How Our Yearbook Went from Ground Zero to Award-Winning

How Our Yearbook Went from Ground Zero to Award Winning

I consider myself competitive, not in the sporty sense, but in other aspects of life, such as playing board games, working on projects and creating a yearbook. But I must say, it has taken me 15 years to win a Crown from Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

I had three barriers:

  1. The yearbook representative I worked with for my first seven years did not send me to workshops or camps or tell me about professional journalistic organizations (This was not Herff Jones.)
  2. I had an after school club that met once a week, which left me doing much of the yearbook myself.
  3. I did not realize the importance of having my yearbook critiqued, especially since it was a junior high school book (grades 8-9).

It was not until I changed yearbook companies, began teaching a class during the school day, attended workshops and camps and joined Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2012 that my yearbook began to take a new life of its own.

Be prepared to be shocked. I thought our yearbook was really good, or at least not too bad…

When I received our first critique, it came with many suggestions for improvement. This can be a bit daunting at first, but this is what I asked for when I submitted my book. However, this feedback would completely alter the journalistic and photographic quality of our yearbook. We received a silver medal for our first submission. With your critique…

  1. Keep the to-do list short and attainable

I decided which suggestions would be easy to change and made a short list of what I wanted to improve the next year. You cannot do it all in one year unless you want to burn out.

  1. Continue to polish and improve

The following year I added more to my list of improvements and kept the ones I had established. Although I received a bit less feedback for improvements, we received another silver medal, but our points were creeping closer to a gold medal.

  1. Receive feedback from other people

While I submitted our book to CSPA, I had our yearbook critiqued by Bruce Watterson each time we attended Georgia Yearbook Expo. I compiled his suggestions along with the others I had received to make further improvements.

  1. Go for the Gold

We won a gold medal for our 2015 and 2016 yearbook. I was ecstatic because our book was finally becoming journalistically mature. I found out a few months later that our 2015 yearbook was nominated for a Crown. When I attended the conference at Columbia University in the spring, we proudly received a Gold Crown. This past year, our 2016 book received a Silver Crown.

  1. Analyze Yearbooks

After winning a Crown, I was asked if I would like to analyze yearbooks. This is great opportunity because it allows me to see other books, glean ideas, make suggestions and praise what yearbook staffs are doing well. I enjoy helping others improve their yearbooks, but most of all, it reinforces what I need to be doing myself. Reviewing yearbooks is time consuming if you want to be thorough, but it is beneficial to the staff because you want to honor the time they have put into their book and also the finance it costs to become a member of these journalistic organizations.

A Few Yerdy Tips:

  1. Start with one journalistic organization because they can be expensive to join. I suggest Columbia Scholastic Press Association and National Scholastic Press Association. Another organization is Journalism Education Association, which allows advisors to submit student work and awards students for outstanding achievement.
  2. If you are on a budget, have a professional or consultant at one of Herff Jones’ camps analyze your yearbook. It is nominal fee compared to joining an organization.
  1. If you are worried about submitting a middle/junior high school yearbook, do not let this stop you. These yearbooks are just as important as high school yearbooks and your staff needs to know that with the right tools and knowledge they can go from ground zero to award-winning.

Teaching the Real World Skills They’ll Need

Teaching the Real World Skills They'll Need

Over the past few months, I have taken the time to network with industry experts on LinkedIn.  Through LinkedIn, I have made contacts and have also taken my students into the industry. In doing so, I have provided my students with the opportunity to see how the skills they are learning in publications are transferable in the real world. In addition, each and every business we have visited has offered to keep in contact with my students with possible internship opportunities down the road.

Teaching the Real World Skills They'll Need

This opportunity allowed me to teach (and reiterate) some basic life skills like…

  1. Make eye contact
  2. Do your research before we visit
  3. Ask meaningful questions
  4. Say please and thank you
    (And, my all time favorite…)
  5. Send a handwritten thank you note

Teaching the Real World Skills They'll Need

Teaching the Real World Skills They'll Need

Teaching the Real World Skills They'll Need

I believe my students now see the value of the skills they have learned. In addition, instead of facing end-of-the-year “senioritis,” I now have a more engaged classroom. I have students, on their own, making business cards, creating resumes and applying for summer internships in the industry — none of this is required or suggested by me. They no longer see themselves as “just high school students.”

