By Shania Kuo
It’s almost the end of the school year, and while other clubs are continuing with their activities as normal, or wrapping them up, one club has kicked production to an all-time high. Yearbook Club is a club that works continuously from the beginning of the year to the end. For seniors, the yearbook is a memento of their memories made in high school; this book will be used for reflection in the future after students depart for college and future careers.
The staff of Yearbook Club is rarely acknowledged. Most people only see them as photographers at school events such as the pep rally and sports games. However, photography is only scratching the surface of the work the Yearbook staff does. The other magic happens late at night when students hunch over a computer to find the most appealing photos of students and piece together the pages of the yearbook.
My first experience as a member of the Yearbook staff was two years ago. I was an 8th grader and my sister, Sienna Kuo, was the Co-Editor-in-Chief at the time, alongside Emma Devereaux. That year, the former Vice Principal, Mr. Imperial, was in charge of the yearbook, and I had the chance to see and experience the stress that came with meeting deadlines and experiencing technology troubles. Not to mention the thought that went into layout planning. As an 8th grader, I did not have much experience back then. So while I did not fully experience the stresses, I saw the state of stress my sister was in as deadlines neared.
Speaking of deadlines, they fly by quickly and so does time at meetings. Students have to work hard at home to make sure pages are completed and we do not fall behind. Deadlines can be tough to make when students have communication issues with each other. Jodi Yeh stated that the hardest part was, “definitely taking the photos to meet deadlines. Oftentimes we found ourselves in a bad spot for action shots of sports, and it was extremely stressful with the approaching due dates.”
For that reason, it is almost impossible for a smooth start to finish. Whether we like to admit it or not, students and even teachers, like to procrastinate as part of human nature, and that makes it difficult for the Yearbook staff. Compromises constantly have to be made, and the staff has to deal with a wave of complaints and hurdles all the time.
However, that is why Yearbook has some of the brightest students as staff members. Members include Laura Angelone, Rosalie Coschignano, Jack Casey, Jed Kaiser, Robert Morris, and Jodi Yeh. The Yearbook staff has many brilliant minds that can figure out problems and make a bad situation better.
However, without a figurehead spearheading all of the yearbook activity, it would be impossible to communicate. This year and last year, Ms. Velez has taken on the task of the Oyster Bay Yearbook Supervisor, and with her guidance, the staff has been able to keep on task. When asked about what she struggled with during her two-year term, she stated, “The biggest challenge was creating a photography schedule. The students of Oyster Bay High School are so talented and involved in the school that they are very busy. Most of the yearbook members were also athletes, so trying to find someone who was available would occasionally become a struggle.”
The job of yearbook supervisor and staff member is stressful, especially with the current lack of staff. However, I do not regret coming back to Yearbook. When I was in 9th grade, I was afraid of joining yearbook because I did not think I would not have the time to attend the meetings. Now that I am a 10th grader and I have a handle on how to manage time better, I decided to rejoin Yearbook. If I am going to be completely honest, I love doing it. Computer work is not my favorite activity, but I love being able to assist in designing the yearbook.
People are always talking about how very few people read what the staff writes, and students go straight to the photograph sections. However, those pictures are work that the staff has compiled together. Whether people read what the staff writes or not is up to them, but it is only a part of all the effort that has gone into the book. The fact that people have taken the time to acknowledge the photos themselves shows that people appreciate the effort made by the Yearbook staff and all the days they invested into creating a physical manifestation of memories.
The year is coming to an end, and soon most of the Yearbook staff will be graduating. These graduating seniors will leave behind a huge role for Jodi Yeh to fill, but we will be able to prevail. To Jodi Yeh, Ms. Velez leaves a note of encouragement:
You have all the attributes of an amazing Editor-in-Chief. This current yearbook was brought to life with your incredible layout designs and photography. You understand the importance of a deadline, and you have shown an admirable drive to complete this book despite the other various activities you play a large role in. You will be the backbone to next year's yearbook. Stay persistent, stay motivated, stay you.
I am so proud of you,
Next year will be the start of a new year of work, but for now, it is important to focus on our accomplishments. This year we ended on a high note, and we congratulate those who invested their time into recording the year’s memories.