Yearbook staff celebrates award


photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Shining stars // The yearbook staff of the 2019-2020 school year smiles for their club photo. Their Peak-themed yearbook earned the highest rating of Distinguished Merit.

The yearbook staff recently received the highest UIL rating for the 2020 yearbook: Distinguished Merit.

This is the eighth time out of 13 yearbooks that the staff has achieved this rating. Judges come up with these ratings based on the critiques they give in 13 different sections. They comb through the book and comment on everything from writing to photography to design.

“While this book is strong in all areas, the coverage is phenomenal,” the judge stated.

The staff achieved the highest rating due to also attaining the highest rating, Distinguished Merit, in 12 out of 13 judged sections. That’s two more than they received last year.

I really wanted our book to meet those high standards and to see that our book not only met those standards but surpassed them was so incredible.

— Lauren Vasquez, co-editor in chief

“The staff did an outstanding job of coming up with unique, relevant and timely feature topics,” the judge stated.

The book was also nominated for the Star competition, with eight of 13 sections marked for Star potential. This nomination means that the judge believes that the book is among the most outstanding of those made that year. Yearbooks across the state receiving Star nominations may then go on to receive a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Star award.

“Every year, the yearbook staff manages to improve and receive more of the highest honors,” yearbook adviser Casi Thedford said. “Last year’s book, Where it Counts, was the first time we earned a Bronze star. I hope that this book holds on to the Bronze star, or even better.”

The yearbook staff will find out if they received a Star award in the spring of 2021.

“Photographers captured the highlights of the year and designers presented them in sophisticated, unique modules,” the judge stated.

The staff of 24 produced the volume 13 book with the theme of Peak. It was led by editors-in-chief Addie Orr and Lauren Vasquez.

“I was very happy to see the critiques that we received,” Vasquez said. “Every year the staff makes amazing books that receive numerous awards and praise. I really wanted our book to meet those high standards and to see that our book not only met those standards but surpassed them was so incredible.”

“Every year they amaze me,” Thedford said. “When I think it just can’t get any better, they bring home even more Distinguished Merits.”