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Yes, that cover is a real shot captured by a staffer with a Canon 7d Mark 2 with an 18–35 Sigma lens. And while we don’t all have access to the natural beauty of the islands, we do all have the ability to create great photos like this one. This shot is stunning because it adheres to multiple photo composition principles. Center of interest: Focus should be obvious, and it is here. The boy is the clear focus, and that doesn’t happen by accident. “It took us about 10 minutes of trying the same pose with around 75–100 shots,” Riley Shimatsu said. That’s right — 10 minutes for one photo. Sometimes that’s what it takes. Varying angle: For a different perspective, find a low or high angle to isolate your center of interest. “This photo was taken at a tide pool on Hawaii Kai side,” Shimatsu said. “I took it really close to the ground so we could get this type of reflection.” Keep the balance: All elements work in harmony. The symmetry of this photo draws you in. Simplicity: Isolate the subject, then change perspective to reduce background clutter. We love the work that went into this photo. We are humbled by the innovations of yearbookers.

Advisers honored Seven Herffies — including Charla Harris


and Mary Kay Downes — earn prestigious titles for their excellence in scholastic journalism.

Innovative thinking You changed the way you yearbook


so other readers can change the way they see themselves, and we took note.

Perfect for the job From yearbook, students learn the technical


skills of publication creation, but more than that, the practical skills of the workplace. Three yearbook success stories show how their high school experiences influenced their career choices and continue to set them apart in their fields.

Always be prepared A three-week camp for new staffers — including real sashes and merit badges? In Michigan, it turned into so much more.




Yearbook is for life W

hile the language varies, it ’s no surprise so many people in the yea rbook world share common sentiments. There’s a nearly universal dread as deadlines somehow become more difficult at the end. Everyone is busy and tired — maybe overwhelmed.

HEAR HER JOURNEY It’s her yearbook world. We’re just living in it. Hear more from Ann Akers on our Mind the Gutter podcast.

Once the books arrive, celebrations take on a new feel and another reality sets in — some staffers will move on as others prepare to take the reins and begin the process anew. But the joy of holding a new yearbook — of the first sniff, the first view, the first read — is a memory etched into the minds of all who made it happen. It doesn’t end there. In the decades that follow, there will be times when a lesson learned, a memory from a workshop, convention or deadline creeps back in. It’s been nearly 10 years since I first read one of my favorite descriptions of how yearbook grows on you. It’s what Invictus adviser Cortney Weisman’s first co-editors, Samantha Baer and Jana Hirsch, said in 2006. It became the opening to Weisman’s start-of-year speech at Ward Melville High. “FIR ST, YOU BECOME A PA RT OF Y E A R BOOK . THEN, IT BECOM E S A PA RT OF YOU.”

Complicated by unpredictable weather and sources who don’t share our sense of urgency, there are days when the end cannot come soon enough.

Both Baer, now an attorney, and Hirsch, a research professor, stay in contact with their former adviser. Simply more proof they were correct.

Even once the book is completed, there are few days off to celebrate, recoup and regroup before the staff is ready to go again — working to sell out before books arrive, planning for supplement coverage, scheming a distribution event, taking care of contest/critique and end-of-year details, and thinking ahead to the next volume.

For years, Chantilly adviser Mary Kay Downes has signed off “YB4L.” Guess who taught the editors’ section at Gettysburg Yearbook Experience (GYE) when both Baer and Hirsch attended to prepare to be leaders? MKD. TH AT’S W HO INSPIR ED T H E M T O R A I SE T H E B A R . Some conventions bring out “once a yearbooker, always a yearbooker” T-shirts and a new flock of creatives clamoring for f lair with messages proclaiming their passion. When it’s workshop time, some brag they can wear different yearbook garb each day for weeks. Traditions stick with those who know special yearbook birthday songs and chants they’ll never forget.

T h roug h t he yea r s, t he ph ra se “Yearbook is my life” has adorned merch . For t he Yea rbook Tech work shopp er s i n Sa n D iego, it was also the official camp cheer. Workshop director Steve Bailey and his assistants began “YEARBOOK is my life” a nd followed it w ith “Yearbook IS my life” to emphasize a commitment to the whole project. With each ensuing repetition, the volume increased. Most recently, the chant was the perfect finale to a presentation honoring the life of the late Bailey, long-time rep and former adviser who inspired thousands in his decades with Herff Jones. Advisers remember these times when former staffers return to campus. There’s nothing like hearing how yearbook continues to inf luence students. W hether it ’s an annual event, a random trip home or a note, professiona l a nd persona l achievements are often presented with connections to lessons learned in the yearbook room. Others might not understand how it could have such impact on so many lives. But it tends to work its way into conversations for years to come. More proof, I guess, that yearbook is for life.

ANN AKERS, MJE Manager, yearbook customer engagement

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THEME’S SO TRUE When editors

planned their 2018 book, they had no idea their adviser would win so big


e may be a small school, but we think big, win big and live big. We’re a Little Big,” reads the cover of the Pleasant Grove High School Hawk yearbook. Little did they know, that theme would have a much bigger meaning later. On Dec. 11, in a surprise presentation during a typical school board meeting, Hawk adviser Charla Harris, CJE, was honored as JEA’s 2018 H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year. “It was a little overwhelming,” she said. “That night there were all these messages. The next day, it was more of that, plus visitors and treats. And it’s continued since. I just keep smiling.” Harris’ impact has created a Texassized reputation for the Hawk . The 240-page volume earns state and national nods galore. With 24 straight Star awa rds from Interscholastic L eag ue P ress C on ference i n t he L one St a r St ate, a nd a not her 25 CSPA Crown and NSPA Pacemaker awards in the last 13 years, there are few books so honored. She has made school publications a big deal in her 33 years in Texarkana. Each year, more than 10 percent of the 670 students have been involved.

surrounded by staffers, newly crowned Yearbook Adviser of the Year Charla Harris, CJE, poses for photos. in a state of shock, Harris stands with superintendent Dr. Jason Smith.

