Behind the pages of Growler Yearbook


Anna Dunstedter, Journalism Reporter

The school yearbook, Growler, is a publication for the student body. Typically, the book consists of school photographs, special awards, event pages- the entire academic year condensed into a piece of media. The yearbook staff manages and constructs each and every one of these pages, offering students opportunities to look back and relive their memories.

Yearbook editor senior Zoe Sparks has been a member of the team for four years. She is passionate about what she does, dedicating about two hours a day outside of school to contribute to the yearbook. 

“I really take it to heart,” Sparks says. “My mom was in the yearbook all of her years in high school…It really means a lot to me because I have worked hard on these pages, making themes for these yearbooks, and putting in all those little details because…it’s a lot. It means a lot, too, because when I’ll look back in 10 years, I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I made that! I worked hard on that. All of these pictures and all these fun things. Yeah, I made that and I had a great time.’ So I truly, truly value Yearbook and it’s very important to me.” 

Sparks believes that her efforts really pay off.  

“I’ve gotten more creative. I have a new way of thinking. I’m now very good at public speaking because of Yearbook,” Sparks claims. “For Yearbook, I had to go talk at the Chamber of Commerce meeting. There are probably 200 people there. I had to go speak in front of all of these people. So, you definitely learn a lot: how to talk to people a certain way and how to handle interviews, how to design pages. It’s just a lot of fun.”

Sparks believes that there are no downsides to participating in Growler, but work ethic is critical for staffers.

“You definitely have to get your pages done…we have deadlines all the time. You have to make sure it gets done, and if you don’t get the pages done, then it’s bad. We get money taken away, like, it’s just a whole ordeal.” added Sparks. “If you’re not going to get your pages done, then don’t be there.”

Yearbook photographer, senior Kaitlin Baker, takes 500 to 1000 photos per event. She then handpicks each and every photo, deciding what will be used and what will be thrown away. 

“You have to be good at splitting up your time. Editing and choosing pictures, time to design the page, while also putting a story into the page itself. You have to do all that in a certain amount of time to meet deadlines,” said Baker.

Baker also acknowledges that it is a bit difficult to get a hold of content. 

“Sometimes it’s difficult to get content because a lot of our members are more involved… It’s just a lot of things to cover in a short amount of time,” said Baker. 

Even so, Baker says that there are a lot of benefits and she’s developed a lot of skills. 

“I have developed the skill of photography. I’ve gotten a lot better at taking pictures and communicating with people. And I’ve also learned how to make pages and to make stories out of them,” said Baker. “You get to be a lot more involved in school, especially with things like taking photos. You really get to know what’s going on at school, and you get to experience a lot more. The class is really fun and you build a great community.”  

Overall, Baker punctuates Sparks’ view that working on Growler is advantageous and valuable.

“The value of the yearbook to me is just being able to look back through it and see your high school experience. That’s something that you will be able to have for the rest of your life. Something I really like is whenever I look back at last year’s yearbook. I took a lot of photos for football games and other activities. I get to relive those moments through my eyes because I took those pictures,” said Baker.