On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Smoky Hill Summit yearbook won the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pacemaker Award for the 2014 yearbook, “You may not see it but, yeah, this is happening,” at the National High school Journalism convention held in Denver.
This award wrapped up a phenomenal, national winning season for the Summit staff. In addition to the Pacemaker, the Summit also won First Place in the NSPA Best-In-Show competition and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown Award - the first Gold Crown in the history of Smoky Hill High School.
These three awards, considered the trifecta of yearbook awards, are the most and highest awards a single yearbook can win in one year. This is the first time Smoky Hill has ever won all three of these awards in the same year. In fact, there is no record of any high school in Colorado ever winning all these awards in the same year.
Additionally, the journalism staffs of Smoky Hill - the Summit yearbook, NEXT magazine, and SmokyNow.com online news - were honored with the First Amendment Press Freedom Award from the Journalism Education Association.
Locally, the yearbook won many First Place awards in the Colorado High School Press Association Best of Colorado contest for individual photos and writing and the entire book was honored as an All-Colorado yearbook by the same organization, its highest award.
The receipt of these awards gives the Smoky Hill High School Summit yearbook the designation as the best in the nation.
The Smoky Hill Summit yearbook is entirely student-produced by 35 students ranging from freshmen to seniors, led by alumnus Editor-In-Chief Hunter Kennah in 2014. They take the photos, interview their subjects, write copy, design layouts and edit final products all while managing a staff of their peers.