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Take Your Yearbook Into the

DIGITAL AGE

QR Codes make your yearbook come alive! endless coverage dynamic & exciting dimension safe & secure accessible profitable Example of a Graduation Speech video (pictured left)

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Example of a Sporting Event video

Example of a Senior Ad video

Example of a Spirit Rally video

Scan with any smartphone using a QR code reader.

Balfour’s exclusive eYearbook: The first truly interactive yearbook! • • • •

More room for more memories without adding page count. Flexible navigation with an easy way to search for names and activities. Affordable, because your school can offer the eYearbook to everyone who buys a printed copy for one low fee. No extra work for you since Balfour stores all content for 30 years and handles the file conversion.


contents 02 03 04 06 08 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

editor’s note my I quote you? school spotlight be there writing be there in person be there in print the big question countdown good writing better writing best writing yearbook roadshow scholarship recipient

editor marilyn scoggins copy judi coolidge contributing writers melanie bradshaw, judi coolidge, peter o. elmers, kim foreman, jeffre heath, kaleah hicks, sherry holbrook, leah hooper, susanna jakubik, jason jolley, cathy mcclellan, stephanie mitchell, jeff moffitt, julia poe, becky tate, lizabeth a. walsh designer oscar mascorro cover caitlin dotson ads jamie antholzner big question images clif palmberg circulation linda smith elements 1 fall 2013


editor’s note be there

Marilyn Scoggins, editor Elements is published two times a school year for yearbook advisers and staff members by Balfour, 1550 West Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75235, (800) 677-2800. Additional subscriptions $10. Bulk mail paid in Dallas, Texas. Fall Issue 2013. Copyright 2013 by Balfour. Printed in the United States. Reproduction permitted for educational purposes only. Unsolicited manuscripts welcome; magazine assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material.

Whatever happens, . As a former adviser, I know the importance of showing up. Be there to capture the action and reaction in photos. Be there to chronicle the history of events, competitions and activities. Be there to recreate the memories of attending your school. Be there to record people’s names and accomplishments, game scores, historical changes, national events, new technologies, etc.

how why

Simply knowing to capture, chronicle, recreate and record is valuable, but knowing is imperative. The yearbook is a collection of stories: stories packed full of quotable quotes; stories that recreate the moment in the reader’s mind; stories that would not be told otherwise. So, whatever happens, be a storyteller.

school spotlight - Discover how

Kingwood Park High School used their 2013 yearbook theme as the inspiration for a faculty photo booth shoot (p. 4) and later displayed those images at a teacher appreciation breakfast.

writing - Becky Tate, adviser of

Shawnee Mission North High

elements 2 fall 2013

School, shares how the foundation of storytelling rests in the hands of student writers who show up in person to get the story and share it in print (p. 6).

big question - Nine advisers complete the statement “Whatever happens, ______________.” (p. 12). countdown to better writing -

If you can count backwards, you will see how easy it is to bring your stories to life (p. 14).

good, better, best writing -

Lizabeth Welch from Reno High School illustrates the difference between good, better, best storytelling (p. 16).

yearbook roadshow - Share

in the coast-to-coast learning environments with Balfour’s Key Accounts Manager, Jeff Moffitt (p. 22).

kudos & applause - Peter Elmers, a student from Bellaire High School, is Balfour’s National Merit Scholarship recipient (p. 24).

Jim Elliot, a missionary to Ecuador, said it best, “Wherever you are . . .

be all there.”

Tell stories that set the year apart.


may I quote you? by Judi Coolidge

Everyone loves a good quote. When used as part of yearbook coverage, quotes add details to the stories and make emotional connections with the readers. Also, when students are quoted accurately, quotes add credibility to the yearbook. They are the students’ stories, told in their words and voices.

use a graphic

organizer to choose the best people to interview GRAPHIC ORGANIZER

people people

people

people

explore story ideas for the spread

people

people

people people

GRAPHIC ORGANIZER

GRAPHIC ORGANIZER

Get Smart Worksheets Available Online: studio.balfour.com > Inspire & Learn > Learning Resources >

elements 3 fall 2013


SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT:

Kingwood Park HS Melanie Bradshaw Kingwood, Texas

We schedule our annual Teacher Appreciation Day for the spring, but we start making plans for the event in the fall. Last year our yearbook theme was focused, so our first appreciation day project involved building a photo booth and inviting all the teachers to come by and get their pictures taken. We had tons of props including feather boas, elements 4 fall 2013

say thank you plan a teacher appreciation day

glasses, hats, flowers, etc. Masquerading behind disguises eliminated the need to look picture perfect. Needless to say, we got some priceless shots. We printed each photo and made oversize photo booth strips. Those pictures were taken in October, but no one saw them until the spring. After a long week of STARR testing, we had Jason’s Deli

cater breakfast for the teachers and staff. We decorated the teacher’s lounge with posters of our T-shirt logo, I AM THE PRIDE OF KINGWOOD PARK HIGH SCHOOL. The Pride is the name of our yearbook. We hand-painted a banner that read YOU ARE THE PRIDE OF KPARK, pasted yearbook pictures all over it and hung the oversize photo booth strips.

