Who We Are & Member Guide

The Texas Association of Journalism Educators is a network of classroom teachers, experienced educators, industry professionals and friends of scholastic journalism. Serving Texas journalism teachers, TAJE’s goal is to provide resources, advocacy and mentorship to our membership.

• To establish a support system for Texas journalism instructors.
• To emphasize and teach responsible and ethical journalism and to be a catalyst for lessons in freedom of expression and democracy.
• To impart an understanding of the development and purpose of journalism in our schools.
• To provide its members with experiences and information to develop the qualities and attributes basic to successful teaching of journalism and directing of publications.
• To provide information on new developments, trends, practices and standards to raise the quality of school publications.
• To work with the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education to establish professional criteria for journalism education.

• Provide access to a network of classroom leaders and mentors to help build a strong scholastic journalism community.
• Advocate for Texas journalism teachers with state agencies.
• Host the Fall Fiesta convention annually* in October. Convention activities include instructional sessions for students and teachers, on-site critiques and competitions.
• Recognize teachers, administrators and professionals who make significant contributions to scholastic journalism. The Pathfinder Award honors journalism educators with seven years or less experience. The Trailblazer Award honors people who set trends and shape Texas journalism. The Texas Treasure honors retired teachers who have made significant contributions to scholastic journalism. The Friend of Journalism Award recognizes professionals and others who support the scholastic journalism community. The Administrator of the Year Award honors campus leadership who supports the journalism educational experience.
• Honor a graduating senior with the $1,500 Bill Taylor Memorial Scholarship for the Texas Journalist of the Year. The Texas JOY is entered in the Journalism Education Association’s national competition.
• Award four additional $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors, six summer workshop scholarships to students and up to three summer workshop scholarships to teachers.
• Sponsor contests to honor and recognize student work. Sponsor a Student Advisory Panel, which is elected from students statewide to advise and assist the Executive Board.

Volunteer opportunities
• Proctor/judge a contest at Fall Fiesta convention
• Present a session at Fall Fiesta convention
• Judge Best in Texas contest
• Mentor other advisers
• Run for Regional Representative or Executive Board (two-year terms)
• Special committees on an as-needed basis
• Share experience and lesson ideas on TAJE website

• Fall Fiesta — annual October convention in San Antonio with keynote by professional working journalists, on-site and carry-in contests, seminar sessions, publication Best of Show awards
• Regional Workshops
• Digital publishing workshop in summer with expert instructors. Co-sponsored with School Newspapers Online.
• TAJE Talk, periodic online discussions on topics of interest to journalism teachers and publications advisers

• On-site photography, video and write-offs at Fall Fiesta convention
• Best in Texas (formerly Clips Contest)
• CenTex UIL virtual meet



President: Alyssa Boehringer, McKinney HS
President-elect:  Samantha Berry, Bridgeland HS Cy-Fair
Past President: Margie Raper, Rock Hill HS, Prosper
Secretary: Kari Riemer, Hendrickson HS, Pflugerville
Treasurer: Rebecca Potter, Texas HS, Texarkana
State Director:  Leah Waters, Heritage HS, Frisco
Contest Director: Andrea Negri, Bellaire HS, Bellaire
Webmaster: Leland Mallett, Legacy HS, Mansfield
Convention Director Susan Duncan, Longview
Executive Director; Cindy Todd, Austin

ILPC Liaison Jeanne Acton-Shanks, Austin
ATPI Liaison: Mark Murray, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mentorship Chair: Kristen Scott, Kealing MS, Austin
Curriculum Chair: Natalie Brown, Carroll Senior HS, Southlake
Legislative & Policy Chair David Doerr, W. Charles Akins HS, Austin