The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Behind the Scenes: The Yearbook Staff’s Journey

Jackson Reuter
Advisor Shetye Cypher and Co-head of the Talon Radhiyah Oladepo share a laugh while talking. The Talon has spent months diligently crafting and editing the yearbook for the 2023 – 2024 school year.

Working silently yet diligently year-round, the yearbook staff captures moments and memories so students can reflect on them. Stringing together words to narrate stories and create spread designs, the yearbook staff enjoys bringing experiences to life that add essence to the year. They attempt to weave a narrative that resonates with the students. Each carefully chosen photograph and carefully crafted word strives to transcend the ordinary limits and transform the yearbook into a spirited mosaic of shared experiences, ensuring that every page carries a vital essence to make a lasting impression on the students. Senior Radhiyah Oladepo, co-head of the yearbook staff, enjoys the creative environment.  

“I wanted to join the yearbook because it was an opportunity for me to grow in graphic design and journalism,” said Oladepo. “I enjoy having the ability to be creative while capturing memories from the school year.”  

Oladepo’s most memorable experience was going on a Boston trip earlier this year. She got the opportunity to become closer with the other staff members, explore the city and meet other journalism students from around the country. While Oladepo appreciates the incredible memories she has made, there are times when she faces struggles making the yearbook.  

“Our goal every year is to make sure we can get as many students as we can in the book so everyone feels included and can look back and see themselves on a page other than just their yearbook picture,” said Oladepo. “This can be a challenge because when getting interviews we have to double-check to make sure the person is not used too many times.”  

Assignments are divided between the whole staff for a deadline. Depending on what pages they have, some staff members could have up to three spreads at a time. Oladepo likes to plan out her pages and everything she has to do to get it done by the final day. It is easy for her to get distracted and procrastinate, and since everyone is self-paced, the editors like to check up on each other to make sure the staff can turn in their spreads on time. 

“When it comes to assignments, each person has their own that they need to complete, but we usually end up helping each other out and working together when needed. If anyone has news, an interview or a quote we ask each other for advice or recommendations before anyone else,” said Oladepo.  

“Our theme for this year, ripples, was designed last year by one of our former co editors in chief, Georgia,” said Oladepo.  

When developing a theme, the yearbook staff focuses on something that fits the theme of the whole book including the title, headlines, cover, folio, spreads and other little graphic design elements. Oladepo works with senior Jada Washington, co-head of the yearbook staff, and enjoys the class because it allows her to show off her creativity through specialty spreads. Washington also feels the environment the members have created contributes to the enjoyment of the class.  

“At the end of each year or during the summer, we create a ladder with all the page numbers, figure out specialty spreads and put them on different pages,” said Washington. “Then our teacher decides who gets to do each spread as well as set the due dates.”  

After finishing the yearbook in March, Washington feels extremely relieved because it is a memorable experience to have with the yearbook crew. Another reason she loves handing out the yearbook is to show off her hard work throughout the year. A piece of advice Washington has for the incoming yearbook crew is to make sure to do assignments on time, avoid procrastination (especially for specialty spreads), and ask for help from peers.  

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About the Contributor
Shriya Rajagopalan
Shriya Rajagopalan, Editor the Nestline
Shriya Rajagopalan is a senior in high school and is currently co-head of the Nestline and social media manager. Shriya has been part of the staff since sophomore year and continued do to her unwavering love for writing. She loves writing and plans to minor in journalism in college. Her future aspirations include majoring in neuroscience. She loves spending time with family, friends and her dog.

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