By Ryan Gunterman
IHSPA Executive Director
Dear Indiana scholastic journalism family,
I am very sorry to announce that the 2020 IHSPA state convention has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this might be the least-surprising development in our organization’s history, officially calling off the event still brings great sadness. Indiana’s annual gathering of amazing student journalists and their passionate advisers is my favorite event of the year, and it breaks my heart to know I will not see the people I truly consider family for an indefinite period of time. Yet even though we will not be traveling to the Franklin College campus Oct. 23, the IHSPA Executive Board will work within its bylaws to still provide student media programs multiple opportunities for celebration and education this fall.
- We’ll recognize the Harvey Award, Hoosier Star, Ella Sengenberger Adviser of the Year, Louis Ingelhart Friend of the Student Press, Administrator of the Year, and Lifetime Member recipients the morning of Friday, Oct. 16 via our website and social media channels.
- On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 21, we’ll use Zoom to convene the general membership meeting and review the executive director’s report and discuss pressing issues within our community. Advisers and students will also be elected to the 2020-2021 executive board during this gathering.
- Finally, in place of the traditional breakout sessions, convention chair Roth Lovins (Columbus North High School) and the current IHSPA board are developing educational programming featuring free, expert instruction all teachers may access at our website or YouTube channel and utilize for in-person or online learning whenever needed. The goal is to have this library ready before the second half of the fall semester.
The organization’s calendar has been updated on the website, and I’ll distribute additional information concerning the format and organization of these pandemic-induced adjustments. In the meantime, schools may still enter the Harvey Award competition and submit nominations for adviser of the year, friend of the student press, administrator of the year, lifetime membership, and IHSPA executive board positions (student and adviser). The deadline for all of those items has been changed to Sept. 15.
I realize this October won’t be the same as when we could come together for the handshakes, hugs, smiles, and cheers that signify our event. But while our time for student media fellowship has been postponed until 2021, the encouragement and support from your IHSPA family will remain ever-present.
Just from a distance.
As always, please let us know what IHSPA can do for you, and never hesitate to send all questions, comments, and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.