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Texas Association of Journalism Educators

TAJE P.O. Box 5554 Austin, TX 78763-5554 Susan Duncan President 903.295.5031, ext. 265 Cindy Berry President-Elect 940.393.7231 cindy.berry@ Christine Davis Secretary 817.571.0271, ext. 6178 Mikyela Tedder Treasurer 903.881.4075 Alyssa Armentrout State Director 972.569.6151 aarmentrout Pat Gathright Convention Director 210.325.7793 Brenda Slatton Assistant Convention Director 210.442.0300, ext. 350 Sue Jett Assistant Convention Director 210.442.0800, ext. 262 Sheryl Floyd Past President Dianne Smith-Harper Webmaster dianne.smith.harper Rhonda Moore Executive Director 512.414.7539

Tom French to present convention keynote speech Thomas French, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, will present the keynote speech at the Fall Fiesta convention Oct. 24 in San Antonio. French has spent the past quarter century redefining the possibilities of journalistic storytelling, both in his writing and in his teaching around the world. French grew up in Indiana and attended journalism school at Indiana University. After graduation, he worked for the next 27 years as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times, covering hurricanes and criminal trials and the secret lives of high school students. He experimented with narrative techniques both on deadline and nondeadline work and specialized in serial narratives, book-length stories published one chapter at a time. In 1998, he was awarded the Pulitzer prize for feature writing and a Sigma Delta Chi award for Angels & Demons, a series that chronicled the murder of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters as they vacationed in Tampa. Two of his other serials, A Cry in the Night and South of Heaven, were later published as books. His most recent project, Zoo Story, explores the inner world of Tampa’s Low-

August 2011


Late Deadline Fees Schools that enter contests past the deadline will be charged a $5 late fee per entry. Carry-in photo contest entries will no longer be carried in. Entries will be uploaded onto the JEA website. Advisers must be members of JEA to enter students in carry-in photo contests. See the rules in the convention booklet and the Contest Rules. Deadline is Sept. 30. Carry-in video contest entries are no longer carried in. Entries will be uploaded to Vimeo. See the rules in the convention booklet and the Contest Rules. Deadline is Sept. 30.

Tom French

ry Park Zoo and was published by Hyperion in July 2010. French is a Writing Fellow at the Poynter Institute and has taught there for more than 20 years. He also teaches in a nonfiction MFA writing program at Goucher College, and has led narrative workshops across the U.S. and around the world, from the Nieman conference at Harvard to newsrooms in Dubai, Singapore and Johannesburg. He recently returned to his alma mater and is teaching at Indiana University’s school of journalism, where he serves as the Riley Endowed Chair.

Remember: Clip contest deadline is Dec. 11. Entry forms can be found on the TAJE website, To present a session at the convention, go to the TAJE website, taje. org, and fill out a form under Fall Fiesta 2011.

Convention Saturday • We will offer a “night shoot” for photographers Saturday night. Photography teachers will take students out and show them how to get great images at night. Sign up students for this activity when you register. Cost will be $5 per student and will be limited to the first 50 entries. Reminders: • Students who choose to use computers for the on-site con- tests will need to bring a printer. Students from the same school can all use the same printer, but all contest entries must be printed and turned in by the end of the contest. No one will be given extra time. • Bring a power strip if students will be using computers. • Check the newsletter and con- test rules for changes to con- tests.


