Missouri JEA.

2015 Friends of Scholastic Journalism

friendofjHerff Jones Yearbook representatives Leah Blase and Dan Mueller have been named the 2014-2015 Missouri Journalism Education Association’s Friends of Scholastic Journalism winners.

This award is given to a professional journalist, professional media outlet or other individual or group making a significant contribution to scholastic journalism.

The team was nominated by Elisha Strecker from Eureka High School. In her nomination letter, Strecker said, “They have a commitment to our programs that is unparalleled, which is why they have so many accounts in the St. Louis area. Another reason they are so successful is that they aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They drive us all to remain current and forward thinking, keeping our yearbooks alive and vital. Last year our book used QR codes to add a layer of coverage. This year, the students have advanced to Aurasma because they heard about it Herff Jones yearbook camp this summer. So as yearbooks across the country disappear into history, our books thrive, seemingly defying the odds.”

Blase has been a Herff Jones representative in St. Louis for over 20 years. Her schools consistently win top awards and  credit her insightful input and attention to design detail, as well as her boundless energy, for much of their success. Blase serves as co-director of St. Louis camps and training workshops and is a member of the Herff Jones Hall of Fame. She has also earned Certified Journalism Educator status from the Journalism Education Association.

Mueller joined the Herff Jones team in 2004. He is the former production editor of the Hazelwood West HS Focus and the former editor-in-chief of the Saint Louis University Archive. As a student, he won a JEA National Excellence Award, but it is his work with yearbook staffs for which he is most proud. He assists with production, computer support, design presentations and photo shows. Affectionately called “the closer” by many advisers, he’s there when deadlines are the toughest.

The Missouri Journalism Education Association is the largest state scholastic journalism organization formed to help protect and enhance scholastic journalism in Missouri. MJEA works to provide outreach and support to advisers and journalism programs across the state. MJEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.

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2015 Friends of Scholastic Journalism