Yearbook adds finishing touches

A couple of the yearbook girls, (Top, left to right) Jill Catalano, Megan Piquet, Hallie Hnatek, Juliana Denmark, (Bottom, left to right) Emily Dolegowski, Kyra Doody, Stacy Constantino and Lindsay Lehman, pose before Leesville’s bus during their field trip. The group traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina last summer to grow closer by participating in several team building activities.

The Menagerie staff has been working hard all year to create Leesville’s finest yearbook yet. Now, with only three months left before the end of the school year, the staff is at their busiest.

“Right now, we’re cramming to get pages into the plant in order to be printed on time,” said Lindsay Lehman, junior editor. “We lost a ton of time with snow days, so it’s crunch time because, if we miss a deadline, which we have yet to do, we’ll get fined.”

Yearbook is stressful around the deadline time because there’s a lot of pressure placed on everyone to get their work completed. The crew has not missed a deadline in years.

During the first few weeks of the class, the editors-in-chiefs — Juliana Denmark, Sierra Gay and Stacy Constantino — assign pages to the other members.

“We like to give a variety of pages to each person (sports, student life, academics, clubs) and spread them out over the five plant deadlines that we have…from early December to mid-March,” said Joni Amerson, the Menagerie advisor.

Also during this time, the section editors work with the new staffers to show them the ropes. They are given tips on taking pictures, interviewing people and writing copies. After this initial introduction to yearbook, everyone begins to work on the yearbook itself.

Creating a page requires a great amount of time and patience. The process takes weeks and each page passes through multiple levels of editors until it is deemed as a finished piece.

“Say a staffer has the varsity football double page spread; that person is responsible for all copy and photos on those two pages,” said Amerson. “After he or she finishes, they pass it on to their sports section editor, who edits it and passes it on to one of our three editors-in-chief who reads, edits and then passes it on to me.”

Now, at this point in the year, section editors and editor-in-chiefs are especially known to have a lot of work placed in their hands.

“If you’re a [section] editor or editor-in-chief, you might be cramming to finish your page while people are turning in their pages for you to edit,” said Lehman. “You have to get all of it done otherwise your grade gets docked.”

Currently, editors and staffers are working on finishing up the book and index. Shortly, the team will begin advertising the selling of the yearbooks to those who have not yet bought it yet.

“We have a competition to see which group can sell the most books,” said Lehman. “We send letters home, tweet, text, anything to encourage [people] to buy a book…that’s a project grade.”

The yearbook staff also has a competition at the beginning of the year with the advertisements: The staffer who sells the most money worth of ads receives a free yearbook when they are finished.

Those who work on these ads work on the senior and business ads on top of completing the other pages they have been assigned to.

“I love working on ads because you can create them…any way you want as long as the parent [or business] approves. Plus, you get to look at everyone’s baby pictures,” said Lehman.

By a certain date, typically in September, everyone on the yearbook staff must sell at least $375 worth of ads to businesses. These sales are necessary to help offset the cost for students purchasing the books; to print the books costs just over $110,000 a year and only increases with each year.

Although the group is pressed for time now, the general environment in yearbook is very cheerful. The students traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina this past summer as a fun way to begin planning the book and continues this type of fun throughout the year.

“We have ‘food Fridays’ and [bring] food for people’s birthdays. When it’s someone’s birthday, we also stand on the chairs and sing to them. Actually, we have music playing and people dancing most of the time. A candy bowl is stocked at all times, too,” said Lehman. “Honestly, this group of people is a family to me. We go through the best and worst times together, but I wouldn’t trade them for a thing.”


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