‘Yamily’ Grinds Year Round
Anxiously fiddling with her layout, junior Sydney Muse appears fixated on her page. Stopping only to share an occasional comment, this unwavering concentration is standard in the yearbook staff computer lab in the Fine Arts Center. Today is no different. Sydney is rushing to complete her Jan. 12 deadline before switching gears to editor mode.
Once the staff makes their deadlines, all of the completed pages are turned over to their respective editors, undergoing a meticulous editing process. However Sydney, unlike the rest of the staff, is faced with the task of completing and editing the entire senior section. Her position is rather unorthodox for a junior, usually shared between two senior editors, but Sydney is captivated by the job. “I’ve always loved the section,” Sydney said. “It tells the story of a grade, how they’ve grown up and who they’ve become. There’s something about it that caught me. I wanted to do them [the seniors] justice, especially after everything they’ve been through.”
Sydney’s efforts are just one part of the process, a single, but vital component to the yearbook staff’s work. Working alongside her, juniors David Roos and Jordan Shoulberg playfully bicker over design. The self-proclaimed “yearbook husband and wife” have worked tirelessly since the summer, creating “click-n-go” templates and reviewing look books. Outside of class, they analyze every page for consistency, searching for errors as simple as font selection and sizing. Every page must coordinate with the year’s theme and depict a proud representation of Pace.
Most staff members are assigned around 24-48 pages for the year, spread over five deadlines from mid-September to the final class deadline of Feb. 10. The staff is broken up into pairs for each assignment, with pairs changing throughout the year. This allows students to utilize teamwork skills while constructing their pages. While the process often entails compromise and critique, overall it is helpful, especially for incoming staff members.
Before a deadline, hours of outside work is poured into pages. Jordan shared that she has often spent over 20 hours a week at home doing classwork since she became an editor. However, the composition of the yearbook is in no way an individual effort. In August, the entire staff visited Jostens’ annual private school yearbook workshop held at Westminster. There they met with a creative account manager to prepare for this year’s edition. Jostens is the publisher of the yearbook.
The staff brainstormed ideas for this year’s theme by asking one another what it means to be a part of the Pace community and to be a Pace Knight. In creating the theme, the Yamily (short for yearbook family) searches for a perfect balance between sentimentality and innovation. “Just Getting Started” and “Our Turn” are memorable titles that lead into 320 pages of material. Each year’s theme steadily builds on the previous edition, leaving students and faculty members wondering what this year’s theme could be.
Incoming sophomores and juniors enjoyed the workshop’s hands-on experience because they were able to dive into their work right off the bat, asking questions and acclimating to the yearbook environment. Jordan was even able to work individually with a graphic designer and run ideas by him, while picking up new techniques.
It is the job of David and Jordan, along with the six other editors, to review and correct each draft before sending it to the co-editors in chief, seniors Lindsay Fisher and Olivia Baker. Junior Jack Douglass is the Copy Editor, junior Isabella Doerr manages the lower school section and junior Virginia Hall handles the middle school section. Lindsey and Olivia, alongside faculty advisor Ryan Vihlen, provide the final approval.
“It has been an amazing journey to see the production of the yearbook,” said Olivia. “From the first meetings about design concepts in the summer to sending the book off to the printer, it’s a fantastic and bittersweet experience to see all the staff’s hard work and our last year at Pace go to print.”
After receiving the co-editors’ blessing, the pages are sent off to the printer. Because of the colossal number of pages that go into each yearbook, sections are sent to the printer at each deadline, not all on the last deadline. By February the final chunks of the publication are completed, and the staff begins to tackle their next challenge: the spring supplement.
Besides the supplement, during second semester the Yamily focuses on assigning leadership roles, as staff members and editors apply for new positions and undergo an interview process. By mid-semester all editors are chosen, and slowly get accustomed to their new roles for the upcoming year.
The new co-editors in chief take the reins on the spring supplement, and the seniors begin to take a back seat. By May, all of the new jobs have been assigned and new staff members recruited, setting the yearbook program up for another successful year of publishing lifelong memories. By August they begin the work again, another year in the life of the Yamily.