Page 1

volume twenty-one issue two __

2016-17 adviser awards

Years of service and passion are recognized each spring with an

array of JEA adviser awards — and lots of familiar faces are in the mix this year.


a look toward the future

Whether it’s planning ahead to be more inclusive, taking

advantage of summer workshops or other preparations for 2018, it’s nearly time to get going.


still time to sell

Earn peace of mind and make sure you’re sending the message to your

buyers that they can’t count on getting a yearbook if they wait until distribution day to buy.


editor-in-chief Ann Akers, MJE art director Katherine Morgan designers Rashaad Bilal Brandon Lee Samantha Long

__ Beth Ann Brown | nine years advising at Northeastern HS in Manchester, PA

English teacher/yerd by day, wannabe novelist by night, Brown loves laughter, travel, sports and Saturday morning because she doesn’t have to set an alarm. __ Mary Kay Downes | MJE with 30 years advising, 26 at Chantilly (VA) HS

copy editor Kristen Creed contributing photographers Lindsey Brent Lake Orion (MI) HS

License plate reads YBQUEEN, but could read YERD4LIFE. Each staff is a family; each book a baby. # Odyssey # CHS #Advise4ever!

Jake Richardson Westfield (IN) MS


staff photographs from Christ Presbyterian Academy Nashville, TN

Paul Ender | Herff Jones Special Consultant who advised 28 years

While his work with Herff Jones means lots of travel (and lots of yearbook!), Ender is always ready for the next journey; he’s visited all but four states and most of the world’s continents, too. __ Erinn Harris | MJE with 11 years advising, eight at TJHSST in Alexandria, VA

Northeastern HS Manchester, PA Redondo Union HS Redondo Beach, CA

When not advising, Harris engages in various home improvement projects such as building a fireplace mantel bookshelf, a pendant lamp and refinishing ’80s laminate cabinets. Next up? No-sew furniture reupholstry.

HJ locations Charlotte, NC

__ Anastasia Harrison | CJE with 12 years advising, six at Legend HS in Parker, CO

Indianapolis, IN

Yearbook is not just a family, it is ready-made babysitters. Harrison’s staffers entertain (and are entertained by) her young children at work nights.

Kansas City, KS

__ Heather Nagel | CJE with 13 years advising yearbooks in Nashville, TN

Logan, UT

Lover of America’s National Parks, Nagel has a goal to camp in all 58. So far, she has visited 25. In her spare time, she reads sci-fi novels or books in Latin.

Montgomery, AL


Winnipeg, CN

Stephanie Orth | CJE with eight years advising at Lake Orion (MI) HS

Orth loves the yearbook cycle, the creativity and fresh start each year and the continuous task of organizing and re-organizing procedures to keep pushing her staff and program to the highest level. __ Allie Staub | 10 years teaching, seven advising yearbook at Westfield (IN) MS

With staffers as young as 11 churning out amazing photos and stories, Staub likes to start teaching them the yearbook ways when they’re young. She’s currently training her 2-year-old nephew Julien to eventually be an Editor-inChief. He’s got the word “book” down, so that’s a start… __ Lynn Strause | CJE and HJ Special Consultant who advised for 30 years

After spending her entire life in Michigan, Strause recently moved to the mountains of North Carolina, where she views the sunrise from 4,000 feet. __ Mitch Ziegler | CJE with 27 years advising at Redondo Union HS

Yearbook is a gift that keeps giving; Ziegler still relishes each new book, staff and challenge, including long sentences. Short ones, too.

Issue Two of Herff Jones’ Yearbook Discoveries Volume Twenty-one was produced electronically using Adobe® InDesign® CC, Adobe Illustrator® CC and Adobe Photoshop® CC. This magazine was created on a Mac Pro, 2.66 GHz with 6 GB of RAM and printed by Herff Jones, LLC, at its Kansas City printing facility. The cover was printed on White Vibracolor endsheet stock and the magazine itself was printed on 80# matte stock using four-color process inks. The fonts used in this issue are AHJ Bodoni Recut and AHJ Livingston. Herff Jones and the Herff Jones logo are registered trademarks of Herff Jones, LLC. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc.




Adored Advisers

Getting a Jumpstart

How Advising Changed Me

What their editors have to say about award-winning advisers who will be recognized in Seattle at the JEA/ NSPA spring convention.

The power of summer workshops extends far beyond the obvious advantages of training the staff and choosing a theme.