To add a personal touch, each yearbook staff member wrote a thank you note to a member of the staff. Our teachers know The Pride yearbook staff appreciates them, and because of that, it’s easier to pull students out of class for interviews and photos.


We decorated the teacher’s lounge with posters of our T-shirt logo.

Our 2013 yearbook theme was focused.

Each yearbook staff member wrote a thank you note to a member of the staff.

Our book name is The Pride.

We built a photo booth and invited all the teachers to come by and get their pictures taken.

elements 5 fall 2013


be there by Becky Tate

Shawnee Mission North High School Overland Park, Kansas

writing

by paying attention, writers present sensations, perceptions, information

Hearing the senior linebacker scream “C’mon! We. Can. Do. This.” as he paces up and down the sideline. Seeing the quarterback’s 40-yard last second desperation heave toward the pack of receivers and defenders in the end zone with two seconds left on the game clock.

Be there. Being on the sidelines of the biggest miracle win of the season gives writers the visual material to craft a yearbook story that will bring the reader back to the jaw-dropping, text-yourfriends-who-left-10-minutes-too-soon moment. elements 6 fall 2013


Too often yearbook writers simply interview players two months after the game. They sit down on deadline night to produce general statements that don’t do justice to the win where the highlights made it onto the Sportscenter Top 10. The season was the biggest of the year. The 26-22 win marked the high point of the season. Senior Jack Stevens’ ‘hail mary’ pass is something most will never forget. “We were just very excited by the win,” Stevens said.

Be there. Being in the moment. Yearbook writing should be vivid and real. A good yearbook writer who pulls out an iPhone to dictate observations while the smell of the Gatorade is still fresh will make the writing process much easier. The images she might jot down on a reporter’s notebook will help bring the story to life two months or 15 years after yearbook is delivered. elements 7 fall 2013


be there

in p

A five-minute phone interview or, even worse, a text interview won’t give the writer the rich and vivid detail that hanging out or personally experiencing it provides. Take the case of the miracle football win. The writer who hangs out on the sideline should not only take in the final game moments, but consider what points she will be making with the observations.

members were still taking selfie re-enactments of their OMG faces. Whether it’s the season-altering football game or fetal pig dissections – capturing the sights and sounds and even smells of an event are essential to creating copy that will transport the reader back in time.

Equally essential to the writing are the interviews that will make up the bulk of the story.

The writer might decide to recreate the excitement of the moment. She may note how students, players and coaches hadn’t left the field 10 minutes after the Prior to the interview, the writer game was over. Or, 15 minutes should research the topic as much after the student body stormed as possible. Reading the stories the field, cheerleaders and band elements 8 fall 2013


Student reporters should be prepared for a conversation about an event, not an “interview.”

n person by Becky Tate

face-to-face interviews communicate with facial expression, body gestures, vocal inflection

in the last 3-5 yearbooks is a great start – and the high school newspaper archives from the last 2 years should also offer insight. Talking to other students about the topic also offers valuable information. Oftentimes students in the yearbook room who aren’t writing the story are involved in some way. While staffers can’t interview them for the story, they can talk to them and find out some great background information – including the names of the best sources to be interviewed. Once the interviews are set up and questions written (at least 10 open-ended), student reporters should be prepared

for a conversation about an event, not an “interview.” The 10 questions are starting points for a conversation with someone. Use of a digital recorder (or a recording app on a smart phone), with the interviewee’s permission, allows for fuller, richer quotes for the complete story. The reporter should take notes and then rely on the digital files to help capture the best quotes. Never rely only on the digital recorder, but use it as a backup with your notes helping guide you through the interview.

Candles” while waiting to go to prom,” junior Betsy Smith said. Anyone who has seen the classic film immediately connects with the angst and ultimately the great time Ringwald had at Prom. Quotes like these make the story real. Don’t bore readers with “Prom was fun. I liked the decorations,” quotes.

The best quotes capture the real side of students and faculty. “I felt like Molly Ringwald in “Sixteen elements 9 fall 2013


The main headline is called the teaser. It teases the reader into looking at the story.

be there

in print by Becky Tate

Once the story is written, (and that can take 18, 19 or even 20 drafts), it’s time to write a dynamic headline that connects the story and the dominant photo used on the spread. Sometimes the reporter writes the headline. Other times a designer writes and designs it. Either way, whoever writes the headline for the story must first read the story. Most yearbook designs have a main headline and a secondary headline. The main headline is called the teaser. It teases the reader into looking at the story. It does not need to have a subject or a verb, elements 10 fall 2013

teaser captures attention, teller presents specifics

but it does need to be creative and fun. “Miracle catch” for the lastsecond football win. Or maybe “Hail Mary.” Or “Up for grabs.”

is about. It is designed with little flair, but is larger than the body type and easily identified as a secondary headline.

