Bullitt East High School’s English Dept. Chair Larry Steinmetz has been named the State Journalism Director for the Journalism Education Association (JEA).
Steinmetz has also been named to the executive board of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA), a regional group which encompasses the southeastern United States.
“The great thing about that is the opportunities those positions have opened up for our students,” Steinmetz said. “Our kids consistently learn from and perform in front of the biggest journalism names in the nation.”
In his 19th year at Bullitt East, Steinmetz teaches AP English Language and Composition and serves as the department chairperson. He has National Board Certification in English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood, serves as the print publications adviser and is responsible for the Livewire newsmagazine and Endeavor yearbook.
He is looking forward to sharing knowledge and learning from professional colleagues.
“It’s tough to try to be like the best when you don’t know who the best are and what they are doing,” he noted, “Our conventions have taught us that the sky is the limit.”
Indeed, in the past few years, he has become a consistent presenter at national conferences and, last school year, participated alongside his yearbook and journalism editors.
"It was not only a great experience for them but a great resume builder as well,” Steinmetz said adding appreciation for support from Superintendent Keith Davis.
“From supporting our travel, to standing up for us on WHAS radio, to welcoming our editors to present a new student publications policy for the district, your support was crucial as we have built a special program,” Steinmetz acknowledged. “I know it’s always a leap of faith to allocate resources to something that isn’t explicitly a testing area, but it’s paying off in a big way.
“As I tackle this next endeavor of trying to improve journalism education across the state and hear horror stories from advisers about their interactions with their superintendents, they are always shocked when I tell them my story. Thanks for supporting journalism education (we need it now more than ever) and thanks for supporting me along this journey,” Steinmetz said.
For his part, Davis said he believes in the power of journalism to inform the public and hold government accountable to citizens.
“Mr. Steinmetz has become a fixture and leader at Bullitt East and the State Journalism education community and he guides his students to the highest ethical and journalistic standards,” Davis said.