The Yearbook Staff Strives to Keep Memories Alive

By Lauren Richards –

Hard work, commitment, talent…No we’re not talking about a sport, we’re talking about yearbook.

A lot of work goes into creating the yearbook for Penn Manor High School. Having a superior yearbook requires an experienced, talented staff. But what happens when year after year, the number of students in the yearbook staff dwindles? The lack of students joining yearbook is becoming a concern and this has the potential to jeopardize the quality of the yearbook.

“This semester we only have four people on staff,” said senior Lyta Ringo.

Ringo has been on the yearbook staff since her sophomore year. She said that the submission of the book this year was almost a month late.

Eric Bear, editor-in-chief of the yearbook for the current school year, admits he is worried about what will happen next year.

“As of right now, there are no seniors for next year,” Bear said.

It seems that one of the main reasons students aren’t interested in joining yearbook is because all of the work that it requires.

“It’s a lot of work and I don’t like working with computers,” senior Sam Adams said.

The list of programs you need knowledge of when working on putting together the yearbook is extensive. Bear said he frequently works with Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, Apple  OS, Jostens Yearbook Avenue OS, Folios, COBS and even more.

Doug Anderson, teacher of the yearbook class, said that even the application process can be troubling for students. For the application students need letters of recommendation from teachers and they also have to write an essay.

Print screen of Eric Bear's computer while working on the yearbook.

Because of all the work they do, the yearbook staff has to be dedicated and willing to give up a lot of their own personal time.

“I think it’s hard work for the individuals involved, especially for students who take it extremely serious. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work,” Anderson said.

“It’s a lot of commitment. It’s a lot of personal time taken out. It takes a certain type of person to succeed on the yearbook staff,” Bear said.

Taylor Smith said, “I never did yearbook because it seemed like too much work.”

Ringo said that students who took yearbook in middle school had fun with it, but when they get to high school it’s stressful.

Luckily several qualified freshman are expecting to be joining the yearbook staff next year.

“There are more applicants for next year than there were last year. There were only three freshman last year,” Anderson said.

But that doesn’t completely make up for the fact that there’s going to be no experienced seniors like there are now. One has to wonder, what does this mean for the future of the yearbook?

“We had a lot of people fill out applications for yearbook next year, some got turned down. Hopefully it will be better,” Ringo said.

“The staff will be fine next year, but I think the book will be very plain-jane design wise, but not in a bad way,” Bear said.

So while Bear doesn’t think there’s much concern for next year, he admits that it will be tough for the staff to put in as much work as he has.

“To complete the amount of work I do takes the manpower of four people,” Bear said.

Bear also has another theory, other than the hard work, to explain why students haven’t been joining yearbook. He said that in the course selection book the class is labeled as Creative Publications, rather than yearbook. Bear thinks students get confused when they can’t find a class labeled as yearbook, and instead they join the club thinking they’ll get to do the same things they would in the class.

Bear admits that being on the yearbook staff, especially editor-in-chief, is a lot of work. However, he feels it is well worth it and thinks if people would join the staff they would learn to love it.

“Most people who start yearbook continue with it for the rest of high school. Once you start it you can’t stop, you become a yearbook junkie,” Bear said.

2 thoughts on “The Yearbook Staff Strives to Keep Memories Alive”

  1. I never buy a yearbook because it goes against my principles as a devote socialist/semi-communist.

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