National Virtual Workshop Instructor Bios
Get to know your instructors at the 2021 National Virtual Workshop.
Monday, July 12 - Theme
Jim Jordan advised the Decamhian yearbook for 35 years at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California, and he is now a special consultant with Walsworth Yearbooks. In 1996, he was named the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by JEA. He also was awarded the CSPA Gold Key, the JEA Medal of Merit, NSPA Pioneer Award and the JEA Lifetime Achievement Award. Now with Walsworth, he serves as the lead mentor for the company’s Adviser Mentor Program and is host of the Yearbook Chat with Jim podcast. He received the Teacher Inspiration Award from JEA, and the Decamhian was recognized as having earned the second highest number of Pacemaker Awards in NSPA’s 100-year history. He finds joy helping advisers and staffs find their talents and create great yearbooks.
Mike Taylor, CJE, sees things differently, and as the Walsworth journalism specialist, he uses that creative edge to help yearbook staffs across the country to build the book of their dreams. He leads training for advisers and staffs and is the host of the Ask Mike podcast. A former award-winning yearbook adviser, he has been awards the JEA Medal of Merit, a CSPA Gold Key and the Florida scholastic Press Association’s Gold Medallion.
Sabrina Schmitz, CJE, is a representative of Walsworth Yearbooks and is the former yearbook and newspaper adviser at J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity, Florida. Under her leadership, The Stampede yearbook was awarded multiple CSPA Crown awards, a NSPA Pacemaker Award and was a Design of the Year Finalist in 2012. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2013, was a District Teacher of the Year Finalist, and teaches at workshops and conventions around the country.
Tuesday, July 13 - Writing
Bobby Hawthorne is an Austin, Texas, writer and writing instructor. He is the author of the popular textbook, The Radical Write, as well as an assortment of books, handbooks, manuals, monographs and collections of fiction and non-fiction pieces. He has been involved in scholastic journalism since the fall of 1969, and he directed scholastic journalism contests for the University of Texas Interscholastic League from 1979-1999.He has received numerous accolades, including JEA’s highest award, the Carl Towley Award, and CSPA’s Charles O’Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has also received CSPA’s James F. Paschal Award as the nation’s outstanding scholastic press association director, and the Trailblazer Award from the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, its highest honor.
Wednesday, July 14 - Photography
Mark Murray retired in 2019 from the Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas, after 35 years as a classroom teacher and district technology director. For the past 33 years, Murray has served as the president and now executive director for the Association of Texas Photography Instructors. The organization of high school photography teachers from Texas and across North America annually sponsors photography and video contests for students and teachers. Murray is a Joseph M. Murphy and Gold Key recipient from the CSPA, a Pioneer Award winner from the NSPA, has been awarded the Carl Towley Award and Medal of Merit by the JEA, has been named a Trailblazer by the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, the Interscholastic League Press Conference in Texas has named him one of 75 Texas Legends of Scholastic Journalism and ATPI has presented him with their highest honor, the Star of Texas award.
Renée Burke, MJE, works as a media promotions manager for Orange County Public Schools. Previously, she taught at William R. Boone High School in Orlando, Florida, for 22 years. Burke is a nationally certified master journalism educator and JEA's 2015 H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year. She was also the 2012 OCPS Teacher of the Year, 2011 Florida Scholastic Press Association Journalism Teacher of the Year and Gold Medallion recipient and a 2011 Gold Key recipient from Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She advised the Legend yearbook and Hi-Lights newspaper for 20 and 21 years, respectively. Both publications earned CSPA Crown awards and National Scholastic Press Association Pacemakers.