Her room’s always abuzz with people working on the newspaper, its online edition, broadcast and the yearbook — simultaneously.

reigning yearbook adviser of the Year Brenda Field, MJE, presents Charla Harris, CJE, with the 2018 honor as superintendent Dr. Jason Smith applauds.

More than anything, Harris says she likes working with high schoolers. “I love helping them take on this huge project and seeing how they grow and change while they put it all together.” Looking back, “We’re a Little Big” fit the year better than the editors could have hoped. A s Harris’ award was announced, past and present editors were elated. Phone calls and celebrations with Harris ensued. “Audrey Murphy and I worked so hard as editors. We wanted to make Mrs. Harris proud,” 2018 co-editor Brynn Blain said. “We hoped we could help continue the streak, and we wanted the book to really represent PG.” Volume 41 closing copy sums it up, “We grew up here together and we’ll always be drawn back, supporting the next group of Hawks and their big ideas, big wins and big moments.”

Harris and seven others — two named Distinguished Advisers and five Special Recognition Advisers — were recognized in JEA’s 2018 H.L. Hall National Adviser of the Year awards program and will be honored at the Herff Jones–sponsored luncheon during the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim. The five Herff Jones advisers have compiled more than 100 years of advising experience.

LESLIE SHIPP, MJE “I love the moment in class when you realize everyone on staff has the same vision and they are equipped to follow through and make it real. This is when staffers realize they are part of something important and permanent. When you’re an adviser, everything has a purpose. It’s not just you — the teacher— reading the work. The entire school community will read those stories. We often share our successes by projecting them in class so others can see how powerful it is when everything works together as planned.” JOHNS T ON HS, IOWA DISTINGUISHED ADVISER 3 1 Y E ARS ADVISING

ANNIE GORENSTEIN FALKENBERG, CJE “I love advising yearbook because of the moments when my students push themselves out of their comfort zones. Early in my advising career, I would get nervous about the things that my students might do, but over time I have learned that giving my staff the space to chase after the stories they are passionate about leads to their best work.” LONGMON T HS, COLORADO SPECIAL RECOGNITION ADVISER 9 Y E ARS ADVISING

CARRIE HENDRIX, CJE “For me, advising is all about the relationships. You get to know the kids in such a different way. Hands down, it’s the relationships that develop as we all work together on a book created for the entire school — and for forever. It’s a joy to watch them discover they are great at something they never expected and to see them connecting with other students they probably would not have gotten to know otherwise.” LEWIS-PALMER HS, COLORADO SPECIAL RECOGNITION ADVISER 16 Y E ARS ADVISING

DEBRA KLEVENS, CJE “I have been blessed to teach some of the most incredible journalists. What I enjoy most is seeing them take the skills they learned and applying them to their lives beyond yearbook. The best part of advising is watching the light bulb go off for students. Their excitement becomes my excitement. Those moments when I see my students connect with the curriculum and truly understand and apply the skills I have been teaching are the moments I relish. I love having the opportunity to help young people find their passions.” PARK WAY WES T HS, MISSOURI SPECIAL RECOGNITION ADVISER 20 Y E ARS ADVISING

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adviser recognition


Adviser Mary Kay Downes’ knowledge of and passion for yearbook earns her the coveted teacher inspiration award


ary Kay Downes, MJE, prides hersel f on bei ng i n t he k now. She’s advised the Chantilly High School yearbook for more than 30 years. She is the district mentor for journalism teachers in Fairfa x County, Virginia. It seems she knows everyone in scholastic journalism, so she’s often among the first to hear any scholastic journalism news.

BUT THIS SURPRISED HER. “It was a work day, a nd I was in another teacher’s classroom, working on some curriculum, when my phone started blowing up,” Downes said. She found out she was being honored with JEA’s Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award, an honor for motivating a pursuit of journalism education as well as longevity and achievement of other advisers. NOBODY ELSE WAS SURPRISED BY THE NEWS. “First, [on the phone] was Leslie Dennis from [the Southern Interscholastic Press Association]. I was shocked, overwhelmed and I got emotional,” Downes said. “The teacher I was working with was concerned. She asked if I needed help — and I just laughed and let her know it was all good, in a crazy way. I had no idea.” Advisers with whom she’s worked cite her as a generous expert, a guru of foundational skills and a coach for advisers and editors alike. She already has a list of awards a mile long. Among those, CSPA’s Gold Key, NSPA’s Pioneer Award, JEA’s Medal of Merit a nd Nationa l Yea rbook Adviser of the Year honors, as well as an array of state and regional nods. After falling in love with pubs as a college creative, she taught for years before returning to yearbook in 1987. Since 1995, the Odyssey yearbook has won 17 awards in NSPA’s Pacemaker competition and 12 Crown honors from CSPA. In addition, the book has earned four consecutive Col. Charles E. Savedge awards. Nominated for the honor by a former editor, Katie Eklund Frazier, CJE, who now advises in Texas, and Val Kibler, MJE, JEA’s vice president, who also advises in Virginia, Downes’ nomination included letters from students and peers she has inspired.

at chantilly high school Abby Lee, Vietthao Ho, Mary Kay Downes, Nicole Re and Nia Hoq review the cover proof for the 2019 Odyssey. PHOTO BY KIMBERLY LEE

MORE FROM THE QUEEN Learn about years of yearbooking from the legendary MKD on the season two premiere of our podcast, Mind the Gutter.

