As the end of the year draws close, the dedicated writers, photographers, and editors who compile CVHS’s yearbook can finally take a well-deserved rest. The small team, led by photography teacher Jeff Vendsel, worked furiously through April and early May to get the book out on time.
Vendsel, who lectured in photojournalism at Washington State University before coming to teach at CVHS two years ago, said that managing the yearbook is both a joy and a challenge.
“Nothing prepares you for yearbook until you do it,” Vendsel said. “It’s like having a small business that’s produced, marketed, and run by 16 and 17-year-olds.”
The fall and spring season of the yearbook correspond with the first and second semesters, and are worked on independently to space out the work load. Each of the more than 300 pages goes through a rigorous production and proofing process before being published.
Each page starts as a template created by one of the yearbook editors, some mass produced, some tailored for a specific purpose. Pages are then handed off to another editor to be filled with writing, images, and other design elements. Once finished, the page is proofed by two other editors and then finally by Vendsel himself.
“It’s very self-directed, and a great preparation for college,” Vendsel said. “The students really learn to work on their own.”
The process demands flexibility from the entire yearbook staff, and most of all from Editor-in-Chief Amanda Briggs. Briggs said she doesn’t even call herself by that title; her and the others simply refer to her as “editor,” an indicator of the multiple hats all staff members must wear.
When asked about the toughest part of the job, Briggs said, “It’s a really big school, and getting everyone represented is a challenge.” She is quick to note, however, that she loves “getting to be a part of everything,” and seems enthusiastic about the challenges of her role.
Vendsel had similar feelings.
“I love seeing the students rise to the challenge,” Vendsel said. “Their character really comes out.”
Vendsel said his main regret is not being able to capture the exciting end of the year events like senior ball and graduation. However, he said the yearbook did score a win this year by getting to report on the first ever second Spirit Week.
Students should expect a vibrant new theme this year with an increased focus on writing and photography. Pre-order distribution starts on June 5, with cash sales following on June 6.
The yearbook team will need new staff members next year, and editor Benjamin Ho encouraged students to sign up.
“You get to meet some fantastic people,” Ho said, when asked about how he would summarize the class.