Melanie Allen – President
Passion. Long ago Melanie Allen learned that one must follow their passions because this is where true happiness and success lies – doing what you’re passionate about. Melanie has found her passion in teaching English, advising the school newspaper, The Rocket Reporter and serving as the Language Arts department chair and literacy coach at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix.
Melanie truly believes that every student can learn, and is continually seeking opportunities that will allow for each student to learn and flourish. Throughout her years of teaching and advising she has continually sought out conferences or workshops that provide meaningful strategies to increase student learning. In 2006, she earned a journalism educator fellowship at UC Berkeley where she networked with 29 other journalism teachers from across the nation. While there she learned from leading journalism professionals about the industry and had hands-on training in reporting, editing, design, photo and graphics skills. She continually incorporates and implements these experiences throughout her teaching, working with other teachers and researching.
Melanie serves on the board as president and fall convention coordinator, she previously held the position of vice-president. Her students enter the AIPA contests annually, taking away many accolades from each contest. This, along with her guidance, she feels, helps to empower her journalism students to tackle the issues that appeal to their readers. Moreover, many of her students have been accepted into various journalism schools such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Ball State University.
Melanie graduated with her B.A. in Communications in 2001 and her M.Ed. in Secondary Education in 2005 both from Grand Canyon University.
Mike Walker – Vice President
With over 12 years of experience teaching Career and Technical Education (CTE) to West Valley students, teaching three levels of TV Broadcasting Production at Verrado High School, in addition to serving on the board of Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) I’m also an advisor and board member for SkillsUSA and have been an active member of the Student Television Network (STN) for over ten years. My students have excelled, winning numerous awards at the regional, state and national level; including my TV Broadcasting class being named the number one high school program in the country by STN.
I love teaching and watching my students meet their full potential. I also encourage students to give back to the community by donating the skills they learn to various community service projects by providing video related services to many community groups, schools and clubs in the city and local school district.
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at Murray State University in Murray, KY in 1994, my Master’s in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix in 2005, and am a certified Final Cut Pro user by Apple. I was also awarded the Dysart Hero award in 2011 for my outstanding contributions to the Dysart school district and in the 15-16 school year decided to move districts and took a teaching position at Verrado High School in the Agua Fria Union High School District.
I also participate in many SkillsUSA competitions by chairing events at both the regional and state levels and taught classes at both the AIPA summer and fall conferences. I was on the committee that developed the CTE State Assessments for TV Broadcasting for the AZ Department of Education, in addition to developing the curriculum for TV Broadcasting along with other Film and Graphics related classes in both the Dysart and Agua Fria school districts.
Carmen Wendt – Treasurer / JEA Mentor
Carmen Wendt, MJE, has been a teacher and adviser 34+ years, advising both yearbook and newspaper staffs. She worked in Missouri, California and mostly in Arizona at Saguaro High School, in Scottsdale.
She taught photography, English, business, typography and, of course, journalism. She has been involved with AIPA 40+ years and over the years served as president, vice president, secretary, convention coordinator and is the current treasurer. In addition she is active with the Journalism Education Association as the Arizona State Director and a Mentor to new advisers.
She has received NSPA’s Pioneer Award, AIPA’s Adviser Hall of Fame and Forrest Martin Award, JEA’s Lifetime Achievement and Scottsdale Charro’s Outstanding Teacher. She holds a BAE in journalism from Arizona State University and an MA from University of Missouri – Columbia.
Anna Horton – Recording Secretary
Anna Horton earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature, professional writing and secondary education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. At Highland High School in Gilbert, Ariz., she taught sophomore English for seven years. She also taught the AVID elective course and journalism, advising two publications: the newspaper, The Highland Sun, and literary magazine, The Muse. Horton now stays at home with her kids and plays violin in the Tempe Symphony Orchestra. Horton received the AIPA Freeman Hover Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2010 and has served as Recording Secretary on the AIPA board since 2009.
Deanne Hutchison – Web Admin / Convention Coordinator
Deanne Hutchison has worked for over 20 years with two publications at Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix where she also served as a technology mentor for several years. She advises Viking Views, the school newspaper, and the school yearbook, Valhalla. Both the yearbook and the newspaper have won numerous local and national awards during these years.
Hutchison remains an active member of AIPA and JEA as she has for 25 years. She has been the contest coordinator and an area coordinator for AIPA, taught sessions for local AIPA conventions as well as JEA national conventions.
Kristy Roschke – Communications Director
Christine Brandell-Melendez – Past President
North Canyon High School
Jan Carteaux – Contest Coordinator
Jan Carteaux has more than 30 years of experience writing and editing in the private and non-profit sector. She has extensive newspaper experience, including in Texas, where she was managing editor for a daily news operation, and in Indiana, where she got her start as editor of her high school newspaper and held professional positions ranging from reporter to copy editor to features editor, with the features section named best in the state under her leadership. She has a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University, a post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education from Ottawa University, and a master’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from the University of Mary. Her additional experience before changing careers and becoming a teacher includes being public relations coordinator for a Texas hospital and editor of a non-profit women’s magazine in London, England. She is in her fifteenth year of teaching high school English and journalism at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale.
