September 17, 2018 / Podcasts

WYPN: Podcasts for yearbook people

Written by Shiloh Scott

The Walsworth Yearbooks Podcast Network (WYPN) debuted in July, and our hosts have been creating an incredible listening experience through interviews with knowledgeable guests. We’re proud of our hosts, so we’re sharing a recap of some of the work they’ve done.

If you’ve already been listening, thank you. If you haven’t checked out Ask Mike or Yearbook Chat with Jim, you can find them at or wherever you get your podcasts – iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and more.

Ask Mike

Mike Taylor, CJE, is the always-energetic host of Ask Mike. With yearbook advisers and staffers as guests, he dives into the technical aspects of creating a great yearbook. Each episode looks at a skill, program or idea that can help you improve your yearbook.


  1. “How do I choose my yearbook theme?”

Taylor and his guests, long-time award-winning adviser Susan Massy and former adviser and current Texas Association of Journalism Educators Executive Director Cindy Todd, discuss the ins and outs of finding a great yearbook theme. From the brainstorming stage to presenting your yearbook to the rest of the school, these three cover what it takes to find the right theme for your school year. As Massy puts it, “Be bold. Be brave.”

  1. “How do I structure my book for better coverage?”

Chronological, traditional, umbrella or blended? It’s not a Starbucks drink, they’re yearbook coverage styles! Each style has its benefits and downfalls, and Taylor brought in a slew of advisers to discuss their experience using these different styles.

  1. “How do I inspire creativity in my students?”

They’re advisers at rival schools, they live in the same home, and they’re both very good at drawing out creativity in their students. The married duo of yearbook superstars, Becky Tate and Dow Tate, share their methods with Taylor.

  1. “Why should I attend an Elite Weekend?”

Who better to ask than people who’ve actually been? Advisers Brian Wilson of Palo Alto High School and Joanna Burns of Thousand Oaks High School, along with two yearbook editors from Thousand Oaks, share the difference Elite Weekend made to their yearbook program. Feel like you’re missing out? It’s not too late to attend an Elite Weekend near you!

  1. “Why should I do a yearbook boot camp?”

Start the school year out right with a yearbook boot camp! Advisers Allison Miller and Susan McNulty share the yearbook boot camp tips. They discuss how they run their camps and why, as well as the difference they’ve seen in staff bonding.

  1. “How can I be a great yearbook editor?”

Great yearbook advisers come in all shapes and sizes, with many different styles of leadership. Taylor sought out former yearbook editors to discuss their experience, new editors to share their excitement and anxieties about the upcoming year and even a few advisers share their opinions.

  1. “How do I market my yearbooks?

Kathy Beers is a marketing genius, but don’t take our word for it. Listen to her share ideas in this useful episode. She’s bursting with ideas to help increase buy rates for senior ads and the books themselves. She’s such a genius, she has followers. Stay tuned until the end for testimonials from three advisers who’ve found success using Beers’ marketing ideas.

Yearbook Chat with Jim

Yearbook Chat with Jim is hosted by Jim Jordan, who recently retired after 35 years as an adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. His love of all things runs deep, and uses his podcast to share the stories behind the yearbook.


  1. “That First Year: New Advisers Reflect”

Whether their school is large or small, private or public, rural or urban, and whether they’ve already been teaching for years or they’re completely new to the classroom, there are some universal truths when it comes to an adviser’s first year of yearbook. At the end of their first year, Jordan spoke to three advisers – Lori Davis, Halie Luken and Lindsey Valbuena – about their experience and what they learned over the course of the year.

  1. “Sarah Lerner of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, part 1”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was launched into the national spotlight after a gunman killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018. Following the tragedy, Adviser Sarah Lerner and her staff faced the momentous task of creating a yearbook that respectfully acknowledged the victims and events, but didn’t overlook the rest of the school and year. In part one of the two-part interview, Lerner chats about what had been a fairly normal year before that day and shares her memories from Valentine’s Day and the immediate aftermath.

  1. “Sarah Lerner of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, part 2”

The Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was an almost-unfathomable tragedy. Despite living through the horrific events, adviser Sarah Lerner and her yearbook staff set themselves to the task of finishing their yearbook and doing it right. In part two of this two-part interview, Lerner discusses how they managed it while the staff was in mourning, mixing scholastic journalism and politics and being part of a national gun safety movement started by the survivors.

  1. “Don Walsworth, President of Walsworth Yearbooks”

People in the printing industry often say, “Ink gets in your blood,” and that couldn’t be truer for anyone than for Don Walsworth. The ink in his blood goes back three generations, when his grandfather started printing playbills during the Great Depression. The company’s current president shares the history of the company and a bit about his family and personal life, including his 13 years as a professional golfer.

  1. “Michael Simons, Corning-Painted Post High School, New York”

Jordan and Michael Simons became friends years ago when the adviser was still fairly new to yearbook. In this episode, the pair talk about their history together, Simons’ seemingly boundless energy to devote toward scholastic journalism, the fight for freedom of the press in New York schools and Simons’ own podcast, The Yearbook Whys.

  1. “Taking Over and Established Yearbook Program”

The first year as a yearbook adviser is already no easy task, but the pressure is turned up when you’re following in the footsteps of a legend. Jordan spoke to three advisers who took over from award-winning, beloved advisers – including the new adviser at his former school, Del Campo.

  1. “Leland Mallet, Legacy High School, Mansfield, Texas”

Under the helm of Leland Mallet, the scholastic journalism program at Legacy High School has thrived. They were the first online newspaper in the state of Texas, and the The Arena yearbook has won multiple national awards. Mallet shares how he built his journalism program from the ground up at a newly-built school, why and how he makes it home to his family at a decent time every night and how failing to build a waterbed led him to where he is now.

  1. “Lori Oglesbee on yearbooks, writing and life”

Although she’s recently retired from her 34-year teaching career, Lori Oglesbee isn’t done with writing or yearbooks. She’s still sharing her wealth of knowledge on writing, design and photography and how to teach these subject to students. Oglesbee’s Louisiana accent makes her already-entertaining stories even more enjoyable to hear as she and Jordan discuss life, good writing, how a clumsy dance partner broke her heart but lead her to yearbook, and the search for an elderly stranger’s high school yearbook.

Coming Up

Up next on Ask Mike, Taylor discusses storytelling with yearbook legend Bruce Watterson. In a special National Yearbook Week episode, he chats with Gary Lundgren, the Associate Director of the National Scholastic Press Association.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Yearbook Chat with Jim with David Graves of St. Thomas Episcopal, and his experience during and following Hurricane Harvey. After that, he’ll interview September Adviser of Note Courtney Hanks, of University High School in Orange City, Florida. This will be the first of an ongoing series, and Jordan will continue to check in with Hanks throughout her first year of advising.

Is there a yearbook story you believe needs to be told? Do you know someone who would be a great interview? Is there some piece of yearbook knowledge you’re missing and would like to hear in an upcoming episode? Let us know! You can always email us at, or find us on social media. Mike Taylor is on Twitter and Instagram at @yrbkmiketaylor (don’t forget #AskMike). You can find Jim Jordan on Twitter and Instagram at @yrbkJimJordan.

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Shiloh Scott

Shiloh Scott was the Digital Marketing Manager for Walsworth. They enjoy working in a variety of mediums, from print to broadcast to social media. Shiloh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.