by Linda Barrington
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair
The Kettle Moraine Press Association hosts its annual Winter Advisers Seminar at a resort in scenic Lake Geneva, Wis. We offer registration waivers for JEA mentees to encourage their attendance and welcome them into our KEMPA community. Six mentees from Wisconsin and Illinois, along with three former mentees, attended the seminar on March 1-2. The photo also includes two mentors, KEMPA president Sandy Jacoby and myself.
The JEA Mentor Program relies on the support of state scholastic press associations from around the country. Not only do scholastic press associations vet potential mentors from their states, they also support their mentors’ stipends through their own budget, often seeking assistance from other parties in their state.
It is important that mentees belong to the professional community of journalism teachers in their state. Starting out as a publication teacher/adviser can be a challenging experience, professionally, emotionally and financially.
The JEA Mentor Program encourages state scholastic press associations to provide incentives for new teachers to become active in their organizations by providing any or all of the following for the JEA mentees for their first two years: waiver of membership fees; waiver or reduction of fees for SPA workshops, conferences, and other events; welcome and recognition at SPA events; and waiver or reduction of fees for publication critiques or competitions.
State and regional scholastic press associations will benefit from the new teachers’ perspective and enthusiasm as they become active members of their association, serving on boards and becoming leaders in their own right.
At KEMPA we have found this to be true. We have one mentee on our board this year, Rachel Rauch, from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis. We also benefit from the expertise of a former mentee, Evelyn Lauer, CJE, who presented a session at Winter Advisers Seminar, writes a regular column for the KEMPA Update and will be an instructor at KEMPA Summer Workshop this July.