Yearbook Creates Lifelong Memories For All

Yearbook Creates Lifelong Memories For All

Sandra Sadek

The Yearbook, the most anticipated book of the year. The only one that students willingly pull out and are proud of showing it off. Trapped in the pages are pictures, designs, captions and memories of some of the best times in high school.

But before the final product is sold, a group of dedicated students willingly give their time towards producing a lifelong memory book. This year’s editors for the yearbook include junior Ashton Templeton and senior Alexis Garcia, who have been a part of the staff for several years now and are familiar with the creation of it.

“The best part about making the yearbook probably has to be getting to see everyone’s reaction to it once it’s been produced. You go through the whole year creating pages, interviewing, taking photos and then at the end of the year you get to see the product in your hand. It’s amazing. You get to see everybody else carrying it around. People pull it out in class, they go through all the pages. You get some criticism which you take and use for next year, but you also get to see them appreciate the work that you’ve been doing all year,” said Garcia.

Making the yearbook requires planning and organizing a year ahead to ensure the maximum production time. The staff starts off by creating an overall theme for the book, along with some design guidelines and ideas the year before. Over the summer, the editors meet up to create the ladder, a page-by-page layout of the entire yearbook that will serve as the guideline for the whole year. Staff members are then assigned several pages which they will have to write for and design.

The theme for the 2016-2017 yearbook is called Our Story, an interactive and personalized book that emphasizes all of the little memories acquired throughout the year. The main features of the yearbook are the doodles and the ‘fill in the blank’ spots, located throughout the pages.

“We just wanted to make it really personalized. It’s about your experience here at Tompkins, how did we get through this year together, all the stuff that everyone loves. A lot of the design inspiration comes from coloring books which are really popular. We are trying to have something fun and interactive. It kind of brings you back to being a kid again,” said Templeton.

The success of the yearbook at Tompkins over the years can be attributed to the amazing teamwork and dependence that exists among the staff members. Accomplishing this enormous project is quite a workload. However, everyone can count on one another to get things done properly and on time.

“We are constantly helping each other out. If someone needs to get an interview but does not have the time or does not have the ability to get it, another person will be like ‘hey, I can totally get that for you’ or if a photo needs to be taken and someone has a class with the person then they will go out of their way to help the person get the photo that they need for their page. Everyone helps with everything,” said Garcia.

Creating great and successful yearbooks also come at high costs. The average production cost to make this book is $72,000. The yearbook is not funded by the school, so therefore all profits made from sales and ads are used. This is why it is imperative that the yearbook is appealing and well-liked among the students and staff.

”Of course, we always want to increase sales and make sure that more people are buying yearbooks. We just want everyone to like it and that is turns out really well. We want to be proud of it and maybe win some awards, that’s always good,” said Templeton.

Many members of the yearbook staff have been participating in the amazing task of creating lifelong books of memories for several years, including Garcia and Templeton. For some, yearbook is a one-time extracurricular activity to get involved in school; for others, its part of their life and their future dreams and aspirations, something they want to continue pursuing for years to come.

“I love yearbook. Yearbook has been my life since the 7th grade. I just love the design aspect, writing, and just creating a product that I’m really proud of. I really want to do something with my life that involves design and a lot of the elements that we use in yearbook,” said Templeton.

But most importantly, yearbook’s lasting impact on its staff are the strong bonds that emerge between the members, some which will go on, even after high school.

“Yearbook has made me realize how important working with other people is because I’ve been doing it for so many years and I’ve built so many relationships within the class. We all work so hard to accomplish everything and that involves working together and I feel that it’s taught me how important it is to build these relationships, something that is strong, relationships you can depend on because things get tough, but we are always able to be there to support each other,” said Garcia.