August 22, 2018 / News

Florida advisers Hanks and Oben among JEA’s latest group of Rising Stars

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

Courtney Hanks, yearbook adviser from University High School in Orange City, Florida, and Joanie Oben, yearbook adviser from Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida, both Walsworth Yearbooks schools, were among the group of educators named as Rising Stars on Wednesday by the Journalism Education Association (JEA).

Hanks oversees the yearbook, newspaper and online news at University High. She began her career as an English teacher, but her art background and enthusiasm for learning led her to the journalism programs.

“My greatest enjoyment comes from teaching journalism,” Hanks said in JEA’s official release. “I wholeheartedly believe that journalism is one of the most valuable courses on campus.”

A print journalism background in college helped Oben settle into her role advising yearbook, newspaper, online news and even broadcast at Robinson.

“My students are completely in charge of all content decisions for all publications,” Oben told the JEA. “I offer advice, but it is ultimately their decisions.”

Each year, JEA recognizes advisers with up to five years of experience who show promise as up-and-coming advisers. Nominations for the Rising Star Award can come from scholastic press associations, publishing companies, fellow teachers, students and parents. This fall JEA recognized 10 advisers:

  • Zeb Carabello, Rangeview High School, Aurora, Colorado
  • Gina Claus, Castle Rock Middle School, Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Courtney Hanks, University High School, Orange City, Florida
  • Sarah Kirksey, CJE, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Lori Larson, North Platte High School, North Platte, Nebraska
  • Katie Moreno, Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas
  • Joanie Oben, Robinson High School, Tampa, Florida
  • Jayna Rumble, Troy High School, Troy, Michigan
  • Hannah Shapiro, Eagle Valley High School, Gypsum, Colorado
  • Lisa Stine, CJE, Bryant High School, Bryant, Arkansas

Each Rising Star winner will be honored during the adviser awards luncheon at the upcoming JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 1-4, in Chicago.

Evan Blackwell, CJE
Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Marketing Automation Specialist for Walsworth. He's been a writer, editor and web content specialist for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 14 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.