The Sacred Heart Yearbook Staff for the 2020-2021 school year received national recognition as a recipient of the Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence Award at the silver level.


To be considered for the award, the yearbook staff has to meet specific criteria in the areas of creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement, successfully managing the creation process, and completing the yearbook on deadline. Over 17,000 schools nationwide that partner with Josten’s to publish a yearbook.


Sacred Heart’s student yearbook staff, under the direction of faculty member Nikki Howell, was among the two percent of schools nationwide to receive the award.

This was Howell’s fourth year teaching yearbook and the second year to receive the Josten’s National Yearbook Program of Excellence Award.

“There’s a lot of pressure that can come with creating a keepsake for our student body,” said Howell. “Typically, as years away from school increase, so does the appreciation for the memories and moments captured in a yearbook. I’m proud of our team and I’m excited to see their hard work recognized on a national level.”


Howell said meeting the criteria to receive this award is challenging under any circumstance, but the pandemic posed some unique obstacles.


“Certain school events were either canceled or virtual, and photographing students in face masks isn’t ideal,” said Howell. “We had to get creative in how to capture student life and fill pages that our school family could be proud of.”


Despite the challenges, Howell said the yearbook team still set out to create a book that would connect with every student. The yearbook includes photos and quotes from every student that more than triples the industry average for yearbooks.


“It’s not an easy task, but we’re able to make sure everyone is featured because we know everyone and have a sense of what they’re doing and where to find them in their photo-worthy moments,” said Howell. “It’s that kind of personalization that really comes through in our books.”


Howell said yearbook sales falling just shy of 70 percent was the difference between the team’s silver and gold, which is the highest honor for a Josten’s produced yearbook. Plans are already in the works to increase sales.

“Yearbooks last forever but Snapchats don’t,” said Howell. “A gold award would be nice, but the bigger reward is having a student body who is excited to own a one-of-a-kind history book.”
Pictured: SHS 2020-2021 Yearbook staff: Allison Ferguson, Kaitlyn Kempf, Emily McDonald, Noe Umana-Ramos, Natalie Walker, Addie Trammell, Caten Lucchesi

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