Illinois JEA

IJEA Hall of Fame


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Honoring Our Trailblazers


Online Nomination Form

2020 Submission Deadline EXTENDED to Aug. 1


The Illinois Journalism Education Association honors individual scholastic media educators who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the success and progress of IJEA and scholastic media education

IJEA Hall of Fame inductees have served IJEA and the education of student journalists in Illinois by contributing to the field of student journalism and achieving personal goals related to student journalism.

Illinois has a long history of exemplary scholastic journalism, and these inductees have preserved and advanced this tradition.

The inaugural class for the IJEA Hall of Fame was inducted at IJEA’s 20th anniversary dinner Sept. 20, 2008, at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. A second group was inducted in 2014, followed by the third group in 2017 and a fourth in 2019.

A permanent display and tribute to the Hall of Fame members is located at the headquarters of the Illinois Press Association/Illinois Press Foundation in Springfield, home of the IJEA since 2019.

 


Annual Deadline: 2020 Submission Deadline EXTENDED to Aug. 1


Our Hall of Fame induction ceremonies generally take place at the Advisers Breakfast at the IHSA journalism state finals in the spring. The award is not necessarily given each year.

 


How to Nominate a Candidate


You may nominate a candidate by using our online nomination form below. Please note that we no longer use PDF forms for award nominations.

 


Online Form


Click here to access the online nomination form for this award.

 


2008 Inductees


Candace Perkins Bowen
St. Charles High School (Kane County)

• Longtime adviser at St. Charles High School
• Co-founder, IJEA
• National JEA president
• 1989 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund High School Journalism Teacher of the Year
• Workshop leader
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• Co-author (with Susan Hathaway Tantillo) of resource book on English and journalism
• Director, Center for Scholastic Journalism, Kent State University
• 2013 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award recipient


Sarah Doerner
Du Quoin High School (Perry County)

• Longtime adviser at Du Quoin High School, now retired
• IJEA president
• IJEA board member
• Regional leader
• 2005 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient


Dana Ewell
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign County)

• Longtime journalism professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Longtime director, Illinois State High School Press Association Fall Conference (now IJEA Fall Conference)
• High school outreach director, UIUC
• Reporter and editor, Decatur Herald & Review
• Passed away in January 2003


Melinda Foys
Conant High School (Cook County)

• Longtime adviser, James B. Conant High School, now retired
• Co-founder, IJEA
• IJEA president
• IJEA board member
• 2001 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient


Diana Peckham
Pekin Community High School (Tazewell County)

• Longtime adviser at Pekin Community High School
• Adviser at Morton High School
• Co-founder, IJEA
• IJEA president
• Workshop leader
• 2006 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
• Passed away in September 2010


Randy Swikle
Johnsburg High School (McHenry County)

• Longtime adviser at Johnsburg High School, now retired
• Co-founder, IJEA
• Two-time IJEA president
• JEA Illinois state director
• Workshop leader
• Certified Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• 1999 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year
• 2003 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient


Susan Hathaway Tantillo
Wheeling High School (Cook County)

• Longtime adviser at Wheeling High School, now retired
• Co-founder, IJEA
• Longtime IJEA treasurer
• National JEA officer
• Workshop leader
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• Co-author (with Candace Perkins Bowen) of resource book on English and journalism
• 2001 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient


James Tidwell
Eastern Illinois University (Coles County)

• Longtime journalism professor, Eastern Illinois University
• Lawyer and media law expert
• Author of definitive text on Illinois media law
• IJEA co-founder
• IJEA executive secretary/director for IJEA’s first 18 years
• High school outreach proponent, EIU
• Workshop director, EIU
• Proponent and co-organizer of Illinois High School Association state journalism tournament
• Passed away in April 2014


Tom Winski
Monmouth High School (Warren County)

• Longtime adviser at Monmouth High School, now retired
• Co-founder, IJEA
• IJEA board member
• Co-author (with Sheryl Hinman) of journalism textbook
• College journalism educator
• Workshop leader
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• 2015 JEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

