Treering Yearbook Heroes is a monthly feature focusing on yearbook adviser tips and tricks.
This year we at Treering called on all our schools’ parents, teachers, and students to nominate yearbook heroes in a first-ever peoples’ contest: #YearbookHero. The yearbook callout contest was prompted by our empathy and true appreciation for our yearbook editors.
Students Izzy Stewart and Lila Viselli from Richmond Middle School, located in Richmond, Maine won first place in the middle school division of our nationwide contest; they were nominated by their adviser Becca Redman for their work in restarting the yearbook after a six-year hiatus—even when the pandemic hit and the girls had to work on the yearbook from home!
What does it mean to you to be Richmond Middle School’s Yearbook Heroes?
We all think it’s important to get recognized for the work you’ve done when the opportunity presents itself! And in this case, it was Treering’s #YearbookHero Contest. It was quite the surprise to get awarded for the yearbook, and it feels great to be recognized for all of the work that was put into it.
What was it like to bring the yearbook back after six years?
We were thrilled to bring the yearbook back and learned so much as a team – about design, collaboration, communication and time-management. It was a really rewarding experience that hopefully will help students in their other activities and classes. I think it would have been exciting under any circumstance, but we all felt even more satisfied with our work because we put it together during a pandemic, when we were all at home. We had to be creative. I think last year’s book reflected lessons we learned the first year, and we see the book getting better with every edition.
How did you gather photos when you were at home? How did you involve and motivate your classmates to contribute to the yearbook?
Ms. Redman: I sent a LOT of emails and contacted parents on Facebook to ask permission to use their photos of school activities in the fall, and to contribute to the quarantine collage. At one point I also gathered the entire team of middle school teachers in a Zoom meeting and took a screenshot of all our smiling faces. It was captioned with a “We Miss You” message. I think that was special for the students, and will definitely be a memento from an unprecedented year.
Izzy and Lila: When we were at home, we’d email a lot of people consistently, including classmates and coaches, in order to motivate them to send us pictures. We also contacted parents to see if they could send us pictures that they’d taken of students and events.
Ms. Redman, how is Richmond Middle School’s Yearbook Club going?
This year, things are going really well! We are still in the planning stages, but definitely learning from the past. For example, after taking photos during Spirit Week and Halloween, we created those pages immediately at the following meeting. I’m sure this will pay off in the spring. One of our past mistakes was definitely leaving a lot of the actual book editing until the end. I’m glad to have a lot of 6th graders expressing interest in the club this year and hopefully they will stay with the club through middle school and be leaders in the future.
I am also lucky to have some really proactive team members who take initiative to take photos during important events—I don’t need to remind them! Since Izzy and Lila have graduated from 8th grade, they are definitely missed this year! With that said, I have plans to bring them on board to come and help me teach the current middle schoolers a few key Treering skills. We’ll be working on portraits soon, so that’s definitely something we’ll be focusing on with Treering in the near future.
Izzy and Lila, now that you’re in high school, what advice would you give younger students who are involved in the yearbook?
Never give up and push through obstacles the best that you can. It’s always ok to ask questions and get help! For us, it was very rewarding in the end to bring back the yearbook by using Treering and for everyone to give us positive feedback. It feels good to leave middle school knowing that we brought the yearbook back and left them with a solid foundation to build off of this year and for years to come.