Honored at the spring JEA/NSPA convention, Downes will also address attendees at the annual JEA Advisers’ Institute in July. “I was humbled by the comments and compliments,” she said. “Ours is a world filled with many great teachers who could be honored in this way.”

T TEACHERS OF THE YEAR Eight journalism teachers were honored in the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year awards program co-sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Dow Jones News Fund. This year, two Herff Jones advisers are among those honored.

he book is finally done, and summer is approaching. But what should I be doing? Relaxing with an umbrella drink in hand, and my toes in the sand? Well, there’s always time for that. It’s the time to rejuvenate the soul, spend time with family, travel, complete household tasks you’ve been putting off all year. After advising a few years, it clicked — what if I looked out for myself a bit more? What if I start the next book early? What a concept!

ERINN HARRIS, MJE “I would argue there is no better source for reliable, trustworthy news than scholastic journalism. Student journalists are not accountable to revenue, ad sales, partisanship or even competitors. They do not need to be ‘first’ to tell a story. What they need to do is show how the story makes a difference in the lives of their audience. My job is to teach them how to decide which stories are meaningful to their audience and how to report those stories fairly and accurately. To teach them what happens when they do not do this job ethically. To teach them that trust is very rarely given, almost always earned and can be demolished with a single keystroke.” T HOMAS JEFFERSON HS FOR SCIENCE & T ECHNOLOGY, VIRGINIA DISTINGUISHED ADVISER JOURNALISM TEACHER: 13 YEARS YEARBOOK ADVISER: 13 YEARS NEWSMAG/WEBSITE/BROADCAST ADVISER: 5 YEARS

DEBRA KLEVENS, CJE “When we travel to conferences, I arrange for students to see first-hand work of journalists. In convention cities, I have networked my students with industry professionals such as the image production director at Nordstrom and the principal designer at Starbucks. Last year in New York, the students got to meet with the editor-in-chief of The Knot magazine, a brand partnerships/ experience manager at American Express and the senior digital beauty editor at Glamour magazine. They saw how their skill sets are transferable to the real world and made industry contacts.” PARK WAY WES T HS, MISSOURI DISTINGUISHED ADVISER JOURNALISM TEACHER: 20 YEARS YEARBOOK ADVISER: 20 YEARS NEWSPAPER/ONLINE ADVISER: 7 YEARS

I KNOW AN ADVISER’S JOB IS NEVER DONE. I know summer is time to do what we can’t during the hectic year. I’m not talking about a huge time commitment. Dedicate a day a week to yearbook planning. Leave the other six to everything else. First on the list: Renew journalism memberships. While these folks are on your mind, send books off for critiques and contests. If I’m really diligent, I get my editors to help before break. They also archive files, clean out the office and make sure all yearbooks are picked up (or delivered to those who never seem to get them). WITH THAT, WE CAN FOCUS ON THE NEXT BOOK. During the last month of school, my staffers work in groups to develop a packet with a theme concept, design inspiration, fonts and organization which they present to the new editors as a final project. In theory, the editors pick a theme we can fully develop during the summer. Oh, if things always went that smoothly... My new editors step into their roles and plan weekly summer meetings. We reflect on the year and make changes to our workflow, plan our ladder and deadlines, and talk about our summer adventures. The most important meeting is when we take our newly printed class list and build our teams. It is not unlike the NFL draft.


Catch our convo with Carrie Hendrix

and her ride-or-die Justin Daigle on the Mind the Gutter podcast.

Don’t waste your summer Tips for making the off-season productive These summer meetings help the new leadership bond over frozen coffee as they discuss new traditions they want to bring to the journalism lab. Although this is my coveted summer downtime, I look forward to these meetings because I actually miss my students when I don’t see them daily. Attending our local workshop is the most important summer staff activity. We put finishing touches on the theme, or ditch it and start over. Late work nights and the inevitable shenanigans aren’t my favorite part of the workshop adventure, but the staff bonding and the memories make it invaluable. I ALSO MAKE TIME WITH AREA ADVISERS. Precious moments with my Colorado cohorts allow us to catch up on successes and woes. Somehow talk always comes to, “Can you share your (insert great journalism idea here) to make my life easier this fall?” My absolute ride-or-die is Justin Daigle from Brighton. We met 10 years ago, and I’ve found there’s nothing better in an adviser’s toolbox than a sidekick who loves journalism and advising as much as you do. Before I realize it, back-to-school time arrives. My editors hold final meetings with team leaders to plan the first two weeks of staff training. The editors are prepared for a stressfree start to their school year.

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adviser recognition




Here, we turn the reporting over to you to tell us the intent and inspiration behind the book. Then, our experts at YBKhq offer their takes. When you’re ready for the world to see your book, email We’re saving space just for you.


