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IHS Yearbook honored for excellence

IRONTON — Along with capturing the spirit of Ironton High School and its contribution to the Gateway city, the 2008 Ironton High School yearbook has been named as one of top yearbooks in America.

It is the first time the annual publication titled “The Owl” has been recognized nationally with an honorable mention award for theme concept, page designs, photography, secondary packages and covers. The 2008 theme was “Through the Eyes of a Tiger.”

The award is sponsored and presented by Dallas-based Taylor Publishing, who prints “The Owl” and is one of the largest yearbook publishers in North America. With the win, “The Owl” will appear in the 2009 edition of Taylor’s Yearbook, Yearbook — a collection of all top yearbooks published in the past year.

Taylor Publishing recognizes less than 15 percent of all elementary, middle school, high school and college yearbooks for inclusion into their annual publication.

Led by three-year advisor and Ironton High School teacher Kristina Billings, “The Owl” has been published annually by students for more than 100 years.

The publication derives it name from the wisdom and scholastic endeavors an owl stands for.

Billings said the 2008 edition of “The Owl” was unique in a lot of different ways.

“This edition was special because of the student talent that made up (the 2008) staff. Each of them in their own way had an impact on the outcome of the book,” Billings said. “This along with the photos that were chosen and the content written made this book special. There is a lot of hard work and long hours that go into the publishing of the pages.”

The staff of the 2008 edition were: co-editors, Mary Fugitt and Calle Kehoe, Demi Eicher (Student Life Editor), Jessica Seevers, Belinda Spradlin, China Winkfield, Brittany Fox (People Editor), Staci Cochran, Emily Cronacher (co-Sports Editor), Jamie Rodgers (co-Sports Editor), Morgan Day (Copy Editor), Dylan Lemaster, Julia Henson, Jade Shope, Brittnie Crockrel (Business Manager), Brandi Lynch (Photography Editor), Sarah Bailey, Maggie Patterson (Layout Editor), Carmyn Whitt, Mica Harbolt, Tiffany Evans, Dova Christian, Shelby Walker and Emillie Kincaid.

“I’m amazed at what our schools accomplish,” said Marilyn Scoggins, editor of Taylor Publishing. “By recording the events, memories and histories of their schools, each staff preserves moments for year to come.”

“Having Ironton High School recognized in Yearbook Yearbook is an award with rewards,” education specialist Judi Coolidge said. “ (Their) outstanding work offers inspiration to thousands of other students who aspire to your level of excellence.”

Billings said the key is to have the yearbook staff working in a relaxed environment that allows creativity to come through in the book.

“Each edition has a personality all it own because the staff members change and evolve from year to year,” explained Billings.

“This year’s staff is made up of mostly seniors and several second year staff members that adds to the completeness of the book. The seniors want a book that captures their last year and preserves the memories for the years to come.”

The theme of the 2009 edition of “The Owl” is “Never Forget … 2009.”