2022 Yearbook Pacemaker finalists

NSPA names ‘best of the best’

Pacemaker competition recognizes
44 yearbooks finalists for excellence

Dec. 16, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic yearbooks were recognized today by National Scholastic Press Association, which announced 44 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 finalists will be honored and will receive plaques during the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in San Francisco.

Pacemaker winners will be announced for the first time at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the convention’s awards ceremony.

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 organization is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

“The yearbooks selected as Pacemaker finalists represent strong visual and verbal storytelling. The judges were highly selective selecting approximately 20 percent of the entries,” associate director Gary Lundgren said.

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, 44 finalists were named representing the top 15 percent of all entries. In April, 19 yearbooks earn Pacemaker awards — representing the top six percent.

Of the 44 finalists, eight are from junior/high and middle schools with 36 from high schools.

Yearbooks from 15 states earned Pacemaker-finalist status. Texas set the pace with eight finalists, followed by Florida with six and Kansas with five.

Collegiate yearbook Pacemaker finalists will be announced by the Associated College Press, the NSPA collegiate organization, in January.

Written comments from the judges about each of the 19 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.  

JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention

San Francisco
Hilton Union Square

NSPA awards ceremonies

7 p.m.
Thursday, April 20, 2023

Pacemaker finalists
2022 Yearbooks
2022 Literary Magazines
2023 Online
2023 Innovation

3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 22, 2023

Pacemaker winners
2022 Yearbooks
2021 Literary Magazines
2023 Online
2023 Innovation

San Francisco
Best of Show

NSPA awards

Find past Pacemaker winners
in the NSPA awards archive.

To celebrate its centennial, NSPA compiled the Pacemaker 100 — its top 100 Pacemaker winners.

Junior high/middle school finalists

listed by state

Cactus Canyon Junior High School
Apache Junction, Arizona
Editor-in-chief: Ragan Stoltz
Adviser: Jason Davis

Greenfield Junior High School
Gilbert, Arizona
Editor-in-chief: Maizy Pulsipher
Adviser: Jennifer Ann Parsons

La Cresta
Desert Ridge Junior High School
Mesa, Arizona
Editor-in-chief: Ava Sauve, Angela Spitz
Adviser: Kristin Diaz

The Round-Up
Woodland Junior High School
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Editor-in-chief: Kate Rogers
Adviser: Andrew Young

Drake Middle School
Arvada, Colorado
Editor-in-chief: Caitlyn Nguyen
Adviser: Laurel Wicke

The Prowl
Powell Middle School
Littleton, Colorado
Editor-in-chief: Isabel Mudd
Adviser: Yvette Manculich

The Scrapbook
Westfield Middle School
Westfield, Indiana
Editors-in-chief: Addison Huff, Dani Montgomery,
Khadiga Moawad, Keira Rantanen
Adviser: Allie Staub

The Panther
Ridgeview Middle School
Round Rock, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Giselle Cantu
Adviser: Vicki Felkel

High school finalists

listed by state

El Valedor
Monta Vista High School
Cupertino, California
Editors-in-chief: Sylvia Li, Marvin Wu
Adviser: Julia Satterthwaite

Whitney High School
Rocklin, California
Editors-in-chief: Kaitlyn El-Sayegh, Sofia McMaster
Adviser: Sarah Nichols

Del Norte High School
San Diego, California
Editor-in-chief: Allison Huang
Adviser: Robin Christopher

Walnut High School
Walnut, California
Editors-in-chief: Jennifer Chang, Kevin Lu, Kelvin Wong, Amber Zhao
Adviser: So Hee Tan

Brighton High School
Brighton, Colorado
Editors-in-chief: Jenaya Ripko, Zoey Stanley
Adviser: Justin Daigle

Black & Gold
Rock Canyon High School
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Editors-in-chief: Madeline Evans, Emma Sheldon
Adviser: Kristi Rathbun

Columbia High School
Lake City, Florida
Editor-in-chief: Kelsey Sherman
Adviser: Michael Malcom-Bjorklund

University High School
Orange City, Florida
Editors-in-chief: Alyssa Bice, Morgan Worlledge
Adviser: Courtney Hanks

Hagerty High School
Oviedo, Florida
Editor-in-chief: Sarena Wilkerson
Adviser: Brit Taylor

