Lane’s yearbook staff gets creative during online learning


Ms. Lawrence, the yearbook adviser, selects one of the recent yearbooks. Each year’s yearbook has a theme that is followed throughout the entire book, according to Lawrence. (Photo Courtesy of Ms. Ashford-Lawrence)

By Ella Rappel, Reporter

With the school’s digital landscape, Lane’s yearbook is looking a little different this year. One of this year’s biggest changes is in the timeline for the yearbook’s release. This year’s yearbook will be distributed in the fall of 2021 in order to accommodate shifts in the athletics schedule, with graduating seniors receiving their yearbooks in the mail, according to Ms. Ashford-Lawrence, the yearbook adviser. 

A new name is also in the cards for the yearbook. According to Annabelle Nguyen, yearbook editor-in-chief, the yearbook’s former title, the Arrowhead, will be altered in light of Lane’s mascot change.

Gathering content, such as interviews and photos, is particularly hard during online learning, according to Nguyen. 

“It’s a lot more difficult to get our work done because we’re not able to go to classes and take pictures and such,” said Nguyen, Div. 162. “We rely a lot on the student news.”

Lawrence said that the surveys found in the student news on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are a good way for students to get involved.

Surveys are the main avenue by which the yearbook staff collects quotes and photos from students. The surveys span a wide variety of topics related to student activities in quarantine, including clubs and sports.

“We’re asking you what you’re doing, where you’re going, what movies you’re watching,” Lawrence said, stressing the importance of student participation. 

Nguyen encouraged students to participate in the yearbook student news surveys, saying that greater student contribution can help make the yearbook a more accurate representation of the school.

“I get it, it’s a lot of emails, but it’s very repetitive when the same students answer surveys over and over because we are getting a certain demographic of those students rather than the whole school,” Nguyen said.

Creative new spreads capturing seasonal activities signal change in the content of the yearbook, as well, according to Lawrence, emphasizing student positivity and perseverance in the face of COVID-19.

“The theme that we have this year is really celebrating the spirit of Lane Tech and the overcomer in us all, so we’re trying to focus on things that people are doing that are positive and that are in spite of the pandemic,” Lawrence said.

Though their class has moved online, the yearbook staff still collaborates in a workshop-based environment. Lawrence enjoys playing music while students work to build a sense of community in the classroom.

“It’s hard to build a community virtually, but I feel like we are doing a good job of that,” Lawrence said. 

Nguyen says she works hard for the class to create a yearbook that is unique.

“It’s a challenge for me to come up with a brand new book and something that’s different from every year and to make it my own,” Nguyen said.

Lawrence also highlighted the importance of the yearbook beyond the classroom, as it documents the history of the broader Lane community.

“[The yearbook] captures the essence of the school year and the students,” Lawrence said. “It tells a story about the school, about the community, how it changes from year to year and people look back on that.”

Though it can be challenging, the yearbook staff is overcoming the roadblocks of virtual learning, according to Nguyen.

“My goal in making the yearbook,” Nguyen said, “is so that when we look back maybe in ten years, even if you didn’t like Lane or high school wasn’t your best experience, I want to get as many people in the yearbook as possible so that way you can look back and just be like: ‘This is what I lived through. This is what I did in my high school career.’”