The DAR yearbook crew has a mentoring program where seniors show the ropes of yearbook work, particularly photography, to the sophomores and juniors coming up in the program. It gives the program a sense of continuity and it paid off in a big way earlier this fall when DAR held its annual Dedication Day.
Dedication Day is one of the biggest events of the year at the school, when DAR members from all over the United States come to the campus to dedicate gifts and pledge funds for various school projects. So
it gets strong coverage in the yearbook.
Seniors are eligible to serve as pages or personal assistants to the visiting DAR and being selected as a page is considered a huge honor. Every senior on the yearbook staff was selected as a page. So it was up to the younger members of the yearbook crew to handle most of the coverage of Dedication Day. They were up to the task thanks to the mentoring program.
Taylan Franks and Elizabeth Hammett are the editors. They said they’d been training the younger members since last year.
“We’d talked about how to make the pictures, select the best pictures and set it up in the yearbook,” Taylan said. “We had done a lot of brainstorming.”
The young ladies said they are pretty much the main editors, watching over everyone else, but everyone in the program under teacher Dr. John Finley can take on any task.
DAR changed to a new yearbook company last year, TreeRing, and Taylan and Elizabeth said it makes things easier than it used to be.
“Everything is new, so we have been watching a lot of tutorials and teaching ourselves,” Elizabeth said.
They got rave reviews on last year’s yearbook, but this one might end up being even better.
“TreeRing offers personal pages,” Dr. Finley said. “The student purchasing the yearbook gets to personalize those pages themselves. It makes for a one-of-a-kind yearbook.”
It’s two pages in the yearbook that the student purchasing gets to customize for their book. And, he said, it will be about $20 cheaper than the yearbooks provided by the school’s old company.
The yearbook class is also something of an entrepreneurial class. They started doing all the photography packages for the school. They were finishing that up lately. They will try to have much of that work done by the Christmas break.
“Taylan and Elizabeth have done a good job of getting everyone trained,” Dr. Finley said. “The value of that really showed up on Dedication Day.”
It’s not just school events like Dedication Day that they’re photographing. They also photograph sporting events and they film them and narrate the action as a part of the program’s audio-visual component.
“The juniors and sophomores have been watching and learning from the seniors,” Dr. Finley said. “They stepped in on Dedication Day and got all the photographs. You have to remember that there’s no room for error.”
Yearbooks go on sale after Christmas break.