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Capturing Memories and School History

Yearbook staff works to record the spirit of west through writing and photography
Meg Barnum
Zoe Phend works on editing pages of this year’s yearbook

  It’s that time of year, where the yearbook students are snapping action shots and grabbing catchy quotes to make the last yearbook seniors will take home to reminisce about their high school years. This book gives students a chance to show off school spirit and capture memorable moments for family and friends to see later on in life. 

  “This year there was a lot of turnover with new people so I’ve done a lot with trying to teach people and run the class. We’ve taken on a lot of responsibility, myself and Meg, the other editor-in-chief, and it’s been super stressful but super fun, and I love it,” senior and editor-in-chief Zoe Phend said.

  Now of course, the process to make such special books isn’t always easy. The yearbook staff has strict deadlines and guidelines when it comes to editing. 

  “We obviously check for all the grammar issues but it’s interesting because [the] yearbook has different grammar styles than writing a regular English paper,” said Phend.

  The decision to see who becomes editor-in-chief is decided through a class vote at the end of the year. 

  “[We vote] before the seniors leave, that way everybody gets an opinion on it. We write a speech, give it to the class and vote on them,” senior and editor-in-chief Meg Barnum said.

  An editor-in-chief is typically in charge of deciding who designs, writes and edits a particular spread based on different criteria. 

  “Sometimes we will ask people what kind of topics they’re interested in covering, and sometimes we’ll give people their first choices, but other times it’s kind of based off [of] the content of each deadline and the difficulty levels of each spread,” Phend said. 

  An editor’s job mainly consists of creating a design, writing captions for the corresponding photos and taking said pictures for the theme of the spread. They also often do interviews of people who are seen most clearly in the picture. On the other hand, an editor-in-chief is in charge of overseeing the selection process and reviewing the photos and making sure everything said is accurate and has been consented to. Both Barnum and Phend explained that photo consent is required for taking and publishing shots of those featured.

  Alternating between devoted athletes, passionate artists, gifted musicians and excelling students for interviews and feature photos, the yearbook staff has plenty of options as to who they decide. Regardless, they have a routine they follow to ensure fairness. 

  “Similar to interviews, [it] depends on content of the pages. For example, [for] football I usually take a lot of the sports photos. We try to take a lot of action shots and student section photos. We do the main people in those photos but we try to not do the same people 100 times, we try to mix it up a little bit every time,” said Barnum. 

  As far as developing themes for the book goes, it is a group decision and they all create their own spreads and ideas for a theme as the book is due by March and each present their proposals at the end of the year for the following year before seniors leave.

  “Each person in the class comes up with their own themes and create[s] a practice cover, regular spreads, specialty spread, a bunch of design elements and as a class we vote on our favorite theme. So funny story about our current theme, nobody could decide. So my theme along with another group’s themes were tied, so we combined them to make our current theme,” said Phend. 

  The editorial staff members’ experiences range from as little as this being their first year, or as long as 4 years such as Morgan Fortin for example.

  In the end, regardless of the often stressful times, Barnum, Phend and Fortin say it is worth it.

  “I would definitely say there is a bigger workload especially for me and Zoe. I know there is a new advisor this year so that’s a part of it and I know [Melissa] Clone did a ton of work last year, I feel that Zoe and I are having to step up a lot this year. But I really like yearbook overall, I think its great,” said Barnum.

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About the Contributor
Emilia Shoemaker
Emilia Shoemaker, Social Media Manager
Emilia is a Senior and in her second year of newspaper. She chose to take this class because she wants to minor in journalism in the future and it's overall an awesome class to take in order to learn about life skills. Emilia is a reporter and social media manger. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis and hanging out with family and friends. 

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