Workshop Instructors

Nancy Smith, MJE, Lafayette High School (MO)

Advising Instructor

Nancy Y. Smith, MJE is in her 34th year of teaching journalism and advising student publications. For the past 27 years she has been at Lafayette High School outside of St. Louis, MO where she advises the website, Image newspaper and Legend yearbook.  She has served as the JEA National Contest Chair since 2010. She is a JEA Carl Towley Award Winner, JEA National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, a JEA Medal of Merit winner, an NSPA Pioneer Award winner, a DJNF Special Recognition Adviser (2006) and a Distinguished Adviser (2014). She is married and has three adult sons.


Becky Tate, CJE,  Shawnee Mission North High School 

Editorial Leadership Instructor

Becky Lucas Tate, CJE has been the newspaper and yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission North High School for the past 30 years, Tate has received a Medal of Merit from JEA and a Gold Key from CSPA. She was named the H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2019 and a Special Recognition Adviser in newspaper by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund in 1997. She also received the Engel Award for the in 2001 from the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press. She has a Master’s Degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and undergraduate journalism and education degrees from Kansas State University.


Kristy Nyp, CJE, Manhattan High School

Storytelling Instructor

 Nyp advises yearbook, video production, newspaper and online news for Manhattan High School. Her publications have won multiple All-Kansas and All-American awards in her eight years since at MHS. At the 2018 JEA/NSPA National Fall Conference The Mentor, MHS’s weekly newspaper, earned ninth place in the Best In Show contest. Nyp is the current president of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. Before becoming an adviser in 2005, she spent 15 years working in the media industry. Her hobbies are running, proofreading everything she reads (especially social media posts and public signs) and consuming stories in the form of books, movies, articles, videos and any other form they come in.


Cary Conover, CJE, Andover High School

Photography Instructor

Cary Conover is in his tenth year at Andover High School where he teaches photojournalism and advises yearbook, newspaper and broadcast journalism staffs. His students include the 2013 Kansas High School Journalist of the Year and many others who have placed at KSPA and JEA/NSPA competitions. Before starting his career as an educator, Cary was a freelance photographer in New York City. He is currently in his final year working on his MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. Cary has been teaching at the Flint Hills Publications Workshop since 1998.



J.D. Garber, CJE,  Salina Central High School

Design Instructor

Adviser of The Pylon newsmagazine at Salina Central High School, Garber currently serves as KSPA President-Elect and was recognized as the 2018 Jackie Engel Award winner, honoring the most valuable high school journalism teacher in the state. The Pylon staff has earned back to back NSPA Pacemaker finalist recognition and received a pacemaker in 2018. In the summer of 2019, Garber was one of six national judges for the prestigious award. The design work of Garber’s staff was featured in JEA’s Fall edition of the CJET magazine. Garber consistently participates on the national scene by presenting, judging and critiquing at the conventions, as well as, providing critiques and evaluations for staffs around the country


Nick Homburg, Kansas State University, Instructor

Drone Journalism Instructor

Homburg is a freelance photographer, documentary film creator and fashion photographer. He serves as an instructor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. His experience spans over 15 years, where he’s won Golden Awards for his personal work in documentary films and photography. Homburg has launched a drone journalism program in Kedzie Hall that focuses on the usage of drones in documentaries, newscasts and visual research in publications. He sees the usage of drones in video storytelling as a cheaper way to give that professional look without high schools having to buy all the expensive equipment.


Joanna Chadwick, Derby High School

Sports Journalism Instructor

Chadwick advises yearbook, newspaper and the student website at Derby High School. She spent 20 years as the Wichita Eagle’s high school sportswriter, winning sportswriter of the year awards from the Kansas State High School Activities Association, the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association and the USTA. She serves on the Kansas Scholastic Press Association’s board. She is currently the senior writer for VYPE magazine for South Central Kansas and North Central Kansas. A Missouri graduate, her secret skill is managing all the behind-the-scenes scheduling — including food! — for her three boys’ basketball teams.