NDA Yearbook Staff Receives Yearbook of Excellence Award for the Fourth Time

Congratulations to NDA’s Journalism Department Chair, English teacher, and yearbook advisor Mrs. Julie Sells and her student yearbook staff! Through their hard work and innovative style NDA has been named a Jostens 2017 National Yearbook Program of Excellence. This is the fourth time, in the past six years, that the yearbook staff has earned this honor for their production of the NDA yearbook, The Regina.

For the past seventeen years, Mrs. Sells has created and directed the annual production of The Regina. “These awards are really an acknowledgement of NDA,” she said, “I appreciate how much NDA’s administration and board members support our Journalism Department. Our journalism lab allows NDA students to learn, create, and publish.”

When she first started directing the production of the yearbook in August 2001, the process was to send print pictures to a publishing plant. Within a few years, the yearbook changed to a desktop publication, so everything from that point has been submitted online. This change allowed the yearbook staff to design more creatively. They could see page designs immediately instead of waiting weeks. With today’s electronic capabilities, augmented reality has been integrated into the yearbook allowing pictures to literally come to life!

Every year, Mrs. Sells and her yearbook staff select a theme to carry through the yearbook, but they keep it a secret all year long. Students always try to get her to spill the secret!  One of her favorite days of the year is the day yearbooks are delivered to the student body and she hears the excitement as the girls see the cover and theme for the very first time. “I especially remember the 2004 yearbook!” she said. “The cover was hot pink and I heard girls in the hall yelling, ‘It’s pink, it’s pink!’ I want them to feel that excited every year!”

In the future, Mrs. Sells sees more and new technology incorporated into yearbook production, but hopes the actual print book does disappear. “I think a yearbook is one of those books that you want to hold,” she explained. “It is a personal experience as you hold and look through the book and reflect. Looking at a digital yearbook online is not quite the same. It’s like looking at your family’s photo album; the yearbook is the photo album of your NDA family.”

Watch the videos below to see how yearbook staff used augmented reality.