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KSPA President: Membership pays dividends

Dear Kansas journalism advisers,

Welcome back for yet another year of scholastic journalism excellence! At this time of year, most of us are just getting our teaching “sea legs” under us again after what I hope was a relaxing and restful summer vacation. That re-acclimation process takes time (which we never seem to have enough of), and a whole lot of organization.

In the midst of attending beginning-of-the-year meetings, getting the gradebooks set up, initial meetings with your publications staffs, and Back to School nights, it’s important to take a few minutes to fill out your KSPA membership forms and get those sent to headquarters. I’d like to encourage you to renew your membership, or join, if it’s your first year advising. It’s easy to join the organization, and if you’re the type who likes to get everything done at once, you can pay for all contest entries at one time on the registration form.

The benefits of membership are great. KSPA gives your students a chance to compete in various contests, as well as receive valuable feedback on their publications through the All-Kansas critique service. In addition, KSPA provides a network for advisers. Chances are, you’re the only one at your school who does what you do. KSPA provides a place to commiserate with people who know how you feel – How do I get my kids to meet deadlines? How do I deal with administrators who don’t know about the Kansas Student Publications Act? How do I grade newspaper and yearbook classes?

Those are just some of the questions we’ve all faced at one time or another. The network of advisers you’ll meet being a part KSPA will help you find answers to those questions and many more, and in many cases, those advisers will become your friends. You’ll look forward to seeing them at KSPA events, and you’ll have someone to email or call if you need help with a lesson or just need someone to talk shop with.

Please feel free to contact me, or any board member, any time you have questions about the organization or its contests and programs. I hope to see many of you attend the Fall Conferences. I’ll be at the one in Lawrence on Sept. 21. Please stop and say “Hi.”

Good luck this year!

Jill Chittum
KSPA President

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