2012 JEANC Board of Directors election

The backgrounds of the candidates are presented below in alphabetical order:

Ellen Austin advises the Palo Alto H.S. Viking sportsmagazine and website, and co-advises INfocus broadcast. She is the 2011 Cal-JEC Educator of the Year and the 2012 Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. She chairs the SPLC steering committee and has served on the JEA board.

Michelle Balmeo teaches English, AVID, Journalism and Writing for Publication at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. She is the adviser of El Estoque, student newsmagazine and website, which have received a number of honors from national organizations. She is currently JEANC president, and previously worked as membership chair and web designer. In her term as president, she worked as director of the Digital RENOvation summer workshop and is looking forward to planning the Fall 2013 State convention. She has worked as membership chair, co-contest coordinator and web designer, as well.

Kristy Blackburn has been the journalism adviser for The Oracle at Gunn High School for eight years.  In her years of advising, she has overseen the implementation of The Oracle website, as well as a Facebook and Twitter presence. She serves as Vice-President of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club board, and helps organize the fall High School Journalism Boot Camp. Blackburn also teaches English and co-coordinates Not In Our Schools Week at Gunn.

Don Bott has advised high school publications for more than 25 years. For the past 21 years he has advised the award-winning Stagg Line newspaper. Honored as the 2002 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Teacher of the Year, Don has traveled the country lecturing and instructing at workshops. Of particular importance to him are issues of diversity and inclusion. Don has served as president of JEANC and has worked on many state and national conventions.

Janelle Eastridge is in her third year of teaching journalism and English at Bakersfield High School, her alma mater. She advises the Blue & White newspaper and edits the school’s parent newsletter, Bits & Pieces. Eastridge attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she earned her bachelor of science degree in journalism and worked as a staff writer and editor for the campus newspaper, The Mustang Daily. She earned her teaching credential from CSU, Bakersfield. In June of 2012, Eastridge attended the ASNE High School Journalism Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ed Galdrikian has served on the JEANC Board since 1977 and is a JEANC past president (1984-88). He was a newspaper adviser from 1958 and yearbook adviser from 1987 until his retirement in 1996. He is a recipient of the JEA Medit of Merit Award (1987), CNPA Outstanding H.S. Journalism Teacher of the Year (1992), JEA Lifetime Achievement Award (1996), CSPA Gold Key Award (1996), and Cal-JEC  Lifetime Achievement Award (2008).

Randy Hamm, CJE, has been advising The Kernal at East Bakersfield H.S. since the Fall of 1992. He also teaches American Literature and A.P. English Literature and Composition. The California Journalism Education Coalition named him High School Journalism Educator of the Year in 2006. Randy’s journalism students have won numerous awards at the local, state and national levels, including an NSPA Pacemaker in 2005.

Matt Johanson has advised Castro Valley High School’s award-winning Olympian newspaper since 2000. Prior to becoming a teacher, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. Matt’s writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee. He has authored two books about the San Francisco Giants and one about Yosemite.

Janice Johnson is a 20-year veteran in education, evolving into a journalism instructor in 2009 at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom. At Vista, Johnson advises the school yearbook, The Talon, and The Vista Voice, the school’s new online newspaper. During the summer of 2012, Johnson attended the Reynolds Institute at ASU, learning from the professionals at Walter Cronkite so that the school’s first newspaper would meet the highest standards in journalism.

Paul Kandell, the 2009 Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year, earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and reported for Newsweek before becoming a journalism instructor in 1996. He advises Verde magazine and The Paly Voice at Palo Alto H.S.

Sarah Nichols advises Details yearbook, The Roar news magazine and Whitney Update website at Whitney H.S. in Rocklin, where her students have earned top state and national honors. Nichols serves as vice president of the Journalism Education Association. She is a former JEANC president and scholarship chair and has served on convention committees as well as in the role of contest coordinator. A Master Journalism Educator from JEA, she is a frequent workshop and convention speaker as well as a member of the JEA Digital Media Committee and Scholastic Press Rights commission. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and an M.Ed. Nichols was awarded Adviser of the Year in 2011 from the California Journalism Educators Coalition and was named the 2010 National Yearbook Adviser of the Year. She received JEA’s Medal of Merit in 2010 and the NSPA Pioneer award in 2008.

Rachel West has been teaching English and advising journalism programs for ten years, and currently works at Stockton Early College Academy in Stockton. A small public charter school, she advises the yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine. She also teaches AP Language & Composition and runs student activities. JEANC is a highlight of her professional affiliations, as it connects her to experienced and rookie advisers, and allows for the sharing of ideas and strategies with others in the region.