Texas Association of Journalism Educators
TAJE P.O. Box 5554 Austin, TX 78763-5554 taje.org
Lori Herbst President 469-948-7137 HerbstL@lisd.net Sheryl Floyd President-Elect 512-594-0500 sherylflo@aol.com Lisa Van Etta Secretary 281-856-1071 Lisa.VanEtta@cfisd.com Cindy Berry Treasurer 940-627-6495 cindy.berry@ decatur.esc11.net Susan Duncan State Director 903-295-5031, ext. 265 sduncan@ptisd.org Pat Gathright Convention Director 210-325-7793 pgathright@ yahoo.com Brenda Slatton Assistant Convention Director 210-442-0300, ext. 350 jefnbreslat@msn.com Sue Jett Assistant Convention Director 210-442-0800, ext. 262 suecjett@yahoo.com Peggy Miller Past President 281-498-8110, ext. 2460 Peggy.Miller@ aliefisd.net Rhonda Moore Executive Director 512-414-7539 rmoore003@ austin.rr.com

August 2008

Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheeler to keynote Fall Fiesta convention
Jim Sheeler, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, will be the keynote speaker at the closing ceremonies of TAJE’s Fall Fiesta convention in October. Sheeler, who formerly worked for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, now teaches reporting and writing at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for “Final Salute,” a story that chronicled the sacrifices of military families as seen through the eyes of a casualty notification calls officer. Sheeler expanded the story into a book, “Final Salute.” He previously authored the book “Obit” and contributed to “Best Newspaper Writing 2006-2007” and “Life on the Death Beat.” Janet Maslin of the New York Times said, “This book enters a number of homes and follows their occupants through the grieving process. ‘Final Salute’ is organized through chapters about these individual families. “As Mr. Sheeler chronicles the many quiet tasks involved

Convention Changes

ake T


• Registration will end at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In the past, it ended at 3 p.m. Everyone will need to be registered by 2 p.m., and Best of Show entries and carry-in contest entries must be turned in by 2 p.m. • Students may use comput ers in the on-site contests. Students who choose to use computers 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. • We are asking advisers to let students in the on-site photo contests select the photos they turn in to be judged. Part of the contest is judgment, being able to select the highest quality photos.

Jim Sheeler in burying military personnel (‘it’s like the names are just floating out there, waiting,’ says a man who carves those names into headstones), he does a fine, dignified job of conveying the range of responses to such loss.” Sheeler has won numerous national writing awards and served as a featured guest speaker for military and journalism organizations. He has a B.A. in journalism from Colorado State University and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado. Sheeler was born and raised in Houston. His parents live in Brenham.


You can register online for the convention at taje.org Check the newsletter and contest rules for changes to contests Clip contest deadline is Dec. 12