Legacy | Downingtown, PA Advisers: Jocelyn Long, Janette Romano Editor: Marcus Djuhadi

AREEBAH RAHMAN “The cover was tough. We played with the idea of one student, multiple students or no picture at all. As we started developing the rest of the book, we decided since the book was all about celebrating the individual, why not showcase a single student? We chose Juliet because it is odd for a STEM school to have a student poet whose passion is medicine but who loves to write. We looked at our student body to see whose unique stories to tell. We wanted to highlight a handful of those students. We narrowed down our list to one student from each grade and two seniors. We were excited to work with individual students to shoot the perfect photographs to embody their personal stories.” NOT EVERY STAFF IS BOLD enough to choose a single student to stand alone on its cover, but this concept goes perfectly with the theme, which sets the scene for individual student profiles. Topnotch approach here. The Legacy staff didn’t skimp on color. Vivid hues pulled from the eye-catching photos fueled the design. Strong type contrast is carried from the cover though the entire book. The staff used a fun script sparingly for emphasis — just as it should be — and paired it with a sans serif of different weights and sizes for smaller levels of type nuance. Well done. //YBKhq

06 07


Odasagiah | Orlando, FL Adviser: Yvetta Passmore Editors: Jesse Theobald, Sagan Simmons

JESSE THEOBALD “As the main editor for design, I called on help from a few staff members who had good eyes. We called ourselves the ‘design team’ and worked hard to help inspire our look. We mainly used Pinterest to get ideas that worked with our overall concept. Last year, some of our staff, including myself, went to a fall workshop run by Jean Henry and Teenie Reddeck with main speaker, Steve Kent, who is the creator of Square One. There, we learned all about how crucial the design of our book is and how to make it look neat while including as many people as possible.” TM

TAKING THE SCHOOL PRIDE theme one step further, the Odasagiah staff featured school colors — ­ not just on the cover and opening, but on every spread of the book. You’d think it could get a bit ho-hum, but on the contrary, the simplicity creates a clean, open look on coverage spreads. Then, photos and content take center stage. A grid-based design gets the spreads started. Placing a variety of mods keeps them interesting and visually appealing. Divider titles are all words containing “red” as is the book theme, “Rediscover,” which is a simple but effective way to keep the theme going. Theme copy on dividers reminds readers why they’re still “seeing red.” //YBKhq

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Cutlass | Acworth, GA Adviser: Darby Williams Editors: Megan Feathers, Nicole Licciardello

DARBY WILLIAMS “This was our school’s 10-year anniversary, so we wanted our theme to reflect this important milestone. This was the year that our school began to have enough history to build a real legacy. Our feature spreads focused on students who are reflective of doing something ‘ten times better’ than the rest. Our headlines for those all had nouns and adjectives that ended in ‘er’ so we could subtly play off of the word ‘better’ in our title.”


DONE Increasing coverage

Visit the Covering Your School section on for more.

Run coverage reports in eDesign for the previous year’s book. Sort the report by grade and remove seniors who graduated.


Identify students who were included only because of their school portrait or in group photos for sports and clubs.


Make a plan for covering those students and anyone else not previously covered, limiting coverage of those already featured.

DOES REPEATING SOMETHING make it “Ten Times Better?” In the case of the Cutlass staff, the answer is yes! For the book’s tenth volume, the staff featured more than a dozen profiles, each with a stunning portrait and first-person story. When you dedicate this much space, you have to make it special. In this case, it’s fullbleed black backgrounds, striking photography and the subject’s signature. Together, these touches provide readers a reason to stop and take note. The staff carries its theme through the book with a reccurring mod on where students see themselves in 10 years. Full-body cutouts appear next to the answers. Think about how cool this book will be when students look back to see if they really did end up with an apartment full of dogs or a tall, blue-eyed husband found on the California coast. Coverage spreads include great photos and captions and more theme-related stories: 10 days of break, 10 times more diverse. The key is including as many different student voices as possible. //YBKhq

T A K E 08 NOTE 09

ME A D HIGH S CHOOL Pantera | Spokane, WA Adviser: Makena Busch Editors: Amanda Stephens, Yunadi Bogatyrev

AMANDA STEPHENS “ Our book is about taking a deeper look into what this school is really about and exploring the reality of students’ lives behind the façade, the masks they wear on the outside. We used profiles to highlight certain students who have stories to tell and gave other students a new perspective. On the cover, we wanted a typography-based visual as a representation of the variety of students at our school. We used strategic embossing and debossing to reflect the inside and outside nature of the theme. The ‘outside’ letters are embossed while the ‘inside’ are debossed, sinking into the book.” IF YOU’VE EVER HEARD a designer suggest type can become art and didn’t know what they were saying, here’s your visual aid. Feast your eyes on Pantera. (Let’s digress to talk about how that flashy yellow cover alone ensures this book will never be forgotten. OK, back to type.) Stacked type is tricky. It’s not just about how the letterforms fit together, it’s whether the words remain readable. Mead mastered that skill, but didn’t overdo it. They found ways to take advantage of big, beautiful type. On each divider, a letterform creates a place for the table of contents. On coverage pages packed with content, they don’t get crazy with big type, but use it to ensure there’s hierarchy. Then you turn the page and, bam! In-your-face splashes of yellow pair with black to highlight cool topics and make the most of unconventional coverage. We could go on and on. //YBKhq

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T A K E 10 NOTE 11

Students demand new plotlines, apart from what used to be told. You thought outside the box and changed the way you yearbook. You make books what they were intended to be: Magic.

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Portfolio 24 now digital Find other inspiration with our recently updated online showcase for innovations and more.



