jRetreat: Join Us for the 6th Annual Adviser Retreat


Valerie Kibler

Ever have one of those days where you’re about to just pull your hair out and you’d give anything to just get away from it all and relax?

Now you can! With people who feel exactly like you – fellow journalism advisers.

We all need a little revitalization, especially in the winter months, and VAJTA is offering that getaway that will jump-start the second half of your year. Join us for the jRetreat January 17-18 in historic Petersburg, Va. Come by yourself or, better yet, grab the other journalism advisers in your school or your county/area and enjoy a road trip together!

We welcome Michelle Balmeo Adviser in Residence. Balmeo, adviser of The Whirlwind at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore., will be our fearless leader as we explore the world of data-driven journalism. Prior to advising The Whirlwind, Balmeo advised El Estoque at Monte Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif.

Social activities will give advisers time to get acquainted, mingle, share stories and collaborate will also highlight the weekend.

If you’re coming in Friday evening, we plan to have dinner together at 7 p.m. at Maria’s Old Town 21, followed by an evening social time in Petersburg. Local host, Chris Waugaman will be choosing the hot spots for us, and we will inform all registrants of the locations as we get closer to the date.

On Saturday, we will meet at 9 a.m. at Ragland Mansion (tentative) for our first session. We will break for lunch, and then return to the Mansion for our afternoon session. Saturday after dinner, we will head to Chris’s house for an evening social.

Planning to attend any or all of the social events? Fill out this form.

To register, simply click on the link below and fill in the form. Registration will cost $25 for VAJTA/JEA members and $35 for non-members. Once you register online (https://forms.gle/hgmXWCxnhstaDmjT8), please send your check made payable to VAJTA to:

jRetreat Registration

Erinn Harris

501 N. Armistead Street, #102

Alexandria, VA 22312

Many folks are planning to stay on Saturday evening, too, so please feel free to join us at Demo Coffee for our Sunday VAJTA board meeting.

There are multiple hotels in the area and we suggest the following:

  1. Ragland Mansion: there are nine rooms available. If you are staying Friday and Saturday, cost is approximately $135 for a room with a roommate and $270 to stay by yourself. If interested in staying at the mansion, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/NyXZkPVEBYgpCjwYA
  2. Hilton Garden Inn Southpark Blvd (Chris’s suggestion), (804) 520-0600, $98
  3. Hilton Garden Inn Colonial Heights, (804) 520-0600, $129 a night
  4. Comfort Suites Southpark Colonial Heights (804) 520-8900, $104 a night

Please note: there are no reserved hotel room blocks. These are just hotel suggestions.

For more information, please contact Erinn Harris at [email protected].