By Caitlyn McNear
Cougar News Blog
Jason Davis and his Cactus Canyon yearbook class earned an honorable mention in the 2015 Lifetouch National School Studios Yearbook Showcase Contest.
The 2014-15 edition of the Cougar Chronicles was honored in the contest where at least 200 yearbooks were judged. In addition to the top three books, about 10 others earned the honorable mention.
“I think it was great that we got an honorable mention last year,” said Emily Lewis. “All of the students in yearbook worked really hard to try to make the yearbook the best it could be.”
“We are thrilled to be recognized in any way for our hard work,” said Mr. Davis. “Sure, it would’ve been nice to get first place, but we’re also not the only school in the country that makes a good yearbook.”
This is the second time the Chronicles has earned an award in the contest. The 2012-13 edition also received an honorable mention. Although the staff was very excited about their award, they never expected to win anything.
“I don’t think I could ever say I expect to win anything, but I’m also not surprised,” said Mr. Davis. “I knew last year’s book was very good and I am very happy that other people felt that way to.”
The yearbook squad showed something unique that each group was committed to during the year. For example, the yearbook students were dedicated to getting “crisp and clear” photos and the girls basketball team was committed to working as a team.
“The theme of last year’s book was ‘committed’ and we tried to show something unique that each group was really dedicated to during the year,” said Mr. Davis.
Achieving awards is good for the yearbook squad and helps students that are new to the class know right away what the goals are.
“Winning any award is good for the yearbook program as a whole because it helps us build a culture of success,” said Mr. Davis.
The yearbook staff’s goal is to improve the book each year and improving on a book that won an award means a lot of time and effort.
“I ask them to work very hard and get a lot done, and sometimes they don’t like me very much for that,” said Mr. Davis. “But having a couple of awards to show off helps the students see that the high expectations I have for them lead to great results.”
As the yearbook continues to get better, Mr. Davis wants to see how it stacks up with more of the best yearbooks in the country and plans to enter more competitions next year, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Awards.
“I think the quality of the photography in our books every year is as good as any book in the country and the way we feature writing in the book improves each year,” said Mr. Davis. “Even if we don’t win, entering more contests can only help us improve.”
Not only was Mr. Davis happy himself, but his yearbook squad as well.
“I think it was great that we got an honorable mention last year all of the students in yearbook worked really hard to try to make the yearbook the best it could be,” said Emily Lewis, a yearbook student. “I was very happy the with the award because one of my pages that I worked on with another student from last year Rose Hansing got to be shown in the honorable mention.”