Thursday, July 15 - Design
Gary Lundgren is the associate director of NSPA and manages the organization’s contests and critiques, including coordinating the Pacemaker competitions. During his ten years as director of student publications at the University of Arkansas, he received the CSPA Gold Key, NSPA Pioneer Award, JEA Medal of Merit and was inducted into the Scholastic Journalism Hall of Fame. The Razorback yearbook and The Arkansas Traveler newspaper both received Crown and Pacemaker recognition from ACP/NPSA and CSPA. Lundgren also served as director of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. In 2014, he received the ILPC Edith Fox King and the TAJE Friend of Journalism. During his 20 years as a senior marketing manager in the yearbook industry, he launched the company's look book, adviser university, edited three editions of a yearbook curriculum and edited a national yearbook magazine.
Susan Massy is the yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas, where her Lair yearbook staffs have been demonstrating excellence inwriting and design for the past two decades. The Lair was recently recognized as having won more Pacemakers than any other book in NSPA’s 100-year history. In 1999, Massy was chosen the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by JEA. In 2013, Massy was inducted into the Kansas Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame.
Becky Lucas Tate, CJE, has advised yearbook and newspaper at SM North for more than three decades. While there, her students have worked to put out strong publications for students to enjoy. Tate has also been honored with a few awards, including the 2019 YAOTY award from JEA. More importantly, two of the advisers in her district are former students. She also misses drinking Diet Coke, so if you have any alternative suggestions, just let her know.
Dow Tate advises the yearbook, newspaper and news website at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. He is co-author of Scholastic Journalism, 12th edition, and his students’ publications are consistent winners of the NSPA Pacemaker and the CSPA Gold Crown. Dow is in the Scholastic Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Oklahoma and has been named a Texas Legend, as one of the most influential people in the state’s scholastic journalism history. Tate was the 1997 Dow Jones News Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year and was chosen for a JEA Distinguished Adviser in 2007.
Leland Mallett, CJE, is the newspaper and yearbook adviser at Legacy High School in Mansfield, Texas. Legacy’s publications have won CSPA Crowns and NSPA Pacemakers in the short time the school has been open. In 2015, Mallett won Texas Journalism Adviser of the Year. He has also won the Edith Fox King Award, TAJE Trailblazer, Dow Jones News Fund Special Recognition Adviser and been named both a Distinguished and Special Recognition Adviser by JEA. This is year 19 of advising for Mallett and he continues to love the art of telling stories. But really, he’s most proud to tell stories about his three kids–of whom he’ll proudly provide a plethora of photos for you.
Alyssa Boehringer, CJE, began advising journalism at her alma mater, McKinney High School, in 2005. She advises the MHS1 broadcast, The Lion yearbook and online news site Mainstream News. She loves taking kids to journalism conventions all over the state and country, where her students are consistently ranked as some of the top in the nation, including multiple Pacemakers and Best of Show wins from NSPA and a UIL State Championship. A recipient of the Trailblazer Award from the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, the Edith Fox King Award from UIL and the Rising Star Award from JEA, she is president-elect for TAJE and is the 2017 National Broadcast Adviser of the Year for JEA.
Mitchell Franz is an independent photographer, video producer and marketing strategist. His work includes a wide range of people, places and things from Ross Perot to Istanbul, Turkey, to medical implants in Memphis. You'll also find Franz working with Jensen Larson Photography of Florida on additional visual projects covering events like Super Bowl parties and the Masters Tournament for luxury brands. A former award-winning scholastic journalistic, Franz actively participated in scholastic journalism throughout high school garnering many top awards. He teaches photography workshops around the country for many scholastic associations including UIL, ILPC, ATPI, NSPA, TAJE, Gloria Shields All-American Publications Workshop and more.
Brit Taylor, CJE, is a yearbook, newspaper and website adviser at Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida. He has advised yearbook for 27 years and newspaper for 23, and he has stuck with it for so long because he is drawn to the real-world application of high school journalism. Taylor appreciates the many lessons that publications teach. He is the president of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, and as a member of FSPA, JEA, NSPA and CSPA, Taylor has presented and critiqued for publications nationwide. His publications have won Pacemakers and Crowns, and if quarantine ever ends, his yearbook will be inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame for 10 straight years of All-American ratings, a sign of both consistency and, unfortunately, approaching old age. When not yearbooking, Brit likes to hike in national parks with his wife, Maureen, and their three kids.
