A book of Excellence: Yearbook receives a Jostens award

Myiah Jones, Staff Writer

Determination and attention to detail have paid off for the staff members of yearbook. After competing against thousands of different yearbook entries, Plano was the only school from the 5A district in the metro area to receive the Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence Award. A representative from Jostens came and told journalism teacher Terry Quinn about the award.

“Well, to be honest, I was pretty surprised when Quinn told me,” senior and editor-in-chief Nataly Keomoungkhoun said. “I’m pretty hard on myself, so I usually think that when I do something, it isn’t good enough, or I’m not doing enough to make it the best that it can be. Receiving this award was a huge ego boost for me.”

The Program of Excellence Award recognizes yearbook staffs and advisers who have created dynamic yearbooks for their schools. The yearbook staff received the award by achieving the criteria in the following categories: creating a book that includes the majority of the student body, generating student interest and meeting the deadlines.

As the yearbook’s first year to receive the award, there are high hopes to be as successful in the years to come.

“It’s our job to track down people,” Quinn said. “We work hard at it, getting as many people in the yearbook as we can. I think we can do it again.”

The yearbook staff members pursue through a strenuous process of editing. The process includes looking through each individual page multiple times and rotating between the staffers, editors and teacher until the spread is done.

“Yearbook has been one of the most difficult obstacles I have ever come across,” Keomoungkhoun said. “There were days when I just stopped and said, ‘why did I do this to myself?’”

The process of completing the yearbook is said to be long and detailed by the yearbook students because it is a one-time publication.  This means that everything must be correct and in order the first time, including what pictures, quotes, and student profiles are used.

According to Keomoungkhoun, completing the yearbook has had its fair share of hardships including files being deleted.

“Yearbook has taught me that everything happens for a reason,” Keomoungkhoun said. “When we were creating the index, half of it deleted due to some kind of complication. When that happened, I flipped out because I was stressed and we were on a deadline, and it took weeks to create it. Someone from Jostens came and did the entire index for us and from there, everything fell into place. Things have to get bad before they get better.”