At the end of each school year, students receive their yearbooks, full of memories, and celebrate the accomplishments and experiences they’ve had in the past year, eagerly looking forward to the summer ahead. But, what many students receiving the yearbook may not realize is that there is a group of over a dozen dedicated students working hard throughout the entire school year focused on designing, editing, and writing content for the yearbook.
There are five total major deadlines for the yearbook throughout the school year, the most recent one being in December. Before each deadline, there is what is called “Deadline Week,” where the fourteen students in the yearbook staff spend their lunchtimes, after school, and a significant portion of their free time working hard on meeting the deadlines due at the end of the week.
Yearbook Advisor and Publications Teacher Rhiannon West said yearbook can be very stressful right before deadlines, but it is a more relaxed atmosphere right after deadlines.
West said that after the deadline the yearbook team has time to relax and take it easy.
Editor-in-Chief Maya Bajpai is responsible for making sure all deadlines are met and completed. Time between deadlines varies, and Bajpai said “during our shorter deadlines, some people may have two spreads [four pages] to complete in less time and so they need to focus more.”
In the past four years that Bajpai has been on the yearbook staff, the staff has not once missed a deadline. The staff is very organized and focused, with yearbook editors leading groups of members in various parts of the yearbook, such as design or photos.
The staff also has miniature deadlines before major ones, allowing for work to be better organized and aggregated. The staff is split into yearbook members and yearbook editors, where yearbook editors are responsible for completing certain parts of the yearbook with a team of members.
West said the yearbook editors and members create a very constructive environment when working towards deadlines.
“When one person’s having a rough week, oftentimes [someone] offers to step in and help out,” she said.
Bajpai also said the staff is hard-working and organized in terms of the editors managing deadlines and responsibilities.
“The editors put in a lot of work and we make sure that our team is staying on top of things,” she said.
While the yearbook staff may be very focused and working hard on building a yearbook that students love, they also have a lot of fun together.
After each major deadline, there is a tradition of the yearbook staff going out to the high street. There is a designated DJ (staff member Lily Fousse) who plays music during every class.
Speaking about these traditions, Bajpai said “we try and make it as lighthearted as possible, we have music playing, we chat, but we’re still focused at the same time.”
The yearbook staff also has an annual tradition of having a “gathering” outside of school. Last year, they played ultimate frisbee in the park.
West, having been yearbook advisor for many years, said “we’re like a big family.”