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Focus on feedback An editor’s job only begins with editing. An adviser from Colorado


shares her staff’s process of providing feedback.

How to Yearbook


Introducing our completely reimagined curriculum. Learn the HJ way. It’s part instruction, part therapy session, part uncensored rant.

Let the actors act When yearbook becomes more than a class. Get to know a


couple of yearbook photographers who are turning their focus on careers.

Ever y st udent deser ves to be remembered . Z E R O Z E R O S T H A T’S T H E H J W A Y.


a couple enjoys the Fourth of July in Salt Lake City. Photographer Shaban Athuman visited a friend in Utah who challenged him to take the best photo atop the overlook. He set up his tripod and made sure the exposure was just right. “If you don’t get something today, don’t get discouraged. The next time, you just might get it,” he said. DISCOVER HOW HE SEES THE WORLD ON PAGE 20.

The Scrapbook

Westfield, Indiana


TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL Even though its first century as a school was ending, staffers focused on the future with the theme “To be continued.” Each of the 10 sections open with a fold-out divider introducing a student profile on the following spread. In the middle of the book, a short-trimmed magazine of school history shows all 100 book covers and provides news from each year. Coverage of this book continues on page 11.

Themed “It’s ours and it’s everything,” this book included a personalized tri-fold tipped onto a theme-driven spread inside. Completing almost 750 individualized tip-ins meant every early buyer had a one-of-a-kind book. With several full-color images, a quote from a friend, a six-word memoir the students shared (not knowing how it would be used), the special feature pleased students and parents alike. Those who were waitlisted received a similar tip-in with spaces and instructions on how to personalize so their books had extra coverage as well.

IT’S ALWAYS FUN TO STUDY the new releases, noting what staffs are doing well and how trends are shifting. Whatever time I allot to reviewing books, I always wish I had more.


During summer planning, it’s easy to imagine ambitious additions.

Gatefolds galore? That’d be cool. Theme-related coverage strategies you know would be a lot of extra work? Might be a challenge you could accept.

ANN AKERS, MJE Our resident knower of all, giver of pins and spinner of themes, the loudest woohooer among us.

Personalizing each book? Wow! They’d love that.

Jamboree Elk Grove, California

TOBY JOHNSON MIDDLE SCHOOL The coverage spanning the bottom margin was perfect for the theme “Eventually everything connects.” Staff members linked students to one another with attributes like “who lives on the same block as,” “whose favorite place in the world is Italy like” or “who has braces like” until the final entry, that linked back to the first name in the opening. With six students per spread, nearly 400 became part of the theme development.

But then, as production begins, reality sets in and those workshop dreams can get hazy. If you plan from the start to make those special extras happen — and commit to making them important — the impact can be as significant as imagined. If your kids are excited and willing, you have the power to make those dreams come true. If the plan involves adding pages, foldouts, special-order papers or inks, cover and endsheet upgrades, work with your rep to manage your budget. Then, your business team can determine how to offset those expenses.


few years ago, we had a new staffer who we were excited about. She started the year strong — she was enthusiastic, took her job seriously and worked hard to make sure she met that first deadline. But she was new, so some of her work did not meet the standard the editors expected. To complicate matters, the editors fixed all the issues without speaking to her. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone when she submitted her work for the second deadline, and spreads contained the same errors. THIS TIME THE EDITORS DECIDED to approach her. She was surprised they weren’t impressed by her work. And, her surprise quickly turned to embarrassment and anger when she realized the editors thought it would be easier during that first deadline to do her work for her instead of teaching her the correct way.

Set reasonable dates for progressive goals to ensure you’re working to stay on budget. Not meeting those sales goals may mean you won’t be able to afford the extras. If your ambitious idea does not become someone’s assigned responsibility, there’s a greater chance it will fade into the hustle of production.

Make the project a priority, and watch it flourish. I know you face the challenge of serving many audiences. You want the students to love your book when it arrives and to cherish it more as the years pass. It’s also important for parents and the greater school community to see you’ve created a comprehensive and accurate record of the year. You can make sure that happens by dreaming big as you plan for your next masterpiece, putting plans in place to ensure success and following through to delight your readers. Your efforts will be remembered every time those readers grab their yearbooks — whether it’s over the summer, in five years or 50. And your staff will be remembered, not just for preserving the memories of the year, but for the extra efforts you made to create a book that stands out.

When the editors said nothing about the first deadline’s submission, staffers believed they were giving it a stamp of approval. Once members of the staff realized they weren’t meeting the expectation, the trust between the staff and the editors was compromised. Those editors negatively impacted the staff’s willingness to work. When we neglect to provide feedback to our staffers during the production process, we run the risk of creating an us-versus-them culture instead of fostering any improvement. We created a problem, and knew it needed to change. Since then, we’ve created a variety of systems to provide more feedback for staff members. OUR FAVORITE: THE FOCUS GROUP Feedback is most effective when given during the production process, but it can be difficult for the editors to get face time with every staff member and leave enough time for them to make necessary changes.


Focus on feedback Let the editing process be a learning process

So, we worked to create a culture where the editors weren’t the only people responsible for feedback — it became every staff member’s job. We have to train our staffers in the skills of producing a yearbook, and to give, receive and act upon feedback. WHEN WE BEGIN THE PROCESS, every staffer is assigned to a focus g roup ba sed on streng ths a nd interests: Writing, photography, coverage or design. Each has one or two members of the leadership — editors and team leaders — who put the group through a meeting protocol. Protocol includes our standards as well as goals to critique the work and provide actionable feedback. We’ve found if our groups meet every two weeks, we catch errors with enough time before the deadline. The positive impact was immediate. Staffers knew exactly what was expected, and were given the tools needed to rise to the expectations of our publication and editors. Staff members may not agree with every piece of feedback they received, but when the spreads are handed back to the original owners, they are able to make informed decisions moving forward in the process.