Ironically, one of my students has an interview with a local magazine on Friday. The student’s mom told her, “You better tell them you are not a real journalist; you are just a student.” That mentality has to end. Changing that mindset all begins with the expectations we set for our students and the experiences we are able to provide them.

Square One: How Yearbooks Take Shape

Square One: How Yearbooks Take Shape

He stood on the workshop stage talking about his calling of putting “souls on paper,” and then explained a simple methodology for allocating the real estate of a yearbook spread, providing more opportunities for those soulful stories to emerge.

He is Steve Kent, our Herff Jones yearbook representative and consultant in Roanoke, Va., and the approach he discussed is something he named Square One.

“It’s about turning zeros into ones,” Steve said several times in his presentation referring to students with zeros next to their names in coverage reports.

Those students’ hearts will sink when they turn to the indices in the backs of their yearbooks and discover their only contributions to the book – and of the year as recorded – was sitting for a portrait. A mention elsewhere, and an additional page reference beside their names, tells them they were part of something. Part of the community. Part of the year in the history of their schools.

A logical – and easy – formatting approach for placing photographs and words on pages, Square One is based on reimagining the “architecture” of pages into a modern grid. This grid allows for both interchangeable modules of content and separation space between them, if the staff so chooses.

Many high-profile yearbook staffs have been using grid-based formatting for decades. Review the pages of a Crown winner from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association or a Pacemaker winner from the National Scholastic Press Association, and you’ll see a dedication to souls on paper that has won awards. But what makes Square One a breakthrough is its ease of use, its focus on getting more and more students onto pages and the speed with which contemporary spreads can be created. Its ease and speed free staff members to explore more stories, more photographs, more facets of the story of the year and to tell that story through more voices than ever before.

To say “we’re changing how yearbooks take shape” is a bold statement, and Herff Jones embraces it.

We’ve leveraged our network of staffs, gained input and tested this approach for years before launching it today, May 1, 2017.

We are taking the benefits of grid design to our international family of schools. We have enabled our industry-leading eDesign online program to embody this grid, this architecture. Herff Jones’ staffs may now select the Swiss grid while setting up their books in eDesign, or download formatted templates for InDesign.

And, just like that, the contemporary architecture is in place!

Staffs using eDesign or InDesign may choose from our libraries of pre-built, interchangeable modules or create their own.

New advisers will find in Square One the confidence they need to begin, and veterans looking to change things up will find a refreshing approach with which to inspire their staffs.

In spring design clinics and workshops, an army of Square One “evangelists” is ready to share this approach. From the islands of Hawaii, across the Great Plains to the southern-most beaches of Florida, excitement is growing for Square One.

Nath Kapoor, a sophomore and editor-in-chief at Eastside High School in Taylors, S.C., said, “An ‘aha’ moment occurs when the jumble of picas and gutters and modules and white space comes together to form a well-designed page so the stories about people who matter in your community can shine.”

Nath’s “stories about people who matter in your community,” is another way to describe what Steve Kent’s calling to put “souls on paper.”

The real estate on the page, the grid, the mods, the materials and surrounding support are all instruments for including more students in the yearbook more times.

Sharing meaningful stories and capturing “souls on paper” is why so many yerds and advisers love what they do. Those tasks can be easier when you start with Square One.

So — About That Picture You Downloaded from the Internet…

So — About That Picture You Downloaded from the Internet…

As my staff developed coverage both this year and last to capture the historic 2016 presidential campaign, they found themselves needing high-quality images of the candidates. One of my students said in February 2016, “Well, they’re public figures. Can’t we just download images from the internet, you know, if they’re high quality enough?”  

The answer, due to copyright laws, is of course, “No.”  

Most of the time.

In December 2002, an organization called the Creative Commons released six copyright licenses that allow content creators to find a way to license their work beyond the then-traditional “all rights reserved” copyright that most people are aware of. Now nearly a decade and a half old, the Commons’ licenses give creators the opportunity to share their work, and other creators to access works that might otherwise be unavailable to them.

