PV sweeps the floor at Iowa’s All-State Journalism Conference


Kelly Brewer

The home page of The Spartan Shield and The first Pleasant Valley Yearbook to win the title of “Yearbook of the Year.”

Kelly Brewer, Social Media Manager

Pleasant Valley’s journalism program swept the competition at The Iowa High School Press Association’s (IHSPA) virtual conference that took place from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22.

Five finalists were selected to be IHSPA’s All Iowa News Team of the Year. Along with The Spartan Shield, Iowa City High, Mount Vernon, Hudson and Iowa City West were chosen. These five high schools are Iowa’s top journalism programs from the 2019-2020 school year. 

To qualify for the All Iowa News Team of the Year title, each journalism program was required to submit three complete issues of a spring edition, fall edition, editor’s choice and their website. Judges then reviewed all submissions to determine the top five.

Maureen Dyer, the journalism teacher at PV, expressed her gratitude after the virtual conference on Facebook. “Couldn’t be prouder of the incredible work that comes out of our newsroom,” she said. Dyer then continued to show her excitement for the awards by saying, “I didn’t need affirmation that my students are amazing, but those giant flags sure are nice to look at each day.”

Along with the recognition of The Spartan Shield, PV’s yearbook received First Place in the Yearbook of the Year competition for the first time ever. The yearbook was entered in the Class B category. Liberty High followed in second and Davenport North followed in third.

990 entries were reviewed by judges in individual categories, including cover, design and advertising. Each entry was given a score in every category and totaled up at the end to reveal PV’s yearbook earning 118 points. 

According to yearbook editor-in-chief Ella Litchfield, the yearbook takes a significant amount of dedication from the staff. “In order to make the yearbook, our team dedicates a lot of their time and creativity in forming innovative and captivating ideas,” said Litchfield.

These achievements are celebrated by The Spartan Shield and Yearbook staff. “I am extremely proud of our team, and I can speak for all of us when I say it feels very rewarding to be recognized with such a distinguished title for our creative efforts,” Litchfield continued. 

Pleasant Valley honors the journalism program’s achievements and hopes to continue being presented with such incredible awards.