BOISE HIGH S CHOOL The Courier | Boise, ID

Six-page, right gatefold tip-in

EVAN SENDEROWICZ “The mini magazine plays heavily on the contrast part of our theme, alternating between black and white. I took advantage of this by making that division a feature. The ‘Design a Student’ page calls back to similar mods from our yearbooks in the ’50s. It was a great experience to take control of the logistical side instead of just content.” IN THIS YEAR-END MAGAZINE, staffers included current events, trends and photography in a special way. Enhancements like uniquely sized tip-ins and fold-outs make books interactive and are always crowd-pleasers. //YBKhq

OS CE OL A HIGH S CHOOL Osceolan | Kissimmee, FL Custom-sized, 10-page tip-on

“The literary magazine tip-in came after a few months of looking for inspiration. Because so many students are involved in some sort PAOLA ORTIZ of art form, we thought it would be cool to showcase work. We put out an all-call of sorts. It was a great way to get people in the book who wouldn’t have been otherwise.” HAVE A LIT MAG? Want to cover the work? This staff did it seamlessly. The Osceolan featured a student who made his own clothes, but the staff saved the actual profile copy for a tipped-in mini-magazine. We love this simple, yet special highlight of art. //YBKhq

T A K E 12 NOTE 13



Vertical quarterbound combining matte black base material and etched plexiglass. White silkscreen on spine.

Process litho with French grain, board-level embossing and spot, flat and raised gloss coatings. Die-cut rectangle.

Pinnacle | Bend, OR

“We montaged 1,400 student faces on the front endsheet. Every student in our school can be seen through the front cover. I like SAMANTHA VON MARBOD the clean and modern look of our cover. We really focused on individuals and getting their stories out there.” WHEN YOU’RE SERIOUS about coverage, you put literally every student in the book. The Pinnacle staff used quarterbound plexiglass to get their theme launched right from the cover. //YBKhq

El Caballero | Walnut Creek, CA

“The theme, ‘Building Blocks’ shows how our community is united. By partnering with the wood tech program for the cover, we were able to get ELYSIA TEVES more students involved — more students telling our story. Each block’s oneof-a-kind grain and three colors of stain allowed us to represent how all of our students are different, but still part of the unique story of our school.” USE YOUR RESOURCES! Get help from outside the room, like this staff did. And they didn’t stop there. Square motifs span several aspects of this contentinspired design to propel the theme further. //YBKhq

H AWA II B A P T IS T A C A DE M Y The Light | Honolulu, HI

Process litho with suede lamination. Laser-cut with blind-debossed letters on front and back lid.

“To come up with a visual idea, we did a word cloud exercise. Somehow, the word ‘wonder’ eventually led us down rabbit EUNICE SIM trails to word search ADVISER puzzles and lots of pictures of the sky. Because my students really wanted to have die-cuts on the cover, we decided to use them to reveal the theme. Also hidden in the endsheets are words related to the year and our school. The idea is that we oftentimes need to look beneath the surface to find wonder in our lives.” DEBOSSED LETTERS across the cover mimic the front and back endsheets which show through the circular cutouts to spell “Wonder.” These elements reveal the theme while also creating a graphic element. The subtle dark blue-to-white gradient adds movement while incorporating an inspiration photo of the sky. //YBKhq

T A K E 14 NOTE 15


PERFECT EXPOSURE We asked for your best. And you’ve blown us away. Since launching the new log-in screen for and requesting student work, we’ve received more than 400 emails packed with photos. This overwhelming response has us choosing a round of new feature photos monthly. Want to join in? Here are some hints: Attach (don’t drag and drop) up to five photos per email and send to We love to see your vertical photos, but we can only use horizontal photos that leave space for the log-in and photo credit boxes. We might find other places for vertical shots. We’re not into offending people. Keep it classy. Include photographer’s name, school, city and state. Extra credit if you use them in the file name.

About the featured photos Undeniable proof students are following composition lessons, these photos represent everything from leading lines and rule of thirds to capturing the height of emotion. And, this is just a small sample of the photos you’ve submitted. Send your best photos to

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log-in photos


BEGIN W ITH A S OL I D FOU N DAT ION. Like a good action photo or a decent lead. Learn the basics. You know, caption writing, headline design, interviewing. Look for ways to increase your knowledge and skill sets. Maybe by asking question after question at a summer workshop.

CHO O SE A DI R ECT ION. Visual, verbal, business. This is how you begin a successful yearbook career, but it’s also how you begin any career. And these former yearbookers prove how those skills learned in the yearbook room become invaluable in the workplace, whether as a grown-up yearbooker or as a tech professional.

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success stories



n her busiest of days as Google’s director of global pa r t ner sh ip s , T h ao Tr a n might have 15 meetings back-to-back. Calls with Europe mean an early start in California and connecting with Asia sometimes requires evening chats. Long hours are the norm in Silicon Valley, but there’s flexibility, she said, allowing for family time and dinner at home. A busy schedule never scared Tran away from her goals anyway. While managing an ambitious academic load, she was senior class president at San Jose’s Independence High School and co-editor-in-chief of the American yearbook, a 320-page volume with a legacy of Crowns and Pacemakers. The decades between have been filled with opportunities, challenges and achievements, but the connection between the two phases of her life is clear. At heart, she’s a storyteller, motivator and organizer. At heart, she’s a yearbooker. Tran joined yearbook in sixth grade and was identified as “reliable and responsible” early on. She rallied her friends to transform the middle school book into a more credible history with thorough captions and reporting. A f ter three yea rs in the world of picas, coverage and sales, she found she couldn’t be on high school staff until she was an upperclassman. That would be OK, she decided. She’d have time to concentrate on the spacescience classes that attracted her to Independence in the first place. The respite from yearbook did not last long. She contributed unofficially at first, then was invited to enroll in a before-school class as a sophomore. She went to camps and conventions, sought to cover individuals on the giant campus and led the 80-member staff. When her time at Independence came to a close, she took her credentials to Yale, where she majored in political science. »

