Student News

Yearbook = Doomed?

David Thiel – May 15, 2014

 A reiteration of my announcement at lunch the other day.

For the past couple years, there have been various rumors that changes in the yearbook program are a result of the yearbook budget being reduced. As the person in charge of paying for the printing of the yearbook, I can assure you that that’s not entirely true. We have been spending about $50,000 per year on the yearbook, and we have one of the largest and nicest books of any of our peer schools. 

But today I wanted to share something that IS true. We’re not going to have a yearbook anymore. Unless you all do something about it.

There are two sides to the yearbook. One side is the team that produces it. The team is ably led by Dr. Ross and the yearbook editors. It’s A LOT of work to prepare the yearbook—but it’s a lot of fun too. But the yearbook staff has been shrinking over the past five years, and it makes it nearly impossible to produce the book. 

The other side of the yearbook is you. When you show up on time for your pictures and when you submit senior quotes and hall stories on time, you’re doing your part for the yearbook. 

And when you don’t do these things, you’re not doing your part.

The yearbook staff spends countless hours running you down, sending reminders, and making arrangements to schedule make up photos and reschedule appointments. They shouldn’t have to. It’s frustrating and it’s wasteful. So, we’re not going to have a yearbook, unless something changes.

Dr. Ross is improving the design and production side of the yearbook for yearbook staff and editors. She can illuminate those changes better than I can, but generally speaking it will be easier for more people to work on yearbook design, layout, and production – both during co-curricular and extra-curricular times. You’ll probably be able to do some of this work from your room, on your own schedule. I very much hope those changes will encourage more people to join the yearbook staff and share some of the significant workload that’s required. Many hands do make light work, and the more people that join up, the more fun everyone will have. 

Those changes will help, but they will not be enough. If you want a yearbook, you need to show up for your photos and appointments. You need to get stuff in on time.

Ultimately, this is a question about whether you value a yearbook or not, and I can’t really answer that for you. Perhaps Facebook fills the gap, but I’m not sure I’d count on it being around 20 or 30 years from now for you to look at. We can’t store your Tumblr in the Academy archives.

There’s a lot we can do for Deerfield with $50,000 if we no longer have a yearbook. But I’m leaving this up to you. If you make sure the yearbook is there, I’ll make sure the money is there to support it.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have, but I hope instead that some of you will sign up to help out with the yearbook—and that the rest of you will provide the yearbook staff with the support they need.

—Thiel