Pacemaker Master Classes / September 2022

Five NSPA Pacemaker Master Classes have been scheduled for the days ahead to boost your staff training plans.

The virtual workshops can jump-start your student media for the year — at an affordable cost.

We’ve targeted key topics to engage and motivate your staff members early in the school year. Our award-winning instructors have years of experience working with staff members at all levels, from veterans to newcomers.

We’re also offering a workshop specifically on college essays, a critical topic for all students advancing to higher education. If you’re aware of students beyond journalism who could benefit, please let them know about this workshop.

Prior to each workshop, and to make the instruction even more productive, we’ll reach out so you can share examples of your stories, designs and social media. Then, in the final 30 minutes of each session, we’ll offer critiques and make plans to follow up and review your progress.

Registration is per school per workshop. When you register, you can take advantage of the live interaction, and you can use the session recording for 30 days.

Let’s get ready for the year ahead.
Sign up now.

NSPA Pacemaker Master Classes
for September 2022 

For all student media
Reporting & Writing with Jim Streisel
Sept. 13 • 7-8:30 p.m. CT

For all student media
Digital Media Planning with Chris Snider
Sept. 14 • 7-8:30 p.m. CT

For all students
Your college essay –
your chance to sell yourself
with David Knight
Sept. 15 • 7-8:30 p.m. CT

For newspaper/newsmagazine
Design/Redesign with Michael Reeves
Sept. 22 • 7-8:30 p.m. CT

For all student media
Editorial Leadership with Mitch Eden
Sept. 27 • 7-8:30 p.m. CT

> Register for a Pacemaker Master Class

$50 per school
for NSPA and/or
Quill and Scroll members

$75 per school for non-members

Links to the recordings

Recordings of these master classes will be available to registered schools for 30 days. Advisers will be emailed passwords.

> Reporting & Writing

> Digital Media Planning

> Your College Essay

> Design/Redesign

> Editorial Leadership

All Student Media

Reporting: The lifeblood of great journalism 

Jim Streisel, instructor

7-8:30 p.m. CT Sept. 13

Videos, interactive graphics, audio interviews and, yes, written stories — they’re all just tools in a journalist’s toolbox. At their core, though, they all share the same common element — solid reporting. 

This class will address the fundamentals of journalism — understanding the elements of news, finding credible sources, asking great questions — and how to apply them to your publication. 

Jim Streisel, the 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, is the adviser of the Carmel High School HiLite newspaper and its website,

Streisel has written two journalism textbooks, High School Journalism: A Practical Guide and Scholastic Web Journalism: Connecting with Readers in a Digital World. 

He earned a 2012 Pioneer Award from the NSPA and was named a 2012 DJNF Distinguished Adviser. He was also named the 2011 Carmel Clay Schools Teacher of the Year and the 2011 Indiana Journalism Adviser of the Year.

All Student Media

Build a social media strategy

Chris Snider, instructor

7-8:30 p.m. CT Sept. 14

Are you posting to social media but not seeing the results you want? This session will teach you the process for building a complete social media strategy for your publication. We will specifically focus on creating content your audience will love on Instagram and TikTok.

Chris Snider is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University. He teaches classes in digital strategy, web design, visual communication, multimedia and more to both undergrad and online graduate students. 

Prior to joining Drake, Chris was a visual journalist and editor at newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Des Moines Register. He writes a weekly email newsletter on what’s new in social media.

All Students

Your college essay –
your chance to sell yourself

David Knight, instructor

7-8:30 p.m. CT Sept. 15

This year, 61,000+ students applied to Harvard.
Fewer than than 2,000 got in.

The University of Texas — 62,000,
and 18,000 got in.

The University of Virginia — 50,000,
and 9,800 got in.

The University of Southern California — 66,000,
and 7,900 got in.

Grades, activities and test scores matter. But your college essay is your one chance to make admission officers see you not as a number — but as a person — a person that they, their professors and their students can’t forget.

Through your college essay, you sell them on you. 

This workshop focuses on how to plan and write your essay — and what you should write about.

David Knight, who retired a few years ago, was Lancaster County School District’s public information director and taught two broadcast journalism courses. He’s also advised newspapers at the high school and middle school level and a high school literary-arts magazine.

He has been presenting at high school journalism conventions and teaching summer workshops all over the country since the 1980s. He and his students have won a few awards, but he keeps forgetting to put them in his bio.

Newspaper & newsmagazine


Michael Reeves, instructor

7-8:30 p.m. CT Sept. 22

How do you find ways to be consistent, and yet creative when it comes to creating your newspaper print edition? This is the question designers have been contemplating for years. 

Join adviser Michael Reeves to discuss these two ideas when developing a strong visual look for your print products. This training will focus on improving readability while using elements of visual communication. We will address layout tips, photo and graphic usage and editing, workflow tactics, typography, and planning. 

Michael Reeves is the adviser of the Dispatch at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas. He is the president-elect for the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, an MJE, and is actively involved in New Voices Texas. 

The past nine years at JBHS his program has won multiple state, regional, and national awards including NSPA Pacemakers, CSPA Crowns, SIPA All-Southern, and TAJE Stars. His students win 100’s of individual awards in every category you can think of and is a SNO Distinguished Site. Reeves has been advising publications for 19 years.

All Student Media

Editorial leadership

Mitch Eden

7-8:30 p.m. CT Sept. 27

The Editorial Leadership class will focus on providing editors with the tools to lead their peers in a 21st Century media program. Our focus will be building a culture of servant leadership. The class will be a mix of direct instruction as well as a quick activity ending with a question and answer session. Come ready to jot down some notes and ideas, and definitely bring questions you have about your upcoming year.

Mitch Eden, MJE, is in his 25th year teaching, the past 14 at Kirkwood High School (Missouri). He advises The Kirkwood Call newsmagazine, Pioneer yearbook and website.

Eden is a former Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. He received the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award, Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit and Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He has also served as Journalism Education Association Secretary and Missouri Journalism Education Association president.