Yearbook Deadline and Distribution Delayed Due to Pandemic

The Peninsula Pulse has dedicated a page in each issue from April 24 – May 22 for the students of each Door County high school. This week we feature the work of Sevastopol student journalists.

by Maggie Ripp, Junior, Co-editor, The Pioneer Chips

The yearbook staff at Sevastopol is still scrambling to complete the yearbook on time, despite lacking many resources because of the school closure. 

In times like these, the benefits and drawbacks of technology emerge. Students without an internet connection at their home are finding obscure places to connect to the pages.

“One of my biggest challenges is poor internet connection, so I will drive out to my friend’s house and sit in her driveway to use their internet,” yearbook staff member Haylen Retzlaff said. 

The struggle of producing a yearbook without all the resources is a challenge the staff members are willing to face to give seniors their last tangible memory of high school. 

“We have access to the website, so we do work from home and FaceTime to collaborate,” yearbook co-editor Grace Brauer said. “We do not have access to all the photos, so we contact students for last-minute headshots. There are some pictures that will just not be in the book, like the newspaper staff photo, which was never taken.”

Fortunately, sports and prom will have full coverage because the staff uses the previous year’s spring events. However, next year the staff will face difficulties in covering the 2020 spring events that never were. 

The yearbook deadline has been pushed back to the end of May, which will allow the staff to dedicate some of the pages to these strange times and capture the essence of student life when everyone is stuck at home.

Yearbook adviser Mindi Vanderhoof appreciates the time and effort the staff has devoted.

“I am proud of the students [who] have stepped up to the plate to ensure there will be a yearbook this year,” Vanderhoof said. “We want to make sure that this yearbook documents the history and importance of this year’s events.”

Among the many events that have been canceled because of COVID-19 is the Northeast Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA) Conference, where Sevastopol’s yearbook staff has earned blue-ribbon honors for more than 30 years. NEWSPA is a significant part of the year because the staff members receive recognition for their yearlong commitment. 

“NEWSPA is typically such a rich learning experience for students,” Vanderhoof said. “I’m sad they are going to miss it this year. Hopefully we will be able to find another conference to attend once things return to some sort of normal.”

In addition to attending NEWSPA, a crucial and gratifying part of the yearbook process that has been canceled is the moment when students congregate in the gym to sign their farewells to friends and teachers. The yearbooks will arrive in July. It is still undecided how they will be distributed, but Vanderhoof would like it to be special in some way, especially for the seniors.