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Memories Forever: Yearbook Staff Collaborates to Compile Year in Review

Lila Epstein ’10

CHRONICLING MEMORIES: Jen Abrams ’11, along with the rest of the yearbook staff around her, crafts pages in the yearbook. The staff meets after school every day to take photos and compile a year’s worth of information. | Photo by Lila Epstein '10

Years into the future, when Staples students want to relive a school dance, reminisce about a notable sporting event, or remind themselves of one of their friends or classmates, they will refer to “The Stapelite,” the school yearbook. However, compiling memories of the clubs, athletics, and academics at Staples is no easy feat. Putting together the yearbook keeps a dedicated staff working all year round.

The Production

The yearbook consists of over 400 pages with separate deadlines throughout the year.

“For example, right after we come back from winter break we have 72 pages due which we are doing from the Senior and Academic sections,” Editor–in–Chief Rosie Levenson ’11 said.

To meet these deadlines, the staff has to spend many afternoons putting everything together.

“We usually stay until about 4 p.m. every day or at least four days a week. Sometimes we stay later. Around our deadlines we may have to stay later until we finish all of our work,” Arts and Academics editor Jen Abrams ’11 said.

The yearbook is split up into several sections such as Sports, Arts, Academics, Seniors and Upperclassmen, and each section has its own separate editors.

“Being an editor on the yearbook staff is not only having to manage your own sections, photos, articles and graphics for our deadlines but also managing and helping everyone else out with their own sections,” Levenson said.

The Challenges

One trial that the yearbook staff was confronted with this year was an abrupt change in leadership.

“We had already chosen Maanvi Mittal [’10] to be our Editor[–in–Chief] for the 2009-2010 year, but right before the school year came to a close she found out she was moving back to California for her senior year,” Levenson said.

As a result, Levenson and Adele Shenoy ’11 became Editors–in–Chief, which was an unexpected surprise because the chief is usually a senior. The staff now, consisting predominantly of juniors, does not have older students to instruct them.

“Last year the seniors gave us jobs and told us what to do each day. This year we were just handed our positions and at first we didn’t know how to use InDesign [the computer program the staff uses],” sports and KD Devoll ’11, editor of the Senior and the Sports sections, said.

While the staff members have adjusted and are now proficient in InDesign, they sometimes have trouble filling in content before deadlines, simply because they are dependent on others for content.

“It was really hard meeting deadlines because for a lot of the pages, we had to rely on other people,” Shenoy said. “Getting quotes to put on pages, for example, was really hard, but was necessary for the deadlines.”

Underclassman and Sports editor Andrea Stefenson ’11 agrees that at times it is hard to get other people to submit material such as photos of themselves to accompany a quote they submitted.

Team Camaraderie

The extremely close friendships amongst members of the yearbook staff were mostly formed before they started working together.

“We all got involved when we were freshman and looking for an activity to do,” DeVoll said. “We thought yearbook would be fun, so we went to the first meeting and we ended up sticking with it.”

The editors agree that their camaraderie has a very positive effect on the production of the yearbook.

“I like that we’re all close friends. I know it’s so cliché. It’s a loving community,” Shenoy said.

Levenson agrees that their close friendships are conducive to a great working environment.

“The atmosphere you will find in the Yearbook office is always happy and fun,” Levenson said. “You can be yourself without worrying about what others think of you, and it’s fantastic getting to spend hours during and after school working people with people I love.”

The staff has a great rapport with the yearbook administrator Liz Shaffer, who they lovingly call “Lizard” or “Lizard of Oz.”

“She has been so great and helpful especially because we are all juniors and less experienced then the staff of previous years,” Stefenson said. The staff’s love for Shaffer is reciprocated.

“We have a terrific staff this year with a lot of energy and dedication,” Shaffer said. “I’m very fortunate to be working with them.”

In addition, the staff has an advisor Dan Woog who also is very helpful according to staff members.

The Results

At the end of the year the hard work of the staff finally pays off when they get to see the finished product distributed to the hundreds of students who bought it.

“It’s fun reminiscing about all the stories we had, like what we had to go through to get a page done,” Shenoy said.

Levenson agrees that seeing the final result is one of the most rewarding parts of the process.

“I am so proud to know that the book I have been working on all year is finally done, and will be appreciated by all Staples students—not only when it comes out, but 50 years later past students are reminiscing about old friends and fun times,” Levenson said.

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