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expert talk




Here, we turn the reporting over to you to tell us the intent and inspiration behind the book. Then, creative director Steve Kent and magazine staffers offer their takes. When you’re ready for the world to see your book, DM us @HJyearbook. We’re saving space just for you.

MO A N A L U A HIGH S CHOOL Honolulu, Hawaii Adviser: Chela Sheets Editors: Kacie Yamamoto, Sarah Monje, Justin Yip, Jadee Sumabat and Karisa Yuasa

AARON QUILLOPO “This cover is something very new. We usually do not put pictures on our cover, but we wanted a change. We wanted something fresh and something new for our staff and our students. The theme ‘Still life’ is like pressing pause and looking at the monumental moments, taking time to breathe and admire. As busy and intriguing as the picture on the cover may be, we decided to place a big white box on top of it and punch the letters of our concept through it. The picture catches our students’ eyes and the white box allows breathing space so it doesn’t seem as busy.’” THIS IS THAT BOOK we get and are almost afraid to open because we so want the inside to live up to the promise made by the cover. Whew! Here, the interior surpasses it. The white mortise on the front lid, though, had me at type design. “Still life” showed me something smart. And, restrained. (Notice a recurring theme?) The endsheets and opening develop the visual voice with more shoreline photos and type setting the mood. “It’s not just a trend. It’s a life style.” is a great verbal spin for their “menemag.” Added coverage comes in the form of as many as 10 talking heads on some spreads. Fun cutouts showing students seemingly interacting with their words prove you don’t have to do the same book year after year. Though, in this case, it’ll be hard to top for 2019. Better you than me! //sk

04 05

BL UE VA L L E Y W E S T HIGH S CHOOL Overland Park, Kansas Adviser: Deborah Glenn Editors: Lauren Flowers and Lauren Michelson

LAUREN MICHELSON “Most of our parents read Silverstein’s The Giving Tree to us as small children. That book planted the notion, ‘We rise by lifting others,’ and anything is possible. We chose to do a wood cover for Illumination as a nod to the childhood story, a symbol that items once thought to be used up could be made into something new, and as an introduction to our vintage theme. Individual stories of many members of our school family rising above the odds and turning hardships into positives are told throughout the 424 pages.” WE DECIDED to show only this book’s cover because we wanted it to be as large as possible. The cover is actual wood, not printed texture. This step-ahead-of-the-trends staff chose special order cherry-finish luan and designed distressed art to be etched by lasers. The fine craftspeople in our Montgomery, Alabama, plant then quarterbound it to the traditional spine and back lid. The inside delivers, too. With the theme “Rise,” you’re not surprised to see a full-bleed sunrise photo on the front endsheets. Designers played up student personalities by layering profiles with handmade art. Inspired by The Giving Tree, the book also includes a full 11 signatures of special-order, uncoated Refresh paper stock to bring it all together. A book, a love letter, a piece of art. //sk

“Our hearts swelled with pride as we watched, again and again, individuals rise.” — MICHELSON

N A RDIN A C A DE M Y Buffalo, New York Adviser: Caitlin Snyder and Pamela Healy Editors: Savana Castelli and Maura Ende

MAURA ENDE “As an all-girls school, we share the common thread of our roles as young women: Preparing to enter the world and make an impact. So, our theme ‘History is her story’ builds upon the concept of our individual stories that make us ourselves and allow our school to be so special to us. Our community explored a new realm of female education and empowerment, and we wanted young women to exit the school year holding onto the documentation of that significant transition, acknowledging what has been added to their stories.”

Get your phone Download the HP reveal app and follow YBKfolio to see this laser-cut cover reveal the endsheet and more.

AN UPSCALE BOOK from upstate New York showing faded pinks and elevated space use. It impresses me at first glance, as does the laser-cut “HER” on the front lid. Designers did a masterful job of packaging elements to help us process what’s being shown. Supplemental coverage modules complete the story, or as they would say “her story.” I also appreciate the clearly planned separation space between types of coverage. When staffers show thoughtfulness in design and topic choices, it creates something special. Such as a story in which the head of school accentuates the importance of virtues, pointing out, as she said, “students are too often concerned with lengthening resumes when they should focus on meaningful experiences which make differences in the lives of others.” I’m with her. //sk

T A K E 06 NOTE 07

T E MP L E CI T Y HIGH S CHOOL Temple City, California Adviser: Lynn Alvarez Editors: Tiffany Guo, Evelyn Luu, Jennifer Nie, Michelle Vuong, Ivy Chen and Amanda Erstad

TIFFANY GUO “The message of the book is to snap students into the present. In our spreads, we portrayed this message by using time-specific details, like the time stamps on photos, specific dates for copy and all coverage. This book is telling them to get out of their heads and get involved. The future is still going to be there, but the present is fleeting. Some moments will never happen again. If they don’t pay attention now, the experience we have at Temple City will be forgotten.”

Get your phone Download the HP reveal app and follow YBKfolio to see the 11-page opening from this timeless yearbook.

