Patti Rasmussen

Book celebrates a great school year

Patti Rasmussen · June 14, 1997

If you've driven by any of the high schools this week, you may have noticed groups of students hovering around each other, pens in hand and flipping through books. That's because the yearbooks have arrived, and the reviews have been fabulous!

There is nothing like the chance to look over the school year and laugh at the pep rallies, cheer for the sport teams and, at some high schools, spend a moment to reflect on those students who are no longer with us and who will be fondly remembered.

Who puts together the yearbook, and what does it take to get a yearbook out? I met the staff of the Saugus High yearbook and their teacher-advisor, Eileen Granfors. They admitted the day the yearbooks are distributed is the moment of truth for a year's worth of long hours and hard work.

At Saugus High the yearbook is an elective, open to all four grade levels. To apply for the class, one must fill out an application form listing strengths, experience, and the desired position (such as editor-in-chief or sports editor). These applications are reviewed by the current yearbook staff, and an interview process takes place.

Members of the 1997 Saugus yearbook staff are: Jessica Pascoe and Jody Radmin, co-editors-in-chief; Rachael Bamrick and Audrey Yao, assistant editors; Jennifer Pawlack, business manager; Jennifer Nelson, Tracy Duque and Shannon Sirk, senior editors; Matt Bradley, Tom Watson and Laura Cosgrove, sports; Lisa Thoroughman, spirit; Jim Hartman and Thao Dao, "minimag"; Amelia Santoso, Amanda Flora and Jennifer Blount, underclassmen; Howard Blumenfeld, faculty; Brian Kim, clubs; Lindsay Pool and Adriana Velara, general staff.

Editor Pascoe sets the tone of the yearbook at the first meeting in the fall with the "setting of the theme." Seniors are surveyed early to decide which photographic pose they want. The Saugus tradition has been a black and white photo, with formal wear and long personal notes about each student. The class of '97 kept with tradition. This year 462 personal notes had to be typed (Saugus is short on computers).

Every yearbook member is assigned a position and has the responsibility to sell ads to cover the cost of the book. Fifteen hundred and fifty yearbooks are published with 320 pages and a budget of $72,000. Advertisements brings in $3,700, and the rest of the funding comes from sales. For business manager Pawlack, "Everything is a challenge...from catching mistakes (before sending the book off to the publisher) to meeting the deadline. We haven't missed one yet!"

Another high priority is designing the cover. Jim, the artist, and Tom Watson designed this year's cover. It remains a "big" secret throughout the year, but it's "blue and very Saugus," said Jim.

Senior Bests, mapping and drawing the layout, taking photos and selling the ads encompass the rest of the year. The yearbook goes to press in March. A few campus activities are not recorded due to the early press date, such as proms, the fashion show and spring sports. A large "no more photos" list on the wall keeps track of the number of photographs attributed to each student.

The week before the yearbook's debut, the "spring survivors" of the yearbook class anxiously await the reviews from fellow classmates. The last duty is the distribution, with the seniors being the first to receive yearbooks during fourth period, juniors during lunch and underclassmen on the following day. Next year's staff is already in place with Audrey Yao (junior) and Jeff Lee (senior) as co-editors-in-chief.

Final thank-you's were extended from the staff to Ms. Goodman, Ms. Wallen, Ms. Cochrain and Ms. Hoisington, office and library staff who had patiently assisted in photocopying, class lists and scheduling. Editor Pascoe, proudly wearing her University of Arizona T-shirt, looks forward to her college years and reflected on the time well spent in Ms. Granfors' yearbook class. "It's been a great year and I've learned a lot," said Pascoe.

And how were the reviews? According to Granfors, Saugus students have expressed delight in having yet another chance to hover around each other to reflect and collect autographs. "My next yearbook will be my twentieth and it's going to be perfect," said Granfors.

The lesson? Remember to sign up early -- in September -- for your yearbook. You won't want to miss out on some great memories.

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Patti Rasmussen's commentaries appear in The Signal on Saturdays.

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