 


2014 Inductees


Wayne Brasler
University of Chicago Laboratory High School (Cook County)

• Longtime adviser at University of Chicago Laboratory High School, now retired
• 1981 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year
• Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Key recipient
• National Scholastic Press Association Pioneer Award recipient
• NSPA “Brasler Prize” namesake (annual award for best overall NSPA Story of the Year winner)
• Co-author (with Tom Rolnicki) of NSPA newspaper guidebook
• Perennial JEA listserv presence
• National scholastic leader


Linda Kane
Naperville Central High School (DuPage County)

• Longtime adviser at Naperville Central High School, now retired
• Adviser at Danville High School
• JEA Illinois state director
• Certified Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• 1996 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Distinguished Adviser Award recipient
• 2010 JEA Lifetime Award recipient


Cathy Wall
Harrisburg High School (Saline County)

• Longtime adviser at Harrisburg High School
• IJEA board member
• Illinois High School Association state journalism tournament originator, proponent and organizer
• Southern Illinois School Press Association executive director
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)

 


2017 Inductees


Brenda Field
Glenbrook South High School (Cook County)

•  Yearbook adviser at Glenbrook South High School, perennial Pacemaker book
•  IJEA State Director
• Recipient of the James A. Tidwell Award for Excellence in Scholastic Media Education (2017)
• Speaker and instructor at various yearbook conferences and workshops
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• Spearheaded passage of New Voices Illinois (Speech Rights of Student Jouranlists Act) into law (2016)


Stan Zoller
Lake Forest College (Lake County)

• Longtime adviser at Rolling Meadows High School
• Former JEA Regional Director
• Former IJEA State Director
• Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association
• Distinguished Adviser, Dow Jones News Fund (2011)
• Member of the Chicago Headline Club
• Peter Lisago Award, Chicago Headline Club (2011)
• Master Journalism Educator (certified by national JEA)
• Spearheaded passage of New Voices Illinois (Speech Rights of Student Jouranlists Act) into law (2016)

 


2019 Inductees


John Gonczy
Marist High School (Cook County)

• Longtime newspaper adviser and journalism teacher at Marist High School in Chicago
• From his 2019 induction:

John Gonczy has been a workhorse for scholastic journalism in Illinois and for the IJEA since 2003. Although he is IJEA president now, often he has worked behind the scenes to make sure advisers and students have good experiences, whether it be at the IJEA Fall Conference or the IJEA Adviser Breakfast at the IHSA state tournament.

• From his 2019 induction:

The IJEA Hall of Fame is for scholastic media educators who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the success and progress of IJEA and scholastic media education. John has done that, in spades. He has served on the executive board of IJEA in several capacities, now as its president. He has been on committees such as membership.

• From his 2019 induction:

He has been a proponent and contributor to the IHSA state journalism tournament, for many years serving as the awards ceremony emcee and as a member of the Advisory Committee. He has been an officer with the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago. In each of these arenas, John has devoted himself to their betterment and to supporting those with whom he works. He is efficient, meticulous and encouraging.

• From his 2019 induction:

John Gonczy belongs on the wall of fame along with our organization’s legends. All were devoted to IJEA and to the promise of high school journalism by recognizing excellence and working to ensure that advisers and their students know they are supported. Congratulations to John Gonczy, a 2019 IJEA Hall of Fame member.


Dr. Dan Kerns
Richwoods High School (Peoria County)

• Longtime newspaper adviser, yearbook adviser and journalism teacher at Richwoods High School in Peoria
• From his 2019 induction:

Dan has been an officer for the organization for many years. Recently he was the meticulous secretary/co-secretary of the IJEA. He has rarely missed a meeting, even going so far each year to hurry to the annual June meeting after running a race in Peoria with his son. He and his wife Barb have hosted the spring board meeting for many years, and he can be counted on to be a calm voice of reason. As a broadcast instructor, he also has been a wonderful announcer at some of our more formal events.

