The yearbook’s editorial staff at St. Thomas Aquinas in Hammond is using modern methods to provide a yearbook with a twist.

“Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image onto the user’s real-world view,” yearbook adviser Michelle Chauvin said. “Basically, we utilize a smartphone app called ‘Aurasma’ to view certain photos in the yearbook, which have been linked with a video clip pertinent to the photo. The video plays through the app, thus giving an added dimension to the traditional yearbook experience.”

Some examples of videos used are the senior entrance to the Back to School Dance, Homecoming activities, the announcement of the Homecoming queen, academics and sports highlights.

Principal Jose Becerra said STA was named a 2014 Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence.

“This is a huge honor for St. Thomas Aquinas and, particularly, for our yearbook staff,” he said. “It’s exciting to know that at Jostens headquarters up in Minneapolis, they know who we are in Hammond, Louisiana. This is just another way we are proud to be an example of excellence.”

STA’s 2014 award-winning yearbook program was led by 2014 graduates Payten Powell, editor-in-chief, and Madison Chauvin, senior editor. This is the second consecutive year STA has received the recognition, and the school is the only one in the region — one of only three in Louisiana and 365 nationally — to be honored by Jostens.

“Jostens’ National Yearbook Program of Excellence Awards” were presented to the STA yearbook program for achieving the defined criteria in each of three following categories: creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement and successfully managing the yearbook creation process.

“Yearbooks connect students’ hearts and minds to the school story, school year experiences and the community to memorialize moments that matter. Jostens is proud to recognize yearbook staffs and advisers who create engaging yearbooks that tell the story of their school communities,” said Murad Velani, Jostens chief operating officer. “We understand that a great yearbook program does not just happen, and we are dedicated to helping schools, yearbook advisers and students to strengthen their programs by providing state-of-the-art tools, resources and best practices that support the development and creation of award-winning yearbooks.”

The 2013-14 yearbook staff included editorial staff Powell, editor-in-chief; Chauvin, senior editor; Dani Schillace, student life; Bailey Barringer, organizations; Rebecca Ishee, sports; Amanda Jordan, photography; Sydney St. Pierre, classes; seniors Savannah Laborde, Katie Gambel, Amanda Ridgell, Sarah Ellen Edwards, Jordan Jarreau, Emily Rusciano, Lauren Daniel, Madison Casey, Madison Tucker, Anna Lanier, Blanton Burgess, Laikyn Lauderdale and Brandt Tycer; and juniors Isabella Perrilloux, Carlye Galloway, Skylar Compton, Miranda Howes and Lindsey Cordoba.