Under pressure


photo by Hannah Sanchez

Junior Hannah Sanchez, design editor for the yearbook staff, works on a spread. She, along with all other staffers, had to finish designing the book from home this year.

When the news hit the public that school would be postponed and later cancelled for the rest of the year, teachers took the time to reorganize their classes and figure out solutions. But for the yearbook staff, there was no time to take an extended break; COVID-19 cancellations only meant they needed to work twice as hard.

Immediately after the first week of spring break, editors Bridgette Hahn, Madison Sophia, and other staffers, along with yearbook advisor Brit Taylor, started returning to campus to get as much work done as possible in the labs.

“We finished a lot, but had a lot more to go,” Taylor said. “Once the state lockdown was in place, my daughtera junior on staffand I brought all the files we could home.”

The biggest issue the staff faced was finishing their work under such rushed and strict conditions. Most of the staffers did not have access to Adobe software at home, normally provided at school, which significantly slowed down their progress. Without Photoshop or InDesign, the program used to create spreads and put everything together, the idea of finishing the yearbook was daunting.

“My responsibilities before the quarantine were pretty moderate like everyone else,” junior Courtney Downing said, who was the business manager for the yearbook. “But everyone truly had to step up their game in order to get the book done.”

In the past, each staff member fulfilled specific roles, but with constraints at the time, things needed to be shifted. Those who had access to Adobe products carried a lot of responsibility, but everyone else was advised to help as well in any way they couldincluding finding the names of students in photos and proofreading spreads. The new rule to follow was “Help however you can help,” Taylor said.

Communication was the key to the staff’s success in finishing their work. They not only needed interviews from other students, but they also needed to ensure they could stay in touch with each other. This was best achieved through Remind101, GroupMe, Snapchat and the occasional emergency Zoom call.

However, without being able to see each other in person at school every day, staying in contact was still a challenge to upkeep, as copy editor junior Eileen An attests to.

“I think the staff as a whole faced a lot of communication issues because it’s hard to know when people are going to respond,” An said.

With a rapidly approaching deadline to submit the yearbook for publishing by April 6, the race to finish in time was intense for the staff. But despite the many obstacles they faced, they pushed through.

The coverage editor and daughter of the advisor, junior Maggie Taylor, was not deterred by quarantine even though she shouldered most of the responsibilities, being one of the few who had Adobe and the files for all spreads and photos. 

“Working under pressure is very motivating for me,” Maggie said. “So writing and designing just came naturally.”

Along with Maggie, others also kept a positive outlook. Although the yearbook was ultimately finished a few days later than anticipated on April 10, which pushed back the date of distribution, one of the editors-in-chiefsenior Bridgette Hahnwas glad that they were able to finish anyway.


Watch the yearbook promo here.

A preview of the yearbook: