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

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?

New Yerd Resolutions for 2016

New Yerd Resolutions for 2016

As we bid farewell to 2015, reflection is a key part in preparing for and improving in 2016. Looking back, determining what worked and what didn’t, noting which goals were met and which ones are still on the to-do list… these are all important in evaluating and self-assessing to make 2016 the best year ever!

Complete the downloadable “New Yerd’s Resolution” sheet below for yourself, or as a staff to set the right tone for an amazing year.


Let’s make 2016 the best yet.