2020 Yearbook Pacemaker finalists

NSPA 2020 yearbook Pacemaker finalists announced

Press association names 64 middle school, high school publications
from 18 states as the ‘best of the best’

REGISTER to watch the live awards ceremony, at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, April 10.

WATCH the NSPA Live! presentation of the finalists from March 19, 2021.

March 11, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic yearbooks were recognized today by the National Scholastic Press Association, which announced 64 finalists in its annual Pacemaker competition.

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

Pacemaker winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Central Saturday, April 10, as part of the virtual JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. 

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. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

The pandemic necessitated changes to the judging process. Instead of bringing six judges to the NSPA offices, nine judges worked in three regional sites across the country. The yearbooks were shipped to the sites to allow the judges to experience the printed products rather than viewing digital files. Each three-person judging team kept social distance, and the three teams communicated virtually. 

The status of each entry was agreed upon by at least two of the three judges.

“The remote judging process worked extremely well,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition. “I thought it was important for the judges to study the printed publication just like yearbook readers did.”

When the process was completed, 64 finalists were named representing the top 17 percent of all entries with the 28 Pacemaker winners representing the top seven percent. Approximately 380 yearbooks competed.

There are 51 high school finalists and 22 Pacemaker winners. In the junior high/middle school division there are 13 finalists and six Pacemaker winners.

Yearbooks from 18 states earned Pacemaker-finalist status. Texas set the pace with 14 finalists, followed by Virginia with nine, and California and Colorado both with seven.

Collegiate yearbook Pacemaker finalists will be announced by the Associated College Press, the NSPA collegiate organization, later this spring.

“Once again, the Pacemaker competition was extremely rigorous with only 64 finalists, making it one of the most selective yearbook competitions,” Lundgren said. “Most 2020 yearbooks were not completed before the pandemic closed schools, so these yearbooks were finished in bedrooms and dining rooms with some staffs even working in cars in the school parking lot to access their server.”

Written comments from the judges about each of the 28 Pacemaker-winning yearbooks will be shared in May as part of an NSPA Pacemaker Master Class. The webinar will include an interview with the judges, and a presentation showcasing the yearbooks will be available for download for classroom use. Selected Pacemaker-winning yearbooks will also be available for download for study and inspiration.  

NSPA awards ceremony

1 p.m. Central
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Pacemaker Award winners for 2020 yearbooks and literary magazines and 2021 online will be announced at this ceremony, as will winners in the convention’s Best of Show competition.

To view the virtual ceremony, register for the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention.

2020 Yearbook Pacemaker Award finalists
2021 Online Pacemaker Award finalists
2020 Literary Magazine Pacemaker Finalists

Past award winners
Awards information
Contest information

Enter NSPA’s newest competition, Clips & Clicks.

Spring 2021 contest information
Fall 2020 results

Junior high/middle school finalists

Finalists listed by state

Cactus Canyon Junior High School
Apache Junction, Arizona
Editor: Tiffany Hutcheson
Adviser: Jason Davis

Greenfield Junior High School
Gilbert, Arizona
Editor: None
Advisers: Jennifer Ann Parsons

The Round-Up
Woodland Junior High School
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Editors: Brighton Smith, Makenzie Warren, Linley Yates
Adviser: Andrew Young

Toby Johnson Middle School
Elk Grove, California
Editors: Jeanna Gibson, Nina Montero
Adviser: Julia Bayles

Drake Middle School
Arvada, Colorado
Editor: Lucia DeLisa
Adviser: Laurel Wicke

Castle Rock Middle School
Castle Rock, Colorado
Editor: Reese Plummer
Adviser: Gina Claus

The Prowl
Powell Middle School
Littleton, Colorado
Editors: Madison Holbrook, Logan Wilson
Adviser: Yvette Manculich

Eagle Eye View
Sierra Middle School
Parker, Colorado
Editor: William Beller
Adviser: Jed Palmer

The Scrapbook
Westfield Middle School
Westfield, Indiana
Editors: Bree Clark, Addison Crosby
Adviser: Allie Staub

