January 21, 2011 / News & Notes

JEA names Sarah Nichols the 2010 Yearbook Adviser of the Year

Written by Idea File Staff

Kansas City, Mo. (Jan. 21, 2011) – Sarah Nichols, the yearbook adviser of the Details yearbook at Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif., has been named the 2010 Yearbook Adviser of the Year by the Journalism Education Association (JEA).

Nichols teaches journalism, photojournalism and mass media at Whitney, as well as advising the yearbook, The Roar newsmagazine and Whitney Update website. Nichols was recognized as a Distinguished Adviser by the JEA in 2006, and won a Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) in 2008.

A group that included representatives from JEA, three of Nichols’ former editors and her family surprised Nichols with a presentation during a staff meeting at Whitney this week. Included in that group was Sarah’s husband Casey Nichols, the yearbook adviser at nearby Rocklin High School, and the winner of the 2004 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year award.

“There are so many talented people eligible to win this award, so many people that deserve to win this award,” said Nichols. “I was surprised, and I was honored.”

Nichols said her staff with the Details yearbook takes pride in producing an all-inclusive publication, which stays up-to-date with trends that interest the student audience. In 2010, Details created an interactive website to go with the 2010 yearbook, which matched the theme of the printed book and included bonus coverage.

“There are naysayers that say yearbooks are dying, and I don’t agree with that,” said Nichols. “We just have to be prepared to keep making changes, and keep trying new things that kids want.”

Each year, the JEA’s National Yearbook Adviser of the Year program is designed to honor outstanding work from yearbook advisers from the previous year and throughout their career. A $1,000 award goes to the winner’s school to be used on equipment for the yearbook classroom, or to fund student scholarships to summer workshops.

Other advisers being honored this year by the JEA include:

Distinguished Advisers

Mary Patrick, Maize South Middle School, Wichita, Kan.
Mitch Ziegler, Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Charla A. Harris, Pleasant Grove High School, Texarkana, Texas

Special Recognition Advisers

Michele M. Dunaway, Francis Howell High School, St. Charles, Mo.
Brenda Field, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, Ill.
Meghan J. Percival, McLean (Va.) High School

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Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.