Yearbook deserves more resources, recognition


Art by Andrea Giacomini

When filling out my senior class schedule, yearbook was one of the few classes I knew for sure I wanted to take. I waited until my final year of high school, when my schedule would allow me to delve into electives I was passionate about.

I knew I’d have to learn about the software and graphic design, but I was up for the challenge. I was well aware that the task of Editor-in-Chief required dedication, time management, and diligence, but I knew that the final product would be something I could look back on with pride. I wanted to create something special—something representative of my senior class—and I knew that the experience would be incredibly rewarding.

But what I didn’t know was how invisible the entire process is to the rest of the school. I didn’t understand how much went on behind the scenes. Buying a yearbook doesn’t seem to be a priority, and very little emphasis is placed on the work we do.

I tried to establish more of a democracy, an interaction between the administrators, teachers, students, and yearbook staff. But student voice is difficult to obtain when the yearbook isn’t given the recognition it deserves.

All I ask is to be treated with greater respect. I ask for more representation and more involvement. I do so because we are actively contributing members to our school who work to ensure that this yearbook encapsulates our community.

We create something that will forever hold a special place in your heart. And we deserve to be treated as such.

When I look back at high school, I won’t remember that one terrible chemistry quiz or the history homework I spent hours doing. I’ll remember the moments filled with laughter, joy, and unforgettable memories—memories that the yearbook captures and stores for safe keeping.

I’ll remember the dances, the basketball games, the clubs, the types of clothes we used to wear, the projects, field trips, and rallies. I’ll remember the friendships I formed and the people who helped make these past four years so memorable.

I want us to look back in 10, 20, 50 years from now and laugh at the senior quotes and connect with old friends. I want this to act as a time capsule—250 pages full of the 2017-2018 year.

That is difficult to do when the yearbook staff is largely ignored during meetings between staff and leaders of student organizations. We aren’t able to work with others to produce something we can all us for reminiscence.

It is difficult to execute the perfect photograph when we are constantly scrambling for a camera. It is difficult to spread the word when we aren’t given a platform to engage with the student body.

So often the recognition we receive comes in the form of criticism. I want to fix every mistake, communicate with students about what they like and dislike, and incorporate ideas from every grade level.

But oftentimes the yearbook is forgotten about until distribution day in June.

If we turned that criticism into collaboration, imagine the improvements we could make. The energy we waste struggling with communication and advertisement should be spent perfecting every image and proofreading every caption.

Yearbook may only be an elective, but it deserves appreciation. It deserves a rightful place at this school. It deserves to be more than just a cramped classroom at the tail end of the fourth corridor.

If we are devoting countless extracurricular hours to working on spreads, our voices certainly deserve more weight than they are currently given.

Nevertheless, we continue to work hard and overcome obstacles to publish the book that is symbolic of our high school journey. I take photos, write captions, attend events, and reach out because even after we all go our separate ways, the yearbook will be our connection to each other.

I only hope that we can obtain the resources and recognition to equate that.