The American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) recently awarded Westhill High School’s (WHS) student-run yearbook SAGA “First Place with Special Merit,” the highest level of distinction for High School Yearbooks. WHS’s 2017 Purple Reign -themed book was one of only 16 yearbooks across the country to receive this honor.
“Most people don’t realize what goes into creating a yearbook. There's the delicate balance between representing the positivity of the school or a given year, while being true to what actually transpired.” said Kate Tobin, WHS teacher and SAGA Adviser. “Picking a theme and keeping it consistent throughout the book, trying to make sure every student and staff member is represented and all anyone ever sees is a 'pretty book.' So it felt great to win this award, especially on our first time entering any sort of academic review.”
The ASPA, based in College Point, N.Y., reviews newspapers and yearbooks each year and assigns awards based on the total of individual scores in six categories. According to the organization, publications are judged on content coverage, page design, overall concept, art/photography, editing and creativity. Each school publication is scored on a point system and is awarded a first-, second- or third-place classification. According to Dr. Richard M. Plass ASPA Chairman, the 2017 WHS SAGA yearbook and staff received the highest total points in their category. Earlier this month, ASPA also awarded The Westword, the “Most Outstanding High School Newspaper,” for the 2017-2018 school year.
“Taking on the responsibility of creating the yearbook was one of the best decisions I made during my time at WHS,” said SAGA co-Editor-in-Chief Andy Putterman WHS Class of 2017. “I not only forged great friendships but also learned so much about my peers and all aspects of the school.”
WHS yearbook staff plans to enter this year’s book, “Gold School,” for consideration in the upcoming ASPA competition, which will be announced in spring 2019.