The 2011-2012 Valley City High School yearbook staff received national recognition from the Minneapolis-based Jostens company which produces school yearbooks and rings, and other items, including the NFL Superbowl rings.
The latest edition of the VCHS Yearbook achieved the National Yearbook Program of Excellence (NYPE) designation for the 2011-2012 school year.
Kristi Shanenko, the faculty advisor to the yearbook staff said last year’s staff only had four people: Destiny Winkler, editor, Jenna Mairs, Alexa McCulloch and Arelle Krueger.
“That’s it, four girls put this 92-page creation together by themselves,” she said.
The students brainstormed the theme “Stepping It Up” and held a cover photo shoot including shoes from the entire student body on the bleachers of the Hi-Liner Activity Center.
Shanenko said the NYPE award was not a competitive award, but still inspires the staff to put out a quality product.
“With this award we do feel more responsible in keeping up the high quality.”
In a letter to Valley City Public Schools superintendent Dean Koppelman, Jostens President and CEO Tim Larson said his company believes passionately in the importance of the yearbook tradition connecting every student to the school.
“In addition to an amazing educational experience for the staff, the yearbook is a keepsake that students will hold onto throughout their lives providing priceless memories of their time at Valley City High School,” Larson wrote.
The school will receive a large banner and a personalized plaque to signify the award.
To meet the criteria for the NYPE the yearbook program must have produced an inclusive edition that is meaningful to all students and represents a vast majority of the student body. The staff must successfully manage the creation process and meet every deadline set by the company.
They must also generate interest among students and make sure to get out as many copies to people as possible.
“I think part of it was increasing our sales, too, helped make us eligible, because over the last two years we’ve sold more yearbooks,” Shanenko said.
Last year the school began selling off old copies of past yearbooks that had been accumulating for decades. Shanenko said the yearbook staff raised over $1,000 from selling the books and bought a Nikon camera and zoom lens. There are still plenty more books available by calling Shanenko at (701)840-9828.
“There’s such a variety of years, I don’t even know what to say, going back to the early 1900s. So we have a 100-year span. But it’s not every year, we have gaps,” Shanenko said.