•  From his 2019 induction:

Working to support scholastic journalism throughout our state, Dan has hosted IHSA sectionals, encouraged his students to pursue journalism after high school, including having an Illinois Journalist of the Year and several All-Staters, and many who have gone into the media industry. He has served on the IHSA Journalism Advisory Committee, and he now represents IJEA in those annual meetings with the IHSA. He is always willing to serve.

• From his 2019 induction:

Finally, Dan is an amazing adviser. It goes without saying that he is one of the best broadcast advisers in the state, being the model for how to teach electronic media. His classrooms are a showpiece and advisers and others often visit his facilities to see how it should be done. But he also advises yearbook and newspaper, and he has trained himself admirably in those media, too. He is committed to excellence from his students.


Dave Porreca
University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Champaign County)

• Newspaper and digital news media adviser at University of Illinois Laboratory High School (“Uni High”) from 1995 to 2010
• IJEA president from 2001 to 2004, during which he proposed and developed the concept of an IJEA All-State Journalism Team:

— Established criteria for team selection
— Prepared all nomination and application material
— Worked with Illinois Press Association to set up annual event in Springfield celebrating team members

• Led his Uni High students in making transition from monthly print newspaper to daily multimedia news website
• Adviser of first Illinois high school news website to win  an NSPA Online Pacemaker Award (2006-07)
• Adviser of nine NSPA Pacemaker finalist publications (five print, four online) and six NSPA Pacemaker winners (four print, two online)
• Coach of IHSA state champion journalism team (2009) and IHSA state runner-up team (2008)
• Served on IHSA Journalism Advisory Committee (2008-10)
• Adviser of three Illinois Journalist of the Year winners and one National Journalist of the Year finalist
• Redesigned IJEA’s website and served IJEA’s first social media director
• Oversaw transition and expansion of IJEA’s Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest from mail-in event to competition done entirely online:

— Created online submission forms for every category
— Created contest home page
— Wrote and/or revised descriptions of each category
— Prepared instructions for advisers and students

• Has administered IJEA’s Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest annually since 2015-16
• Has chaired IJEA Contest Committee since 2015


Carol Smith
Lovington High School (now Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond H.S., Douglas County)

• Longtime newspaper adviser at Lovington High School, now retired
• From her 2019 induction:

During her long career as newspaper adviser at Lovington High School, Carol inspired her students and community. She modeled close relationships with area professional media, she taught her students solid reporting and editing skills, and she stood up for them in various arenas. She is still in contact with many of her former students, and she is continually proud of their accomplishments, whether they stayed in journalism or not. She continued to educate herself on journalism curriculum, ethics and law, and she was an early supporter of the IHSA state journalism tournament––and she even judged two categories last year! Even though there is no more Lovington High School, she insisted that a newspaper class be part of the new consolidated school, and she has worked diligently to ensure its stability and growth.

• From her 2019 induction:

Carol has been a JEA mentor for Illinois since IJEA joined the program in the second wave of states, each year mentoring new teachers from small programs in Illinois, from Chicago and sometimes even from out of state. Her reports are thorough and indicate her commitment to the teachers, their students and their schools. She admirably has represented Illinois in the national training and at national conventions, and she has encouraged her mentees to take advantage of every training and learning opportunity. Finally, on the national level she is a write-off judge in her capacity as a mentor.

• From her 2019 induction:

For our state organization she has served as a director for Region 5 for a number of years, and she has added to the list of responsibilities by serving on the Contest Committee and on the Chicago 2018 Local Committee. For the Contest Committee, she helped revamp the Newspaper Contest to include digital media, and she continues to weigh in on decisions made each year to fine-tune the contest. She is also a presenter at the Fall Convention and at regional writing conventions at Eastern Illinois University each fall, showing teachers how they can incorporate journalist writing assignments into their classrooms.


 

Official site: Illinois Journalism Education Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703
IJEA Hall of Fame