The teaser needs to grab the reader – and should visually tie to the dominant photo on the page. Ideally this would be a photo of that famed last second catch. And a QR code on the page showing the video of the catch wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Tellers inform the reader about the content of the story. This is the place you tell the reader “Football team makes last-second Hail Mary catch to capture championship.”

The teaser is loud and designed with flair. The secondary headline, or the teller, is typically 1-2 lines of type that tells the reader what the story

Tellers include a subject and verb and are written in present tense. In essence, they are a single sentence summarizing the story. Be careful not to hyphenate a headline or use awkward splits if the secondary headlines more than one line long.


e r. r

2013 HAUBERK

Dow Tate, adviser Shawnee Mission East HS Prairie Village, Kansas

parts of a whole DOMINANT PHOTO:

HEADLINE: the teaser

photo which is 2 - 2 1/2 times larger than any other photo

pulls the reader into the story

SUBHEAD: the teller

CAPTIONS:

decribes what is going on in a photo

describes what the story is about

STORY:

QUICKREAD:

retells an event which happened during the school year that pertains to an event or group

infographic about a subject pertainting to the topic of the page

yearbook staff bring multiple elements together to create yearbook pages elements 11 fall 2013


g i b e h t n o i t s e u q We ask nine advisers:

“WHATEVER HAPPENS . . . ”

Susanna Jakubik Ridge Point High School Missouri City, Texas

We will always be professional & produce a quality product, remembering that the students are our primary audience. elements 12 fall 2013

Stephanie Mitchell

Burleson High School Burleson, Texas

Just go with it. Keep smiling and make the best of the crises that WILL arise. Because yearbook production is a learning experience for you and your students, whatever happens this year will make a great case study for future staffs. My first year was filled with personal illness and technology issues, but surviving it made me a stronger teacher and my team a cohesive unit. My repeat team members love to tell war stories to new members of our Yerd Family: “You think that’s bad, two years ago...” Yearbook veterans become teachers when they reveal how we resolved the problem.

Jeffre Heath CD York Junior High Spring, Texas

Whatever happens... beat it to fit and paint it to match!


Kim Foreman

Tulpehocken High School Bernville, Pennsylvania WHATEVER HAPPENS, it is always fixable. Just brainstorm! Think outside the box! As an 11th year adviser, I’ve had bad things happen that were difficult to fix. For example, we described our mascot, the Trojan, as a “popular prophylactic.” The interim administration OK’d the phrase. The newly hired administration did not. The book was already printed, so we had to place stickers over the phrase in each book before distribution. Another year, early in my adviser tenure, a well-intentioned Editor-in-Chief had to drop yearbook class. Even though she swore to still fulfill her duties, it didn’t happen. But a sophomore, a first year-staffer with exceptional leadership abilities, stepped up and became the editor, not only for that year, but also for the remainder of her high school career. WHATEVER HAPPENS, it’s up to you to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Sherry Holbrook Crescent High School Iva, South Carolina Whatever happens, take a deep breath and consider the consequences of your decisions. Everyone thinks that his/her group deserves more space. But space is limited. One of my most unpopular decisions was eliminating full-page coverage of the homecoming queen and pageant winner. Despite objections, I still have to make sure the book represents everyone. I knew that it was the best decision for our school, and that’s key to producing the best book for everyone.

KaLeah Hicks Ross S. Sterling High School Baytown, Texas Whatever happens, I try to remember that our book WILL happen. This is my first year as an adviser. With a staff that has no experience, there is a great deal for all of us to learn. I definitely feel like a student again! Little by little, however, I feel confidence in our work and in our learning curve. I know that my staff and I will have challenges, but I also know, in the end, we will have a book we can be proud of. I’m excited about what my students will create.

Cathy McClellan Morristown East High School Morristown, Tennessee Smile! Learn to be positive in all things! There will be days when the computers crash or pages aren’t saving properly, copy writing is horrible and your evaluator walks in and says, “Do you do anything during yearbook?” Whatever happens, laugh! In time, whatever happens will work out. And bring chocolate the next day; it helps everyone’s attitude!

Leah Hopper

Goose Creek Memorial High School Baytown, Texas Whatever happens, learn from it. My first year as an adviser, I was lucky enough to attend a summer workshop. I took all of the great information and tried to apply it to everything we did. We weren’t successful with everything we did, but the staff managed to make more money than any previous staff had. Now that I’m advising for my third year, I am trying to continue to learn from my experiences and teach my students to do the same. We are not perfect, but we continue to improve, learning from our successes and failures.

Jason Jolley Chapin Middle School Chapin, South Carolina

Whatever happens, the success of this yearbook relies on the kids. I’m still clueless ;-)


countdown from start to finish, bring your stories to life

FIVE

RULE 1

QUOTE KIDS, NOT ADULTS.

