“Many hands make light work,” as the old adage goes, seems to apply to Fatima’s 2020 yearbook team, which has been accepted into the Walsworth Gallery of Excellence, a compilation of the most …
“Many hands make light work,” as the old adage goes, seems to apply to Fatima’s 2020 yearbook team, which has been accepted into the Walsworth Gallery of Excellence, a compilation of the most distinguished yearbooks printed each year by the Walsworth company, which is one of the top four yearbook companies serving the nation.
This is the second year in a row that the Fatima Sketcher Yearbook has received this award under yearbook advisor JoAnna Baughman and the third time in the yearbook's history. The first time the school was recognized came when Melanie Peters led the team.
“This past year was a particularly amazing feat, considering that the book was completed during quarantine due to a pandemic,” said Baughman.
Yearbooks are chosen for this distinction based on the theme, student coverage, design qualities, photography, and text. This award is given to only a limited number of books each year and is viewed by yearbook advisors and aficionados across the country as a standard of excellence. These books are also used in workshops, magazines, and curriculum design for the copy and distributed nationwide.
Fatima’s 2020 yearbook staff included Editor-In-Chief Evan Struemph, Lacy Bertels. Vanessa Block, Ellen Boeckmann, Abby Corey, Sydney Falter, Carson Klebba, Reagen Kliethermes, Hanna Kremer, Ravyn Kremer, Jade Schanzmeyer, Madalyn Veltrop, and Cora Winkelman.
While COVID-19 has made the job more difficult, this year’s yearbook team is making it work.
“We’re doing a lot of things virtually,” said Baughman. “Because we don’t know what activities will actually take place, we’re focusing more on feature stories and photos, just in case we have layouts that need material. We also want to incorporate COVID into our feature stories and provide a timeline of events.”
Selecting team members is a process that began last summer following spring interviews.
“As an English teacher, I know these kids and their strengths,” said Baughman. “The kids vote on the positions they will have for the year, but I make the final decision.”
Junior Reagan Kliethermes is the editor-in-chief, and she is the last stop before Baughman’s final critique.
“Everyone knows what they have to do,” said Kliethermes. “We all work together really well.”
Co-editor senior Cora Winkelman, who is the primary photographer, will help with copy as needed and said she enjoys seeing it all come together.
Jade Schanzmeyer, a senior, is the reporter with what may be the most difficult task among team members.
“I enjoy yearbook because I’m able to manage my time and do what needs to be done,” Schanzmeyer said. “It’s nice to have a sense of self-responsibility. We’re learning self-reliance and how to cope with deadlines.”
New this year is a copywriter position, which makes the process easier, Baughman noted.
Morgan Eggelston is filling that role.
“Morgan tells us what she wants in a story, the main topic, but I try to get extra material in case she needs it,” said Schanzmeyer. “I usually decide who to talk to but sometimes it’s based on the situation. I enjoy talking to people but we’ve been doing a lot of it with social media because of COVID.”
Eggelston noted that sometimes it’s stressful, especially when she’s waiting for information.
“It’s less stressful than taking photos,” she quipped.
Once Schanzmeyer provides her detailed notes about the story, Eggelston puts it together in a story format for review by Kliethermes and/or Winkelman.
Everyone on the team is responsible for layouts, with two spreads due by Christmas. “We treat these spreads as their final grade for the semester,” said Baughman. “Photos, copy, cutlines, everything is due for that final grade.”
Another student who helps but is not technically part of the yearbook team is Sydney Falter, who was last year’s copy editor. “She’s my teaching assistant now and helps when she can,” said Baughman. “There was a conflict with her schedule so she can’t take yearbook, but she is still a big help to us.”
Winkelman agrees. “With more than 100 spreads, it can be overwhelming, so it’s nice to have Sydney helping,” she said.
Photography duties are split up, and students received three days of training over the summer, with a refresher course in the fall. “The kids with experience work with the younger students at games to help them get good pictures,” said Baughman. “Everyone has a quarterly photography assignment, so they all need to know how to take photos.”
Photos are focused on the people, be it fellow students or teachers, so there is a human feel to the yearbook.
While a career in journalism may not be in the cards for these students, they agree this a great team.
Kliethermes said she plans to pursue a degree in arts and business communication, while Winkelman wants to study political science. Eggelston intends to enter an unspecified English-related career, while Schanzmeyer said she has a strong desire to express herself and is considering becoming a motivational speaker.
Baughman said she is very pleased to have received this award for the second straight year and credits Peters for her work while at Fatima.
“We do our best to meet and exceed every expectation,” said Baughman. “These kids work very hard, and I have no doubt they will be successful in whatever they pursue.”