A planner by nature, it used to be hard for this adviser to go with the flow, but giving her students more ownership changed her world.




Made Him Smile

Crowdsourcing Content to Print

An Adviser Growth Strategy

Special Consultant Paul Ender shares some of 2016’s tiny details and big ideas that wowed him.

Another way to make the yearbook really belong to the student body is to invite the entire school community to contribute.

There are lots of reasons why advisers become certified with CJE. Seeking accomplishment or credibility? It might be for you.

How Feedback Helps Your Staff



Having someone else look at your book and comment helps with setting goals and more.

The More Things Change...

Still Time to Sell



Long-form narratives are finding You’ve turned in your copy counts, their way back into more books after but there’s work that can be done years when alternative strategies before the book arrives. seemed to make the format obsolete.

Plan Now to Include More

Index complete? Use these strategies for inclusionary coverage and you’ll find your staff featuring new and different people.

10 Planning for Success

If the staff is well trained and has good instructions, a system of accountability allows for smooth sailing through production.

18 It’s Completely Different

After years of resisting the change to spring delivery, this staff finds more interest in yearbook — and not just on distribution day.




According to their editors, these JEA-recognized advisers couldn’t be more deserving of

adviser of the year

2016 national yearbook

top honors in Seattle.

F RO M H I S L E T T E R O F R E C O M M E N DAT I O N ... Because of her interactions with staffers and her motherly compassion, she has the full trust of her students and helps each of us reach our full potential. ... Though staff members often seek help or ideas for a spread, Mrs. Smith never gives you a straight answer on a “fix” because she wants each student to develop vision and trust in their ability. It’s more about taking pride and ownership in your work than it is about pleasing her. ... She understands the idiosyncrasies and different needs of each staff member individually, but builds community, making the class feel like a second family. Nick Horstmann, 2017 Legend Co-Editor __ 2016 National Yearbook Adviser of the Year

NANCY SMITH, MJE Legend yearbook adviser | 27th year advising Lafayette HS, Wildwood, MO __ online Find profiles of these award winners

y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e

i s s u e two


F RO M H I S L E T T E R O F R E C O M M E N DAT I O N ... It was touching to know he believed in me and wanted me to take on a greater role on staff — even though I was not sure what I had done to make him think this. Mr. Daigle believed in me long before I was able to believe in myself and that made me commit to the staff. At that moment, I set my mind on being better — and proving him right. ... He gives individuals the tools they need to be successful along with the motivation to achieve greatness. With his help and guidance, I accomplished more than I ever thought possible. And, I know I am not alone. Carson Bonino, 2016 Reflections Editor __ Distinguished Adviser

JUSTIN DAIGLE, CJE Reflections yearbook adviser | 11th year advising Brighton (CO) HS F RO M H I S L E T T E R O F R E C O M M E N DAT I O N ... With her entrance into our school community, I can say with confidence that she not only saved our program, but she provided hope for a future that otherwise would not have existed. ... Mrs. Forgette recognized the potential of our program and she envisioned a great plan for what it could one day become. ... Even though I had no prior experience with scholastic journalism, Mrs. Forgette did not discount me. She believed in me and she encouraged my personal growth as a journalist.

Ethan Pender, 2016 Jabberwokk Editor __ Special Recognition Adviser

ADRIENNE FORGETTE, MJE Jabberwokk yearbook adviser | 9th year advising Darlington School, Rome, GA

__ 2017 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award


__ 2017 JEA Rising Star

TRAVIS ARMKNECHT Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO


y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e

moments of

brilliance Yearbook staffs near and far continually amaze audiences with their creative prowess and unique storytelling ways.



ast year, as books arrived, we saw lots of fresh ideas and excellent publications. We saw new color palettes, different packaging options, great photography and more. There were amazing stories and storytelling formats galore. One of the things that made me smile the most was the way different staffs found varied niches that allowed them to achieve maximum impact. The photography in West Henderson’s Westwind is stunning. Combining amazing images with simple, classic design created a beautiful theme packet. The use of the varying shades of blue contributes to the visual theme development. The Hawk from Pleasant Grove HS is on-message from the start. Themed “Don’t blink,” the volume includes mods and headlines like Have you heard?, Made you look and Did you see? Beginning with a Look again mod on the endsheet followed by Did you miss…? on the opening, theme-advancing mods carried the unifier through the book without being redundant. Another highlight was the scribbles, edits and revisions in Walnut HS’s Cayuse. The theme’s highlighter hues, dingbats and conceptual accents created a distinctive attitude and a fun, fun book, while the staff’s understanding of scale was fabulous. These three volumes joined dozens of other amazing books in presenting creative approaches showcased in 2016. It was another great year for yearbooks.