SELECT POTENTIAL SOURCES FOR INTERVIEWS.

WHO should you interview?

• Advisers, department heads, teachers, coaches, administrators for background information. • Students for the action. • Spectators for the reaction. • People behind the scenes for the “inside” stories.

RULE 2

ELIMINATE ALL GENERIC QUOTES: “I LIKED THE DANCE A LOT.”

Only the person being interviewed could have said it. It reflects his or her personality and interests.

INTERVIEW SOURCES. LISTEN FOR QUOTABLE QUOTES What is a AND INTERESTING FACTS. quotable

FOUR FOUR

quote?

elements 14 fall 2013

THREE

CAPTURE VISUAL IMAGES THAT WILL HELP RECREATE THE MOMENTS IN THE READER’S MIND.


TWO

INCLUDE SENSORY IMAGES TO EXPAND THE READER’S EXPERIENCE.

ONE

DETERMINE ANGLE FROM WHICH TO TELL THE STORY. • Was a word or phrase repeated by interviewees? • Tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end.

SOUND hundreds of pairs of feet stomping on metal stands

• Did the interviewee keep mentioning the heat or the cold? • Did the smell of popcorn permeate the halls?

• Begin with the defining moment, something that sets the year apart.

SMELL the humid scent of boiled hot dogs

THERMAL

• By using concrete imagery, writers capture the moments so that readers may relive them 10, 20 or 50 years later.

their intertwined hands were their only source of heat

TASTE the sweet shell cracks & warm melted chocolate streams out

TOUCH

be a story

her cell phone vibrated in her coat pocket

Copy Worksheets Available Online: studio.balfour.com > Inspire & Learn > Learning Resources >

teller!

5-4-3-2-1 WORKSHEET

5

Contact 5 people who are affected by the event, season or activity. Name

Date

Location

Phone Number/E-mail

WRITING RUBRIC

COPY CHECKLIST GET IT?

1. I have 1. The 2. I have school NOT used year or the the school phrase initials "this or year" thedoes school name in my copy.

CATEGORY

YOU'VE GOT IT!

PRETTY CLOSE

Introduction

Lead is a "grabber" that creatively gets the attention of the reader.

Lead is a "grabber."

Organization

Well organized. Ideas follow each other logically with clear transitions.

Pretty well The story is a little Ideas seem to be organized. One hard to follow. The randomly arranged. or two ideas out transitions are Transitions are of place. Most sometimes not clear. missing or weak. transitions are clear.

Story Focus

The entire story is related to the topic and lets the reader share the emotions of the event.

Most of the story is Some of the story is Story fails to related to topic. The related to topic, but adequately report reader learns about a reader does not the event. the event, rather know much about than sharing it. the event.

Content

Every sentence contains a fact or a direct quote that adds opinion or emotion to the story.

Almost every Some sentences Too many sentences sentence contains contain facts or are empty, a fact. Almost all quotes. Some containing no facts quotes add opinion quotes add opinion or quotes. or emotion to the or emotion to the story. story.

Closing is creative, easy to understand and logical. No loose ends.

Closing is easy to understand and is somewhat logical.

2. The stories 3. school are year or the phrase "this year" does NOT appear anywhere in the copy.

NEARLY THERE Beginning was confusing rather than catchy.

NOT YET! No attempt was made to catch the reader's attention.

BEAT SHEET Beat Sheet Reporter Beat covered Contact name Who is involved?

• MANY • SEVERAL

___________________________________________________________ What is going on?

• DEDICATED

4

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

5. •The SOME stories do NOT make reference to the future of next year's team or activity.

Listen for 4 quotable quotes and 4 facts in your interviews. Facts

Quotes

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

• A LOT • SUCCESS/SUCCESSFUL

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

3. The following 4. stories arewords NOT written are NOT inused the present in the stories: tense. 4. The following words are NOT used in the stories:

_________________________________________ Date _____________

5. The copy 6. storiesis do NOT make reference to the future of next year's team or activity.

___________________________________________________________ Where is it happening?

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

6. The copy does 7. is NOTnot one contain paragraph a clich only. 7. The copy does not contain a cliché like: "a night to remember" or "at the drop of a hat".

GOT IT. Three quotes used perthe story which add substance and facts to the copy. Make1.sure you haveare also met following requirements:

Closing

1. Each 2. Threestory quotes begins are used with per an impact story which lead or add catchy substance angle and which facts attracts to thethe copy. reader's attention.

The reader is left with little closure.

When is it happening? Why is it happening?

4. Copy centers 5. is specific, onenlivened the students withand colorful their involvement verbs and memorable with school, descriptions. not the teachers.

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

The reader is left hanging.

___________________________________________________________ Direct quotes

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

2. You 3. Eachhave storyspelled beginsout with numbers an impact onelead through or catchy nineangle and used which numerals attracts for the10 reader's and above. attention. 3. Copy 4. You have is specific, spelledenlivened out numbers withone colorful through verbs nine andand memorable used numerals descriptions. for 10 and above.

