Howl recognized as first place publication in ASPA yearbook competition

By demonstrating excellence in the fields of writing, photography and page design, the Howl received a “First Place With Special Merit” award and earned the “Most Outstanding High School Yearbook For 2015” award in the American Scholastic Press Association‘s annual yearbook competition. In a 1000 point scoring system, the publication received a grand total of 975 points.

“Joining an award-winning publication has been a whirlwind experience,” sophomore Russel Valdez said. “This being my first year of Journalism, it’s been crazy with all the work and due dates, but our work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Winning that award feels like all our hard work has paid off, and all the times we stayed after school were worth it.”

As the ASPA offers their services in the form of a contest, they offer advice on page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, cover design, advertising placement, photography and other yearbook elements.

“Our first priority is documenting the year, so that each student has a printed history to look back on for years to come,” Journalism adviser Mr. Matthew LaPorte said. “When the staff wins an award, it’s the icing on an already pretty cake.”

After reviewing the merits of each publication, the judging committee assigns points on various aspects and awards a first, second or third place in the classification of yearbook or magazine. Publications that exemplified outstanding design and content may receive a first place with special merit.

“It feels good to have our work recognized because we put a lot of effort and time into making the yearbook,” senior Miruel Talaro said. “I definitely didn’t expect to win this award, and it makes me more motivated to create better content for this year’s yearbook.”

To accompany the points score, the judging committee sends a written review with suggestions, highlighting opportunities for improvement and recognizing the merits of the publication.

“In the midst of preparing for the next deadline, we received the news that we had won,” senior Jorge Carrera said. “The news was a relief with everything else going on. We work on the book all year and spend so much time on it from spending Friday nights to sacrificing Saturday mornings. Getting this award validates all the work we’ve done and brings back all our memories—good or bad—with a rose tint.”