Saugus yearbook club wins national award

Saugus High School yearbook program editors-in-cheif Ashley Dredge, right, Megan Puettmann, left, and Olivia Tesselaar, middle, along with faculty advisor Darren Thomas will be flying to New York in March to see where their yearbook placed in the Columbia Scholastic Press Crown Award rankings. February 28, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Three Saugus High seniors and the school’s yearbook adviser will be traveling to New York later this month to accept the Columbia Scholastic Press Crown Award.

Ashley Dredge, Megan Puettmann, Olivia Tesselaar and adviser Darren Thomas will find out if the 2019 Saugus High School yearbook placed in the top 50, which wins the “silver crown” or the top 20, which wins the “gold crown.” The award has more than 1,300 submissions each year.

Saugus High School yearbook program editors-in-cheif Ashley Dredge, left, Megan Puettmann, middle, and Olivia Tesselaar, right, along with faculty advisor Darren Thomas will be flying to New York in March to see where their yearbook placed in the Columbia Scholastic Press Crown Award rankings. February 28, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“It was shocking to me,” Thomas said. “It was my first year, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I just submitted to all the things (the previous adviser) did in the past, and when they announced in November we were winning a crown, I didn’t believe it.”

The yearbook, titled “Like Never Before,” focuses on the new things on campus that are changing Saugus, such as the new performing arts center named The Forum. All three students showed how the yearbook cover, draped in blues to match Saugus’ school spirit colors, mimics the window panels of The Forum.

Thomas described the long process that goes into making the school yearbook. He said advisers and students begin working about a year prior to the book being released, and students with editor roles work throughout the summer brainstorming themes, laying out page templates and coordinating roles of other students.

“It’s a good thing we start so early because everything changes drastically as the school year goes on,” said Dredge. “Even after working on it all summer, the designs and ideas still changed.”

Saugus High School yearbook program editors-in-cheif Megan Puettmann, Ashley Dredge, and Olivia Tesselaar will be flying to New York in March to see where their yearbook placed in the Columbia Scholastic Press Crown Award rankings. February 28, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal. , Olivia Tesselaar, Ashley Dredge, Megan Puettmann

Dredge, Puettmann and Tesselaar have been involved with the yearbook club for most of their high school careers, but this is the first year the club has three editors-in-chief instead of only two. “These three work so well together,” Thomas said. “I wanted to have all three of them in leadership roles because they all offer so much to (the club).”

The students and Thomas will be traveling to Columbia University for the award ceremony on March 17. During the ceremony, it will be revealed if the yearbook club placed within the top 50 or top 20.

Saugus High School Yearbook students Jasmin Kristensen, left, and Domenica Lyznick work on a page of the award winning publication Friday morning. February 28, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“Everyone involved contributes things that are individual and unique,” said Puettmann. “Once the book is given to the editors and staffers, they contribute so much hard work to make the pages what they are. It becomes something so wonderful that all of us are going to be proud of for a long time.”

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