__ article by Paul Ender

i s s u e two



vo l u m e twenty-one

i s s u e t w o // y

To Critique or Not to Critique? That IS the Question. Receiving a critique means deciding which parts are valuable to your program and which to take with a grain of salt.


uman nature may make us ambivalent, or sometimes downright negative about participating in rating service critique programs. After all, who likes to hear that their books are not perfect, even if they know there is room for growth? And who wants to shell out money that could be spent on pizza or a mini-fridge for advice that might not be welcome? Isn’t it more pleasant to say, “We have no time for this! We like our book just the way it is!” But of course. Isn’t it fun to say with a voice dripping with derision, “That judge just doesn’t get it! Must have retired centuries ago!” Sure. So now that I have aired and subsequently dispensed some reasons to NOT have your baby judged, let’s consider some valid reasons why you need to cast out the negative and approach the process in a positive manner.

As educators, we need to embrace authentic assessment. This is a mandate that teachers everywhere hear; by sharing results with our staffs, we are modeling this principle of education. We live in a society where participation garners a trophy to preserve fragile feelings. Balderdash! In journalism, there should be no room for fragility. There is no crying in YEARBOOK! Editors and advisers alike should welcome suggestions. Pretend the critique is a buffet. Choose, savor and enjoy the shrimp and the tenderloin and eschew the lima beans and limp fries. If the judge says, “An INDEX is necessary,” that is shrimp, folks! In a good book, this is as valid a commentary as “Caption every photo.” It’s simply necessary. If the judge writes “What’s with the white space?” That is a limp fry. Spit it out and move on.

LEARN THE RULES. Every organization provides a rubric. Read and follow the rubrics. Teach your students to analyze the comments, take to heart the suggestions and ignore or discard ones that just won’t fit with your program. One more point: volunteer to judge yourself. Don’t think you need to be a consistent national award winner to critique books for state, local and regional associations. The pool of judges is shrinking as more and more of the veterans are no longer available, and we need new people to step up and replace them. Yes, doing a thorough, helpful critique takes time, and time is a commodity we all have so very little to spare. But think about how the critique mindset could change if more knowing/willing/engaged advisers made time to pay it forward. It’s our duty to support the profession we love, as well as those who are joining the ranks each year.

__ article by Mary Kay Downes, MJE



WESTWIND LEWIS-PALMER HS MONUMENT, CO The ACD runs along the bottom margin, including five student quotes with mug shots on each spread. Their theme was “You Don’t Want to Miss This” with chronological coverage by week. The ACD asked students “What’s one thing this week you’re glad you didn’t miss?” The question connects to the theme, but also highlights major and minor happenings throughout the year.

ODYSSEY CHANTILLY (VA) HS Sometimes staffs use interrupters to break up long sections of the book, especially in chronological or concept books where the sections can be quite long. Profiles make good interrupter content. The entire spread is devoted to a sophomore who ranks first in the world in his age class for radiocontrolled aerobatics, a story worthy of being told.

HELIOS SUNNY HILLS HS FULLERTON, CA The upper left mod includes four students with quotes, but the subject of the mod is on volleyball terms people don’t understand. Rather than mug shots, the photos illustrate the terms being described in the quote. Not only does this mod include more students, but it also adds to the spread contents.

y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e

Using the Index to

IMPROVE Analyzing the previous year’s coverage is key to including more of your student body.


he yearbook is done. Yay! But then you take a closer look at the index. There’s imbalance. Some students have only a mug shot. Surely, some students didn’t make it in at all. Sound familiar? (I think!) Now is the time to start thinking about how to include everyone in the book next year. But first, think about your coverage goals. How many times should a student be in the book, not counting school portraits? How many times is too many? Next, figure out a system to track students who have been included throughout the year so there will be no surprises at the end. Maybe it’s running the index after each deadline so you know who to target ­— and who to avoid. More visual? Perhaps you hang a master list of all the students on the wall and highlight students as they get included. Or you could set up the bucket system, placing all names from each

