Yearbook team faces challenges with COVID-19 safety concerns

This+page+of+the+WCHS+yearbook+from+last+school+year+displays+the+%22student+life%22+of+WCHS+students+during+the+year.+With+less+activities+and+events+occuring+this+year%2C+it+has+been+a+challenge+for+the+yearbook+team+to+put+together+an+extensive+book.+

Photo by Charley Hutton

This page of the WCHS yearbook from last school year displays the “student life” of WCHS students during the year. With less activities and events occuring this year, it has been a challenge for the yearbook team to put together an extensive book.

By Charley Hutton, Advertising and Subscriptions Manager

In 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered his constituents to keep pushing forward, so that one day they would be praised for their courage. 

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that… [in] a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour,’” Churchill said.

80 years later, the WCHS yearbook, “Finest Hours,” encourages students to remain hopeful and strong as the school year goes on. One day in the future, after stumbling upon the 2020-2021 issue of the publication, someone might say the same thing. 

It is safe to say that Virtual Learning has presented its fair share of challenges for students and teachers alike. The WCHS “Finest Hours” yearbook is typically filled with photos and interviews of students participating in activities inside and outside of the classroom. Virtual Learning has made it especially difficult to create the yearbook and capture all of the Bulldog spirit that it is famous for. 

“When this first started, we had no plan. Jordyn Reicin and I had to meet up with the yearbook supervisor, Ms. Ratz, to figure this all out on our own,” senior Annika Hando said. “Now Jordyn and I meet at Churchill pretty regularly to photograph candids of students.”

The Editors-in-Chief, Annika Hando and Jordyn Reicin, have been working tirelessly to produce the book that students know and love, all while adapting to the unique circumstances. Hando has been a member of the yearbook staff for three of her four years at WCHS, while Reicin has been a member for all four of her years at WCHS. 

“This year, we changed our structure into a chronological book, rather than multiple sections, and are putting student life throughout the entire book,” Reicin said. “We are going to be doing a late distribution in the summer, so we can cover the whole year chronologically and accurately. 

The yearbook team is also relying heavily on students to send in their own photos. In the past, they would take photographs themselves, but that is not possible at this time. To submit a photo, students can go to the website www.images.jostens.com, input the code 415468463, upload a photo, and fill out some information about the image. However, many students are concerned about individual student photos, and whether they will even be able to happen. 

“As of right now, the individual photos are scheduled to happen in February for non-seniors, with the hopes of students making a return to school. If that is unable to happen, we may do a drive by photoshoot or have students send in their own photos,” Reicin said. “Fortunately, the Seniors are able to get their portraits done, but as of right now, we don’t have a solid plan for the rest of students.”

Another challenge that comes along with not being able to get in touch with lots of students is the inability to cover as many students as they hope to. With not every student being present on social media, it limits who the yearbook team has access to. 

“This year we need to ensure we get as many students as we can get covered in the book. The class has to work hard to collaborate and brainstorm students who have not been used yet,” Reicin said. 

In the past, the team has created and edited the book during “Production Nights,” which took place at school. They have now had to switch to doing it virtually, which makes it much more difficult to work as a team. With all of these hurdles aside, the team is determined to capture this school year in its entirety. 

“It’s very important to me that we document this year, because, well, but it is unforgettable. We have all been through so much together already, and we are only three months into the school year,” Hando said. “I think it will be interesting to look back on in twenty years, and to show our kids what high school was like during 2020-2021.”

Interested in purchasing a yearbook for yourself? Head to https://www.jostens.com, select “Shop Products at my School/Group” in the upper left corner, and input the WCHS information.