November 24, 2006 / Design / Winter 2006

Same Mascot Different Covers

Written by Idea File Staff

Using your school mascot or colors each year on your yearbook cover does not have to be repetitious and boring. Consider St. Bernard’s, a 101-year-old school for boys grades kindergarten through nine in New York City. For 15 of the past 17 years, the school’s mascot and other traditions have appeared on the cover of The Keg in drawings by professional artist Denise Watt, a former art teacher at the school.

“I’ve created this dog persona, and they seem to like it,” Watt said. “I like putting him in these situations and having the kids like it.”

Watt’s covers include drawings and paintings, and some years she produces the endsheets and drawings for spreads. She incorporates the St. Bernard, the mascot, plus the alligator, which has been a school fixture since 1959 when a parent brought a taxidermied specimen back from a trip to Africa as a present to the headmaster. Some years she comes up with the cover ideas, and other years the ninth-grade class or the yearbook adviser has given her a theme.

She has a style that is uniquely her own. We love Denise’s work,” said Peg Caldwell-Ott, yearbook adviser. While not every school can afford to pay an artist to produce a yearbook cover, St. Bernard’s covers demonstrate that you can use the same school items on your cover in a thousand different ways. Presented here are the past 12 covers, some depicting specific themes and some just a fun idea.



1994 -  Watt was inspired by the snow to come up with this cover. 1995- 90th anniversary of the school.  The "$90 bill" on the cover includes the signatures ofthe school's founder, John Jenkins, and the headmaster, Stuart Johnson. 1996 -  Watt said the ninth-grade class loved disco and requested this cover. The disco dog also appears on the section dividers.

1997 - The "New" St. Bernard's . This theme acknowledges a major renovation, with existing areas remodeled and three floors added to the school building.

1998 - The Passage of Time . This yearbook includes a variety of historic scenes as drawn by students.

1999 - 20th anniversary of The Keg. The dog is in the ninth-grade classroom shelving past volumes of The Keg. The scene includes a portrait of David Kingwood, who had been the only ninth-grade teacher since that grade was added in the school in the late 1970s.

2000 - Celebrating the new century . The dog and alligator bring in the new millennium by celebrating in Times Square.

2001 - Passing it On.  With puppies at their feet, and ancestors in portraits above, this Keg reflects on tradition.

2002 - The Adventure of the Absent Alligator . The yearbook highlighted various classes and events by using the division pages to explain why the alligator would want to hide out in those areas of the school.

2003 - During this school year, the eighth-grade class gave the school a new taxidermied alligator. The alligator is used as a prize for the neatest homeroom classroom each week So here, the old alligator is passing the duties to the new one. The dog is shown as King Henry VIII.

2004 - Happy Birthday St. Bernard's . The theme celebrated the school's 100-year history.

2005 - St. Bernard's 101, An introduction to St. Bernard's. The St. Bernard and the alligator are teaching the other critters seen in the school's science department about St. Bernard's, and a history of the school was included throughout the yearbook.



Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.