Turning a New Page

Yearbook conquering COVID-19 challenges with a new adviser

Turning a New Page

by Ella Sulwer, Social Media Manager

For many of the clubs and teams, this year has held challenges and thrown a roadblock in the way of normal events and schedules, but for those who are in charge of the yearbook they are having to get creative and overcome some of their own obstacles. Yearbook adviser, Brittany O’Keefe is new this year and is finding difficulty in figuring out the best way to go about forming a yearbook while still being new to the school herself and dealing with numerous COVID-19 impositions. 

“Trying to do the two together is like eating cereal with a fork and everything is hard,” O’Keefe said, “because I’m learning how to do this and at the same time still learning how we achieve something in such a different climate.”

Like in every class this year, there are some students who decided to choose a totally virtual option instead of returning to in-person classes along with students who are currently quarantined. This itself has played a big impact on the way communication has been between staff members. 

“Especially with our crew members here and with half our class online, we can’t communicate really well,”junior yearbook staff member Yamamah Ali said, “so it’s been hard to get things done.”

Aside from just correspondence between the staff itself, it’s been a major difficulty getting in contact with students who are currently virtual. It’s also been a bit of a challenge to talk to in-person students, because traveling during AIP has ceased to exist and it’s fully virtual. The virtual students have been very hard to talk to, due to having only a few ways of even contacting them. 

“Getting a hold of virtual students is pretty hard because the only way I can do it is by emailing them and most of them won’t answer,” senior yearbook staff member Kylea Nemechek said.

Specific events that are usually a guarantee for any high school just aren’t happening and finding things to cover and people to cover them are slim pickings. 

“We had like four or five people who were going to shoot Homecoming,” O’Keefe said, “and then like three or four of them got quarantined at the last minute so we ended up having only one person covering Homecoming.”

While the many obstacles are being worked around, it doesn’t seem to just be affecting the staff here alone, many other schools are also adapting and branching out through creative attempts to fill their own pages.

“I know I’ve heard other advisers say their schools are in very similar positions where they are like begging for photos and they are just not really getting them so I think it’s kind of a common position to be in right now,” O’ Keefe said.

It’s a big year this year for Charlemo despite all the things cancelled. It is the one-hundredth edition of the yearbook and while an interesting fact, incorporating it into the book is something the staff doesn’t deem as important as other things.  

“While we want to include it because a 100 years is a big deal, it’s also not as interesting for kids and more for the parents,” Ali said. 

Besides just doing the work for class and for the student and school community, Nemechek mentions she wants a yearbook she can enjoy and be proud of despite losing events and ideal opportunities to make the book how it usually would. 

“That’s the thing, this is my senior year and I want my yearbook to be really good and it’s been really hard to get pictures and stuff because of COVID,” Nemechek said, “and lots of things are cancelled so you can’t really get pictures of things you would have been able to.”

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