Meridian Moments Yearbook wins IJEA state competition


photo by Sally Renaud

Winners from all six divisions of the IJEA (Illinois Journalism Education Association) yearbook contest. Meridian Moments tied first for Division 2.

What does the creative process for a first-place yearbook look like? An advisor’s swollen feet? 16 hour days? Crying on the floor? Scared to walk outside the school at 1 a.m. in fear of being mugged? The list could go on and on, but that’s part of what it means to serve on the yearbook staff in May/June.

“It’s hard to remember the moment the book was officially completed. We had our celebration lunch at Olive Garden on May 31st, but then we had a TON of work to complete the following week,” said Sheila Moore, advisor. “We put in solid 16 hour days to finish the band pages and the index. The index forced me to have nightmares.”

The book had a major change in late November. Due to a theme change, it was hard work underway for the yearbook staff to get done by the due date in June.

“As ideas came to us, the group and the book grew together,” said Sydney Moore, former Editor-in-Chief and graduate. “At first, it was difficult to get everyone on the same page, but it was quite the change.”

Despite the theme changes, Meridian tied first in the state (Illinois Journalism Education Association competition) with Pittsfield among schools with enrollments between 250 to 399 students.

“There really is a difference in the way a staff at a school with more than 2,000 students covers and the way a staff at a school of 300 can cover its school,” said Sally Renaud, IJEA yearbook contest coordinator.

The goal is to record the events of the year accurately and memorable regardless of the size of the student body.

“Meridian holds its own among the very best, no matter the size,” said Renaud.

The yearbook was officially done on June 18 after hours upon hours of work put in by the staff to finish and cover every student.

“The yearbooks have been better covering everyone in the school and including…students outside of school,” said Ella Snow, senior.

It was a long enduring process to finish the book which then was rewarded with their first-place win.

“I want to say that I am so proud of them for pulling off these crazy ideas that we had. From learning a new program, to learning different design techniques, you guys were able to do it all,” said Sydney Moore.