Illinois JEA

Sarah Doerner

Sarah Doerner : June 2006 – Present

president of IJEA

IJEA Is “Off and Running”
by President Sarah Doerner

Celebrate.” Among references listed in Webster’s Dictionary, “celebrate” means to “commemorate, observe, remember, enjoy oneself, have fun, have a party, extol, eulogize and pay tribute to mark a significant or happy day or event, or to honor or praise publicly.” Choose the word or words you think best means “celebrate,” and you will find many of these being used as IJEA plans its 20th anniversary.

A paper was signed on April 15, 1988 to form the association, following a planning meeting at the University of Illinois by a group of journalism advisers with the assistance of Tom Winski and Randy Swikle. On Aug. 19, 1988, IJEA was officially incorporated.

Much has happened since 1988. For example, in 1988 Benazir Bhutto became the prime minister of Pakistan. She was the first woman leader of an Islamic country. Bhutto was dismissed in 1996 under corruption charges and lived in exile until October 2007, when she returned to Pakistan, and today she is attempting to regain some power again.

Things have run more smoothly for IJEA since its formation in 1988. The IJEA board of directors and officers are currently developing a schedule and activities for celebrating its anniversary in 2008. A ballroom has been booked for Sept. 20, 2008 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston for an anniversary celebration banquet. Arrangements are also being made for a time during the fall JEA Conference in St. Louis, on Nov. 13-16, 2008, for IJEA members attending to meet and celebrate as IJEA continues its support of scholastic journalism into its next 20 years.

Here are 20 reasons to celebrate 20 years of IJEA:
1. Selection and recognition by IJEA of the student “Illinois Journalist of the Year.”
2. Informative IJEA Web site and newsletters.
3. Partnership of IJEA with other journalism groups such as JEA and the Illinois Press Association.
4. Recognition of outstanding performances and award winning IJEA individual member advisers.
5. Increased adviser membership in IJEA.
6. Success of IJEA awards program – “All-State Journalism Team,” “Administrator of the Year,” and “Friend of Journalism.”
7. Cooperation of IJEA and IHSA in the development of statewide journalism competition for high school students.
8. IJEA support for opportunities for interaction of media teachers/advisers and student staffs.
9. Development of IJEA support for and links with the state regional high school press associations.
10. Dedicated and hard-working IJEA Board of Directors.
11. Recruitment of publication advisers and journalism teachers to leadership roles in IJEA.
12. Resolve by IJEA to increase development of journalism resources and curriculum materials and for the sharing of ideas and maintaining data relevant to media education.
13. IJEA assistance and encouragement as it seeks to connect, communicate, and provide support for media advisers and teachers.
14. The organized and forward-thinking planning efforts of the IJEA officers.
15. Creation of IJEA board policies and updated bylaws to meet current interests and needs of its members and for fostering ongoing awareness of career education and opportunities in journalism and mass communications.
16. Outstanding leadership services of Dr. James Tidwell and the current IJEA Executive Director Sally Turner.
17. Cheers for the contributions of advisers who formed IJEA and continue to support its purpose.
18. Cultivation and maintenance of positive working associations with professional media organizations.
19. An IJEA pledge to continue its promotion of high standards in scholastic journalism and the elevation of the status of secondary school media programs in Illinois for decades to come.
20. Opportunity to renew past adviser acquaintances and make new friends while sharing “celebration” cake at the 20th Anniversary Banquet.
Additional messages with plans for other activities will be forthcoming during the next few months. Let’s have a party, have fun, pay tribute to special honorees, as IJEA honors its past 20 years with a “celebration!” That celebration will also be the start of its next 20 years of encouragement and support for scholastic journalism.
Sarah Doerner, IJEA president

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Sarah Doerner