Twenty one years ago, The Chant wrote an article detailing the NC yearbook’s plan to release the yearbook on a CD rom, as well as in its traditional form. Today, although they will not release a CD with their book, the idea of a nontraditional yearbook means something to the students who continue to gather and document the essence of NC amidst a global pandemic. Challenges arose with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the teacher and staff willingly rose to meet them.
“Our staff is great. I am so proud of how our veteran staff members have taken all of our rookies under their wings to help them learn the ropes in this very nontraditional year… I’ve also been very impressed with our “newbies” as we call them. They’ve had to really step up and step out of their comfort zones in a way that most veteran staff members never had to. They are an impressive group and… truly demonstrate the dedication and resilience that is necessary to thrive in these difficult times,” yearbook Adviser Stacy Baldwin said.
Although just students themselves, the yearbook staff interviews other students as a large portion of their work. This year, due to online schooling and safety concerns, they cannot talk to other students in person. Instead, the staff chose to make Zoom calls their main method of gathering quotes and information from students, to keep interviews as authentic as possible.
“Before Covid hit, we were obviously in school, and we could conduct face-to-face interviews. Now, we have opted to use Zoom interviews to keep everyone safe. It is very different, and not as connecting as in person since things like body language and such are not as readable through zoom. However, I am grateful to have the platform to be able to continue working on our book and engaging with students from our school. At the end of the day, we still get the coverage we need and put our best foot forward to produce the best book we can for our student body,” junior Angelina Sisouphan said.
Along with altering their method of interviews, the yearbook staff opted to choose a different format for the book itself, deciding to make the layout chronological to create a shift of focus from what events did not happen to what students still experienced, despite disappointments and changed plans. Additionally, the staff remains open to the idea of introducing other elements to their book that those judging student journalism competitions discouraged in the past, but now approach with an open mind.
“We’ve gotten all sorts of ideas for how to spice things up this year – one idea was to put QR codes in the book so that students can scan the code and watch a concert, play, game, event, et cetera, that they couldn’t see in person,” Baldwin said.
Whatever ends up in the book, the dedication shown by the advisor and staff promises something that captures the heart of NC. The staff worked, even during the summer, and continues to refine the book daily.
“At the end of the day, we still get the coverage we need and put our best foot forward to produce the best book we can for our student body… The biggest positive about yearbook this year has been seeing the overall dedication of our staff. It’s always been there, but in times like this when more effort and creativity are needed, it’s really encouraging to see how much our staff cares about their craft as well as each other…Our staff has proven to be bullet proof, and with the help of our teacher and each other, we’re making the best of a unique situation,” Sisouphan said.