With 4,600 out of 4,700 possible points, West Linn High School’s 2013-2014 Green & Gold yearbook scored close to perfect in the National Scholastic Press Association’s All-American competition. For most schools, an average score is about 3,700 points.
NSPA is a professional and education journalism organization with a critiquing process that has four levels in five categories. To win All-American, a yearbook needs a mark of distinction in four out of the five categories: coverage, design, writing, photography and concept. The judges also want to see that the book is well-rounded in the way it balances those categories.
The yearbook received all five marks of distinction as well as the 1,000 possible points in both the coverage and design categories. WLHS also received 950 out of 1,000 points in the photography category, 975 out of 1,000 points in the writing category and 475 out of 500 points in the concept category.
“This book is definitely going to score well,” Margie Watters, NSPA judge, said. “As mentioned, I have never scored 1,000 points for any category on this format. This is a first. Love the book.”
WLHS has won All-American three previous years as well as two years of coming in first class, which is the second best ranking. However, never before has a yearbook turned out as well as the 2013-2014 edition.
“Some nights I was working until 10 or 11,” Isabel Jolley, senior, said. “Editors put in 10-15 hours per week in order to get this book done.”
Sections such as the senior photo section aren’t loved by judges, but they’re in kept in the book because students enjoy them. Krake’s main goal is for WLHS students to enjoy the book before the judges do because they are the ones who will carry the book with them once they leave WLHS.
“This award validates all the hard work that yearbook students give,” Glenn Krake, yearbook adviser, said. “Yearbook isn’t like other classes. People pay for your product and you want the readers to enjoy it but you also have to be thinking about the judges.”