In our case, our students needed a set of portraits of the Democratic and Republican primary contenders, and we didn’t have the means for a yearbook staff member to capture those images first-hand. Instead, we turned to Google, searching “creative commons candidate portraits,” and found that the first hit was from PetaPixel.com — an article about college student Gage Skidmore. Skidmore, an Arizona State University accounting major, shot and posted tens of thousands of CC-licensed images of the candidates in recent years, and has well over 30 million hits at his Flickr page, where users can download and make use of his images, provided they credit the work under a Creative Commons attribution share-alike, or “CC-BY-SA,” license. Skidmore’s photographs were used by President Trump’s own website, in addition being featured at NPR.org, the Washington Post and via the Associated Press.

Staffs and advisers interested in learning more about the Commons’ licenses can go here:

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

You can see our staff’s primaries and campaign page here:

So — About That Picture You Downloaded from the Internet…

The Creative Commons licenses can be applied to more than just photographs. Our video team at Tesserae has used CC-licensed songs as music beds for our advertisements and other content, sourcing music from the Free Music Archive, BenSound and SoundCloud, among others. Remember that the burden is on you, as the user, to do your homework with each album, song or other creative work to ensure that it is licensed to you under the Creative Commons, and that you do due diligence on crediting the creators with bylines and attribution in your videos, pages, spreads and books.

Push and Empower your Students

Push and Empower your Students

The cover and front and back endsheets arrived (and, yes, we ARE a summer delivery book.) They were BEAUTIFUL! I was so impressed by my students work that I wanted to shout from the rooftops. In an effort to provide my students with real world opportunities, I decided to ask the school administration if my students could present their theme concept to them. Why not, right? This is what they would have to do if they were working for an ad agency and had to pitch their campaign to a potential client. The principals said yes and anticipated presentation day.

Sixth hour arrived. My four editors and one assistant editor were standing in the hall nervous about what they were going to say. When I saw what was going on I went out into the hall and put a kybosh on their nerves. I explained to them that this was their opportunity to showcase their work for the year and to explain their vision.

Thirty minutes later the editors returned to the classroom with confidence, but they were also empowered. The energy in the room was so contagious. The administration was so impressed, they asked the editors to prepare a video explaining the theme to show to the entire school. In addition, they wanted to allow the students to create a mini-lesson which would help add depth to our theme by getting student feedback. Then, they wanted us to advertise how students can get their hands on this book. The administration wants us to infuse our theme into the fabric of our community.

By empowering my students to showcase what could be a controversial theme, we got the administration to buy into it. In addition, the students gained valuable presentation skills. I call that a win-win!

Varsity Brands is Searching for the Most Spirited Yearbook

Varsity Brands is Searching for the Most Spirited Yearbook

The Varsity Brand School Spirit Awards opened on January 23 and include lots of categories that students, faculty and groups in your school could be eligible to win — including a new, and very special category named “Most Spirited Yearbook Award.” You know how it goes though — if you don’t play, you can’t win. But in this case, if you don’t enter, you can’t win. So what are you waiting for? The book your staff is slaving over right now could win an award even before the last deadline is submitted. Here’s what you need to know:

  • All entries must include a 500-word essay explaining why the nominee (the 2016-2017 yearbook and yearbook staff) is deserving of the award.  
  • A letter of recommendation is also required from a principal, administrator or community leader.
  • Two photos of the nominee and their work
  • Optional: links to additional media (including but not limited to press releases, videos, photos, articles, etc.)

Here is an official description and additional, specific requirements:

The most memorable school yearbooks have a theme that sets it apart from other school years – a theme that captures the specific spirit and personality of that group of students. Themes based on school pride are perennial favorites. We’re looking for a pride-themed yearbook that publicly celebrates achievements large and small, group and individual contributions to the school.

  • Nominee must be a high school
  • Essay should include specific examples of school pride from the 2016 or 2017 yearbook
  • Nominee must upload up to 5 pages from the 2016 or 2017 yearbook

Your staff and the work you do deserves recognition. The deadline to enter is February 13 — good luck!

An Awesome Opportunity for High School Juniors

An Awesome Opportunity for High School Junior

If you have passionate, driven and journalism-loving high school juniors on your staff, pay close attention. These individuals have the chance to apply to be one of only 51 high school juniors chosen to attend the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference at the Newseum in Washington D.C. June 17-22, 2017.

