With the overwhelming amount of students who purchase yearbooks at the end of the year, West Ranch’s yearbook elective, or The Pride, keeps a tight schedule. Yearbook staff members utilize their photography and design skills to enhance every page of the book to create lasting memories for all Wildcats. The process of creating a yearbook requires members to work with one another to achieve a cohesive and memorable outcome given the quick deadline.
Yearbook advisor, Ms. Kornfeld expressed that in the yearbook-making process, it is important for “students [to] successfully communicate with each other even when those communications can be challenging.” She went on to add, “Occasionally, there are conflicts and I see students pause and think about the best way to engage with one another and that makes me really happy because those are skills that will last longer and will always be used in their futures.”
Senior and yearbook editor-in-chief Drea Brink shared how the collaborative environment runs. “You have to know how other people feel about your ideas and openly accept criticism. Everyone has the same goal — to make the best yearbook, so we all have to take criticism in a positive manner.”
As an elective that promotes creative expression, much of the work done in The Pride is a product of cooperation, which allows students to bounce ideas off of one another. Yearbook member and senior Eshel Ahmad described the classroom environment of the elective as “very friendly, very collaborative and everyone helps each other. It is a very small and cozy community, as there are only around twenty people.”
Not only do members of The Pride collaborate to brainstorm ideas, but they also have to bring those ideas to life by editing photos, gathering interviews and creating layouts. With all of these duties simultaneously in progress, students often find themselves with a lot on their plates. Ahmad added, “Towards the beginning, there’s not much to do because you have to wait for interviews or picture opportunities, but when you get closer to the deadline you have to edit pictures [and] finalize interviews and pages, so it gets more hectic.”
At West Ranch, The Pride plays a vital role in the preservation of memories that students will undoubtedly look back on in the future. While the final product is a professionally produced yearbook, it must be acknowledged that a lot goes on behind the scenes for such quality to be achieved. West Ranch junior and Yearbook member Taylor Borkowski expressed, “As long as everyone puts in the work, it will run smoothly.”