Each year after the fall convention the new IHSPA board meets for a weekend retreat to evaluate the organization specifically and the state of scholastic journalism in general as we list priorities for the next year.
It’s a daunting task due to the variety of our schools. IHSPA represents some schools with fewer than 100 students in four grades and others with more than 4,000. We include public and private institutions, rural and urban. Some of Indiana’s journalism programs were established 100 years ago while others are building or rebuilding.
The board tries to consider the variety of needs as we plan programs and services. We always appreciate feedback for current programs and suggestions. Our next big event is the First Amendment Symposium at the Statehouse March 3, 2009. The finalists for Indiana High School Journalist of the Year will be introduced and the recipient of this honor will at announced in addition to essay and First Amendment Project winners. We hope many schools will plan to attend and participate in this year’s symposium.
Regional workshops and seminars are smaller events planned to help publication staffs benefit from programs within their geographical area. J-Ideas and IHSPA co-sponsored a Scholastic Partnership Seminar for Fort Wayne schools on December 5. We have others planned for second semester. Anyone interested in an opportunity for a regional workshop should contact me for information.
One of the most important things we can do is communicate with each other to share concerns and ideas. The better we connect the more IHSPA can help everyone. I look forward to hearing from you.