Behind the Scenes of GHS Yearbook – By: Sam Slager

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Every year students await the arrival of their yearbook, a fun keepsake that brings back past memories of friends, sports, clubs and more. Yearbooks are something that most schools have been making for decades, but more often than not the work that goes into creating one goes unnoticed. Today we’ll uncover the story behind what Grandville’s Yearbook Staff does and how their program has changed over the years. 

Quite often people don’t realize what involves making a yearbook and the jobs that members have to complete. Before taking the class, senior Jenna Eddie, only “knew that it was blended and that I would have to take pictures.” Blended means that there is no class on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is what usually draws people to take yearbook. Jenna claims that she took the class because she thought it was going to be easy to manage, but now realizes the amount of outside work it takes. Similar to a college course, students are expected to be working on their pages on the off days, actively taking pictures at school events, and communicating with businesses out of class. Selling advertisements, taking pictures, organizing the pages and making it all look seamless involves a lot of precision and dedication. 

In the beginning of the year, the first thing the committee does is sell advertisements to local businesses. The purpose of ad sales is “to lower the price of yearbooks for students and raise money for the program, which is up to about $30,000 now” according to two year yearbook staff member, Deandra Huynh. Not only are ad sales beneficial for GHS but also for the students that go into the community. “After two years of being involved in yearbook and doing ad sales I have learned how to approach a business and influence them into supporting us” says Deandra. Overall, advertising is a crucial part of the yearbook making process and is an important skill to use in the future. 

Yearbook hasn’t always been the successful business that it is today, there have been many changes since 23 year teacher, Mrs. Peterson, first took on the role. “When I first started everything was done by hand on paper: We had crafting tools, wax pencils, and actual film that we would develop ourselves in a darkroom.” Thanks to modern technology and company improvements, the entire yearbook is now made online and photos are all digital. There is no more photo developing, no mailing, and no paper; everything is done online. However, a few things have stayed the same among all the changes yearbook has gone through. Mr. Harfst, a Grandville Yearbook alumnus and now a teacher at GHS, says that the jobs “Were pretty much the same: ad sales and then creation of pages” with a goal of creating a “well rounded product that people want to see.”

Being involved in yearbook provides students with great experience that they will use for the rest of their lives. “Looking back at my time in yearbook, it forced me to change my work ethic,” says Mr. Harfst, “staying on top of page deadlines, putting in the effort, and contributing to the whole business taught me lessons that I use in my job today.” In addition, Grandville graduate class of 2013, Kelli Eddie, reveals that selling advertisements benefited her most. “Interacting with other people in the work force and getting real life sales experience prepared me for college and my career in the business world.” Kelli, now a marketing manager, states that she feels more comfortable talking with company owners and knows how to navigate a successful sales pitch. Yearbook is a very important class that has shaped well rounded individuals who are prepared for the future for many years now. It’s come a long way, but with the help of Mrs. Peterson yearbook has become a respected class that reflects the values of Grandville and supports the GHS community. 

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