The Senators are halfway through the school year, and the Washington Township Yearbook Staff is keeping up with recording the year’s events.
Student Publications at Washington Township is an elective course. Yearbook Advisor Ashley Leighty designed the course curriculum to include aspects of real-world publication companies.
Students must sell advertisements throughout their community, meet a required number of Yearbook sales, learn how to take dynamic photos, and, most importantly, design spreads. With designing spreads, students must create authentic content by finding a story at each of Washington Township’s events.
Yearbook Staffers have approached the halfway point in the school year, and the Yearbook Publication is at its peak. With each spread staffers design, the students are expected to write a story, create modules consisting of interview questions, polls, or interactive content for readers, and lastly arrange dynamics in a visually appealing way to fill up the spread.
Each year, Washington Township’s Yearbook Publication has a theme. In years past the theme has been “Changing With the Seasons,” “Remember When,” and “Rewind.” This year the Yearbook Staff chose to focus on Washington Township’s personal story and entitled the publication “Our Story.” The book is broken up into chapters such as “Students,” “Victory,” “Success,” “Individual,” “Location,” and “Endings.”
All About the Theme
A yearbook's purpose is to highlight, record, and commemorate the past school year. When designing this year's book, the 2017-2018 Yearbook Staff decided they wanted to do something different than previous editions of the Senatorian.
Washington Township Middle/High School has its own story; as Yearbook Staffers, students must display the attributes that embody their school. The yearbook theme "Our Story” was selected to represent the moments that deserved to be remembered but were not caught on camera. Adding more stories and verbage to this year's book will allow the reader to look back on their yearbook fifteen years from now and recount what was going on at that time in their lives.
The “Students” chapter highlights Washington Township’s entire student body through the usage of portrait pictures and interviews featured on each page.
“Victory” is all about the sports seasons, covering every sport from Cross Country to Boys’ Varsity baseball. The chapter even highlights fall, winter, and spring Middle School sports seasons. Within the “Victory” section the reader will see action shots, athlete interviews, and the team’s record for the season.
The clubs and academics chapter, “Success,” includes organizations such as Student Council, Key Club, and Academic Teams.
“Individual” is all about student life. From homecoming and prom to trends and best friends, this section exemplifies the high school experience at Washington Township.
The “Location” chapter displays the trips the different grade levels take. These trips include the sixth grade trip to Camp Tecumseh, the eighth grade Sensations’ trip to Disney World, and the seniors’ trip to Washington D.C.
Lastly, “Endings” wraps-up the Senators’ school year by highlighting Awards Night, Eighth Grade Recognition, and Graduation.
Student Spotlight: Yearbook Staffers
The Senator Yearbook Staff is extremely dedicated to making the best publication possible. In the beginning of the year, staffers attend the Jostens Yearbook Conference. This year the conference took place at the Memorial Opera House. Here, the staffers participated in a series of workshops teaching them how to navigate and create with the Jostens Yearbook Avenue program.
The workshops covered topics such as meaningful photography, positioning design elements on a spread, working within the guidelines of a theme, and collaborating as a team. Along with the workshops, the Jostens Yearbook Conference is where the Yearbook Editors get to meet with a Jostens Design Artist and design the cover for the 2017-2018 Yearbook. After a long day of learning, the yearbook staffers take what they learned and apply it to their spread work.
This year’s Yearbook Staff welcomed many newcomers and includes a plethora of underclassmen. The underclassmen proved themselves by creating visually appealing spreads. Although many of them had never designed a yearbook spread before, the underclassmen quickly learned what was expected of them.
First-year Staffer Makayla Millard said that she especially enjoyed learning "how to put pictures together in a way that is appealing and organized. It has also made me engage in a lot of creative thinking.”
Additionally, Staffer Zoe Brickner said, “I have learned how to be creative while still following certain guidelines and requirements.”
This year’s editors of the Yearbook are Madison Batthauer and Morgan Olson. Both Yearbook Staffers have been Yearbook members for the past three years. In their time on staff, the editors have learned how to properly manage and guide their team.
"It has been a privilege to edit this year's book. I have been a part of Yearbook for three years and have learned so much about leadership, design, and collaborating as a team,” said Batthauer.
Adding to Batthauer’s statement, Olson said, "I have always enjoyed Yearbook, and being able to be an editor during my senior year is an honor. Yearbook is special because it allows students to come together and create something to give back to their school.”
The Washington Township Yearbook Staff has put extensive hours into this year's publication, are very proud of the work they have done, and are excited for the work they will continue to do as they finish the book in the next following months.
Teacher Spotlight: Yearbook Advisor Ashley Leighty
Ashley Leighty is Washington Township’s Yearbook Advisor. She has held this position for the past three years. Leighty makes her staff accountable for all aspects of the book, as she has designed the curriculum to allow students to learn about everything it takes to create a successful yearbook.
Along with teaching students how to create a successful yearbook, Leighty also makes it fun. She encourages the staff to become friends with one another and get to know one another. She accomplishes this by assigning spread partners on every spread and hosting “Fun Food Fridays.”
“Every year leading the yearbook staff is a new adventure. I love seeing what theme the staff will come up with and what new creative ideas the editors have to make their edition unique. The course is exciting to teach, and the staff has a lot of fun along the way,” said Leighty.
“We have loved getting to work under Mrs. Leighty. She has taught us so much about being leaders and creating a publication. We have been a part of her staff for the past 3 years and it is incredibly bittersweet knowing next year we won’t be apart of it anymore. Yearbook is something we both have found to be very fun and will miss dearly,” said Editors Olson and Batthauer.
Finishing the Year and Selling Books
The Washington Township Yearbook Staff continues to make steady progress on this year’s book. In the meantime, Washington Township community members can still purchase a book. The current cost is $60.00. Yearbook orders can be submitted to the Washington Township main office, purchased online, or submitted to anyone on staff.