FHHS NSPA Yearbook Hall of Fame

Posted on 12/04/2017
FHHS NSPA Yearbook Hall of Fame

Yearbooks are the chronicles of – for many of us – the most memorable years of our lives. It tells the story of us, our friends, and those friends who become family. The Francis Howell High School Publications staff creates and distributes what the school believes is one of the best in the country – one that merits Hall of Fame consideration. Apparently, they are not alone. Along with students taking home many other awards, the FHHS Yearbook was inducted into the National School Publications Association’s Hall of Fame.

The national convention held in November by NSPA and the Journalism Educators Association gathers the brightest publications departments from high schools across the United States, assembling these future media moguls for professional development and friendly competition. One option for member schools is to have their yearbook (or newspaper, or magazine) professionally analyzed by the NSPA experts. FHHS’s yearbook, Howelltonian, has earned an All-American rating from this critique service 10 times within 11 years, earning this special Hall of Fame honor for the team. Hall inductees receive a special plaque and have their name added to the NSPA Hall of Fame plaques, which are proudly displayed at the NSPA/JEA high school journalism conventions.

The FHHS yearbook staffers were also celebrated in front of their peers at the convention, which certainly helps further motivate them to turn to the next page of their success. Annie Sudhakaran, 2018 editor and third-year staff member said, “Being able to experience the rewarding feeling that has been the result of over 10 years of work was truly an honor. To hear everyone in the ballroom cheering for our school and program showed that our hard work had paid off. Throughout the convention I could tell that our work mattered.”

Sudhakaran sees herself as carrying on a tradition began by motivated young media specialists like herself years ago. So many others who worked on the Howelltonian and subsequently graduated would be overjoyed to hear that their successors are taking the Howelltonian as seriously as they did. Publications advisor Michele Dunaway has had the pleasure of sparking the yearbook’s turnaround so many years ago … as well as the students who made it happen. The book is critical to her, and her passion inspires the students.

“Yearbook is important,” Dunaway said, “not only because it preserves memories and the history of the school, but because as a staff, we are a family. The yearbook kids are my kids, and they matter to me as more than photographers, writers, and editors. To achieve on this level means I’ve done my job of helping them reach excellence, which is what education is all about – that lifelong learning, and being part of a legacy.”

That is also what a good yearbook is about – evidence of how we became lifelong learners, and preserving a legacy of excellence that has become Francis Howell High School.

The Howelltonian earned the NSPA Hall of Fame induction for Yearbook, and won second place in Best of Show (for books 289-336) at the convention, as well.

In the JEA Write-Off Competitions, senior Madison Geil earned an Excellent rating in Sports Writing, and junior Bryce Clemons earned an Excellent rating in Yearbook Copy/Captions – Sports. Also in the Write-Off completions, junior Sydney Taylor scored an Honorable Mention in the Newswriting category, and senior Jake Conrad achieved an Honorable Mention for Yearbook Copy/Captions – Student Life.

The 2017 yearbook also earned a Gold Medal with all three marks of distinction from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and Missouri Interscholastic Press Association’s All-Missouri rating.

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