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Students AnDrew Carlson, from left, Nicole Conaway and teacher sponsor Meleighsa McLaughlin review a layout for “Journey,” James Clemens High School’s yearbook that recently won the Design Wars contest. PHOTO / “Journey” staff/James Clemens High School

‘Journey’ yearbook staff at James Clemens aces Design Wars contest

MADISON – The staff for “Journey,” yearbook for James Clemens High School, has won Design Wars, a national design competition that Walsworth Yearbooks sponsors.

This summer, James Clemens students responded to the yearbook challenge from the Walsworth National Virtual Workshop.

Business Editor AnDrew Carlson directed the challenge’s planning and implementation, with guidance from sponsor Meleighsa McLaughlin and Editor-in-Chief Nicole Conaway. Every staff member was expected to individually create one design minimum. Categories included marketing posters, yearbook cover, social media posts, press passes, teambuilding materials and T-shirts.

“I’m especially proud given that only two of my yearbook staffers have experience, while the other 11 Jets are all new to the world of yearbooking. The support that we receive from our admin team is a vital component to the growth, resiliency and support of our program. What a way to kick off Flight TEN! Go Jets!” McLaughlin said. McLaughlin is English Content Lead and representative to Madison City Education Association.

Journey’s staff includes Anthony Beltran, Laila Brantley, Madelyn Broussard, Chloe Burrow, Camille Crosby, Lacey Goode, Gabriella Kerrigan, Haripriya Mantraratnam, Ava Walker, Kathryn Wille and Ethan Xu.

This year, the staff is using its yearbook theme as a brand. “Marketing is crucial to the yearbook’s success, as it allows students and parents to know when to buy a yearbook, how to buy a yearbook and when to get the best price,” McLaughlin said.

“When you transform your theme into a brand, you do it to project your visions and aspirations for the year to the community,” McLaughlin said. “You grant them insights into and generate interest for the upcoming yearbook. As schools grant more and more power and autonomy to their staffs, the practice of brand advertising will become increasingly common.”

The staff is using Walsworth Yearbooks for the first time this year. However, two staff members became familiar with Walsworth at Liberty Middle School.

The 2022 Journey “not only does its job — as a time capsule — but reaffirms our personal goals for quality while celebrating 10 years of our school, where opportunity meets inspiration,” McLaughlin said. The theme is confidential now but will showcase “our grit and analyze the adversities we have endured as individuals, a community, as a school and in the world.”

The theme will unfold best in the title, colophon (publisher’s emblem), opening/closing and divider pages. “We’re filled with excitement and cannot wait to show everyone what we have in store for this tenth edition,” McLaughlin said.

The 312-page yearbook will include a 16-page insert documenting school events from March 2022 through graduation. This edition will feature the most students ever, with additional coverage of business, computer science and construction academies. For a meager fee, a student can add icons or extra text on the cover for customization.

Students, parents and residents can buy yearbooks or ads at bit.ly/JC2022YB.

Yearbooks start at $85 until Sept. 30, when the price will increase. Starting at $75, parents can purchase quarter-, half- or full-page advertisements online to honor graduates; the individual can design the ad, or the staff can create it.

The Journey staff invites businesses to partner and reach out to ‘Jet Nation’ at James Clemens. Contact McLaughlin to purchase ads to celebrate James’s Clemens first decade. Limited space is available. For information, call 256-216-5313 or email mamclaughlin@madisoncity.k12.al.us.

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