SO OFTEN, a time-based concept falls short because a staff doesn’t realize the time it will need to invest to make the effort work, or because a staff relies on all the trite approaches to fill its pages. Not so here! The staff impresses with an expertly executed chronological structure, time-stamping and interesting alternative reporting modules. Designers placed both vertical and horizontal theme development modules with quotes revealing where students were or what they were doing on a specific day as their contribution to the staff’s Zero Zeros commitment. With facts and figures on the cover to the all-out, magazine-styled, 11-page opening, reporters did their jobs. Coverage starts immediately with a photo package and complete captions on the front endsheets. Theme copy resembles poetry with staccato repetition. Stunning photography and sophisticated grid design prove the words “Time to stop watching. Time to start doing.” were taken to heart. //sk

“The time units and bars tied the whole year together while symbolically acting as a timeline.” — GUO

T A K E 08 NOTE 09

L IBE R T Y HIGH S CHOOL Lake Saint Louis, Missouri Adviser: Jonathan Hall Editors: Alisha Grant and Chelsea Carballo


“The idea behind ‘Scratch the Surface ’ was to pull individuals out of the crowd and put a spotlight on them.” — GRANT

“Throughout the book, we kept the theme element we started with on the opening — a cutout in color overlaid on a black and white photo. We wanted to capture individual people’s reactions to a single moment. We also included student profiles, a module running throughout the book, and we turned our people section into space for mini profiles. This project was headed by photo editor Maddie Baker. We found interesting stories about different individuals on each spread of the people section, in total covering 19 students and two teachers.” I’M ALWAYS A SUCKER FOR special endsheets. Here, the staff wanted the paper to appear ripped, so it chose a laser-cut treatment. When I started reading the opening copy, though, I was all in. “We think we know people,” got my attention. “We’ve stopped having conversations.” Yep. Speaking my language. Talking heads with fullparagraph, storytelling quotes let student voices tell the stories. We get to know student after student because the editors live up to their opening copy. Profiles come in a handful of different treatments including these half-faced cutouts in the portrait section. Designers with an expert sense of depth wisely chose to make these grayscale so as not to compete with adjacent portraits. And they obeyed the grid, bringing space and organization to content. //sk

TEXAS HIGH S CHOOL Texarkana, Texas Get your phone Download the HP reveal app and follow YBKfolio to see more of this book continued in video form.

Advisers: Rebecca Potter and Clint Smith Editors: Parker Ellyn Madlock, Gage McDonald, Frances Schroeder and Sarah Stark

PARKER ELLYN MADLOCK “For the 100th yearbook, we wanted to celebrate while also keeping the book relevant to the student body. Our theme ‘To be continued’ represents all the traditions we have and all of the new things we hope to start. We wanted something that told the story of our past, but also shows the new things we did this year that will be continued. The concept is a timeless representation of how this year is connected to all the years in the past and all those ahead of us. This year is just another milestone.” THE DREADED anniversary trap. Smartly, Parker Ellyn and her staff isolated anniversary coverage to a short-trimmed tip-in showing each of the previous 99 covers alongside a blurb for each (See Ann’s note on page 2). This allowed the group to focus on the important year: The current one. The concept is so subtle, we thankfully don’t realize it’s an anniversary book until already impressed by the smart cover — with room for 100 dots — and laser-cut endsheets which mimic the cover design, but with some of the dots cut. When I made the connection those dots represented 100 years, then when used only in threes became an ellipsis, I was blown away. A literal representation of the theme! The wows keep coming as each “chapter” begins with a full-bleed photo which folds out to reveal a student profile continuing onto the next spread. Alternative copy formats keep spreads lively as do a precise grid and separation space. //sk

T A K E 10 NOTE 11

There’s a new way to yearbook. No way you say? Oh, friend, yes way. We asked. You answered. We took action. Today’s yearbooks shouldn’t look like, or read like yesterday’s. Students demand new plotlines apart from what used to be told. We welcome you to the industry’s newest and boldest instructional material.

Behind the new printed box-set curriculum, numbering almost 400 pages, and its companion digital classroom, you’ll discover wisdom from almost 30 of the industry’s leading yearbook minds, work of more than 100 staffs and trade secrets from our corporate creative collective consisting of award-winning former editors, advisers and consultants. You’ll also see the perspective of 1,200 advisers who took part in the research of how they needed help facing changes in the educational landscape. We take our role as educators’ educators seriously.

WH AT IS T HE H J WAY ? To be connected. We like to think of the greater Herff Jones community as your yearbook compass. By connecting you with our reps and other advisers, we give you lifelines. By providing you with technical and customer support folks who are the best in the business, we give you safety nets. Either way, you’ll never yearbook alone. To empower the storytellers. We want students to have the right skills, the right tools and all the inspiration they need. We want them to know everyone has a story to tell and to feel emboldened to find and share those stories. Verbal. Visual. All the yearbook magic. Students should own it.

We’re glad


To yearbook intentionally. Yearbooks are for everyone. There’s no perfect process, but there are plenty of awesome teachers who help kids make books of which they are proud. We want to equip you to be intentional about the product you produce. Every book should reflect the school it represents. Every yearbook program should thrive in its community. What does any of this have to do with curriculum and the lesson plans your principal wants to see? Everything. Yearbook is more than ink on paper, just as your staffers are more than students, just as we are more than a printing company. How to Yearbook is curriculum with equal parts therapy session and uncensored rant built in. We crafted a 12-volume set of lessons, skill-builders and activities — tiered as essentials, next level, expert — with the goal of making your life easier.

you’re here. So, let’s get started.

