2016 Expression yearbook wins First Class rating in national competition


Travis Armknecht

In a May 13, 2016 photo, Keeley Burke, 2017 Expression Editor-in-Chief (right) and Emma Iffrig, former Expression Editor-in-Chief (left), smile as they open the first box of newly delivered yearbooks. The 2016 Expression yearbook earned a first class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Tessa Wild, Staff Writer

The 2016 Expression yearbook, the third yearbook volume produced, received a score of 415 out of a possible 500 points in the Scholastic Competition, from the National Scholastic Press Association, earning a First Class rating. Although the Scholastic Competition is not for a prize, it contributes to “continuous self-improvement” in the student media program, said Travis Armknecht, student media adviser.

Once the yearbook was sent in, it went through a long process in order to receive a rating.

“Any schools that are entering mail their yearbooks in”, explained Armknecht. “they’re sent to judges, who then read through these yearbooks and respond on a critique form, where they provide feedback,”

There are five categories that are scored during this critiquing process: Essentials, which pertains to the basic essentials of the book, Coverage, which deals with covering the stories of every student, Writing and Editing, Design, and Photography. Expression scored the highest in the Essentials category.

“This last yearbook I, and the staff really, wanted to make sure that the theme was carried out through the whole book. In previous years…our weakest point was the fact that we didn’t have a strong theme, and so knowing this helped us improve,”  said Emma Iffrig, former Expression Editor-in-Chief. Iffrig was the editor-in-chief since the very first volume of Expression was published in 2014. She served as the editor until her graduation in 2016.

“I was very happy with those ratings. A first class rating is fantastic, and so it speaks to the hard work that the staff members last year put into this book, because ultimately, it was all them…they did a tremendous job. I’m proud of this national recognition,” said Armknecht.

“I’m just so proud. We never would have gotten that first class rating if it weren’t for the help of the whole staff of Expression. Creating the yearbook(s) were some of the most rewarding things I did while at GCAA,” said Iffrig.  “I was happy that through the hard work we put into it, [yearbook] was recognized,”

We became our own little family,” said Iffrig. “After three years of doing the same thing together we somewhat began to form a rhythm…For future Expression staff members, remember to carry out the theme through the whole book, include everyone, because coverage is the key, and just have fun. Think outside of the books. Create your own unimaginable shape and mold it into your own.”

“To me, it’s an outside validation of what I already knew. And that’s that we’ve got a lot of really hardworking, talented kids on staff, who are striving to tell stories about the unique individuals that we have at Grand Center, and to get as many of those stories told as we possibly can,” said Armknecht.

Currently, the student media website, GCAAtoday.com, is going through the same process.