Yearbook prepares for award season

Senior photographer Morgan Saucier works on her photo design during deadline.

El Paisano is gearing up to clear some space in their trophy cases. Their 2014 edition has been nominated for a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, a Gold Star from the Interscholastic League Press Conference and a Pacemaker from the National Scholastic Press Association. What are these awards? They are akin to the Oscars or the Grammys — but for high school journalism students. The Crown Awards are given out at Columbia University in New York City during the week of March 18. The Pacemakers will be given out on April 18 in Denver, where the NSPA spring convention is being held this year. And the Gold Stars will be given out during the ILPC spring convention at UT on April 19.

“[Being nominated] makes us feel like our hard work is appreciated, and all the time and effort we put into it is worth it,” associate editor junior Megan Rizzi said. “It’s really neat to have all the awards and to be able to celebrate it and to be able to show the staff their work is also represented well.”

The yearbook staff has won three Gold Crowns in the past seven years, Pacemakers for the past two editions and multiple Gold Stars in the past 10 years. These accomplishments do not come easy.

“If the publication didn’t have strong editors, it wouldn’t win the awards it wins,” adviser Cindy Todd said. “Sometimes people sign up [for yearbook] not realizing the commitment it takes, and so a lot of the work falls to the editors to cover for them … and that’s true for a lot of high school publication staffs. Having said that though, there are a lot of really strong staffers who work and commit and do their part too; but it takes everyone’s commitment toward a successful publication to truly produce a good yearbook that the student body and community will enjoy.”

Click here for Mrs. Todd’s website