These are the building blocks of yearbook. If you teach nothing else, hit these highlights and get your book done. Cover the basics like theme, photo composition and designing with Square One. Check out helpful hints and life hacks for selling books (section 11) and conquering club photos (section 10). TM

NEXT LEVEL Complete the ideas presented in the basic material. If you’re ready to level up, take on these lessons and concepts with your staff. Push your photographers to tackle the manual mode on their cameras (section seven) or challenge your writers to ask more, and better, interview questions (section six).

EXPERT The top-level activities capture best practices of standard-bearing staffs and break them into action items. For example, if you’re ready to include more alternative coverage schemes, see section five. Section eight features typography lessons and design lessons, so you can make your visual treatments and architecture more sophisticated.

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the hj way



“Showstopper,” “wow spread,” “interrupter” are all terms used to relay the function of what is known as a “feature” by professional publications. We see fewer and fewer “dividers” since staffs are opting for chronological and topical structures more and more. “Features,” then, may be used to bring flow and rhythm to your books. Be flexible: Vary the number of pages and design for features, but maintain your visual and verbal concept.

Part therapy session.

WRITE RIGHT The vast majority of written words in your book should be meaningful, colorful quotes from students not on staff (or their friends). Don’t allow “summary” or “history of” copy in your book. If it’s boring, hit delete.

T H E R E’S W A Y MORE ONLINE Go to for all of the checklists and reproducible sheets you see in the printed curriculum. But wait, there’s more! Staff contracts and syllabuses, quizzes and PowerPoints, resources upon resources so you don’t have to break a sweat. Some live as PDFs while others are Word documents ready for you to personalize. Log in with your myHJyearbook credentials.

Part instruction.

Part uncensored rant.

C A R LY PA N C E R • R O G E R W I L L I A M S U N I V E R S I T Y • B R I S T O L , R I




This is where you start. If you are a new adviser. If you feel like you’re barely treading water. If you need a reminder you have a friend in HJ. Welcome to yearbook. Let’s get to work.

Yearbook is an incubator for workplace and life skills. You will have editors and staffers, leaders and those they lead. Use these icebreakers, teambuilders and skillbuilders to ensure the right people are in the right positions. Make time to build a culture which attracts students to your staff.

You have a classroom full of journalists. Always help them remember that. They need to know what they’re getting themselves into. We cover the basics of news literacy, the value of the free press and how the American press has arrived where it is today.




This is what makes a yearbook a yearbook. This is what scares staffers at summer workshops. This is what sets your book apart. Work through examples of welldeveloped themes and their voices. Then when you know what it takes, have students create their own theme packets. It’s intuitive. Just tell the story.

Everyone deserves to be remembered. Every story deserves to be told. But how do we find all those stories? We have you covered. It’s all about planning and executing. Knowing how you will tell the story of the year and then telling it.

Face-to-face conversations lead to powerful journalistic reporting. You’ll need to write a few — okay, a few hundred — captions. And you’ll include some alternative copy mods — sometimes just a quote and a headshot. And we’ll teach you how. But when you’re ready for that longform story, we’ll walk you through the process.

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the hj way




Everyone is a photographer! Sort of. We can all snap a shot for Instagram, but photographers who enter the yearbook room need to get ready to become part of the action. We cover the basics of composition and the process, then you’ll need to take this section and get to the real work — practicing until you find your shot.

So, you’ve heard of Square One but you don’t really get it yet? We’ve got you. Walk step-by-step through our revolutionary, grid-based design technique that has changed the way yearbooks take shape. Then learn design and typography principles beginning designers need to know.

Everything you need to learn about eDesign and InDesign are already online in the form of videos and walk-throughs. Plus, both are being updated constantly. Find them at The printed version of this section provides a quick reference guide to keyboard shortcuts and some tips from the experts.




At the end of the day, you’re making a history book. This is the one permanent collection of your school year. Make sure you have the necessary information. And don’t worry, we have checklists, samples and templates galore.

The book only succeeds if people buy it. Don’t let those business-minded students pass on yearbook. Selling the book is everyone’s job, but it helps to have someone in charge. Follow our steps to stay on budget, promote the book and keep your class running like a business. Read more about

The definitive list of words you’ll need when working on your yearbook. If you do nothing else with this collection of yearbooking knowledge, use this list as your go-to-guide. Plus, for advisers, this publication contains a reference to the Common Core, ISTE and P21 standards. We made this section to make your job easier. You’re welcome.


selling your book on page 30.



LOVE ME NOT Remove “I love,” “I just,” “I mean,” “really” and “very” from almost all reporting. These words are crutches and verbal fillers. No judgment here, since we all speak in colloquialisms. It’s just really, very, like, unnecessary.

COVER UP Only the theme, book name and year appear on the front lid. School name, city, state, theme, book name, year and volume appear on the spine (if you print on your spine, and if it fits).

D O N’ T LOOK AT ME If your subject is looking at the camera, posing or not, don’t make the photo more than three squares tall or wide on the page. Use posed photos as coverage elements to get more students in the book, but avoid making them too large.

GO OUTSIDE Students’ lives happen outside the walls of your school. So should your book. When you divide your book into only “editorial” and “reference” portions, you’ll find more ways and more space to get more interesting coverage on your pages.

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the hj way



Roving reporters and YBKhq content creators Hayley Behal and Nelson Helm join creative director Steve Kent for conversations with members of our international scholastic journalism network. From advisers to consultants, you’ll hear from the best in the business. Catch up on the interviews you may have missed.

