Elite Weekend

"My editors and I walked out of Elite Weekend in awe of what
we accomplished in a short amount of time. The feedback we
get from the trainers is invaluable and we get time to put that
feedback into action. We get to make the changes to our theme,
to our design, to our book and it's in real time."
- Karla Sprague, yearbook adviser
Har-Ber High School, Springdale, Arkansas

Elite Weekend

Curriculum Highlights:

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

To Register:

Visit our 2019 Elite Weekend registration and payment pages.

Dates and Locations:

  • Nashville: Sept. 6-8, 2019
  • Kansas City and Orlando: Sept. 13-15, 2019
  • Anaheim: Sept. 20-22, 2019
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: Sept. 28-30, 2019

Dates, locations and specific instructors for each location are subject to change.

Cost: $175

Instructors (Locations listed next to name)

  • Martha Akers (Orlando)

    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.

  • Alyssa Boehringer (Kansas City)

    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 Manestream 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 TAJE, the Edith Fox King Award from UIL and the Rising Star Award from JEA, she is president-elect for the Texas Association of Journalism Educators and is the 2017 National Broadcast Adviser of the Year for JEA.

  • Renee Burke (Orlando)

    Renee Burke, NBCT, MJE, is the former yearbook and newspaper adviser at William R. Boone High School in Orlando, Florida, who now works as Media Promotions Manager for Orange County Public Schools. 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 also is a frequent teacher at national yearbook workshops. Under Burke's guidance, both Boone publications earned CSPA Crown awards and were NSPA Pacemaker Finalists.

  • Judy Cannaday (Nashville)

    Judy Cannaday, CJE, is the yearbook, newspaper, and online news site adviser at Palm Harbor University High School in Palm Harbor, Florida. The Aftermath has earned CSPA Crowns, FSPA Sunshine Standout and NSPA Pacemaker honors and is in the NSPA Hall of Fame. Cannaday was the Florida Journalism Teacher of the Year and was named a JEA Special Recognition Adviser. She has seen incredible changes in scholastic journalism in the 27 years she’s been an adviser, and she is so proud of the way students across the country embrace the challenges of being journalists in today’s world.

  • Jim Jordan (Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City)

    Jim Jordan is the former yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California, and now a special consultant for Walsworth. His books at Del Campo consistently won national awards, with the 2015 Decamhian most recently earning an NSPA Pacemaker. 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. 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.

  • Tiffany Kopcak (Anaheim)

    Tiffany Kopcak, MEd, CJE, NBCT, is the yearbook adviser at Colonial Forge High School in Northern Virginia. Her students' work has earned consistent Gold Medals with All-Colombian Honors, two CSPA Silver Crowns, NSPA All-American recognition, two NSPA Pacemaker Finalists, and top awards at the state level. In her 13-year career, she has judged for CSPA and NSPA and taught at workshops from NYC to Atlanta, where she promotes interviewing over writing and matching story formats to their purpose. In her free time, she has camped in the Sahara, been on a hit NBC crime drama, married her college sweetheart, worked as a catalog model and traveled to Narnia. She has the pictures to prove it.

  • Pete LeBlanc (Orlando)

    Pete LeBlanc is preparing for his 27th year of teaching journalism. He is the yearbook, magazine and broadcast adviser at Antelope High School in Northern California. Outside of the classroom, LeBlanc can be found spending time with his two little ones (Cora & Kennedy), preparing and consuming lots of sushi and closely following all that is Boston sports. LeBlanc's students have won CSPA Crown Awards and NSPA Pacemaker Awards. He was chosen the JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2007.

  • Leland Mallett (Anaheim, Kansas City)

    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.

  • Susan Massy (Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville)

    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 19th 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.

  • Becky Tate (Nashville)

    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 (Anaheim, Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville, Orlando)

    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.

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

    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.