Texas Association of Journalism Educators

August 2008

Teaching editors to become leaders
Camp gives students, adviser opportunity to strengthen roles
Have you ever worked for a boss who just didn’t seem to have a clue? Threats and yelling comprise his repertoire of motivational techniques, while he is the very one who misses deadlines and calls in sick on vital days. He passes the buck, takes all the credit and passes along any blame, all the while kissing up to his own boss—frequently at your expense. If so, you have probably found yourself thinking, “I wish all bosses were required to take leadership classes.” Yet most of us probably put our editors in the very same position: we appoint them to leadership positions without giving them the training to help them reach success. I know that’s how I’ve done it in the past. A strong writer, an organized and dependable staffer, an intelligent kid who catches on quickly—these are obviously our prime candidates for the role of editor. But while some people are natural born leaders, not everyone is that fortunate, and, to be honest, even the naturals could benefit from some ideas and techniques about how to improve their leadership skills. With this in mind, this year I decided to offer a Leadership Camp for incoming yearbook and newspaper editors. I planned it for mid-August, both so the techniques would be fresh in their minds and as a way to generate some enthusiasm as they begin the year with their new staffers. I sent out formal invitations to six yearbook editors and 10 newspaper editors, everyone from news editor to photo editor to editor-in-chief, to meet in the classroom from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first positive aspect of this camp is that it made them feel important; they began to truly embrace the responsibility that comes along with the job. As advisers, we need that commitment from our editors, and a camp like this can reinforce that they are in charge of the publication. I spent quite a bit of time determin- achieve that? Meet with each staffer on ing the content of this camp. What did a regular basis, provide specific feedI want editors to gain? What did I want back, both positive and negative, conconcerning their behavior and their at- nect with each as an individual. Once titudes towards staffers? What, to me, we had all shared and refined our lists, constitutes the essence of good leader- I encouraged them to leave those in ship? This thought process also gave their boxes in the room and read them me a good opportuonce a week or so to nity to evaluate my make sure they were own philosophy of staying on track. Lori Herbst leadership and how The rest of the Flower Mound Marcus HS well (or poorly) my morning was devotTAJE President own behavior reflects ed to tips for editors, that philosophy. discussions about expectations—of ourAfter all that deep thought and pon- selves as well as the staffers—ideas for dering, here’s what I ultimately came team building, and specific people skills. up with. We spent the morning talkAfter we broke for lunch, we spent ing philosophy. I created a PowerPoint the afternoon talking about editors in titled “So You’re an Editor—What the role of teachers. They broke into Now?” We started the camp with some three groups--writers, designers, phoof the same directed deep thought in tographers—and generated lists of which I had engaged. I provided edi- the skills staffers would need in each tors with a series of questions designed of those areas. Then they figured out to guide them towards being the kind lessons they could use to teach those of leader they really wanted to be. skills. Finally, we created a calendar of For example, I reminded them of our days on which they would teach those end-of-the-year Senior Day in class, lessons. Of course, I maintained my during which each individual senior “right” to chip in my opinion and adtakes a turn sitting in front of the class, vice whenever I felt like it, just as they and the staffers talk about what is spe- maintained their “right” to disagree cial about that person and what they with me when they had solid, persuagained from having that senior in their sive reasons. lives. With that in their minds, then, my Though the year has not yet started first question to editors was this: When and I can’t testify to the tangible results Senior Day comes for you, what do you of the camp, the preliminary results want the staffers to be saying about bode well. The editors were open and you? Once editors generated a short enthusiastic in their participation, and list of answers to that question, I then they seemed to embrace the idea of beasked them to look at each answer and ing solid, engaged leaders. They left decide what specific behaviors they feeling as though they were the maswould need to engage in to earn those ters of their publications and had the comments from staffers, and we shared tools to guide their staffers. those answers with one another. For me, it helped the beginning of Just so you know, I did this right the year feel more organized, and I along with them, and I think that didn’t feel so frantic. I also gained a helped them open up. One of the things level of trust in the editors that usually I told them I would want at the end of doesn’t come until a little later in the the year would be to hear staffers say year. And as for the incoming staffers, that I always cared about their success they were not stuck with “bosses” who in my class. What do I need to do to had no clue of how to lead.

From the President

August 2008

Texas Association of Journalism Educators
Possible topics:

• Advertising • Design • Writing • Photography • Sales/distribution • Grading/ organization • Leadership • Technology • Tips • Tools • Classroom management • Infographics • Handouts • PowerPoints • Lesson Plans • Rubrics • Forms to students, parents, advertisers Sample letters

Convention to offer curriculum exchange
As the board planned for the TAJE fall conven- can be more encouraging than being able to action at its July summer retreat, officers decided cess a lesson or a PowerPoint presentation in a to add something new to the mix of contests, moment of need? keynotes and sessions. However, participation Although I realize publication advisers are from TAJE members is required. swamped at the beginning of the school year, I The Journalism Education Association for sev- challenge each of you to stop a moment to share eral years at its national conventions has included something that you do well. You don’t have to a curriculum exchange for teachers. TAJE would create new stuff—just pull from materials you’ve like to do the same for its October already done. convention. To participate, bring the file(s) At ILPC last spring, some on a jump drive to the convention Susan Duncan friends and I pooled our resourcor e-mail them earlier to Dianne Longview Pine Tree HS es to present a new adviser sesSmith, our webmaster. We’ll make TAJE State Director sion. Even though I have taught CDs to share with all those who for years and have amassed lots of curriculum, participate in the exchange. I found some of the materials the other teachers To reward you for your giving spirit, teachers included were things I didn’t have. I plan to adapt who participate in the exchange will have an extra some of their ideas for my students this year. entry in the drawing for door prizes at the TAJE The longer I teach, the more I become convinced business meeting on Sunday. that one of our jobs as educators is to encourage So if something works for you, share it and those who don’t have as much experience. What brighten someone’s day.

