Taft Middle School’s yearbook program has reason to celebrate - the group earned the Josten’s 2022 National Yearbook Program of Excellence award at the Gold Level. The National Yearbook Program of Excellence recognizes engaging yearbooks that reflect a broad representation of the student body while helping students develop 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, and information and communication technologies (ICT) literacy.
The award was presented to the Taft yearbook program for achieving defined criteria in three of the following categories: creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement, and successfully managing the yearbook creation process. This puts Taft in the top 2% of yearbooks nationally!
Yearbook adviser Joy Cramer said last year’s theme was “Picture This” and showcases each aspect of the school day as well as extracurricular events, making sure to include the whole picture of life as a Taft Bulldog.
Mrs. Cramer said the award is meaningful to her because it recognizes the importance of teaching journalism skills and the impact that these skills can make on students. “Students learn the foundations of the yearbook such as photography, interviewing skills, layout and design, as well as caption writing and editing,” she said. “One challenge is the amount of time and work associated with creating a quality book. Students cover events nearly every day of the school year - we don’t have an off-season.”
“Our staff is a cohesive team filled with leaders who embody the qualities of responsibility, attention to detail, and professionalism. They are hard-working and cover every concert, club meeting, and sporting event throughout the year. The staff gains critical-thinking skills, as well as skills in technology, journalism, business, and the real-world. I hope that being part of the yearbook staff prepares my students for the future both in and out of the classroom.”
Last year’s staff who won the Gold Level award was comprised of Vicki Bondziul, Cambrie Metzcus, Izzy Valenzuela, Nora Sargent, Izzy Krajewski, Hailey Ziolkowski, Abbi Dlugokinski, Ava Andersen, Alyssa Broach, Ady Graegin, Lucy Keene, Izzy Blockland, Bridget Egner, Addy Siminski, Vicki Perez, Katie Tsiakopoulos, Charlee Zentz, Brooklyn Gargano, and Kaylee Basiaga.