Christina Porcelli advises the Panther yearbook, Pep O' Plant newspaper, PHS News and Paw Print literary magazine at H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. The Panther yearbook earned multiple CSPA Crowns, an NSPA Pacemaker and was a Design of the Year Finalist.
Courtney Hanks, MJE, advises the Odyssey yearbook and UHSpress news team at University High School in Orange City, Florida. She is an advocate for student journalists and advisers alike in their work to grow their journalism knowledge. Since beginning as an adviser in 2014, she has accomplished CSPA, NSPA and FSPA recognition and works to further journalism education through contributions to podcasts, magazines and online.
Cory Bentley is the adviser of The Growler, the yearbook at Archdale-Trinity Middle School in Trinity, N.C. The 2020-2021 school year is his eighth year as an adviser. Next year, he will open a new middle school in his district and will serve as the yearbook adviser at Trinity Middle School. He also teaches eighth grade science and social studies and advises Student Council and S.T.E.M. club at ATMS. During the summer, he works as an instructor at local yearbook workshops in his area. In high school, he was a member of the Trinhian staff at Trinity High School and served as Junior Editor during his junior year and as Editor-in-Chief his senior year. Since becoming the yearbook adviser, The Growler has been sent to the N.C. Scholastic Media Association and SIPA each year and has been ranked Superior overall and All-Southern in several categories. The 2020 volume "BE more" was awarded a "Tar Heel" from NCSMA and several books have been included in Walsworth's Gallery of Excellence. He rigorously pushes his students to create a book that captures the essence of the year throughout.
Jason Davis, CJE, is the adviser of the Oro yearbook at Cactus Canyon Junior High in Apache Junction, Arizona. With a background in journalism, he has advised yearbook for 11 years. The most recent volume was an NSPA Pacemaker finalist and All-American, as well as a CSPA Silver Crown winner and Gold Medalist. Davis also advised the school’s various editions of online newspapers, which earned both Gold and Silver Crowns. Cactus Canyon students have been recognized in several individual contests and Davis is proud to have advised the JEA’s 2020 Aspiring Young Journalist. A Minnesota native, Davis enjoys spending time with his wife, Meaghan, and two adorable boys, and is quite obsessed with baseball and Marvel.
Mark Murray retired in 2019 from the Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas after 35 years as a classroom teacher and district technology director. For the past 33 years, Murray has served as the President and now Executive Director for the Association of Texas Photography Instructors. The organization of high school photography teachers from Texas and across North America annually sponsors photography and video contests for students and teachers. Murray is a Joseph M. Murphy and Gold Key recipient from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, a Pioneer Award winner from the National Scholastic Press Association, has been awarded the Carl Towley Award and Medal of Merit by the national Journalism Education Association, has been named a Trailblazer by the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, the Interscholastic League Press Conference in Texas has named him one of 75 Texas Legends of Scholastic Journalism, and ATPI has presented him with their highest honor, the Star of Texas award.
Laurel Wicke, 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 two years running and in 2021 was announced as a Pacemaker Finalist by NSPA. She is also the proud mentor of this year's CSMA Colorado Middle School Journalist of the Year. Holding an English & 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 and being named yearbook adviser is the cherry on top! She'll give up the job only when they pry it out of her cold, dead hands.
Andrew Young, CJE, is in his seventh year advising The Round-Up yearbook at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has been named a 2017 Rising Star by JEA, 2018 Arkansas Adviser of the Year, 2018 Fayetteville Public Schools Teacher of the Year and 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni from the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. 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 2020 Round-Up received a Silver Crown from CSPA and was a NSPA Pacemaker. He currently serves as the President-Elect 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.
Individual Session Instructors
Susan McNulty, CJE advises yearbook and newspaper at J.W. Mitchell High in Trinity, Florida. She was named a JEA Rising Star in 2017, and FSPA and Pasco County TOY in 2019. Her students have been recognized by FSPA, JEA, NSPA and CSPA with All-American, All-Florida, Pacemaker and Crown awards.