grade in a separate bucket. Staffers draw names from the buckets when it’s time to gather quotes or interviews or create special features. This method can help keep coverage balanced among the grades as well. The goal? Four empty buckets. Once you have a tracking system, start planning how to get more students in the book. One of the best ideas is including an all-coverage device or ACD. Usually quotes with or without mug shots, an ACD shows up on every spread throughout the book. Quotes might relate to spread contents. Even better, they might relate to the theme so the ACD not only gets more students in the book, but also pulls the theme through. Profiles provide another way to include more students, allowing staffs to highlight lesser-known students, as well as students with special talents or circumstances. Profiles may be as small as a mod or as large as a two-page spread. Sometimes a profile focuses

on just one particular student, but other profiles showcase multiple students. Profiles may appear as interrupters, as part of the coverage on content spreads or as added coverage on people pages. Some books include them in a special magazine section. The most important thing to remember with profiles is that you need to find stories worth telling. Digging deep enough to uncover unknown, compelling stories can take considerable time and effort, but the payoff is worth it. Of course, mods also offer a way to increase personalized coverage. Think beyond the obvious, consider bio boxes, point/counterpoint and even how-to mods. Whatever the tracking system and format used to increase student coverage, here’s the bottom line: students want to be included, and if they are, chances are they’ll buy a book. It’s a win-win. So start planning now to create a more inclusive yearbook in 2018.

__ article by Lynn Strause, CJE online Find a gallery of examples

i s s u e two



vo l u m e twenty-one

i s s u e t w o // y


he Co-Editors-in-Chief came to me the other day looking very concerned. They were grading a “Humans of New York”-inspired project and noticed that nearly every photo had been taken in front of the same mosaic wall. One of them was especially frustrated, complaining that the staffers should’ve worked harder to find different locations. But a more experienced EIC pointed out that they couldn’t penalize their fellow yerds because it was their directions that were at fault; they had not been specific enough. The co-editors agreed that before asking staffers to reshoot, they’d have to decide exactly what they were looking for before the team could achieve the desired results. The lesson learned here by my EICs is an important one for any adviser, editor, yerd or teacher; establishing clear expectations is the key to success — especially when there are many people involved. To keep expectations clear and all staffers on track, I’ve developed a packet system, which utilizes checklists to not only help maintain consistency, but to track the progress of a spread — from concept to final proof. The final packet also serves as a record for the spread, helps me easily assess all the students who contributed to it and becomes a teaching tool for my new staff the following year.

and the story’s angle. Once the staffers have completed their spread planners, they meet with me or an editor to go over their ideas. __ Spread Checklist At the beginning of each deadline window, staffers also receive a spread checklist that outlines the requirements for a completed spread. When they reach the halfway point of the deadline window, they sign up for a meeting with me and the editors. During the meeting, we review the spread together and the staffers make revisions on the spot. This process ensures that expectations are clear and we provide immediate feedback; it allows me to easily see if a staffer is on track or needs extra help. When their spread is complete, staffers staple the final version of their spread to the top of the packet (along with their spread planner and all previous edited/commented versions of their spread) and turn it in to the EICs. __ Editor Checklist Did I mention how much I love checklists? Each editor group develops a checklist based off the previous years’ checklists and decides on rules and requirements ahead of time. The EICs are responsible for keeping the packets moving between editors. (See all four stages to the right.)

Veteran teachers and advisers have long known this to be true: when you set parameters, establish consistent routines and provide continuous support Spread Planner Staffers begin a deadline window — and throughout, you create a positive and successful packet — by filling out a “spread planner,” a planning sheet that helps them determine the basic requirements learning environment for all staffers — and, at the same time, create a cohesive yearbook. for the spread, such as the number of mods, photos This is how the packets work:


Your work is so much easier when you set


article by Allie Staub online View Staub’s actual packet


Here’s what the process looks like: Copy editors edit and grade each spread’s copy. The packet lets them see the history of the spread and whether the staffers have made the right corrections. When finished, they staple the checklist to the top of the packet, sign off and pass it on.

photography provided by Westfield MS

Photoshop editors create graphics for the spread (no evaluation required). Once complete, they place the items on the page, staple the checklist and pass it on. Design editors develop a checklist/style guide to keep the design consistent. With content-driven design, they need to be specific, all the way down to the number of points and picas between mods and photos. The rules ensure that the fonts, colors, and layouts create a cohesive theme and look. Once done, they staple the checklist to the top, sign off and pass it to the EICs. The EICs are the final check before the spreads come to me, the adviser. They review the entire spread. If there’s an issue, they refer to the packet to figure out where the breakdown occurred. Once completed, they staple the checklist to the top and sign off. They then print a final version of the spread and place it on top.

