The Jon Jee has been connected to John Glenn High School since Sept. 26, 1962 when students in Jim Bryen’s journalism class published their first newspaper for the new school. A young woman, Judy Brockwell, gave the paper a name through a school competition. She even created a logo of a young man whom she named Jon Jee (pronounced “G”). He appeared each month dressed in a letter sweater, a jacket and tie, or with a seasonal costume, and finally in a cap and gown. The early issues of the paper, which were mimeographed, could be purchased every week in the school lobby.
Under Mr. Bryen’s leadership, students produced an award-winning paper. As the years progressed, students were given other opportunities for publication through the Cambridge Daily Jeffersonian and the Zanesville Times Recorder. In the 1980s, students were given pages for the Jon Jee in the New Concord Leader.
Most people in the community today probably can’t remember when the Jon Jee wasn’t published in the Leader. I was so grateful to the Jeffersonian for allowing our students the opportunity to produce a weekly school newspaper, and this was at a very small cost to us. Our New Concord community purchased advertising from the Jeffersonian ad representatives to keep the New Concord Leader alive.
Now, it’s time for a tradition to end. The bottom line is the cost, but we knew this day would come, especially for a weekly newspaper. I am not surprised, and although I’m sad that the print paper will disappear, I also think our John Glenn publications’ students are going to prove how versatile they are.
They live in a society where they instantly know what’s happening. There are daily tweets from John Glenn High School showing us what’s happening in classrooms, on the athletic fields or the gym, and at various events. Why can’t our young journalists make their mark with a new version of the Jon Jee?
The Jeffersonian has offered their webpage, so you will still be able to stay connected to the school through the student journalists. Their adviser, Katie Day, continues to instruct them in the basics of journalism. As a college student at Muskingum University, she wrote a weekly blog page. As a classroom teacher, she finds current materials and uses computer technology to enhance her teaching. She understands how to use technology, and she demonstrates this to her students; she’s the perfect teacher to encourage our publications students.
A change like this is sad at first, but change can also lead to improvements. We want our students to be prepared for the future, and this is a good chance for that to happen. We need to help them to succeed by supporting their efforts.