JEMKC Annual Winter Brunch Jan. 21

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

JEMKC Annual Winter Brunch Jan. 21

Mark your calendars! JEMKC’s annual Winter Brunch will be held Saturday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Brio on the Country Club Plaza. Click here for directions.

Come socialize with fellow advisers, eat some delicious food and hear from featured speaker Scott Canon of the KC Star! Only $5 per person and you can bring it with you to the brunch.

RSVP by Jan. 18 for a food head count.

Click here to see the full invite with all the details

Read More

Results from JEA/NSPA Fall National Convention

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in JEA News, Kansas/Missouri News | 0 comments

Results from JEA/NSPA Fall National Convention

JEMKC member schools took home a pile of awards at the Fall National Convention in Indianapolis. Congratulations to all the winners! KC is such an impressive area for high school journalism.

Newspaper Pacemaker Winners

The Express, Blue Valley Northwest
Standard, Blue Valley Southwest
The JagWire, Mill Valley
The Northwest Passage, Shawnee Mission Northwest

Finalists included:
The Hargbiner, Shawnee Mission East
The View, Park Hill South

Broadcast Pacemaker

Finalists included:
Tiger Broadcast, Lee’s Summit
Southside Scoop, Park Hill South


Newspaper Special Edition
#8 Griffin Rites, Winnetonka

#10 The Spotlight, Blue Valley West

Publication Website, Small School
#4 Mill Valley News, Mill Valley
#9 Tonka News, Winnetonka

Publication Website, Large School
#3 The Harbinger Online, Shawnee Mission East

Newspaper Tabloid 17 or more pages
#1 Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East
#4 JagWire, Mill Valley

Yearbook 0-232 Pages
#7 Cambia, Oak Park

Yearbook 233-288 Pages
#4 The JAG, Mill Valley

Yearbook 289-336 Pages
#2 Indian, Shawnee Mission North
#8 Vision, Blue Valley Southwest

Yearbook 337+ Pages
#1 Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East
#3 Lair, Shawnee Mission Northwest

Individual “Of the Year” Awards

Newsmagazine Cover Design
#4 Vivian Brockman, Park Hill South
#10 Thomas Sherk, Shawnee Mission East

Newspaper Page/Spread Design
#2 Anna McClelland, Shawnee Mission East
#8 Nicole Becker, Blue Valley Southwest

Yearbook Page/Spread Design
#1 Michael Hamilton, Shawnee Mission East

Infographic Design
#7 Yashi Wang, Shawnee Mission East

News Story
#4 Margo Johnson, Blue Valley Southwest

Diversity Story
#1 Maddie Davis, Blue Valley High School

Multimedia Feature
#Morgan Biles, Yashi Wang, Shawnee Mission East

Feature Photo
#1 Erica Good, Blue Valley Southwest

Sports Action Photo
#4 Delaney Oliver, Blue Valley Southwest

Sports Reaction Photo
#10 Julia Huebert, Blue Valley West

Environmental Portrait
#4 Hailey Hughes, Shawnee Mission East
#8 Ryan Barrett, Blue Valley West

Comic Strip/Panel
#3 Alex Ralston, Shawnee Mission West

Broadcast Sports Story
#7 Cassidi Sterrett, Lee’s Summit High School

Read More

Online Senior Ad Submission

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Tips and Ideas | 0 comments

Online Senior Ad Submission

So we tried something new this year at Blue Valley High — we asked parents to submit all senior ad content online — crazy, right?!

I set up the form on Survey Gizmo (super easy, by the way). I then linked all of the survey information to a Google Sheet.

Here are some perks we’ve noticed so far:

  • When I ask for a 50-word limit on an eighth-page ad, they can’t progress through the form unless it’s 50 words or less. Also, while designing, students just have to copy/paste from the Google Sheet — it’s exactly what the parents submitted.
  • For the first deadline, we had TWO checks. Out of 168 submissions. Amazing. (We have parents pay on Vendini. It charges us like 4 percent of the total, but if you wanted, you could charge that to the parents. It’s totally worth it, in my opinion! There are also probably other sites that charge a lower fee, but this is the one used at my school.)
  • Everything is uploaded at once. Very rarely did we wait on an extra photo coming from a photographer/hard copy submission/etc.
  • Surprisingly, we had fewer issues with low-quality photos submitted.

Below is a series of screenshots I took from my phone. The submission process is broken down a bit more on the phone than it is on the computer, but this allows more of a step-by-step explanation.

Senior Ad Setup


Here is a link to the online submission form. Feel free to mess with it. We are done with senior ad submissions already, so it won’t mess us up if you submit something. You can also see what the confirmation looks like if you enter a valid email address.

Also, here is a copy of our senior ad information sheet with FAQs we send to parents. By all means, look it over.

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask me. My email address is

Read More

JEMKC Member Schools Named Individual Award Finalists

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in JEA News, Kansas/Missouri News | 0 comments

JEMKC Member Schools Named Individual Award Finalists

JEMKC member schools had a total of 18 finalists in NSPA’s Individual Of the Year Awards. See all individual finalists below. Winners/placing will be announced at the NSPA Awards Ceremony during the NSPA/JEA Fall National Convention in Indianapolis on Nov. 12. Congrats to all finalists!