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success stories


She worked on the Yale Daily News, and used her organizational skills to define the role of managing editor so design/production editors could help improve the publication. Though she had other summer projects (more than once, related to yearbook), she kept going back to the summer workshop she attended as an aspiring editor. Tran stayed connected to the process and mentored young staffers. A f ter college, she moved to New York and worked for Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. Later, as she transitioned to a business analyst’s role, she found herself involved with messaging. Her wordsmith prowess set her apart. When thinking about grad school, she contemplated media options once again. While mentors told her an MBA would open doors, she decided to pursue new media and publishing at Stanford. It led to a position at The Washington Post where she managed digital innovation. During those years, she married Andy Dunmire and had a son, Matthieu. They’d talked about the opportunities, and the family, in Silicon Valley and began research. Five years ago, the stars aligned. Tran joined Google’s team, and they relocated to San Jose. It turned out, yearbook set her up for success in her new job. She even had co-workers t a ke the Tr ue Colors personality test she did as a staffer. Her professional conversations at Google focus on content strategy, user journeys and the web ecosystem. She brings innovation and insight on the evolution of the consumer experience with Chrome to companies worldwide. “We need to work with our partners to create the road map, determine the stories we want to tell, craft narrative and stay on message,” Tran said. Just like in yearbook.


google’s director of global partnerships and former yearbooker Thao Tran addresses developers at Chrome Dev Summit 2016 in San Francisco. In addition to the more than 1,000 attendees, the summit was livestreamed. “It’s crazy to think that my product area includes more than 4 billion users,” she said.

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success stories


Following interests in structure, problem solving and creativity, this former editor built his career


e loved drawing as a child and by the age of 10, Nick Mrozowski was shadowing his father, an architect. He had a notebook filled with drawings and developed his d ra f ting sk ills. He thought he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. In middle school, he joined yearbook, but a scrapbook style and club format didn’t inspire him. So he continued exploring his interest in architecture, until he met Lynn Strause, CJE. Strause, his freshman English teacher, was also the yearbook adviser at East Lansing High School in Michigan, and while yearbook journalism was technically open only to juniors and seniors, she invited him to join the award-winning staff as a sophomore. To begin, he was an ads guy, and his affinity for process paid off. Literally. Inspired by the autonomy of his role and the potential to make a difference, he created an ad sales packet he has referred back to more than once since he lef t college. With systems and tracking for accountability, the staff found greater success than ever before. But Mrozowski didn’t want to be the ads guy long-term.

N EW PA SSION “Graphic design had the technical aspects of architecture that appealed to me, but was more creative. And more immediate,” he said. He found he loved type and space and solving problems visually. He served as a co-editor both his junior and senior years, and those two volumes were East Lansing’s only books ever to win both a Gold Crown from CSPA and a Pacemaker from NSPA — and East Lansing was the only school in the nation to achieve that distinction in both 2001 and 2002. Under the guidance of Strause, the 2001 National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, Mrozowski developed a respect for design foundations, understood the role of organization and learned about conceptual development. »

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success stories


He had an eye for detail that puzzled others. And Mrozowski thought maybe yearbook was something he could do as a career.

COLLEGE Y E A R S So he headed to nearby Michigan State University, where he majored in journalism while specializing in studio art and graphic design. Instead of joining the yearbook staff, Mrozowski worked on The State News, MSU’s daily paper. When he became editor-in-chief, he was the first design student ever to fill the role. The Society for News Design named him Student Designer of the Year in 2004 and 2005 for his work there.

striking colors fill this featured spread from the book “LX60, a colorful history of Lisbon during the 1960s” which Nick Mrozowski co-created.

After an internship at The VirginianPilot in Norfolk, he graduated from Michiga n State a nd took his f irst full-time job in Virginia. “They’d just done a redesign, and they had a reputation as one of the bestdesigned papers, so it felt like a great opportunity,” he said.

GLOBETROTTER Then another interesting opportunity a r o s e — b e c om i ng t he fou nd i ng creative director of a new publication in Portugal. He didn’t speak Portuguese, but he was intrigued by the concept behind i (pronounced ‘E’), as in information. A daily magazine-style publication, the full-color tabloid would be stapled a nd trimmed to a llow bleeds, but published on newsprint using a heatdried process that sealed the ink to the paper. At 25, he became i’s design leader and explored the concept of the visuals driving content in a news publication. A N D T H E N , I T WA S L I K E H E FOUND HIMSELF BACK IN THE WOR LD OF Y E A R BOOK. Though the coverage teams mirrored the sections in a traditional newspaper, the plan was for detailed, varied and interesting design.

modern styling finds a home in this spread from a feature about the rules of good and bad taste, published in Esquire magazine.

With the proposal of alternative story formats and smaller bits of copy, Mrozowski’s brain went right back to the gridded design he and Strause used for his yearbooks. In fact, he called her and asked her to share files of the materials they created for Ceniad years before. Modifying slightly to accommodate for differences in publication size, that same grid still worked, and the separation space made the content easy to consume.

The mod library concept allowed his team to churn out six visually pleasing editions each week. “It was hard work,” he said. “Design came first, then journalists wrote to fit. Sometimes we had to make adjustments for better coverage, but design was first in the process, and it also came last.” The staff’s efforts paid off. Readers noticed, and i attracted the younger, more educated and sophisticated audience they targeted.

fashion-forward type and photography are featured on this opening spread about trending fashion from WWD magazine.

And — because the staff was young as well — they attracted a market of new readers who appreciated the design to the point that some collected copies. Awards and medals stacked up and, in its second year, i was named the Society for News Design’s “World’s Best-Designed Newspaper” of 2011.

