Congratulations to our 2020 Yearbook Contest winners!

January 10, 2021

Tasked with completing their books in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois yearbook staffs and their advisers met the challenge by chronicling the 2019-20 school year with resourcefulness, creativity and visually powerful storytelling.

In recognition of that work, the Illinois Journalism Education Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 IJEA Yearbook Contest:

Division 1 | Enrollment 185 or fewer | Results
• Division 2 | Enrollment 186 to 500 | Results
Division 3 | Enrollment 501 to 750 | Results
Division 4 | Enrollment 751 to 1,300 | Results
Division 5 | Enrollment 1,301 to 2,000 | Results
Division 6 | Enrollment 2,001 or more | Results

Leading the way were the Overall General Excellence winners in the contest’s six enrollment divisions:

• Division 1 | Seymourian, Payson Seymour H.S., Barb Speckhart & Diane Germann, advisers
• Division 2 | The Saukee, Pittsfield H.S., Laura Shade, adviser
• Division 3 | Endeavor, Richmond-Burton H.S., Beth Marshall, adviser
• Division 4 | The Drift, Taylorville H.S., Stephen Steele, adviser
• Division 5 | Pekinian, Pekin H.S., Alyson Smith, adviser
• Division 6 | Etruscan, Glenbrook South H.S., Brenda Field, adviser

Dr. Sally Renaud, journalism professor at Eastern Illinois University and former IJEA executive director, coordinated the contest. She received positive feedback from the judges, who had a shorter timeframe to assess the books because of delayed printings.

The judges were impressed with the efforts to cover changes in the spring calendar due to COVID-19 restrictions. In particular, they noted that sports sections got creative to tell the story of lost seasons, and graduation spreads highlighted alternative graduation ceremonies and how students and faculty adapted to their new learning environments.

Some books also used freed-up pages to highlight seniors more personally.

COVID aside, this year’s books were sophisticated and used sharp, bold photography to showcase their students’ energy and passions.

Schools could submit their 2019-20 yearbooks up to the mid-November deadline, ensuring that fall-delivery books were included in the judging.

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

Books earned points based on how they placed in each category:

• 1st = 5 points
• 2nd = 4 points
• 3rd = 3 points
• Honorable mention = 1 point

The top four point-scoring books in each division received first, second, third and honorable mention for Overall General Excellence in their respective divisions.

Judges were drawn from the ranks of experienced journalists, teachers and advisers.

An enthusiastic congratulations to all yearbook staffs and advisers! We are proud of the amazing work you do each year throughout Illinois. Best of luck on your continuing coverage of the current school year; we can’t wait to see next year’s entries!

Winners of 2020 yearbook contest

The overall winners of the 2020 IJEA Yearbook Contest’s six divisions were, clockwise from top left: Etruscan, Glenbrook South H.S. (D6); Pekinian, Pekin H.S. (D5); Endeavor, Richmond-Burton H.S. (D3); The Drift, Taylorville H.S. (D4); The Saukee, Pittsfield H.S. (D2); and Seymourian, Payson Seymour H.S. (D1).


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