Vanessa Martinez, CJE, has been yearbooking since her freshman year of high school when she was assigned to cover -- of all things -- cross country early on Saturday mornings. She worked for her college newspaper in El Paso, Texas, and graduated with her BA in Multimedia Journalism in 2012, after spending one semester working in D.C. at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. After graduating, she worked for the City Magazine and then the El Paso Times. In 2014, she became the yearbook adviser to The Legend at El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas. She teaches graphic design and commercial photography and also advises the student news website. In the seven years that she has been advising, her staff has earned three CSPA Silver Crowns, two NSPA Pacemakers, an NSPA Design of the Year award and two district UIL journalism championships. She was also a recipient of the JEA Rising Star Award in 2019. She loves that yearbook is an avenue for young people to discover their passions and use their voice.
Shannon Williams has partnered with thousands of yearbook staffs and creative groups across the country over the last 30 years with one goal – to do something amazing. As a former high school and college editor and high school adviser, Shannon has continued to hone his creative skill and share that with skill with others.
Throughout his professional yearbook career, he’s worked to develop educational curriculum, unique marketing and selling strategies, award-winning designs as well as serve as a creative problem solver. Shannon has inspired numerous Pacemaker and Crown recipients in the past two decades. He can frequently be seen at state and national conventions motivating and challenging participants to create amazing work. His strengths include design, color use, typography, coverage idea generation, theme and branding as well as technical proficiencies in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and a wide range of online creation solutions.
Michelle Shue is the Clarion yearbook adviser at Davie County High School in Mocksville, North Carolina. Michelle has taught journalism and English for 22 years, created and advised newspaper programs at two schools and has advised two different yearbook programs for a combined 10 years. In 2020, the Clarion was a Tar Heel Award winner from NCSPA, Honorable Mention for Design of the Year from NSPA and a top-three winner in four categories for Gold Circle Awards from CSPA. Michelle has judged yearbooks for CSPA for the last two years and presented two different adviser sessions at CSPA's Spring Conference in 2019. She has also served as a mentor for five different new advisers for the last three years through the Walsworth Mentee program.
Amy Morgan, MJE, teaches journalism and advises student publications at Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kansas. Morgan started her journalism career at Shawnee Mission North High School as a member and later co-editor of the newspaper staff and continued as a staff member of the Jayhawker yearbook at the University of Kansas. She has served on the KSPA executive board as an area representative, secretary and endowment chairperson. She served on the JEMKC board as representative, secretary/treasurer, vice president and president. Morgan was the local committee co-chair for the 2010 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Kansas City, and served on the committee for the Kansas City convention in 2000. She was named the Jackie Engle Award winner for outstanding journalism advising in Kansas in 2011 and was recognized as a special recognition adviser in the JEA yearbook adviser of the year program in 2014. She was named a Pioneer by NSPA in 2019. Morgan has been on the faculty of the Jayhawk Media Workshop, previously known as the Kansas Journalism Institute since 1997. She has taught workshops all over the country and has presented at national conventions. Her students have won local, state and national awards.
Julia Satterthwaite, MJE, advises El Valedor yearbook, El Estoque newsmagazine and elestoque.org at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California. Her students have earned top national and state honors. Satterthwaite served one term on the JEA board as a director-at-large and serves the JEANC board as digital media chair. She is an active JEA mentor and enjoys developing collaborative opportunities, sharing resources and advocating for journalism advisers and their students.
