Club at Keystone Vol. V: Yearbook

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Shreya Chaudhary, Staff Writer, Co-Editor in-Chief

Near the end of every school year, students and teachers from every grade can be found with a yearbook in hand, sharing it with others and getting everyone’s signatures in it. This yearly time capsule is put together by high school’s yearbook club, and I had the amazing opportunity to interview the Co-Editor in-Chief, Siona Manocha, to learn more about how her club creates memories each year.

In short, the yearbook club designs the yearbook, gathering photos, deciding a theme, and putting everything together. There are three main roles in the yearbook club: photographers, designers, and head editors. The photographers go to events and take photos or take photos of clubs. The designers are in charge of creating a page in the yearbook, arranging all the resources to look fantastic. And, finally, the editors work on the entire yearbook, ensuring that everything flows and is executed. There are three types of editors: one sophomore editor, one junior editor, and traditionally one senior editor (though this year, both Siona and Hashim are the Co-Editors in-Chief!). The sophomore and junior editors are in essence apprentices under the senior editor(s) and learn how to create a yearbook for when they become senior editors. 

Like any publication, the yearbook club has a specific editorial process that it follows. The first step is deciding a theme. Usually, the editors create a Google document with all the theme ideas they can think of. To generate themes, Siona looks at past yearbooks and magazines and sometimes simply Google searches “Cool Yearbook Themes.” By October, the theme is set in stone, and they can work on designing as soon as more photos come in. When Siona was in 8th grade, there wasn’t an online version of the yearbook, so the club had to meet in Mr. Green’s room on Saturdays to design. However, ever since Siona joined the club, the yearbook has been using Wallsworth to design and assemble the memories, and a representative from Wallsworth visits the club two or three times a year. With the theme, the fonts and colors are decided, and the club gets designing. As the year progresses, more and more events occur at Keystone, so the yearbook has more and more memories to capture and pages to design. 

Most of the work in the yearbook is asynchronous, with meetings every other Friday, mainly consisting of reminders and updates. The editors and club sponsors, however, meet much more frequently. Thankfully, since everyone could work on the yearbook at home, the club was still able to make progress on the yearbook despite the pandemic. And, as more and more students are coming on campus, Siona was rejoiced to tell me that the editors had their first on-campus meeting last Tuesday!

If anyone is interested in joining the yearbook, Siona fully encourages them. She does warn that having an editor position is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. One of her favourite parts of the yearbook is at the end of the year, when everyone on campus is holding the yearbook she and the other designed. She is honored to be in charge of saving and shaping the school’s memories which students will look back at twenty, thirty, and forty years from now.

Finally, I asked Siona for any spoilers for the yearbook. First, she told me that the yearbook will come out in the beginning of next year. The club decided that they wanted to capture more on-campus memories, such as the upper school mini trips, and to do this, the yearbook release date will have to be postponed. Second, however, she talked about since we have had a virtual format for the majority of the year, there have been less pictures, so the club instead opted to add a lot more text, with teachers and student leaders adding quotations, descriptions, and thoughts. Finally, she revealed the theme: words and definitions. The yearbook will define Keystone and its community, along with all other aspects of Keystone. 

I’m super excited for the yearbook’s release next year (and during the summer for seniors), and I can’t wait to see its design!