Yearbook Land: Where does the closing go?

As you know, I am a high school journalism teacher. My students produce a monthly magazine and a yearbook. We recently completed our 2017 yearbook. We went with a chronological design in which we grouped everything by season (fall, winter, spring) with sections inside each season focusing on aspects of the school year such as sports and student life.

We have been doing this type of book for the past few years. In critiques, we usually get a decent amount of positive feedback. However, one strike against us is always where we place the closing spread (a spread is two facing pages), which is essentially the conclusion of the book.

See, we put the closing before the ad pages and the index, which is where we have every student listed in alphabetical order with the page numbers where they appear in the book. It makes it easy for the students to find themselves. After all, most high school students buy the yearbook to see themselves and their friends in the book. Only later does the value of being able to look back at the year really become evident to them.

Anyway, because we place our closing where we do, we receive marks in the negative column. Here is what one critique said:

“Put the closing at the end of the book instead of before the advertisements.”

I realize that isn’t a harsh criticism, but it still puzzles me and frustrates my students. Why would the closing of the book go after the ads and the index? At the beginning of the book, we put the title page and then the opening spread. That makes sense.

For me, putting the closing before the ads and the index makes sense too. The ads and the index are not part of the content of the book. They are supplemental pages. A textbook doesn’t have the glossary before the conclusion, so why in a yearbook should the ads and the index be before the closing?

To me, the opening and closing at the bookends to the content of the yearbook. They enclose the coverage of the year. Therefore, anything appearing between these two spreads should be contributing to the coverage of the year. It needs to directly address and engage the target audience. The ads don’t do that, though the generosity of the advertisers is crucial for the yearbook’s success. Likewise, the index, though incredibly useful for the readers, does not contribute to the coverage of the yearbook. It is a supplemental tool for navigating the book.

Am I wrong?  For the 2018 yearbook should I advise my students to put the closing in a different location?

I would love to hear what you think. Either leave a comment or shoot me note.

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Assignments for May 22, 2017

English American Lit & Project Management (2B, 4B):

  • DLL (none)
  • Harlem Renaissance & the Roaring 20s
    • Relevance
      • Watch Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” (2013) starring Leonardo DiCaprio
    • Background
      • n/a
    • Read
      • n/a
    •  Account
      • n/a

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

Emerging Technologies (5A):

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 19, 2017

A/V Production Fundamentals (1W, 2W):

  • Reminder: bring headphones to class each day for the entire semester
  • Complete CTE Form
  • 2017 Final: Short Story Film Adaptation

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

  • Complete CTE Form (if you haven’t already)
  • 2017 Spring Final: Black & White and Dead All Over

Cub Yearbook (4W):

  • Me Time
    • Dow what you will to prepare for yearbook work
  • We Time
    • Complete CTE Form (if you haven’t already)
    • Year-End Checklist
    • Photo Assignments
  • It Time
    • Work on pages/spreads
  • Clean Time
    • Tidy up and don’t leave the room a mess

Emerging Technologies (5A):

  • Complete CTE Form (if you haven’t already)
  • 2017 Spring Final

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Complete CTE Form (if you haven’t already)
  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 18, 2017

English American Lit & Project Management (2B, 4B):

  • DLL (none)
  • Project Management
    • Portfolio of Work

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

Emerging Technologies (5A):

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab

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Assignments for May 17, 2017

A/V Production Fundamentals (1W, 2W):

  • Reminder: bring headphones to class each day for the entire semester
  • 2017 Final: Short Story Film Adaptation

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

Cub Yearbook (4W):

  • Me Time
    • Dow what you will to prepare for yearbook work
  • We Time
    • Year-End Checklist
    • Photo Assignments
  • It Time
    • Work on pages/spreads
  • Clean Time
    • Tidy up and don’t leave the room a mess

Emerging Technologies (5A):

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 16, 2017

English American Lit & Project Management (2B, 4B):

  • DLL (none)
  • Project Management
    • Portfolio of Work

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

  • Work Day

Emerging Technologies (5A):

  • Vex Robotics
    • Continue prototyping/building robots for competition
  • Set builders
    • Continue working on theater shop cleanup

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 15, 2017

English American Lit & Project Management (2B, 4B):

  • DLL (none)
  • Project Management
    • Portfolio of Work
  • Harlem Renaissance & the Roaring 20s
    • Relevance
      • Watch second half of “The Great Gatsby” (1974) starring Robert Redford
        • 2B: 00:59.30-end
        • 4B: 00:59.30-end
    • Background
      • n/a
    • Read
      • n/a
    •  Account
      • n/a

A/V Production Fundamentals (1W, 2W):

  • Reminder: bring headphones to class each day for the entire semester
  • 2017 Final: Short Story Film Adaptation

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

  • Work Day

Cub Yearbook (4W):

  • Me Time
    • Dow what you will to prepare for yearbook work
  • We Time
    • Year-End Checklist
    • Photo Assignments
  • It Time
    • Work on pages/spreads
  • Clean Time
    • Tidy up and don’t leave the room a mess

Emerging Technologies (5A):

  • Vex Robotics
    • Continue prototyping/building robots for competition
  • Set builders
    • Continue working on theater shop cleanup

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 11, 2017

A/V Production Fundamentals (1W, 2W):

  • Reminder: bring headphones to class each day for the entire semester
  • 2017 Final: Short Story Film Adaptation

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

  • Work Day

Cub Yearbook (4W):

  • Me Time
    • Dow what you will to prepare for yearbook work
  • We Time
    • Year-End Checklist
    • Photo Assignments
  • It Time
    • Work on pages/spreads
  • Clean Time
    • Tidy up and don’t leave the room a mess

Emerging Technologies (5A):

  • Vex Robotics
    • Continue prototyping/building robots for competition
  • Set builders
    • Continue working on theater shop cleanup

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Planning for the Future: Discuss Plans to Implement
  • Clean lab
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Assignments for May 10, 2017

English American Lit & Project Management (2B, 4B):

  • DLL (none)
  • Harlem Renaissance & the Roaring 20s
    • Relevance
      • Watch second half of “The Great Gatsby” (1974) starring Robert Redford
        • 2B: 00:59.30-end
        • 4B: 00:59.30-end
    • Background
      • Discuss Fitzgerald & Gatsby
    • Read
      • “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
        • Chapter 8: pg. 154-170
        • Chapter 9: pg. 171-189
    •  Account

Web Design/Online Journalism (3A):

  • [BLOGGING PROJECT] Special Topics in Media: Depictions of Journalism #4

Emerging Technologies (5A):

  • Vex Robotics
    • Continue prototyping/building robots for competition
  • Set builders
    • Continue working on Spring Play needs and cleanup

Cub Reporter Magazine (6A):

  • Me Time
    • Do what you will to prepare for magazine work
  • We Time
    • Discuss Matters of Importance
      • Slack and Trello
    • Photo Assignments
  • It Time
    • Post May 2017 content to website
    • Planning for the Future: Brainstorming Improvements
  • Clean Time
    • Tidy up and don’t leave the room a mess
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Lindsay Gilmore brings home State Journalism honors

Senior Lindsay Gilmore takes a quick picture with the Jayhawk outside of the Student Union at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. KU was the site of the 2017 Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest. Gilmore ended up winning Honorable Mention in 3A/4A News Writing.

LAWRENCE — Senior Lindsay Gilmore capped off her high school journalism career Saturday by receiving an Honorable Mention in News Writing in the Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest, which took place at the University of Kansas.

Earning this honor makes Gilmore one of the state’s top six news writers in the 3A/4A division.

“It should be noted, though, most of the other top finishers in her category were from 4A schools,” journalism adviser Todd Vogts said. “So, really, she’s one of the top two news writers in 3A.”

Gilmore’s placing earned Sterling High School one point in the overall sweeps competition. Sweeps points are earned by students placing in each category. A 1st Place is worth five points, a 2nd Place is worth four points, a 3rd Place is worth three points, and an Honorable Mention is worth one point. Points are broken down by Kansas State High School Athletic Association size classifications, so Sterling competed against other 3A schools for the sweeps title.

For the seventh year in a row, the 1st Place winner was Humboldt High School, which is located south of Iola.

“Obviously we came up short, especially considering the winner scored 25 points,” Vogts said. “However, I’m glad we at least got on the board.”

For the past two years, Sterling had taken second in the 3A sweeps competition, so Vogts said his journalists had some work to do.

“We need to regroup and refocus,” he said. “Without using too many sports metaphors, we took our eyes off the ball. We need to take extra steps next year to put all our efforts into what we are doing. This was just an off year. We will rally and get back to our previous level. Ideally, we will come back from this defeat even stronger and take a run at the perennial powerhouse in our division.”

For the State Contest, eight students competed in a total of 15 events against schools from both 3A and 4A after earning a spot at State by placing at the Regional Contest held in February. Of those, 14 entries were Digital Submissions, which entailed students producing photos and designs prior to the competition. Gilmore was the only student competing in an on-site contest, which required her to write a news story during the day of the contest.

Other Black Bears competing at State included seniors Will Dutton and Lexi Rose, juniors Raegan Mantz and Taya Wilson, sophomores Morgan Anderson and Grace Rowland, and freshman Abby Riffel.

Prior to the day’s competitions, the Black Bears were awarded a plaque proclaiming the All-Kansas News Publication designation the 2016-17 Cub Reporter Magazine received in April.

“It was great to receive that recognition for the hard work the magazine staff had put in over the course of the year,” Vogts said. “Hopefully next year we can do that again, as well as get All-Kansas for the yearbook and place better in State. It’s a whole new year, and a largely new staff. We are going to make some adjustments and set ourselves up for more success next year. Our seniors will be missed greatly. They’ve been huge assets to our program, and they will leave big shoes to fill. However, I am confident the staffers will step up to the challenge and lead us well. I’m looking forward to next year. It should be a good time.”

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