photography provided by Redondo Union HS


y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e


here really is no off-season for serious yearbook staffs — unless you count the two to four weeks after we turn in the final proofs. Although we definitely work on theme and skill development until the school year ends, we get serious at summer workshops. In many ways, the workshops set the tone and foundation for the year come. Our program would be lost without summer workshops. Without them, teaching the basics would fall entirely on me, and I have learned during my 27 years advising that the staff is stronger when other star advisers work with my students. In my first years, we did not attend workshops, and I became the primary source of information. We would return to school in September with nothing worked out, and it would take at least four weeks to train the staff. Of course I relied on returning students too, but they had not progressed since June, which more often than not, meant we would repeat the previous book. And, yes, I said “workshops.” I started sending groups of students to summer workshops in 1995, but I decided to experiment with having students attend multiple workshops in 2004. At the first workshop each summer, a smaller group of 4-5 (usually EICs and key experienced staff) focuses on theme development and opening copy. Just weeks later, at the second, a larger group (often up to 20 students) concentrates on working out design details and coverage for the whole book.


Just as important, the second workshop is vital for team building. As Jenny Oetzell, photo editor of the 2013 book, said, “Being with the whole staff outside of school was one of the best ways that we could bond together. To produce a great yearbook, it helps for a staff to have shared memories like those made at camp. The stress of a short deadline and the challenge of creating a theme causes everyone to work well together.” Some of my students found summer workshops to be a life-changing experience. Brandon Pritzkat, the co-editor of our 2011 yearbook, “Not Just Another,” found the “three summers ignited a passion for allnighters designing and creating, and got me hooked on passionate conversations about design, and the function of print media. I miss being able to completely geek out with other font lovers about how clean a font package could be designed, or how contemporary we could push the design of our book.” While this might not be a solution for every staff, it works for us. Throughout the summer, we remain flexible — last summer we “divorced” our theme at the second workshop — with the ultimate goal of starting on the actual book the first week back at school. And it’s not just students who benefit from the summer workshop experience — I learned much of my craft attending as well, and honed that craft as an adviser. It’s about being part of the continual conversation with colleagues and friends that keeps me excited about returning to workshops.

__ article by Mitch Ziegler, CJE

WORKSHOPS... WORK! The benefits of attending yearbook workshops are many for both the staff and the adviser.

i s s u e two


examples provided by Legend HS


y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e


snap IT

Students are already on Snapchat, so we used that to our advantage in creating interesting spreads, increasing school spirit and including more people ­— win, win, win!


napchat. The storytelling, video-making, goofypicture-taking, silly-video-creating app almost every high school student uses. At a workshop this past summer, my Editor-in-Chief was obsessed with Snapchat. She was constantly on it, talking about all her “streaks” with different people. She showed me some other ways to use Snapchat and we talked about geofilters, and that was that. Then we attended a fall workshop in August to finalize our designs for this year. My editor was still obsessed with Snapchat, constantly snapping different photos and videos, making sure she had the perfect facial expressions. We started talking about our theme and how it was about everyone’s story, and my editor made the connection to her Snapchat story, which led to a discussion about geofilters, because the school we were in had their own geofilter. And that is how the idea was born; we would create our own geofilters for different events in order to tell the stories of students who participated in those activities. We ended up trying this out for Homecoming week. Our design editor created geofilters for each spirit day, the powderpuff tournament, the barbecue, the Homecoming game and the dance. Every day, students were looking for what the new geofilter was, and asking us what the next one would be.

The best part about all of this was that we didn’t make any big announcement to the school — they just found the geofilters because our student body is on Snapchat constantly. If you don’t know what a geofilter is, it is a filter that can be added to a photo based on the subject's geographic location. One of the reasons we did not have a filter for the Homecoming parade was because it would have cost over $100 due to the distance of the parade route. You can make the area for your geofilter as large or as small as you want and need it to be. For example, for the Homecoming dance, the geofilter only cost $5 because we just had it appear in the commons area of our school where the dance took place. We tried to make our geofilters community filters because those are free, but they ended up taking too long to be approved (it can take a week or more), so we had to pay for those. For the entire week, we paid a total of $275, which is actually pretty inexpensive, considering that our geofilters were active all day. As a result of our Homecoming week geofilters, we were able to create a whole spread featuring people who may not have made it in the book otherwise. It was a great way to generate more school spirit and excitement for this year’s book.

