2018 Derrick earns two firsts in national contest


Jonah Armstrong

2018 Adviser Jim Carnal, Co-editor Hunter Everson, and co-editor Carlos Margis show off the yearbook cover at the yearbook dedication and distribution last May.

Taft Union High School’s 2018 Derrick yearbook received a first place for overall excellence in the prestigious American Scholastic Press Association contest. The book was one of 19 in the 500-1,000 enrollment category to receive the honor.

More impressively, the book was one of six in its small school category and one of 19 in all high school categories to earn best theme.

The yearbook’s theme was “Our Town.” The cover photo was taken by Michael Antrim, the parent of a TUHS student. It was the first time a drone was used for the cover photo. Shot at dusk, the cover photo showed the main building in the foreground in front of the lit stadium and the Temblor Range in the background.

Editors were Hunter Everson and Carlos Margis. Jim Carnal was the adviser and this was his tenth and final yearbook because he retired in June. Carnal, who was a photojournalist with The Bakersfield Californian before he went into teaching, also was the adviser for Derricks that took first place every year from 2000 through 2006.

“The ‘Our Town’ theme fit like a glove,” Carnal said, “because juniors read the Thornton Wilder Pulitzer-Prize-winning play in English class and it is all about small-town life and its tight community ties.”

“Since this was my 10th book and very few students had any yearbook experience, we kept things simple and created a traditional yearbook. The staff worked hard to meet deadlines and really focused on taking excellent photos. Hunter was a topnotch editor.”

Co-editor Hunter Everson wrote the opening theme story titled, “Our School, Our Town: Life in small town captures spirit of America.” Everson, who was voted most athletic, wrote, “The people in our town are the best kind of people; they are the ones who come into your life and make you see the sun instead of the clouds, the kind who believe in you so much that you start to believe in yourself too.”  

Co-editor Carlos Margis worked alongside Everson. His death this past June was sudden, and he will forever be remembered in the pages of the TUHS Derrick, which he helped create. He was instrumental in training the staff for the 2019 edition and will be honored at the distribution of this year’s book. Margis’s legacy lives on with this year’s editor-in-chief, McKenlee Wescott who said, “Carlos taught me everything I know about yearbook. How to edit, how to stay motivated through stressful deadlines and, most of all, how to never give up. He was always there for anyone even if you just needed a hug. He believed in me even when I didn’t. As co-editor last year, he worked so hard to make the yearbook the best it could be. Everything he did was for his fellow students. This yearbook has been very difficult to put together without him, but I know he is always there while I’m working. He was my yearbook buddy and he always will be.”

The 2019 Derrick may be purchased at the high school business office for $70 with an ASB sticker, $75 without. Prices will increase in May. There are also limited copies available of the 2018 edition, “Our Town.”