Treering Yearbook Heroes is a monthly feature focusing on yearbook tips and tricks.
Like many of us, Beth Stacy didn’t set out to be a yearbook adviser. As a special education teacher, she focused on reading intervention and built her reputation as a writing pro and Read 180 instructor. After moving from Florida to Ohio, her new principal asked her to co-teach the yearbook class because she wanted it to be more journalistic. The program was already under scrutiny: the district, concerned over a debt-burdened program, was ready to shut things down. In 2017, the team at Wayne High School moved to Treering, reducing the financial burden on the school and the stress of deadlines for the advisers.
Co-advising sounds like a dream. How do you make it work?
The business teacher and I share responsibilities. She and I split the class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She focuses on visual skill development and marketing while I teach writing and interviewing.
During the first quarter, the four seniors lead teams. They divide the sports spreads and divvy up tasks. Within their teams, they choose how to break up tasks. For example, there are 92 band members and 32 Warriorette and they have to interview them all. That team assigned instrument groups to each team member (woodwinds, brass, etc.).
Second quarter, students determine if they want to work with a partner or solo for their next spread. As the year progresses, they grow more independent.
With a school of 1800, how do you ensure coverage?
We do a big book–250 pages. Also, we use the index report to identify students who are not in the book and brainstorm open-ended questions for student profiles inspired by Humans of New York. These Humans of Wayne profiles undergo a revision and editing process before going in the book and on the Signal’s Instagram.
Because we include prom, graduation, and our track team, from which members compete each June at the state finals and potentially at nationals, Wayne High School is a fall delivery school. For the first time, we are going to use Treering’s ship-to-home option so we don’t have to plan distribution during the summer for open house.
It’s the 75 anniversary this year for their yearbook–what are you doing to make it special?
My students are finding ways to link the past to the present. One of my editors created two spreads using the previous covers. We are missing ten years and working with the alumni association and hopefully the historical society to track them down.
The first yearbook has a write-up from the original editor. We will honor the previous teams who established and maintained the yearbook tradition as well as legacy athletes since we are a big sports school. Our head football coach is a first-generation Warrior and his son is a senior. Nearly two dozen members of the faculty are alumni and will appear with their senior yearbooks.
Teaching yearbook is such a different experience than being on staff as a student. I absolutely love it, but it is one of the most fun yet difficult classes I’ve ever taught!