Photo provided by MICHELLE CHAUVIN -- The yearbook staff at St. Thomas Aquinas celebrated National Yearbook Week and Homecoming week last month. First row from left are Taylor Kinnison, Lindsey Cordoba, Skylar Compton, Morgan Busch, Reagan Greer, Olivia Duhe, Chloe Chauvin; second row, Carlye Galloway, Haileigh Bolton, Sydney Milton, Emily Owens; and last row, Isabella Perrilloux and Sydney St. Pierre.

St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School and Jostens, the leading company in publications including yearbooks and student-created content, honored yearbook advisers and staff as part of its National Yearbook Week celebration. Through yearbook-related activities, schools throughout the country observed National Yearbook Week, Oct. 5-11, as a way to celebrate excellence in scholastic journalism and acknowledge the important role that yearbook advisers and staff play in telling the school story through the yearbook.

“The yearbook program at St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the best in the country. The program has been recognized for two consecutive years as a National Yearbook Program of Excellence by Jostens. This honor is reserved for an exclusive group of schools that produce inclusive yearbooks while meeting their deadlines. At STA, producing the yearbook is a labor of love, and it shows on every page,” said Gary Lundgren, a senior marketing manager for Jostens.

The first National Yearbook Week was held in October 1987 by proclamation of President Ronald Reagan. It coincided with the bicentennial celebration of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing freedom of the press. The proclamation declares: “The students who compile yearbooks likewise treasure all that the experience can teach them about teamwork and about writing, the graphic arts and business skills. The practical cooperation and specialization that students learn in yearbook production stand them in good stead when they enter college or pursue other opportunities.”

“Yearbooks allow all students at STA to see themselves and their friends in print as a part of the school story and are valuable keepsakes that everyone in the Falcon community can hold onto forever,” adviser Michelle Chauvin said. “Creating a yearbook is a great way for students to learn important 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and media literacy. The real-life experience gleaned in yearbook can lead to personal and professional success, no matter what career choice they pursue.”

The yearbook staff for the 2014-15 edition of Veritas will be led by Editor Sydney St. Pierre. Staff members include Lindsey Cordoba, sports editor; Carlye Galloway, senior editor; Olivia Duhe, student life editor; Chloe Chauvin, classes editor; Emily Owens, organizations editor; seniors Taylor Kinnison, Skylar Compton and Isabella Perrilloux; and juniors Sydney Milton, Reagan Greer, Morgan Busch and and Haileigh Bolton.

“Yearbook advisers and staffs help the entire school community remember and share their unique school story each year through the yearbook and we are honored to celebrate the positive impact they make in capturing the traditions and once-in-a-lifetime memories,” Lundgren said. “Yearbook is not only a limited edition keepsake, but also an important class and activity in schools, helping students develop more than 30 real-world skills including journalism, photography, writing and design, leadership and marketing that position them for success long after the yearbook has been created.”

From start to finish, creating a yearbook is much like a business, run by students and under the guidance of yearbook advisers. Yearbook staff members take photographs, write stories, design page layouts, create cover art and oversee the marketing, selling and distributing of their yearbooks.

Founded in 1897, Jostens has produced school yearbooks for more 60 years. Schools rely on Jostens and their local Jostens representatives to provide a combination of journalism education and technology tools to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop 21st century skills in journalism, photography, writing and design, leadership and business while creating the permanent record of the school year.