L IF E L ES S ONS W I T H L A UR A Z HU CJE Laura Zhu, adviser at Toby Johnson Middle School, is here for you. To make you feel you just met your new best friend. To tell you nobody knows what they’re doing when they make their first yearbook. To remind you of the power of captions. “As soon as I stepped back and said, ‘I don’t need to be the person who knows more than them. I need to give them the tools to find the answers themselves,’ I flipped the classroom before it was kind of a thing.”



Carrie Faust of Smoky Hill High School exudes star power, which she found in her own yearbook days. Does your staff look like your school? Do you know how to recruit new members? Do you know how to train those new members? Faust has you covered.

The KP didn’t become so by being anything less than extraordinary. She is a rep in Northern Virginia and with her, you’ll find your theme. Then laugh your way to better coverage. And, maybe a better way to yearbook.

“Yearbook is about being intentional, about intentionally choosing a theme, and a design, and an organizational method that can include as many people as possible. And to be intentional about who those people are.”

“When we broaden theme to be just a way to tell the story of the year, then we focus on individual voices or small groups inside this huge school and how we build community.”


Find us on the Apple Podcast app, the Google Play Store, SoundCloud, online at mindthegutter. On our website:, just search for Mind the Gutter. Subscribe and we’ll automatically download to your smartphone.

We talk with YBKhq curriculum manager Betsy Brittingham as well as content creators to further explore How to Yearbook. We chat with Beth Ward, adviser at Mauldin High School, and her rep Devon Swale, CJE, about adviserrep relationships. And we sit down with Pat Hinman, adviser at Robinson Secondary, about her yearbook path.




MORE T H A N A P IONEE R W I T H MI T C H Z IE GL E R CJE If you’ve seen a Redondo book, you’ve wondered how they take those photos, how they cover those topics, how they continue to stand apart from the crowd. We talked to adviser Mitch Ziegler and it came into focus.

Colorado advisers Justin Daigle and Carrie Hendrix need no introduction. They’ll probably introduce themselves. Or each other. Yearbook is meant to be fun. And they know it. Here’s how you meet your yearbook bestie.

“We just spend time talking about photos. The kids would start showing up in my classroom at 7 a.m. to sit down and show me their shots. We kept talking about it. We learned from conversation and dialogue where people just start talking about what seems to work and what doesn’t.”

“Students come into yearbook not knowing how much this is going to change their lives and find their why. Their passion behind things. They didn’t know they could be a leader, and all they can accomplish — that’s been the coolest part of all this.”

She’s about as talented at publications as one person can be. Brenda Gorsuch, West Henderson’s recently retired adviser, knows how to teach writing. She knows how to teach interviews. She knows how to be interviewed. And she’ll fight for student press rights through it all. “I want the curiosity where you can sit down and really connect with another person and ask questions. I tried to teach that by having them take random students and go find an angle, and interview that student.”

WHY A PODCAST? When you’ve had enough of reading and writing and teaching and talking, turn to us. We’ll help you get through tough spots, we’ll help you motivate yourself and your staff, and we’ll teach you a few tricks to yearbook the HJ way. Put in some headphones and you’ll never yearbook alone.

L I V ING Y OUR BES T L IF E W I T H E RINN H A RRIS MJE Erinn Harris has loved yearbook forever. She even loves yearbook when it takes over her free time. And when her staff is brand new and she has to start over. Did we mention, she’s a teacher because she wanted to teach yearbook? “My expectations are directly related to my students’ expectations for themselves. Which is why I think setting goals at the beginning of the year is important, so I know what kind of adviser I need to be.”

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the hj way


Finding a home in yearbook


to a seasoned photographer, Shaban Athuman learned to tell stories through his lens. Athuman photographed college athletics for the Associated Press and the Kentucky Derby for Getty Images. He won top honors in New Mex ico for brea k i ng news phot og r aphy. Richmond Times Dispatch editors recognized his work was special. The staff produced a Sunday-edition wrap for its Virginia daily to showcase a photostory of his. Most recently, his imagery has appeared in the Denver Post. These credits all belong to a guy who’s in college. But it almost ended before it even began.

Student taught himself to capture better art, but photography taught him about life. Captions appear on page 27

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cover story


G ROWI N G PAIN S As freshman at Salem High School in Virginia, Athuman struggled in a sea of 1,200 students. He was headed down the wrong path, and administrators suspended him for fighting. He didn’t fit in. Not surprising for someone who spent his first 12 years in a refugee camp under the military protection of the Tanzanian government. His parents, originally from Burundi, fled from the civil war ravaging their East African country. He said his family had no defense from criminals who ransacked their encampment. There, his family witnessed neighbors robbed at gunpoint. Immigrating to America was the right choice for them. But, life in the states took some adjusting and required Athuman to learn English, his fifth language. He had only taken a two-week course before starting seventh grade.



Alone, scared and unable to communicate fully with his classmates, Athuman remembers the day he saw some kids with a magic black box. He recognized it from the encampment when relief workers visited and showed residents how they looked in the viewfinder. It was a camera, and until that day, he had never seen himself clearly. To him, it was magic. Administrators asked adviser Nancy Page to accept the new student onto her middle school staff, because they knew with her family’s military background, she would watch over the quiet refugee learning his way around a new culture. Once she saw his interest in cameras, she made sure he was involved in assignments. She watched him eagerly attend events and gleefully snap hundreds of images. Not many of which were in focus.