HE A DING HOME By then, Mrozowski was considering a return to America. He was fluent in Portuguese, but the original editors who drove the concept he loved had moved on.

getting picture perfect, the image for this Adweek cover was a mash-up of two iconic Esquire covers.


election coverage graces the cover of the Portuguese publication i, which won world-wide recognition under Nick Mrozowski’s lead.

“I wanted to work in New York, so I figured out how to get there quickly,” he said. »

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success stories


During his first week, he landed two interviews. While the hiring process took a while, he was soon creative director for the trade publication, Adweek, where he worked for four ye a r s , le a r n i ng mor e a b out t he industr y, building his impressive portfolio and networking. He moved on to W WD (Women’s Wear Daily) as the print edition went digital, and he stepped in as creative director of the new weekly magazine, which carries the same name. Then his yea rbook roots beca me apparent once again.

unique portrait lighting anchors this feature of Greg Lauren, which was part of WWD’s 10 of Tomorrow, which highlighted fashion figures who lead their respective fields. high contrast colors this spread from Adweek, which breaks down print winners from its annual Hot List.

FR EE SPIR IT “I really like being in charge,” he said. “I enjoy managing projects. I have a lot of ideas, and there’s definitely a n ent repreneu r ia l a spect to my personality.” In 2017, Mrozowski set out on his own. Freelancing, he said, has been amazing. Gone are the routines and guidelines a n d t he mu n d a ne r e p e t it ion of standardized work. Mrozowski said he’s never bored and loves the variety of projects coming his way. He gets to figure out how to organize everything and make it all work. “It’s kind of like graduate school,” he said. “I learn something new from each project. It keeps me engaged.” W hile he admits that he enjoyed the “free” part of freelancing more in his first year as he was getting started, he now has more call-backs a nd recom mendat ions. So ma ny, in fact, he has been double-booked for months. He k nows that ’s not su st a i nable — a nd he is look i ng forward to new opportunities. “ I ne e d t o t a ke s ome t i me a nd reorganize,” he said. “So I will be able to take it to the next level.” What does that look like? Probably a s t ud io or a genc y w h ich wou ld involve others work ing w ith him, larger projects and space dedicated to design. To date, he’s been willing to work on-site with some clients to complete projects on their terms. Going forward, his mission is more than establishing his own studio.

“I have some projects I wa nt to do. Once the studio is functioning efficiently, I’ll be able to do more.” Mrozowski has never strayed far from his original passion. “I owe my whole professional life to yearbook,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

white space highlights this spread about east coast real estate that was part of a larger feature published in WWD. an eye-catching illustration about the power shift of digital influencers in the beauty world takes over the cover of WWD.

PROFESSIONAL YEARBOOKER Staffer turned rep talks about her path of getting paid to yearbook

The Prime Minister addressed Parliament regarding his agenda. Think State of the Union. The Portuguese word for his point-by-point delivery translates roughly ‘to measure.’ That made me think literally, so we needed to create a news package that held them together. What if we measured him? We confirmed his height and decided to run a life-sized, fullbody image of him across the needed four spreads. Of course, we needed a ruler across the top. Once we had the foundation down, we could simply layer the mods about each ‘measure’ atop the art. We started the process about 2 p.m. and finished that package around 10 p.m. The next morning, it was telling the story of his speech in a more interesting and consumable way. nick mrozowski


“I looked at my rep my senior year of high school, and asked, ‘How do I get your job?’ She said, ‘You’ve got to work your butt off, get a degree, keep in touch, don’t screw up, then call us after college and see where we are.’ So, I did all that. I also always worked at their yearbook camp teaching design. That kept me in their realm. Then, my senior year of college, my reps called me up two weeks before I was about to graduate and said, ‘We want to hire you to be our freelance cover artist.’ That year, the cover workshop was during finals week. So, I talked to all my professors and they said, ‘This is the job opportunity of a lifetime for you.’ I got a taste of magazines [in college] and thought, I may want to go that direction versus my original plan. I got hired at Fresno Magazine. After a couple months, they said, ‘We know from your portfolio you have designed from scratch, can you help us do a brand refresh?’ That experience was invaluable to me. I learned more in that year than I could have learned anywhere, just working at that kind of level of publishing, literally creating 156 pages in two weeks. I always tell my yearbook staffs: If I didn’t make my deadlines there, I would’ve just gotten fired. Learning the deadline aspect of yearbook is something so invaluable for these kids because if they miss a test, a lot of teachers will just let them make it up. If you miss a deadline, your ship date, you have more real-world consequences. Making it is a lot about who you know. Maintain relationships. Don’t burn bridges.”

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success stories


SCOUT’S HONOR Adviser Jayna Rumble starts out the year by making sure the staff is always prepared


n schools with no intro to journalism class, learning yearbook skills happens in the first few weeks of school. It can be hectic, and it can feel like a grind, but this year, Jayna Rumble, CJE, realized it doesn’t have to be. “I always do a boot camp, but it’s been boring for the past few years,” the adviser from Troy, Michigan said. “It’s just me teaching them a few things every day. One week we’ll do design and one week we’ll do copy and we’ll throw photography in there, too. It’s fine and it works, but it seems so boring. The new staffers are isolated from the editors and they don’t get to go into the ‘cool room’ with the computers.” Rumble reevaluated the purpose of her boot camp. She knew it wasn’t just about learning the basics.


MORE ON THE POD Jayna Rumble brings a fresh perspective to scholastic journalism. Hear more about her teaching style on our podcast, Mind the Gutter.

shaking hands with adviser Jayna Rumble, Troy High School junior Justin Hall graduates yerd scout camp.

