After nearly a year of taking pictures, interviewing students and designing features, the yearbook staff is nearly ready to distribute copies of Madrono, Palo Alto High School’s annual student yearbook.
Senior Sarah Limb, who has held the position of Madrono’s Editor in Chief since the fall of her sophomore year, has seen the yearbook class enrollment drop to low levels.
“In these past couple of years, the staff number has been declining, and it’s been just enough to keep the class going,” she said. Currently, only 19 students are enrolled in the course, but Limb said having nearly 30 members would be ideal.
However, Limb hopes that with the opening of the new Media Arts Center, scheduled for the start of the 2014-15 school year, more students will sign up for the class.
“Because it [the class] is going to be in the new building next year, that’s an incentive for people to join,” Limb said. “There are more resources, and if we increase numbers, we can increase sections [and] have more senior polls.”
Sophomore Liam Noroian, who will lead the staff next year along with junior Edward Chen, agreed that the Media Arts Center should entice more people to join the staff.
“The new building offers a better working atmosphere,” he said. “It allows us to collaborate with other publications to acquire better information and resources … [and it] is fully equipped with interview rooms, kitchen and comfortable lounge area.“
Especially with the new resources that come with the Media Arts Center, the yearbook class should be fun, according to Chen.
“Yearbook [Madrono] creates memories that will last a lifetime,” Chen said. “Twenty years from now, as you glance back at your Madrono, you can proudly proclaim that you were a crucial part of the yearbook workforce.”
Noroian agreed, highlighting the skills students learn throughout the course.
“Yearbook provides a fairly laid back environment where people can learn basic photography, page design, and general organization,” Noroian said. “All full year yearbook students receive a free yearbook, while half year students receive one for half price.”
Senior Young-Ju Lee, who joined Limb as Co-Editor in Chief this year after serving as the Arts and Academics editor as a sophomore, said that if the staff gets much smaller, the quality of the book will decline.
“You’re going to take out a lot of sections of the yearbook, like featured pages … because there’s no one there to work on it,” Lee said. “The senior section is definitely a lot of work, and if there aren’t people there willing to work on it [it will shrink].”
Limb and Lee attributed the small class size to the muted presence Madrono has on campus throughout most of the school year.
“Yearbook’s usually … one of the publications that’s not seen in the limelight as much, and because [of this], I think the journalism class feeds more into the other publications,” Limb said.
“We only have one product that comes out at the very end of the year, and then every other publication comes out with monthly issues,” Lee added. “You only think about us at the end of the year and then it’s too late.”
Chen and Noroian are ready for the challenge of leading the staff, small or not, next year.
“Edward and I are extremely happy to be leading the yearbook this coming year,” Noroian said. “We plan to make some changes involving how the staff goes about acquiring photos and designing our pages so that we can build another great yearbook. … and there [will be] free food.”
This year’s team has worked hard to create a polished finished product.
“It’s going to be very colorful,” Limb said. “It’s a little bit more creative than in years past. The yearbook cover [is made of a] different material; people might like that since we’ve had the same texture for the past three years.”
“We’re going to make it a fun yearbook,” Lee said. “That’s what we told ourselves this whole year.”
Individual copies of Madrono are tentatively scheduled to be available for seniors starting after school May 20 and for all other students starting May 21 by Room 101. More information will be distributed next week via class Facebook groups, Limb said.