Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Commemorative video honors past Journalist of the Year winners, celebrates 40-year program history


The Journalism Education Association began its Journalist of the Year scholarship program in 1984, and since then has recognized hundreds of outstanding high school seniors as national winners, runners-up and state-level honorees.

Retired adviser and JEA board member Wayna Polk, MJE, led a team of volunteers to produce this video to showcase the achievements of those Journalist of the Year winners and see where some of them are today. Polk served as JOY chair from 2004-2013.


Here’s what Polk had to say about her experience:

Q: What was your favorite part of working on this project?

A: Seeing student names pop up I recognized from judging JOY entries years ago brought this full circle for me. I love discovering stories from all whom I meet, and this project was another way to tell strong stories about JEA, students and advisers. JEA and the JOY program have enabled many to pursue dreams they never thought possible.


Q: What was your favorite part of all those years leading the JOY program and coordinating the judging?

A: Opening all of those carefully packed boxed of entries each spring at the convention was a bit like being aa kid on Christmas morning! Each submission contained a bit of wonder and the magic of the student who prepared the entry. Those entries were a quick read into the student, program and school community and enabled judges a glimpse into that campus. Many of those glimpses remain with us today. I was honored, and blessed, to have been a small part of the process. Loved it!


Q: Just so we don’t miss anyone, who would you like to recognize as your teammates on this video project?

A: Lisa VanEtta [Navasota, TX], retired publications adviser

Susan Colyer, MJE, [Greenwood, AR], writing coach

Jeanne Acton-Shanks [Austin, TX], professional editor

Marcelino Benito, KHOU [Houston] anchor/reporter

Christian Rumscheidt, Rumscheidt Enterprises [Houston]

Wesley P. Lucas, Visit Austin director of communications

Alyssa Boehringer, ILPC executive director

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