Texas Association of Journalism Educators

August 2011

A year away and much to do Volunteers needed to help with 2012 national convention in San Antonio Need one more thing to do? Sure, we some phone calls. (Charla Harris from journalism teachers are always ready Pleasant Grove and I will head up that for a challenge. The task before us is committee and would love to have ET to stage the best national convention teachers volunteer to assist us.) in the history of scholastic journalism In addition to helping with one of November 2012 in magnificent, historic the committees, advisers should start San Antonio. planning now to bring their students After the 2011 convention attendees to the convention. It’s a big deal. A nahave frozen themtional convention in selves in Minneapolis Texas only happens this fall, we will bring every 5-10 years, so Susan Duncan the heat in 2012. 2012 is the time to Pine Tree HS Just think-- the go the extra mile to riverwalk with cool get your students to TAJE President breezes rustling the leaves and the waft San Antonio. Seeing 5,000 journalism of great Mexican food tempting the students together learning from some palette. Imagine the sights and sounds of the best instructors in the nation is a as thousands stroll down the miles of mind-blowing experience. eateries and retail shops. So, you are I know money is a consideration, esplanning to join us, right? And you pecially in the current economic climate. want to do your fair share to make the Planning a year out will give staffs extra convention successful, right? opportunities to fundraise this school Well, the planning begins now. At the year to have enough money to travel June retreat in Tyler, the officers began next year. breaking up the workload and looking This event will be an unbelievable for chairmen for the committees. We opportunity for students to increase have already had some volunteers/ their journalism skills and for teachers to conscriptions, but there are still quite grow professionally. Because I’m feeling a few blank spaces begging for your a little like an infomercial at this point, name. There is no way the officers and I want to finish with “Call now, don’t convention directors, Pat Gathright (San delay” or something equally cheesy. Antonio) and Rhonda Moore (Austin), The bottom line is that every journalism can possibly do all the work themselves. teacher in the state of Texas is a special So, here’s what we need you to do. Pick person for taking on the responsibilities up a phone and call one of the officers of an adviser position, and the board or send an email to let us know where needs to bottle some of that creative geyou would like to serve. (If you don’t nius and Texas pioneer spirit to help us call us, we will call you, so make it easy reach our goal for the best ever national on all of us.) convention. So won’t you join us? Although Texas is a big state, and some of us are several hundred miles **Committees and chairs are listed from San Antonio, we can still help the to the right. teachers in the San Antonio/Austin To volunteer for a committe, contact area by taking charge of a committee the committee chair or any officer or that doesn’t necessarily need close regional representative. The officer proximity to the convention site. For and regional reps’ email addresses are instance, some of the East Texas teach- on the website and in the membership ers will work on the Friday luncheon. directory. The committee chairs’ email We can make a majority of the prepa- addresses are in the directory. Thank rations with a planning meeting and you.

From the President

2012 Committees and Chairs Marketing/Promotion Brenda Slatton Opening Ceremony/Welcome Pat Gathright, Rhonda Moore Break with a Pro Mary Goldberg Swap Shops No chairperson Write Offs Sue Jett On-Site Critiques Susan Duncan Exhibits Velisa Jewett Adviser Bags Monique Sandoval Friday Night Auction Deanne Brown, Cindy Todd Issues Seminars Monique Sandival Friday Luncheon Charla Harris, Susan Duncan Featured Speakers Bobby Hawthorne Curriculum CD Laura Negri T-Shirts Kelsey Martin, Dina Wilson Convention Scholarships Mikyela Tedder Outreach Academy Ben Rosales Media Tours Allsion Boerger Student Entertainment No chairperson Website Dianne Smith-Harper Listserv Postings Pat Garhright, Rhonda Moore

