Members of Hillsborough High School’s yearbook, The Ramrod, were honored last month at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Spring Convention and Awards Ceremony held in New York City.
The Hillsborough High School yearbook staff, advised by English teacher Michelle Wetzel, was honored as a Gold Medalist for the full-color, student-designed 2018 yearbook. The staff also received the special distinction of All-Columbian Honors which places the Ramrod in the top five percent of all yearbooks in the entire country.
In addition to receiving the All-Columbian Honors and Gold Medalist awards, the eight students and two teachers attended workshops geared toward honing their journalistic skills. Featured workshops at the convention included topics such as writing captions, applying AP Style, creating layouts, following design rules and improving photography skills.
The Ramrod’s editor-in-chief, Margaret Gries, revealed that she felt the workshops not only helped improve her skillset, but is hopeful that her talents can help carry her through her college studies.
“The best part of the workshops at CSPA was being able to share information, learn new tips and gain inspiration for the future,” Gries said. “In college, I plan on majoring in journalism; therefore, the leadership, writing, design, and photography workshops were very helpful in gaining more knowledge.”
In addition to attending the CSPA Convention, the students also had the opportunity to tour the Penguin-Random House Publishing Group and meet with industry professionals. The group learned how both print materials and electronic books are prepared for publication.
Students also learned about internships and career paths available to them. In addition to the CSPA awards, earlier this year, the Ramrod was honored by the Garden State Scholastic Press Association with the distinction of Platinum, the highest level awarded for 2018 New Jersey yearbooks. Hillsborough’s yearbook tied with just one other school in the state for Platinum status.
This year’s Ramrod will mark the 50th anniversary edition of the annual publication. Like the 2018 book, the staff anticipates similar success for this year’s edition. However, the hard work and long hours that go into the creation of the yearbook are not simply to win awards. The yearbook staff considers the book a permanent document that reflects the lives and events of Hillsborough High School students over the past year.
For Hillsborough High School sophomore, Sabrina Eilers, who also serves as the underclass editor for the Ramrod, the experience in working with the group held much more significance beyond the compilation of a high school yearbook. Eilers said she felt she was a part of the high school’s history.
“The most rewarding part of yearbook class is being part of the school’s history as the publication of our yearbook will remain with the school for years to come,” Eilers said.