JSA Now! Newsletter
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Volume II, Number 7 – September 17, 2010

A Newsletter Highlighting Activities of JSA – Junior State of America

Upcoming Events

Southern California Leadership Conference

Los Angeles, Calif.

Sept. 25, 2010

Arizona Fall State


Oct. 30-31, 2010

Ohio River Valley
Fall State


Nov. 13-14, 2010

Southeast Fall State

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Nov. 13-14, 2010

Southern California
Fall State

Irvine, Calif.

Nov. 13-14, 2010

Dave Viotti
JSA CEO Dave Viotti

Happy New (School) Year!

BY DAVE VIOTTI: The whole JSA team was off and running for the summer, serving more than 1,100 students from to Washington, D.C., to Beijing, China.

In this month’s JSANow! we recap the successful summer in two articles and profile JSA alum Jon Fleischman, the founder and president of California’s leading conservative news source, FlashReport.org. We also tell you about two great alumni events coming in November, with former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz in Santa Clara, and with JSA parent and actor Warren Beatty and NPR’s Ina Jaffe in Los Angeles. There’s also other alumni news in Karen’s Corner.

Be sure to check out our new website to see what our students and other alumni are up to. Stay tuned for new features coming later this year, including a new alumni portal with networking and other services.

Spencer Gottlieb
In addition to the traditional
JSA Summer Schools, in 2010
the group offered institutes
in media, national security
and presidential politics, as
well as the first year of a
JSA Diplomat program in China.

JSA Summer 2010 — 1,100 Served

BY DAVID M. COLE: More than 1,100 high school students from across the United States and territories (with a generous helping of overseas students) attended JSA programs this summer, ranging from institutes focused on media, California leadership, national security and presidential leadership to the traditional summer schools, held at Georgetown, Princeton and Stanford, all topped by the group’s first international foray, the JSA Diplomat program in Beijing.

JSA officials said the summer of 2010 provided many highlights. “Our redesign of the Advanced Placement U.S. History program at the summer schools was well received by students, parents and faculty,” said Jeff Harris, executive director of JSA. “Also well received was the redesign of the Congressional Workshop summer school programs. Further, we have launched a new method of preparing our territory students for their summer school experience that got raves from our summer school faculty.”

While overall enrollment in the summer programs was down when compared to 2009, applications were up. “In an era of economic recession, it has become clear to us that we must provide potential summer school and institute students with significantly more financial aid than we have in the past,” said Harris.

Some highlights from the various summer programs:

Georgetown Summer School: Two sessions were held in Washington, D.C., with more than 300 students attending. Speakers included U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and U.S. Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.). Also speaking to students was U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. (You can read more details on Georgetown Summer School here, here and here.)

Northeast Institute on Leadership and National Security: The second iteration of this foreign-affairs focused four-day session at Princeton University had more than 100 students attending, who heard from speakers such as former Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Clark Kent Ervin, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gabriela Shalev, former New Jersey governor and former director of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman and anchor of ABC News’ World News Saturday, David Muir. (A student report on the session is here.)

Gene A. Burd Institute on Media and Politics: Students created programs for the fictional radio station “KJSA” during the four-day institute, held for the third year at the University of California, Los Angeles and heard from speakers including Jon Fleischman (see below), Bill Handel of ClearChannel Radio and John Cromshow of Pacifica Radio and KPFK-FM of Los Angeles. (Read more about the Burd Institute here.)

Texas Institute on Leadership and Politics: With both the LBJ Presidential Library and the Bush Presidential Library a bus-ride away from the site of this institute at the University of Texas at Austin, students benefited from speakers not only at the state capitol, but also at the former chief executives’ archives. (A student’s perspective on the institute was published by the Dallas Morning News.)

Additionally, a new joint-venture with the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, the California YMCA Youth and Government program and Youth Community Service yielded the first-ever California Youth Summit Institute, which was held for a week in late July at Stanford University. Students focused on a “crash course in civic engagement,” learning all aspects of political activism, including conducting mock press conferences. (A wrap-up article is here.)

Donate NowHelp promote democracy

How Can I Help JSA?

Annually, thousands of JSA alumni and friends donate their time, talent, and treasure to support the program. Please contact Matthew Randazzo, Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, if you wish to volunteer, reconnect with the program, or make a gift to JSA. or 800.317.9338. Read More

JSA student with chopsticks
Chinese teacher Jane Wang
tutors a JSA Diplomat program
student in the fine art of the
use of the chop stick.

China Welcomes the First JSA Diplomat Program

BY MATT SAUNDERS: Sixteen students from across the United States traveled to China to participate in the inaugural JSA Diplomat Program at Beijing Capital Normal University. The program aims to provide America’s future leaders with the skills to represent the United States on global issues. During the month-long session, JSA students took college-level classes in Chinese history and language and engaged with Chinese and American experts on political, economic and social issues in China.

