Each year the Sterling High School journalism staff submits its yearbook and magazine to contests hosted by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association in hopes of earning top honors.
On Dec. 7, the All-Kansas Yearbook Awards, which are the top yearbook awards in the state, were announced, and the 2015 edition of the Sterling Cub came out on top in the 3A classification.
“This is an incredible honor and testament to the hard work the student journalists put into their publications,” journalism adviser Todd Vogts said. “We were the only 3A school to be recognized with an All-Kansas distinction this year, so that’s pretty incredible. There were at total 59 books submitted for critique across all classifications, and there were only 18 All-Kansas awards.”
Vogts said the 3A classification is full of strong programs, which makes being the lone All-Kansas yearbook extra special.
“The way the contest works is that there could essentially be any number of All-Kansas publications,” he said. “KSPA could give the honor to 20 or zero publications in any classification. Each book is judged individually based upon a rubric. If the book makes the grade, it gets the honor. If it isn’t up to snuff, it doesn’t get the honor. So receiving the only All-Kansas award in our classification is pretty significant.”
At the beginning of each school year, Vogts said, there is a call for entries into the All-Kansas Yearbook contest. Schools from across the state submit the previous year’s book to be critiqued and judged. The Sterling Cub Reporter magazine will be entered this spring.
“It might seem strange that we are just hearing about how our 2015 book did, but that is how the contest works,” Vogts explained. “KSPA has to wait for every school to get copies of their books back from their printers. Then KSPA has to get them all judged. It takes some time.”
The 2015 Cub was lead by 2015 graduates Kasady Smith, Caleb Hendricks, who where the co-editors, and business manager Taryn Gillespie. Other staff members included current seniors Baylee Maskil, Veronica Norez, Alex Veliz, current junior Lindsay Gilmore, and current sophomores Aniston Ramsey and Kadie Smith.
Winning the award gives this year’s staff something to strive for, and the rubric provided by the judge gives the staff members ideas for areas of improvement.
“Now the students working on the 2016 Cub know they need to be at the top of their game if they want to achieve All-Kansas distinction again next year,” Vogts said. “They are already doing great work, and the insights provided by the judge in the critique will be helpful in taking the book up to the next level. I am confident about entering again next year.”
The 2016 Cub staff is led by co-editors Norez and Gilmore. Other staff members include Maskil, sophomore Raegan Mantz, and freshmen Morgan Anderson and Grace Rowland.
For a complete list of All-Kansas Yearbook winners, visit http://www.kspaonline.org/news/2015/12/07/congrats-2015-yearbook-all-kansas-winners/.