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

Spelling and Punctuation

No spelling or One spelling and/or Over two spelling Over three spelling punctuation errors punctuation error and/or punctuation and/or punctuation in the final draft. in the final draft. errors. Inconsistent errors. No evidence Style book has been Style book has been use of style book. of style book use. used consistently. used.

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Reporter's signature

___________________________________________________________

Contact's signature

___________________________________________________________

Adviser's signature

___________________________________________________________

5. Copy centers on the students and their involvement with school, not the teachers.

elements 15 fall 2013


by Lizabeth A. Walsh Reno High School Reno, Navada

■ Telling an entire in-depth story isn’t something most yearbook staffs make the space to do, or at least they don’t have the space to do it often. Though yearbooks are certainly historical records, staffs tend to emphasize photographic accounts and visually-driven designs over large blocks of text. But staffs have to remember that in many cases, the primarily visual storytelling approach simply doesn’t tell the whole story, and sometimes, it merely scratches the surface. While storytelling captions can provide a variety of details about the photos they identify, they are not enough for every kind of story. ■ Training writers to spot these special places, where an in-depth story of nearly 1,000 words is appropriate, and coaching designers to accommodate the opportunities for this kind of in-depth storytelling is an important function of the yearbook adviser. Reminding students that telling the entire story is an option can help build a yearbook that records not only events, but also the emotions people felt during them.

elements 16 fall 2013

good better

best taking the time and space to tell the stories that matter

■ When students gather materials for any yearbook spread or coverage topic, they should be collecting far more than they expect to use—two to three times as much as they can possibly put on the spread or in a standard story. By doing this, they can be choosy, selecting only the strongest material to present in the final publication. JEA’s Adviser of the Year in 2009, McKinney (Texas) High School’s Lori Oglesbee, asks to see her students’ “other materials” when they show her a completed spread or story, so she knows that what she is seeing is (like Snapple) the best stuff, not just the only stuff.

Other advisers have followed suit, requiring their students to dig deeper and accumulate more interviews, background information, and details, and the quality of the work those students produce has improved. ■ To illustrate the concept of good, better, best storytelling, we’ll take a look at three versions of a story. The first is a good story, that is, a 246-word piece we might see from a strong writer/ first-year staffer who writes well, but doesn’t yet have the concept of complete storytelling perfected. ■ The second is a better story, one that contains

actual quoted material from different sources. This second version allows the reader to hear different voices and fleshes out the story to 612 words. ■ The third is the best story, and it is the actual awardwinning piece “Watching Her Fly: Senior Grace Pickell Continues High Jump Career,” written by Julia Poe, a staff member of “The Harbinger,” the newspaper at Shawnee Mission East HS in Prairie Village, Kan., where C. Dow Tate also advises the yearbook, The Hauberk. This final version was named 2013’s National Federation of Press Women Sports Story of the Year, and the details, structure, cadence, and other storytelling techniques allowed this best version to soar. ■ Advisers looking for help in these techniques should consider purchasing Jack Hart’s “A Writer’s Coach” and Roy Peter Clark’s “Writing Tools.” Both are easyto-use texts available through the JEA bookstore. William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well” is also a valuable resource, and it can be found at Amazon.com.


Standard word count sits between 200-300 words on pre-designed yearbook spreads. At 246 words, this would fit nicely into a template package, but the story at this length simply teases at the real story that is just waiting to be told. There are good storytelling elements, like Grace’s praying and the details about her plans for the Olympics, but it’s clearly not a complete thought yet.

Word Count: 246 She’s used to winning. She likes winning.

And then, impact. Grace has However, Grace didn’t place first. landed on the mats and she hasn’t She didn’t place second. She even brushed the bar. didn’t place at all. They could think A slow chant fills Cessna Stadium up a million excuses, but Grace with a rumble. Over and over After winning State, Grace was and her dad have settled on the again, they chant the same name. looking forward to flying through same conclusion. a summer of meets. She’d been Grace is doing the impossible. Or invited to participate in the Junior Grace, her family and her coaches at least, what she thought was Olympics, which consisted of three aren’t just training for next week’s the impossible. She’s peaking at meets – the regional qualifier in meet anymore. They’re not just state. She’s about to win state. New Mexico, the national qualifier training her to defend her state She’s going to set a record in the in Bloomington and the world title. They’re readying her for process. competition in Barcelona, Spain. Division I jumping. They’re training her to fight for a spot on the team All she does is pray. Please, God, Grace took second in New Mexico, that will wear red, white and blue in please, let me clear it. Don’t let my and she headed to Bloomington the 2016 Rio Olympics. shoulders hit, don’t let my back hit, filled with confidence. don’t let my heels hit. elements 17 fall 2013


Word Count: 612 “It’s a part of the sport,” Grace Pickell’s dad always says. “Jumpers always end on a failure.”

doesn’t like it. Sitting on the hot turf of the stadium in Bloomington, Indiana, she just feels wrong.

