Monday, November 26, 2012

Yearbook Queen

For three years I produced the yearbook for my daughter’s middle school as a parent volunteer. Still in its infancy, the school was beginning its third year with nineteen students when we joined the community. The traditional first day of school takes place on the rolling fields of Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, Maryland. The nervous smiles, the fearful faces as they looked at the 40-foot tower they were expected to climb and the pride in their accomplishments as they rang the bell at the top were all captured in digital images. I reviewed the hundreds of photos I took that night and knew the school needed a way to capture the special role it played in each of these families’ lives.
As a parent, I attended the majority of school events with a camera around my neck. As photographer, I took over 75% of the images submitted. Then as parent volunteer, I facilitated student activities to get the kids involved in recording their memories with funny stories and interviews. As publisher I identified production options and reviewed publishers. As editor-in-chief, I culled through on average 3,000 images each year to select 450-750 for print. Then the fun began with hours of page layouts, captions, colors and titles. By the time I distributed the first books, I pronounced myself “Yearbook Queen.”

The yearbook captures the memories of each year, marks the physical and intellectual growth of its students, and provides prospective parents a glimpse of why they should consider the school for their children. When my daughter graduated, the underfunded school offered me a position in order to retain my yearbook services.

The Albatross at
Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center

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