Yearbook challenges of 2020


Milford High School Yearbook Staff

Yearbook staff members Grace Sarafa, Nathan Herron, Savannah Wood, and Delaney Roethler in their work spaces.

Sadie Guffy, Asst. Managing Editor

A yearbook is a physical reminder of one’s school year that will be looked back upon decades later. It is a time capsule of collections of photos, captions, and signatures from one’s dearest friends from the school year that are frozen in time. In the era of COVID-19, there is a sharp decline in events and sports for the yearbook staff to cover and photograph. This year, the staff is almost strictly relying on students to submit their own photos of them, smiling under their masks as they try to experience this school year as normally as they can while taking safety precautions. Advisor David Gilbert along with Seniors Leia Lehrer and Kiersten Tokarczyk, in addition to Junior Sam Moule, discussed their struggles about being a part of the Yearbook staff during this time and how they have found ways to overcome them in light of the pandemic.

“We’ve struggled a lot this year with finding enough content to fill the pages. There are limited photos and information since so much has been canceled or postponed this year,” Lehrer noted. Similarly, Moule added, “It’s hard to make sports pages when we don’t even know if sports are going to happen. It’s also really hard to get pictures of different events for the pages because a lot of events are not happening, or spectators aren’t allowed.” School events taking place are vital to the construction of the yearbook. Without them, it has been difficult for the staff to create something that students will enjoy. Gilbert also mentioned, “The other tough part is the ease of getting information. Normally, students can walk down the hall to interview someone and collect information. This year, we are relying on technology to collect all of that information, which takes more time.” This significantly decreases the amount of content that can easily be added to the yearbook. “To solve this, we had to brainstorm a bunch of new page ideas at the beginning of the year,” Tokarczyk shared. “To overcome these struggles, we’ve come up with new/creative ways to get pictures and create pages. For example, we have a lot of COVID-based pages or pages that are simply about 2020 as a whole. Having these kinds of pages will also bring back memories of 2020 that are unlike any other school year,” Moule described. The staff has also discovered new ways of attaining content. “Google Forms has been amazing for both information and photo collection. This allows anyone to upload photos and those photos automatically go into a folder into our Yearbook Drive. It is all right there and is actually something we will use moving forward even in a non-pandemic year,” Gilbert added. The yearbook staff has been very creative in the ways that they are overcoming the obstacles that come with a global pandemic.

Without access to the computer labs at school, the Yearbook staff has been forced to take on their responsibilities at home. “To get everything done for the yearbook, the entire staff has been working extra hard at home,” Moule shared. “We spend a lot of time working on pages and the editors spend a lot of time editing and making sure everything looks good. We work together as a team, which helps us accomplish a lot.” Lehrer also added, “The yearbook staff has overall been really good with getting their pages done on time. Even with postponed sports seasons and limited activities taking place at the school, the yearbook staff was still able to complete their pages.”

Even with all the chaos that COVID has brought, the staff members are still confident that they will provide students with a quality yearbook that they will be able to look back on for years to come. “I feel like students will still be able to enjoy this yearbook because there are sports and events that did happen, which are fun to look back on, and this yearbook will just simply be unlike any other. We are including a lot of 2020-based pages that students will be able to look back on years from now and remember what an interesting year 2020-2021 was,” Moule stated. Lehrer also shared her viewpoint: “It’s such a crazy year and it’s important to capture all of it. People will look back on it in the future and remember how COVID changed our lives.” The Yearbook staff also realizes the hardships that seniors are going through during this time. “We have expanded our Senior section a little because this year has really impacted the typical high school experience and we empathize with our seniors,” Gilbert stated. “If we can get in our musical, spring concerts, and winter/spring sports, then I expect another great yearbook covering so many of the great students at MHS,” he noted. The adaptations that have been made to this year’s yearbook will display how unique this year has truly been. “Our theme for the yearbook this year is “PAUSE” and really zeros in on what we are going through right now. We decided on this last spring and this concept of “pausing” and “reflecting” has continued through 2020,” Gilbert concluded. The theme this year perfectly summarizes all that humanity has been through this year without the application of negativity, which is something that everyone can appreciate.

Despite the whirlwind of events that this school year has been and will continue to be, the Yearbook staff still takes pride in their work and is dedicated to providing Milford High School students with a tangible reminder of what this school year entails.