A lifetime of memories in a few hundred pages


Photo courtesy of Faith Cabalum.

Andrew Koss, Staff Writer

Ever since elementary school, passing out and signing yearbooks has always been a symbol of a successful school year. Showcasing all the school events, dances, and student life over the course of the school year. This year, as the Rochester Community School District has transitioned to virtual school, the yearbook will no doubt be different than in years past.

Senior Faith Cabalum has been a member of the yearbook team for the past few years and has a lot of insight on how the staff had to adjust this year.

“There has been more difficulties for sure because we used to be able to walk up to kids at lunch but now we have to reach out on socials and have kids fill out google forms so it’s much harder not face to face,” she said.

Despite the difficulties surrounding online school, the yearbook team has put in a lot of effort into making this yearbook as amazing as possible. 

“As a staff we average 70 hours a week total working on the book,” she said, “that doesn’t include advertising and sales”.

Since the staff couldn’t use content from school events or dances, let alone interview people in the mall at lunch time, they had to get creative with how they filled space on the pages.

“There’s a lot more student life pages which are my favorite because they are funny and allow students to show their personality,” Cabalum said, “We have a new QR code feature with student made videos of sports and behind the scenes and I think it’s really cool because yearbooks have never had videos in them previously, only photos”. 

The use of the QR codes in order to include videos is something the staff has never introduced before this year. The students have had to push past the typical structure and contents of a yearbook in order to create something that is fitting for this unique school year.

“I think this book will probably be more impressive and content filled than others due to the less busy schedule the staff has had during the pandemic,” she said. 

The staff has also had to dive into social media more this year in order to effectively advertise and get content for this year’s yearbook. 

“Our staff has made changes in order to be successful like reaching out through social media and doing all our advertising on there and via email,” Cabalum said. 

Another issue the staff has faced is getting enough people to purchase a yearbook. Some students may see the yearbook as unnecessary this year since the majority of the first semester has been spent online.

“Our sales aren’t nearly where they have been the past few years,” she said, “ I think this book is one you should especially buy because it has different aspects and we are still incorporating all kids at school even if we aren’t in person.”

The staff has been doing their absolute best to make sure they include as many people as possible, and are constantly reaching out to new students for a chance to get featured in the yearbook. They are also including tributes to spring and fall athletes, as well as winter athletics which are planned to begin soon.

Despite the changes they had to make due to a unique school year, the yearbook staff has found a way to make the yearbook engaging and inclusive. 

As a final note to anyone considering purchasing a yearbook for this school year, Cabalum says:

“A yearbook holds memories that last a lifetime and I seriously don’t think you’ll regret buying one this year.”