Page-Turning Plaudits: Yearbook Ideas for Celebrating Standout Students


You’ve already covered the yearbook spreads for sports teams and clubs within your school, but are you still missing someone? What about the superstar academic achievers who go above and beyond every day of the school year? And usually without a cheering section to back them up. You know the students I’m talking about — the ones who work long and hard to be at the top of the class and prepare for the future. The ones who earn the title of valedictorian, or lead multiple school clubs while balancing a full course load and staying on the honor roll. Devoting a yearbook feature to those students can be an awesome reward for their hard work — and a great way to inspire other students to follow in their academic footsteps! But how can you do this best? Keep reading to find out.

A yearbook feature that celebrates academic success stories can make your book shine brighter!
Photo Credit: Flickr user brookscl

Set Up Criteria

Highlighting academic overachievers is a yearbook idea that’s really taken off over the past few years. The first step towards creating a section like this in your yearbook is to set up criteria for selecting the featured students. You can’t feature everyone, after all! First, think of how much space you have left in your book and what you’ll allocate to each student. This will help you get a grasp on the number of students you can realistically feature. Typically, you’ll want to do a small, more in-depth feature on the top standout students. I’ve found that it’s best to keep it under ten students and to focus more on the senior class since it’s the last chance to showcase their achievements. Then, you’ll just need to choose the students! The easiest way to select students is to look at class rank and activity involvement — you can work with the school administration and teachers to find the right candidates. Once you have your list, start asking those students if they’d like to be involved and start filling your pages!

Implementing New Yearbook Ideas

Designing the right layout for your standout section is all about letting your team get creative. Some schools create short paragraphs that celebrate each student’s biggest accomplishments during their high school career. Another style, which can be lots of fun and much easier to read, organizes the content into a fun question-and-answer section using bullet points. Since these students are class standouts, it’s pretty likely that their peers already know about their current school successes. Instead, ask about the students’ long-term goals, their favorite memory or achievement from high school, and what they’re most looking forward to doing in their last summer before college.

You could also set your feature up roundtable-style, similar to what many major magazine publishers are using for their multi-person features. And don’t forget a great photo! Invite all of your honorees to meet up for a master shot. Ask them to get creative with their pose, wear a t-shirt from their top-pick college, and show off their personality. Having fun with the photo will help the students loosen up and (hopefully) help banish that whole ‘geek’ reputation — showing other students that being smart isn’t a four-letter word!

When it comes down to it, featuring standout students in a special section of your yearbook is a great way to celebrate the academic side of your high school. Showcasing more than just sports achievements is so important for the kids on your campus to see — because not everyone is a standout athlete. Most of all, it’ll help you build a more inclusive yearbook, which can lead to a more inclusive attitude for your school as a whole! Now that’s a yearbook idea and achievement anyone would be proud of!

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