Yearbook: The best life prep course is a “BLUR”
The yearbook staff at Prescott High School was buzzing with nervous excitement. The midnight blue gradient yearbook, full of action-filled, colorful photos was a big project for the Hassayamper staff. Their task was to complete volume number 109 and continue the tradition of yearbook at PHS.
“Yeah, I’m nervous,” said Jack Ramsay, editor-in-chief. “I’m worried they won’t like the book. That anxiety — it’s all in my head. What working on the yearbook has taught me is that being attentive, whether listening to other people and what they have to say or watching what is going on around you, will be a key asset to any career you’re in. Your attention to detail will always give you the upper hand,” says Ramsay, who will attend ERAU next fall and studying Cyber Security and Computer Engineering.
Ramsay and the rest of the 20 student yearbook staff spent the morning of May 8 patiently counting the seconds before the book they had worked on for more than 1,500 hours was distributed to the student body during lunch.
“I just hope that we covered all the events so that students can look back in 20 years and realize we did this year and this yearbook justice,” said Clifford Robbins, one of the co-editors. “Personally, I know I did my best. I also learned that I was required to do things whether I had the time to do them or not. I liked being in control of what gets into the book based on what was asked of the staff to do. Without our pictures of the homecoming game, how would anyone know it even happened?” Robbins plans to attend Yavapai College in the fall. While his major is undecided, he does know that he will be taking Photoshop and photography classes.
Distribution is definitely a mixed feeling event. Staff is excited about finally being able to present their book to the students, yet nervous about the criticism they know they will likely receive. “Somewhere in there, we know someone’s name is misspelled,” said co-editor Alexis Grasso. “We check, and double check, but still miss someone.” Grasso joined the staff sophomore year. “Up until that time, I was a bit of a loner. Being on the yearbook staff taught me, for the first time, about being part of a team. Showing up for the team and working together to create something we could all be proud of was a lasting life lesson for me.” Alexis has enlisted in the Navy where she will be studying nursing.
The hardest lesson to learn is knowing that they can’t please everyone. Unlike most students, the yearbook staff is selling their homework for everyone to see and judge. Knowing that their work isn’t perfect, they are still proud of their creation.
“The time has come for the yearbook to shine!” says Ramsay. “Distribution is a nervous but exciting moment for the staff and me. We want books to sell and people to be sharing photos and stories with one another. After all, that is what the yearbook does best! We tell the year’s best story.”
Each year, high school students gain 21st-century skills, knowledge, and confidence working on the yearbook staff that helps prepare them for college and their career after. Each of these students can honestly say there were times they both hated and loved yearbook at the same time. “It was stressful and annoying at times, but honestly, it was almost always the greatest part of my day,” says photo editor Lucy Larrondo-Ramirez, who plans to attend YC and study nursing. “Working on the yearbook, which is part of the Digital Communications CTE program, was an escape from the real world,” says Larrondo-Ramirez. This program is a place where students could tune out student life and design a layout, write copy, and reflect on that year’s events through pictures.