The Vespa
Kealing Middle School
Austin, Texas
Editor: Lanie Sepheri
Adviser: Kristen Scott

Tiger Tracks
Katy Junior High School
Katy, Texas
Editors: Mamie Grace McClelland, Elyse Neves
Adviser: Candice Marie Thomas

Ridgeview Middle School
Round Rock, Texas
Editor: Juliana Wassmuth
Adviser: Vicki Felkel

The Stinger
Brookville Middle School
Lynchburg, Virginia
Editors: Katelyn Chamberlin, Eva Le
Adviser: Sarena Wellman

High school finalists

Finalists listed by state

La Vista
Mountain View High School
Mesa, Arizona
Editor: Ashlyn Allen
Adviser: Landon Wrather

Bryant High School
Bryant, Arkansas
Editors: Paige Fuhrman, Hannah Jetton, Meredith Medford
Adviser: Lisa Stine

James Enochs High School
Modesto, California
Editor: Alexis Vigil
Adviser: Tamra McCarthy

The Pilot
Redondo Union High School
Redondo Beach, California
Editors: Samantha Aldover, Vanessa Rebintisch, Samantha Slatcher
Adviser: Mitch Ziegler

Whitney High School
Rocklin, California
Editors: Grace Chang, Katelyn Vengersammy
Adviser: Sarah Nichols

Del Norte High School
San Diego, California
Editors: Sydney Bourassa, Celine Cen, Esther Jin
Adviser: Robin Christopher

Silver Creek High School
San Jose, California
Editors: Marta Charncherngkha, Kayanna Pham
Adviser: Erica King

Walnut High School
Walnut, California
Editors: Isaac Le, Samantha Lee, Isabella Leung
Adviser: So Hee Tan

Smoky Hill High School
Aurora, Colorado
Editors: Athena Mora, Tristan Solida-Rodriguez, Mya Stoudmire
Adviser: Carrie Faust

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

Longmont High School
Longmont, Colorado
Editors: Matthew Cash, Brandy Yager
Adviser: Annie Gorenstein Falkenberg

Trumbull High School
Trumbull, Connecticut
Editors: Navya Ajay, Vaishnavi Kandala, Joanna Pirog
Advisers: Andrea Lorenz, Jordan Miller

University High School
Orange City, Florida
Editors: Jordan McKendrick, Natasha Sweet, Brooke Williams
Adviser: Courtney Hanks

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

H.B. Plant High School
Tampa, Florida
Editors: Elena Bassart, Lily Riopelle
Adviser: Christina Porcelli

The Stampede
J.W. Mitchell High School
Trinity, Florida
Editors: Madelyn Candiloro, Eliza Kollross
Adviser: Susan McNulty

The Marquee
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
West Palm Beach, Florida
Editors: Kyle Ahern, Joel Soto
Advisers: Carly Gates, Brittany Rigdon

Glenbrook South High School
Glenview, Illinois
Editors: Katherine Klish, Caitlin Noe
Adviser: Brenda Field

Red & Black
Lawrence High School
Lawrence, Kansas
Editors: Megan Drumm, Sophia Kaufman, Alex Lane, Kenna McNally
Adviser: Barbara Tholen

Shawnee Mission North High School
Overland Park, Kansas
Editors: Matthew Cunningham, Oliver Fowler, Evan Whitaker
Adviser: Becky Tate

The Hauberk
Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Editors: Kimball Gogel, Lizzie MacAdam, Lilah Powlas
Adviser: C. Dow Tate

The Lair
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editors: Mollie Elfrink, Ethan Schreiber
Adviser: Susan Massy

Parkway West High School
Ballwin, Missouri
Editors: Caroline Briscoe, Anika Zepada
Adviser: Debra Klevens

Le Flambeau
Notre Dame de Sion High School
Kansas City, Missouri
Editors: Lily Henkle, Rose Orrick, Nina Trouvè
Adviser: Alison Long

