Featured Speakers


Dow Tate

C. Dow Tate is a journalism teacher at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie

Village, Kansas, and the director of the Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop

Workshop. He’s the co-author of Scholastic Journalism, 12th edition. In 2011, he was named a Kansas Teacher of the Year finalist. He was inducted into the Scholastic Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Oklahoma and was named a Texas Legend, as one of the most influential people in the state’s 75-year scholastic journalism history. He taught 14 years at Dallas Hillcrest High School. His students’ publications – the newspaper, yearbook and news website -- have earned the nation’s highest honors, including the National Scholastic Press Association’s National Pacemaker and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown. Three of his students have been named National High Journalists of the Year and two others have gone on to win the Pulitzer. Tate has been named the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund’s National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year as well as the Texas Max R. Haddick Teacher of the Year.  He served as the president of the Dallas Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1990. In his 31-year career in teaching, his students have placed in the National Scholastic Press Association’s National Photo of the Year contest 46 times.

John Cutsinger

Just recently tapped for a JEA Lifetime Achievement Award, John Cutsinger is a freelance consultant after 16 years in the classroom as a yearbook, newspaper and magazine adviser, and 28 years as a Jostens educational and creative manager. A JEA Certified Journalism Educator, John takes great pride in his ASPA Arkansas Traveler Award, CSPAA Gold Key, his NSPA Pioneer, his JEA Medal of Merit and Friend of Scholastic Journalism, his SIPA Distinguished Adviser Award and Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year. “It is amazing that my entire life has revolved around capturing and preserving memories that last a lifetime for millions,” he said.


Ben Meyerson headshot 2015.jpg

Ben Meyerson

Ben Meyerson is a content editor on the Chicago Tribune's Audience team, where he sharpens the paper's digital coverage, engages on social media — and writes, too. He's also a leader of the Chicago Headline Club, the largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Panel description: The SPJ/Facebook Journalism Project training shows journalists how to best use Facebook and Instagram to connect with audiences. Ben will talk about products and tools — including Live, Groups and CrowdTangle — that help journalists leverage the platforms for news gathering, storytelling and connecting with their followers.