From trips to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the famous Terracotta Warriors of Xian, students had a hands-on experience with Chinese history. They also participated in a youth exchange where they discussed global and local issues with local Chinese high school students. Through this exchange, JSA students sharpened their language skills and learned about youth culture in China today.

“China is really important to know about because our countries are so interdependent on economic and environmental issues,” said Boyd Wolking, a senior from Seattle, Wash. “The experience of learning how to navigate in a foreign culture has been amazing and I definitely want to go into international affairs now.”

JSA CEO Dave Viotti designed the JSA Diplomat Program based on the experience he had as a Henry Luce Scholar in China two decades ago. Because so many of today’s major political issues (from the environment to arms control) are borderless, Viotti believed the JSA Diplomat program could complement the mission of JSA’s U.S.-based programs. “Our JSA students will be more effective leaders for the United States on global issues if they understand how different countries and cultures work,” said Viotti.

“Today our students are bargaining in the local market for goods in Beijing,” he said. “That’s important training for the future when they may be at the negotiating table representing the United States on a trade deal. That’s what this program is all about.”

Building on this last summer’s success, the JSA Diplomat program returns to Beijing in summer 2011. Viotti noted that JSA is looking at expanding the program to other countries in future years.

(Three students from the U.S. Virgin Islands attended the first JSA Diplomat program in Beijing; their local paper, the Virgin Islands Daily News, wrote an article about their adventure.)

Jon Fleischman
Jon Fleischman of leading
conservative political news
website FlashReport.org
got his start in politics
in JSA.

Alumni Profile: Jon Fleischman

JSA leadership roles
Chapter president, Downtown Los Angeles Business Magnet High School, 1985; Angeles Region Cabinet, Conference Coordinator; Graduate, USC Summer Symposium. JSA Trustee since 2008.

Education, jobs, residences, family
Currently the publisher of the FlashReport.org website on California politics and vice chairman, south, of the California Republican Party. Formerly executive director of the California GOP and veteran staffer of many campaigns for Congress and state legislature. Attended a great many colleges and universities, ultimately graduating with a B.A. in political science from C.S.U. Fullerton. I reside in South Orange County with my wife, Maureen and son Matthew (3 years) and daughter Sophia (3 months).

Working hard in the arena of politics to promote policies and politicians who stand tall for freedom, liberty, and a limited role for government in our society. Also: an oenophile.

Last book read
Just re-read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. While a long read, I strongly recommend it to any JSA’er who is inclined toward politics or who has strong feelings about the way things outta be.

Last accomplishment
I very much enjoyed playing a participatory role in helping to influence the public debate, and working to defeat an ill-advised bill to ban plastic grocery bags in California, and create a new tax on paper bags. With California in a recession, it’s nice to know that, with effort, we can stop bad legislation that will cost Californians money, and cost the state manufacturing jobs.

Why I do what I do
I believe that America is a special country, created by a group of patriots who envisioned a place where people would enjoy unequalled freedom, coupled with individual responsibility. Over the last 200-plus years, we have seen a slow, steady increase in the size and scope of government at every level, threatening the liberty of our people. My motivation to be in politics is to fight for individual liberty and freedom, and against the march of progressives towards a more socialistic form of government.

Favorite JSA memory
The lasting memories of leading my high school JSA chapter with my good friends Dave and Stan will be something I cherish forever. Serving on the Angeles Region Cabinet, working with Caroline, Shirley and Rachel was also a wonderful experience.

What I learned in JSA that I still use today
I ran for vice mayor of the Angeles Region and lost. I learned then an important lesson — to pick myself back up an work for the team, and for future victories. Sometimes you have to lose in order to win in the long run.

George Shultz
Former U.S. Secretary of State
George Shultz will be honored
by JSA at an alumni event to be
held Nov. 20 in Santa Clara.

Warren Beatty
Ina Jaffe
Actor Warren Beatty and
NPR’s Ina Jaffe will
analyze the November election
results at a JSA luncheon
Nov. 6 in Brentwood, Calif.

JSA Alums to Gather to Hear Speakers

Conservative and liberal icons will be the focus of two different JSA alumni events scheduled for November.

Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz is scheduled to receive the JSA Distinguished Public Service Award at the JSA Northern California Fall State on Nov. 20. The award presentation will be followed by the annual alumni and trustee brunch at the Santa Clara Marriott. Shultz, a longtime educator, economist and businessman, served as President Reagan’s foreign affairs emissary from 1982-1989, and before that held various cabinet-level positions in the Nixon Administration, including U.S. Treasury Secretary, U.S. Secretary of Labor and Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Prominent actor and political activist Warren Beatty — whose son is a current JSA student leader — will join National Public Radio’s Ina Jaffe to discuss the outcome of the November elections at a luncheon benefit at the home of JSA alum and board of directors’ member Rachel Kaganoff Stern in Brentwood, Calif. on Nov. 6. Beatty, who won the 1981 Academy Award for best director, has appeared in more than 25 films, producing and/or writing many of them. Jaffe is a national-desk correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Additionally, JSA is planning to wind down its 75th Anniversary year with an alumni and trustee brunch held in conjunction with the JSA Winter Congress in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2011. Staff, volunteers and students are angling for “a big speaker” for the event.

For more information about these events and to register, please contact Matthew Randazzo at or 202.591.3732.

Karen Prosser
Updates about JSA
alumni from Karen Prosser
Are you an alum?

Karen’s Corner

BY KAREN PROSSER: Junior Statesbaby Born: Jeff Marcus (Mid-Atlantic Governor 1991-92) and his wife Peyton welcomed Miles Buchanan Marcus on July 14 at 10:01 p.m. Mom was in labor for about 24 hours. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces and at 22 inches he’s tall like his Mama Peyton.

Junior Statesbaby in the Works: Stephanie Cherny, wife of JSA alum Andrei Cherny, wrote us recently, “Andrei and I decided that November 2010 would be too quiet of a month so we are expecting our second child on Thanksgiving Day.” What else is going on in November for the Chernys? Andrei is the Democratic nominee for Arizona State Treasurer and Election Day is Nov. 2. Andrei (North Hollywood High) is co-editor of the idea journal, Democracy. A former White House speechwriter and senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Cherny is the author of two books. The most recent is The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour. He also wrote The Next Deal and has written on history, politics, and culture for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Cherny is an officer in the Navy Reserve.

Carrying on the JSA Tradition: Trustee Ted Lempert (California Governor 78-79, SS Davis 76, JSA Statesman of the Year) and Nicole Bergeron (JSA Registrar, SS Davis 83, JSA Statesperson of the Year) first met at her Summer School where he was an resident assistant. In July, after proudly sending ninth grader Caroline Lempert off to the JSA Princeton Freshmen Scholars Summer School Program (only for her to be met at the airport by JSA alum and Aunt Liz Lempert [JSA Lt. Governor, SS Davis 83]) ... the family decided that it was just not enough. Caroline’s little sisters, Veronica and Julianne, inconsolably missing Caroline on Day 2, begged Mom and Dad for a new pet. They got a hamster and named it Junior ... as in State Summer School. Caroline is a freshman at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, and in the Lempert tradition, she is running for freshman class vice president, writes for the school newspaper, and is starting a JSA Chapter.

JSA Alum Candidate in the News: Janice Rutherford is running for supervisor in San Bernardino County, Calif. Although this position is non-partisan, Janice is an active Republican and former Mayor of Fontana, Calif. and a community activist. A busy mom with two young children, Janice is also a JSA trustee. At a recent campaign fund-raising event, she raised close to $80,000, announced the support of the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association, and handed out lots of yard signs. If you’d like to help walk precincts for Janice, let her know. It’s going to be an exciting two months to Election Day.

JSA Alumni in Education: David Simnick (Naperville North High in Illinois in the mid-2000s; served on the Midwest State Cabinet and ran unsuccessfully for governor) is volunteering with Teach for America. He wrote us recently, “It has been amazing work so far. I work at a turn-around charter school near Temple University called Young Scholars Frederick Douglass. The school district of Philadelphia gave control of seven of its lowest-performing schools to charter schools and we’re in our first year. It’s hard work, but it’s also extremely rewarding. I’m a 5th/6th grade social studies teacher. JSA’s experience comes in handy quite often. It’s been quite a ride as I am getting my small organic soap business started, and between that and Teach for America, coffee has become a centerpiece in my life.”

Former 1990/91 MidAtlantic JSA Governor, Mike Shor (SS Georgetown 89) from Freehold Township, N.J., teaches in the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He earned his BA from the University of Virginia and his MA and Ph.D from Rutgers. Mike is married to Dr. Leslie McCabe Shor, who is an Assistant Professor in the Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering Department.

A Shout-out to NYC-area alums from Larry Guillemette: “We’re trying to organize a NYC JSA alumni event in the near future (probably spring 2011) and I am looking for some JSA alumni to help us with a steering committee.” Interested? Contact Larry at .

If you'd like to share an update for the next issue of Karen's Corner, send your news to Karen at .

– This month's newsletter by: David M. Cole, Karen Prosser, Matt Saunders and Dave Viotti.