August 2011

Texas Association of Journalism Educators


The ugly sweaters It’s up to us to make 2012 in San Antonio a convention to remember My students really like going to con- of which I seem to ventions. Well, let me be clear. They love remember my secgoing to conventions. OK, more spe- ond grade teacher cifically, I think my students are a little wearing. obsessed with going to conventions. S o m e w e re And that’s a good thing. holiday themed. When I took kids to the St. Louis One had squirrels and JEA/NSPA convention in the fall of nuts knitted across the front and 2008, I think we ended up with more back. One was a simple light pink color. than 30 kids on the trip, between year- One was a large-pattern hound’s tooth book, newspaper and my staff – the sweater with yellow and red trim. Ugly. broadcasting kids. I wasn’t sure what we But something about that trip to the were going to do when we got there. I museum invigorated them. They wore mean, it’s St. Louis, right? We can spend them to all their classes the next day, a half hour at that to the awards ceremony arch thing, but that afternoon and on then what do I the plane ride home. It do to keep these was like their new team Alyssa Armentrout kids entertained uniform. McKinney HS all weekend? Five months later TAJE State Director That was the when it came time to head year the local to Phoenix for the spring committee scheduled an event at the convention, every single kid showed up City Museum downtown. So we rolled at the airport wearing an ugly sweater the dice and sent our kids to a museum – even several kids who weren’t even at for a few hours while we judged write- the St. Louis convention. It was nearly offs (perhaps I’ll write about judging 100 degrees in Phoenix, but they didn’t write-offs for my next column). mind. They came back from the museum Three years later with the entire St. changed kids. Something about them Louis group long graduated, McKinwas different. They looked, well, ugly. ney yearbook and broadcasting kids sit I guess the City Museum wasn’t so in the front row of every session and much of a museum as it was a gigantic, awards ceremony of convention they go surrealistic fun house. A kid’s dream. to wearing an ugly sweater. Forts to climb into. Slides to careen from NSPA director Logan Aimone even one floor to the next instead of taking the refers to the staff as “The Bad Sweatstairs. Surprises around every corner. ers” at each NSPA awards ceremony. One floor of the museum housed I’m sure most students now don’t even a hipster thrift store with which must know why they wear them or how it got have had racks upon racks upon racks started. And when a new student doesn’t of gently worn wool sweaters, the likes have a sweater, my producers organize a

State Director’s Report

2011-12 conventions

staff trip to Goodwill. Now most students know they’ll need a sweater before applying for broadcasting. It’s that big of a deal. These ratty, disgusting and frankly smelly garments have provided more bonding opportunities for my students than any team building exercise you’ll find. I have the local committee from the fall 2008 JEA/NSPA convention in St. Louis to thank for that. And come November 2012, it’ll finally be my turn to help make lasting memories for thousands of students from all around the United States. As we begin to plan this exciting event, I encourage you to not only plan on bringing your students to San Antonio in 2012, please tell a board member if you have a great idea for students visiting Texas. Or better yet, please volunteer to work on a planning committee. With all the culture, delicious food, historic sites and unique opportunities the city of San Antonio can offer, I can only begin to imagine the possibilities. Let’s make the 2012 fall national convention in San Antonio as special as the local committee did for me in 2008. I’ll never be able to thank them enough, but with the 2012 convention, I’m sure gonna try.

TAJE............Oct. 22-24, San Antonio

CSPA...........March 14-16, Columbia U

JEA/NSPA...Nov. 17-20, Minneapolis

ILPC............April 28-29, UT Austin

ATPI.............Feb.10-12, UT Arlington

JEA/NSPA...April 12-15, Seattle


Texas Association of Journalism Educators

August 2011

Members to elect regional reps in February Elections for regional representatives will be held in February. Anyone interested in running for regional rep should contact TAJE president-elect Cindy Berry at The executive board voted to increase the number of TAJE regions from seven to 10 at its annual retreat in June 2010. Because the state is so large, regional representatives often have trouble reaching all teachers from their areas. Board members hope the increase in the number of regions will help representatives reach more teachers. The state is divided into 20 regional services areas. The new TAJE regions will each be a combination of two of the regional service centers. This will make it clear to teachers which region they belong to. Regional reps must host a workshop at least once during their two-year terms. They also help teachers who need a mentor find one. Anyone who wants a mentor or wishes to be a mentor should contact his/ her representative. Current representatives and their e-mail addresses are as follows: Region I Laura Smith Canyon HS, 1701 23rd St. Canyon 79015 806.677.2740 Region II Christine Davis Trinity HS 500 N. Industrial Blvd. Euless 76039 817-571-0271, ext. 6178 Region III Charla Harris Pleasant Grove HS 5406 McKnight Rd. Texarkana 75503 903-832-8005 Region V Theresa Proctor McNeil HS 5720 McNeil Dr. Austin 78729


Region VII Kelsey Martin Memorial HS 101 E. Hackberry McAllen 78501 956-632-5240 Region IV No representative





