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Local high school students put a twist on creating high school yearbooks

Posted at 9:54 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 12:54:31-05

What goes into a yearbook that is based on a school year where students are learning from home, and most events have been canceled? Yearbook editors from Atascadero High School and Central Coast New Tech High School are getting creative in how they're documenting the school year.

"We didn't think we'd be in distance learning this long but we prepared for it, which I think helped us a lot," Sholeh Prochello, Atascadero High School's yearbook adviser said.

Aside from teaching remotely, Prochello is teaching students how to curate a yearbook based on memories and events that primarily happened from home. Not to mention, this school year marks the 100th anniversary of Atascadero High School. Margaret Strohl is one of three editors for the yearbook at Atascadero High School. She says there are new sections this year catered towards staying at home.

"What I play in quarantine, what I wear," Strohl said. "We've got a bunch of new interview pages."

With school dances, clubs, competitions, and sporting events postponed or canceled altogether, the yearbook is getting a more personal touch.

"I have really enjoyed making this yearbook because it is more focused on the students than the school because there is a lot of interviews, which I really like doing," Strohl said.

Central Coast New Tech High School is turning to students directly to give them the opportunity to submit their own yearbook pages.

"Since we are a very collaborative school, we want as much collaboration as possible to go into this yearbook," Elliot Thorogood, Central Coast New Tech High School's yearbook editor said.

That means making a section dedicated to at-home setups for distance learning and showcasing how students have gotten creative in quarantine.

"We're going to have a student recipe section," Thorogood said. "It's going to be a chunk of recipes students and their parents have learned over quarantine."

Working on a deadline means most end-of-the-year events like Prom don't usually make it into a yearbook, but this year will be different. Strohl says the yearbook will include an additional element to include sports that were postponed to the spring.

"We're doing what's called a spring insert and it will just cover those sports that are at the end of the year because we want to make sure that they're represented in our yearbook," Strohl said.

This year's yearbook class has come with a lot of lessons.

"Learning to work around challenges and seeing what you can do versus what you can't do," Thorogood said.

As Prochello continues to guide students through a school year impacted by a pandemic, she is reminded that these days are historical.

"It's going to be a cool part of history to have the 2020-2021 yearbook."