Henley Middle School’s yearbook program has earned the Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence Award.
Nationwide, 348 schools, including 75 middle schools, received the award this year. Henley was the only school in Oregon to be recognized.
“A great yearbook program creates a meaningful book — one that offers a window into the school year by including photos, quotes and memories of everyone who walked the halls of your school,” according to Jostens. “We understand that a great yearbook program doesn’t just happen, and we’re dedicated to helping schools strengthen theirs.”
The 25 students in Henley teacher Chadwick Mahanna’s yearbook class create the book’s annual theme, take photos, and design and produce the pages. The award recognizes not only the book, but the entire process — an ongoing successful student program, effective project management, and percentage of students who receive a yearbook.
“It’s always good to get recognized,” Mahanna said, adding that he will frame the award and hang it in the yearbook lab. “It will be motivation for next year’s class.”
The theme for Henley’s 2019-20 book was visual — all black backgrounds with bright and neon color accents. Last year’s theme was “Changes,” which was a chronological book by seasons; and three years ago students designed the book around a “We Are ...” theme, focusing sections on different subjects.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools a week before the yearbook’s final deadline. Spring sports and the school’s annual rewards day celebration were canceled.
“We decided to put ‘Rewards Day: Diamond Lake Sledding’ with a big canceled stamp over it, and the rest of the page was dedicated to the virus,” Mahanna said, adding that photos of track practice were used for the sports page.
Mahanna, who also teaches English and technology, has been yearbook advisor for three years.
Kristy Creed, principal at Henley Middle School, applauded the dedication of Mahanna and his yearbook staff, who continually met deadlines and produced an exceptional keepsake for their classmates.
“It’s always so pleasing to witness a teacher, such as Mr. Mahanna, share their passion with students, especially at the junior high level,” she said. “When teachers display enthusiasm and talent, the effect trickles down to the students and they want to learn the task so much more.”