H.B. Plant High School
Tampa, Florida
Editors-in-chief: Lauren Clark, Kate Frier, Addison Gear, Libby Gough, Eleanor Kim, Addison Kriz, Maddie Miller
Adviser: Christina Porcelli

Venice High School
Venice, Florida
Editors-in-chief: Samantha Wicks, Riya Patel
Adviser: Faith Nellis

The Marquee
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
West Palm Beach, Florida
Editors-in-chief: Kamryn Bailey, Emma Kutcher
Adviser: Carly Gates

Glenbrook South High School
Glenview, Illinois
Editors-in-chief: Sophie Goldstein, Maddie Gifargis, Charlotte Hudson
Adviser: Brenda Field

Olathe West High School
Olathe, Kansas
Editor-in-chief: Audrey Snider
Adviser: Julia Walker

Blue Valley Northwest High School
Overland Park, Kansas
Editors-in-chief: Maggie Bunch, Olivia Mahlios
Adviser: Jim McCrossen, Kim White

Shawnee Mission South High School
Overland Park, Kansas
Editor-in-chief: Samantha Santibanez
Adviser: Tucker Love

Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Editors-in-chief: Bridget Epstein, Alex Manning, Hannah Taylor
Adviser: Dow Tate

The Lair
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editor-in-chief: Katie Burke
Adviser: Susan Massy

Parkway West High School
Ballwin, Missouri
Editors-in-chief: Claire LeDuc, Lily Francis, Megan VanValkenburgh, Mallory Stirratt
Adviser: Debra Klevens

Liberty High School
Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Editor-in-chief: Rhett Cunningham
Adviser: Jonathan Hall

Ladue Horton Watkins High School
St. Louis, Missouri
Editors-in-chief: Fiona Ferguson, Emerson Linden, Dylan Melnick
Adviser: Sarah Kirksey

The Minuteman
Lexington High School
Lexington, Nebraska
Editors-in-chief: Tzintly Angulo, Liah Haines
Adviser: Erica Brockmoller

Corning-Painted Post High School
Corning, New York
Editors-in-chief: Kaitlin Chung, Adah Gray, Alivia Jiang
Advisers: Katie Paulison-Harris, Mike Simons

Lion’s Roar
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Nashville, Tennessee
Editors-in-chief: Lucy Ellis, Sophie Nabors
Adviser: Heather Nagel

Aledo High School
Aledo, Texas
Editors-in-chief: Ava Bathurst, Faith Emmitte
Adviser: Emily Pyeatt Arnold

Lone Star
James Bowie High School
Austin, Texas
Editors-in-chief: Kristina Jeffus, Lizzie Jensen
Adviser: Lindsey Shirack

The Lonestar
Vista Ridge High School
Cedar Park, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Lainey Jones
Adviser: Jamie Ray

St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Camden Reeves
Adviser: Ray Westbrook

The Legend
El Dorado High School
El Paso, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Silvia Martinez
Adviser: Vanessa Martinez

The Hawk
Pleasant Grove High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors-in-chief: Kendall Johnson, Caroline Maynard, Tori Scoggins, Landry Trammel
Adviser: Charla Harris

Texas High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors-in-chief: Will Carter, Ellison Davis, Helen Clark Hays
Advisers: Rebecca Potter, Clint Smith

Rock Ridge High School
Ashburn, Virginia
Editors-in-chief: Miriam Ahmed, Jack Capobianco, Christine Choung, Sofia DiFulvio, Evie Josselyn, Ellie Schubert, Payton So
Advisers: Michelle Menna, Aisha Ahmed

Turner Ashby High School
Bridgewater, Virginia
Editors-in-chief: Jerica Blankenship, Harlee Pangle, Jennifer Roth
Adviser: Leslie Stevens

Colonial Forge High School
Stafford, Virginia
Editors-in-chief: Marissa Hamlett, Brian Guan
Adviser: Tiffany Kopcak

The Legacy
Potomac Falls High School
Sterling, Virginia
Editors-in-chief: Yana Arora, Emma Buytenhuys, Tess Durham, Molly DeHaven, Madison Hansma, Christina Precht, Meadow Swanson
Adviser: Emily Everett

Mead High School
Spokane, Washington
Editor-in-chief: Dalyn Springer
Adviser: Makena Busch