“I wanted the new staffers to feel like they were special, even though they couldn’t join the editors yet,” she said. “I reframed it. I started thinking about merit badges, and it just went from there.” She made some paper sashes. And bought a button maker. Yerd scout camp came to life. “I had way too much fun making the buttons,” Rumble, a 2018 JEA Rising Star, said. “The first one is the ‘Talk Yerdy to Me’ button for learning yearbook lingo. There’s a ‘Copycat’ button for learning how to write copy and they do a basic photography unit to get the ‘Oh Snap’ button.” T H E N E W STA F F E R S W E R E E AG E R T O F I L L U P T H E I R SA SH E S W IT H FL A IR . “I noticed they were really excited this year. Every day we would start a lesson and someone would ask, ‘Oh, what button is up for grabs today?’ So, I would do a reveal.” Yeah. Teenagers. Excited about learning. But it wasn’t just about newbies. “I always let the editors influence the lessons as they decide priorities for the year. Anything else we can squeeze in is just a bonus,” she said.

“They observe the new staffers and decide who will be in which coverage groups. We assign groups and keep them a secret until graduation day.” T H AT ’ S R IG H T, T H E R E ’ S A G R A D U A T I O N C E R E M O N Y. A N D IT ’S NO JOK E . “Before graduation, my editors-inchief planned a scavenger hunt to reveal who was in which coverage group. They had to figure out a riddle and go to a location in the school where they were met by their new groups,” she said. “For the ceremony, we played ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ and I stood at the front of the room while the editors announced the staffers’ names. They walked across the front of the classroom and shook all of our hands. I had them move their sashes from one shoulder to the other.” Along with relaying essentials and bringing the staf f together, this process helped Rumble identif y strong future yearbookers. “I have a student who got really into it. I made the sashes out of paper, but he made his own out of fabric. He’s the ‘extra’ kind of yearbooker. That was the first interaction I had with Justin Hall when I thought, ‘Oh, this might be his thing. He might be really into yearbook.’ And sure enough, he’s taken off. He brought in four times as much ad money as anyone else.” What’s the best part about yearbook scouting? It only took three weeks of the school year, and the new staffers were ready to join their editors by homecoming. And, Rumble plans to just keep making it even better. “My mother-in-law taught me to sew this year, so I’m actually going to make real sashes. I’m so excited.”

Senior helps classmates receive free yearbooks


aced with a senior project and yearbook, Kaitlyn Crowder, staffer and business manager at Towns County High School in Georgia, let her passion for preserving memories inspire a fundraiser. “I wanted to make a difference, instead of just getting a passing grade,” she said. Crowder knew she had to involve the whole community to make the greatest impact. So, she used those biz manager skills to plan and promote a garage sale fundraiser. Adviser Rachel Surles said Crowder spent a lot of time marketing the sale of donated items. “She put donation boxes out. She was on a local radio show, had the chamber and newspaper advertise, and got tons of donations,” Surles said. When the community found out they were raising money for seniors who could not afford books, some jumped at the occasion to give. “We had a few people who bought $10 worth of stuff,” Surles said, “And then they’d ask, ‘Well, how much is a book?’ We’d tell them, ‘Around $50’ and they would just give us a $50 check.” Some customers came from afar, like a visiting couple who buys goods for a mission school. Crowder said, “It was cool to see how I was doing something good with this, and other people were doing good in their own ways.” At the end of the day, Crowder had more than enough for 28 students to receive free books. But it’s not surprising a yearbooker went beyond the call of duty. “Being business manager helped her with the soft skills of the business world,” Surles said. “It has helped her understand that raising money just to raise money is not what it’s all about. You can use money as a means to bring the community together.” As Crowder heads down the business pathway after graduation, she credits a happy accident for helping her decide what to do next. “The school kind of just signed me up for yearbook,” Crowder said, “But it was one of the best mistakes that’s ever happened to me.”

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community impact



“I took this photo at our school’s homecoming dance with a Canon T6. This was not my first time, so I knew the best spots. When the court presentations started, I went to the back of the gym — where the court girls begin walking down the aisle — and I took as many photos as I could. I was going to get the perfect shot, even if it meant pushing through the crowd. I remember seeing the lights beam on the queen and thinking her silhouette was spectacular. I actually ended up walking down the aisle behind her until she reached the end.

Crowning moment Send your photos to and we’ll do our best to feature your quality work.

I was in the moment, and saw the perfect photo opportunity. I just went with it. I took many similar photos, but I choose this one because I liked how she was reaching into the crowd. I planned on taking a photo of the queen, but I didn’t expect it to turn out like this. I guess you could say it was a lucky shot, but I’d say the only lucky thing is that it captures a special moment that will forever be documented in our yearbook.”

The force behind Folio: Ann Akers Hayley Behal Betsy Brittingham Nelson Helm Kyle Lewis Sam Long Becky Sharkey

We thank those in our network for their contributions: Riley Shimatsu, student photographer J.B. Castle HS

Carrie Hendrix, CJE, adviser Lewis-Palmer HS

Alexia Laramore, student photographer Jefferson City 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 two, vegetable-based inks were applied to 80-pound uncoated paper through Heidelberg® Speedmaster XL 106 press in Herff Jones’ Kansas City printing facility. Folio was produced using Adobe® InDesign® CC 2019, Illustrator® CC 2019 and Photoshop® CC 2019. 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.


A L E X I A L A R A M O R E • J E F F E R S O N C I T Y H S • J E F F E R S O N C I T Y, M O

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