East yearbook team brings home third place award in state competition

The top overall Division 6 yearbooks, Glenbrook South’s Etruscan, 2nd-place Edwardsville, and on the right 3rd-place Oswego East. “A lot of students don’t really get what we do but in yearbook, we’re thinking about things so, so I was really proud because we worked really hard on it. I was glad we got the recognition for it,” Copy and Captions editor Riley Doggett said.

After a successful conference and sectional run, Oswego East’s 2022 yearbook has been recognized as one of the best yearbooks in the state.

 Last week on Monday, January 9, the 2021-2022 yearbook contest results from the Illinois Journalism Education Association (ILJE) were announced, with East coming in third for “overall general excellence”.

East’s yearbook competes in Division 6, competing against other schools in the state with an enrollment of 2,201 and greater. 

The books were judged in eight individual categories: copywriting, coverage of the school year, divider pages, graphics, layout and design, photography, sports coverage, and theme development.

Of those categories, East placed in all but two, even getting first place in “Theme Development” an area that current yearbook Editor and Chief, Caley Layman, said that her role allows her to ensure that East’s yearbook maintains the standards in theme that they have achieved this year and in years past. 

“Mainly what I’ve been doing with the other editors is overseeing everything we do so we get the best final project possible but, my main focus is on our theme,” Layman said. “I want to continue that legacy and make sure I’m like keeping up the standard.”

The sentiments said by Layman are echoed by yearbook adviser Colleen Calvey. Calvey notes how East’s yearbook has consistently upheld well with the theme they decide on, making it one of the standout features of each yearbook East publishes. 

“I think our staff consistently has a strong theme, especially when you compare us to other books across the state. We tend to do well in that category both at SPC, at state, and then in these bigger competitions,” Calvey said. 

While East placed third overall, the feedback that they received from the ILJEA allows for the yearbook staff to recognize areas in need of improvement. 

“We use the feedback that’s provided and it’s very general feedback. But we take a look at where our book could be better because obviously we didn’t place first in everything and there’s always room for improvement,” Calvey said.

Current Copy and Captions Editor for the publication, Riley Doggett said that the yearbook’s consistent success in competitions like ILJEA is the talent displayed by underclassmen staff members.

“It makes us proud to know we’re doing our jobs and doing them well,” Doggett said. “We have lots of sophomores and juniors and they have caught on really fast which helps us get out a better yearbook at the end of the year.”  

As the reigning third place publication, the current leaders of the program are optimistic about the future of the publication. 

“I feel like this year, we have like a lot of good l talent in the yearbook 1 students and they’re learning really fast and are really flexible with what we need,” Layman said. “ I know I can trust them.”

Although, leaders like Layman and Doggett graduate this year, the yearbook staff is being left with full confidence. 

“I think we have a really good foundation,” Calvey said.  “I’m excited to see a keep growing and we do have a lot of sophomores and juniors on staff, when we have a makeup of a staff with senior leaders and then younger staff members the staff generally historically will continue to grow, and be stronger.”

Samantha Trujillo is a staff editor Oswego East high school’s online news magazine The Howl

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