Yearbook Staff Featured in The Portfolio


Written by: Alyssa Tyler, Assistant Editor

The yearbook staff was nationally recognized in their yearbook publisher’s book, Portfolio. Last year’s cover, a baseball feature layout by senior Jaiden Smiths and one of her sports photographs were featured. Herff Jones is a yearbook publishing company that covers over 7,000 schools in America and Canada. Every fall thousands of schools send in their covers, layouts and pictures for a chance to be featured in Portfolio. 

“It’s an honor to be published in that book, it shows all of the hard work that the kids put into it, [and] that they did things that were above and beyond what other schools normally do. [It] just shows their commitment level. It’s an honor to be in that as were recognized as one of the best in the country and in North America,” said yearbook advisor Erin Horn.

The Herff Jones publishing company works with middle schools, high schools and colleges. Although thousands of yearbooks from all over North America were sent to the publishing company, only 447 of those were showcased in Portfolio. There were 28 yearbooks from the Kansas City area that were featured. 

Smith has been on the yearbook staff for three years and has been editor-in-chief for two years. Being able to memorialize memories is one of her favorite things about the yearbook.

“I’m a really sentimental person, so I really like taking pictures of moments that mean a lot to others and writing about them. I usually use a lot of emotion into my pictures and stories. I’d rather be the behind the scenes person making memories for everyone else than being in the memories,” said Smith. 

At the end of every year, the editors and the soon-to-be editors sit down and start trying to find ideas about what they want the book to look like for next year. They use social media platforms like Pinterest to try and find something that makes the school different and what sets that upcoming year apart from the rest.

“This year’s cover is going to have a lot of color on it. It’s looking at things from a different perspective. We kind of did a playoff of the ‘20/20 vision’ and kind of changed what that would look like. So it’s really a different approach to how you can see the unexpected things. Changing and tying in our photography shows our theme, there’s a lot of cool things going on in this year’s book,” said Horn. 

The 2019-2020 yearbook can be purchased on Skyward, the office or the Herff Jones website. Non-personalized yearbooks are $55 and personalized yearbooks are $60.