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cover story


But, she saw him try his best. When high school staff application time came, Page asked adviser Katie Lewis to find a place for Athuman, knowing yearbook would provide a home for him. THE TRANSITION WAS HARDER THAN EXPECTED. Missed assignments. Poor quality. Lack of effort. Lewis made the only decision she could. At the end of his freshman year, she took him into the hall and said she could not reserve a space for someone who was not contributing. Athuman pled with her. “If you give me one more chance,” he said. “I will never let you down.” His editor-in-chief Austin Rakes pulled Athuman aside and talked to him about the difficulties of dealing with cruel people and actively choosing to see life’s positives. “He saw if he lost yearbook, he would lose his dream,” Rakes said. “Even from freshman year, he knew yearbook was his ticket for what he wanted to do.” She said photography was his outlet for expression. “I couldn’t always find the words to thank people,” he told her, “but through photography I can show them.” And it turned into more. “It was special I got to see him from when he first came in as a staffer and struggled with writing,” Rakes said. “He turned to photography, and he changed. Even though English wasn’t his first language, you don’t need to speak a certain language to take beautiful, inspiring pictures.”

FI N D ING F O C U S That summer, Athuman researched the owner’s manual of a staff camera, watched videos about settings and composition. He bounded into back-to-school staff meetings with thousands of images to satisfy a 10-photo assignment.

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cover story


SHABAN ATHUMAN WES T ERN K EN T UCK Y UNIV ERSI T Y BOWLING GREEN, K EN T UCK Y In June, the Athuman family traveled back to Burundi for the first time since fleeing in 1994. “I have never seen my dad smile as much as he did when we landed,” Athuman said. “That was really cool and one of the best parts about the whole trip.” While in Africa, he photographed the “people who made it possible” for him to live his dreams. They described the years since he left, telling him about their dreams of a better life, too. He snapped pictures, promising to send physical copies to them once he returned to the U.S.



“He worked tirelessly and didn’t complain,” Rakes said. “Seeing all of his pictures and how proud he was of the work he accomplished, it still gives me chills just thinking about it.” Through yearbook, Athuman learned photography is not about the events. And, even though he got a second chance, he realizes photographers don’t. Photography, to him, is about setting the stage and letting the actors act. “My job is to understand people and their stories,” he said. “To empathize with them.” As he readies himself for a career as a professional photographer and as offers from major, national news organizations roll in, Athuman knows where he got his start. When a yearbook family embraced the kid who needed a home, the zero who became something more.

F I X E D ANDS GRIPPING the rim, H Florida International University guard Josh Stamps dunks on the Western Kentucky defense. WKU defeated FIU 83–76. Athuman arrived four hours early to set up his secondary camera on the catwalk above the basket. “You have to think about what you want to do ahead of time so you can have everything arranged before.”

LUTCHING THE FLAG, mother of C Virginia State Police Special Agent Mike Walter mourns the loss of her son at his funeral. Walter was shot and killed in a public housing development in Richmond. “I was trying to document this in the most humane way possible. One of the things I always hear is we are humans first and photographers second.”

ITH FINGERTIPS on the ball, W Western Michigan cornerback Donald Celiscar intercepts a Virginia Tech pass. In its home game on Sept. 27, 2014, Tech won 35–17. “That’s when Virginia Tech had the worst quarterback. He stepped back and overthrew it and kept doing the same thing. I knew it was going to be intercepted. I was ready and waiting for it. And, I was lucky.”


YOAN DIAZ CHARLES W. FLANAGAN HIGH SCHOOL PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA He had work piling up and teachers were starting to notice. In the first semester of his freshman year, Diaz admitted he was on a downward spiral and had no motivation to turn assignments in on time.

AS NORTH TEXAS celebrates its victory, Hannah Parker solemnly walks off the field in defeat. The Western Kentucky team lost after 9–6 in the game on March 26, 2016. “Whenever they celebrate, they always celebrate at their dugouts. I knew that moment was going to happen, so I put myself in the right place to get that picture.”

N THE TRAMPOLINE, Arts O Serastino tucks her legs midbounce, with her sister Aria in their front yard in Gallup, New Mexico. “I was thinking, how can I make a picture no one has seen? You can see through the trampoline, so I thought I would get underneath. I think that’s one of my favorite pictures from that summer.”

I N THE AIR, Kent State runner Caroline Sauers jumps an obstacle in the 3,000-meter steeple chase during the Hilltopper Relay. Sauers finished fifth overall in the relay on April 9, 2016. “I put my camera a little bit in the water, so whenever she was about to jump off, the same thing was going to happen. I tried like seven or eight times to get the shot.”

DIDIER and Athuman grew up together in the one-room schoolhouse in Tanzania. Now they attend the same college. “Getting a picture of him was a way to catch up. I had three different lights. One light keeping the skin tone, and two graded lights on the side of his face. I thought it was aesthetically pleasing.”

JOCKEY’S FACE helps tell the A story of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby May 6, 2017, at Churchill Downs in Louisville. “I wanted to show pictures of people themselves, and not just the superstars of the Derby. I was really close to him and shot it with a 24-70mm lens.”

FF THE BLOCKS, sprinters launch O themselves into the 100-meter dash. The race was part of the Hilltopper Relay on April 9, 2016, at Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “It’s about practice. Keep trying different things and making mistakes. Challenge yourself to create a different perspective from those you normally take.”

