Friday, April 21, 2017

2016 MHS Yearbook Wins ‘Pulitzer’ of Scholastic Journalism

Current Reata staffers who worked on the 2016 award-winning yearbook
Memorial High School’s 2016 yearbook, the Reata, has been awarded the Pacemaker Award by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), considered to be the “Pulitzer” of scholastic journalism. The book also won the Silver Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).

The Pacesetter award is believed to be the first to be won by an SBISD school and places the Reata in the top 2 percent of yearbooks in the nation. The Reata has been nominated for the Pacesetter Award at least once before.

Co-Editors in Chief were Aniston Hill (currently at BYU) and Caroline Jones (currently at UT-Austin). The Assistant Editor-in-Chief was Emma Keller (currently at Baylor). Co-Photography Editors were Lucy Tomforde (currently at Fordham) and Meghan Pisters (currently at Ohio State).

“I knew as soon as this book went to print that it was an exceptional book,” said Reata advisor Holly Hartman. “The staff – especially the editors – worked tirelessly on this book. We very regularly stayed at school until 10 or 11 at night working on the book.

“I was thrilled with the nominations and the awards and so proud of the students,” she said, adding that 36 students worked on the book.

Themed “Take Two,” the 2016 Reata is 568 pages, divided into two main sections that include both standard and special layouts. The book uses a specially ordered matte paper that took some doing to get, Hartman said, but, coupled with a linen-like cover material, gives the book a “special and sophisticated” feel.
The 2016 Reata, themed “Take Two.”
Balfour Publishing reps Lisa Schwartz and Milani Argueles tracked down the special matte paper after editor Caroline Jones received a college brochure printed on that paper.

“Because of the paper used and the cover material used, the book seems almost like a coffee table book instead of a yearbook,” said Hartman. “The girls wanted a simple, clean, classy, ‘magazine’ look (for the layouts). They definitely achieved that.”

Hartman and four of last year’s editors attended the CSPA conference in March to receive the Silver Crown award.

In early April, Hartman attended the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association conference where she, her mother and Lisa Schwartz nervously waited while winners were announced in reverse order.

“I realized they were getting close to the end of the list and started thinking that we weren’t going to get it,” said Hartman. “Then they called ‘Reata – Memorial High School’ and I was shocked and thrilled!

“I jumped up to accept the award, and as soon as I got back to my seat I started texting and Facetiming some of the editors to let them know,” she said. “It was a great experience and I wish the students could have been there with me.”


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