Yearbook Adapts to Unusual Circumstances

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Though distance learning raised speculations and COVID-19 posed challenges, there will still be a 2019-2020 yearbook. “Normally the yearbook is finished during late March, so we were actually almost done with it just before the lockdown,” said yearbook student Brooke Olesen. The yearbook staff hopes that it will be printed and delivered to M-A by the beginning of the summer.  

The yearbook staff’s priority is to make sure that this year’s seniors receive their yearbook. According to yearbook student Alexa Griffin, “It all depends on when it is safe for people to do so and when the books arrive,” When asked about the distribution Olesen stated, “We might do something similar to how the graduation caps and gowns were picked up, like a drive through.”

As for this year’s freshman, sophomores, and juniors, yearbook teacher Sarah Frivold hopes that students will be able to “pick up their book at the beginning of the year” or that yearbook students can “deliver the books to people during class.” 

This year, the yearbook staff faced some difficulties with the publication process. “The company that we used, their California publishing plant shut down, because of shelter in place. The only plant that they have working right now is in Tennessee. So, the Tennessee plant is publishing all the yearbooks for the company and for the whole country.” Frivold explained.  Until now, the yearbook staff has not received an official delivery date and therefore can not state when the yearbook will be distributed to students.  “I believe we are going to be receiving a delivery sometime in the beginning of summer,” Frivold said. 

One of the main challenges for yearbook staff was that the pandemic changed the relevance of some of the pages. It was especially difficult to finish the spring sports pages, as many team photos were missing. To compensate for this, yearbook staff used photos from practice. 

“I think we have like one mistake,” Frivold reflected. “The band was in it and I think we wrote ‘We had a great time in New Orleans’ … We published that page even before there was any inkling of any of this.” Unfortunately the band was never able to travel to New Orleans due to the lockdown. Since the yearbook staff could not go back to edit the already finished pages it made it into print. 

Nonetheless, this year’s staff hopes to address COVID-19 while also still focusing on the highlights of the school year. “We want it to be a positive representation, so we are trying to figure out how we are going to address it in a way that is not such a downer for a yearbook” Frivold explained. 

So far, there are still two hundred yearbooks to sell. If you are still interested in buying a yearbook make sure to check out the updated website at mabears.org/yearbook

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