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Columbia University awards yearbook gold medal

After settling for silver and bronze medalist certificates for the last three years, yearbook received the coveted gold medalist certificate for The Shield from Columbia Scholastic Press Association on Oct. 2.

“I’m so glad we won this award last year,” Jennifer Jesser, ’02, yearbook co-editor this year, “because it was my third year on staff and we finally won it. And now that I’m the co-editor I will do my best to win it again this year.”

“I feel we won this award because this school has developed an awesome yearbook program and we had great editors in Marie Simpson and Sharon Martin last year,” Sargent said. Simpson and Martin graduated this past June.

Sargent regulates who participates in the yearbook class. Freshmen are currently not allowed into yearbook.

“One of the only freshman I have ever had is Jen Jesser,” Sargent said, “and the main reason I accepted her was because I am good friends with her parents and know her personally. She ended up being one of the best students I had that year.”

Fellow English teacher and newspaper advisor, Greg Stobbe, is a keen supporter of the yearbook and its staff. Stobbe traveled with Sargent to New York City in March where they both made presentations at the annual Columbia University Scholastic Press Association’s annual conference.

“Since Sargent and I came together in ’93, neither of us thought we could crack the gold award barrier with Columbia,” Stobbe said. “However, her persistence and great expectations for excellence have stretched the students’ desire and ability to succeed. I think it’s marvelous. I am one of yearbook’s biggest fans.”

Now that the staff has one gold medalist certificate under its belt, will the gang be able to get another this year? Sargent is optimistic.

“If all things go well,” Sargent said, ” I believe that this year could be better than last year.” Sargent’s staff is also looking forward to creating their version of The Shield.

“I wasn’t surprised when we won an award for last year’s book,” Tim Haydock,’02, co-editor said.” But this year I’m even more excited to see what our staff can do together.”

Despite the class having only three students returning from last year’s staff, the new members are optimistic.

“I wasn’t in yearbook class last year,” Sam Fisher, ’03, said, “so this year I will do my best to produce another award-winning yearbook. I also look forward to interviewing Mr. (Greg) Page for the faculty spread.”

This year’s yearbook cost $65 before Oct. 31 and promises to be the best yet.

“This year’s yearbook cover is different from anything we have ever done before,” Sargent said. “Also, the yearbook is 95% digital which will give us more control over the final product. I am also excited for the Homecoming spread; it is going to be really great.”

For more information on the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s annual critique or other student programs, see the links to the right.

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