State Director’s Report

Possible exchange files:

Regional representatives meet with board in July
Regional representatives met with the executive board at its annual retreat in July. Anyone who wants a mentor or wishes to be a mentor should contact his/her representative. Regional reps host adviser workshops in the fall. The representatives and their e-mail addresses are as follows: Region I Saturday, Oct. 18 UIL Superconference at WTAMU in Canyon in the morning until 1:00 1:15 Networking lunch at Feldman’s sponsored by Jostens 2:30-4:00 Tentative-Tour of new WTAMU broadcast and mass comm facilities Please RSVP Laura Smith by Wednesday, Oct. 15. Laura Smith Canyon HS, 1701 23rd St. Canyon 79015 806.677.2740 llsmith@canyonisd.net Region II Mary Beth Lee SH Rider HS, 4611 Cypress Wichita Falls 76310 940.720.3019 (S) 940-232-1589 (H) mlee@mfisd.net Region III Mikyela Tedder Lindale HS, P.O. Box 370 Lindale 75771 903.882.6138 (S) 903.534.5495 (H) mlatedder@hotmail.com Region IV Pat Monroe Burges HS 7800 Edgemere El Paso 79925 915.780.1100, ext. 6203 - School 915.822.2513 - Home lexiannie@hotmail.com Region V Saturday, Sept. 27 Region V members are invited to join San Antonio College for “Charting Your Course,” a day of workshops for high school journalists and their advisers, Sept. 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the San Antonio College campus. The itinerary will include sessions on ethics, beginning reporting, advanced reporting, writing, layout and design, and photography. Separate sessions are also offered for advisers. Cost of the workshop is $10 each, including teachers. Each student will take home souvenirs of their trip, and groups will be given time on their own for lunch. Several restaurants are located within walking distance of the campus. For more information, or to register, please call (210)733-2875 or email pbuchhorn@mail.accd.edu. Christine Keyser-Fanick John Paul Stevens HS 600 N. Ellison Dr. San Antonio 78251 210.397.6450 (S) 210.681.6819 (H) ckeyserfanick@sbcglobal.net 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@aliefisd.net lauraeku@yahoo.com Region VII Janet Simpson Calallen HS 4001 Wildcat Dr. Corpus Christi 78410 361.242.5649 (S) 361.877.7387 (H) jsimpson@calallen.k12.tx.us


Texas Association of Journalism Educators

August 2008

Studio Art gives photography students chance at AP credit
Brenda Slatton San Antonio Lee HS TAJE Asst. Convention Director
As the school year begins is a good time to think about offering your photography students AP credit. Through AP Studio Art exams, your students will have the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing at most of the nation’s colleges and universities. Not certified in AP? You don’t have to be. Three of my students created AP Studio Art portfolios last year. One newspaper staff member and two photo students completed theirs. I will see their scores when I get back to school. It is easier if you have an AP art teacher on your campus who will explain the process to you and sponsor your students, but students don’t have to be in an AP course, nor does one even have to be offered at their school for them to get AP credit. Which students should you pick? I chose students who do more than just photojournalism. They can make a flower or a rock look good. Remember, artists will be judging these. And to many artists, blurry photos are wonderful. According to the AP Web site (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_studioart.htmlStudio Art), “The only requirements are a strong curiosity about the subject you plan to study and the willingness to work hard. “ The fee for each exam is $84. There are some fee reductions given. Details are available on the AP Web site. Students will also need to plan to spend some time on the required portfolio. My students turned in five mounted prints and 24 slides last year. Word is, for 2009 the students will be allowed to do digital copies on a CD instead of slides. Although a lot of attention is given to the AP Exams in the spring, students should begin in the fall or even begin before their senior year, since they will need a large body of work to choose

