Yearbook Staff Shares their Dilemmas in Creating the 2020-21 Yearbook


Tina Mai, Head of Social Media

“Everybody in Yearbook did their best to create a book that really tells the story of this year,” Yearbook advisor Jo Ellen Sholl said. 


Capturing memories during the historical pandemic has been difficult, but the Yearbook staff has shown more than dedication in publishing an eventful yearbook this year. 


While students have been doing distance learning since last March, the Yearbook staff has been planning the yearbook since August — months after the 2020 yearbook was distributed.


“We had to start planning a road map for each spread in the book in August,” editor-in-chief Megan Greening said. “This was extremely challenging. We had no idea what clubs would continue to be active virtually and if sports would happen this year.”


With sports and activities being scrambled all over the place, there were numerous activities that yearbook was unable to cover this year — homecoming, prom, and sporting events being some out of the many. 


“Last year we had more opportunities to get pictures of the student body and how they were interacting in their classes,” staffer Elizabeth Swain said. “This year, we don’t have that. We have to come up with other ideas of what to put in the yearbook.”


After homecoming and prom had gotten cancelled, foco was put in place of them. However, get togethers were restricted due to COVID-19, which resulted in Yearbook having to reduce the number of pages.


“Collaboration is super important for Yearbook and very difficult in the virtual environment,” Greening said. “If a staff member is having trouble we can only try and tell them how to fix it.”


Photographs at sports events and school pep rallies were some of the most treasured sections in yearbooks. Due to the pandemic, the yearbook staff’s ability to attend sporting events has been severely limited. 


“Our sports coverage won’t be as broad,” Ms. Sholl said. “We are only able to have one photographer at home games. Sometimes the home games were even cancelled… We do know that we will cover as much as we can and give these athletes as much exposure as we can.”


Last year, the Yearbook staff was able to collaborate with each other in the same classroom at the same time. This year, the Yearbook staff works at home with limited resources — which many of the staff mentioned being a big obstacle in creating the yearbook. 


“Creating the yearbook this year is difficult because you are working on your own assignments,” staffer Katie Premo said. “I have been reaching out to people more and asking for help from Mrs. Sholl.”


With their own assignments, staff members are individually paced and working together through Google Meet calls as a way to connect and communicate with one another. 


“Yearbook is a lot more challenging this year; we have to be a lot more creative with getting content,” staffer Jordan Ignotz said. “This year we have a lot less sports to cover so [we] are focusing more on individual student life.”


The Yearbook staff primarily focuses on student life in this yearbook rather than distance learning or school events since many were cancelled — although student’s willingness to share their lives at home has also been a struggle for the Yearbook staff. 


“It’s been a struggle to reach out and find people willing to be in the yearbook,” staffer Addison Allway said. “Lots of people aren’t open to it or don’t have pictures to send in.”


Most of the time, Yearbook staff can only contact students through social media or via iMessage. Various students have various schedules which could delay their responses and set the staff back. 


“In the past years, the yearbook staff could grab students out of class and get everything they needed right then and there,” Allway said. “Unfortunately, this year we can’t do that. Instead, we reach out to people in hopes [that] they will respond.”


With the interviews going online, getting responses from girls has been smooth sailing, but getting boys to respond has been the biggest struggle that the Yearbook staff mentioned. 


“Unfortunately, girls make up more of the pictures and the quotes in the yearbook because girls respond to us more than the boys do,” Ms. Sholl said. “We are working on ways to get more responses from the male population at Stone Bridge, but we haven’t quite cracked it yet.” 


Another dilemma that the Yearbook staff has shared is the exit of their senior staff. The majority of Yearbook staff were graduating seniors.


“Not only has the pandemic posed a new challenge, but the majority of the staff graduated in 2020 so our numbers have gone down a lot,” Greening said. “The responsibilities have increased for each individual staff member.”


Despite the numerous obstacles standing in the way of creating this year’s yearbook, the Yearbook staff is working hard to create a yearbook that will be looked back on in the future. 


“We know that it’s going to be a yearbook that is different from any other yearbook,” Ms. Sholl said. “It is more in your hands than it is in our hands this year.”