She takes a moment to look at the verse written in silver Sharpie inside her left wrist —Isaiah 41:10.

“No matter what, even if you win the meet, and you win state, or you win the Olympics,” he’ll remind her. “You always end with hitting the bar. There’s just a limit to how high you can jump.”

“Once I start something, I get really competitive, and I just need to win,” Grace says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s just a silly pickup game of basketball or a national championship, I get into it. I’m not conceited, I just want to win.”

“So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Grace doesn’t want to believe her dad. She keeps her eyes focused on the turf under her fluorescent pink and yellow Nike spikes, refusing to watch her competitors continue to jump. She’s not used to watching girls jump higher than her. She’s not used to finishing last, and she elements 18 fall 2013

A slow chant fills Cessna Stadium with a rumble. Over and over again, they chant the same name. Grace is doing the impossible. Or at least, what she thought was the impossible. She’s peaking at state. She’s about to win state. She’s going to set a record in the process.

All she does is pray. Please, God, please, let me clear it. Don’t let my shoulders hit, don’t let my back hit, don’t let my heels hit. “She honestly exceeded every expectation I could have set for her,” Meshke said. “It was one of the most exciting moments of my coaching career, watching her clear on her first jump. It was


This is nearly twice the standard length of yearbook stories, but the richness provided by the quoted material adds depth to what before merely skipped over the highlights of the story. If it needed to be edited for length, some of the storytelling techniques, like the details of the slow chant or the moment she takes to look at the Bible verse on her wrist could be reduced, but it would not be advisable to edit much below a word count of 500 because the more attractive elements we see in this version would disappear. awesome. It was perfect.” Grace races towards her dad and her coaches. She hugs them, then bends over, dropping her hands onto her knees and laughing at what she has accomplished.

in Bloomington and the world competition in Barcelona, Spain. Once again, she shattered expectations, but not in the way she wanted.

a million excuses, but Grace and her dad have settled on the same conclusion.

“It was a bad day,” Tim says. “Maybe things didn’t go how they were supposed to. Too bad. She’s There are a lot of things Grace and still a good jumper.” “Seeing your child achieve her dad remember from Nationals. something that they’ve worked so It was hot. The competitors were Grace, her family and her coaches hard for and that they really love,” quiet, serious. Most of them aren’t just training for next week’s Tim said. “It’s just like watching a were in college, wearing Florida meet anymore. They’re not just bird fly. It’s beautiful.” University and Texas A&M on their training her to defend her state jerseys. What Grace remembers title. They’re readying her for After winning State, Grace was the most is the starting height – 5’ Division I jumping. They’re training looking forward to flying through 7”. Almost a foot higher than the her to fight for a spot on the team a summer of meets. She’d been starting height at State. that will wear red, white and blue in invited to participate in the Junior the 2016 Rio Olympics. Olympics, which consisted of three Grace didn’t place first. She meets – the regional qualifier in didn’t place second. She didn’t New Mexico, the national qualifier place at all. They could think up elements 19 fall 2013


Watching Her Fly: Senior Grace Pickell Continues High Jump Career Posted by Julia Poe Sports, Track and Field September 10, 2012 11:03 am sme harbinger online Shawnee Mission East HS C. Dow Tate, adviser

Word Count: 942 “It’s a part of the sport,” Grace Pickell’s dad always says. “Jumpers always end on a failure.” “No matter what, even if you win the meet, and you win state, or you win the Olympics,” he’ll remind her. “You always end with hitting the bar. There’s just a limit to how high you can jump.” Grace doesn’t want to believe her dad. She keeps her eyes focused on the turf under her fluorescent pink and yellow Nike spikes, refusing to watch her competitors continue to jump. She fights the tears. She’s not used to this. She’s not used to watching girls jump higher than her. She’s not used to finishing last, and she doesn’t like it. Sitting on the hot turf of the stadium in Bloomington, Indiana, she just feels wrong. She’s used to winning. She likes winning. “Once I start something, I get really competitive, and I just need to win,” Grace says. “It doesn’t elements 20 fall 2013

matter if it’s just a silly pickup game of basketball or a national championship, I get into it. I’m not conceited, I just want to win.” Grace knows that she’s lost the chance to win the meet, the National Championships. As she packs her track bag, she decides to put it all behind her. The off day. The high nerves. The bad finish. There’s always another meet just around the corner. *** A slow chant fills Cessna Stadium with a rumble. Over and over again, they chant the same name. Grace is doing the impossible. Or at least, what she thought was the impossible. She’s peaking at state. She’s about to win state. She’s going to set a record in the process. She takes a moment to look at the verse written in silver Sharpie inside her left wrist —Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