Ms. Carteaux is the 2012 recipient of the Arizona English Teachers Association’s Secondary School Teacher of Excellence Award in 2012 and the 2013 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English Teacher of Excellence Award.
As newspaper adviser at Notre Dame Prep, her staff has received more than 125 AIPA awards in the past 10 years. The Seraphim Online has twice been awarded First Place for General Excellence in the Online Media category. This is her first year as AIPA Contest Coordinator.
Denise Estfan – Fall Convention Coordinator
Denise Estfan is currently the Journalism instructor at Paradise Valley Community College and adviser to The Puma Press. Prior to this she advised the Xpress newsmagazine at Xavier College Preparatory for 16 years. She graduated from Xavier and went on to Arizona State University where she was an active writer for The State Press and earned a BA in Education and a MMC in Mass Communication and Journalism.
Michelle Coro – In-service Coordinator
Michelle Coro is a multimedia adviser working with Desert Vista High School’s Thunder Vision, View Newspaper, Storm Yearbook and DVthundermedia.com website. She encourages students to explore areas of media production including Writing, Videography, Digital Photography and Technology in all of her classes. In addition to her courses, Coro is one of the campus’ web directors and on the administrative council team.
Coro earned her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and has a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Technology from the University of Phoenix. She worked as a journalist in broadcast and print media before becoming an educator. The Thunder Media Information (TMI) program emphasizes convergent, multimedia journalism. On any given week (or day) Coro’s team of multimedia journalists access in more than 50 media software programs and hardware devices. She incorporates a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts into her classroom and and does so through an addiction to technology tools and toys.
Coro was named the Freeman Hover Adviser of the year for 2014. She has had several years of participation on the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association Board, the Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year committee, has taught multiple sessions for JEA and is a founding member of Scholastic Journalism Institute (SJI). Coro is on the management team of Josten’s National Summer Workshop at the University of San Diego and is a consultant for numerous workshops and seminars, including teaching broadcast at the Virginia High School League, and the ASNE Reynolds HSJ Institute alum. Because she advises new media, she believes in possibilities and that trying something different is never far from reach.
Michelle is married to Paul Coro, one of the leading sports journalists in the nation, and they have two beautiful, talented and highly active daughters, Jasmine and Maya as well as a parakeet, Chiquita, and a misnamed Pekingese dog, Angel. In her spare time (lol) she enjoys reading mindless novels, is a Harry Potter fan, she enjoys shooting thousands of pictures of her family, run/walking through her neighborhood, smelling flowers and perfume, sorting through her ridiculous number of shoes, pretending to be a baker on “Cake Boss” and getting ridiculously high scores on “Bejeweled.”
“I’m busy and blessed!” is Coro’s mantra.
Amy McTague – Summer Workshop Director
Willow Canyon High School
Peggy Gregory – Member at Large / JEA Mentor
Peggy Gregory, CJE, advised the award-winning Greenway H.S. Demon Dispatch for 35 years and held two specialist positions for 8 years in the Dysart USD. Gregory served as president of Arizona Interscholastic Press Association for seven years and is presently on the board as a Member at Large. She has served on the JEA Mentoring committee since it’s inception and was local co-chair for two JEA/NSPA Phoenix conventions. Honors include NSPA Pioneer Award, JEA Medal of Merit, CSPA Gold Key and James F. Paschal Award as well as the Dow Jones Special Recognition Adviser and Distinguished Adviser awards.
Lisa Baker – Member at Large
Horizon High School
Stan Bindell – Member at Large
Hopi High School
Faith Harris – Member at Large
Kris Urban has been teaching English and journalism and advising the award-winning Sunrise newspaper at Tempe’s Corona del Sol High School since 1997. Prior to becoming a high school teacher, Kris worked professionally in the valley as a journalist covering high school sports, business and education, and in the public relations industry. Ensuring her students graduate with solid writing skills and industry-standard technology skills is her goal, and watching her students experience success at the next level is her greatest joy. Kris is a 1991 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Education from ASU in 2000. She lives in Tempe with her husband, also a journalist, and her two sons.
Mica Mulloy is the Fine Arts Department chair at Brophy College Preparatory, where he teaches Journalism and Photography. Mica graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism from Northern Arizona University, and also has a Masters in Educational Leadership from NAU. He was a newspaper reporter and photographer at several publications throughout Arizona before coming to Brophy in 2006. Mica is the adviser for The Roundup, Brophy’s student newspaper. His students have won more than 180 individual and staff awards in the past five years, including being named the Arizona Newspapers Association Best High School Newspaper for 2013, 2012 and 2011. Mica was the recipient of the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association’s 2012/2013 Freeman Hover Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and daughter.