Yes, Escalon, there will be a yearbook.
Just because the 2020-21 school year began with distance learning in place for high school students doesn’t mean the yearbook staff isn’t hard at work.
Harder, in fact, noted advisor Erin Headley, as they come up with new and innovative features, get more students involved in the effort and try to meet their deadlines.
Also the English Department chair, Headley said they are making progress for the yearbook, which this year has the theme ‘Unforgettable.’ She said it is ironic, having just come off the 100th anniversary year for Escalon High, to follow it up with a yearbook borne out of a pandemic.
Last year, the final few months of the school year saw students on distance learning so they have had some experience working on a yearbook virtually. And the 2020 book had special features on the school centennial and the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the school in mid-March.
“We still have several yearbooks available and we would love to sell them,” Headley said of that 2020 edition.
They can be purchased at the school and the cost is $85. They are a good keepsake since they are the 100-year anniversary issue. Contact the high school at 209-838-7073 for more information. Headley noted they could be used as holiday gifts, a unique item for gift giving.
She also praised the yearbook staff, particularly editor Taylor Ewing and assistant editors Adriana Lopez Marrufo and Manar Algaheim, all seniors, for their efforts so far this year. School started on distance learning, got back into classes briefly on campus, then had another return to distance learning when some positive COVID cases were reported. They returned to the campus just before the holidays and hope to continue the in person learning after the long Christmas-New Year’s break.
“It’s crazy,” admitted Headley of trying to produce a yearbook amid all the ongoing pandemic restrictions. “I can’t even tell you.”
She said with so many of the usual school events – from football to Homecoming to choir concerts and more – not happening right now, they have had to get creative with ways to fill the yearbook.
Features on unusual pets, hobbies and how students and staff made use of quarantine time are among some of the new pages for this year.
“It’s super important for us to do this,” Headley said, noting that so much has been taken away from the students already because of the pandemic, the yearbook is one thing they can make sure happens.
“The last thing I would want to do is take away something tangible,” she said. “We are living history.”
The advisor is also hoping for community support in terms of advertising and said she and the editing crew are excited for the way the yearbook is shaping up.
“It’s kind of cool to do a much more personal yearbook,” she said, in the absence of usual school activities. “It’s more about the people, not the events. I think it’s an opportunity to share who we are as a school. It will be a faithful record of this whole crazy year.”