The 51 chosen rising seniors will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C where they’ll delve deep into exciting and rewarding learning experiences. Not only that, but each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice — how exciting!

Just make sure they apply by February 1 at www.freespirit.org!

The Yearbook Cover is a First Impression

A Yearbook Cover is the First Impression

A yearbook cover is the staff’s initial opportunity to make a great first impression. It introduces the voice of the book, provides essential details for the reader and defines the book’s personality. Covers can employ strong verbal statements and simple graphics to introduce a classic concept. While silkscreened covers offer the most traditional look, litho covers allow staffs options galore, including the inclusion of photographs.

Before you and your staff begin mind-melding for your next book’s cover, take some tidbits of inspiration from some examples taken straight from Ideas That Fly! While we plan to showcase more ITF inclusions on the blog this summer, we chose to kick it off with a variety of black and white examples.


WHITE YEARBOOK COVERS

Choosing an all white cover can allow for simplicity, yet boldness at the same time. You could include thin type and simple graphics, bold,  large type and even employ a single color to deliver an intended impact.

 

North Forsyth High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones


This simple cover doesn’t prepare readers for the unexpected: almost 200 full-color photos of students that line the front endsheet. The triangular shape suggested on the cover becomes a predominant design element within the book.


NORTH FORSYTH HIGH SCHOOL
Carpe Diem, Cumming, GA

 

Greenfield Junior High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones


The Ingenium chose the stark contrast of black and white to illustrate the two parts of their theme statement. Throughout the book, they use vertical headlines and the split 20 to enclose mods as they did on the cover.


GREENFIELD JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
Ingenium, Gilbert , AZ

 

Brentwood School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

Alluding to the idea that the four years of high school fly by, the theme statement sits on a background of matte white litho. Bold modern type is accented by sky blue, and the statement is embossed to add emphasis.


BRENTWOOD SCHOOL

Aerie, Los Angeles, CA

Albany High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesEdwardsburg High School | 2014 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones Waterford Kettering High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesLyons Township High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesLeigh High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesCrown Point High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesDiamond Bar High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesMayfield High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesCanyon Crest Academy | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

BLACK YEARBOOK COVERS

Black covers are a bold move, too. Include geometric patterns, an array of photos or keep it plain and simple with thin type and simplistic graphics.

 

Lawton Chiles High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

A geometric pattern of tessellated triangles, randomly embossed, debossed and UV coated, creates the visual introduction to the theme. The pattern continues through the book in lines on photos and as backgrounds.


Lawton Chiles High School

Wolfpack, Tallahassee, FL

 

Mark Keppel High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

To celebrate their 75th yearbook, the staff chose to fill the numbers with student photos, gloss laminated to provide contrast. The actual theme, “From 7 to 5,” seeks to show the lives of the students throughout the school day.


Mark Keppel High School

Teocalli, Alhambra, CA

 

De Smet Jesuit High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

Circles connected by lines with UV coating on the black matte litho cover form the graphic element that carries into the book. The theme phrase becomes an opening to the numerous quotes used in the copy on the theme spreads.


De Smet Jesuit High School

Olympiad, Creve Couer, MO

 

West Ottawa High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesPines Valley Middle School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesHolt High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesMiami Lakes Education Center | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesHaslett High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesNorthville High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesAlameda Hgh School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones New Trier High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesGrayson Hgh School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesThe Hun School of Princeton | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesCottage Grove High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesJohnsonville School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesKings Mountain High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesCentral High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesSomer Hgh School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesStroudsburg High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesTokay High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesLambert High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesLadue Horton Watkins High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesAlexander W Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones Turner Ashby High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff JonesOld Mill High School | 2015 Yearbook Cover | Black & White Cover Inspiration | Printed by Herff Jones

 

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Congratulations to 2015 NSPA HJ Award Winners!

Congratulations to 2015 NSPA HJ Award Winners!

Lots of Herff Jones staffs celebrated recognition for their 2015 yearbooks at the recent JEA/NSPA National Spring Journalism Convention in Los Angeles. The National Scholastic Press Association honored 88 middle school and high school yearbooks in its Pacemaker competition at an awards ceremony on Saturday, April 16. Of the 50 books winning national Pacemakers, 26 were printed by Herff Jones.

