Yearbook Class: Behind The Scenes

A yearbook lets you look back on and relive cherished memories from your school years after you have graduated. It can further help new students by acting as a window to what the school is about, its values, and whether or not it’s a good fit for the student. It is easily one of the most important aspects of any high school. J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate boasts beautiful yearbooks each year which students can keep as a souvenir. Every year, the team responsible for the yearbook is the Yearbook Class, a talented group of students led by none other than Ms. Szeto!

I have had the opportunity to work with the yearbook staff for the past two years myself, first as a copy editor and then as a layout editor! I had to work quite efficiently. I was setting meeting times with multiple groups at once, constantly communicating with my teams to submit a specific page within a certain deadline, and reflecting upon my work every week to identify skills we need to work on. It’s the closest I have ever been to a real job at a graphic design company.

However, it was nothing compared to the challenge the class was presented with this year. With the pandemic going on and the school on the brink of going online again, the yearbook class was incredibly demanding and stressful. Nevertheless, thanks to the endless dedication and passion of the team members that worked tirelessly throughout the semester and the teachers and mentors looking over the class, the Yearbook team created yet another magnificent yearbook for us to cherish! It takes a lot of work and new, talented students join the class every year. 

Personally, I joined the class in the past out of curiosity. I wanted to know how a yearbook was made and what went on behind the curtains. Additionally, I wanted to practice my communication skills since it is crucial in the Yearbook class and a single mistake can greatly influence the entire process. That being said, each and every individual is different, with varying mindsets and reasonings.  

Shyanne Brown, from Grade 12, says they joined the class “to experience something new. Also for my career that I chose to pursue.” Samantha Cole wanted to explore the photography and journalism side of things. These are all great reasons to join the team. The class is a really good introduction to the graphic design industry and is an amazing starting point for a design career. Additionally, writing and photography are very important aspects of the yearbook that are often overlooked. 

“You are never working alone,” noted Kennedy Martin, the layout editor of the team, who believes the most important part of the Yearbook class is teamwork. “You’re always with someone working in assigned pages and if you’re higher up on the ladder you’re working with everyone.” This is a noteworthy point. It’s impossible for a single person to make an entire yearbook all by themselves. It takes a great deal of effort from every member of the team to create a yearbook from scratch.

The yearbook class faces new challenges every year but hardworking students overcome these obstacles each year. This also shows how the Yearbook class can be fun for almost everyone, even if they don’t have any experience in graphic design. From simple tasks like writing articles and taking photos to more complex aspects like creating layouts and signing off on other people’s work, there’s always something students can help with!