She starts her approach. Ten steps. Bends the knees. Into the air. All she does is pray. Please, God, please, let me clear it. Don’t let my shoulders hit, don’t let my back hit, don’t let my heels hit. And then, impact. Grace has landed on the mats and she hasn’t even brushed the bar. Tim Pickell and Grace’s jump coach Chuck Sulzen watch from the stands as Grace shatters their expectations once again. She had started the year with excruciating pain- tendinitis in her left leg. Grace sat out practices. Her coaches simply hoped that she would make it through her first meet. So they didn’t expect Grace to win her first meet. Or her second. Or her third. They didn’t expect her to continue, almost undefeated, all the way to the state championship. And they didn’t expect to be leaping to their feet as Grace cleared the bar, set at the state record breaking height of 5’ 10 1/2”. On the mats, Grace can hardly


This version would require nearly three times the standard story space, so it would probably not fit into a template spread; however, in a specially-designed feature spread, packaged with an eye for both story and images, this piece would have an impact on casual readers who happen upon it as well as those who know Pickell well. It tells the story of this student, in this school, during this year, effectively presenting the news values of timeliness, prominence, proximity, conflict and human interest, all of which underline the importance of sharing such a story. contain herself. Everything around her is a blur. She catches tiny details— a friend from St. Thomas Aquinas running to hug her, the bright colors of uniforms, the tears streaking down head coach Brie Meshke’s face. “She honestly exceeded every expectation I could have set for her,” Meshke said. “It was one of the most exciting moments of my coaching career, watching her clear on her first jump. It was awesome. It was perfect.” Grace races towards her dad and her coaches. She hugs them, then bends over, dropping her hands onto her knees and laughing at what she has accomplished. “Seeing your child achieve something that they’ve worked so hard for and that they really love,” Tim said. “It’s just like watching a bird fly. It’s beautiful.” *** After winning State, Grace was looking forward to flying through a summer of meets. She’d been invited to participate in the Junior

Olympics, which consisted of three meets – the regional qualifier in New Mexico, the national qualifier in Bloomington and the world competition in Barcelona, Spain.

place second. She didn’t place at all. They could think up a million excuses, but Grace and her dad have settled on the same conclusion.

Grace took second in New Mexico, barely clipping her heels as she attempted to clear the Olympic trials height of six feet. She went into Bloomington with confidence, predicted to take second in the competition, expected to progress quickly to Barcelona.

“It was a bad day,” Tim says. “Maybe things didn’t go how they were supposed to. Too bad. She’s still a good jumper.” *** The steep, grassy hill behind East from the junior lot to the tennis courts doesn’t look very friendly to Grace. Not after two hours of sprinting, core work, shot putting and jumping in the Kansas heat with an Olympian.

Once again, she shattered expectations, but not in the way she wanted. There are a lot of things Grace and her dad remember from Nationals. It was hot. The competitors were quiet, serious. Most of them were in college, wearing Florida University and Texas A&M on their jerseys. What Grace remembers the most is the starting height – 5’ 7”. Almost a foot higher than the starting height at State. Grace didn’t place first. She didn’t

“It’s a part of the sport, jumpers always end on a failure.” Grace, her family and her coaches aren’t just training for next week’s meet anymore. They’re not just training her to defend her state title. They’re readying her for Division I jumping. They’re training her to fight for a spot on the team that will wear red, white and blue in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

elements 21 fall 2013


9/7/13 - 3:55:19 PM Spring, Texas

9/4/13 - 5:48:09 PM

6/4/13 - 11:45:36 AM Oxford, Mississippi

Overland Park, Kansas

No i in Team At the first workshop of the summer, participants identify their commitment, focus and spirit with their “I ♥ YB” T-shirts. The staffs made their presence known at Ole Miss by wearing the matching T-shirts. One way to make an impact in your school is to show that you are, in fact, a team.

Wrapped Up Before shooting at their annual Muckfest, the photographers at Shawnee Mission North wrap their cameras to protect them from being damaged by mud and shaving cream, the hallmarks of the event. When shooting events, adapt to the environment.

by Jeff Moffitt

Balfour Yearbooks Key Accounts Manager

9/6/13 - 9:40:09 AM Overland Park, Kansas

Humorous Memento While attending the NSPA/JEA Spring Convention in San Francisco, Shawnee Mission South HS returned with this Alcatraz souvenir. Attending conventions offers staffs an opportunity to meet and bond with other journalism students.

If the Shirt Fits… Student journalists capture the history of the year. The Klein Collins’ staff celebrate the history of their program by displaying it. Not only do they showcase their past covers and photos, they also display the staff T-shirts from each year.

yearbook roadshow

coast-to-coast discoveries to inspire & lead staffs

6/26/13 - 1:58:05 PM Breathtaking View West of Carson City, Lake Tahoe is located on the border of California and Nevada. During an Intensity Workshop at Reno High School, we took a gondola to the top of the mountain for a photo session. There were photo ops at every turn.