__ article by Anatasia Harrison, CJE

i s s u e two



THE HAWK (2013) PLEASANT GROVE HS TEXARKANA, TX TESSERAE (2015) CORNINGPAINTED POST HS CORNING, NY TECHNIQUES (2017) THOMAS JEFFERSON HS FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ALEXANDRIA, VA Some stories just need the background, details and great quotes to do their topics justice. The serious nature of this profile — and the compelling actions and reactions revealed — make traditional long-form narrative the logical choice. Telling the story in little bytes would have had nowhere near the same impact. With photos and quotes from soccer players and quotes creating the type texture at the right, the staff expanded the number of people included beyond just Mallory, the main subject. WESTWIND (2009) WEST HENDERSON HS HENDERSONVILLE, NC TITANIUM (2015) ANTELOPE (CA) HS

y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e

The Return of

TRADITIONAL STORYTELLING Good yearbook copy and thorough storytelling won’t go unnoticed — adhere to the basics.


hear it time and time again. “Nobody reads copy in the yearbook.” “That’s because you’re not writing GOOD copy,” I argue. “If you wrote good copy, they would read it.” This is true. But it’s not the end of the story. There’s nothing wrong with alternative coverage. Many books have moved exclusively to working with bite-sized chunks that audiences can quickly digest and then move on. After all, the focus of a yearbook should first be the photographs, then the stories behind those photographs. So what happens when you pick a theme that has the word “story” in it? Logic (and theme) demands that you use traditional copy, and tell stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Since my students haven’t written traditional copy in two years, I’ve had to retrain myself and my kids on the basics. Here is what we have been remembering and learning about the form: __ Interviews come FIRST . Don’t assume you

know the story, or even the angle of the story. After the interview is when the crafting begins. __ Craft your leads. If your lead isn’t engaging,

the rest of the story doesn’t matter. Write it first, write it second or write it last, but you should spend serious time making sure that the lead is just right. __ Think about the order of your quotes. If your quotes aren’t organized to create a beginning, a middle and an end, go back and look at the pieces of your story. __ Transitions are the glue that hold your story together. They can easily become an afterthought, but you should consider them just as important (if not more-so) than the quotes themselves. __ If you find yourself saying the word “students” ANYWHERE in your copy, you’re not being

specific enough. Ask yourself WHICH student

or students, then dig a little deeper. __ Know when traditional copy isn’t the best way to tell the story. My students were working on

a story about policy changes at our school, with no beginning, middle or end. Eventually, we decided this should be a collection of infographics, not traditional copy. Audiences will read traditional copy. You just have to give them a story worth reading.

__ article by Erinn Harris, MJE online Read some favorite long-form narratives

i s s u e two



vo l u m e twenty-one

i s s u e t w o // y


SE A SO Considerations & benefits of a spring delivery book.


remember the day clearly. The high school atrium was jam-packed with students for yearbook signing day. The dismissal bell rang, but no one left. They were too busy signing each other’s yearbooks. I thought to myself, “We should have switched to spring delivery years ago.” Our switch was not taken lightly. Every time I got a request from my Editors-in-Chief to change, I would immediately shut the idea down. I was too scared of early deadlines to realize all the benefits. Carolyne Myers, an Editor-in-Chief who pushed especially hard for the switch, summed up the benefits: “Although it took a lot of planning on the front end, switching allowed for a more rewarding yearbook experience for the staff and the student body. In the fall, most students didn’t want to look through their new yearbooks because it was a reminder that summer was over, and it was back to homework and uniforms.” Now our student body looks forward to signing day each spring, making the yearbook a significant part of the year and not just an afterthought at registration.

Plus, we no longer have to work through the summer, saving worry and stress because we have the book in hand before the year ends. All it takes is a little planning, mapping out what to cover and figuring out which pages can be submitted earlier. We never have problems meeting our deadlines, and for the spring sports and events, we do a fall-delivery supplement that easily sticks into the back of the book. This way, everything still gets covered. I knew it was all worth it when Carolyne told me, “Every time I open the yearbook that sits on my shelf at college and read through the comments, doodles and memories, I am overcome with gratitude that we took the leap and started publishing in the spring.” Once we made the switch, my yearbook students were like rock stars in the community and interest in being on the yearbook staff increased significantly. Spring delivery brought awareness and excitement about the yearbook — and our program — to the entire student body. Like I said, we should have done this years ago.

