2022 Yearbook Pacemakers

NSPA names ‘best of the best’

Pacemaker competition recognizes
19 yearbooks for excellence

April 22, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO — Honoring the nation’s best, National Scholastic Press Association has named 19 scholastic yearbooks as prestigious Pacemaker winners.

The yearbook winners, plus the 2023 Innovation Pacemaker, 2022 Literary Arts Magazine Pacemaker and 2023 Online Pacemaker winners, were announced during the closing awards ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, on April 22 in San Francisco.

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

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 celebrated its 100th birthday in 2021.

“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. Judges did not see their own yearbooks or hear discussion about the books.

The judges, from six states, served on two rotating teams, and all six have advised Pacemaker-winning publications —

Makena Busch, Washington
Justin Daigle, Colorado
Jim McCrossen, Kansas
Lindsey Shirack, Texas
Becky Tate, Kansas
Mitch Ziegler, California

When the process was completed, 44 finalists were named representing the top 15 percent of all entries. In April, 19 yearbooks earned Pacemaker awards, representing the top 6 percent. There are four junior/high and middle school winners and 15 high schools.

Yearbooks from 13 states earned Pacemaker awards. Kansas set the pace with four winners, followed by Texas with three and California with two.

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. 

2022 Yearbook
Pacemaker finalists

Past winners
NSPA awards archive

Spring 2023
Pacemaker announcements

2023 Innovation
2022 Literary Arts Magazines
2023 Online
2022 Yearbooks

Pacemaker badge

Click the image. Then right-click to save the PNG file to use in your masthead.

To celebrate its 2021 centennial, NSPA compiled the Pacemaker 100 — its top 100 Pacemaker winners.

Best of Show
Spring National High School Journalism Convention
San Francisco
April 22, 2022

Junior high/middle school winners

listed by state

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

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

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

High school winners

listed by state

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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