August 23, 2023 / News & Notes

JEA Names Jill Chittum, MJE, 2023 Friend of Scholastic Journalism

Written by Jenica Hallman, CJE

Student journalists face unique challenges in today’s culture that have not been seen at any other time in history. That’s why mentorship and supporting student journalism matters so much. In an effort to recognize the contributions of the heroes of our field, JEA recognizes a few individuals every year who make a significant impact within student journalism.

JEA has a wide pool to draw from – professional journalists, media outlets, educators and individuals from journalism associations – and this year, Walsworth Yearbooks Sales Representative Jill Chittum, MJE,  was among this elite group honored with the award. It marks the second year in a row that a Walsworth employee was selected after Walsworth Journalism Specialist Mike Taylor, CJE, was selected in 2022. JEA will formally recognize Chittum at the National High School Journalism Convention this November in Boston.

Chittum’s background in professional journalism and as a high school journalism adviser brought a wealth of knowledge that she now shares with her schools as a Walsworth sales rep. She also previously worked for Walsworth to train representatives.

Mike Taylor, CJE, journalism specialist and key accounts manager has worked with Chittum for many years and cites her dedication to servicing North Texas schools.

“Jill really does live and breathe journalism; she gets it. She has a way of bringing her customers the finest service while teaching their students about all aspects of journalism. North Texas schools are blessed to have a yearbook representative with ethics, knowledge and a caring heart.”

Kathy Beers, the yearbook adviser at Timber Creek High School works with Chittum and has seen her in action.

“Jill is the total package,” Beers said. “She has seen yearbook through the eyes of a student, professional journalist, adviser and sales rep. Whatever you’re working through, she gets it and can lend a helpful ear and wise words of experience.”

In today’s rapidly evolving cultural landscape, student journalists encounter unprecedented challenges that span generations. Navigating this complex terrain requires more than just determination; it demands unwavering support and mentorship. This is why the recognition and celebration of those who champion student journalism has taken on immense significance. The accolades bestowed by JEA shine a light on the remarkable individuals who shape the narrative of student journalism.

Among these exceptional figures, Walsworth Yearbooks Sales Representative Jill Chittum, CJE,  stands out as a beacon of expertise and dedication. With a background rooted in both professional journalism and high school advising, Chittum seamlessly bridges the worlds of knowledge dissemination and guidance.

The acknowledgment of Chittum’s contributions at the National High School Journalism Convention this November is a well-deserved honor, acknowledging not only her past achievements but the promise of her continued influence.

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Jenica Hallman, CJE

Jenica Hallman, CJE, is a Copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks. Yearbooks got into her blood in high school, and she has been pursuing them ever since. She has worked in various capacities as a high school and college yearbook editor, an adviser, sales representative, plant customer service representative and now in marketing, her favorite role to date. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media communications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.