Brian Wilson, MJE, has taught for the last six years in the nation’s largest scholastic journalism program at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California. There he advises the yearbook and two 48-page bi-monthly print publications – C Magazine, which covers arts and culture and is an NSPA Pacemaker winner and a CSPA Gold Crown finalist, and Viking Sports Mag, which covers sports and is a CSPA Gold Crown finalist as well. He formerly was the yearbook, newspaper, and online news adviser for 18 years at Waterford Kettering High School in Michigan. He served as the Journalism Education Association’s NCTE liaison for four years, was Michigan’s JEA State Director for five years, is past-president of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and the most recent past-president of the JEANC. Wilson was Michigan's 2009 Golden Pen winner as state journalism adviser of the year, was a 2011 JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser, a 2014 Dow Jones Special Recognition Newspaper Adviser and the Waterford School District’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. He has advised in the summer at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference and the MIPA summer workshop and spent four summers teaching an online design class as an adjunct professor through Michigan State University.
Kathy Beers teaches photojournalism, contemporary media and advises The Creek yearbook at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas. She guides her students in class and at workshops to push the boundaries in ideas and marketing. Her staff has won numerous awards, including CSPA Gold Medals, NSPA All American and Gold Circle Individual Awards. She adores her family, dogs and yearbooks (in that order). She is a big believer in sharing skills and ideas with the rest of the yearbook family.
Dr. Tod Traughber, CJE, has worked in the publications industry in Central Arkansas. Currently serving as the adviser to The Wildcat yearbook and the Director of the Harding Academy Photography Staff, Traughber challenges his students to see life differently and capture those visions through a lens. He has been married to his college sweetheart for 27 years and has two teenage sons.
Tucker Love teaches journalism and advises publications at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He was recently named a 2020 Journalism Education Association Rising Star. Over the last three years, Love has worked with newspaper and yearbook staffs that create Kansas Scholastic Press Association All-Kansas, NSPA First Class and CSPA Gold Medalist quality work. He also serves on the KSPA and JEMKC boards, with the goal of improving scholastic journalism opportunities for students in Kansas and the Kansas City Metro.
Elizabeth Luna 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 ten years, including regular North Carolina Awards of Distinction and five Tar Heel awards from the North Carolina Scholastic Press Association. In 2020, The Torch earned a NSPA Pacemaker. In her 10-year career, she has 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.
Dan Sidwell is the journalism adviser at Freedom High School in Tampa, Florida, where he has been since 2015. Sidwell advises the Glory yearbook, Revolution newspaper and teaches Journalism 1. He is also the athletic business manager and boys golf coach and has won Boys Golf Coach of the Year in Hillsborough County in both 2017 and 2019. In 2019, Sidwell was named a Rising Star by the Journalism Education Association for his dedication to scholastic journalism over the first five years of years of his teaching career. The Glory yearbook and the Revolution newspaper have received over 40 awards from the Florida Scholastic Press Association since 2015 and for the first time in the 19-year history of Freedom, Glory received a rating of “All-Florida” in 2020 by the FSPA. Sidwell believe that students should be the driving force behind the publications that he advises, and his goal is to create leaders. Sidwell is a graduate of the University of South Florida and is currently taking classes to earn a master’s in educational leadership from Louisiana State University.
Karen Johnson, MJE, advises yearbook and broadcasting at Kearney High in Kearney, Missouri. She has been a journalism adviser for 17 years. She earned her EdS in Educational Technology and enjoys learning new technology, problem solving the most efficient ways for her Clipper yearbook, KHS-TV and Bulldog broadcasting staffs to use technology and sharing those ideas with others. Her students earned recognitions from MIPA, MJEA, JEMKC, NSPA and CSPA with All-Missouri, Best of Show and various other awards, including a CSPA Silver Crown award for the 2019 Clipper yearbook.
Ronna Sparks-Woodward, MJE, advises the Ayrie yearbook at Liberty North High School in Liberty, Missouri. After receiving her certification to teach English and journalism from the State of Missouri, Ronna has advised 23 yearbooks and looks forward to more years advising. Ronna loves almost every aspect of yearbook, from working with her students to organize the foundational aspects to seeing pages go from rough sketches to complete layouts. Her students’ work has consistently earned Gold Medals from CSPA and All Americans from NSPA, and several books have earned Pacemaker nominees from NSPA and Gold and Silver Crowns from CSPA.