11th Spartan Award in the past 14 years
By Megan Kelley
ORION TWP. — Lake Orion High School’s yearbook class has once again been awarded the Spartan Award from The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association for the 2022 Lake Orion High School Dragon Yearbook.
During this year’s awards, judges commented on the yearbook’s coverage, design, writing, photography and overall concept.
The yearbook, which is 370 pages, covers all aspects of life at Lake Orion High School including clubs/organizations, sports, academics, student life as well as the local community. Though nearly every high school in the state also puts together yearbooks, year after year the LOHS yearbook stands apart from others.
“There are several factors that set the Dragon Yearbook program apart. One is the level of motivation from our student journalists. They are always impressing me with their creativity and determination to journalistically cover the school year,” said Stephanie Orth, LOHS Yearbook advisor and teacher. “Another contributing factor is the support of the LOCS administration – from technology to supporting professional development, we couldn’t do what we do without their help. Finally, our printing partner works incredibly hard to help us see our vision come to life and to help us with technology and deadlines.”
This is the 11th time in the last 14 years that the LOHS yearbook has received this award.
“It is rewarding to be recognized for the books we work so hard on. I worry that the community has come to expect these awards from our program, but it’s not like we can just dial it in and crank out another award-winning book. The yearbook is judged by different judges each year, judges from around the country who know nothing about Lake Orion High School,” Orth said.
“The criteria is always changing, always being elevated, always pushing us to do more, cover more, think more creatively about how we can cover the students, the activities, the community. This keeps us on our toes, always looking for new and interesting ways to document the year, always looking for ways to include more students in our coverage,” she said.
Judges this year had many comments praising coverage and the yearbook as a whole, noting that they specifically enjoyed the wide range of activities and classes that were covered, as well as the impressive photography and well written copy.
The yearbook received specific commendation for the design.
“Design is a strength of your book. As I was perusing your pages, the thought came to mind that your book was both classy and modern and that you use some modern design techniques without them becoming cluttered or distracting. Each spread consists of clearly-grouped modular elements with all levels of white spacing – tight, normal, and wide – used to the benefit of your readers,” one judge said.
Additionally, the judges appreciated the community coverage, which included coverage of the tragedy that had occurred at neighboring Oxford High School in November 2021.
“I’m glad you covered the tragedy that happened to your neighbors in Oxford and placed it in context of your own students who were impacted because of people they knew or by proximity. Getting this kind of coverage in a yearbook is a hallmark of a quality journalism program,” the judges said.
MIPA is a nonprofit organization housed in Michigan State University’s school of journalism and is composed of scholastic journalism teachers and publications advisers and their students who are committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in scholastic journalism at all levels.
MIPA hosts conferences for middle school and high school students in the fall and spring and holds high school competitions and awards in the spring.