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Between the pages of creating a yearbook

Taylor Crockett's journey with The Panther yearbook

May 9, 2017

Cheyenne Cordero
Portrait of embrace between Julian Olson and McKenzie Carpenter after cross country race.

Managing one’s peers is far from easy. However, as a first year member of The Panther yearbook staff, Taylor Crockett does it seamlessly. In the short amount of time that Crockett has been on the staff, her peers have witnessed an immense growth in her leadership and aptitude. This growth comes from her ability to not wilt under pressure, but blossom instead.

Sophomore Taylor Crockett decided to join after hearing others talk highly of it around school. Once she attended a yearbook-oriented bonfire, she knew it was for her.

“I just remember being in 8 or 9 grade, and everybody would always talk about it,” Crockett said. “It looked really interesting. I signed up and I got accepted.”

Shortly after Crockett’s entry to the class, her hard work earned her a key spot on the staff.

“I’m the business manager,” she said. “So, I take care of our money situation, ads and basically everything else we have to pay for.”

Crockett
Practice portrait of photographer Jazmine Hawkins.

However, being the business manager does not make her stray from what drew her to the class in the first place. Crockett is still immersed in the creative aspects of yearbook as well, designing pages and completing photo assignments.

“I’ve really liked going to events and being able to capture moments that obviously won’t happen again,” Crockett said. “I make pages too. Learning how to create the pages at first was really challenging, but your Big really helps you through it and really shows you how to do it.”

Since the yearbook is a student-led organization, second and third year students, or Bigs, lead the class and pass on information to new students, who are called Littles. Cheyenne Cordero is a Big and one of the editor-in-chiefs of The Panther yearbook.

“The Bigs and Littles process is a process of learning from each other,” Cordero

Taylor Crockett
Environmental landscape of Clinton Nature Trail.

explained. “It’s stressful but good at the same time. It’s stressful because I’m trying to make page designs while also making my own deadlines, but I like it because I’ve grown as a person.”

This trend of personal growth resonates with yearbook adviser Elizabeth Cyr.

“What’s rewarding to me is seeing a student gain confidence or who feels like she now has skills she didn’t have before,” Cyr said. “When they leave me, I want to just dissolve and see them accomplish something in life that they desire, because I think journalism is a catalyst for many pursuits in life.”

Despite all of the positive aspects of yearbook, it still takes dedicated students to join and stay in the class due to several different aspects of the class. Stress, deadlines and workload are some of the effects that tend to cling to yearbook students.

Cheyenne Cordero
City landscape taken during Indianapolis journalism trip.

“At a certain point, it becomes super stressful,” Crockett admitted. “Learning how to create the pages at first was really challenging. Right now it is because we are behind on our pages, so E’s kinda’ stressing, and then we stress. It’s just stressful having to get the deadline in on time. And all of the events that come with your

section.”

Elizabeth Cyr has also noticed the challenges that come with creating a yearbook.

“Journalists want to tell people’s stories,” Cyr said. “It’s not as easy as it seems to accurately, and with dignity and love, tell people’s stories. It’s hard, and it takes practice. I respect the heck out of them for being able to do that.”

Thankfully, dedicated students, like Taylor, aren’t deterred by the more difficult parts of creating a yearbook. In the eyes of a yearbooker, any amount of deadlines or work could not outweigh the great experiences that come from being a part of creating the school’s yearbook.

“It’s really worth it because you get to learn new creative ideas,” said Crockett. “I mean,

you’re making a yearbook for your entire school, so it’s kind of nice to know, like, you made that years later. But, I think the best part about being on yearbook is probably feeling so much like a family.”

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