AP GRADE QUALIFICATION 5 Extremely well-qualified 4 Well-qualified 3 Qualified 2 Possibly qualified 1 No recommendation AP Exam grades of 5 are equivalent to A grades in the corresponding college course. AP Exam grades of 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+, and B in college. AP Exam grades of 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+, and C in college.
from. Their work can be produced in class or on the students’ own time and may cover the last few years’ work. AP Studio Art is based on a portfolio that students turn in for evaluation on exam day in May. The portfolio has three sections. The Quality section consists of five prints at a maximum size of 18x24. These are mounted. There is not a minimum size, so my students printed what they could afford. They are asked to “select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.” I took that to mean their best five. The Concentration section consists of 12 photos where they demonstrate a “depth of investigation and process of discovery.” This section should be photos that share a similar theme. For

It is easier if you have an AP art teacher on your campus who will explain the process to you and sponsor your students, but students don’t have to be in an AP course, nor does one even have to be offered at their school for them to get AP credit.

example, they could all include hands or all be flowers, but they could also be much more in-depth. My understanding is they need to show how their skills improved. My students used quality photos from last year and then moved into this year’s work. In the third section, Breadth, students will turn in 12 photos that “demonstrate a serious grounding in visual principles and material techniques. As a whole, the student’s work in this section should demonstrate exploration, inventiveness, and the expressive manipulation of form, as well as knowledge of compositional organization.” The students have to turn in written responses with their work. They will need to show understanding of the elements and principles of design. A useful document called the Course Description is on the AP Web site. This goes into detail on all areas of the portfolio. Was this easy? It surprisingly was. Of course, we were in the middle of preparing the last newspaper, finishing our lit mag and selling yearbooks, so I had little time to critique and help choose their best shots. The students did most of it themselves, and they did beautifully. My students asked everyone they respected to take a look at their photos, and we had a lot of help from the AP art teacher on campus. She guided me and answered my 2,000 questions, inspected the students work and told me what I did wrong. We journalism teachers need to sometimes remember that we are not the only teachers on campus who go above and beyond because they believe in students and their futures.

August 2008

Texas Association of Journalism Educators
Add it to your cart and pay for it. It will probably ship the next day. It is full of relevant terminology that will help you succeed. If you taught desktop publishing prior to the 2003-2004 school year you are grandfathered in and you remain eligible to teach the courses you previously taught, subject to school district requirements. To sign up for an exam to be certified, go to the SBEC website, www. sbec.state.tx.us


In Brief
Members to elect new officers
Officer elections will be held in February. Members will vote for president-elect, secretary, treasurer and state director. Anyone interested in running for office should contact TAJE president-elect Sheryl Floyd at sherylflo@aol.com.

Dates to note
JEA./NSPA Convention St. Louis Nov. 13-16

Study guide available for tech certification
If you want to offer Desktop Publishing in your journalism program to satisfy the Technology Applications Graduation Credit requirement, you are required to be certified by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) in Technology Applications unless you were certified in when the new requirements went into effect. However, the certification exam includes many other topics besides desktop publishing, such as spreadsheet, word processing, database management, web hosting, multimedia and video production. You can go to the www.texes.ets.org site to download some online preparation materials that specify the competencies required. Most of us do not have extensive experience in all of these areas. But it is still possible to do well on the exam by studying the TExES Review Study Guide for Technology Applications 8-12 ( Price $40). It is available from the TEA Region 4 store and you can order it online at the Region 4 website, https://www.region4store.com/esc/ Shop When you get to the website, follow these steps: Choose Online Catalog Choose Educational Technology Choose TExES Review Study Guide for Technology Applications 8-12 (Price $40)

UIL to host student activity conferences
UIL will host four Student Activities Conferences to introduce students and advisers to UIL contests. The conferences will begin at 9 a.m. and end by 1:30 p.m. with no lunch break. Registration is not required, and attendance is free. The dates and locations are as follows: Sept. 20 Tyler Junior College Tyler Oct. 4 University of Texas at Austin Oct. 18 West Texas State University Canyon Nov. 1 Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

ATPI Convention Arlington Feb. 13-15

SIPA Convention Columbia, SC March 6-8

CSPA Convention New York City March 18-20

ILPC Convention Austin April 18-19

JEA/NSPA Convention Phoenix April 16-19

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. If student names are not turned in on time, students will not be allowed to compete. 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. This rule is for the benefit of everyone. If advisers try to enter names during registration, the process gets backed up and confusing. Getting names changed before contests is challenging enough without trying to enter contestants from scratch.