6 9


TAJE regional map beginning in 2012

512-464-6405 theresa-proctor@ Region VI Laura Negri Alief Kerr HS 8150 Howell Sugarland Rd. Houston 77083 281.983.8484, ext. 267- School 832.379.9924 - Home laura.k.negri lauraeku@



I Amarillo

Lubbock El Paso



Wichita Falls


Ft Worth Dallas


Waco Odessa/Midland





San Antonio


Corpus Christi


Current TAJE regional map


August 2011

Texas Association of Journalism Educators


Harris, Winter to receive Trailblazer Awards 3 to be named Friends of Journalism at Fall Fiesta convention Charla Harris and Scott Winter will be honored with the Trailblazer Award at the convention Oct. 23. In addition, Mike McLean, Debbie Vaughn and Linda Lavelle will be named Friends of Journalism. Harris advises publications and the broadcast program at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana. Both the Hawk yearbook and the Edge newspaper are consistent state and national award winners. Harris was the 2007 Max R. Haddick Teacher of the Year and is a regular presenter at the ILPC and CSPA conventions. Winter is a lecturer at the University

of Nebraska’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. He’s advised publications, on-and-off, for 10 years in three states. He teaches national workshops during the summer. His students have won several awards, including Best of Show rankings and Pacemakers. Mike McLean is Texas-based freelance photojournalist and teaches photojournalism workshops throughout the nation. In 2003 he was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame. He is a coauthor of Get The Picture, a photojournalism curriculum published by Jostens. Recently McLean developed a digital photography storytelling course that is

part of a digital media degree program taught through a University online. Vaughn, a Balfour representative, taught at Whitehouse High School for 10 years. She was one of the first TAJE regional representatives and was instrumental in increasing membership in TAJE in the East Texas region. Lavelle is the Interactive News Editor for (The Dallas Morning News online edition). She also works with student journalists to organize workshops, internships and scholarships. Each April, she organizes a free workshop for student journalists and advisers.

In Brief

Schools will email or fax entries to the address/fax number given. Depending on the number of entries, regional sites may be used for some judging. The first contest will start at 10 a.m., and the last will start at 1:30 p.m. Registration forms can be found on the TAJE website. Deadline for meet entries is Dec. 17.

Sept. 17: Texas Tech, Lubbock

Students must be registered for contests by deadline Students must be pre-registered to compete in convention contests. Advisers will receive a confirmation e-mail when entries arrive. Many times advisers will mark that their students will enter contests then send the names later. This is fine as long as the names arrive by the deadline. Schools sending in entries after the deadline will be charged a $5 late fee per entry. Name changes for contests can be made at registration, but if a name has not been entered before the convention, students will not be allowed to compete.

TAJE, ILPC to host invitational meet TAJE and ILPC will again host an invitational UIL meet Jan. 14.

UIL to begin verifications for journalism contests Beginning this year, UIL journalism contests will have mandated verification periods. These verifications will allow teachers to make sure the student number on an entry matches the placement it is given in the contest. UIL will again host four Student Activities Conferences this fall. The conferences introduce students and advisers to UIL contests. They will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. without a break for lunch. Tentative programs will be posted on the UIL website. The dates and locations of the conferences are as follows:

Sept. 24: Sam Houston State University, Huntsville Oct. 1: University of Texas at Austin Oct. 15: University of North Texas, Denton Membership forms for ILPC can be found at journalism

ILPC offers contest for documentary film ILPC is offering a documentary contest, “UIL: Our Story.” Contest entries can focus on a school’s academic/athletic success from start to finish within one year or an individual participant in a contest and show his/her story. Students are encouraged to highlight individual experiences with UIL activities. The documentary can be up to 10 minutes in length. Each school may enter three entries, and cost is $25 per entry. Schools must be current ILPC members. For more information, go to the UIL website. Contest deadline is May 11.

August 2011 Upfront Newsletter  

Newsletter of Texas Association of Journalism Educators

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