Great yearbooks begin with an inspiration. The same could be said for best practices. Every publication classroom has at least one great idea that should be shared with the world. Imagine what would happen if all of the best ideas were collected in one place. Because of their singular purpose, working on a publication bonds students and advisers. Sometimes the bond is created around something quirky like believing in the legendary ghost that lives in the auditorium rafters of Great Falls High School (Montana). Sometimes it’s celebrating an artistic creation the staff connects with like the Juan Wall at Los Gatos High School (California). Sometimes it’s as simple as enjoying a Soda Stream machine in the staff lab of Arlington High School (Washington). Whatever the connection, it’s the hilarious, the uplifting and sometimes the bizarre that yearbook students remember.

elements 22 fall 2013


9/21/13 - 10:50:52 AM

10/9/13 - 11:51:11 AM

Dallas, Texas

Intense Work Balfour’s annual Intensity Workshop in Dallas attracted 26 schools from across the country. Staffs attend to polish and refine their themes, designs, writing, photography and coverage. Seven yearbook experts guided staffs with advice and feedback. In addition they had an opportunity to tour the plant and meet with a cover artist.

9/24/13 - 9:28:56 AM

Osseo, Minnesota

9/28/13 - 3:32:54 PM

Yellowstone National Park

9/27/13 - 10:04:44 AM Helena, Montana

Hang-ups Walking down a hallway at Helena High School, the “All About Me Posters” caught my attention. It’s a cool way to promote the yearbook staff. (These posters can be ordered from Oriental Trading.) Create a buzz by getting outside the yearbook room and celebrating each staff member.

Sponsors of School Publications

Home on the Range No, I didn’t find this bison roaming the halls of a Montana high school, but I did get up close and personal with the beast. During my coast-to-coast travels, I was inspired by yearbook staffs’ innovations and enthusiasm.

Focused Attention Using a graphic organizer, the yearbook staff members at Osseo High School expand their theme concept, and then some. The results of their brainstorming session cover the chalkboard and push the staff to think outside the box.

follow the leader Yearbook, newspaper and broadcast students met at Kirkwood High School for an editorial leadership workshop in St. Louis, Missouri. The focus was to identify leadership styles, plan for the year and set goals. The workshop opened with a personality test requiring everyone to draw a pig. Minute to Win It games including “Face the Cookie” and “Hanky Panky” followed. To create an effective group dynamic, participants identified personality types and recognized staff strengths. Go to the following for game ideas: nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how to

elements 23 fall 2013


the recipient balfour’s national merit scholarship

video by carson ingle

peter o. elmers bellaire high school bellaire, texas advisers: patti simon & micaela segal representatives: ryan almon & hal schmidt KEEP CALM & CARRY ON “We need to update the ladder after we flow the portraits and index the names.” Such a statement will puzzle most people, but that sort of language has become a normal part of my everyday school life. In my four years of high school, no experience has come close to matching the impact that being a part of the yearbook staff has had; what I have learned and experienced as a member of the publication will stay with me for a lifetime. Rising from a clueless first-year staffer to an experienced senior editor taught me many things, not only about journalism and yearbook, but also about myself. “Now we have to PDF the proofs and ship the spreads to complete the signature.” With a deadline looming and the pressure mounting, a sense of being overwhelmed gradually washes over me: how am I going to finish? Seemingly every number I dial on my phone returns the dreaded “this number is no longer available” message as students elements 24 fall 2013

whom I seek to interview become impossible to reach. While I certainly do not feel a shortage of stress, working with numerous deadlines lets me learn about myself. As I look at and understand how I handle the situation, I find that although urgency and panic never lie far from my mind at such times, I remain calm and focused – I just wing it and do what must be done. As the date approaches, I take to the room S370 more and more as a home as I spend more and more time buried in my work. But I never work alone. In fact, my co-staffers and I see each other as family, complete with “babies” and “parents.” We even sing and have cake for each staff member’s birthday. Doubtlessly, one of the most important aspects of the experience has been that of teamwork – working as a cohesive group to efficiently meet deadlines. While group work takes place in other classes as well, the yearbook staff elevates that experience to a level not offered by anything

scan this bal4.tv code to learn more about Balfour’s NM Scholarship

else at the school. Without such a supportive collection of students working on the publication, the book simply could never be a success. Even though I may not pursue a career in journalism in the future, I can apply teamwork to any career in any field, without exception. The boundless opportunities this background offers me mark the experience of being on the yearbook staff as one of the most significant of my journey through school. Being on the yearbook staff has been undeniably the most significant experience of my four years in high school in many ways because the lessons and skills it has taught me will always remain wherever I go. The process of producing an award-winning publication from cover to endsheet as a team presents an array of challenges, but at the end of each year an incomparable sense of fulfillment overcomes me as I see the faces of classmates who gladly pick up their copies on distribution day and think to myself – “We made that.”


YEARBOOK. The Original Mash-Up

science fairs.

wild hair.

Bring the unexpected together in a Balfour yearbook. 21428.0513

class elections.

frog dissections.


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Elements Magazine, Vol 6, Fall 2013