Elite workshop leads to big changes to yearbook

After deciding on a theme and designing a cover, staff members scrapped it all

During+a+session+with+Crystal+Kazmierski%2C+Jennifer+Wilson+discusses+ways+to+use+theme+elements+on+a+new+spread+with+seventh+graders+Haily+Spears+and+Savannah+Koch+and+adviser+Jason+Davis.
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Elite workshop leads to big changes to yearbook

During a session with Crystal Kazmierski, Jennifer Wilson discusses ways to use theme elements on a new spread with seventh graders Haily Spears and Savannah Koch and adviser Jason Davis.

During a session with Crystal Kazmierski, Jennifer Wilson discusses ways to use theme elements on a new spread with seventh graders Haily Spears and Savannah Koch and adviser Jason Davis.

Sarah McCracken

During a session with Crystal Kazmierski, Jennifer Wilson discusses ways to use theme elements on a new spread with seventh graders Haily Spears and Savannah Koch and adviser Jason Davis.

Sarah McCracken

Sarah McCracken

During a session with Crystal Kazmierski, Jennifer Wilson discusses ways to use theme elements on a new spread with seventh graders Haily Spears and Savannah Koch and adviser Jason Davis.

Vic Morago and Sarah McCracken

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     The yearbook staff went into Elite Weekend with one book and came out with something completely different
     Four yerds – yearbook nerds, as they call themselves – went to Anaheim in September to attend the workshop and change the book for the better.
     Staff members decided to change the theme, the cover, and designs after being critiqued by the award-winning yearbook advisers and professionals. Adviser Jason Davis said the new theme is more colorful and fun and will grab people’s attention. One thing that didn’t change is the book’s focus on the change to a five-day week.
     “We’re just doing it in a different, and better, way,” Mr. Davis said. “They helped us see that we had the right idea and a very unique story to tell, but the way we were doing it wasn’t obvious and didn’t stand out to a casual reader.”
     This was the first time staff has attended Elite Weekend and were the only students from a junior high at the workshop. They attended presentations given by the yearbook advisors much like what Davis teaches.
     “Us being the only junior high also gave us a little bit more experience because we got to work with older groups,” eighth grade photographer Marion Blakely said. “We got to see some things more experienced people did and the things they learned.’’
     The students seem optimistic for the future with what they learned from Elite Weekend and are excited to use new tips to improve their photography, writing, storytelling, and design.
“I just recently got my own camera [and] it kind of opened my eyes to photography, it changed the whole perspective,” seventh grader Savannah Koch.
     Mr. Davis said it was a little intimidating working with people that are famous in the yearbook world.
     “It’s always good to have others people review and critique your ideas, but this is like having Michael Jordan and LeBron James help you improve your jump shot,” he said.
Next school years yearbook students may also get this opportunity, and Mr. Davis said he’d like it to be something staff attends every year.
     “I would like for it to be a trip for the leaders of the program, those who are in their second year and really taking ownership of the book and the process,” Mr. Davis said.