


Since my last report, I continue to work on the following JEA initiatives:


Co-chairs Carrie Wadycki, MJE, and Sarah Verpooten, MJE, report that the Day of Doing project for 2016 will be rolled into the Fall Convention in Indianapolis. Advisers will be able to sign up in advance for a project to be completed on-site. Advisers will be able to work alone or in collaborative groups. We are looking to partner with local media outlets to have the work published. More information will be available in August.


The Spring One Book is the Pulitzer-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Committee member Rachel Rauch, CJE, has created a Storehouse with quotes and videos to showcase JEA advisers’ opinions on the book. A Twitter chat about the novel will take place Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. CT. Rachel Rauch and I will also host a session in L.A. where members can continue the discussion. The session, “The art of writing: A JEA One-Book discussion,” will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16 in Emerald Bay, 3rd level, the Adviser Hospitality area. Come for coffee. Stay for book club!

Members who have suggestions for the next One Book are encouraged to email me at evelau@d219.org. The next book will be announced in June.


Scholastic Journalism Week 2016 was held Feb. 21-27. This year’s theme was “The Stories We Tell,” and James Faunce of Malvern College Preparatory School in Malvern, Pennsylvania (adviser Kate Plows, CJE) designed the official #SJW2016 logo. Faunce was also featured in the Spring 2016 issue of CJET.

This year’s SJW featured 15 staffs from publications at the following schools: The Blackfriar Chronicle at Malvern Prep HS (Malvern, Pennsylvania); Eagle’s Eye at Ruskin High School (Kansas City, Missouri); Pierian Yearbook from Huntsville High School (Huntsville, Alabama); The Coat of Arms at Menlo School (Atherton, California); Spotlight Yearbook at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (Summit, New Jersey); TJ Media at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Virginia); The Bearing News at Rock Bridge Senior High School (Columbia, Missori); Hoofprints Online at Buffalo Island Central High (Monette, Arkansas); The Trailblazer at Pascack Hills High School (Montvale, New Jersey); The Pearl Post at Daniel Pearl Magnet School (Van Nuys, California); The Stampede at Metea Valley High School (Aurora, Illinois); The Booster Redux at Pittsburg High School (Pittsburg, Kansas); Inscape at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School (Chicago); Royals Media Now at Prince George High School (Prince George, Virginia); and The Thunderbeat at Bellevue West High School (Bellevue, Nebraska). These “The Stories We Tell” profiles included links/PDFs to student work and ran on the JEA Facebook page. Principals and advisers of the featured schools received a congratulatory email. In addition, several of the stories were published in Flipboard Magazine. Thank you to Professional Outreach chair, Jonathan Rogers, for coordinating that effort.

SJW co-chair Adam Dawkins, CJE, reports that this year’s SJW included an increase in social media interaction on Twitter and Facebook. Throughout SJW, advisers and students used #SJW2016 to celebrate the scholastic journalism, showing their photos, videos, and quotes.

This year’s JEA/Society of Professional Journalist’s essay contest received 315 entries, up from 275 last year. JEA members are currently judging these essays.

Scholastic Journalism Week 2017 is scheduled for Feb. 19-25. Contest/Theme details will be announced in September 2016.


The purpose of “When I’m Not Teaching” is to highlight all the wonderful accomplishments JEA members have achieved outside of the classroom. Since launching last year, the series has featured 19 different advisers from 17 states: Shannon Sybirski (California), Laurie Hansen (Minnesota), Natalie Niemeyer (Iowa), Glenn Morehouse Olson (Minnesota), Allison Adam (Arizona), Jim Streisel (Indiana), Kristen DiGiorgio (Illinois), Cory Morlock (Colorado), Paul Apfelbeck (Alaska), Jamie Flanagan (Michigan), Christy Briggs (Nevada), Don Goble (Missouri), Susan Martin (Idaho), Lisa Snider (Oklahoma), Robert Adanto (Florida), Jeanette Neyman (North Carolina), Crystal Kazmierski (California), Todd Vogts (Kansas), and Megan Volpert (Georgia).

The next feature, which will run Apr. 1, will profile Nancy Zubiri, an adviser from the Los Angeles area. My goal is to highlight an adviser from every state. “When I’m Not Teaching” runs on the JEA Facebook page on the first of every month. To nominate a colleague, please email evelau@d219.org.

In addition to overseeing these JEA initiatives, I continue to seek out publication opportunities for our members and help with public relations for the organization. I have published three articles/essays about scholastic journalism since my last report: “Why Scholastic Journalism Matters” (Huffington Post); “Creating logo ‘a tough process’” (CJET); and “The Art of Asking the Right Questions” (in The Power of Questioning: Opening Up the World of Student Inquiry by Starr Sackstein).

Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE
Editor, Communication: Journalism Education Today

Midwestern State University

4919 Trinidad Dr.

Wichita Falls, TX 76310

H: 919-264-6768 | W: 940-397-4797

In the spring issue, two features featured some out-of-the-box coverage for Communication: Journalism Education Today. The package on news anchors featured, first, four outstanding broadcast advisers: Dave Davis, Don Goble, Michael Hernandez and Michelle Turner. It also featured 10 professional news anchors who got their start in high school journalism. A special thanks to all the JEA advisers who helped me get in contact with each of these anchors. We should all stay in touch with these folks and invite them to speak at local, regional and national conventions.

In the spring issue, Susan Turner Jones also coordinated a package on poetry. Rarely do we devote much space to literary magazines and this was an outstanding way to include that faction of our membership.

The final issue of the year also featured a peer-reviewed research article on Competency-Based Education by Rocky Dailey, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at South Dakota State University. I attended the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and made a presentation based on coverage in the winter issue of JEA’s magazine on the impact of poverty on scholastic journalism with Wendy Wallace, Thomas Kaup and Andrea Negri. We explored ways to get more peer-reviewed research material submitted to the magazine. We developed some recruitment material and distributed it to a wide variety of AEJMC member schools.

A continued thanks to Howard Spanogle, Connie Fulkerson and Pam Boller who continue to make the magazine one of JEA’s best membership benefits.

Next year JEA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Communication: Journalism Education Today and my 20th year as editor. I hope that, as an organization, we find some ways to celebrate.

I’d still like to explore putting individual articles from 20 years of producing the magazine online for

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