Virtual Wk_PIVOT

challenges you’ve never faced as a staff before?

Trying to get used to the “new normal”?

Feeling like you’re a new adviser all over again?

Here’s help

We invited some passionate, long-time advisers to discuss current topics like building a culture when you’re not face to face full-time (or at all!), getting great photos from a distance, changing your coverage plans and more.
In the videos below, they share ideas, suggestions and options.

we’re all in this together.

Session 1: September 17

team building: bringing distance learning close to home

Worried about using an online platform to teach effectively? We’ve learned a few things about how to create a dynamic virtual learning environment that builds relationships and promotes collaboration. Icebreakers, team building, new staff positions, virtual classroom organization; we’ve got you covered. Plus, a few proven tips for use with virtual meeting platforms.

Barak Smith is a veteran teacher and workshop lecturer of 20 years. He began his teaching career working with Title 1 schools developing the Collaborative Arts Resource Education (CARE) program with the Museum of Contemporary Arts San Diego before becoming department chair at The Preuss School UCSD where he taught AP Art History and Studio Art. Barak is now the adviser of The Classical Academy yearbook and Crimson newspaper (online and print) as well as the graphic design and photography teacher.


Session 2: September 24

Find your focus: facing challenges in yearbook photography

With distance and hybrid learning models, sports seasons and extracurriculars in disarray, and masks covering faces, yearbook staffs have never faced more challenges in capturing photographs to tell the story of the year. Join award-winning advisers and “photo bros” Jed Palmer and Mike Simons for a conversation and Q&A full of tips and tricks for the year ahead — from maximizing smartphone photography to how to crowdsource from your community, you’ll come away with practical advice you can put to use immediately.

Jed Palmer, CJE, is the journalism adviser at Sierra Middle School in Parker, CO, working with yearbook, news and broadcasting students. His students have earned numerous state and national awards, including NSPA Pacemakers, CSPA Crowns and several NSPA Picture of the Year awards. Palmer was both Colorado Adviser of the Year and JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2013.

Mike Simons, MJE, advises the award-winning Tesserae yearbook at Corning-Painted Posted HS in upstate New York and serves as president of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers’ Association. One of the facilitators of the New Voices New York campaign, Simons hosts the popular Yearbook Whys podcast (@YearbookWhys) and considers coffee a food group.


Session 3: October 1

Different Year, Different Ladder, Same Great Coverage

We can all agree that your 2021 yearbook — from planning to production to publication — is going to be different. There’s no way around it. As planning continues and production begins, it’s important to continue seeing the opportunities presented by the year. If a yearbook really is a history book that covers the events of the year, you’ll have to think outside of the box and find ways to not just organize and plan but work through the year like you never have before. This session will give you tips, tricks and ideas for doing just that.

Erinn Harris, MJE, advises Techniques yearbook, tjTODAY newspaper, tjTODAY Online and TJTV at Thomas Jefferson H.S. for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. Her staffs have earned CSPA Silver Crowns, NSPA Pacemakers, Gold Medalist and All-American critiques and many state and local awards. JEA named Harris a 2016 Distinguished Yearbook Adviser and she was named the CSPA/Dow Jones National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2020.


Session 4: October 8

What We Think we learned from first quarter

As school began, none of us had any idea what the year would be like. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. We made and changed decisions as situations continued to evolve. As first quarter ends, we’ve been reminded of some yearbook truths: There will be a yearbook. The school is filled with compelling characters. Our staffers are creative problem solvers and great thinkers. And, we’ve had the chance to learn a few things too. Join us for a look at some new best practices, ideas that have worked and others that led to more changes. We’re in this together!

Carrie Faust, MJE, got her start in yearbooking in 1987 when her cross country coach — also the yearbook adviser — said, “Girl, you have got to get over your shyness and start meeting people!” Now, almost 30 years later, it seems like that plan worked better than anyone could have imagined. Today, known for her energy and enthusiasm, Carrie advises the Smoky Hill Summit yearbook, NEXT feature magazine, online news, and teaches at yearbook workshops and journalism conferences across the country every year. A former JEA Board Member, she was one of JEA’s Rising Stars in 2008, a Distinguished Adviser in 2009, the Colorado Journalism Teacher of the year in 2011 and a JEA Medal of Merit honoree.

Here’s the Intro to Slack video referenced in the webinar:

Special thank you to Mike Simons for sharing.


Session 5: October 15

The people section reimagined — GIVE YOUR READERS MORE

Lots of time is spent designing our theme pages and creating new section designs, but more than half of your book is probably made up of these reference pages. You may have never given your mug shot pages much thought. Now when even getting the portrait has become more complicated, we’ll look at ways to reinvent these sections, make sure we’re covering everybody, incorporate interesting coverage and design to make sure that these pages are the best they can be and give your readership MORE.

Meghan Percival, MJE, teaches photojournalism and AP Psychology and advises the yearbook staff at McLean High School (VA). The Caledonia staff has been recognized with the NSPA Pacemaker and CSPA Gold Crown and was inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame. She earned a Gold Key from CSPA in 2013, was a 2014 JEA Distinguished Adviser and was recognized with the 2018 JEA Medal of Merit and in 2019 the NSPA Pioneer Award.

Special thanks to Chris Waugaman for joining us.
Check out his full blog post on DIY School Portraits here:


Session 6: October 22

You’ve Got This!

It’s likely everyone here has faced at least one unexpected challenge already this school year. And that’s probably not the end of it. The great news is that yearbookers are resilient and resourceful and in 2021 — JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER YEAR — the yearbook will come out. Like we find in the process and in the yearbook, we’ll have lots of stories to tell in years to come.

Justin Daigle, CJE, advises the Reflections yearbook at Brighton High School in Colorado. His students’ publications have earned state and national awards including five CSPA Crowns and a NSPA Pacemaker. Daigle has received the CSPA Gold Key (2020) and was named the CSMA Teacher of the Year (2009), JEA Rising Star (2010) and Special Recognition (2014) and Distinguished (2016) Yearbook Adviser of the Year. He serves as JEA Colorado State Director.