__ article by Heather Nagel, CJE

photography provided by Christ Presbyterian Academy



photography provided by Northeastern HS


SOMETIMES, A LITTLE CHANGE IS GOOD Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable. Trust your staffers to take charge.

y \\ v o l u m e t w e n t y - o n e


am a planner. I always have been. Planning helps me stay organized and efficient, and I like it that way. It seems strange, then, that I would revel in being a yearbook adviser – a job that is, by its very definition, ruled by change. Yes, on the surface, yearbook seems like a constant; the process is somewhat the same year to year. The staff picks a theme, learns about storytelling, research and technology. They take lots of photos, interview the students and write stories. The truth of yearbook, however, exists beneath the surface. A yearbook is a living, breathing document and, as such, requires a process that allows for flexibility. The reality is that no school year is the same, and no yearbook staff is the same. Because of this, no yearbook process can be exactly the same. Luckily, I learned this lesson very early on. Like many publications advisers, I was thrust into the position without any journalism experience and needed to learn by doing. The unknown of this was admittedly scary, but what I came to realize was that the only way to eliminate this uncertainty was to be open to new ideas and better practices. Initially, these changes came as the result of trying things suggested by experienced advisers at camp and conventions. These insights helped the staff make tremendous improvements in every aspect of the book from caption writing to work flow. Through this process, we learned that we needed to embrace change in order to make improvement. Eventually, an interesting shift began in my classroom. As our competency developed, so did the reflective skills of my students. Instead of looking to me for the improvements, the students claimed ownership and began making suggestions to me. Without fear, they embraced the uncertainty because they were excited to have a say in what we do. Their passion for the process prevented the uncertainty from holding them back. This shift created the most important change in my program: students making the big decisions. I no longer fear the risk of change because my students have replaced it with a feeling of immense pride in their leadership and dedication. I still love planning, but I now also love change.

__ article by Beth Ann Brown

Suggestions made by the editorial board for the next time around: Create a mentoring system. We allowed freshmen to join our staff for the first time because we knew they could help with coverage and that they would be enthusiastic and able contributors with the right training and support. Use a bulletin board/spread calendar. To improve efficiency and collaboration, a guide that’s visible to everyone made more sense than weekly handouts. Execute group fundraising. We imagined how creative we could become if we had better cameras, lenses and accessories; we should work together to fund new equipment. Designate a coverage editor. It’s crucial that all students are represented. As an enormous and important job, let’s make it a priority for one person. Increase our social media presence. Most people are on social media, so if we ask questions and crowdsource ideas and images, we can increase yearbook exposure (and potentially book sales, too). Re-evaluate how we use our space. How can we best use the classroom space we have? Should we strive to have separate areas for meetings and work? What are our options?

i s s u e two



vo l u m e twenty-one

i s s u e t w o // y

Push the limits, and prove to everyone that when it comes to journalism, you’re not a rookie.


ver wished people knew how much was involved with advising the yearbook? Or wondered what it would take to show your administrator how committed you were to advising? Maybe it would just be comforting to have an external source cite you as a credible journalism teacher, even if your teaching credentials are in history, art or business. Great news! Becoming a Certified Journalism Educator makes all of that possible. As soon as I heard about the JEA/NSPA national journalism educator certification, I knew I wanted to pursue it. I discussed the process with some fellow journalism advisers who were already certified, and I applied immediately. My reasons for certifying are varied, but each is equally important. Initially, I wanted to earn a national certification to add to my list of accomplishments. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from Central Michigan University, and I received my Masters in the Art of Teaching Secondary English with a journalism endorsement. I truly believe that, as teachers and advisers, we need to make

our expertise known. Doctors and lawyers post their degrees, why not teachers? We are highly qualified, and our students, administrators, communities and parents need to know it. I am having my diplomas and certificates framed for display in my classroom. While I thought I had taken every journalism class available, I soon discovered there was one I was missing: the “Advising Publications” class. When I majored in journalism, I wasn’t planning to teach, so I never took a course like that. Although I had been advising the Dragon yearbook program at Lake Orion (MI) HS for seven years, JEA informed me that I did not qualify for Option A and would have to take the exam to certify. So I signed up to test at the Spring 2016 JEA/ NSPA convention in Los Angeles. Before the convention, I asked how to best prepare and was directed to a study guide. I reviewed it and decided to brush up on the legal cases that have formed scholastic journalism. Additionally, I attended the study sessions in LA just before the test. Those sessions made me nervous. Some advisers had three-

