Making the Most of your Community

Making the Most of your Community

I’m not your typical yearbook adviser.

One year after our yearbook changed from a class to a club, the high school faculty adviser left the school for a position out of state. Months passed and no faculty member showed interest in the job, likely because of the time it would add to already busy class schedules.

I applied for the job as a semi-retired newspaper person and graduate of the local high school. I was hired as the only applicant and have been on the job for two years. While I have learned a lot, I still have far to go.

One thing that I’ve incorporated in the yearbook that seems to be popular is the personality of the community in pictures.

Every school district has tourist attractions and scenic locations that are unique to its area.

For this year’s book, we got permission to use a local pond with a windmill for the homecoming court group. We shot the senior officers on the front of a diesel engine at the town train station, and took additional pictures at a train-themed local property. The yearbook staff was also posed at a historic village.

Your high school is more than a building isolated from surrounding towns. It’s part of a community with personality and tradition. Any yearbook staff can inject a feeling of community pride into its yearbook. Just look around and ask staff members to see what makes your school and its towns what they are.

It can add a whole new atmosphere to the final product.

HJ TIP! Summertime allows for lots of activities and adventures in just a few short weeks. Have your staff look for coverage opportunities that will be representative of your community and town’s personality to add some variety in your group shots. And while you’re at it, invite your student body to submit memories of their own summer hometown adventures as well. Just make sure to have fun with it!

Paul Brittain

Paul Brittain

Yearbook Adviser
Southmoreland (PA) HS

I have been a reporter, editor, photographer, and author for 45 years, and a graduate of the local high school. My wife and I have had seven cats. I sought the yearbook position to help our students build school pride and make their yearbooks the best they could be.
Paul Brittain

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