EDMOND — It's the kind of acclaim that makes the state proud.
Nine students and two teachers from Edmond Santa Fe High School's yearbook staff will travel to New York next week to be honored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. At stake is a coveted Crown award — top recognition given for overall excellence to a print or online student product.
As an award finalist, Santa Fe and its yearbook, Archives, will win either a Silver or Gold Crown. Either one is a major achievement.
Paige White, a Santa Fe faculty member and longtime adviser for the yearbook, said the honor is rare for Oklahoma high schools.
Members of the yearbook staff put in many hours of work. The final product is 330 to 350 pages of glossy color pages, featuring a look at the various school organizations, teams, classes, students, teachers and administration making Santa Fe
“It's pretty amazing that 14 kids and one adviser put together a 320-page book within six months,” White said.
The student photo editor is Andree Miller. She knows the mission.
“We are preserving memories,” she said. “We plan the yearbook five to six months in advance.”
Yearbook work is good training for Miller, who said she'd like to earn a business degree and open a photography studio.
The Columbia committee reviewed 1,351 newspapers, magazines and yearbooks as well as 182 digital products before deciding last month on the award winners.
The editor-in-chief at Santa Fe is Adrianna Doyal, a senior who has been part of the effort her entire prep career.
“We've worked real hard,” she said. “This year we would have liked to have had more than 14 staff members, but we're excited about this.”
Doyal said the trip is a special treat for the staff as they'll put the finishing touches on the 2011-12 version of the Archives before leaving for New York. It's a process that started last summer. The yearbook will be distributed in May. The cost is $55.
Deadlines and production expenses mean the staff is engaged in real-life lessons and consequences. Co-copy editors Kysha Miller and Alice Barrett know all about it.
“It's stressful but it's worth it to see the final product,” Miller said.
Don't think the crew only puts in the time allotted during class either.
“This teaches time management,” Barrett said. “We're involved in other school groups and AP classes as well.”
The two, who check names for correct spellings and churn out photograph captions, are looking forward to the Big Apple trip.
“We're excited to go to Broadway,” Miller said. “We're planning on seeing ‘Chicago.'”
The students will find out whether they won silver or gold on Friday — as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association wraps up its convention and doles out awards in the Roone Arledge Auditorium on the Columbia campus.
“This is such an incredible honor for us,” White said. “It has been our goal since we won our first sweepstakes (state championship) award from OU five years ago.”