For the second consecutive year, the VHS yearbook was awarded Top of Class, the highest honor given, at SDHSAA High School Press Day held on the SDSU campus in October.
The yearbook entitled Color Me Red was also recognized with an All-State Award. Rankings are given based on a point system that includes criteria on unifying concept, coverage, writing, photography, design, and reader services. Books that earn a minimum of 900 points on a 1,000 point scale are ranked an All-State publication. Top of Class is awarded to the school whose yearbook received the most points regardless of the school's student enrollment. Vermillion's yearbook received 960 points.
This year's judge, who resides in Texas, said, "Impressive book – it's clear the pride the staff takes in producing a book they and their school can be proud of."
"To win Top of Class against the AA schools like those in Sioux Falls or Brookings is a quite an accomplishment. We have been entering our book since 2008, and I cannot recall any A school that has done this," yearbook adviser Cindy Heckenlaible said.
Senior Mikaela French, co-editor of the yearbook this year, attended the event in Brookings. "[Winning] makes us hold ourselves to higher standards. We realize we need to put in more time because we want to get this again."
Heckenlaible, who has been entering the yearbook in the state competition since 2008, said the yearbooks have been ranked All-State every year.
"I take the suggestions for improvement very seriously and use those to guide the staff to improve the next book with the goal of winning this event. It's nice when experts in the field recognize our efforts," Heckenlaible said.