Herff Jones Yearbooks presented with 2015 Pacemaker honors included the following:

Equus, Dobson HS, Mesa, AZ

La Vista, Mountain View HS, Mesa, AZ

Titanium, Antelope (CA) HS

Nugget, Cupertino (CA) HS

Jamboree, Toby Johnson MS, Elk Grove, CA

Rampages, Casa Roble HS, Orangevale, CA

Summit, Smoky Hill HS, Aurora, CO

The Prowl, Powell MS, Littleton, CO

Eagle Eye View, Sierra MS, Parker, CO

Paragon, Munster (IN) HS

Le Flambeau, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, MO

Westwind, West Henderson HS, Hendersonville, NC

Daedalus, Northeastern HS, Manchester, PA

The Hawk, Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, TX

The Quest, John Champe HS, Aldie, VA

Techniques, TJHSST, Alexandria, VA

Nuntius, Altavista (VA) Combined School

Crag, Turner Ashby HS, Bridgewater, VA

Odyssey, Chantilly (VA) HS

The Guardian, Westfield HS, Chantilly, VA

The Cavalier, Geo. Washington HS, Danville, VA

Sentry, Robinson MS, Fairfax, VA

Above & Beyond, Robinson Secondary, Fairfax, VA

The Buzzer, Brookville HS, Lynchburg, VA

The Clan, McLean (VA) HS

Theogony, Hidden Valley HS, Roanoke, VA


An additional 21 Herff Jones-printed books were recognized as Pacemaker Finalists at the convention:

Ingenium, Greenfield Jr HS, Gilbert, AZ; Mesquite Roots, Mesquite HS, Gilbert, AZ; Farrier, The Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA; Wingspan, James C. Enochs HS, Modesto, CA; OIS Scenario, Orinda (CA) Intermediate; El Cazador, Huntington MS, San Marino, CA; Titanian, San Marino (CA) HS; The Crusader, Castle Rock (CO) MS; Golden Images, Chaparral HS, Parker, CO; Epic, Legend HS, Parker, CO; The Cobra, Coleman MS, Tampa, FL; Pinnacle, Carmel (IN) HS; Log, Columbus (IN) North HS; Dragon, Johnston (IA) HS; The Legend, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, MO; Nai’a, Greenspun Jr HS, Henderson, NV; Tesserae, Corning-Painted Post HS, Corning, NY; Pelican, Pelham (NY) Memorial HS; Lair, Lake Braddock HS, Burke, VA; Cavalier Classic, Carroll County HS, Hillsville, VA; and Accolade, Cave Spring HS, Roanoke, VA.

The Pacemaker, NSPA’s highest honor for publications, is unofficially known as the “Pulitzer Prize of student journalism.” A panel of judges considers coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics in naming Pacemaker Finalists and Pacemakers.

The other major yearbook competition at the convention was NSPA’s Best of Show, where Herff Jones schools took home trophy honors in two of five categories and garnered 27 of the 49 places awarded.

Herff Jones awarded schools are listed below in green:

Junior High Yearbook

  1. Jamboree, Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove, CA
  2. The Scrapbook, Westfield (IN) Middle School
  3. Eagle Eye View, Sierra Middle School, Parker, CO
  4. The Prowl, Powell Middle School, Littleton, CO
  5. Sentry, Robinson Middle School, Fairfax, VA
  6. The Crusader, Castle Rock (CO) Middle School
  7. Ingenium, Greenfield Junior High School, Gilbert, AZ
  8. El Cazador, Huntington Middle School, San Marino, CA
  9. Specifics, Seven Lakes Junior High School, Katy, TX

Yearbook 232 or Fewer Pages

  1. Rampages, Casa Roble High School, Orangevale, CA
  2. Historian, McClintock High School, Tempe, AZ
  3. Crag, Turner Ashby High School, Bridgewater, VA
  4. Wings, Arrowhead Christian Academy, Redlands, CA
  5. Daedalus, Northeastern High School, Manchester, PA
  6. Surfer, Coronado Middle School, Coronado, CA
  7. Chronicle, Classical Academy High School, Escondido, CA
  8. Excalibur, Higley High School, Gilbert, AZ
  9. Mesquite Roots, Mesquite High School, Gilbert, AZ
  10. Spud Annual, Idaho Falls (ID) High School

