Behind The Scenes of the Yearbook Advisory

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Der)

You’re probably wondering, “Who’s in charge of producing the yearbook and how is it all assembled by the end of the year?”

There is a great deal of planning, scheduling, and equal contribution involved.  Students must also be dedicated, making a two-year commitment to stay in the yearbook advisory.

I was a “first year” in the yearbook advisory last year and I’ve experienced it all.  There can be some procrastination in the advisory and I know what it feels like.  You have other work for other classes to do, and you’re more worried about that.  Although stress is a factor in the yearbook advisory, Mr. Duca, the yearbook advisor tries his best to make it stress-free for everyone.

At the start of the year, you’re given assignments, tasks, assigned jobs, and assigned positions.  My assigned position last year was the Academics page.  I was in a group with four other people and we all had our own jobs within the group.  We are taught what to use to create the yearbook, by using the main website,  We go through a tutorial to learn about different shapes, layouts, fonts, designs, etc.

One day, the manager from the Walsworth site came to visit us to talk about tutorials and how the site works.  After the presentation, Irene, Kathy, and myself worked on our Academics spreads/pages.  After learning what we needed to do and how everything worked, we were able to work on our pages with only a little help here and there from our editor in chief.  We all helped one another with our spreads and we were able to cooperate and work as a team to meet the deadline.  For instance, if I needed help adding a certain photo or text, Irene or Kathy would show me how to do it and would help me out.

We also learn quite a bit about photography, as there are people in the yearbook advisory who are required to take pictures throughout the entire year.  We take candid shots, teacher profile pictures, student hangouts, best friends, blood lines, advisories, clubs, sports, and so much more.  A lot of heart is put into making these pages and everyone contributes their part and their effort.

As a photographer for the advisories last year, Irene and I had to go to each advisory and take their picture, hoping that there was no one missing from their advisory.  We also had to schedule a day and time where we can take their advisory picture, and we had to make sure that everything was perfect about the picture.  The scenery, angle, lighting were all factors that had to work to make the picture look amazing and perfect.  Irene actually created a schedule and a list of each advisory that was assigned to each of us.  Irene and I would take turns taking pictures for the advisories and then uploading it to the Walsworth website.  It was quite cool actually because some of the freshmen knew me as I was taking their advisory picture.  They would say stuff like, “Oh my gosh!  Nick Der is taking our picture today!” or “Hey Nick!  How’s it going?”, and it just completely blew me away.  I had not known some of these freshmen and yet somehow, they knew me.  So, it was pretty awesome and very special to me to take pictures of different advisories because I got to meet a new group of people every time.

Many of the seniors in the advisory have enjoyed it and had a wonderful time creating the yearbook.  Joey Nguyen, a senior says, “It takes a lot of commitment and dedication to be in yearbook.  You have to stay committed to everything that you’re assigned and stay on top of your work.  Before you realize it, the work load can pile on real fast.”  Irene Tong, also a senior says, “I very much enjoyed it and just seeing everyone everyday is just amazing and cool.  When we’re in advisory, Mr. Duca is just likes us.  He can be silly and outrageous and it’s just crazy!”

Some of the current juniors, who are new to the advisory, learn from the seniors. Therefore, it’s also important that we keep up a role model attitude and teach them what we learned as juniors last year.

At the start of this school year, a few juniors needed help with creating their spreads and finding different layouts.  I saw a bunch of seniors taking the initiative to help out these juniors and support them the whole way by telling them that they can do it and that the seniors are always there if the juniors need any help with anything.

Once the first couple months kick in, everyone starts to get the hang of it and then it becomes a breeze.

For the first few months of yearbook advisory last year, everyone was scattering around and they were all over the place taking pictures, obtaining the necessary information for their particular spread, seniors section, senior polls, etc.  But after we have met our deadline, Mr. Duca is really relaxed over everything.  We can even have food parties in yearbook if we’ve completed all our required work for that deadline.  Then once the next few deadlines come, it starts to become a normal, usual thing.  You get used to the work required for you to complete and it just becomes a regular thing on a regular basis.

As long as you stay on top of your work and meet your deadlines, yearbook advisory will be fun and terrific.  Like I said earlier, Mr. Duca tries his best to make the advisory fun and stress-free, but productive at the same time.  It all starts off with one submitted page onto the Walsworth website, and then it just keeps growing and growing into a compilation of completed pages.  Before you know it, you will have a successfully created yearbook.

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