May 12, 2023 / Adviser Academy / News & Notes

Be Bold and Teach Confidently at Adviser Academy

Written by Shiloh Scott

Are you ready to teach yearbook in the 2024 school year? We’re here to help by inviting you to attend the 2023 Adviser Academy

What Is Adviser Academy? 

Adviser Academy is a three-day workshop that helps advisers learn how to teach yearbook or teach yearbook better. We created this event just for yearbook advisers – no students, staff, administrators. It’s taught by current or former yearbook advisers who have been in your shoes.

When’s It Happening? 

Part 1 is happening June 28 and 29. Part 2 is July 31. 

Why did we split it into two parts? We heard feedback from previous attendees that by the third day, their brains were on overload. That meant that the tech training offered on Day 3 didn’t sink in as well as it could have. So we moved that part. Now you have time to absorb all the wonderful yearbook info you learn in the first two days. Plus, tech training falls closer to the start of the school year, so it remains fresh! 

Where Is It Happening? 

Online! That’s right, you can learn from the comfort of your own home. Or classroom. Or your local coffee shop. Whatever works best for you. 

Register here and you’ll receive the Zoom invite closer to the time of the event. 

Why Is It Happening? 

Because we saw a need! Yearbook advisers hold a special role. They’re often the only person at their school who does what they do. At Adviser Academy, you learn alongside other advisers. You’ll be taught by instructors who are or have been in your shoes. It’s hard to explain the value until you get there. 

Why Should You Go? 

Because it’s awesome! We might be a little biased, so here’s what last year’s attendees said about Adviser Academy. 


“I love getting new ideas from all the different people–presenters and attendees both. Adviser Academy is the best training you can get for working with yearbook.”

  • Andrew Atkins, Nashville Christian School, Nashville, Tennessee


“Absolutely a must-do for your first year as an adviser.”

  • Katie Galvin, Sullivan High School, Sullivan, Missouri


“I loved how there are SO MANY sessions that could be beneficial to new and experienced advisers alike, taught by people who are passionate about yearbook. It was awesome how all the examples given were of top-notch yearbooks, and how all the hosts I had made it a top priority to answer text chat questions, get people resources, and empower all attendees.”

  • TeAnna Reimers, Nile C. Kinnick High School, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokosuka, Japan


“All the presenters were wonderful. The information was presented in a very organized way, and everyone was patient with and responsive to answering questions.”

  • Shelley Hawkins, Monarch High School, Coconut Creek, Florida


“It was really refreshing and inspired me to get ready for a new year of yearbook!”

  • Hannah Gersh, Pontotoc High School, Pontotoc, Mississippi


“Good source of information to work with as you get your feet under you. Also good for refreshers and seeing how other similarly goaled people tackle similar challenges.”

  • Tim Riley, Firm Foundation Christian School, Battle Ground, Washington


“It is a well-run, motivational academy!”

  • Wendy Goldsmith, Bright Field Middle School, Bentonville, Arkansas


“It is a place to learn from award winning and experienced advisers or past advisers. It is a way to ask questions and not feel judged.”

  • Mindy Wiedebusch, Graham Junior High School, Graham, Texas


“I was hesitant to sign up because I prefer in-person to virtual, but Walsworth made the virtual work well, and I’d sign up for it again. I got new ideas even from workshops I felt wouldn’t be helpful to me. I appreciate the community feel. Every presenter openly shared their contact information.”

  • Elizabeth Strehl, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada


“It helps you get a good understanding about yearbook as well as gives you the ability to begin building a foundation.”

  • Holly McRae, Van Alstyne High School, Van Alstyne, Texas


“This is a great way to network with other advisers.”

  • Luke Keen, Sheridan High School, Sheridan, Arkansas


“I gladly paid for this training out of my own pocket. I love being with fellow YERDS, and it was fantastic to work with them from all across the nation.”

  • Chrystal Gates, Freedom High School, Woodbridge, Virginia


Who is Going to Be There?

Here are a few of the instructors we have lined up: 

