Exploring Yearbook Trends for 2025

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Yearbook Adviser of the Year

Journalism career simply meant to be for Casey Nichols

Casey Nichols usually does not have time to attend the regular faculty meetings at his school. As the yearbook adviser and chair of the communications department at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, Calif., Nichols is a busy man.

One particular Wednesday afternoon this past December was no different. Rocklin’s principal, Debra Hawkins, called for her regular short staff meeting to make a couple important announcements.

Even though it was a busy deadline week for the yearbook, Nichols bucked his normal trend and decided to attend. Nichols said he could not exactly explain why he chose to attend, instead of bearing down on yearbook business the way he normally does.

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Mary Kay Downes is “uber.”

Mary Kay DownesUber is a German prefix for denoting a supreme example of a particular kind of person. That would describe why Downes was named the 2007 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year by the Journalism Education Association. During her career as yearbook adviser at Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Va., she has taught and mentored students and yearbook advisers from Fairfax County to the Pacific Coast.

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After 32 years in the classroom H.L. Hall is still “alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic.” In fact, he’s downright spunky.

It is his spunk and energy that inspire literally thousands of journalism students and advisers across the country each year. That, coupled with a sizable amount of knowledge, has also earned him the title “Mr. Yearbook” from his colleagues and those he teaches.

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