Yearbook Students to Focus on Learning a Timeless Approach for Coverage


Yearbook class instructor Jordyn Kiel walks out of class. She said her class will be mostly covering areas like theme, unique coverage and design. Mansi Mamidi/Photo

Mansi Mamidi, Reporter

Sophomore Meg Ortwerth of St. Louis, working on her designs. She says the class is fun, relevant, and teaches her skills she can use anywhere. Mansi Mamidi/Photo.

Theme development, unique coverage and designing basics are the main focuses of this year’s yearbook class, all leading up to the students’ final projects, according to Yearbook class instructor Jordyn Kiel.

In order to get acquainted with these areas, Kiel said the instructors take students on multiple field trips, including an ice cream shop and a diner on Sunday; the students, she said, have very little idea of where they’re going. They must interview people on the spot, she said, find a story with an overarching theme, and design a layout for the story when they come back to class.

“They’re, essentially, building modules of coverage from these field trips,” Kiel, an adviser from Francis Howell North High School, said, “in order to prepare them for their final project.”

This final project can be anything the students wish, as long as it shows verbal and visual development of a theme. Kiel said the entire point of the class is to prepare them for that project, since they’re on such tight time constraints at camp.

These design, unique coverage and theme skills aren’t necessarily just for the class, or even just for yearbook.

Sophomore Meg Ortwerth of St. Louis said, “Since I’m just interested in writing in general, I think the stuff I’m learning about, like theme and other things, really could just help create a better atmosphere of me and my work as a person, no matter what career field I pursue.”

According to Kiel, timelessness is the main goal: to make pretty, in-depth stories on day-to-day activities, so they stay around, since yearbook generally covers the same topics and events each year.

“When you’re working with yearbook, you have to remember that you’re working on a project all year long that has to withstand time for as long as people are ever going to look at it,” Kiel said, “so it’s sort of like reporting things in a way that will still have relevance in 10 years.”