There are many benefits to being part of a “small” school. For instance, students typically get more individual attention — both in and out of the classroom, they enjoy a greater sense of family/community, etc. But when small schools go up against significantly larger ones (like those in the public system), it can sometimes feel like a David and Goliath situation.
Such is the case for our High School yearbook staff, which competes head-to-head each year with the likes Laguna Hills High School and OCSA. SVC’s staff averages about 7 students, while those of large schools can be top 30! But that differential did not stop our Warriors from earning top honors this past summer at Yearbooks@theBeach, a five-day workshop and competition, held annually at Long Beach State.
The goal of the workshop is to complete a “theme portfolio” for the yearbook that includes the staff’s goals for the book, design elements like the cover and a visual style guide, and opening copy — all of which help set the tone for the entire publication.
“The kids hit the ground running and they don’t stop until they have a finished product,” said Sandi Deever, High School Yearbook Adviser and Computer Science Department Chair. “They attend classes in things like photojournalism, layout design, and copywriting. They’re assigned projects to complete individually. And they collaborate — both with our own staff and staff from other schools — on themework.”
One of the greatest benefits of this 5-day marathon is the professional coaching students receive from the workshop’s staff (also known as “gurus”). “The experts really help our kids hone their skills, as well as the portfolio itself,” said Mrs. Deever.
The workshop culminates with each team presenting its theme portfolio to a panel of judges, as well as to the yearbook staffs and advisers from the roughly 45 schools which have come from all across the nation.
When all was said and done at this year’s event, our students walked away with top honors: Effective development of a theme package that communicates the visual and verbal coverage for the book. “Our kids hit it out of the park,” said Mrs. Deever.