October 26, 2012 / 2012 Fall JEA/NSPA / 75 Scholars / News

Walsworth helping Boerne students get first convention experience

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

To improve themselves and their school’s journalism program – those are two of several reasons eight yearbook staff members from Boerne High School in Boerne, Texas, are excited they will be driving the 45 minutes south to San Antonio to attend the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention next month.

The students’ convention registration is being paid for by Walsworth. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the company is partnering with NSPA and JEA to provide scholarships to 75 Texas students to cover registration to the convention Nov. 15-18.

Abbe Alexander, a senior and the editor-in-chief, said she is looking forward to what she will learn to strengthen herself as a journalist and to improve her school’s journalism program. Alexander plans to attend the University of Alabama next fall and major in telecommunications, but her school does not have a newspaper or broadcast program, additions she wants to see for future students.

“The convention would be a huge stepping stone to make our organization a bigger and stronger organization,” Alexander said.

Alexander said Boerne adviser Beth Manz has a lot of good ideas for improving their program. Manz, a business teacher, advised the yearbook for the first time last year, then earned her certification to teach journalism. Last summer, she was accepted into the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute Fellowship program at the University of Texas. As part of the institute, she was given a JEA membership.

“JEA has been a tremendous help with the curriculum for the journalism students at Boerne High School. The JEA website is a tremendous resource,” said Manz. “The November convention in San Antonio will give all of us the opportunity to learn more about journalism, train with some of the best journalism teachers in the nation and inspire us to take what we have learned at the convention and apply it at Boerne.”

Mikayla Rainone, a junior and co-editor of the yearbook, said she is looking forward to the variety of speakers the staff will get a chance to see at the convention.

“I just really wanted to go see the professionals there and hear what they have to say,” Rainone said. “I would just like to be well-rounded in everything, being co-editor.”

Sophomore Emery Dorman, a yearbook staff photographer and self-proclaimed “staff perfectionist” said she hopes the convention will providing an opportunity for staff bonding.

“I really wanted to go because I think it would be a great opportunity to broaden my horizons, to help with editing yearbook, and go and bond with my fellow classmates and adviser,” said Dorman.

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Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.