Yearbook’s Hard Work is Being Brushed Aside By Complaints

Exploring the Process of Creating the Yearbook and Their Goals This Year


Marie Hamilton

Natasha Pebley with her yearbook camera.

Every year there are complaints about the yearbook, from misspelled names to the entire design of a page. However, many students struggle to comprehend the process behind creating the yearbook and the immense effort of the students who take on this task.

This year’s committee for Golden Valleys Yearbook of 2023 is passionate about improving past mistakes. Led by senior editors Miranda Dahl, Rylee Hanna, and Lindsay Delgado, the team has made it their goal to make this edition the best one yet.

“We really want to focus on the theme, photo diversity, and accuracy,” tells Rylee. But finding names, starting a design from scratch, and every other meticulously detailed task that goes into the yearbook is very time consuming and requires the utmost effort.

Some of the yearbook team working on their pages! (Marie Hamilton)

Rylee shares that, “People tend to only focus on the things they don’t like, so that’s all we hear about… it’s hard to hear only negative comments after we worked all year to create something people will enjoy.”

“[In past yearbooks, it feels] they messed up the majority of names on most pages and a lot of the captions didn’t match up to what was actually going on in the page,” explains Golden Valley Senior, Donovan Swanson. “I just think it needs to be more of a school thing rather than seeing the same people,” Morgan Veloz, a former yearbook committee member, added.

The process of making the yearbook behind the scenes is more complex than meets the eye.

Part of the work that goes into making the school yearbook is learning to navigate difficult editing software. Miranda explains, “We start off in large groups teaching everyone how to navigate the site we use to create the yearbook. Once those pages are finished we move onto pairs so they can work collaboratively to figure out the program more in depth, with us [the editors] there, answering any questions. Once they are done, they move onto individual pages to work on their own.”

This process ensures an environment which encourages questions to be asked so no one is left in the unknown, allowing for everyone to be as creative as possible and make the pages to the best of their potential.

But, time is limited.

Editors Rylee Hanna, Miranda Dahl, and Lindsay Delgado. (Marie Hamilton)

“We have three deadlines throughout the year and each one we need about 30 spreads (a 2 page layout). It can get pretty stressful around that time because the editors have to proofread every page during that time and then the advisor and then the assistant principal,” explains Miranda.

While the editing process is a hectic and meticulous one, it assures that lots of eyes are reviewing each and every page to ensure high quality.

The team creates the pages completely from scratch, making it a challenging and tedious task. Yet despite their efforts, the team is still dismayed when hearing complaints about the design.

“When we make a page we start completely from scratch; incorporating the theme, photos, captions all in a unique, creative, and cohesive way is challenging which I feel like not many people outside of our team understand,” Rylee shares.

Incorporating the theme of the yearbook into their pages had been a struggle in the past few years, as explained by Lindsay. “This year we really want it to be well planned out theme wise so we aren’t repetitive or the same as anyone else.”

The editors and the team are reviewing the pages for even “the tiniest details” to ensure this year’s highlights are represented the best they can be. Furthermore, they aim to publish accurate captions and names, working to the best of their ability to put extreme effort into doing so.

“For sport pages we look at maxpreps, email coaches, talk to players, all to get the most accurate names,” Miranda lists. However, outside factors can diminish these efforts. “If there’s a photo where we can’t see the jersey number, then it’s really difficult to find who people are and we try our best but if it’s not accurate, we always apologize and continue to do the best we can next time.”

The main goal for the team this year is involving more students in the yearbook. ”I know a lot of people get upset they aren’t in the photos even when we ask them to participate,” explains Rylee. This creates lots of complaints at the end of the year of low student diversity even though the yearbook team consistently tries to involve more students.

“The problem is there has been such a dramatic decrease in student participation in events,” explains Miranda. This low student spirit has been observed many times, leading to discouragement in many programs at Golden Valley, including yearbook. “It’s especially prominent with underclassmen since they aren’t as comfortable being on campus.”

Arden Keaton working hard on their yearbook page. (Marie Hamilton)

The team consistently tries to involve students, increase accuracy of names and captions, and make the pages the best they can be but many external components make this difficult. Nonetheless, they continue to try to work around these challenges to provide the student body a beautiful reflection of their year.

The editors emphasize, “If you have opinions that you feel like are strong and deserve to be heard, tell us while we’re producing the book or you could even join and make it how you feel it should be. We’re looking for new people every year so you are always capable of joining.”