But he had made a name for himself as somewhat of a photographer, something yearbook adviser Brian Edwards desperately needed. Introduced through a friend, Edwards was impressed and asked Diaz to join the staff. Through the class and people, Diaz’s work ethic turned around and grades skyrocketed. “I started noticing deadlines [because of yearbook]. I couldn’t stay on staff knowing I couldn’t get other stuff done,” he said. “In my head, I had to have everything done.” Edwards recognized yearbook gave Diaz a reason to be engaged and connected in school, something he didn’t think he had before. “He needed a place he was comfortable to apply himself,” Edwards said. “And I think he found it.” Last school year, the Talon staff had reference pages to fill, and his rep Patty Posey suggested a special feature of Diaz’s photos. After receiving praise from administration and students, Edwards said they hope to move the six-spread feature to the front of the book in 2019. Diaz said he liked photography because “you can capture the intensity of a moment.”

POCKET FRAMES: “This is from a collection of images representing daily interactions. It was an effort to think creatively using the camera in my pocket. As soon as we saw the light, we all grabbed our phones and took pictures. Find that thing you can use to make a good photo, and remember it. Add it to your bag of skills.”

I N A SOMBER MOMENT, Ricky Engesser rides away from the arena after failing to tie a calf during the Best of Best high school timed events rodeo. “I had just talked to her. This competition was important. She had just won a national championship, and to lose this tiny local competition, it was a huge deal.”

ITH A RUSH of students W around him, John Dau prepares for his day of teaching part-time at Collegiate School in Richmond. Away from teaching Dau runs a foundation to provide healthcare and nutrition in South Sudan. “I set the shutter speed very low. I wanted to show how the kids see him. It seemed like it was someone they could ignore because they see him all the time.”

“Everyone has a story, and I want to capture that.” Follow YBKfolio, scan Diaz’s photo with the HP reveal app to see his work.

folio 26

cover story


*ACP Pacemaker announcement is set for Oct. 28, 2018. Numbers and titles subject to change.

Crown finalists


Pacemaker finalists


Epic | Legend HS | Parker, CO


Red and Black | Lawrence HS | Lawrence, KS


The Lair | Lake Braddock Secondary | Burke, VA

*The Royal Purple | Kansas State University | Manhattan, KS

31 67 29 63

Wingspan | James Enochs HS | Modesto, CA

1 1

Hilsborean | Hillsborough HS | Tampa, FL

Panther | H.B. Plant HS | Tampa, FL


Ingenium | Greenfield Junior HS | Gilbert, AZ


Columbian | George C. Marshall HS | Falls Church, VA

Herff Jones is the chosen printing partner of almost twice as many of the world’s most recognized yearbook programs.

Taurus | Diamond Bar HS | Diamond Bar, CA


Tesserae | Corning-Painted Post HS | Corning, NY

Lion’s Roar | Christ Presbyterian Academy | Nashville, TN

Golden Images | Chaparral HS | Parker, CO

Odyssey | Chantilly HS | Chantilly, VA

The Crusader | Castle Rock MS | Castle Rock, CO

Rampages | Casa Roble HS | Orangevale, CA

•• •• •• • • •• • •• • •• •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • • THAT’S EASY

The Buzzer | Brookville HS | Lynchburg, VA

Reflections | Brighton HS | Brighton, CO

The Legend | Atlee HS | Mechanicsville, VA

Calumet | Arapahoe HS | Centennial, CO

Titanium | Antelope HS | Antelope, CA

Want to see the most award-winning yearbooks anywhere?

And we couldn’t be prouder or more honored.


The Scrapbook | Westfield MS | Westfield, IN

Westwind | West Henderson HS | Hendersonville, NC

Pacemaker winners

*Calyx | Washington & Lee University | Lexington, VA

Gold Crown winners

Cayuse | Walnut HS | Walnut, CA

Saltshaker | Trinity Christian | Fairfax, VA

Jamboree | Toby Johnson MS | Elk Grove, CA

Talon | Stanford MS | Long Beach, CA

Summit | Smoky Hill HS | Aurora, CO


Eagle Eye View | Sierra MS | Parker, CO


Laconian | Salem HS | Salem, VA

13 25 12 24

Above and Beyond | Robinson Secondary | Fairfax, VA


The Pilot | Redondo Union HS | Redondo Beach, CA

The Prowl | Powell MS | Littleton, CO


Legacy | Potomac Falls HS | Sterling, VA

The Hawk | Pleasant Grove HS | Texarkana, TX

•• •• • • • • • •• •• • •• •• • •• • •• • •• • G O L D

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

Farrier | Mirman School | Los Angeles, CA

The Clan | McLean HS | McLean, VA

Westwind | Lewis-Palmer HS | Monument, CO


Come see us at our convention booth in Chicago later this fall.

W E ’ L L H A V E E X P E R T S.

W E ’ L L H A V E B U T T O N S.

And we’ll be dreaming

of deep dish pizza.

P A C E M A K E R.

award winners

folio 28



PROMO IDEAS Now is the time to sell your book. How can you possibly sell something that doesn’t exist yet? Here are some time-tested tips. Physical promotion Place posters, signs and banners in restrooms, on lockers, in the library, gym, office and around the community. Change these every few weeks to keep attention. Use foam cups to spell a word in a chain-link fence. Write on sidewalks with chalk. Build interest with photos Create a slideshow to launch sales. Park a projector in the cafeteria and show your best photos during lunch. Set up an Instagram for your yearbook and publish sneak peeks every month. Create YouTube videos. There are great examples already online. Direct to parents Send eBlasts to parents with sale details. Ask your rep about our online book sales effort where we do the work for you. Post sales info on the school’s website. Include a link to our order center. Find free pre-designed templates, stationary and envelopes at Sell yearbooks at open house and parent nights throughout the year. Have technology ready to process payment. In the club Publish a list of people who have purchased a book. Then hang signs around the school asking, “Are you on the list?” Team up with another class or organization to help promote sales.

