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Yearbook Staff Adapts to COVID Complications

Jaden Bernard and Emma Pasley work diligently to complete this year's yearbook. (Courtesy Photo)

By Hayley Rea--Eagle Staff Writer

Many organizations on campus, including the yearbook staff, have had to make adjustments to the way they operate this year due to the pandemic.

“Everything has changed drastically since last year. Prior to the pandemic, we were allowed to leave the classroom and take pictures, however this year we have to do everything virtually,” explained editor Kirsten Nye, senior. “We have used our social media accounts heavily to promote and get information from students.”

The changes in communication have created obstacles for this year’s editors, as these conditions were something nobody expected or was able to prepare for.

Yearbook Staff Comes Together Despite the Distance (Courtesy Photo)

“It’s difficult, as people tend to not respond or slide up when we post a survey,” editor Megan Kurtz, senior, replied.

Before COVID, the staff wasn’t relying on other people when it came to getting images for yearbook pages; however, this year’s circumstances have altered that.

“It’s changed by having to rely on the student body to get us photos. We don’t have clubs which means we have to fill those pages with other activities,” commented editor Aaliyah Liles, senior.

Because of the lack of extracurricular activities being held on campus, the staff has had to get extra creative.

“The yearbook staff this year has had to really think outside the box to find new ways to finish our pages,” editor Nicole Kingery, senior, said.

Although the yearbook staff is unable to go out and take pictures themselves, they aren’t alone in the effort to fill the book.

“Most of the material we have gathered this year was virtually since we are not allowed into games. Luckily our faculty has offered to help us when it comes to taking pictures at the games, however the staff has been trying our best to reach out to as many individuals as possible,” Nye replied.

However, not all of the yearbook is about pictures. In years past, the staff has conducted interviews for student commentary, which has had to be modified due to pandemic restrictions.

“COVID has affected almost every way we operate this year. It is very difficult to conduct interviews and we have to rely on students sending pictures in,” Kingery commented.

Some student pictures have also been harder to come by this semester due to the amount of completely virtual students.

A Day Students get to work on campus. (Courtesy Photo)

“[Virtual students] were supposed to come in on a few Wednesdays back in October or November, but I know a lot of them didn’t come. I’m pretty sure they’re holding one more picture day second semester when a lot more of the kids come back. We’re hoping that a lot of them take them then,” Kurtz explained.

Introducing new staff members was yet another process that had to be adjusted due to the new circumstances of this year, which took a great deal of work from older staff members.

“The staff had a lot of adapting to do this year. It was difficult trying to teach the newest members the software for the yearbook, but we managed to make it work,” said Nye.

Because the pandemic has created more labor and adjustments for the editors, they’ve missed out on a lot of the events of previous years.

“We’re missing out on a lot of the experiences that we got last year. We got to be right on the sidelines during games, and it was so fun capturing the emotions during things like when people were crowned for homecoming,” recalled Kurtz.

These new changes to the staff’s operations have also begun to require more of the editors’ time as well, creating more trying situations.

“It’s very stressful and it puts a lot more on us. It’s also frustrating but I know in the end it’ll be worth it,” Liles explained.

Working together is a big part of what makes the yearbook, which has been hindered by the hybrid schedule put into place this school year.

“I’m an editor this year, and it stinks that I haven’t even got to meet half of our group since they’re there the other day or fully virtual. I miss the closeness our group had last year, and I’m really hoping next semester we can all meet as one big group,” Kurtz commented.

Despite the great deal of modifications, the yearbook staff on campus has been working as a team to pull it all together.

“We have all had some amazing ideas for the book this year and I am excited to see it come together,” Kingery concluded.

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