By Allister Gaytan.
At the end of every year, we all are able to get a yearbook. The book encases the whole school year. It is filled with memories, events, and pictures that will last a lifetime. But does one ever question how this magic book is bestowed upon us? Who decides on the theme and who works on all the pages, pictures, and text? Well, our peers make them. The Yearbook class at Heritage Academy is filled with around 20 scholars who are tasked with designing every page and its contents. Being a part of this staff is extremely demanding and requires countless hours of time and effort.
Our award-winning yearbooks are the outcome of a great mentor. The yearbook advisor, Mrs. Melchin, has done a phenomenal job coaching the team. Heritage Academy’s yearbook is different from other yearbooks. Mrs. Melchin’s philosophy about creating our yearbook is simple: Let the students design and create everything. Now, this might sound lazy at first, but it is extremely effective. At other schools, including other Heritage campuses, there is one yearbook teacher who decides on the theme, the content, text–essentially everything. This limits creativity and does not allow the staff to express their ideas. Heritage’s adviser is completely against that. With the support of Mrs. Melchin, our students can be as innovative as they wish. This is why our yearbooks are stunning and often win awards from publishers.
However, creating such a book is definitely not easy. Within the staff are several types of editors with their own specific duties, while the rest of crew are assigned several pages. None of these scholars have time to mess around. They are tasked with deadlines that, if not met, cost the school money. The Editor-in-Chief, Jesus Ledezma, leads the staff and, besides working on spreads himself, ensures that everyone is productive. Every page is handcrafted with style and consistency. Furthermore, each spread is proofed and put in perfect order for it to become submitted.
All members of the team are photographers. Someone from the Yearbook team is always at every school event, whether it be after school socials, sports games, concerts, etc. Staffers are always there to make sure it is going into the yearbook. But even more than that, photos of students enjoying lunch, laughing, and living show anyone who looks through the yearbook that Heritage is brimming with life.
It is also a mission for the staff to have every student in the yearbook, period. It’s our book, meaning everyone should be included. There’s no bias toward upperclassmen. Seventh graders have just as much of a right to be featured as the seniors. This also makes our yearbook filled with different aspects of student life that make it wonderfully diverse.
The journey to make the yearbook is rigorous, yet fulfilling. The staff at Heritage Academy is passionate and have even spent long nights at the school in order to finish spreads. It matters to them, just like how it matters to us. This coming yearbook, you should take the time to really appreciate the fine details of every page you flip through. It’s more than just pictures; it’s the final product of months of painstaking work and ideas. It’s memories we will own our whole lives. Let’s cherish it.