2019 yearbook Pacemaker finalists announced

Press association names 62 middle school, high school publications from 17 states as ‘best of the best’

Dec. 19, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic yearbooks were recognized today by the National Scholastic Press Association, which announced 62 finalists in its annual Pacemaker competition.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” NSPA executive director Laura Widmer said. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

Pacemaker finalists will be recognized with plaques at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16, 2020, at the opening ceremony of the Spring National High School Journalism Convention, in Nashville.

Pacemaker winners will be announced at the convention’s closing awards ceremony, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18, 2020.

The convention, one the nation’s largest gatherings of student journalists and their advisers, is sponsored by NSPA and Journalism Education Association.

RELATED: 2019 Newspaper, Broadcast Pacemakers, Individual Awards announced in DC

The NSPA Pacemaker, one of the oldest awards for scholastic journalism, has a rich tradition. The association started presenting the prestigious award to high school newspapers soon after the organization was founded in 1921. Through the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

Two teams of three judges devoted three days to the judging and studied every entry, discussing its strengths. The status of each entry was agreed upon by at least two of the three judges.

When the process was completed, 62 finalists were named representing the top 14 percent of all entries with the 24 Pacemaker winners representing the top six percent.

There are 50 high school finalists and 20 Pacemaker winners. In the junior high/middle school division there are 12 finalists and four Pacemaker winners.

Yearbooks from 17 states earned Pacemaker-finalist status. Texas set the pace with 18 finalists, followed by Virginia with nine and California with seven.

Collegiate yearbook Pacemaker finalists will be announced by Associated College Press, NSPA’s collegiate division, in February.

“Once again, the Pacemaker competition was extremely rigorous with only 62 finalists, making it one of the most selective yearbook competitions,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition.

“The 2019 winners not only excelled in all the journalistic aspects, but the judges were looking for yearbooks that stood out from the rest for innovation and fresh verbal and visual approaches to reporting the story of the year.”

Written comments from the judges about each of the 24 Pacemaker-winning yearbooks will be posted after the winners are announced along with a video featuring overall comments and observations from all six judges. The professional bios of the judges will also be included.

Junior high/middle school finalists

Cactus Canyon Junior High School
Apache Junction, Arizona
Editors: Dia Granillo, Emily Sosa
Adviser: Jason Davis

Greenfield Junior High School
Gilbert, Arizona
Editors: Ashley Manalo, Lauren Mittelstadt
Adviser: Jennifer Ann Parsons

La Cresta
Desert Ridge Junior High School
Mesa, Arizona
Editors: Kayla Daugherty, Ellie Gonzalez
Adviser: Kristin Diaz

The Round-Up
Woodland Junior High School
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Editors: Nicole Abram, Hadley Humphry, Mia Kieklak, Jaycee Petrone
Adviser: Andrew Young

OIS Scenario
Orinda Intermediate School
Orinda, California
Editors: Hannah Johnson, Lily Lincoln
Adviser: Susan Weiss

The Crusader
Castle Rock Middle School
Castle Rock, Colorado
Editor: Katherine McKenna
Adviser: Regina Claus

The Prowl
Powell Middle School
Littleton, Colorado
Editors: Leah Grier, Maddie Murphy, Kate Tucker, Sophie Tucker
Adviser: Yvette Manculich

Eagle Eye View
Sierra Middle School
Parker, Colorado
Editors: Lizzy Ahrens, Kaytn Anderson
Adviser: Jed Palmer

The Scrapbook
Westfield Middle School
Westfield, Indiana
Editors: Ryan Barrett, Kaylee Roberts, Delainey Wallace
Adviser: Allie Staub

Ridgeview Middle School
Round Rock, Texas
Editors: Lauren Barzee, Darcy Caruthers, Sydni Kirkendall, Yasmin Martinez
Adviser: Vicki Felkel

Robinson Middle School
Fairfax, Virginia
Editors: Jo Jo Blain, Grace Dreibelbis, Abbey Harlow, Evelyn Hicks
Adviser: Adrienne Forte

Brookville Middle School
Lynchburg, Virginia
Editors: Staff
Adviser: Sarena Wellman

High school finalists

Antelope High School
Antelope, California
Editors: Mikayla Godoy, Kameiko Hostler, Hannah Welty
Adviser: Pete LeBlanc

The Chronicle
Classical Academy High School
Escondido, California
Editors: Amber Bacardi, Mikaila Barker, Anna Davis
Adviser: Barak Smith

Sunny Hills High School
Fullerton, California
Editors: Tara Desai, Sabrina Lee
Adviser: Lindsay Safe

Casa Roble High School
Orangevale, California
Editors: Editorial Board
Adviser: Dan Austin

Redondo Union High School
Redondo Beach, California
Editors: Sheina Galgani, Kyra Pacific
Adviser: Mitch Ziegler

Whitney High School
Rocklin, California
Editors: Emma Accacian, Alissandre Cabrera, Sienna Eagle, Anjani Kedia
Adviser: Sarah Nichols

Brighton High School
Brighton, Colorado
Editors: Samantha DeMers, Tucker Reichow, Rebecca Wadsworth
Adviser: Justin Daigle

Black & Gold
Rock Canyon High School
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Editors: Alexandra Leitner, Lexi Olsen, Kinley Rex, Emma Shea
Adviser: Kristi Rathbun

Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Melbourne, Florida
Editor: Caroline Dixon
Adviser: Sarah Tricano

University High School
Orange City, Florida
Editors: Emily Edwards, Jonathan Jackson
Adviser: Courtney Hanks