  • Andrew Young, CJE, advises The Round-Up yearbook at Woodland Junior High School. He was named a 2017 Rising Star by JEA, 2018 Arkansas Adviser of the Year, 2018 Fayetteville Public Schools Teacher of the Year, 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni from the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions and most recently 2022 JEA Special Recognition Adviser. His staffs have been recognized in the JEA Middle School/Junior High Media contest, NSPA Picture/Story/Design of the Year contests, Arkansas Scholastic Press Association awards and Walsworth Photo Contest. The Round-Up has won multiple CSPA Crown and NSPA Pacemaker awards. Young currently serves as the President of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association and has a passion for seeing junior high and middle school journalism programs take it to the next level.
  • Elizabeth Luna, NBCT, is the yearbook adviser at Athens Drive Magnet High School in North Carolina. Her students’ work has earned consistent recognition at the state level over the last twelve years, including regular North Carolina Awards of Distinction and six Tarheel Awards from the North Carolina Scholastic Press Association. The Torch consistently wins national recognition though the NSPA Pacemaker awards and CSPA Crown awards. Over her 12-year career, she focused on graphic design as the building block of a solid yearbook, using her design background to engage students in conversations around successful design and photography.
  • Jason Davis, CJE, is the adviser of the Oro yearbook at Cactus Canyon Junior High School in Apache Junction, Arizona. With a background in journalism, he has advised yearbook for 14 years. The last three volumes of Oro were named to the CSPA Crown and NSPA Pacemaker finalists, and CCJH students have been recognized in several national contests, including two JEA Aspiring Young Journalists. Davis lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his wife and two boys and loves all things baseball and Marvel. In 2023, Davis also began advising the Prospector yearbook at Apache Junction High School in addition to the yearbook at Cactus Canyon Junior High School.
  • Jim Jordan is the former yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California, and now a special consultant for Walsworth. He was a yearbook adviser for more than 30 years, and over the years the Decamhian yearbook earned numerous Pacemaker and CSPA Gold Crown honors. Jordan was the 1996 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, a JEA Lifetime Achievement recipient, has won the second highest number of Pacemakers in NSPA’s 100 year history, and now shares his expertise with students and advisers at workshops and conventions across the country. He was among the first to embrace desktop technology and apply it to yearbook, and he remains an innovator in the yearbook industry.
  • Kathy Beers teaches photojournalism and advises The Creek yearbook at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Beers encourages her students to push the boundaries in theme and design. Her staff has won numerous awards, including CSPA Gold Medals, CSPA Crowns and NSPA All American and Individual Awards. She adores her family, dog and yearbooks (in that order). Beers treasures all of her own yearbooks, including her 8th grade one in which her crush wrote that she talked like an orange. She truly loves yearbooks and believes every kid should get one, every year.
  • Laurel Wicke, the yearbook and drama teacher at Drake Middle School in Arvada, Colorado, took over the school’s yearbook program in 2018 when she started teaching at the school. Since then, their yearbook has been rated as an All-Colorado publication by the Colorado Student Media Association every year, was an NSPA Pacemaker Finalist in 2020, and this year was awarded a CSPA Silver Crown and an NSPA Pacemaker Award. She is proud to mentor a wonderfully hardworking staff, including the winner of the 2019 NSPA Junior High/Middle School Design of the Year, as well as the 2021 CSMA Middle School Journalist of the Year. Holding an English and Theater degree from the University of Wyoming, Wicke has spent the majority of her career teaching ELA and was thrilled to nab a full-time drama position at Drake. Being named yearbook adviser was the cherry on top! She’ll give up the job only when they pry it out of her cold, dead hands.
  • Leland Mallett, CJE, teaches newspaper, yearbook and photography at Legacy High School in Mansfield, Texas. He has taught journalism for 22 years. His staff has won numerous CSPA Crowns, NSPA Pacemakers and Texas Stars. Mallett was named a NSPA Pioneer in 2022. He is also a JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser. He loves the art of telling stories in any media, but most of all, he loves to tell stories about his three amazing kids.
  • Mike Taylor, CJE, is a Key Accounts Manager and Journalism Specialist with Walsworth Yearbooks. He taught yearbook, newspaper and television production at Lecanto High School, Lecanto, Florida, for 13 years, where his publications staffs won numerous awards. Taylor has been awarded the JEA Medal of Merit, CSPA Gold Key and Florida Scholastic Press Association Gold Medallion. As a well-known instructor at workshops and conventions across the country, he has consulted with countless yearbook staffs to help them realize their potential in creating journalistic yearbooks.
  • Sabrina Schmitz, CJE, serves as a Walsworth Yearbooks representative, key accounts specialist and the former publications adviser at J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity, Florida. Under her leadership, The Stampede yearbook earned multiple CSPA Crowns, an NSPA Pacemaker, and was a Design of the Year Finalist. She was Teacher of the Year in 2013, was a District Teacher of the Year Finalist, and teaches at workshops and conventions nationwide.

Have We Convinced You? Here’s Where You Sign Up! 

Registration is open via MyEvent. Want to know a little more before you take the plunge? Check out the Adviser Academy page on our website. 

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Shiloh Scott

Shiloh Scott was the Digital Marketing Manager for Walsworth. They enjoy working in a variety of mediums, from print to broadcast to social media. Shiloh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.