Francis Howell North High School
St. Charles, Missouri
Editor: Allison Cavato
Adviser: Jordyn Kiel

Ladue Horton Watkins High School
St. Louis, Missouri
Editors: Macy Kerner, Talia Warticovschi
Adviser: Sarah Kirksey

Corning-Painted Post High School
Corning, New York
Editors: Kristin Hauptman, Elizabeth Hogrefe, Mia Perry
Advisers: Katie Paulison-Harris, Mike Simons

West Henderson High School
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Editor: Maci Jo Clark
Adviser: Jason Livingston

The Torch
Athens Drive Magnet High School
Raleigh, North Carolina
Editors: Jacob McCarthy Adams, Sarah Thomas,
Adviser: Elizabeth Luna

Gresham High School
Gresham, Oregon
Editor: Claire Stigen
Adviser: Bradley Cook

Lion’s Roar
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Nashville, Tennessee
Editors: Camille Klausner, Ellie Price
Adviser: Heather Nagel

Lone Star
James Bowie High School
Austin, Texas
Editors: Logan Dorsey, Ryan Kinney, Emma Wake
Adviser: Lindsey Shirack

The Bard
Hill Country Christian School
Austin, Texas
Editor: Lauren Innis
Adviser: John Horvath

The Lonestar
Vista Ridge High School
Cedar Park, Texas
Editor: Mackenzi Steczkowski
Adviser: Jamie Ray

Bridgeland High School
Cypress, Texas
Editor: Makayla Nguyen
Adviser: Samantha Berry

The Legend
El Dorado High School
El Paso, Texas
Editor: Lia Rodriguez
Adviser: Vanessa Martinez

Burges High School
El Paso, Texas
Editor: Annabella Mireles
Adviser: Pat Monroe

The Tribute
Heritage High School
Frisco, Texas
Editors: Avery Braune, Alexis Llamas
Adviser: Leah Waters

The Lair
Leander High School
Leander, Texas
Editors: Hannah Dowding, Olivia Rutherfurd
Adviser: Lindsie Alley

The Arena
Legacy High School
Mansfield, Texas
Editor: Savannah Gery
Advisers: Rachel Dearinger, Leland Mallett

The Lion
McKinney High School
McKinney, Texas
Editors: Sydney Anderson, Leah Boatman, Sydney Caldwell, Abigail McAdams, Kayla Thompson
Adviser: Alyssa Boehringer

The Hawk
Pleasant Grove High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Kathryn Davis, Presley Hargrove, Rachel Hemphill, Olivia Rochelle
Adviser: Charla Harris

The Quest
John Champe High School
Aldie, Virginia
Editors: Skylar Hawes, Abinaya Venkatesan
Adviser: Suzanne Abdelrazaq

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Alexandria, Virginia
Editors: Austin Huang, Steven Le
Adviser: Erinn Harris

Rock Ridge High School
Auburn, Virginia
Editors: Kate Bishop, Haley Burrowes, Jacob Conway, Kylie Goin, Ryan Nguyen, Joel Viola
Adviser: Michelle Menna

Turner Ashby High School
Bridgewater, Virginia
Editors: Sydney Eye, Avery Miller, Jordyn Sizemore
Adviser: Leslie Stevens

Chantilly High School
Chantilly, Virginia
Editors: Julia Cheng, Vietthao Ho
Adviser: Mary Kay Downes

Indian Legend
Stafford High School
Falmouth, Virginia
Editor: Brooke Boozer
Adviser: Linda Arney

Loudoun Valley High School
Purcellville, Virginia
Editors: Charlotte Alto, Sarah Cohoon, Georgia Riccobene, Laurel Wedemyer
Adviser: Martha Akers

The Apollo
Colonial Forge High School
Stafford, Virginia
Editor: Kaitlyn Fulmore
Adviser: Tiffany Kopcak

Mead High School
Spokane, Washington
Editors: Joshua Allen, Cayden Miller, Sydnie Price, Ashley Rose, Aubrey Springer
Adviser: Makena Busch