Yearbook 101

MARQUETTE- Yearbooks are filled with memories that students will cherish for years to come. But for some students, the yearbook itself will serve as a memory of the time they helped put it together.

Westwood High School offers a yearbook class, where a number of students collect photographs, sell advertisements and layout the book each year, giving it their unique flavor. This year, there are 10 students working on the 2013-2014 edition. Sabina Austin is in her first year as the advisor.

“Any advisor going into the first time will bring different flavors, as well as the students,” Austin said. “An example is, the students this year came up with the page number idea, so that’s new.”

The page numbers for this school year’s book will be pictures of students and faculty cutout and holding up giant numbers that match the page. A student will take that picture themselves and then upload it and cut it out using Adobe Photoshop.

According to Austin, the students become familiar with everything that goes into making a product like this.

“They learn photo composition, how to lay out pages, time management, organizational skills and editing skills,” she said. “They are learning entrepreneurship skills while still having fun.”

The students design the book using Jostens website, the largest yearbook provider for schools and colleges. Doing it his way enables the students to access it from anywhere that has internet, Austin said.

“We use Photoshop to edit photos because it’s just a better program than what’s on the Jostens website,” she said. “But by using Jostens for all of the layout, the students can access it at home or from any other computer, which makes it easier for them to work on it.”

Junior Rachel Anderson, 16, is the editor this year and is in charge of sports pages insuring the final copy is without errors. Because the book covers everything that happens in the school year, including graduation and prom, Austin said Anderson and some other students will probably be coming in after school is out for the year to complete the work.

“We pretty much all do the same thing in the beginning, but once it’s done, I’ll go back through to check spelling and make sure there are no duplicate photos,” Anderson said.

Anderson started taking yearbook last school year in the second semester and really started to enjoy it, which is why she’s decided to do it again this year.

“The class is really fun and I enjoy it a lot,” she said. “It’s a good seventh hour class to end the day with.”

Anderson had so much fun taking yearbook last school year that she convinced her friend, junior Katie Rankinen, 17, to join the class this year as an assistant editor.

“It’s a class I look forward to everyday,” Rankinen said. “We have fun and laugh a lot while still getting things done.”

Even though Rankinen enjoys the class and has fun with it, she said it can be demanding at times.

“I think the most challenging part is getting things lined up on the pages the way I want them to be and taking good action sports shots and making sure the photos aren’t blurry,” Rankinen said.

Yearbooks for the 2013-2014 school year are currently on sale for $45. For more information on how to submit photographs for the yearbook, contact Sabina Austin at

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is