2009 Yearbook Wins Top National Award


For 2009 yearbook editors Brittany Bayless and Carmen Londono, hearing all the compliments about last year’s yearbook  were enough. Working on last year’s yearbook was rewarding, and they even received a Legacy Bronco plaque for their hard work and dedication. However, they weren’t expecting to win one of the nation’s top awards six months later.

Columbia Scholastic Press Association  (CSPA) judges and critiques student yearbooks, magazines, newspapers and websites from all over the world. And after an intense judging process, the organization, housed at New York City’s Columbia University , determines the best-of-the-best – Crown Awards. Placing the 2009 yearbook in the top 33 high school yearbooks in the nation.

Brittany, Carmen and current yearbook editors got the call or Tweet from Mr. Mallett the first Tuesday of Christmas Break.

“I wish my yearbook editors would answer their phone, so I could tell them we WON A CROWN AWARD from Columbia!!! (no word on online yet)”

“I was checking the site looking for CSPA to announce online newspaper crowns,” Journalism Adviser Leland Mallett said.

After clicking on the link, Mr. Mallett began looking at Texas schools to see who had won a crown.

“I almost dropped my laptop when I saw Mansfield, Texas,” Mr. Mallett said. “I looked again. Then again. I was shaking.”

The Crown Award is not only the first for Legacy, it’s the first for Mallett.

“I always thought it was one of those things I’d never win,” Mr. Mallett said. “There are so many good publications out there.”

CSPA will host a convention during Spring Break to announce which schools won a Gold Crown or Silver Crown. But editors don’t care which it is.

“I’m just proud to win one,” Photo Editor Lauren Smith said. “I’m glad to get some recognition for the hard work everyone does on the yearbook.”

Like Mr. Mallett 2009 Editor-in-Chief Brittany Bayless, now attending college, was also surprised.

“The award is so unexpected but greatly appreciated,” she said. “No matter what I do, I can’t get away from yearbook! It’s following me even after high school. But it is such a huge honor to be recognized and the award is much deserved by the staff.”

Photo Editor Carmon Londono thinks it was a great pay off for good collaboration.

“It’s extremely rewarding knowing the teamwork throughout the process of compiling the year’s events earned us such an honorable award,” she said.

Mr. Mallett and editors plan to attend the convention in March to pick up the award.

“I’m hoping and guessing the administration will allow us to go to New York,” Mr. Mallett said. “It’s not only big for us in journalism, but for Legacy and MISD.”

Online crown awards should be announced in late January. If therideronline.com wins, it will be the first for Texas.

“We set a goal three years ago to be the first Texas school to win a national award for an online paper,” Mr. Mallett said. “I think we’re really close.”



Other Texas Schools Winning a Yearbook Crown Award (11 of 33)

Carillon, Bellaire High School, Bellaire, TX;
El Paisano, Westlake High School, Austin, TX;
Governor, John B. Connally High School, Austin, TX;
Hawk, Pleasant Grove High School, Texarkana, TX;
Hoofbeats, Burgess High School, El Paso, TX;
Marksmen, St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, TX;
Pride, Franklin High School, El Paso, TX;
The Arena, Mansfield Legacy High School, Mansfield, TX;
The Belltower, St. Thomas Episcopal School, Houston, TX;
The Bronco, McKinney Boyd High School, McKinney, TX;
The Lion, McKinney High School, McKinney, TX


See the full list of winners here

 To purchase a 2010 yearbook click here (deadline January 15)