Michele Paolini

To any outsider, it appears that Michele has always been preparing for a yearbook career. She created a neighborhood newsletter at 11, interviewing the adults about their summer vacations and printing it on her father’s ditto machine in the garage. Eventually, she joined the yearbook staff at California High School in San Ramon (in the dark ages, using a typewriter and paste-up) and, with an English degree from the University of Southern California, Michele quickly launched into her teaching career at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego.

The 17 years in the classroom proved to be varied and allowed Michele opportunities to develop many skills that she still uses today. She served as the School Improvement Coordinator, created the school’s first Web Design class, taught AP English as well as Reading for Success, mentored first-year teachers in the BTSA program, and advised FreeFlight, the 500-plus page yearbook. Under her supervision, it won a Pacemaker, many Gold Crowns, and placed in the top 10 Best of Show at several JEA/NSPA conventions. Michele also served as president of San Diego JEA, helping organize the national JEA/NSPA convention in Anaheim and then working as chairperson for the San Diego national convention in 2003. During the summers she taught at Herff Jones Yearbook camps and judged for CSPA. She returned to Northern California and in 2007, joined the Varsity Yearbook (formerly Herff Jones Yearbooks) family.

Upon returning to the Bay Area, Michele felt she was “home at last.”  When not scrapbooking or hanging out with her husband and son, Michele can be found in her schools in San Jose and Milpitas as well as up the peninsula to Half Moon Bay. Whether she’s bringing donuts to a staff, teaching InDesign, or helping fix links on deadline day, Michele spends every day on the campus of those who looking for more help, training, or a sympathetic shoulder. Because of her past experiences in the classroom, Michele is a valuable asset to both new and veteran advisers.

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