September 15, 2007 / Fall 2007 / Staff Management

What Does It Take? Passion

Written by Idea File Staff

The passion for yearbook is about people.

Answers abound to the theme of this issue of Idea File, “What does it take?” Once the mechanics of creating a yearbook are subtracted, it is passion that motivates advisers and staffs. But what does that really mean? The advisers who responded to our query generally had the same answer.

“Yearbook is my passion because it is my connection with students. I can interact with them on a level far deeper than that of a traditional classroom,” said Joanne Hamm, adviser at Mount Vernon High School
in Mount Vernon, Ind. “Most teachers go into the profession with the dream of making a difference in students’ lives; yearbook gives me that opportunity. And best of all, my yearbook students have made a profound impact upon my life.”

“That is an easy question!” said Lynn Bare-Hester, adviser at Southern Alamance High School in Graham, N.C. “I love teaching yearbook because I love the relationship I build with the students while we work on this project together. We become one big family.”

There is something about spending lots of time together on a project that allows people to really get to know each other.

“I love the late-night conversations that have nothing to do with yearbook (but would not have happened without yearbook),” said Crystal Kazmierski, adviser at Arrowhead Christian Academy in Redlands, Calif. “I love the relationships with kids who have bought in to excellence.”

There are plenty of other reasons that advisers have passion for yearbook, such as the adrenaline rush of deadlines, the magic of software and having a finished product to show people. But the advisers always
came back to the students.

“I love watching the joy of discovery as a new photographer learns how to correct a photo. I love hearing my students argue over the placement of a single comma…. I love enabling kids to tell other people’s stories,” Kazmierski said.

Those scenarios get to the point of why Bill Hankins said he enjoyed advising the 29 yearbook staffs he worked with before retiring from Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo.

“In the final analysis, publishing yearbooks makes students into problemsolvers. That is a life skill all high school graduates should have, but don’t. I think that is why yearbook staff members go on to do so well in college. I was lucky to see that in hundreds of yearbook staff members over the years,” Hankins said.

“Thinking about that still brings a smile to my face,” he said.

So read through this issue to find the information you and your students need to create your yearbook. We hope that gaining knowledge, and spending time with your staff, will continue to fuel your passion for
yearbook.

Idea File Staff

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