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Top Ten Yearbook Tips for Administrators

TOP TEN list of ways to extend support to the yearbook staff

Greetings to Our Administration Yearbook Friends!

Bucket Lists, Top Ten Lists, and Countdowns are just some of the ways list makers indulge in list-making. Many people are so task oriented that their lists on Post-it notes may follow them throughout the day. Top Ten lists seem to be curated in some form, who knows by whom. Lists have their place. Even if it is just to remind us what needs our attention.

In this last blog of a series of three dedicated to administrators, we wanted to share a TOP TEN list of ways to extend support to yearbook staff and advisers at your school. These 10 actions may seem like standard operating procedure, but often these callouts get overlooked in the day-to-day busyness on any campus. We wanted to focus our attention on these 10 practical ways to animate the yearbook process.

  1. Partner the yearbook adviser and staff with an administrator. An administrative partner will streamline communication and provide ongoing counsel as situations arise.

  2. Introduce the adviser and staff to the faculty at the beginning of the year meetings. Encourage the yearbook staff to make a brief presentation detailing their mission, vision to accomplish it, and how the faculty may be of assistance throughout the process.

  3. Facilitate the AD, adviser, and yearbook student leadership regarding a protocol that allows staffers access to fields and courts to get quality shots.

  4. Urge faculty and staff to participate in yearbook photo ops and events. Make sure to include yearbook announcements at faculty and staff meetings.

  5. Include yearbook student leadership at parent/teacher/association meetings to promote the mission and vision of the yearbook and sales.

  6. Endorse a Yearbook Bootcamp initiative. The yearbook adviser can either plan one for the new yearbook staff or one could be coordinated with United Yearbook. A bootcamp will organize and prepare yearbook staffers for the first couple of weeks of school so that not a moment of the action is missed!

  7. Schedule yearbook events like the Yearbook Cover Reveal and the Distribution & Signing Party on the school calendar. Generating excitement among the student population for the yearbook is an excellent show of support.

  8. Give yearbooks as a thank you gift to community event organizers. If possible ask that the copies you purchase for PR be signed by the staff on the colophon pages. The yearbook can act as a point of school pride at these events.

  9. Provide your principal’s message for the yearbook as soon as possible once you’ve been contacted with a due date. The yearbook staff will appreciate your attention to that detail.

  10. Advocate for the yearbook as THE book where everyone belongs. Then make it a priority to put a yearbook in every student’s hands. The idea of a yearbook being for ALL students is very big indeed. But with intention, all things are possible!

Pat Conroy, a well-known American author, wrote eloquently about the power of a yearbook to capture the essence of belonging. He wrote,

A yearbook is a love letter a school writes to itself. It pays homage to its teachers and coaches and librarians and administrators who helped shape the youth of America for little acclaim and small paychecks. It flings roses to the class leaders and student council members, athletes in their great prime of life, band members who bring music to fields and auditoriums, reporters who bring news of the day in the student newspaper and photographers who will make this book live forever.

A yearbook is a love letter, but this love letter will notice the unpraised citizens of your school: The janitors and cafeteria workers, the new students who walk the halls, friendless and unpraised at that mocked and overlooked notion of students who would never expect to find their pictures in any book, let alone something as necessary and wonderful as a yearbook.

A yearbook is a chronicle of life. The very best ones have a snapshot of every student and teacher in the school. The great yearbook never overlooks the shy kids or the kids who hold back or keep to themselves. It embraces everyone and everything because it will serve as the history of this one year of the singular school which exists beneath the shadows of your buildings and all the roads and highways that have led inexplicably to your school.

“Excerpts of text from Pat Conroy, used by permission.”

As an administrator, your value in the yearbook process is undeniable.

Who knew yearbooks had such value and could be so powerful? It makes all the difference in the lives of the students captured between its pages. Yearbooks have chronicled a hundred-plus years of American education. As an administrator, your value in the yearbook process is undeniable. United Yearbook is happy to accompany you and your school on your unique yearbook journey. Thank you for taking the time to explore the possibilities with us in this summer blog series.

Former yearbook advisor, Lucy McHugh

Contributor: Lucy McHugh comes to United Yearbook Printing from a 39-year career in public and private school education. She was a former visual art teacher and yearbook adviser. She received a Bachelors of Science in Art from Columbia College in Columbia, SC, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska in 2000, and in 2014 earned a Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. Lucy enjoys her family, making art and gardening.


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