inch binders of study materials. Everyone shared what they had studied, and I felt prepared. Although I hadn’t prepared extensive study materials, I had years of experience both in the education world and the world of journalism. Later last spring, JEA confirmed that I had passed, and would receive my CJE certificate at the Fall 2016 convention in Indy. In addition to wanting the certificate to prove to myself that I know my stuff, I also wanted it to prove to my administrators, fellow teachers, students and parents, that I am a journalism expert. I believe that the more we can do this, the less likely anyone will be to interfere, judge or even negatively comment on the program’s products, procedures and practices. I am working to make sure my district knows that I am their top authority when it comes to scholastic journalism. It was all confirmed for me recently when an administrator referred to me as the journalism guru of our district. Although my gut reaction was to play it down — which I did aloud — in the back of my mind, I was cheering, “Why, yes! Yes, I am!”

__ article by Stephanie Orth, CJE

Becoming a known


photography by Lindsey Brent

in scholastic journalism


vo l u m e twenty-one

i s s u e t w o // y


umbers are in; the books have been ordered and, if you’re like many staffs, you still have some yearbooks left to sell. There is a certain energy in selling books to last-minute customers for cash, but if too many students know they have the opportunity to buy their books as distribution begins, you’re training them that there’s little to no risk of missing out entirely. Sure, they don’t get the lowest price of the year, but there’s not always a significant difference in the earlybird price and the charge paid by latecomers anyway — and the money is often coming directly from their parents, so the students don’t feel the financial pain at all. Investing some additional time and energy into selling more books between now and the day the yearbooks arrive on campus can pay huge dividends. There’s nothing like the peace of mind advisers feel when they know they have sold all of the books they ordered and finished the year in the black. Why not enjoy that for weeks or months instead of just days? You may decide that you definitely want a small number of books to sell at distribution. Choose a number that you KNOW you can sell and consider them off-limits for now. Make sure you have also accounted for any books you will exchange, provide the offices within the school and need for competition and critiques; if you’re counting on having books for those uses, you don’t want to sell every copy that arrives on campus. But beyond those, being sold out before the books even arrive at the school is a bestcase scenario.

sell out sooner Act now to lessen sales stress.

Here are some tried and true ways to achieve an early sellout: __ You need a book because you’re in it! Whether you decide to use the pre-printed, customizable postcards, Send & Sell or Create & Share, you have a number of options for letting non-buyers who have not purchased a book know where they’ll appear in the book. Remind them that you are close to selling out (there might not be extras at distribution) — and they’ll contribute to your early sellout. __ Just another senior privilege. There aren’t that many books left, so you’re offering them to seniors (or eighth graders, whichever is the highest grade in the school) first. Create posters, postcards or an email to alert specific non-buyers that you’re coming to them first — before the books are all gone. __ It’s out in the open. Consider posting your entire list of books sold somewhere public on campus. Whether it’s near the yearbook room, the office or a student center, announce that the list is posted there and that students should check to make sure they’ve purchased a book — because there likely won’t be extras once distribution begins. Make sure they know where/how to purchase their copy while they still have the chance. Investing some additional sales energy now — before the books arrive on campus — will bolster your bottom line, strengthen the yearbook’s reputation as a must-have keepsake and provide the satisfaction of one less yearbook worry in weeks/months to come.

Image from 2015 Marcullus Jefferson City (MO) HS

SALES ASSIST is as close to the yearbook selling itself as you can get. All you do is upload parent emails into eBusiness and we’ll contact only non-buying parents with timely messages and a direct link to purchase the yearbook. It’s here now. Ask your rep how you can get started today.

Herff Jones Yearbook Marketing 9525 Monroe Road Suite 150 Charlotte, NC 28270

P R INTE D IN U SA | KM0217 ©


WE WANT TO SHARE YOUR CREATIVITY We’ve been collecting sales videos done by yearbook staffs from coast to coast and hosting that collection on our website so other staffs can be inspired anytime from anywhere. And we know that creative, fun and funny yearbook sales videos are a favorite springtime project, so we wanted to remind you to share your 2017 versions once you have edited them. The world is waiting for more new ideas; please share yours.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.