Elite Weekend

"This is by far the best yearbook we have produced and we
attribute that to Elite Weekend. My editors came home from
the trip more inspired than ever, and they said they had learned
so much that they had more confidence in their leadership
role as editors."
- Leslie Price, yearbook adviser
Rogers High School, Rogers, Arkansas

Elite Weekend

Curriculum Highlights:

  • Hot design ideas
  • Theme copy to rev up your readers
  • Leadership
  • Headline design/Secondary coverage
  • Specialty design
  • Photography

Dates, Locations and Costs:

  • Kansas City: Sept. 8-10, 2017; $150 – SOLD OUT
  • Anaheim: Sept. 15-17, 2017; $150
  • Orlando: Sept. 22-24, 2017; $175
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017; $150
  • Washington, D.C.: Oct. 13-15, 2017; $150

Instructors (vary by location)

  • Martha Akers (Orlando, Washington, D.C.)

    Martha Akers, the 2005 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, has been advising yearbook and teaching photojournalism at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Virginia, for three decades. The Saga has received NSPA Pacemakers, CSPA Gold Crowns and VHSL’s Trophy. Akers speaks at and directs conventions and workshops nationwide and is a contributor to various scholastic journalism publications. She co-authored CSPA’s Scholastic Yearbook Fundamentals and the CSPA yearbook critique.

  • Renee Burke (Kansas City)

    Renee Burke, NBCT, MJE, is a yearbook and newspaper adviser at William R. Boone High School in Orlando, Florida. Burke is JEA's 2015 Yearbook Adviser of the Year, a JEA 2014 Distinguished Adviser, 2012 OCPS Teacher of the Year, 2011 FSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year, and a 2011 CSPA Gold Key recipient. She just wrapped up her 18th year advising yearbook and her 19th year advising the newspaper. She also teaches national yearbook workshops and coordinates Camp Orlando. Both publications have earned CSPA Crown awards and been a NSPA Pacemaker Finalist; the 2011 yearbook earned a Gold Crown and a Pacemaker.

  • Paul Fantaski (Washington, D.C.)

    A mathematics teacher at Kiski Area High School in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, Paul Fantaski advised 22 yearbooks throughout his career before retiring from yearbook in 2016. Under Fantaski’s guidance, the Campus yearbook won dozens of national awards, including two CSPA Silver Crowns and 10 PSPA All-State Keystone Championships. He won the 2012 PSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year Award and now serves as the PSPA President. Fantaski has taught yearbook-related skills in various workshops all around the country.

  • Jim Jordan (Kansas City)

    Jim Jordan is the yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. His books consistently win national awards, with the 2015 Decamhian most recently earning an NSPA Pacemaker. He has been a yearbook adviser for more than 30 years, and over the years the Decamhian yearbook has earned numerous Pacemaker and CSPA Gold Crown honors. Jim was the 1996 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, and 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 remains an innovator in the yearbook industry.

  • Crystal Kazmierski (Dallas-Fort Worth)

    With a background in commercial art, Crystal Kazmierski advises the Wings yearbook at Arrowhead Christian Academy in Redlands, California, and teaches design and photography at journalism workshops and conventions across the country. In 2000, Crystal was selected the National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by the JEA. She was also awarded a Gold Key award in 2002 by the CSPA and a Pioneer Award in 2007 by the NSPA. Under Crystal’s guidance, Wings has received multiple CSPA Gold Crown and NSPA Pacemaker awards; including winning a Yearbook Pacemaker 18 times in the last 19 years.

  • Leland Mallett (Washington, D.C.)

    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 JEA Special Recognition Adviser. This is year 18 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.

  • Susan Massy (Anaheim)

    Susan Massy is the yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas, where her Lair yearbook staffs have been demonstrating excellence in writing and design for the past two decades. The Lair recently won its 18th Pacemaker award from the NSPA under Massy’s guidance. 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.

  • Lori Oglesbee (Orlando)

    Lori Oglesbee, M.Ed., MJE, has advised high school publications for the past 32 years. She was also a Track 2 instructor at last year's Walsworth Adviser Academy. Oglesbee was named the 2009 National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by JEA. In 2005, she was named the Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year. Her yearbook and newspaper staffs have won Gold Crowns, Pacemakers, Best of Show and numerous other state, regional and national awards.

  • Becky Tate (Dallas-Fort Worth)

    Becky Tate, CJE, is the newspaper and yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas, where her staffs have consistently earned All-American and Medalist ratings along with CSPA Crown and NSPA Pacemaker awards. Tate received a CSPA Gold Key in 2010, the JEA Medal of Merit in 2008 and the Jackie Engel Award for the Outstanding Kansas Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2001 from the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press. She was named a newspaper Special Recognition Adviser by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund in 1997 and a JEA Special Recognition Adviser in yearbook in 1999.

  • Dow Tate (Anaheim)

    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 a JEA Distinguished Adviser in 2007.

  • Mike Taylor (All locations)

    Mike Taylor, CJE, is a Key Accounts Manager 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.

  • C. Bruce Watterson (Anaheim, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Orlando)

    A public relations professor and communications consultant, C. Bruce Watterson, Ph.D., currently chairs CSPA’s Judging Practices and Crown Awards competition. Watterson has received top honors from national and regional scholastic journalism associations, the latest being CSPA’s Joseph W. Murphy Award in 2011. Known for his work with yearbook and magazine trends, particularly in design, graphics and packaging, Watterson has taught more than 500 workshops in 48 states plus China, Europe and Australia.