E V E N T- B A S E D S T R AT EGIES Make it a special event. Create a sense of urgency. If students know the yearbook is on sale for a limited time, it will become a priority purchase. Set up tables at popular events. Instead of trying to make sales

BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE The key to running a successful business is understanding the value of what we sell. Focus first on selling books and ads. Fundraisers should be a last resort. Plastic dust covers Clear, plastic dust covers, like the one pictured, protect and extend the life of the book. Autograph supplements Available with a color design or blank, autograph supplements can be added to your book with selfadhesive tape.

at these events, consider posting purchase lists

World yearbook We cover the world’s biggest news, sports and entertainment events in this full-color, 16-page supplement.

for parents to confirm their students’ orders. Give parents order forms.

Name plates and stamps Offer personalization with package selling, or raise the price of the book sufficiently to provide it “free” for all students who purchase books before a specified date.

What good’s a book no one buys?

We’ll design and send emails to your parent list for you, and it won’t cost a thing. Ask your rep how to sign up for this year-long campaign, and breathe a sigh of relief as you check a major responsibility off your to-do list.

folio 30

selling your book


Turning the page @PICA PL A NE T


he world is changing. Even writing the words, I’m struck by how daunting and obvious they seem simultaneously. Isn’t evolving the reason for being? Isn’t improving the reason for trying? THAT PESKY WORD. TRY. Years ago, as a rep in Southwest Virginia, staffs with which I worked faced waning book and ad sales, and worse, waning support for and interest in yearbooks. Something had to change. Change, for me, starts with asking the hardest of all the questions: W hy? W hy did parents not rush online to reserve their copies of the most precious book they will ever own? Why did administrators not understand staffers are different, and their care and feeding is akin to that of hothouse roses? Father of American advertising David Ogilvy believed customers hold the answers. So, he asked them. Every step of the way. And, he changed. He changed culture and economy, sure, but he also changed the creation process. For, he said, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” OU R BU Y ER S SHOU LD BE AT THE HEART OF EVERY DECISION WE MAKE. Which means we have to ask them, in person, what they think about what we’ve been putting onto our pages and covers. I’m not suggesting you send out surveys or remember that one time a parent stopped you in the grocery store and talked about the yearbook. Neither work.

I’m ask ing you to ask students (and parents if you dare) in group discussions what they like a nd what they don’t. Show them other books from the area — books your rep can share — ref lecting the most contemporary work in the country and, most of all, show them magazines, brochures, catalogs and online sources. Watch their reactions. They hold all the answers. My family of staffs changed. The books those kids produced changed. They lead revolutions in their zip codes, and you can too. Now, sitting in YBKhq I see other staffs looking to change. And it’s rewarding. This is what we call research-driven books. WE ASK. THEY TELL. WE DO. Our research tells us students want to feel included in your coverage. That’s both literal and figurative. They want their words and faces on pages. They also want to see their friends because they identify with their stories, too. Thus, our Zero Zeros commitment — so bold we put it on the cover. Zero students should appear zero times. We believe every student deserves to be remembered. It’s our calling. Power and responsibility reside in the art of storytelling. We own that responsibility. We decide which stories will be recorded forever. All I ask of you is give in to that pesky word and … try.

STEVE KENT Creative director at YBKhq who kills too many red pens, brought us Square One and preaches about Zero Zeros. TM


Upon seeing a spectacular surfing photo from Hawaii on our login page, Jessica Spivey from Timberland High School in Wentzville, Missouri, said she was “eager to submit a photo” for us to promote. Within hours of launching the new look for myHJyearbook, YBKhq received knock-out submissions like this one.

We are so proud of all our staffs. Send your photos to YBKrequest@ and we’ll do our best to feature your quality work.

The force behind Folio: Ann Akers Hayley Behal Betsy Brittingham Nelson Helm Bethany Hopper Steve Kent Kyle Lewis Sam Long Becky Sharkey We thank those in our network for their contributions: Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, CJE adviser, Longmont HS

Carly Pancer, student photographer Roger Williams University

Alexandria Koch, student photographer Cape Fear Academy

Shaban Athuman, student photographer Western Kentucky University

Yoan Diaz, student photographer Charles W. Flanagan HS

Jessica Spivey, student photographer Timberland HS

COLOPHON Herf f Jones’ Folio magazine serves as inspiration and education for students and advisers and all who share an interest in scholastic journalism. To create volume 24, issue one, vegetable-based inks were applied to 100-pound matte paper through Heidelberg® Speedmaster XL 106 presses in Herff Jones’ Kansas City printing facility. Folio was produced using Adobe® InDesign® CC 2018, Illustrator® CC 2018 and Photoshop® CC 2018. All type, graphics and photos were output via a Fujifilm Luxel Vx9600 Violet CTP Device wide imagesetter, outputting direct-to-plate (CTP) 2400 dpi at 175-line screen. Herff Jones and Herff Jones logo are registered trademarks of Herff Jones, a Varsity Achievement brand. Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. And, Heidelberg is a registered trademark of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. R e m e m b e r, t h i s m a g a z i n e is for inspirat ion, not duplicat ion.


24 ONE


INCOMPL E T E WITHOUT YOU DE A DL INE Fall delivery: Oct. 15, 2018

SUBMIT YOUR BOOK S T E P ONE Fill out the online form and submit at

STEP TWO Mail your 2018 yearbook to the following address:

AT T N : P OR T F OL IO Herff Jones Yearbook HQ 4625 W. 62nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46268

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