Rosedale traditional had no idea it could win a banner for yearbook.
Neither did its students.
Best friends Julia Nord-Leth, Emma Rose and Lauren Johnston spent their middle school years desperately trying to win a banner for their school. They joined the basketball team, the volleyball team, field hockey, and soccer, but no matter how hard they tried, they always finished second.
Last month, Rosedale traditional learned its yearbook had been selected by Jostens Canada as one of the top 12 yearbooks for all of Canada.
Of those winners, Rosedale was the only middle school in the group.
“I was more surprised than anything,” said teacher-librarian David Walker, who’s been leading students in yearbook for 10 years. “I had no idea this was a contest.”
Based on the judging criteria, the award could very well have been named the Nicest, Most Organized Yearbook of the Year.
Recipients were judged based on making their monthly deadlines, and on the number of photos per student included in the book. Each winning yearbook had to have at least three photos per student.
Not the easiest task when you’ve got a school of approximately 455 students, 200 in elementary. But it’s a task Walker has long had his students performing.
“The yearbook lasts forever and I want all kids to be able to remember their school experiences with fondness,” said Walker. “To me, that’s what a yearbook is about.”
The 2012-13 yearbook club had eight students involved, all of who put long hours into the product, working their lunch hours, after school and at home – snapping photos of the school’s various clubs, sports games, events, laying out pages, and tracking down different students, ensuring every student had memories forever marked in the book.
“Every lunch we had the camera,” said Nord-Leth, who got to know more of her school than most other kids do as a result.
And for the trio of best friends, now in Grade 10 at CSS, the honour is something they know they’ll hold dear for years to come.
“I think it’s almost better than a sports banner because it’s more unique, and because it’s all of Canada,” said Johnston.
“We didn’t even know about this award,” said Rose. “We put our best effort in because we wanted to…”
“Not because we were trying hard to win something,” finished Nord-Leth.