Yearbook 233-288 Pages

  1. Details, Whitney High School, Rocklin, CA
  2. Decamhian, Del Campo High School, Fair Oaks, CA
  3. The Miller, Yukon (OK) High School
  4. Sunset, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe, AZ
  5. Log, Columbus (IN) North High School
  6. Lion’s Roar, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville, TN
  7. Westwind, Lewis-Palmer High School, Monument, CO
  8. Titanium, Antelope (CA) High School
  9. Tonitrus, Rocklin (CA) High School
  10. The JAG, Mill Valley High School, Shawnee, KS

Yearbook 289-336 Pages

  1. The Arena, Legacy High School, Mansfield, TX
  2. Wingspan, James C. Enochs High School, Modesto, CA
  3. Indian, Shawnee Mission North High School, Overland Park, KS
  4. Titanian, San Marino (CA) High School
  5. Vox Populi, Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, CA
  6. Howelltonian, Francis Howell High School, St. Charles, MO
  7. Aquila, Etiwanda (CA) High School
  8. Re-Wa-Ne, Reno (NV) High School
  9. Above & Beyond, Robinson Secondary School, Fairfax, VA
  10. Epic, Legend High School, Parker, CO

Yearbook 337 or More Pages

  1. Legend, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, FL
  2. Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, KS
  3. Tesserae, Corning-Painted Post High School, Corning, NY
  4. Etruscan, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, IL
  5. Lair, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Shawnee, KS
  6. El Paisano, Westlake High School, Austin, TX
  7. Pinnacle, Carmel (IN) High School
  8. Ursus, Granite Bay (CA) High School
  9. Odyssey, Chantilly (VA) High School
  10. Legend, Coronado High School, El Paso, TX

More than 3,875 student journalists and their advisers from more than 500 schools in 41 states, plus Canada attended the JEA/NSPA Spring National HS Journalism convention where the awards were presented.

A BIG congratulations to all winners!

Editors — How to Choose the Next One or Be a Contender

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Editors — How to Choose the Next One or Be a Contender

It’s second semester and half the workload (if not more) still remains on your staff’s to-do list — monitoring coverage, planning how to capture spring events and sports, preparing for distribution day — one of the most rewarding parts of creating the masterpiece that is your yearbook. But at the same time, current Editors-in-Chief (along with their advisers) have the next possible editors on their radar.

So what are some things to look for in new EICs or to do if you hope to be in that top leadership role? Here are five traits that advisers can look for and hopeful staffers can strive for to attain that often coveted position.

1)   Organization

The ringleader of the yearbook staff needs to be organized in all areas, all year long. Who can handle the structuring of the ladder? Who can allocate photography and spread assignments so that coverage is not only thorough, but also amazing? Whose workspace and minds are clear enough to answer fellow staffers’, parents’ and teachers’ questions?

2)   Dedication

It’s not hard to really get attached to a theme concept when it’s first developed, but the real trick is maintaining that commitment throughout the year, even when things aren’t pretty. Notice who is still giving the book their all, day in and day out.

3)   Ability to Keep Staff Stress and Drama to a Minimum

It’s especially important to choose or be the leader who can effectively rein in the whole staff when deadlines get super stressful. An editor who can maintain composure when things are a little crazy is a very valuable asset to a successful yearbook program.

4)   A Teacher

If your staff currently has an amazing Editor-in-Chief, chances are he or she is an excellent teacher — patient, understanding and willing to pass along knowledge and skills to those on staff who need it. After all, when each new EIC is named, the current leaders pass on their yearbook skillset and advice on leading the team into battle… or at least into deadlines.

5)   Strong Work Ethic

This one should be a no-brainer, but the EIC is the one who will work early mornings, between classes and through lunch to complete a deadline. They are the ones who will encourage other members and heighten morale. They will pick up slack where it’s needed and will do it with a smile because this is their book, and their team and they are 100% in, 100% of the time.

There are all sorts of traits that make up an awesome EIC, but these few can certainly help narrow down your options for choosing your next fearless leader. Or, if you’re a current hopeful staffer, focus on staying the course — amidst deadlines, finals and second semester activities — to prove that you are editor material.

What are some traits you look for in choosing your next Editor-in-Chief?