Newsmagazine Cover

Thomas Sherk
The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School

Vivian Brockman
The View
Park Hill South

Newspaper Page/Spread

Nicole Becker, Kate Bowling
The Standard
Blue Valley Southwest High School

Kathleen Gartner
Shawnee Mission West High School

Anna McClelland
The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School

Rachel Bateman
The Northwest Passage
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

Yearbook Page/Spread

Michael Hamilton
Shawnee Mission East High School


Yashi Wang
The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School


Feature Photo

Erica Good
The Vision
Blue Valley Southwest High School

Sports Action Photo

Delaney Oliver
The Standard
Blue Valley Southwest High School

Sports Reaction Photo

Julia Huebert
Blue Valley West High School

Environmental Portrait

Ryan Barrett
Blue Valley West High School

Hailey Hughes
The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School



Margo Johnson, Blake Gustafson
The Standard
Blue Valley Southwest High School

Diversity Story

Maddie Davis
The Tiger Print
Blue Valley High School

Multimedia Feature of the Year

Morgan Biles, Yashi Wang, Staff
The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School

Broadcast Sports Story of the Year

Cassidi Sterrett, Kelly Dauer
Tiger Broadcast
Lee’s Summit High School

Comic/Panel Strip of the Year

Alex Ralston
The Epic
Shawnee Mission West High School


Read More

Adviser Night Oct. 5

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Adviser Nights, Events | 0 comments

Adviser Night Oct. 5

The executive board looked at the feedback from the Member Survey many of you took earlier this month and there was overwhelming interest in attending an Adviser Night. We heard you, so here it is: October Adviser Night!

Our first Adviser Night of the year will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 4-6 p.m. at Park Hill South High School, located right off of 635 one mile north of the river. Get directions here. You all gave us great suggestions for topics, so we decided to divide the night into two parts:

Part One- Broadcast Tour/Discussion

PHS Broadcast Adviser Justin Ford will give us a tour of his broadcast studio, equipment and more, and discuss all things related to video streaming, working with district technology, covering live events, etc. Great for broadcast teachers but also for those wanting to integrate video, lighting and live coverage into your other publications.

Part Two – Adviser Roundtable and Pizza

While enjoying delicious Stone Canyon Pizza, we will discuss a variety of topics including (but not limited to): Social Media, Election

Coverage, Grading, Web Work Flow and What’s New in the J Room. Bring your laptops and we will have a Google folder to share documents, links, etc.

We hope this is a way to cover a lot in a short time and appeal to as many people as we can. Based on our conversations in the roundtable, we can choose a topic to focus on more in-depth at our next Adviser Night.

We hope to see you there—all you have to do is RSVP to Megan Palmer to let us know you’re coming so we know how much pizza to order!

Read More

Hall Passes to Interview During Classes

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Tips and Ideas | 0 comments

Hall Passes to Interview During Classes

We know our students *shouldn’t* interview during class because stories turn out better if they don’t, but we also know they *do* interview during class.

My students started this last year in yearbook, and the newspaper staff picked it up this year. We created hall passes of sorts and added common times for the student body to come to the publications room to be interviewed.

Of course, they can go elsewhere once they meet up instead of staying in the loud room. It’s been very helpful for tracking down people at their teacher’s convenience instead of expecting them to be available at our beckon call — you mean, they DO stuff in other classes?!

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.37.50 AM                    Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.38.24 AM

Read More

Teaching How to Take Interview Notes

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Adviser Resources, Tips and Ideas, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Teaching How to Take Interview Notes

During my first years of teaching, I focused on questions, listening, quote selection and other basics when teaching interviewing. I assumed students knew how to take notes during interviews–what could be that hard? Listen for good stuff and write it down, right?


One day I realized that most of my students were trying to write down literally every word their interviewee was saying. Two problems: that isn’t possible (especially for slow writers) and they weren’t analyzing or even really HEARING what the people were saying. They were just trying to get every word down. So I started teaching note taking and it has helped in big ways.

I start with this handout from Tim Harrower’s “Inside Reporting” textbook and have each student decide on one tip to use for their own note taking system.

Next, I ask how many think they need to write down every word the person says (it is usually a lot). To prove that this is impossible, I play several songs for them (increasing in speed of tempo) and ask them to write down every word. They count how many they got down before they lost it and quickly figure out they can’t write everything down.

Slow Song: Hey Jude
Medium Song: Mama’s Broken Heart
Fast Song: We Didn’t Start the Fire

To practice writing important information down and to develop a critical ear, we then watch several of CNN’s Red Chair interviews. Students listen and have to write down at least five facts and two word-for-word quotes from what they hear. I do the exercise with them and then we compare and discuss after each short video.

One of my favorite Red Chair interviews is with the woman who voices Siri:

Bonus for the final video: I have them take notes without looking at their paper to practice maintaining eye contact. They hate it but it helps!

Read More