William R. Boone High School
Orlando, Florida
Editors: Shayna Eaton, Mia Michael
Adviser: Bridgette Norris

Hagerty High School
Oviedo, Florida
Editor: Shayne Watson
Adviser: Brit Taylor

H.B. Plant High School
Tampa, Florida
Editors: Courtney Chalmers, Lauren Rose
Adviser: Christina Porcelli

Glenbrook South High School
Glenview, Illinois
Editors: Samantha Boas, Kaelyn Coleman
Adviser: Brenda Field

The Lair
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editors: Tatum Goetting, Wairimu Gitonga Mbogori
Adviser: Susan Massy

Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Editors: Emily Cooper, Hallie Higgason, Addie Von Drehle
Adviser: Dow Tate

Parkway West High School
Ballwin, Missouri
Editors: Sophie Pelligrino, Olivia Riemer
Adviser: Debra Klevens

Clayton High School
Clayton, Missouri
Editors: Eliza Copilevitz, Caroline Marsden
Adviser: Marci Pieper

Le Flambeau
Notre Dame de Sion High School
Kansas City, Missouri
Editors: Lilly Concannon, Megan Flanagan
Adviser: Alison Long

The Ayrie
Liberty North High School
Liberty, Missouri
Editors: Isabelle Kanning, Ashlyn Pope
Adviser: Ronna Sparks-Woodward

Corning-Painted Post High School
Corning, New York
Editors: Kristin Hauptman, Kelly Hoyt, Lauren Thomas
Advisers: Katie Paulison-Harris, Mike Simons

West Henderson High School
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Editor: Moriah Fender
Adviser: Jason Livingston

Gresham High School
Gresham, Oregon
Editors: Tyler Budge, Connor Henkle
Adviser: Bradley Cook

Northeastern High School
Manchester, Pennsylvania
Editor: Regan Gross
Adviser: Beth Ann Brown

Lion’s Roar
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Nashville, Tennessee
Editors: Abigail Francis, Elaina Joy Sanders
Adviser: Heather Nagel

Aledo High School
Aledo, Texas
Editor: Alyssa Purpura
Adviser: Emily Pyeatt Arnold

The Bard
Hill Country Christian School
Austin, Texas
Editors: Bethany Huang, Hannah Huang
Adviser: John Horvath

Lone Star
James Bowie High School
Austin, Texas
Editors: Sophie Bega, Claire Meyer, Mia Moore
Adviser: Lindsey Shirack

The Knight
McCallum High School
Austin, Texas
Editor: Rylie Jones
Adviser: Dave Winter

The Lonestar
Vista Ridge High School
Cedar Park, Texas
Editors: Cynthia Plasencio, Mason Slover
Adviser: Jamie Ray

Bridgeland High School
Cypress, Texas
Editors: Editorial Board
Adviser: Samantha Berry

Highland Park High School
Dallas, Texas
Editors: Allie Anthony, Brittany Cooksey, Halley Ray
Adviser: Margie Raper

Burges High School
El Paso, Texas
Editor: Cristina Tabler
Adviser: Patricia Monroe

The Legend
El Dorado High School
El Paso, Texas
Editor: Ariana Arredondo
Adviser: Vanessa Martinez

Trinity High School
Euless, Texas
Editor: Jordan Edwards
Adviser: Christine Davis

The Tribute
Heritage High School
Frisco, Texas
Editors: Shreya Chari, Alexander Jaime, Alexis Myles
Adviser: Leah Waters

The Belltower
St. Thomas’ Episcopal School
Houston, Texas
Editors: Sydney Bloesch, Irene Fueyo-Gomez, Jill Williams
Adviser: David Graves

The Odyssey
Seven Lakes High School
Katy, Texas
Editor: Lisa Silveira
Adviser: Katie Moreno

The Lion
McKinney High School
McKinney, Texas
Editors: Sydney Anderson, Lexi Harris, Kayla Thompson
Advisers: Alyssa Boehringer, Curtis Christian

The Oak
Klein Oak High School
Spring, Texas
Editors: Sydney Gorski, Julia Mickelson
Adviser: Joanie Gill

The Hawk
Pleasant Grove High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Brooklyn Bearden, Mary Old, Cage Watlington
Adviser: Charla Harris

Texas High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Eryn McDonald, Sarah Jane Paddock, Ashyki Paxton
Advisers: Rebecca Potter, Clint Smith

The Quest
John Champe High School
Aldie, Virginia
Editor: Lauren Combs
Adviser: Suzanne Abdelrazaq

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Alexandria, Virginia
Editors: Elizabeth Ling, Thea Wang
Adviser: Erinn Harris

Above & Beyond
Robinson Secondary School
Fairfax, Virginia
Editors: Samantha Asefi, Jaskeerat Raheja, Caitlin Siggins
Adviser: Pat Hinman

George C. Marshall High School
Falls Church, Virginia
Editors: Kelly Keehan, Isabella Moutinho
Adviser: Daniel Reinish

Loudoun Valley High School
Purcellville, Virginia
Editors: Lindsy Custer, Anna Garbe, Cate Osborne, Komal Rizvi
Adviser: Martha Akers

Colonial Forge High School
Stafford, Virginia
Editors: Joshua Doerr, Emily Imes, Hannah Jones, Stephanie Sheets
Adviser: Tiffany Kopcak

Liberty Christian Academy
Lynchburg, Virginia
Editor: Hailey Jones
Adviser: Amber Chestnut

Mead High School
Spokane, Washington
Editor: Isabella Wood
Adviser: Makena Busch